First off, a gentle hug and please know he did not break your heart on purpose. He is sick. He is an addict.
One of the most difficult situations is trying to help a family member with addiction. The life of someone we love is going right down the toilet unless something is done. Since our addicted loved one isn't doing anything, we naturally feel the need to bail them out. This is a recipe for disaster with most addicts.
Your Dad told all he wanted to get better and he may have in that moment. It isn't that your Dad wants to deceive you or let you down in any way. It's that the drug has become who he is. He feels the drug is essential to survival, so, when forced to make a choice between his loved ones or his drug, like most addicts he chose the drug.
When he voluntarily quit and checked himself into a program, you had hope. He was not able to make it outside the controlled environment. Sometimes, when you're trying to save someone they pull you under. Be careful, you have a life of your own.
Practicing a principle called detachment is something everyone must consider doing with an addicted loved one. It is not easy. Those of us who are the loved ones may find the only solution is to love the addicts but turn them over to God's care.
At first glance, detachment seems heartless but ultimately it's the most loving, healthy, and hopeful step you can take for yourself and for your Father.
Detaching may seem like giving up, but the only thing you give up when you break away from being controlled by your Father's addiction is the illusion of your being in control. You cannot save a drug addict that does not want to be saved. A 20 year habit is a very long time.
The one you can save is yourself. I think, perhaps, you need to begin to detach emotionally from your Father.
My heart goes out to you as I do understand your situation and the loss of a dream of what you hoped your relationship would be.
Please take care of you and let out your feelings. Know you did nothing wrong. Bless you
Kitt, Moderator: Anxiety ~ Panic ~ Crohn's