Life and Times of a Mommy(:

Let’s get real for a minute

on May 28, 2013

Today, we are going to talk about something that might be a trigger for some people. It’s something that took me 20 years to experience first hand. But my husband, he has been dealing with it for a lot longer than I have. That something is alcoholism. No, my husband is not an alcoholic. His dad is.

Now, we’ve talked about my amazing daddy. I’m not saying my dad is a better dad than my father in law. Every parent does things different. I’m not saying my dad doesn’t drink, either. He does. Just in moderation. I have seen my daddy completely drunk on one occasion. It was for his birthday. My mother agreed to let him have a keg party. One keg of beer between six people. Someone was bound to get drunk. Since then, I haven’t seen my dad have more than four beers. And never any hard alcohol.

My father in law, on the other hand… I met him on Father’s Day. I knew he was a drinker, as my husband and I had to go pick up his brother and/or sister on numerous occasions when his parents were too drunk to drive or couldn’t be bothered to leave the bar. (Keep in mind, when I say “bar”, I don’t mean good music, live band, lets have few drinks on Friday night, opens at 7 or 8 at night and closes at 2 am bar. I mean a bar that opens at one in the afternoon and closes at 10 or 11, a bar that you look at and immediately think of big, burly, tattooed biker looking guys.) I met him at noon. At 12 o’clock in the afternoon, the man was feelin’ pretty good. After my mother in law made breakfast, we went out to shoot guns. Yes, you read that correctly. The only reason I was confident about going out side with them, was because my husband and my brother in law where there.

Fast forward to my son’s second birthday. They missed it. I don’t remember what they were doing but I guarantee there was alcohol involved. Fast forward again, to the weekend my baby was born. My father in law didn’t come to the hospital to see his grandson because my mother in law insisted he come straight to the bar as soon as he got in town. We went to lunch with my mother and father in law after Little Man got out of the hospital. Both of them ordered a drink and so did the older couple that was with them. We had the baby shower in a room off from the bar a few weeks later. My father in law got in from drill, said hi to people, at a little bit of food, and then ordered a drink. My mother in law did, too. Recently he got his second DWI and he is supposed to have a Breathalyzer installed in his vehicle. (The day it was supposed to be installed my mother in law totaled the truck on accident. She was sober at the time.) Do you see where this is going?

My husband told me one time that drinking is the way my father in law copes with going overseas. See, my father in law is in the National Guard and right after the war started he went to Bosnia. I don’t know what happened over there. No one does. He can’t talk about it, and I’m sure he doesn’t want to. But, personally, I don’t see this as an excuse. That may be harsh of me, as I don’t know what he went and is going through, but he has two kids still living in his house, two grandchildren that would love to come visit, and a family he needs to spend time with. My brother in law is basically living at my house. Why? Because my husband and I take him everywhere he needs to go anyway. My sister in law is hardly ever home because she can’t stand being around the man that adopted her and has been her dad for as long as she can remember.

I hate to admit this, but I do what I can to avoid being around him. I do what I can to keep my children from being around him. It scares me. This isn’t something I have dealt with for most of my life like my husband. This is all new to me. And I don’t think that my father in law has an excuse to drink like a fish any chance he gets. I understand he went through a really really rough thing that most people don’t ever think about, let alone deal with. Don’t you think that after I went through a catastrophic, life changing event like being a single mom that I wanted to drink away my troubles every second of every day? That I didn’t want to feel? That I would have rather walked through the world in a haze so it wouldn’t hurt and I wouldn’t have to think about it? But I had a responsibility to my child to stay sober and take car of him. I understand that what I went through isn’t nearly as rough as what he went through, but that still isn’t an excuse. I’m sure some people disagree with me. They think our veterans can do what they like because they have been overseas, they have gone through rough times, they have seen things that we will probably never ever see.  I don’t agree.

This weekend was Memorial Day. A day to honor our troops and all they have done for us. And I appreciate what my father in law has done for me and my family, I really do. He’s a hero, an unsung one at that. But he needs help. He is just too stubborn to admit it. He thinks he is just fine. So, to those veterans out there who have a handle as best they can on whatever happened and to those that need help, thank you. I really, really appreciate what you have done for my family. Thank you for going through the unthinkable in order for my family to stay safe and free. But, if you need help with anything, anything at all, whether its depression, alcoholism, PTSD or anything else, please ask for help. Please don’t be too proud to ask. We understand and we want to help!

So what do you guys think? Is going overseas an excuse? 


2 responses to “Let’s get real for a minute

  1. aliciabenton says:

    How heartbreaking. I hate that your son can’t spend time with his Granddaddy like I could with mine when I was his age.

    I don’t think being deployed is an excuse. There have got to be other ways to cope. It seems like it’s no different than many other traumas, i.e. rape or abuse.

    Not everyone who has suffered from something awful is an alcoholic. It’s not easy to sit through counseling, but I imagine it’s easier than going through the hell of the alcoholic cycle and breaking the hearts of loved ones in the process.

    With that being said, though, we need more resources for our vets so they can receive help for

    What a sad situation to have to deal with. Stay strong… You’re amazing.

    counseling, but I imagine out has to be easier than going through the hell of the constant cycle of being drunk.

    • xdanigirl says:

      It breaks my heart too. One of my grandpa’s died when I was really young so I don’t have any memories of him and my other grandpa lived in Texas until about 5 years ago. So I didn’t see him as often as I would have liked. Even now, with him living three hours away I only see him about twice a year. So it sucks for my kids to not be able to have the relationship with their grandparents.

      Thank you very much(: it’s really hard to stay strong and not brake down and ruin a family gathering because he has made me mad. I haven’t said anything yet but I know it’s only a matter of time.

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