Tag Archives: Alcoholism

Nothing good comes from drinking

risque dance moves

Alcoholism or any other type of drug addiction doesn’t just affect the person who partakes of the drug, but other members of the family. The last time I had an argument with dad, he said he’d been drinking for the last thirty years. Long before my sisters and I were born. “It’s my money,” he’d argued.

Ever since that day, I leave the room whenever he starts fighting. It had not hit me, until my friend Susan pointed it out, that my parents are both adults and because of that I should just let them handle their own issues. It felt like a hard truth, but nowadays I’m always reminding myself that, whenever I find myself compelled to intervene.

Not arguing with dad takes lots of strength. He says very hurtful stuff that tempts one to give him a piece of their mind. Nonetheless, I always bite my tongue when I feel the urge to talk back. I will myself to forget the fact that he drinks more than his age permits and that he talks a lot of crap.

Last Friday when he came home from work (he comes home on weekends then leaves early Monday morning), he arrived around seven in the evening and went straight to the bedroom to drop his stuff off then left minutes later. My big sister tried convincing him to stay so we could catch up but he wouldn’t hear any of that.

He came home around four in the morning and didn’t go to sleep. At around five in the morning I heard him tell mom he was taking the car to the carwash. I imagined he was just making some lame excuse so he could go out drinking again. I’m not sure if he went or not because I drifted into slumber.

In the afternoon he emerged from the bedroom and he passed by the kitchen, where I was and said hi. Judging by how he was dressed I assumed he was leaving. I didn’t even know he was in the house. He looked so sleepy, drunk and worn out. I doubt he had slept.

“Are you leaving?” I asked.

“Yes,” he nodded, slipping into the shoes he had left near the door when he came in. Right then, my small sister came.

“You look so tired,” she noted.

“I am,” dad affirmed. “I didn’t sleep.”

“Then go sleep,” I suggested nicely.

“I don’t sleep.”

“You’re only exhausting yourself. It’s your body you are hurting.”

“Even where I stay, I don’t sleep.”

I didn’t want to argue with him, so I just went back to the kitchen. When mom came home in the evening she told us dad had gone to visit his elder brother. I wondered why he would go to his brother’s without letting us know, but then I was relieved because the entire time I thought he was somewhere in a bar drinking his wits away.

At around ten at night he came home. He didn’t appear drunk but I could tell he wasn’t sober either. When he came in he gave me his wallet, watch and car keys to take to take to their bedroom and he just crashed on the couch.

It was my small sister’s day to cook, but since she didn’t want to talk to dad she told me to ask him if he wanted anything. He didn’t say a word; he only waved his hand without looking my way. Relatively, I would term that polite. Normally he just barks rudely. I bet that is why my sister didn’t want to ask him.

He seemed bored. We didn’t know what to think as he’d just come from his brother’s and he wasn’t saying how his day was. We let him be. About an hour later he rose and went to bed. Mom said goodnight and followed him.

The next day he didn’t offer to tell us what had happened at his brother’s place, so we didn’t ask. With dad it’s kinda hard to tell what ticks him off, especially at times like that. Monday morning he didn’t go back to work as he had some financial issues to sort out; but when he came home late at night he started fighting. I was tired after a long day running errands, so I got up and went to bed.

Tuesday he left in the morning and came home again at night. Shortly before he came in, mom got a call from her sister-in-law (dad’s brother’s wife). I couldn’t get what she was saying but judging from mom’s dull responses I deduced it wasn’t the usual niceties they exchange.

When she hang up my sisters and I were only too eager to ask what she was saying. Turns out she-my aunt-was mad at dad for two main reasons: One, he had made her husband-dad’s brother- who is a recovering alcoholic drink. And because of that he had a very bad night.

Since my uncle has reached a point where his body can’t stand alcohol he throws up in his sleep and that makes it dangerous as he could choke to death. My aunt had nothing good to say about dad. Two, when dad started dancing he held her inappropriately, in her husband’s presence and for that she felt very disrespected.

About a fortnight ago dad insisted on taking us to see this new joint in town and since we were on our way home, we agreed, thinking it would only take a few minutes. Two bottles later and he was already hitting the dance floor.

Some other lady, who I assumed was already drunk, came and started making some risqué dance moves, trying to rub her groin against dad’s, but thankfully he pushed her away politely. I don’t know if it was because he knew we were watching but I was relieved.

I imagined how awful mom must have felt. If dad took those club moves to my uncle’s, I understand why my aunt felt disrespected.

Incapable of love

incapable of love

In a previous post I mentioned a very disturbing thing dad did right after grams died. The other day mom expressed her concerns about dad playing some songs that were played at grams’ funeral and since dad was still there I asked her to tell him about it, so we could resolve the issue for once and for all.

He has been playing those songs frequently and somehow I had hoped he would be considerate enough to steer clear of them until she had recovered from the grief of losing her mom a few months ago.

In my opinion, what he fails to realize is that she was very close to her mom and her death affected her a lot. He lacks empathy. From what I’ve gathered, he and his mom were never really close. She was a strict disciplinarian and at some point, due to the conflict of interests he ran away from home. That said, I feel he doesn’t quite understand that special bond between a mother and child.

He never had the pleasure of calling his own mother “Mom.” She forbade her own children from calling her ‘mother’. She never really wanted to accept she was growing old and it’s like she imagined being called mom would emphasize the fact that she was losing her youth.

Making up for lost love

However, we understood that fact a long time ago, and for that we’ve always showed dad so much love, hoping it would in a way make up for his love-deprived childhood, though he hardly reciprocates. I feel he deliberately pushes us away.

Shouldn’t the thought that we try to make him feel loved help him overcome the bitterness from his childhood? I am no shrink, but I imagine my presumptions are not too inaccurate.

What ensued though, was a fight. Dad argued that there’s nothing he does that sits well with mom. “People die, you will die too. Let everyone carry their own cross,” he bit out angrily. I hadn’t seen that coming. Somehow I had imagined he would be like, “I’m sorry, I didn’t know you felt that way.”

On the contrary, he seemed totally unapologetic. “Let everyone listen to the songs they like,” he seethed.

His response shocked me. I had hoped he would atleast empathize with mom. But then, the more I think of it, the more I realize why he seems incapable of love. The one person, who was supposed to show him how to love, didn’t.

Substandard parenting

I may never have this conversation with his mother-for respect’s sake-but I feel she’s entirely to blame for her children’s misfortunes. As damaged as dad might seem, he appears to be the best of the siblings. That definitely tells a lot about her. She failed her children, now we’re left with the empty shells she raised; mean people who don’t seem to know what love is.

How do we teach dad how to love? How to be empathetic? It’s true what they say about teaching an old dog new tricks; how can we possibly fill his heart with love, when he grew up, not knowing how it feels to be loved? How can he love, if he doesn’t know what love is?

In a twisted kind of love, I talked about how he has a weird way of showing us he loves us. He tells us he loves us, but his actions tell a tale of their own. I don’t remember any single thing dad did for me that made me feel he loves me. I get the impression that every little thing he’s ever done for my sisters and me, he did out of obligation.

When I was small, I managed to overlook his shortcomings. I knew I would have wished for a better dad, but somehow I still loved him, and hoped he would love me back. Now I’m all grown up, and there’s nothing he does that even gives the illusion he is capable of love. In any case, nowadays it even feels worse because he has become an alcoholic so any free time he spends away from the office, he spends it alone, drinking; and most of the time he is plainly hostile.

Neighbours who have come to know the type of man dad is keep telling mom whenever they meet outside, “Be strong.”

After that brief argument, he said goodnight and flounced out of the room. Clearly, it hadn’t gone the way I had expected it to. I know mom has her own shortcomings and all, but that’s not the response I had hoped for. She had approached him meekly, in a conciliatory tone; one that didn’t brook argument, yet he reacted like mom had thrown hot coal at him, throwing hands up in the air and all.

I know dad had a difficult childhood and that’s why he has turned out into the hostile man he is today. However, I believe even though we might not have the power to change the lives we led as kids, life gives us numerous opportunities to forge out our own paths.

It’s not easy trying to ditch one’s past, that much I know; but at the same time I believe that with a little determination one can make so much progress.

 

Love you beer… The confrontation: Part 3

my father is an alcoholic

“I promise you dad, if you address this drinking issue, I will not text you again,” I shouted angrily, “but if you don’t, feel free to block me because I won’t stop.”

“See how she talks to me?” He looked at mom and my sister, who were already standing between me and him, so he wouldn’t hit me.

“If I were you, I’d check into rehab.”

“You think you’re clever?”

“I am clever,” I told him, “That’s why I’m telling you, you have a drinking problem. How can you drink this much, and you’re not even eating?”

“Are you the one who buys me that beer? Just go find a man and get married. And if you keep up with this, your husband will be beating you seriously.”

“Honestly, if this is what you call marriage, and if men are like you, then I would rather stay single.”

Remember that essay I told you I wrote? ‘Why I think you have a drinking problem?’ It’s because I had foreseen that fight, and I didn’t want to be involved in that verbal altercation with him. If only I had given it to him earlier.

I almost complained that a fight mom had provoked was now directed towards me, but then I figured, dad is an alcoholic and he is in denial, and I pointed that out. He definitely had every reason to hate/hit me; speaking from a drunken point of view.

Most of the time, when I’m not in the mood to fight, I leave dad and go to the bedroom even though he interprets it as cowardice and follows me, threatening to hurt me and stuff. On Sunday however, I wanted him to fully understand that I meant everything I was telling him; I decided not to run. If he wanted to take all his rage out on me, then I was going to stand there and let him do it.

See the thing with my father, is when he starts talking, he gets so vulgar, one forgets they are talking to a parent; still, I tried hard not to lose my temper, because I didn’t want to have issues that would take me to the confession booth when the waters had calmed. There’s so much I wanted to say to him, but I restrained myself.

“You’re going to be a truck driver,” he seethed.

“God forbid!”

“I’m not going to pay your fees for law school.”

“This far I’ve come dad, God has brought me. And if it’s His plan that I become a lawyer someday, it won’t be because of you. Besides, I already knew you drank my fees.”

A parent wishes only the best for their children; that’s what people say, right? Well, not my old man. He’s wished very many things upon me, none of them good. I remember this one time he was in my big sister’s bedroom, fighting, and by mistake, as he waved his hands carelessly in the air, he hit a low hanging light bulb and it fell on the floor, shattering into pieces.

That day I hadn’t argued with him, but when he saw me picking the pieces up with a dustpan, he just scoffed, “All you do is clean up. You’re going to be a maid.”

I was hurt, obviously, but slowly I’ve come to understand that’s who he is. So when he said I would be a truck driver, I deduced it was because of the fact I had taken the car without his permission and normally he never lets me drive it unless he really wants me to; when he’s in a good mood, and it has nothing to do with him being protective of his car. I hate to admit it, but he’s just mean.

It’s not the first time I’ve felt this, or said it, but dad is just mean. Now that I’m much older, I understand how he was able to spend long hours in bars, leaving three defenceless kids hungry. It’s not my place to judge him, but everytime I see him binge-drinking, I pity him. Soon, my sisters and I will be moving out, and every little thing he does bespeaks anything but love/care.

One might be tempted to think I’m just a crazy girl, desperate to be loved by her father, but honestly, I couldn’t care less if he hates me. When I decided I was going to confront him for his alcoholism, I knew he would hate me for it; but I did it anyway; because I hate the way he treats mom when he is drunk; I hate the man he is when he is intoxicated, and the things he does would make me wish for a better dad if I were still a baby.

No child or woman deserves the drunken treatment he so enthusiastically dishes out. And even he were a woman, no man would deserve such.

I understand alcohol could overpower someone, especially when one becomes addicted to it, but I also imagine, if one truly loved someone, they would give it all up for them. In the text I sent dad, I told him to consider giving it up for mom. He always says he loves her, and when my sisters and I move out, it will be just the two of them left.

What worries me is the thought that I don’t trust him enough to leave mom in his care when we move out. I’m scared he will hurt her, like he did when we were young. He has done it so many times before, and now he drinks more than he did then and he is more violent than he was then. How I’m I supposed to trust he won’t do something stupid?

Love you beer… The confrontation: Part 2

alcoholism

If something unsettles you, it’s better to address it and just get done with it, because waiting for it to happen is much worse… That’s what I was thinking the entire time I was watching dad. He’s really not the forgiving/forgetting type. Even if he doesn’t confront someone for something they did, he will eventually. I was waiting for the façade to come down; for him to finally confront me, problem is, I didn’t know how long it would take before he got tired of pretending everything was hunky-dory.

Two and a half hours later, he came back, visibly drunk. Mom had already gone to bed. He went straight to the bedroom. He didn’t ask for food, and no one asked if he was hungry. When he is drunk we prefer to let him be because talking to him would be opening sluice-gates to incessant carping. The night was too serene to ruin it with drunken ramblings.

Relieved that he was safely home, my sisters and I sat down to watch the fifth season of the vampire diaries. At eleven forty five, almost an hour later, dad walked into the living room and without a word he left the house.

At around two in the morning, my sisters went to bed and shortly after, mom woke up. She was stressed dad was out that late. Seeming distraught, she asked what time he had left. Seeing her so troubled reminded me what had led me to text dad on Tuesday morning; when he starts drinking, he can’t seem to stop, until he runs out of money.

By the time I went to bed at four, my old man was nowhere in sight. After saying my night prayers, I went to check on mom and found she had already gone to bed. Empathizing with her, I switched the lights off and went to bed.

Sunday morning, my alarm went off at seven forty five, and though I was sleepy, I knew I had to wake up to prep for church; however, sleep overpowered me and I drifted back into slumber, until my small sister came to wake me up at eight thirty. I didn’t have much time to prepare so I got up, prayed and got out of bed.

I didn’t know what time dad had come but my big sister told me he’d come in the morning. I wasn’t surprised; that seems to be something he is doing a lot lately. Mom had already left for the mid-morning mass, my big sister wanted to sleep in after a gruelling week interning and attending classes, and dad didn’t pick up when I tried calling him; he was in a deep sleep.

I took the car keys and asked my big sister to tell him I took the car. I knew he wouldn’t be too pleased but seeing as he couldn’t drive, I knew it was a necessary risk as my small sister and I were already getting late for church.

When we got back home later in the afternoon, dad had just woken up. He didn’t complain I had taken the car; instead he just greeted us, and left, again. He came back at around seven in the evening, took some more money and left again. He showed up two hours later, looking pretty much at ease.

Mom and I left to go sign in at the gate. It’s a security measure taken to keep tabs on all residents/non-residents, who come into the estate. When I drove in earlier, I hadn’t signed in because I had thought dad would, but then he didn’t. After signing in, we walked back to the house, and found loud music playing.

Other than the fact that it’s against estate policy, it was just too loud. I gestured to my dad, to turn the volume down.

“It’s too loud?” He shouted.

I nodded, and he acquiescently turned it down. A while later, he rose and left for the bedroom. Minutes later, he walked back to the living room, headed for the main door. Mom couldn’t take it anymore. She walked to him and asked him, evidently shocked, “You’re leaving again, at this time?”

“I’m not talking to you, unless you want us to fight,” he barked.

“Just tell us if there’s someone you can’t stand in this house. You’ve been drinking since you came. You spent the whole night out, and now you want to leave again.”

“I was listening to music and you said it was too loud, so now I’m leaving.” He threatened to hit her, but then mom told him if he dared she would call the cops on him. It wouldn’t be his first time to spend the night behind bars; eight year ago, he was at it, disrupting peace in the house when mom called the police and they took him away.

When the police came in that night I was at the verge of hitting him on the head with a soda bottle, in defence. I shudder at the thought of what could have happened had the police not showed up in time. It’s a dreadful night I try to forget.

Just like that, everything turned chaotic, everyone talking at the top of their voices, and finally dad managed to get whatever had been troubling him off his chest.

“You started this,” he yelled at me. “You are your mother’s accomplice. Don’t send me those silly texts again.”

“You need to get help dad,” I shouted. “You have a drinking problem.”

“I’ve had it with you,” he snarled.

Love you beer… The confrontation: Part 1

alcoholism 2

After texting dad, asking him to reconsider his love for beer, we didn’t get to talk and he never texted back. In preparation for his arrival, I wrote down a short essay, ‘Why I think you might have a drinking problem’, listing all the things he does that have led me to the conclusion he is an alcoholic, and furthermore attaching some receipt he’d drunkenly left lying around to support my findings.

It might sound extreme that I went to such an extent but I figured if he started accusing me of ‘calling him an alcoholic’, even though I hadn’t said it like that, he wouldn’t give me a chance to explain. On the other hand I also figured, if he didn’t rip the papers in anger, curiosity would get him to read them.

He had already asked mom to tell me to stop sending him silly texts, so I sought of had an inkling what mood he was in. I hoped to convince him my complaints weren’t just based on hearsay or things I had just concocted.

He was supposed to come home Friday evening but instead, he texted mom around eight at night, telling her he was in bed; he wasn’t coming. I know he gets lonely out there because he goes for a whole week without seeing us but somehow, as much as I empathized with him, I felt relieved he wasn’t coming.

It’s been a while since he failed to come home on weekend. The only time he doesn’t come is when he has so much work he needs to finish up in the office, especially after being on leave. So when mom told me he wasn’t coming, I imagined it had something to do with the text.

Based on previous incidents, I assumed it had gone two ways: either he had felt so ashamed that I had candidly pointed out he had a drinking problem and would try to make up for his shortcomings, or he had gotten so furious and would spend each minute of his time home threatening to snap my neck.

Well, I’m not sure he is capable of actually causing me such physical harm but nowadays there’s no telling what he can/can’t do when he’s under the influence. When the beer goes to his head he does crazy things. I hadn’t seen him since I texted him that Tuesday morning, but I knew things wouldn’t be all rainbows and unicorns when he came.

alcoholism 3

Saturday afternoon, my small sister told my big sister and me dad had called mom; he was on his way, coming home. I had imagined he would be coming the following weekend. Somehow I felt disappointed. The uncertainty made me tense up for a while, but then I reminded myself why I had sent him that text in the first place; he’s drinking a lot, and someone had to tell him.

While we were waiting for him, my big sister got a call from a friend; a lecturer she had grown to like had been MIA for a while. Reason being that he had been involved in an accident and no one knew of his whereabouts. Distressed, she called him up but his phone was off. That only had her more worried.

It was while I was comforting her, telling her not to worry and all, that dad came. When I opened the door, I didn’t know whether to smile or remain poker faced, but when I extended my hand, he pulled me and hugged me.

That, I had seen coming.

Surprised, I hugged him back. He had beer on his breath, so I assumed he had been drinking before he got home. But I didn’t care; he already knew what I felt about him binge-drinking, and that’s all that really mattered. My big sister was still feeling down and he tried finding out what was wrong with her, though she remained mum. He went straight to the bedroom and came out a few minutes later, before leaving again.

He came back almost two hours later with mom and left again right after. I couldn’t quite figure if he was happy or mad, though he seemed unperturbed; however, I knew there was a storm brewing underneath his cool exterior. It wouldn’t be long before he eventually flipped his lid…

Love you beer, till death…

i love my beer

If we had the power to turn lifeless things like beer into fully functional living things, I bet for so many people it would be a case of ‘till death do us part’.

There’s this day I was listening to the radio and the presenter was light-heartedly making the comparisons between a woman and a beer: it won’t complain when you touch another beer;

It won’t ask where you’ve been or who you’ve been with when you come home late.

You can take it anytime because it won’t give you excuses like, “It’s that time of the month.”

It won’t complain about you leaving the toilet seat up.

Beer doesn’t ask for commitment and won’t assume you’re in a relationship just because you had your way with it once.

You’re always assured you were the first one to have it.

When you go to a bar you know you can always pick up another beer and the one at home won’t complain if you go back with beer on your breath.

Beer doesn’t throw tantrums atleast once every month

It won’t replace you with dildos/vibrators and stuff…

The list was quite long but basically in a man’s perspective, a beer is way better than a woman. In a way, given all the things women are ‘accused’ of, beer would indeed seem better than a woman. However, nothing good comes easy.

love my beer

These same men who are 100% pro-beer forget the simple facts:

That a beer doesn’t prepare warm meals for the man, neither does it bestow him with the priceless gift of fatherhood. It doesn’t clean the house, do laundry or handle uncontrollable kids and that is why it will never get a headache.

In any case, it destroys what one has struggled so hard to build; relationships, a home and it indirectly demands for commitment by getting one into a defenceless addict, turning one into a pathological liar.

At the end of the day, if a man overindulges in the vice, not even the women he thinks so lowly of will want anything to do with him. There are many women who complain their husbands can’t ‘rise to the occasion’ because long-term love for the bottle tampered with their libido.

Ask my old man what kind of trouble he’s been getting into since he became best buddies with the bottle. I never thought he could ever tell a lie, but nowadays he breathes lies, spends nights out in bars, even on weekdays, drinks whatever little money he gets his hands on, picks fights with just about anyone and I have a feeling he has lost all respect among his peers.

The life he is leading now, if you ask me, is that downward spiral to self-destruction. He doesn’t want to admit that he is an addict and needs to get help. The last time I pointed the issue out, about three years ago, he got so pissed and threatened to snap my neck. After months of dread I finally overcame the fear and now I don’t really feel like I need to run for cover whenever I find myself in the same room with him.

Unfortunately, he doesn’t seem to care about the thin ice he’s treading on. This past Monday he told mom he was on his way home (he works in a different town and only comes every weekend). By 1am Tuesday morning he still hadn’t arrived. Mom obviously started freaking out, imagining the worst. I couldn’t take it anymore.

I just took my phone and sent him an 11 pages text. It was long, but given that there’s so much I wanted to tell him, the characters didn’t even feel enough. He came home almost thirty minutes later but we didn’t talk. There was nothing infuriating in the text as I had tried to make it as sweet as possible but I knew he would get mad regardless .The ‘alcohol’ topic is one we don’t discuss freely for fear of getting him all disconcerted.

He went back to work Tuesday morning, and we still didn’t talk. Last night he called mom and after the usual ‘howdy’, he started complaining about the ‘silly’ text I sent him. Mom wasn’t in the mood to argue, so she just disconnected…

Dad’s coming home tomorrow God willing, and I’m only imagining what kind of hell he’ll raise because I ‘insulted’ him. When mom told me what dad was saying, I just told her, “I want to be in his good books, but if it means I’ll have to lie or keep the truth from him to get his love, then I don’t want it. If he doesn’t want me telling him things he doesn’t want to hear, then he should change his behaviour because I only tell him what I see.”

She didn’t say much, she just nodded in agreement.

Women might not be everything men want them to be, but then neither is beer. Everything, no matter how good it is, if taken in large amounts could be harmful. I have watched dad become an entirely different person because of the bottle.

Personally I love wine, but everytime I think of indulging, I remember what alcohol has done to my family and I get the ‘skull danger sign’ in my head… ‘Drink at your own risk’.

A twisted kind of love: Part one

I think it’s just about time I came out and said something that has been bugging me for the last… God knows how long. I’ve heard people say dreadful things and I know whatever I’m about to say won’t sound any better. For the longest time now, I feel like dad-my very own father-is every woman’s nightmare. There, I said it, and no, I don’t hate myself for saying it.

Since I became conscious of my very own existence, I feel dad has been a constant disappointment, to me, and to the rest of my family. On so many occasions, I feel the only reason I’ve never brought myself to openly tell him I hate him, or even let the dreadful thought linger in my head long enough is merely because I’ve got his DNA and blood running through my veins. At this point I feel the only reason I’d say I love him is because he is my biological father; other than that he hasn’t earned my love.

I know he has assisted me financially, paying my school fees and all, but if you ask me, a father-daughter relationship is more than a monetary issue. It’s about feeling emotionally comfortable with him; feeling I can rely on him unconditionally. If I take financial matters from the equation, all I’m left with is a skeleton; a very frustrating, relationship.

Dad isn’t exactly a villain; it’s just that even though he’s done some good things, he always manages to overshadow them with his dark deeds. I can almost count the good things he’s done; they’re few, as he does them rarely.

Some of the earliest memories I have of dad are seeing him come home drunk, late at night, battering mom because she, in her helplessness, had asked him to buy us food. Normally I consider myself a nocturnal- I always go to bed late. The only time I’ve ever slept early was when I was in boarding school, both in primary and high school. I attribute this wont to the fact that when I was small, dad always came home late and we couldn’t go to bed early, not because we were waiting for him to tuck us in and kiss us goodnight, but so he could give mom the money to buy food for supper.

Naturally the food got ready late. I would eat the food dozing. Mom had a hard time trying to keep me awake. My baby sister, who used to nap during the day, had a fun time pinching my nose playfully, so I could keep my eyes open. At the time I was learning how to count numbers; I don’t know what I was counting in my plate but when I dozed I always felt like I was counting things in my food. Then my sister would pinch my nose, pulling me out of my dream. Eating just wasn’t a fun thing.

I have met women who say they desire to be married to men who remind them of their fathers but to that I say, God forbid. I know what I look for in a man, and I know there’s no quality dad possesses that I’d want to see reflected in a man I call mine. In any case, when I bump into men who give me the slightest impression of being a tad bit like dad, I take to my heels. I know for sure, it would be a nightmare to be married to someone who is like him.

He has said on so many occasions he loves us, but if his actions are anything to go by, he doesn’t; and if he does for real, then I’d say his, is a very twisted kind of love.

Why I could be a teetotaller: Part one

If I say I take alcohol, I would-to some extent- be lying…and if I said I don’t, I know some people who would raise their eyebrows at me. Honestly, I have trouble answering this question. I’m not a teetotaller, but given the circumstances, I could be one. Somehow I seem to have a thing for peripheries; fences if you rather-something I can’t say I’m proud of; but sometimes it is just beyond me-like in social misfits.

To be succinct, I’m a light drinker; a conscious decision I’ve made over the years. I only drink on special occasions-parties mostly-and even so I always try to keep my consumption in check, lest I wake up to horrid revelations of things I said/did when I was under the influence.

Methinks Aly’s alter-ego would be a stripper, dancing on bars; maybe one day I’ll get myself drunk enough to do that. I’m not particularly big on dutch courage, but it’s something I imagine I would do when intoxicated. But so far, I must admit, the most I’ve ever drank was a few glasses of wine, which tampered with the ground level, I came so close to staggering.

wine

Funny thing is, with the way I started out, one would have thought me and alcohol would be best buddies. I’ve been given a few pointers on matters drinking: not to mix drinks, to drink when I’ve eaten, to take lots of water, by my old man, but even with this in my mind I refrain from alcohol consumption. I’m thankful that this far, I’ve come I have managed to not over-indulge.

When I’m out with friends they often ask why I don’t like getting drunk, and I simply tell them it’s because I like being in control of my actions. Truth is, there’s more to it than that; I fear that I could turn out like my dad; moreover, looking at my paternal side, drinking seems like a genetic thing; no one’s a certified alcoholic so far, but…it’s not a culture I would want to extend into our lineage.

My dad has always been drinking since I was born. At first he would do two bottles tops, but over the years he has managed to become a full-blown drinker. Recently I declared him an alcoholic. I didn’t tell it to his face upfront; I merely alluded to it in a four-paged text, pointing out that I felt we had become so detached, because he hardly spares any time for us; if he’s not buried in his work at the office, he’s somewhere drinking his wits away.

One might argue that since I’m all grown I should give the man a break, but deep in my heart, I know I will never be too old to be my father’s daughter.

Apparently, he never let me forget that text; not that I would wish to, because I still have it saved in my phone. I thought it was sweet when I sent it, still do, but he managed to misconstrue it and subsequently went on to fight about it. He was so furious; he constantly said he would snap my neck because I had called him an alcoholic. I knew he loved me too much to do such a thing, but when inebriated, I didn’t trust him. I kept my distance.

My sisters and I were introduced to alcohol at a very tender age. I was around seven at the time. But we were only drinking for the heck of it, sipping on it, straight from the mug; not because we relished the taste, but because daddy was drinking it; it was cool.

Everytime my small sister saw my dad drinking she would bring her sippy cup and dad would pour her a little of his bottle’s contents and in a single gulp, she would dispose it off in her tummy, then she would ask for more. But dad always had a sweet way of turning her down. We were afraid she would become an addict but somehow she made different decisions along the way and now she hardly drinks.

Once when we were small, around the same time, I recall this one night; dad was out drinking, then he came home late at night. He opened another beer and I’m guessing he had taken enough that day because soon after he had poured it into the glass, he stood, leaving it barely touched.

It was a Saturday, and we were watching a movie; mom was already asleep. We were alone in the living room. At first we thought he had gone to the bathroom, but after a long while we realized he had gone to bed.

Mischievously, we drained the glass, then sipped the beer straight from the bottle in turns, until the bottle was empty. I don’t know why, but we went to bed feeling like heroes; like we had slain enemies on the battlefield.

The next morning, as we prepared for church, we couldn’t help gloating about our achievement; how we had ‘emptied’ dad’s bottle. He just grinned, while mom just watched us speechless …but she didn’t seem mad. They found it amusing.

I thought it was amusing too, but over the years, as I watched my dad morph from the fun loving man he was into a cold, violent and distant stranger, I realized I wanted to be different.