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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » Dad took off?

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Author Topic: Dad took off?
she_who_questions
Activist
Member # 39778

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I've been living away from my parents for a while now. Just found out that my dad took off on Sunday after having a fight with my mom. He left a note saying he was probably going to visit his own mom, and that he needed a few days. He hasn't arrived there and hasn't made contact with anybody. I texted him last night, trying to be unobtrusive, but he didn't respond. I imagine that he's fine as my mom has noticed charges on their joint credit card. But I can't help but worry and want to get in touch with him. Not sure how to proceed. Mainly want to talk. He's has a lot of troubles in his life and has issues surrounding alcohol, depression, etc.
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Sam W
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Hi she-who-questions,

I'm sorry to hear about the situation, it sounds really rough. I think, to a certain extent, you've done what you can to reach out to your dad, and now it's on him to respond to your text. However, since it sounds like you're worries about him, it might be worth texting/calling one more time (I don't know how direct you were in your previous text, but making it very clear that you're worried about him and just want to check in may help get a response).

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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I'd add that when you leave that message, you can say something like, "I respect your need for space, but if you could just call or text me back briefly so I know you are okay and don't need help, I'd really appreciate it."

That way, you give him room to take care of his needs right now, which seems to be vacating a bit, while asking for what you need.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
she_who_questions
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I got some news about him today, finally. He's in jail out of state for possession of marijuana. Called my mom collect this morning. He was heading east, back home, but had been experiencing car troubles. And I guess he got pulled over and searched. This whole thing seems sort of nuts--my mom is freaking out from afar and trying to get him bailed out. I think she's at risk of some sort of nervous breakdown honestly. I don't really know how to support her very well right now since I'm over a thousand miles away. She's concurrently stressed because she's the main caregiver for both of her parents (both in their 90s). Their health has rapidly deteriorated in the last year or so. It's really wearing on her but she won't take time out for herself or set boundaries. I've tried to provide her with resources (i.e. support group schedules, articles, etc) and I listen to her concerns regularly over the phone. But this whole thing with my dad has thrown her into overdrive... i.e. insomnia, extreme anxiety, emotions always heightened. It's a complete mess really.

I don't really know what to do. It seems like the structures I've always relied upon in my life are really up-ended. I feel guilty for not being there, on the ground, to deal with the fallout. But I also know that I need to create a life for myself outside of my parents' world. I don't know how to help either of them. And I feel like I'm lacking a real support system since both my mom and dad are so emotionally distressed.

To add to it all, a guy I've gone on a 5 or 6 dates with just called to say that he doesn't want to go out anymore. We seem to make each other feel awkward. I don't know why that happened either. Can't tell if it's something I caused or just a basic incompatibility thing. Ugh. This week has been pretty hellish.

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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It sure sounds like it, she_who_questions: I'm so sorry so many rough things have landed in your lap.

You know, with your Mom, if you have directed her to all that help, but she just does not want to seek it out, there's really little else you can do. I would personally advise holding your limits here, as you obviously cannot be her support group or counsel, and reminding her of those resources, encouraging her to use them, expressing your concern she has not.

Then I'd focus on what YOU need. You found her those resources: have you looked up any for yourself yet?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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she_who_questions
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I've thought a lot about going to an AA meeting as that organization is aimed at families (as well as individuals) affected by alcoholism. I thought they might help me deal with issues surrounding my dad. But other than that, I've just been trying to make better friends and live healthier. My main goal is to make a sustainable life for myself: job, apartment, writing hobby, exercise, social life. That seems like the best way to cope with family stuff--staying outside of it to some extent. I've only been home a few times in the last year and that's been somewhat on purpose.
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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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If you can find an ACOA meeting, that's another good option for issues around growing up with alcoholism.

I agree with you that it sounds like stepping away is probably a good move, especially when you know you have already done all you can, or all that is sound for healthy boundaries for yourself.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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