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Well, you might be able two start by understanding two things: One, it was never personal, never about you. You were the target but there was never anything wrong with who you were or what you did. Two, No matter how horribly miserable it was for you as a chld, it was always worse for your father. He had demons clawing at him 24 hours a day. It was terrible that you had to witness and suffer the result of that, but the demons were his and his alone. No parent wants to hurt a child; the remorse can last a lifetime. You may find it helpful to seek counseling, either privately or in a peer support setting like Adult Children of Alcoholics. You can find information in the phone book. Good luck, I hope you're able to come to some kind of meeting ground and discover each other again. Talk to your local AA. They can help you out. =Answer= The above advice is excellent. My own father was an alcoholic and as young as I was I knew he couldn't help it. Sometimes he wouldn't drink for weeks and he was great to be around, but most of the time there was a lot of arguing between my parents and it reflected on me. However, not once did I hate my father and I was so glad I took that road because when I got older I had gone through so many hard knocks in life and could have well ended up an alcoholic if I hadn't been watching what I was doing. Alcoholism is a disease and it can run in families genetically. We all make mistakes and sometimes life is very hard on certain individuals so they turn to methods such as alcohol to help deaden the pain. In my many years on this earth I always see people who are alcoholics, into drugs or just grouchy as people that have been hurt many times can be jaded about life or simply extremely sad. I realized I had to look at my father as a man first and not just my father. Once I did this I began to understand him more. My father died at the age of 59 from a heart attack and I am so glad we mended our ways. I love and respect my father to this day and always have. Please take the time to meet with your father and see him as a person first and your father second. You are an adult now (and have made mistakes of your own) and should know how hard life can be on some people, so cut him a little slack. Make amends (even if he still is drinking) and don't expect any magical answers as to why he was so hard on you before, but accept him as he is. He could have changed for the better, or hasn't had the strength to climb out of the snake pit. Which ever way he is accept, learn to forgive and just give him a big hug. Hugs do magical things to others because this world is full of suspicion of others, busy lifestyles and by hugging someone it's warmth that goes through the body and tells that person that someone does care for them. I'm a hugger and I've been told many times that because I have hugged that person I made their day. If I forget to hug a certain person they will often come up and say, "Where is my hug?" Don't be afraid to let your feelings out and don't go there to fight or get answers, go there to forgive and say, "Dad, I love you." That can make all the difference in the world. I have this on my fridge: IF YOU CAN'T FORGIVE THE PERSON WHO HURT YOU THEN THEY CONTINUE TO CONTROL YOUR LIFE! Forgive, but remember. Meet him for short periods in neutral places. Keep your boundaries. Everyone has their good sides, but with the abusive history, don't imagine the abusive behavior will truly be gone. Perhaps you can focus on the good things that there are now in your lives, with boundaries, and enjoy the company.

2007-03-15 03:35:08
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Q: How can you reconcile with your father after decades of hatred because of his alcoholism and abusive actions when you were a child?
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