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finallyfound10 04-09-18 06:32 PM

Issues make life hard
 
I already started a thread about time blindness and thinking about the possible ways it has affected my life- not married and no kids at 47 so this is part II, I guess.

I want to talk about ways that ADHD, Adjustment Disorder, Co-dependency and God only knows what else, has affected people in my family and my reaction to it.

My mom died in 2007 and my sister and her 3 kids live out of state (about 10 driving hours which I've done many times.) My dad is retired and lives in the house I grew up in < 5min away. He is an alcoholic and used to go to a local club everyday to see his friends and drink. His closest friend died from a fall at the club while drunk so he doesn't go anymore. He also stopped driving due issues like cerebellar degeneration from drinking. He only goes out if I take him. He won't let me drop him off at the club (he's embarrassed with his cane) nor will he call any of his friends.

I feel so bad for him since he doesn't have any grandchildren here. When I leave his house he's all alone. Every time I think of it I immediately begin the ugly cry with hot tears so I'm a mess right now. I feel like this the end result of all of my issues. I didn't realize how my life would affect others and don't know why I didn't.

If I had done things differently, he could have grandchildren around and not be so alone. I do know that much of this alone-ness is his doing as well. His main relationship was/is with alcohol so he didn't cultivate many. In his defense, things changed with some friends when my mom died too. He refuses to go live near my sister even though he could sit there and drink just as easily. Is my reaction normal?? Is it out of control co-dependency and/or other issues or what??

allesandro1 04-09-18 10:44 PM

Re: Issues make life hard
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by finallyfound10 (Post 1991138)
I already started a thread about time blindness and thinking about the possible ways it has affected my life- not married and no kids at 47 so this is part II, I guess.

I want to talk about ways that ADHD, Adjustment Disorder, Co-dependency and God only knows what else, has affected people in my family and my reaction to it.

My mom died in 2007 and my sister and her 3 kids live out of state (about 10 driving hours which I've done many times.) My dad is retired and lives in the house I grew up in < 5min away. He is an alcoholic and used to go to a local club everyday to see his friends and drink. His closest friend died from a fall at the club while drunk so he doesn't go anymore. He also stopped driving due issues like cerebellar degeneration from drinking. He only goes out if I take him. He won't let me drop him off at the club (he's embarrassed with his cane) nor will he call any of his friends.

I feel so bad for him since he doesn't have any grandchildren here. When I leave his house he's all alone. Every time I think of it I immediately begin the ugly cry with hot tears so I'm a mess right now. I feel like this the end result of all of my issues. I didn't realize how my life would affect others and don't know why I didn't.

If I had done things differently, he could have grandchildren around and not be so alone. I do know that much of this alone-ness is his doing as well. His main relationship was/is with alcohol so he didn't cultivate many. In his defense, things changed with some friends when my mom died too. He refuses to go live near my sister even though he could sit there and drink just as easily. Is my reaction normal?? Is it out of control co-dependency and/or other issues or what??

Someone once said, "We get to soon old, too late wise, youth is wasted on the young," I'd also tell you that hindsight is 20/20 but I wouldn't want to risk inundating you with platitudes, LOL Be kind to yourself

PoppnNSailinMan 04-10-18 04:13 AM

Re: Issues make life hard
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by finallyfound10 (Post 1991138)

If I had done things differently, he could have grandchildren around and not be so alone. I do know that much of this alone-ness is his doing as well. His main relationship was/is with alcohol so he didn't cultivate many. In his defense, things changed with some friends when my mom died too. He refuses to go live near my sister even though he could sit there and drink just as easily. Is my reaction normal?? Is it out of control co-dependency and/or other issues or what??

Your post kind of struck a chord with me because I'm in a situation which is somewhat similar. I'm an only child but have no children which means, of course, that my parents have no grandchildren. And I do sometimes feel bad about this and wish that I had had children because, at least in my case, I can't help thinking that my parents would have made wonderful grandparents. I feel somehow responsible for having deprived them of this experience.

But my occasional fantasy of having children is not very realistic and the truth is that I would probably not have been a very good parent. As it is, because of my ADHD, I have often struggled to take care of my own affairs and don't even do a very good job of giving my partner or my pets the attention they deserve. If I had had children, a spouse or significant other would probably have ended up doing most of the work of raising them.

And I can't help thinking, too, that it's a little unreasonable for any of us to count on others to make us happy and fulfilled in our old age, especially our children if we have any. Even if someone has lots of children and grandchildren, there's no guarantee that any of them will visit you or take care of you and prevent you from feeling lonely when you're old. I have an elderly friend in her 80s who has two children and a number of grandchildren but they rarely come to visit her.

So, this friend of mine has spent her time as a volunteer at a local zoo and at an art museum where she's made friends. And I myself met her in a Spanish class we were both taking at a local community college and we've been friends now for over a decade. Rather than her biological family, it's my partner and I and other friends of hers who help her out or take her out to dinner on her birthday. It's possible to create your own family that might not be your biological family.

I identify with some of the feelings that you have since I've had them, too. But you're not responsible for making your father happy and preventing him from feeling lonely.

CasioCurious 04-10-18 04:31 PM

Re: Issues make life hard
 
There seems to be deep emotional pain in your writing, try to be hard on yourself--as most of your doing and events are outside of your control.
I always blame myself too and feel deep shame when it comes to letting down my parents, but then I remember they had something to do with it too. But there is should be no BLAMING at all, **** happens and it was outside of control to dictate destiny. Good health friend.

stef 04-10-18 04:56 PM

Re: Issues make life hard
 
There is no way to ever know, how grandchildren may have affected your father either way;

It seems like you're doing this thing, of making faulty associations and then using them to beat yourself up;

you are so caring and helpful here,
please, be kind to yourself :grouphug:

finallyfound10 04-10-18 05:10 PM

Re: Issues make life hard
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by allesandro1 (Post 1991165)
Someone once said, "We get to soon old, too late wise, youth is wasted on the young," I'd also tell you that hindsight is 20/20 but I wouldn't want to risk inundating you with platitudes, LOL Be kind to yourself


Thank you for replying. It made me laugh! The the thing about platitudes is they are almost always true! Perhaps I need to consider them more.

finallyfound10 04-10-18 05:27 PM

Re: Issues make life hard
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by PoppnNSailinMan (Post 1991171)
Your post kind of struck a chord with me because I'm in a situation which is somewhat similar. I'm an only child but have no children which means, of course, that my parents have no grandchildren. And I do sometimes feel bad about this and wish that I had had children because, at least in my case, I can't help thinking that my parents would have made wonderful grandparents. I feel somehow responsible for having deprived them of this experience.

But my occasional fantasy of having children is not very realistic and the truth is that I would probably not have been a very good parent. As it is, because of my ADHD, I have often struggled to take care of my own affairs and don't even do a very good job of giving my partner or my pets the attention they deserve. If I had had children, a spouse or significant other would probably have ended up doing most of the work of raising them.

And I can't help thinking, too, that it's a little unreasonable for any of us to count on others to make us happy and fulfilled in our old age, especially our children if we have any. Even if someone has lots of children and grandchildren, there's no guarantee that any of them will visit you or take care of you and prevent you from feeling lonely when you're old. I have an elderly friend in her 80s who has two children and a number of grandchildren but they rarely come to visit her.

So, this friend of mine has spent her time as a volunteer at a local zoo and at an art museum where she's made friends. And I myself met her in a Spanish class we were both taking at a local community college and we've been friends now for over a decade. Rather than her biological family, it's my partner and I and other friends of hers who help her out or take her out to dinner on her birthday. It's possible to create your own family that might not be your biological family.

I identify with some of the feelings that you have since I've had them, too. But you're not responsible for making your father happy and preventing him from feeling lonely.


Thanks for replying. I know that there are no guarantees in life. I know of a family that had 3 children and none married nor had children.

I think that is wonderful that you have a friends that are like family. I did have that several years ago but I pulled back from everyone due to problems I was having. It's a shame that your friend's grandchildren don't celebrate her birthday.

I said in the post I made about time blindness that I don't really think I would've been a good-enough mother so maybe it's all for the best in the long run.

finallyfound10 04-10-18 05:38 PM

Re: Issues make life hard
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by CasioCurious (Post 1991243)
There seems to be deep emotional pain in your writing, try to be hard on yourself--as most of your doing and events are outside of your control.
I always blame myself too and feel deep shame when it comes to letting down my parents, but then I remember they had something to do with it too. But there is should be no BLAMING at all, **** happens and it was outside of control to dictate destiny. Good health friend.

Thank you for replying. I'm glad that I was able to communicate my feelings accurately. Rationally, I agree with what you say 100% I just need to work through all of my feelings about it. I've have huge issues with shame in many areas and obviously blaming myself and need to work on it.

finallyfound10 04-10-18 05:44 PM

Re: Issues make life hard
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by stef (Post 1991246)
There is no way to ever know, how grandchildren may have affected your father either way;

It seems like you're doing this thing, of making faulty associations and then using them to beat yourself up;

you are so caring and helpful here,
please, be kind to yourself :grouphug:

Thank you for replying. I don't know how he feels about not having grandchildren here. Maybe it bothers him but I'm not asking him! I am excellent at making faulty associations and the like and then using them to beat myself up! I know I need to get what I know in my rational mind and get them into my heart.

Thank you saying I'm kind and helpful here.

SweetPotato 04-12-18 05:17 PM

Re: Issues make life hard
 
My Dad is also an alcholic with numerous health issues. Quite certain he has depression and adhd as the apple never falls far from the tree. He uses a walker and oxygen, refuses to go out in public. I no longer feel sorry for him. Grandchildren don't make a difference in his life unless they placate to him. He doesn't like himself so is incapable of having feelings for anyone else. All the alcohol has done is numb him.
My only child, my daughter, said she's never having children and I'm happy for her ability to make that choice and not feel guilty.
Your Dad made choices he now has to live with. Hope he's grateful for such a loving and caring daughter. He's very fortunate to have you. Does he express his gratitude or thank you?

DJ Bill 04-12-18 06:29 PM

Re: Issues make life hard
 
Perhaps Alanon might help. Your Dad is an active alcoholic. He is responsible for making himself happy, and he obviously has failed due to his disease and choices. You are responsible for your own life, which seems to be a full time job for most of us.

You can't fix other people.

finallyfound10 04-12-18 10:26 PM

Re: Issues make life hard
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by SweetPotato (Post 1991489)
My Dad is also an alcholic with numerous health issues. Quite certain he has depression and adhd as the apple never falls far from the tree. He uses a walker and oxygen, refuses to go out in public. I no longer feel sorry for him. Grandchildren don't make a difference in his life unless they placate to him. He doesn't like himself so is incapable of having feelings for anyone else. All the alcohol has done is numb him.
My only child, my daughter, said she's never having children and I'm happy for her ability to make that choice and not feel guilty.
Your Dad made choices he now has to live with. Hope he's grateful for such a loving and caring daughter. He's very fortunate to have you. Does he express his gratitude or thank you?

Thank you for replying. I'm sure my dad has depression and pretty sure he has ADHD. You and daughter are very emotionally healthy. You have come to a good place. I do recognize that his choices played a huge part in all of this. We aren't an "express" family we are a "you just know" family.

finallyfound10 04-12-18 10:45 PM

Re: Issues make life hard
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by DJ Bill (Post 1991491)
Perhaps Alanon might help. Your Dad is an active alcoholic. He is responsible for making himself happy, and he obviously has failed due to his disease and choices. You are responsible for your own life, which seems to be a full time job for most of us.

You can't fix other people.

Thank you for replying. I definitely need to get serious about Alanon. I've gone to several meetings over the last 7-8 years but I have not seriously worked the program like getting a sponsor, gone to meeting regularly, etc. I've heard that it works though I don't really understand how it works. There is a really good Adult Child meeting on Saturday mornings that I forget about but your post reminded me! I guess I had better go!

ToneTone 04-13-18 01:05 AM

Re: Issues make life hard
 
Total fantasy to imagine that having grandchildren could solve your father's life.

My grandfather was an alcoholic and my mother made sure to keep me and my siblings far away from him! ... How exactly would he have been helpful for my development? An alcoholic presence in your imagined children's lives would NOT have been good for them ... would have created all kinds of neglect and confusion ...

When I saw my grandfather, he could chat with me amiably for five minutes and that was about it ... and the idea that me and my brothers and my sister could have changed his life ... NEVER crossed my mind. My mother was closer to him and much more capable, and she couldn't change him and to her credit, she didn't really try to change him. She kept her distance.

Definitely it's hard being a child of an alcoholic ... and a child of someone who most likely neglected you ... But you're going down that adult child route of pretending that YOU could have been in control ... that YOU could have stopped the train wreck of your father's life. Sorry ... we can't rescue others ... GREAT fantasy ... We can offer help ... we can give help ... But we can't rescue them ...

Drinking folks can't really pay attention carefully to their children ... But you probably got used to this neglect ... so you take it as normal ... and try to fill in the gap for his missing energy ... You can't ...

A 12-step group or therapy would be great for this ...

Seriously go to talk to other people with alcoholic relatives ...

Tone


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