Ain’t Nothing But A Family Thing

 Today my biological dad hung up on me.  He hung up on me after I pressed him about his drinking and driving. After I refused to gloss over the call I had received from the police Friday night, asking me if I would be willing to pick him up from jail.

This has been a further step in his downward spiral that has taken a turn for the worse in the past six weeks.  The hell he has put me through is nothing compared to what he has done to his wife and her family. And yet, I am sure it is still much worse for him.

The drinking has always been bad, but not that bad.  He was a highly functioning alcoholic for many many years.  It got worse when he retired, having nothing to do but sit on the couch and drink his boredom and his life.  And then suddenly, he unraveled completely. And that was it.

The police have been called several times.  I have called the cops on my dad.

He was in rehab and then he was at a bus stop with all his things.  He was out, and sober and not quite right.  He wouldn’t sit still. He wouldn’t stop.  His wife, a nurse, knew.  Something was wrong.  He started drinking again.

No, there are no psychiatric appointments available for weeks.  He bought a sound system.  And another.  And another.

Finally, an appointment, an evaluation, a diagnosis.  Bipolar. Everyone is surprised.  No one is surprised.  He says, “This is horseshit, I’m not going to the loony bin.”  Takes another sip of his rum with a dash of coke out of his coffee cup.

He spirals further.  Two more evaluations, same. Bipoplar. He drinks to self-medicate.  He swings back and forth wildly between wasted and manic.  He buys a trailer and leaves, gone for two weeks.  All of us praying he doesn’t hurt anyone along the way.  He speaks forcefully, you want to believe his words are true, but none of it is based in reality.

He turns up at home, no longer welcome in the house.  Staying at a hotel.  Countless insane phone calls, a DUI. He needs a gun, he has no reason to live.  He wants to live.  He wants to buy me a house.  He wants to see me.

My life over the past month has been fragmented and painful.  Broken, at sharp points, by phone calls from a delusional man.  By questions from my boss, what is going on?By questions from my family, are you okay? Questions to my sister, what do we do?

 At this point, I have decided I can’t partake in his delusional phone calls anymore.  Either he is getting help or he isn’t.  He refuses to talk about it, he is fine. You aren’t fine! If you were fine, would I be getting calls to bail you out of jail?!



He’s gone.

But, I’ll be here, ready to help. Ready when he’s ready, but not until then.


image found here.

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