Poor hubby has called tonight. He is SOoooooooooooo ready to come home. His Dad treats him like a kid (he's 54 for crying out loud!). Anytime Tom has wanted to go out of the house, like to his appointment at the V.A., Dad tags along. Tom cannot even get out alone. Dad doesn't want him using his car......OK, maybe some 10+ years ago, Tom was not so trustworthy when it came to going out and coming home at the "right" time. He was in with the "wrong" crowd, drinking, drugging etc....and his recent DUI's have left his Dad feeling that it's never ending. But still, he should treat him with a little more respect and just offer the keys to him to run to the store or to the appt at the V.A. I told hubby that it did his Dad good to get out of the house esp after this surgery, he needed to be getting back to whatever normal is for a 76 yr old retired man. But Tom takes it as a personal attack that his Dad is like this.....I believe he is even afraid to say to the man "I need to go....can I have the keys"....he probably believes Dad will come back at him with "only if you promise to go there and come RIGHT BACK".
Anyway, Tom's call tonight was particularly sad....the tone of his voice. You could feel the disappointment in the way he spoke. Tom wouldn't even make himself a drink while he was there. This is due to what was said at Christmas when we were there, even though Dad apologized for the comment, the hurt was still there. Why can't Dad see that he's hurting the children with his "Don" (Godfather) attitude? He even went so far a couple of years ago to try it on me! HA! This southern belle gave that damn yankee the old what for! Nipped that right in the bud!
Some history.........Tom has a past problem with drugs. He had a horrible accident while on the police force which put him in the hospital for 3 months. Coke became a recreational thing, then a necessity. This on top of being a heavy drinker made for a not so nice lifestyle. He lost his wife, kids, home, etc. Well, he moved here several years later on the urging of a friend, moved to another state, came back to NC. Then I met him through this same friend. He talked of wanting to "better" his life and said he was trying - especially where his kids were concerned. That was 8 years ago. We've had some issues with the drugs and alky, but through some tough love and ass kicking, I'm happy to say that Tom is way better than he was 8 years ago. I actually had him arrested 2 years ago because he "fell off the wagon" and brought some of that stuff into my home. We were going through a tough time of him hanging around the "wrong" crowd again and I'd warned him. I let him stay in jail for 5 days. Had to! Had to let him cool down and come off that stuff and begin thinking for himself again, rather than to have an irate man on my hands. That's when Dad tried his attitude with me and I let him have it. Said he "took care of his family" and I gave him "then get yer ass to NC and do it then" and hung up and refused to talk to him any further.
So because Tom has "backslid", Dad feels like he must protect his assets. Little does he know, this just fuels the disappointment that Tom feels. He needs to feel loved and wanted, give some merit to his life. All of Dad's children just "yes" him to death...tell him what he wants to hear, and just go on so he'll shut up.
At home, Tom is allowed to make mistakes. We talk about them. We figure out what happened - where it went wrong and why. I get angry and frustrated but still I love him through it. Sometimes it's tough love - I try to think about how I would feel if it were me and I was having to face my mistakes. Yelling and fussing isn't gonna help - all the time, sometimes ya gotta yell, you just have to. It is natural. Most of the time, Tom's good outweigh's his bad. I just have to keep my eyes and ears open for the signs of when he's about to stray into booze land. I'm not his mother, nor can I babysit all the time, but I can try to defer a lot of the unnecessary deterants.
Wish me luck and lots of it! I'll be glad to have him home Friday night! As I said before, I don't like sleeping alone....and I miss being able to reach over and stroke the hairs on his chest before I go to sleep.