I'm an Alchoholic, and a Father, who needs some advice!

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I'm an Alchoholic, and a Father, who needs some advice!

Postby Joshua26 » Wed Nov 01, 2017 2:59 pm

I debated at first whether this would be the right place to post my concern, though I couldn't really justify this being an "other topics" problem, because it is detrimental to my recovery that I do this right. I also noticed it was a week before anyone got a response in "other topics," so forgive me if this issue falls into that category and this is a matter of selfishness for overlooking that! As you can see, I've got this broken, alcoholic brain, that just doesn't know yet how to differentiate my desires with my true motives here. That being said, this is my first post on the forums, and I greatly appreciate having a portal to ask a question like this, and I thank anyone who takes the time to guide me in this ahead of time! Thanks!

Okay, so onto my problem. I am a recovering alcoholic and (at the risk of being ostracized) a recovering cocaine addict. The purpose of me bringing that up is so that I can be as honest as possible and to fully express the reality of the situation I brought upon myself. My son, William, is almost 5 months old. His mother and I got pregnant about a month into our relationship. I drank and I used prior to us getting together and all the way through her pregnancy. I am not going to sugar-coat it, I was a disaster. I spent all of our extra money, having only enough to pay for our rent and food occasionally. We didn't starve, though my now ex girlfriend would like people to believe that. We both lived comfortably, though I drank every day and came home drunk every night, she never minded it until later in the pregnancy.

She moved out about a month after my son was born, to live with her parents and her sisters, because my apartment was a drug haven and I would not perform my fatherly duties. It took 2 weeks before I decided to move back into my mothers house and attend rehab. I got out and committed to a 90 and 90. I stayed sober 82 days. I moved back out to the town where my girlfriends parents live and relapsed within a week. I tried to go back to work where i was previously employed, and the people, places and things I revisited quickly pulled me back.

I IMMEDIATELY got on a bus and moved back in with my mother and started to recommit to treatment the morning after my slip. I drank, and I used marijuana but I didn't use cocaine. I wasn't honest in the act when my girlfriend called me, but I planned on being honest and telling her the next morning. She found out through the grapevine before I told her and told me that "we are done don't talk to me ever."

Up until this point we were in a relationship still, we had never split up. Though we were living far away from each other while I was recovering, I called often with a good morning and good night and inquired about our son. I got a part time job while I was at my mother's and saved some money so we could get a place together, and offered her money more than ponce, to which she refused.

So we have not spoken in over a week, and she told my mother she would be filing for sole custody of my son and would be changing his last name! I already filed paperwork for visitation and am waiting on a response, for I am not capable of taking care of him at this juncture. I am going to take my recovery seriously this time and get things on track. In the meantime, I worry about my rights as a father.

I have never received any criminal charges for anything. I don't want to have a custody battle, but it looks like I'm not going to have a choice. I have not seen any paperwork from her yet. Does anybody else have any experience in this matter? What are my chances of having him taken away from me fully? What steps could I take to show I'm fully committed to being a better father and that I will not damage my son's future in any way?

I'm powerless over this thing, and my girlfriend wants to put it all on me. If I am to stay sober I need to overcome this, I can't ignore it and focus on my program. Every day I wait and let her take the reigns is every day I am seen as neglectful and not present. I hear I am not supposed to worry about what other people think, but this is MY SON... I'm at a loss folks, any advice would mean the world to me!

-Just another co-dependent alcoholic
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Re: I'm an Alchoholic, and a Father, who needs some advice!

Postby Brock » Wed Nov 01, 2017 4:36 pm

Welcome here Joshua, sorry about the delay in your post going up, it normally takes less time, but it's only the first one that has the delay, it's a method to avoid the spam internet sites receive.

Your post is fine where it is, and you have really given a good account of the position you are in. One of the best things for me was the quick action when you did slip, right back to the program, well done.

As you may know, AA members are wary about giving advise of a medical or legal nature, the literature tells us we shouldn't. But I will take a chance the others won't be annoyed if I give a little advise, because some things are standing out which I believe could relieve the stress you are under, with the uncertainty of losing your child. Of course if you can afford it, a visit to a lawyer is a good move, but from my experience, I am sure fathers don't loose their rights over things like this. At the very most a judge may say any time the child is with you would be supervised, for example he may stay at your mothers during the times you have him, even that is unlikely. Keep any threats she sends about taking him away or changing name etc, texts or whatever, just keep it.

As you said you need to focus on your program, and I am guessing you haven't completed the steps, which is what leaves us open to the words in the book, “we have no defense against the first drink.” Because I like his hard hitting style, and because he was also a cocaine user, I was greatly helped by going to you tube and typing in 'AA Chris R,' you will find many speaker tapes by him, listen to what he says and do the steps.

I am sure others will offer words of encouragement, it's nice to have you here with us.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
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Re: I'm an Alchoholic, and a Father, who needs some advice!

Postby PaigeB » Thu Nov 02, 2017 12:25 pm

It is not so easy to change a person's name. Courts want everyone to agree on such things - especially custody and visitation. Courts tend to look highly upon non-custodial parents who seek to have visitation and pay child support (which is standard - you can look up Uniform Child Support Enforcement Act). Visitation is not based upon ability to pay and it is almost always seen as the best for a child to have contact with both parents.

You might wish to retain an attorney - I am not one. Maybe file the papers for visitation on your own or with your own attorney, maybe in the city/county/state where the baby is. Most states have forms online or otherwise where you can represent yourself without an attorney. If you can't find them online, call the Clerk of the Civil Court the baby's place of residence.

This is all opinion of course and perhaps I have given too much opinion! Not unusual for me LOL... but IMHO - solidifying these things usually makes everyone more comfortable and is, most importantly, in the best interest of the child. But take care that you do not put any priority over sobriety. Resentments in court show like a black eye... so work the Steps (with a sponsor if you can) and be the BEST Dad ever!
If I'm not able to say how I'm working my program today, then I'm not working my program.
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Re: I'm an Alchoholic, and a Father, who needs some advice!

Postby Wiganman » Thu Nov 02, 2017 2:24 pm

Hi Joshua, thank you for sharing your story. We can all relate to how your life has got out of control and given you some consequences as a result of your addictive behaviours.

I don't have any direct experience of custody cases but I do hear in the rooms of AA similar stories of how male and female members had lost access to their children due to their drinking. In almost all cases when that alcoholic started to attend AA and work the program and change as a person their lives changed. This includes now having a good normal relationship with their children and usually an amicable relationship with their ex-partner.

The message is that the answer to your problems is to get yourself better and concentrate on your recovery. That means regular attendance at AA meetings, finding a sponsor and working the steps. You already sound like your are well on your way with step one.

I wish you luck, I really do. I found the answer to all my problems and wrecked life in Alcoholics Anonymous and I have never looked back
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