My son struggles in dealing with an alcoholic father. He has been coming home from his weekends there over the past two months telling me he is worried because his dad is depressed. Of course he is the one spending time with him, so I listen but don’t get to see the actions.
The depression manifested itself in a recent relapse 10 days ago that caused a pulmonary embolism in both lungs. It all started with a very strange message stating that his demons are haunting him and he doesn’t deserve our son. I asked him to elaborate but heard nothing from him. After he didn’t arrive to pick up his child, I knew something was wrong.
I called his family and everyone was unaware. He’s isolated himself. I called his ex-wife and she came over to take my son to see her son. They went to his dad’s apartment and found 7 empty fifths of vodka next to his chair. I don’t know what happened next but The two of them figured out he was in the hospital. They went to see him.
My child is trying to understand
his feelings. He doesn’t know how to handle this. He says his dad constantly reminisces about having 2 legs and lives in the past. My son knows that the only way he can save his own self is to limit seeing him. Obviously his dad is in a relapse and is fragile at this point. This creates a quandary because he doesn’t know how to deal with everything. We have the facts: they are obviously quite grim! This same cycle keeps replaying. My son is in the process of thinking it out. So many what ifs can happen.
I brought up a series of steps he could consider:
1. What is really happening? These are the facts and things that have happened in our life or in other words “our past”.
2. What are your feelings regarding these facts?
3. Consider the outcomes looking at things from a timeline point of view using. Past – present – future
4. We have to look at the past to make a decision. We live in the present, but we must consider the future as we make our decisions. The past shows what we think will happen. The person we love could make a different decision. What does our history with this person dictate?
5. What are the probable outcomes as we evaluate former actions?
6. As we move forward in the present we have to consider the future outcome. Are we able to live with the choice we make?
I discussed with my son, “This is about living with no regrets.”
Are you able to be ok if the worst case scenario happens?
His response was, “Mom, what choice do I have?”
It hurts me to watch him struggle. It brought me back to when I ended my relationship with him. My young son has had so much to deal with. I’m amazed, impressed and looking forward to seeing him grow up and become who he is meant to be! The choices we make dictate the life we lead.