Let Them Fall

My Dad had been arrested for drinking and driving. Again. This time it was serious. Don’t get me wrong it’s always serious when you drink and drive. This wasn’t his first OR second time. It was his THIRD! This time his errors came with real consequences. Possible jail time.

When my Dad got his D.U.I. I didn’t know that it would be posted in the newspaper for everyone to see. I never knew that things like that got posted, again why would I?

I had gone to a friend’s house when her mother said to me “Dani, I’m so sorry to hear what happened with your Dad. I read it in the paper and my heart goes out to you.” 

What?! It’s in the fucking paper?! I was mortified. This was my private life. And now anyone who reads the paper is going to know??? FUCK!

Fuck, fuck, fuck!

My Dad was scared! Scared like I had never seen my Dad before. And he had every right to be.

My Dad didn’t want to do jail time. Who the hell would? But it was more than that. He even said to me one day “I’d die in there.”

Thanks! That’s what every young girl wants to hear from their Dad. It was what he truly believed though and with that kind of thought you think this would be a huge turning point for him.

As always he had luck on his side. He didn’t get jail time. He had hired good lawyers who got him off, but he had to complete a rehab program, one year’s probation, loss of his license, and a certain number of hours worth of Community Service. He was lucky that his first D.U.I had been when he was younger. They didn’t take that one into account since it had been so long ago. 

Was he punished/held responsible? Kind of, but Dad was Vice President of a good business. He would make it work. Plus he had his good charm.

You know, he didn’t do even an HOUR of his Community Service. He had a friend’s mom, who worked at a church sign off on ALL his hours. That asshole got away with not doing a damn thing. Didn’t even lift a finger! What, was he a fucking cat with nine lives? What kind of lesson was he going to learn if he didn’t have to do what he was supposed to?

He went to rehab, but he did the bare minimum to get by. Rehab wasn’t HIS choice, so duh, it wasn’t going to do anything! You have to want to stop drinking. As much as you try to make them want it, they have to want it more.

Instead of actually working on himself, he found a kid I actually used to go to school with and MENTORED him! How could he mentor someone else when he barley had his life together?!

I have to say it…What the actual fuck?! 

I swear the man had magical talking powers a.k.a pure bullshit. He could make almost anyone believe his problem wasn’t that serious.

At first, when he lost his license he offered me money to drive him around. Awesome! A job! I needed one of those. Nope, never mind he hired someone else to do it. Let’s call this man “Johann.” My Dad hired him to drive him anywhere he needed to go, whenever he needed to go.

So…Was he punished? No, I don’t think so. How can you hit rock bottom when you get away with everything? I thought maybe the divorce would be his rock bottom. There were many times when I thought he’d hit rock bottom but didn’t. This wasn’t any different.

My Dad could have killed someone! Or himself! How couldn’t he see all this?

…Because he didn’t want to. He wanted to pretend everything was fine when really it wasn’t.

Maybe he should have gone to jail. Maybe it would have actually taught him something. Or maybe it wouldn’t have. We will never know.

At that point in my life, I couldn’t cope. The frequency of his drinking kept increasing. We were broken as a family. I started to drink more as well, not even realizing what I was doing. To me, I was just having a good time. A way to ignore all the bullshit that was happening around me. It’s not until later that my actions would actually start to scare me.

We were a whirlwind of chaos.

Ugly. Bitter. Angry. Chaos.

Every hit, I took hard. I’ve said it before, but I was always bound to my Dad and when he fell, I fell with him.

Every time I thought “Things can’t get worse than this.” I was SO wrong.

As I am writing this, something has clicked. I was always bailed out of whatever mess I was in because my Dad always took care of it. So I never learned from my mistakes. Just as he was always bailed out of messy situations…. Another similarity. 

But, I would eventually hit rock bottom. And I would make a different choice than he did.

I guess my main point from all this is don’t bail them out. Let them fall. As much as it sucks and hurts. Let them fall. How can you climb out of a hole and learn from it, if that hole has a net and steps to safety? Does that make any sense? I hope so.

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All opinions and conclusions are my own. I am not a medical professional and I am not able to provide you with personalized medical recommendations. If you need help, there are many sources of information and places to get help.