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Rena's Story Part-2

Well - since my first entry - I have tried many times to allow myself to sit down and just write. Opening up isn't easy for me, that said- many people in our position's find it hard to open up.

I had started writing a wee bit of my "back story" of dealing with alcoholic parents (both biological and step parents). After 3 pages on "word" - It became a bit hard. The flood of memories and resentments just got a little too much and in order to keep my health, I had to stop.

Now I am faced with very new resentment. It's only been five months since we lost my step mother to her battle with alcohol. Five months since my father was thrown into a hospital ward in Auckland for alcohol related eye problems, four months since he was put into respite care for ongoing care of his eye. Next week he will have one eye removed. All of this because he had drunk himself into such a state that he collapsed but his eyes failed to close. None of us know how long he was there- with his eyes open.... None of us knew it had happened until a month later, and by then, it was obviously too late... It was too late to save dad's eye and it was too late to save Mum's life. The issue is- NO ONE who is responsible for my father's care will listen to me about his problem drinking. His rest home decided to have an RN do an assessment on him after I voiced concerns. THEY decided that because he wasn't showing signs of physical dependency - he does not have a drinking problem. They made a point of contacting me via phone and email to say they are confident that he is not drinking in his room..., and guess what…, I went up to Auckland to see Dad last week, we got to talking and it turns out one of his sisters and a brother are both taking beer into him! Seriously, I know that denial is a wonderful thing but my whole family are divided on his drinking. Two sisters won't talk to him because of his drinking, another just won't discuss it and the other is in complete denial. The worst thing for me to try and get my head around is the fact that the one in denial is the one taking him beer. She is a registered nurse and has also been impacted by other family members drinking and drug taking. So she has seen it before! I don't understand why she is secretly giving him beer when he is about to go under the knife? The fact that the rest home had no idea this was happening makes me worry more. And then the ‘what if's’ start. What if he has been drinking when he has this op and the hospital don't know? So many things can go wrong when a person has another unknown substance on board and they are "put under." But hey, I’m just his daughter..., what do I know?!

I feel so horrible because I honestly feel like saying stuff it. This whole thing is doing my head in! Although I’ve accepted I can’t change my dad and I am actually OK with that, I don't understand how other family members could be putting him at risk!!! How the hell do I fight with people who are convinced they know better? I shouldn't hate my aunt for her failure to face the facts, as I say, denial is a great thing sometimes. In fact sometimes I wish I was in it too. But her denial could kill my father, and I actually hate her for that.

A great deal of my childhood was stolen through alcohol fuelled abuse. Alcohol’s stolen my step mother, it's about to take my father's eye, and now because no one will listen to me (the one person who has lived with Dad and actually seen his drinking and withdrawals first hand) it could take his life too. Since January, every knock on the door makes me jump and freak-out that it might be the police coming to tell me he has gone. Every time the phone rings I fear it’s "that" call....

1 comment

1 Comment

Oct 04, 2021

Thank You Ara. and Ruth.

Posted by Rena, 08/06/2015 6:48pm (6 years ago)

Hi Rena,

Firstly, your resilience is amazing!

Your story is heartbreaking and yet you continue to tell it, and live it, despite your anger and despair and wanting to give up. Your father is lucky to have you in his corner (whether he sees it like this or not). You are doing so incredibly well.

It sounds to me like you are the only one strong enough to hold the entire truth of your father’s drinking and that this is a heavy and impossible burden to hold alone.

I hesitate to offer advice as I cannot even imagine the amount of times you have exhausted efforts to…

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