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Crohn's Disease Forum » Support Forum » Vent Away » Where would you draw the line?


07-25-2007, 11:04 AM   #1
Crohniac
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Where would you draw the line?



I have a dilemma... long story short, parents divorced when I was a kid and I lived with my 2 older sisters and my mom. My dad was minimally involved with us. My father is also an alcoholic. He doesn't get mean when he drinks his 12 or more beers a day...just silly bordering on embarassing. We didn't speak for a couple of years because I made it clear to him that I didn't agree with him drinking all day and then picking up my little sisters for the weekend. OK, now my father is a truck driver with no home of his own and he has been staying with me on the days that he rolls back in town. I have a husband and two young children. I don't ask him to pay anything and he sleeps on the couch. Well, the first time he was home he ended up staying at my house for over three weeks waiting to meet up with his trainer. He was looking at porn sites on my computer while we were away at work....GROSSS. Not at your childs home! This time he has invited my 9 year old little sister to stay at my house while he is home (didn't ask my husband and I if we could squeeze another person into our home for the whole time he is here) he just assumed it is ok because she is my sister. He doesn't cook for her so I end up doing it. They are there in the house all day while we are at work and the kids are at childcare and I came home to a large mess the other day. My dad is 50!!! You think that he could be respectful enough to clean up after hisself. Yesterday I found out that he allowed my two younger sisters (I have a 17yr old sis too) to go into my bedroom (which was closed) and mess around with the Playstation 2 without asking. Is it just me or am I asking too much for him to not assume that just because he stays there he doesn't get free reign of the place? He should be trying to minimalize the effects on my young family. I have enough stress without him making more. If I kindly ask him to start looking for another alternative I fear that he will rebel and try to guilt me because he really has no one else to turn to. Also, I have had to say something to him about using cuss words while in the same area as my young children. I shouldn't have to do that.

OK, enough rambling on. I just had to vent that. Thanks for listening!!
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07-25-2007, 03:04 PM   #2
Kev
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WOW! All that on your hands... If you just wanted to vent, and don't want advice from a fellow older than your dad, then tune out now. Here's my take on all of this. He's your dad, you'll always be his daughter.. but you've a family that you have to be the responsible parent for.. and you have a serious chronic illness to battle... These HAVE to be your top priorities. As for whether your father continues to stay with you, the decision CAN be a joint one. What do I mean? well, you, and you alone, 'know' what you can deal with, and more importantly what you can't. make up a list of the rules you and your dad can hopefully live with... Start off with the fewest, most important ones.. don't sweat the small stuff
at this stage. frinstance... no porn... no lady friends visiting... no inviting guests, regardless of how they're related, without getting your blessing first. no drinking.
whoever makes the mess cleans it.. Just some simple, basic, time to growup Dad rules that you would request of anyone... the drinking thing is dad specific, but it seems that drinking cost you and your dad a lot already, and it shouldn't continue to be borne at your expense.. (that's just my personal opinion). If you and dad can live with those, GREAT!. Maybe he'll grow up a might, maybe your relationship can develop to a place where you two can sit down and discuss the 'small' stuff that's too small to make rules about. In any event, you need to put you and your family FIRST... If Dad can't accept that. live by the rules, then he needs to hit the road. If I were in a position where I'd no place to turn, I'd learn to live by the house rules!
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07-25-2007, 03:42 PM   #3
KCMike
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I think we all know that some day some of us will have to return the favor to our parents by taking care of them when they are unable to take care of themselves. Well this takes the cake! It's not like he is disabled and can't work. I would tell him that you are going to start charging him rent and like Kev says if he is going to live in your house he must live by your rules. As much as he spends on alcohol he could definitely afford to pay rent. He has two options. 1. give up the booze and porn and stop acting like a 16 year old. or 2. GET OUT OF MY HOUSE!!
07-25-2007, 08:24 PM   #4
D Bergy
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I would allow him to visit under your terms but only for couple of days at most.
This may be uncomfortable to discuss but you are only going to subject yourself and your husband to more uncomfortable situations if he is there more often.

At fifty I do not see him changing his habits much no matter what your rules are so you may as well assume the worst and tell him about the rules before he actually comes over. He may decide it is not going to work on his own.

As far as guilt goes it takes one person to try inflict the guilt and one to accept it. You do not owe him a place to stay. It is not like he is helpless or without alternatives. He could move in his own house or apartment nearby and visit.

Easy for me to say, but I know it is not an easy situation.

I hope it all works out.
07-25-2007, 11:57 PM   #5
Sojourn
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I agree with everything said so far, and like the idea of having a time limit on stays.

On a good note, it is admirable of him to be taking on the pains of going through truck driver training and embarking on a new career at the age of 50. If he does well with his trainer, and gets his own truck assigned, you won't have to worry about him being around much. If it's a standard over-the-road company, he'll get 2-3 days off at a time, at the most for every two or three weeks. But the drinking problem concerns me. I have over 5 years experience in the industry and there's no way anyone could do this job at the level of drinking you mentioned. Yet, maybe this will be a good time to back off the booze if he realizes he cannot have both.

Before I got into trucking, I would go out 3-4 nights a week and drink at the local pub. I don't think I was ever an alcoholic, but when I started driving a truck I gave it up almost altogether. I only drink now about 2-3 times a month.
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07-26-2007, 02:02 PM   #6
Crohniac
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These are all great ideas! i'll let you know what happens. Wish me luck. Thanks for y'all being there!
07-27-2007, 07:21 AM   #7
Kev
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Just a side note from a member of the 1/2 century plus club... Being 50 + does NOT mean that one is: a.) too old to change their ways b.) too old to learn new tricks

Some members MIGHT be tempted to trot that out as an excuse, but it's pure 100% BS It is true that old habits DO die hard, but it doesn't mean they're invincable, just that you really have to work at doing them in, and not let anyone place them on life support (i.e. don't be an 'enabler' for someone's bad habits they're trying to change)
07-27-2007, 08:52 AM   #8
D Bergy
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I am pretty close to the 50 club myself so I am not trying to stereotype the older crowd. It does take an awful big effort for anyone to change long held habits and the older you are the more difficult it seems to be. At least for me it is.

I should have put it this way. If I was a betting man, and you take a random group of men and try to modify a couple of their bad habits, I am going to bet that most will fail. A certain amount of them will not be willing to change their habits and will not. Another group will be willing to try but will fail. Another group will succeed.

I am working with probabilities and that does not mean there are not exceptions.
Even I have changed somewhat, and I consider myself quite stubborn. Funny that stubborness and men keeps coming up.

I do not think men hold the keys to stubborness either. My wife can dig her heels in and no-one cab budge her in certain circumstances.

Anyway, I am sorry it came across badly and I meant no offense.

D Bergy
07-28-2007, 08:47 AM   #9
Kev
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I for one didn't take offense... And there is a key distinction between scenarios. The key? Trying to change someone AND someone trying to change themselves. Me? If someone tried to change me... I'd dig in and if you looked up the definition of stubborn in the dictionary, you'd see my picture.. But, if someone suggested that I'm tooo old to change... then I'd go out of my way to change.. OK, a little fascetious on my part. Seriously for a mo... In the last 2 years, I've changed my lifes focus, had to change careers, had to adopt a whole new approach to lifestyle, diet, even attitude.

I did it.. Why? could it be the lack of choice? Or the motivation to continue living?

I dunno for sure.. Just know that if given a choice between living as is within some reasonable 'house rules' OR moving on to live catch as catch can on his own, most 'reasonable' men would agree to the first.. those who didn't arent' reasonable, so let them go off on their own till they become 'reasonable'.. that's their own choice.

It's a difficult position.. I was in a similar one with my oldest a few years back, and I followed that guideline... glad to say that after a few years, my teen became one reasonable young man...
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