The time was approaching for my girlfriend and I to move in with my father. A week before we moved in, my father had called and told me my mom was going to pick him up and take him with her. He said he was going to go down to my grandmothers house to get better. My grandmother did not allow drinking in her house so this would be like a type of rehab for him. He informed me that he would be gone for two months.
I thought he was serious about rehab this time because he came up with the idea on his own. Three days after he arrived at my grandmothers house, the calls started. My father wanted me to come pick him up. First, let me point out that my father did not have a valid drivers license because he failed to remember to renew it. Also, it was a 10 hour drive to my grandmothers’ house, it was not something I could do. It was not something I wanted to do. For another thing, my father wanted to go down there to quit drinking, I was going to let him quit drinking. I was not going to rescue him from the “hell” he said he was going through.
He would call me every day. Either with some excuse about how he had to go shopping for this or that (like he could not pick it up at a store in the state he was in) or how he had to do something at home. If I told him those tasks could wait, he would give me a list of things to do since he was not at home to do those things. Most of these tasks were not urgent and like I told him, these things could have waited until he got back home.
I would ignore most of his calls because I knew what he wanted me to do and I was tired of telling him that I was not going to come down there to pick him up and that my mom would be taking him home in in a few short weeks. This did not make him stop calling me. Every so often when I would answer the phone, I kept telling him that he needs to quit drinking, he needs to get better and that this is a good thing.
When I asked my father if any day was a good day, I also asked what would happen when I lived there…would it be a good day for me to live there? Will I have to leave if it is a bad day? He replied, “no, I guess not” and after that, he never talked about good or bad days again, so I thought that maybe he reconsidered. However, the next time I came over to bring some things, he sat my girlfriend and I down give us an explanation about his “migraines” were and how they made him feel.
Like we had not heard this before, we sat down and talked to him for a few hours about how his “migraines” would hurt so bad that he could not sleep or do anything all day because they made him incapable of performing any “basic task” (as he put it). He then told us that that is the reason why he has to drink, not only because the “migraines” are so bad but because the medicine his doctor gave him does not work .
He then proceeded to explain to us about how he had such a tough life and was going through a tough time right now because of things that had happened in his life. He mostly spoke of the past and his relationships with others in my family. It seemed to me that he was stretching the truth a little too thin and was exaggerating everything to the fullest extent. To be honest, he was being pretty over-dramatic with everything he talked about. It was like he wanted me to feel sorry for him and accept his drinking.
One day, about four months after the incident on Christmas, my father had asked me if I would live with him to help him out. Given that things had been quiet in the last few months, I thought it would be safe enough to help him until he got back on his feet.
When I talked to my mother about this she thought it was a good idea. She thought it would be good for my dad to have some company in hopes that he would overcome his depression and be able to move on with his life. A part of me believed this and had high hopes that he was only drinking more because he was lonely.
So, the lease on my apartment still had a few months to go and my girlfriend and I decided to move in slowly. We would bring over a truckload of our belongings almost every weekend and when I would tell my father in advance that I would come over to drop by some things, he seemed fine with it. The tricky part was actually getting our belongings in the house. Not because there was not enough room but because at the last minute my father would call me and tell me it was not a “good” day to bring stuff over.
He acted like I did not know he had a drinking problem and that if he was too drunk one day, he did not want me to see him. Therefore, I could not come over to bring my things. Finally, it was getting to be too much. As he was telling me that today “was not a good day”, I asked him if any day would be a good day.
After a few hours of not hearing from my father on Christmas day, my father finally called me. I took my phone conversation in another room to not worry my mom. When I asked my dad if everything was alright, he said “no, it’s not”. He sounded pretty wasted. I asked him if he had been sleeping and told him of how we (my girlfriend and I) stopped by to visit him. My dad replied and said “yeah, I heard you knocking”.
I asked “why didn’t you answer the door?” He said that he just wanted to skip Christmas this year. When I questioned him about why he wanted to skip Christmas, he went into a rant about how it didn’t feel like Christmas. He mentioned how my mom wasn’t talking to him (which she had full rights not to) and how my brother was a piece of s**t. So, I replied “so, in what way does this mean I can’t visit you on Christmas?”
After a few minutes of arguing with him back and forth, I finally got him to tell me why. He said “to be honest, I am still mad at you.” Then, he went on about how he was hurt that I wouldn’t come help him move his desk inside. So, I reminded him that I was sick and on top of that, had to work overtime. That was still not good enough for him. I was in complete shock about this because I had talked to him on several occasions between the desk incident and Christmas.
So, I listened to his rant about me not being there for him, I told him I would still like to visit with him and give him his present. He said “no”. He then continued on about how he is going to skip Christmas this year and ended the phone call.
After the “desk” incident, my father never brought it up again. I’m assuming (or more than likely hoping) he read his texts the next day and realized that what he was saying to me was uncalled for was embarrassed about saying all of that to me. It was Christmas time, I had talked to my dad a few times in between and he seemed to not be angry with me. I did not get a chance to see him on Thanksgiving because I went to visit my mom (who was still living out of state with my grandmother).
Anyway, my girlfriend and I (who I had been dating for six years at the time) have always had hectic holidays with bouncing from house to house to visit both sides of our families. So, on Christmas Day, we went to her mom’s house and my girlfriend’s little brother wanted us to go to their grandpas house. But, she told him that since we saw her grandpa the night before, we had to go visit my dad and then my mom (my mom was at my uncle’s house for the holidays).
So, we left and arrived at my father’s house around 3PM – present in hand. I knocked on the door. No answer. His car was in the driveway, so I knew he was home. I tried to open the door. It was locked. My key no longer worked since he changed the locks after he kicked out my brother. So, I knocked again. No answer. I called his phone. No answer again. I did not understand why he would not answer the door or my calls, I told him the day before that we would be there around this time. So, we ended up leaving there and went to my uncle’s to see my mom.
I tried to call my dad a few more times and sent him a couple of text messages wondering if everything was OK. No answer. In fact, no one had been able to get a hold of him all day. Finally my phone rang…
Living on his own again took a toll on my father. I feel like this is the part where he started to lose his mind. Of course he was upset about the divorce and he would always cry about how “my mom left him”. How he was so upset about this, I do not know – HE is the one who filed for divorce!
So, my dad would cry about losing my mom, losing their house, the “incident” with my brother, and whatever else was happening that day or five years ago. Everyone he loved was moving away from him – but there was one person he still had who was relatively close: ME. He would always call me when he was drunk to talk about things and he would send me text messages that only had bitter things to say about my mom.
Once again, it was funny that he would say bad things about my mom because of course she was still sweet as pie to my father after the divorce. Even though she was out of state, my mom told me she would talk to my dad all the time and they act like nothing happened. Knowing my parents, this was probably true. They still wanted to be together, but they were divorced and my mother said she would not get back with him until he stopped drinking.
Even though things were good between him and my mom, I was the closest person to him which made me the next in line to feel the wrath of my drunk father.
Right before my father divorced my mother, and even before moved into the rental home with my mother, my mother quit her job so she could concentrate on a career change. Her job gave her a tremendous severance package that would give her the ability to do so on a limited budget.
When my father moved in, my parents were talking about canceling their separation and moving on with their lives. So, they started to look for a new home so they could start this “new life” together. In fact, they found the perfect home for them.
My mom was so excited about how things were going, she was excited that her family was back together, she was excited about going back to school, she was excited about the house, even excited about the pool and the front loading washer and dryer that came with the house.
Then, as you know, my father filed divorce. Coincidentally, he filed for divorce the day before they were about to close on the house that my mom was so excited about getting. I do not know if this was supposed to be a direct stab at my mother for trying to better her life, or if my father was so afraid of change for the better. If I think about it, it seems that a change for the better would mean that maybe things would be OK in his life for once and he would not have an excuse to sit around and drink all day.
After my dad filed for divorce, my mom moved out of the rental house and in with my grandmother, out of state. This left my dad alone – again – with his thoughts and his whiskey. This time, my father did not have a job.
He did however, have two sources of income.
1. Unemployment from his job
2. Half of my mom’s severance package she took when she left her job (which happened right before my father moved in to the rental house with her).
These two sources of income were how he was able to say in the rental house and pay his bills. How he got the unemployment after quitting his job and taking so many days off work, I do not know. As for my mom’s severance package, she just decided to give him half so they could have a quick and painless divorce. She claimed that it was half of my father’s money, anyway. I did not feel like he deserved one cent.
Even though I was not directly involved in the conflict between my dad, brother and mom, I still found it hard to speak to my father. He was acting completely irrational and out of control that night (and a few days following) and that was the point when I knew things were not going to go back to normal.
When I mean normal, I mean the lifestyle my parents were trying to live right before my dad started this whole debacle…
So, the day came when he kicked my brother out. My brother had lost his job earlier in the week, took a few days off for himself and started to look for a job right after that.
A few days later, my dad walked into the computer room and my brother was looking for jobs on the internet. My dad started on my brother about how he needed to find a job, and how he was a loser for losing his job. When my brother said, “I am looking for a job, right as we speak”, my dad blew up.
My dad started a HUGE argument with my brother and when my mom came to break things up, my dad started yelling at her. Because my dad was yelling at my mom, my brother started yelling back at him. That is when my dad kicked my brother out of the house and that’s not even the crazy part…
That night, my dad told my mom to choose between “her” son and him. My mom told him he could not ask her to do a thing like that (who would actually choose?). She also said, there is no way she would not see her son anymore, and she went to bed. The next morning, my father filed for a divorce, not just a separation, a real divorce.
When I talked to my dad about this, he said he filed for divorce to see how my mom would respond. He said he needed to know if she would really choose him and he claimed it was a “test” for her. My mom, unaware of his games, just decided to sign the papers and give him what he wanted. She said, “if he wants a divorce, then I guess that’s what we will do, but I am not choosing between my son and my husband”.