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Unread 08-18-2009, 03:04 PM   #1
sasha22
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Default setting boundaries with dad

Hi everyone, I'm new to the board.

I'm in my 20's and am trying to set boundaries with my dad who still drinks and has since I was a kid. His drinking makes me feel unsafe and I am trying to tell him and my mom that I don't want to come over to their place anymore where my dad is always drinking. I'm close to them, but both of them deny his problem and it feels like they refuse to listen to me. On top of that, they've stopped inviting me out to family functions at pubs or restaurants because I always ask my dad not to drink around me.

I've stopped "helping him out" with things like his business, even though he tries to lure me back in with offers where I'd get paid, gifts, etc. Where do I set my boundaries though? I've thought of:

-not coming over for dinner (usually when he drinks most)
-not coming over at all to their place

But, when do I see him? Do I still ask him for help when something breaks in my house? Do I still talk to him on the phone? He refuses to admit there's a problem so I always feel so frustrated talking to him.

Can anyone relate or have advice? I am finally realizing the impact his drinking has had on not only me but my siblings and my mom. This is my first step in trying to change things in my family and I have no idea where to go or who to ask.

Thanks
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Unread 08-18-2009, 07:59 PM   #2
Magda
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Hi Sasha-
Welcome to the site.I am sorry to hear that your family is in the grips of the disease, so to speak. Many times, the person closest to the alcoholic suffers from denial and feels it is easier to let things be the way they are then try to repair the situation.Remember that your mother is sick too and it will take some counseling to help, if she ever decides to do so.
I have been where you are and I know how it can be when your parent is an alcoholic.Seeking the help of a counselor would be a great start.If that is not an option for you, look into groups for families of alcoholics, many community centers and churches have meetings weekly to get support from others who are in similar situations.
When I was dealing with this, I made a list of things I was and was not OK with. If drinking was going on and I was uncomfortable, I would just leave.One of the things you should consider is to stick to your word.Try not to say anything you do not intend to follow through on, otherwise you end up being caught up in the insanity of the situation.
You came to a good place for help.Everyone here understands how you feel and has compassion for what you are going through.

Look at the links below for some assistance:
http://www.alcoholanswers.org/friend...ow-to-cope.cfm

http://www.alcoholanswers.org/friend...do-to-help.cfm
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Unread 08-18-2009, 09:29 PM   #3
R. Lee
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Sasha, You have every right to set boundaries. Your dad has a problem. It is a thinking problem. He is willing to put the drink before his daughter wife & the other children.

I'm a recovering alcoholic with 42 years of drinking behind me. I gave away a lot always chosing drinking over family, friends & my career. I didn't loose 3 marriages, contact with children. I gave all those things away. It was always me thinking of me, me & more me's.

So many alcoholic's familys enable the alcoholic. It sounds like you don't want to do that. Stick to your guns & you might just help him out.

You have been given some good advice & sites by Magda. Good luck on your decisions. R. Lee
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Unread 08-20-2009, 01:27 AM   #4
jerryg
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Of all the the helpful things Magda offered, I whole heartedly agree that you should not take a stand you are not ready to stick to. Once you clearly make your point don't defend it, just follow through as graciously and firmly as you can. You are not doing this to be mean or hurtful, you are responding to behavior that you find uncomfortable and therefore you can't be around it. It's not easy to do, but it can be done effectively.

All the best,
Jerry
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Unread 08-20-2009, 01:00 PM   #5
sasha22
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Hi guys, thanks so much for your replies. I've been so nervous and this community is very supportive. Just reading what you all had to say helped me finally to take that leap and go get outside support in my community. For 4 years I've wanted to go to al-anon cause I can't afford other counselling. And although I didn't sleep much last night after the meeting it felt so good to finally feel like I wasn't the only one.

Thanks Magda, R. Lee and jerryg for taking the time to really make a difference in my life.
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Unread 08-20-2009, 01:45 PM   #6
1418
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Hi there,

Welcome to the board. I think you are going to find lots of support from this board (I know I have). One alternative I thought of - but I'm not sure if this would work for you or not, but what if you met your father and mother for an early breakfast at a resturant? I'm hoping your father would be sober and it is a way to stay in contact with them.

Hang in there!!! My advice is to trust your instincts. I think you will know what feels okay to you and what doesn't. Things can get tricky and turned around during conversations with alcoholics or others who are denial about a person's problem... but please try and trust your instincts. When I doubted myself I would do a check in on this board, and I found the feedback to be very objective and helpful.

Take care,
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Unread 08-20-2009, 09:12 PM   #7
CarlyO
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Hi Sasha,
Welcome to the forum, glad you found us. I hope you read the links that were posted to you and other info on this site as arming yourself with knowledge about this disease is so important.
Also, maybe read the other threads /posts on the Treatment Support for the alcoholic -dependent forum, as it may give insight as to what your Dad is going through, even though it sounds like he is in denial, it still may be helpful.
You have already recieved some solid feedback. I am sorry you have been placed in such a difficult situation but you are smart to seek out help with this.
I hope you will keep us posted and again welcome !
Take care, Carly : )
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Important disclaimer: Any information in this post is not and does not constitute medical advice under any circumstances. Addiction Survivors, Inc. does not warranty or guarantee the accurateness, completeness, adequacy or currency of the information contained in or linked to the Site. Your use of information on the Site or materials linked to the Site is entirely at your own risk. NEVER take any online advice over that of a qualified healthcare provider. Any information contained on AddictionSurvivors.org should only serve to inspire further investigation with credible, verifiable references sources such as your physician or therapist.
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Unread 08-22-2009, 11:26 AM   #8
Magda
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Your very welcome sasha-
That is why we are here, to support those in need.I am very happy for you in regards to finally getting to a meeting, it is very important to have people who can relate to what you are going through.Do you mind me asking what kept you awake that night? You have managed to open the door to a whole new world of support and understanding for yourself.In time, maybe you could convince your mother to attend.Something amazing happens sometimes when a new possibility enters the mind of someone who is directly affected by the disease of addiction.Your stance may be a turning point in the eyes of your family, have patience and faith.
Keep moving forward, don't be afraid to talk to others at the meetings.When I would attend al anon, many people welcomed me and it was a great feeling.Please keep us updated on your progress and anything else you wish to share!
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Important disclaimer: Any information in this post is not and does not constitute medical advice under any circumstances. Addiction Survivors, Inc. does not warranty or guarantee the accurateness, completeness, adequacy or currency of the information contained in or linked to the Site. Your use of information on the Site or materials linked to the Site is entirely at your own risk. NEVER take any online advice over that of a qualified healthcare provider. Any information contained on AddictionSurvivors.org should only serve to inspire further investigation with credible, verifiable references sources such as your physician or therapist.
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Unread 08-22-2009, 11:31 PM   #9
R. Lee
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Sasha, You are welcome. For me i needed the support group to quit the drinking. Good luck, R. Lee
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