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Caller: Caregiving for my Alcoholic Father

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger
The Truth Network Radio
November 17, 2018 7:58 pm

Caller: Caregiving for my Alcoholic Father

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger

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November 17, 2018 7:58 pm

Bill called the show to share his struggles with his alcoholic father ...who's now had a fall and requires care.

One of the things we do on the show is educate that alcoholism is a chronic disease - and where there's a chronic disease, there's a caregiver who needs help.

"Not Drinking" doesn't make things better, it's a recovery process for every individual in that alcoholic's /addict's orbit. The closer you are, the more recovery is needed. 

www.Al-Anon.org 

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Peter Rosenberger hosts a radio program for family caregivers broadcast weekly from Nashville, Tennessee, on more than 200 stations. He has served as a caregiver for his wife Gracie, who has lived with severe disabilities for more than 30 years. His new book is “7 Caregiver Landmines and How You Can Avoid Them.” Follow @hope4caregiver.

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Bill in Indiana. Good morning. How are you feeling? I'm feeling pretty good.

Good morning. Well, what's what's going on with you? Well, I'm trying to make this as short as possible. I'm gonna be 52 next month and my dad who was 75 he and I have had a tumultuous relationship my whole entire life. I was pretty young when I would have been diagnosed as what everybody calls OCD now. And it was in response to his alcoholism and the way he treated my mom and and that kind of stuff.

And you know, I found that I'm not the only person that that deals with trying to be perfect so that you don't get yelled at. And it's been this way, like I said, my whole entire life. And about a year ago, I had decided I was done dealing with him. I just couldn't take it anymore from him calling me at work and being drunk.

And it was crazy. Oh, and hold on. I do indeed. Do you mind?

No, no problem at all. We got to take it. We got to take a quick hard break. We'll be right back. Don't don't go because you this is an incredibly important topic. So don't go away. Okay. Okay. I won't.

All right. This is Peter Rosenberg. This is hope for the caregiver. This is the nation's number one show for the family caregiver and whatever impairment you're standing between. It doesn't have to be Alzheimer's.

It could be alcoholism. If you're standing between that the worst disaster, you're the caregiver. You're why we do the show. 888-589-8840.

We'll be right back. Welcome back to the show for caregivers about caregivers hosted by caregiver. This is hope for the caregiver on American Family Radio. I am Peter Rosenberger bringing you three decades of experience to help you stay strong and healthy as you take care of someone who is not 888-589-8840 is the number if you want to be a part of the show. We're talking with Bill who has uh grown up in the home of an alcoholic father who is and now you're having to care for him. Is that right, Bill? Yeah, he um and just just one little other little bit of the story. Um about a year ago I just finally decided after the calls at work and um you know him being in a drunken state and the things he would say and accuse me of I said that's it I'm done and I talked to him just a couple times and then this last July uh he fell and um hit his head and but he was completely inebriated when he fell so when he went into the hospital they kind of ran him through you know I can't think of the medicine they gave him to help them through the withdrawals and everything and um when he came out of it he has he can't swallow uh very well is the swallowing mechanism is not working and stuff that he swallows gets into his lungs so he's had a peg tube and I had really prayed I've got a fantastic wife a great church and I had prayed you know maybe I need to stay with dad when he finally got to come home from the nursing home he is in the hospital in the nursing home uh I see from the middle of July till about the middle of October and it's still dealing you know it's it's his house it's almost like I'm nine years old again um and he he can take care of himself somewhat um but he's scared to be by himself and there is so much stuff that has happened in life and I'm always afraid to confront him about it because it's like I said it's like I'm nine years old 10 years old and I just was looking for anything advice a book something to help me get enough fear or get enough over this fear to talk to him and say hey you know the reason you've driven your two wives away and your family away is because of you know the jack on hide dealing with your alcoholism we need to call it what it is and and I I just can't take being you know berated anymore I guess is the short way to let's let's start right there let's just that's our starting point uh the first step is to get you uh the first step is to get you away from being nine years old you're 52 so you're not nine years old and you are not in any way bound to this this man's disease and his behavior unfortunately this that's what this disease does it disorients you and makes you think that you are so we want to help you detach from that as best as possible and there are places you can go for that al-anon is a I would highly recommend you go into an al-anon meeting are you familiar with al-anon I just have heard of it and that's that's all I've ever heard I would recommend going don't don't go there with any expectations other than there's a group of people who are dealing with the same stuff that meet in anonymity and they deal with the same things that you're dealing with with a family member who has an addiction issue and you're going to hear your story come out of somebody else's mouth and that's where you start because the principles that you can learn on that will help you detach from your father's disease you know you can't shame your father or argue your father or reason with your father into recovery he's got to do that himself what you can do is learn for you to live more healthily in this and and that's the goal you didn't you didn't cause this you can't fix it okay that that that's where your your powers stop at the at the end of what you can do and all you can do is be in control of bill not in control of your father or his recovery or his demise he may not make it bill but you have to you've got you've got a family that's counting on you to not be nine years old to be 52 years old your father's made his choices he's got his life he's got his thing going on he's in a place now where people are starting to see what has happened to him he may not make it but you have to and and those are hard words those are hard words bill and i don't mean them to be anything other than what they are because it's blunt force truth but that's sometimes that's what we as caregivers need in the midst of our craziness is that blunt force truth you have spent a lifetime being a slave to your father's disease and it will it will affect you for the rest of your life and your children so this is your time now to step in to this and say you know what no more no more i'm going to go on a path of recovery for myself no matter what happens to my father i'll do the best i can to care for him but i am not obligated to fix him to save him he has a savior look i tell you what here's what i do look down at your hands if you don't see nail prints this ain't yours to fix you know you know he has a savior you ain't that savior and and that's that's your starting point to realize okay what is my responsibility honoring your father does not mean honoring his disease you can honor your father without honoring his disease and it's hard because it looks like it's the same person but it is not underneath all this dysfunction is your dad the man that you want to honor and you can but you do not have to honor alcoholism what you have to do is back away from that so that you can be healthy no matter what he's doing when you go home to your wife and your kids after being with your dad they don't need to have a nine-year-old walk in the house right yeah it's my my wife is is fantastic she's been so supportive she's always been supportive of this and she knows how hard it's been and i just it's been this last few months have been really hard trying to figure out where i draw the line and i guess that'd be maybe the second part of this question is as far as just confronting him and saying you know dad here's the deal here's this whole situation is that something that should come i mean should that come yeah yeah it can but not right now not right now okay you're not in a place where you're you have the vocabulary or the strength to do that on your own you can get there and that's why working a good recovery program for yourself is going to help that's why you go go to al-anon go to they usually have a meetings they have meetings everywhere you just go on their website they're everywhere and they you know it's it's the it's the best hour you'll ever spend and it's not necessarily because your dad's an alcoholic that you're going because you can go to al-anon for anything uh you know if you just go if you if you're dealing with something you can't control and you're struggling with it that's the place because that's what the whole point is is to learn how to come to grips with this uh sit down with your pastor sit down with a counselor i would recommend getting a counselor involved with you at this point bill and just sitting down and laying this out because that's what they do um there are lots of resources out there that you can go to that that will that will strengthen you and give you the vocabulary of doing this you don't have the tool belt right now you know it'd be it'd be basically like you going out there and trying to build something with with only with screwdriver um you just don't you don't have the vocabulary and so we're good but but you know what we're all going to pull together with you and help you get the vocabulary and you can do this and your family will have the vocabulary and they'll know how to minister to you and know what's going on with you and your wife will be able to be able to that she'll be able to better understand what's going on with you and why that nine-year-old kid seems to emerge all the time in the face of this and your and your children will the same way this this is there is a recovery path for you on this now it's work but i mean you're not afraid of work and it's good work now it's it's good work bill it's it's it's a way of you being able to do this work bill it's it's it's a way of you reclaiming that which was stolen from you by this terrible disease this disease has more than one victim and and you can move through this and this is this is what god can and will do through your life when you trust him with this it's going to mean you you're learning a different set of skills and words and so forth and that's okay but you know this thing will it will disorient you it will take you down in some dark places and you've already been there you're not responsible for your dad's destruction you're just not he's a grown man who's made his own grown man decisions and at some point you're going to see where god can god's even interested in helping him get to a place of recovery too god hasn't abandoned him right but but but but with alcoholics you've got to almost you've got to step away from this and let them spiral out of control until they get to the point where they want help more than they want alcohol and and you also have to understand this bill alcohol is not his problem that's his idea of medication right whatever's going on in him he's numbing that with alcohol and and now the alcohol is taking over but but even if he stops drinking today even if he gets sobered up and never drinks another drop for the rest of his life he's still got to deal with the inner turmoil of what was going on in his life that led him to that place so this is a long long long journey that he may or may not be able to make now that he's in physical bad situation here so your your your challenge is is to detach from this so that not not sever it just attach so that you are focused on the healthiest bill that you can be okay that that's the that's the goal and and and and for you and your family that this thing stops now for your children's sake for your wife's sake for your sake does that help that that certainly does and uh there's the main times i felt like i'm just in a whirlwind of not knowing what to do because i know there's no way to talk to him without getting upset and i thought when i was driving in and heard your show i thought you know he's going to have some kind of an idea what i should do next because i can't i can't seem to see the light at the end of the tunnel and i really appreciate you taking the time to talk with me well bill this is why you're why i do the show and i'm preaching to myself here because let me let me tell you something real quick and i know you got to go but but i can't argue with my wife's amputation the legs are gone i can't argue with that i can't reason that i have to accept it that doesn't mean i have to like it i just have to accept it acceptance is not agreement it's just acceptance okay this is the reality the reality is your father's an alcoholic and he has taken everybody he's that's in his orbit into a bad place with him that's acceptance we don't have to like it we don't have to agree with but we do have to accept it in order for us to be able to say okay here's it is what it is now let's get to a place of safety he may not make it okay but you have to bill okay please keep listening to the show and feel free to call in anytime all right thank you so much i appreciate it you're quite welcome bill thank you so much 888-589-8840 this is hope for the caregiver and this is part of what we do here is understand that this is not about nursing homes folks this is not about learning how to care give i'm not here to tell anybody how to care give i'm here to to help point my fellow caregivers and myself to a place of safety where we can live a calmer healthier and dare i say in a more joyful life no matter what's going on around us that's the whole point 888-589-8840 we'll be right back with more of your calls this is peter rosenberger this is hope for the caregiver and we're glad you're with us hope for the caregiver.com have you ever struggled to trust god when lousy things happen to you i'm gracie rosenberger and in 1983 i experienced a horrific car accident leading to 80 surgeries and both legs amputated i questioned why god allowed something so brutal to happen to me but over time my questions changed and i discovered courage to trust god that understanding along with an appreciation for quality prosthetic limbs led me to establish standing with hope for more than a dozen years we've been working with the government of gana and west africa equipping and training local workers to build and maintain quality prosthetic limbs for their own people on a regular basis we purchase and ship equipment and supplies and with the help of inmates in a tennessee prison we also recycle parts from donated limbs all of this is to point others to christ the source of my hope and strength please visit standingwithhope.com to learn more and participate in lifting others up that's standingwithhope.com i'm gracie and i am standing with hope
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-21 22:27:49 / 2024-01-21 22:34:07 / 6

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