My father was an abusive alcoholic for years. Now, he’s had a stroke and requires extensive care. Sadly, he still drinks. I’m 52 with a wife and kids, but every time I’m around him I feel like I’m a 9-year-old terrified kid again. How do I deal with this? Bill in Indiana
You ‘re to be commended for trying to care for your father given the trauma he caused. He’s made his own decisions that evidently don’t involve a recovery plan. At this point, you can only do your best, but your family needs the 52-year-old Bill—not the 9-year-old Bill. Your well-being remains paramount to your family. To be blunt, your father’s well-being, while desirable, is not. While it sounds harsh, the reality is …your dad may not make it, but you must. Do the best you can to ensure his safety and care, while also securing your own by attending a recovery program and even counseling.