My Dad is an Addict, and I am his Enabler

My Dad is an Addict, and I am his Enabler

Right now I am sitting on my radiator staring hopelessly out the window.  Three days ago, I was on top of the world.  I was doing well in school.  I was feeling great about work.  Feeling up about life in general.

Then yesterday I got the most random text from my dad at work.  “Hey, I’m going to stay with you for a few days.” He didn’t ask.  He didn’t say why.

So I cancel my after work plans, and head home to make up the couch for him. Then I wait.

And wait.

And wait.

Finally at about 2 AM he stumbles in with 6 reusable grocery bags and a duffle bag. He’s not drunk.  Doesn’t seem high.  He’s just late and unreliable.

I get a quick debriefing of where he’s been and why he’s here.  Lies I’m sure. I clearly have lost all trust for him which is hard because I’m a daddy’s girl.  30 years and I’ve never failed to be there for him.
It’s not your typical addict story though.  I don’t have stories of him stumbling home drunk.  There are no memories of him stealing from our house to make enough money to buy his next high.

Mom and him had the normal marital fights from time to time but always made up with some crazy cheesy joke.

I truly had as perfect of a childhood as a kid my age could dream up… well I never did become a Disney princess but you get the drift.

Fast forward to the year I came home from college.  My dad is gone. He’s home. But the man I knew as my father is gone.  My first year back home was horrible.  He was gone all the time.  I’d cover for him with the family.  I knew he liked to gamble so he was just playing video poker right?

Fast forward another year.  It’s for sure, he’s using drugs. My dad… who, besides experimenting in high school, has never touched the shit is now an addict.  My dad is a crack head.  The dad who used to put me on his back and swim around a pool.  My dad who used to tell me everything was going to be okay and I always believed him.

The next few years were a blur.  Rehab. Divorce. Drugs. Alcoholic girlfriend. Trouble. Trouble. Trouble.

I bail him out of financial situations.  I bail him out of jail.  I give him a place to live when his equally as troublesome girlfriend kicks him out, which is about every 3 to 4 months.

feb4369b06c80d97de783003c0b6359aSo tonight, I sit here wondering if I’m helping or hurting.  I am waiting for him to show up from god knows where.  I don’t trust where he tells me he is.  I can’t focus on my school work.  I can’t process this mess.

At least when he lives with the girlfriend, he’s out of sight.  I don’t worry as much.  When he’s here? I’m a panicked mess.

I know he loves me.  I know I’m still his little girl.  But my Daddy’s gone and I don’t think any amount of my enabling is going to bring him back.  He has his priorities, and they are not to be considerate of his family. And he is oblivious to how his actions affect others.

Yet I feel like the selfish one here.  I feel like I’m the one who is being selfish for not being more patient. For not being more understanding. What else could I do short of lighting up a pipe for him? Time after time, I shell out more money. I pay his bills. I fix his problems. I listen when he needs an ear. I constantly cancel my plans and my life. I. Am. Wrong.


The trouble is finding a way to be supportive and encourage him to get help while not enabling his addictions. He has let me down time after time after time again so why am I so nervous to let him down?

Better question- Why am I the one who feels crazy and out of control?

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Filed under: Addiction, Family, Health

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