It was time to call in major back-up. This situation was well beyond my control and light years beyond my comprehension. After some serious googling, I kept coming across the term ‘enabling’. Mort clearly had no interest in admitting or dealing with the fact that he had an extreme addiction issue and I was not going to be an enabler…..it was time to crack the veneer and expose him. I went to my parents.
Mort had a deep respect for my parents and the feeling was mutual. By bringing my parents up to speed it was going to cause a tremendous amount of pain for all parties, but there was no question that it was necessary.
When my dad happened to drop by and visit the next day, I took the opportunity to recount the highlights of what had been happening over the previous weeks. I spoke matter of factly without a single tear, sorrow was not what I felt, the emotion was a pure burning anger. Dad sat quietly, listening, absorbing, with his hand clamped over his mouth.
The irony here is that my dad says that when I was young he was an alcoholic. Now I say here ‘my dad says’ because for me, as a kid, I certainly never had the slightest notion that this was the case. My dad has always been a stellar father in every respect. I have never in my life ever known him to be anything less than grounded, participative, supportive and generous. So to say that he was a drunk is really weird to me.
However, when he was 36 (I would have been 7) my mom told him that he drank too much and he would have to make the decision between booze and his family. He awoke the next morning with a hangover and a pledge to not touch alcohol again…..and he didn’t.