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Okay, so this isn't something that's easy to describe, just because the situation changes so much, and I haven't told anyone about it. It's something that's kept silent in my family, and it's actually somewhat normal (though becoming accustomed to it doesn't make it any less painful).


It boils down to alcoholism on my father's side. He's verbally abusive to my stepmom, the parent that I'm very attached to. He victimizes her at his pleasure - always at night after he drinks - and threatens to send her to her parents who live accross the country, or to take away her credit cards. He's a lonely pathetic man, one who's become a hermit within this world (friendless) and seems to have lost his correctness around people (e.g. he talks to himself a lot out loud in whispers... you can be two feet and he doesn't seem to realize that you can hear him...).


The alcoholism has grown worse since I was 5. It used to be a six pack of beer, like any other dad. But then years past and he added on a bottle of wine. It used to be just a casual thing, but now if he comes home late, he'll wait until his bottle is dry till he goes to sleep. It's like a guarantee now that he'll stay up however long it takes to get that damned bottle empty (if he comes home at 1, he'll sleep at 3 or 4). His drinking glass has gotten bigger. He now hoards the bottle at night and keeps it by his side rather than keep it in the fridge (my stepmom has a glass or two, but I suppose this new arrangement enables him to savor that deficit).


There's no real correlation between this escalation and his emotional/verbal abuse. Some months, some years, it's bad (every night, or every other night). Sometimes there are patches of peace. I only know that it started about the time I hit 9. I'll never forget the first time he started yelling. It just didn't make sense to me at that age. Since my parents are bilingual and I don't speak anything but English, I couldn't get the specifics, but the tone of his voiced conveyed all the hatred I needed to understand. The episodes, as I call them, were space far and few between for those first 2 years, but then things worsened. And then they would always seem to get better again. It's been on and off ever since, and it's reason downward trend has prompted this entry. The worse it ever got was one night when he downed a bottle of vodka (pure). I remember every minute of it, and my heart still palpitates when I visualize the night. I was 12 maybe. It was the only time he hit her, but it's still something - 4 years later - that I cannot forgive for the life of me, and something I feel I shouldn't have to forgive. Something I haven't been asked forgiveness for - the next morning things were seemingly normal (just amazingly tense), and the day after things were as they always had been. It was bad enough that my stepmom had to call me into the room to protect her, she called my name because pride and denial were overruled by the threat he possessed, this drunken large man who I can't stop hating. When his system cleared up hours later, I reckon he realized what a mistake he had made, because he made to hug me, and because of all the fear aching in my veins I consented. It felt like I was selling my soul to him. It was a gesture that suggested I accepted him, that suggested that I was okay, but I wasn't.


So far it sounds like a typical abuse story, but this is where it gets weird: his fights are based on all these weird- * * * accusations, like he suspects my mom works for the CIA and is a spy. He once yelled at her because the internet has so much junk on it... ? I think he yelled at her about UFO's once. He's discriminatory against clerks (just exactly what my stepmom is... *irony*), and because all my mom's friends are clerks too, he threatens divorce if she keeps talking to them. He's paranoid about phone calls and demands to know who's calling whenever the phone rings. But all of this absolute absurdity only exists at night, when the poison is in his system. But I don't hate the "poison;" it's the beast I hate. This beasts that insults my step mom (he calls her stupid often though she's amazingly intelligent) and her heritage and her family and her friends - her whole freakin life, don't know how he does it, but he does - and then loads all this extra gibberish crap about UFOs and spies on top of that when he yells at her. He once got angry because he broke something and he somehow managed to find a contorted way to blame it on her. He belongs in the loony bin.


I've got two years left of school, but it's just getting worse. I write about this and it may seem like a mere inconvenience by the way I'm describing it, but that's probably only because it's become a fact of life for me. Regardless, I used to think I was okay, that I'd toughened a bit more than the average person but I was still average. I used to justify it by thinking that abuse and domestic violence are common - scarily common - and by that way of logic they are things that are normal (and hence acceptable).


I'm strong enough to handle this and to take care of myself, but I love my stepmom and need to protect her. I'm afraid that making a stand would then invite him to pounce on me, and I know it wouldn't make it better. But I'm just waiting for the next time he gets a vodka bottle and decides to become physical - it's like whenever he begins I mentally register where the knifes are in the house. I know it's very unlikely that will ever be necessary, but I brace myself to stand forth, yet I never do. I don't think I could even stand up to his verbal accusations when he yells. I feel tough on the exterior, but it's a brittle sort of tough, the type that's ready to rupture at any minute at the slightest shove. I think the worse thing about this lifestyle is how afraid he makes us. Every day when he begins his alcohol feast, I wonder if tonight will be another night. The only thing I could equate it to is terrorism: he harvests this sense of terror in the house, and the dark hours are awful as a result. I'm afraid to leave the house. I'm afraid of coming home after dark. I'm afraid of being home after dark. The next worst thing is seeing my stepmom suffer and be victimized, and just becoming a statue in this diabolic scene, witnessing this event and wanting so badly to get in there and set things right, but being too cowardly to do anything. My defense mechanism is dissociation, but it doesn't fill the void that not having a father creates. I can act indifferent to his existence, perpetuate this perennial cold shoulder towards him at all times, but I can't heal unless this makes sense or until this stops (2 years is a very long time). I can wait it out till college... I don't know what else to do, but I don't know how far down this trend is capable of going.


I don't really know what I'm asking you guys for. I don't see how this situation can change. It's difficult because we live away from family on the other side of the country. I guess I'm asking for support. Indifference has carried me this far, but you can't cut the blood supply to your hand forever. I'm also afraid of either marrying or becoming an alcoholic. I'm afraid of falling into abusive relationships and thinking that it's the norm. I'm not that 9-year-old girl confused and scared witless anymore, but when he yells, nothing makes sense because all this anger surges and swells but my body is overcome by inertia, and the conflicting interests collide till the former is defeated into smithereens.

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The paranoia that's exacerbated by the alcohol also seems like he may have other issues that need attention. I think encouraging him to beat the alcoholism would be the first step, then to bring attention to this. I think once you check out the website that southerngirl provided you and you attend some meetings, it'll give you the resources you need to help your father through this. I would also suggest that you get your step mother to attend an adult al-anon meeting so you can support each other. Good luck!

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Hi stopit welcome to ena...Sadly I don't think daligal's advice will help at all, there is no talking to a man in that situation, it will only make things worse...alcoholic and paranoid? He'll just think everyone that that tells him he has a problem hates him, and is probably hired by mean aliens too.


The way I see it is you need to get him help - which will help you of course but he'll never consent to it so it has to be done forcefully...like having him commited to some sort of institution that deals with mental problems and alcohol abuse...stopit you should check what the legal steps are to having an adult comitted to an institution against their will, then follow them, I'm sure the process won't fail since he is that abusive...you can try having his scenes on tape as solid proof, a hidden camera should do that and should help your case alot. I know you're scared but it's the only way to deal with this I think.


Also, don't close yourself up...you need to talk about this to your friends open up to them bad things can happen if you keep it all inside you...trust me I know.

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