This is an altered re-post. It has been written anonymously but the first time round the author decided they weren’t comfortable with some of the content and so the piece was removed instantly and they decided to re-write another piece. That is in itself shows courage and awareness.
Remember, if you have been affected by a parents drinking, Nacoa is on hand to offer love and support. If you would like to share your story then get in touch and lastly if you don’t already know about our secret Facebook group then contact me through my facebook page if you would like to join.
I’m 16 and so much has happened so far in my life that trying to briefly summarise it has been difficult.
For as long as I can remember my mum has been an alcoholic. If you were to ask me what good memory I had with my mum I couldn’t tell you one. Everything was always ruined by alcohol. Overtime it rapidly got worse. When I was little she would drink of a night but would drink heavily and pass out on the couch. It was a constant routine of work, drink and pass out. As I moved into teenage years she drank more and at earlier hours. She would skip days and sometimes weeks of work in order to drink.
I received texts from my sister in the early hours in the morning whilst I was at school telling me mum had been drinking again and was passed out.
When drunk she could barely move or talk. Me and my siblings had to constantly monitor her until she settled and would have to push her up the stairs to bed. She would continuously get out of bed and I would try to stop her which led to her being physically and verbally abusive. Her stumbling around at night resulted in her falling down stairs, breaking dishes and choking on food. Without alcohol she was irritable and aggressive. If I told her my concerns about her drinking she would sarcastically laugh in my face or scream and shout pushing me out of the room telling me to “fuck off” and if I didn’t like her drinking to leave.
Weekends and holidays consisted of mum drinking from around 6am and staying in bed all day. She refused to go food shopping because she had either blown all her money on alcohol or was too drunk to drive to the shop.. There are beyond bad times I remember very vividly which still now sometimes occur in dreams or flash into my mind when something reminds me of it. It could simply be just when someone mentions the word alcohol or seeing the alcohol she drank in a shop.
I remember being so heartbroken looking at her but I had no choice as I had to care for her.
We would find bottles all round the house. In the washing machine, under her mattress, in coffee cups, bedside tables. I would take bottles from her and she would scream and shout and I would lock myself in the bathroom terrified. There were times my friends had to pick me up from the side of the street because I’d been chased out of the house. She constantly lied and told me she was had stopped drinking. I’d come downstairs wanting to tell her something exciting I had remembered that happened during the day only to find her passed out on the couch with bottles stuffed down the side. On a daily basis she would tell me I was a disgrace and that it will “be happy days when you leave”. She would pick me up from school when she had been drinking and I remember being terrified being in the car with her. I always knew when she had been drinking because her eyes would sink and you could smell it on her. My older sister got kicked out of the house after standing up to my mum. After this everything got worse again. It was always me and her fighting against mum whilst my brother stayed out of it so without her I was left by myself. I became so anxious, depressed and constantly felt lonely. I began staying in school for as long as possible or would sit in a park by myself so I didn’t have to go home. I found it hard to concentrate and fell behind with work which led to a decline in my school performance.
I would feel sick in the last lesson of the school day with the realisation that I had to go home.
When I found bottles in the house she constantly tried to buy my silence and love by telling me she would take me the cinema and for a meal but by the time the day came she would spend the night drinking again.
I’m summer 2015 after just turning 15 I finally stood up against my mum which resulted in me being kicked out. I had to stay with my auntie for a few weeks. My brother still lives with my mum.
After I was away from my mum everything hit me.My anxiety increased a lot. Getting out of bed some days was impossible. I began to care less and less about everything. I wouldn’t talk to anyone and if someone was to ask if I was okay I instantly burst into tears. School had always been an escape but now it felt like a challenge. I started to hate school. Teachers and classmates constantly joked about how they were an alcoholic and I’d force a smile meanwhile a million images of a drunken mum swarmed my mind. Lessons revolving the topic of alcohol would set of panic attacks and I would leave the lesson in floods of tears. Everyone talked about prom and how their mum was helping them get ready. I began to miss days of school every week due to the fear that something about alcohol would come up. Social anxiety made me feel sick with fear during lessons especially Pe. I felt like I wasn’t good enough and that I constantly embarrassed myself. There were times were my mind was completely shut off and I felt so down that I would sit in lessons and the entire time I would stare at the desk or out the window. I would try to signal to teachers anyway i could that something was wrong but no one noticed. I couldn’t ask for help with work because i was so scared and intimidated of authority figures. These are still my main fears for going back to school in September.
To this day things are still rough. The memories and feelings are still strong and with me on a daily basis which is hard and tiring. Mum is still the same and tries to contact me which frustrates me. I don’t miss my mum but I wish I had a motherly figure. As much as I’d like to talk about how I’m feeling face to face with someone i find it very difficult and overwhelming and I’m very wary of people and find it difficult to trust them. There are many things I still have to overcome. Anxiety is the main one. I don’t leave the house much and if I do it causes panic. Interacting with teachers and other adults I still find intimidating and struggle to make eye contact with as well as people my own age. Anger is still with me daily mainly due to my mums mistreatment of other’s ,still including me, which results in unhealthy coping techniques. I don’t think I could have a relationship with my mum even if she does stop drinking because I don’t think I could ever trust her again or not be afraid living with her. A mum is supposed to be your best friend but mine put alcohol before me and that is something I will never forget.
3 Comments Add yours
This sounds just like the life I lived through from the age of 11 just with added suicide attempts…. 😔 I find it hard still to think of my teenage years when I was living with it day in and day out…its comforting to know I wasn’t the only one going through the trauma..
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The title of this post made me say to myself ‘me too’, and I can relate with a lot of this – my mum put alcohol before me too, and continues to do so. I’m 36 now but the effects of a parent’s drinking, even when you’ve escaped the home where it happened and despite having had counselling, never really go away. I still suffer with anxiety and can relate to the feeling mentioned above of being embarrassed of myself all the time despite there being absolutely no reason to feel that way. I also felt scared of authority figures and still do to some degree – relationships with managers are difficult for me at work and I struggle at things like job interviews as I go in there a nervous wreck before it’s even begun. I too miss a motherly figure in my life, and whilst I had my grandma when I was younger I don’t think she knew what was happening at home. I find it hard to trust people and have no close friends as I won’t let anyone in for the fear they’ll hurt or disappoint me, or make demands of me or my time. It’s a tough way to live and if I let myself dwell on the effects that my mum’s drinking has had on me then I do start to get angry. The fact is that I can’t change any of that now, but what I can do is look after myself. ACOAs spend so much time feeling responsible for the alcoholics in our lives that we forget to take care of ourselves – it makes us feel guilty! But that’s just what we’ve learned growing up and we need to challenge those thoughts and feeling because they’re wrong. We are NOT responsible for the alcoholic and no matter how guilty it makes us feel, we have to put ourselves first. It’s horrible being a teenager, stuck in a house with an alcoholic parent that you can’t escape. I just want say to the person who so bravely posted this, THINGS WILL GET BETTER! I know it won’t feel like it now but I and many other ACOAs are proof that you will get through this. Stay strong and keep looking forwards (my favourite saying ever: ‘don’t look back; you’re not going that way’.)
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My mother was addicted to prescription meds. I so relate to the original poster. I was afraid to take friends home, I dreaded my mum coming into contact with my friends parents or my teachers. I never knew what I would find when I got in from school. The biggest effect was on her mood. I was scared of her.
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