Fa­ther is stuck in a down­ward spi­ral

Cape Breton Post - - LIFESTYLES / ADVICE / IN MEMORIAM - Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar An­nie’s Mail­box is writ­ten by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, long­time ed­i­tors of the Ann Lan­ders col­umn. Please email your ques­tions to an­nies­mail­box@cre­ators.com, or write to: An­nie’s Mail­box, c/o Cre­ators Syn­di­cate, 737

Dear An­nie: My dad has been a mess for the past cou­ple of years and he’s sink­ing into a hole. Six months ago, he was laid off and his un­em­ploy­ment ben­e­fits just stopped. He also hit a car and left the scene. The po­lice caught up with him and charged him with a hit and run.

Dad is a de­liv­ery driver and I worry that his driver’s li­cense will be taken away. He is too stub­born to find any other type of work. He re­cently went for an in­ter­view and didn’t get the job. I’m guess­ing be­cause they saw his driv­ing record.

Dad keeps ask­ing me for money and I al­ways give it to him, be­cause, well, he’s my fa­ther and I hate to see him like this. Here’s the real prob­lem: Yesterday, I moved his laun­dry out of my dryer and no­ticed a cut piece of straw that is used for co­caine. Now I think I know where that money is go­ing.

For the past two weeks, I’ve been do­ing ev­ery­thing I can for Dad, help­ing him get food stamps, health in­sur­ance and cash as­sis­tance. I’ve been bring­ing him to all the gov­ern­ment agen­cies, sit­ting with him and wait­ing. Then he asks me for money and I find that straw. I’ve had my sus­pi­cions for a while and this con­firms it. He also drinks like a fish. I feel as though I’m the par­ent and he’s the child. Should I re­port him for the drugs so he can get court-or­dered re­hab? — Torn Son

Dear Son: Your fa­ther might get into court-or­dered re­hab. But he also might have to spend some time in jail for pos­ses­sion.

You sound like a car­ing, lov­ing son. Please un­der­stand that you can­not get your fa­ther to stop us­ing drugs and al­co­hol. He must want to do that for him­self. But you can and should stop giv­ing him money. If you are con­cerned about his bills, you can pay those di­rectly, and you can feed him and do his laun­dry if you choose. But it seems that hand­ing him cash will only lead to trou­ble. You can look into AlAnon (al-anon.ala­teen.org) and also Adult Chil­dren of Al­co­holics (adultchil­dren.org) for sup­port for your­self.

Dear An­nie: The let­ter from “Tired of the Gimme Gen­er­a­tion” is right on. My hus­band and I are god­par­ents to a lovely girl who is now 12. We have show­ered her with gifts since she was born, but have never once re­ceived any birth­day or hol­i­day cards in re­turn.

We can’t fault the child. Where are her par­ents? What are they teach­ing her? Our gifts were al­ways some­thing they ex­pected her to re­ceive. In fact, we only heard from them when a gift-giv­ing oc­ca­sion was on the hori­zon. A few times, the mother would tell us that the child wrote a thank-you note but the par­ents for­got to mail it. On the rare oc­ca­sion when we did re­ceive a thank-you, it was al­ways just prior to the next gift­ing date.

We sent our last gift on Christ­mas and re­ceived a thank-you note in April, just in time for her birth­day. We sent a con­grat­u­la­tory email. — The Heck with You

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.