Joe my alcoholic father, he was 19 when he married my mother. He was a good-looking guy at 6 ft, dark curly hair, and green eyes. He was a laborer particularly in carpentry, but a professional drinker.

When I was around 5 yrs. old my father had another child, and I remember my mother announcing, “she must have tricked him because he did not want kids”. That statement sat with me for a long time, but I was so excited to be a big sister. When Chrissy was born I was in heaven, she was like my own personal baby doll. With Joe, all good things always came to a quick end and caused pain though.

Down the road, I asked my mother about Joe not wanting kids. She explained to me how she got pregnant a few times before me, Joe and her mother made her have abortions. My father did NOT want kids, when she got pregnant with me she threatened to leave him if he made her have another abortion. Obviously, she won, because here I am. It was all justified by the fact that once I was here “he loved me”. I believe this is why I am not as angry with him as I am her. He never wanted kids probably since he knew he was traveling the same road as his mother. In a way, he was trapped in this overwhelming, unwanted responsibility.

When I would ask my mom why my father didn’t care enough to quit drinking, she would respond, “Desiree, he has a disease, it’s not his fault.” I hate that statement more than anything. Do I get it? I guess. Do I accept it? Absolutely NOT! I think it is a selfish excuse and just another way to shuck responsibility. I have heard this excuse so much it makes me cringe when I hear it today, it causes immediate flashbacks to the selfishness I grew up with.

My Father was an alcoholic who died at 32 years old of a massive heart attack, that is believed to be related to his alcoholism. Due to us being estranged I did not find out about his death until about 3 months after he passed when my grandfather reached out to my mother. Joe’s mother and grandmother were both alcoholics and sadly died in their 30’s as well. The fact that all 3 of them died so young scared the shit out of me. Until I was around 19 years old I was scared to death (literally) to try a drink, I would have bad dreams that I was drinking a Budweiser and the bottle was stuck to my mouth and I drowned. I was convinced that if I drank I would be dead by 33 (not sure why that was always the number).  I did not know my father well enough to hear excuses from him, which was kind of nice, besides my mother made enough for him along the way.

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