Todays author is 16 years old and has written this piece anonymously. The self-awareness is incredible and there is so much to be learned from such a piece. If you feel like you need help and support as someone affected by a parents drinking then Nacoa are there to support you with a helpline that you can call completely anonymously, as well as an email service and message boards, all of which can be fond through their website. I also run a ‘secret group’ on Facebook for anyone impacted by a parents drinking that I can add you to if you visit my Facebook page.
If you would like to share your story as someone affected by a parent drinking then please do get in touch.
For many children of alcoholics who have moved away from a toxic parent or have grown up to live an independent life, there is a constant routine of thoughts that replay in the mind. For me, I try to put up a mental guard but the longer I go without addressing these thoughts the worse it gets until all the thoughts pour out in a giant breakdown. These usually happen in two different ways. Either total frustration or total silence and isolation. I always reflect back on these times and wonder why I never told anybody but even now I still don’t. I always longed to sit down and talk about the things that happened at home living with an alcoholic, as difficult as it may be, as I feel as though it wasn’t a talked about subject. It simply happened and was acted as though it never happened which always upset me as I felt I wasn’t allowed to be upset about it and that my feelings weren’t valid.
So I tried to deal with things on my own but it’s hard to help yourself get out of a dark place.
I tried to come up with solutions to make myself feel better but with the feeling of not being able to talk to anyone , it only led to suicidal thoughts and self harm which have developed into a coping technique for other things including anxiety which still happen.
I experience a lot of anxiety which I don’t like to talk about as I get frustrated with myself because I feel anxious all the time and can’t do basic things which sets me back. I feel pathetic that I get very anxious over things other people do with ease. Such as leaving the house, or asking for help with schoolwork.
It’s like I’m constantly battling with confidence and anxiety and anxiety always wins.
I get angry at myself that I can’t focus or concentrate on anything I’m doing and I forget things within the space of a few seconds because it makes school 10 times harder. I don’t eat when I’m in school because I feel so sick all the time due to anxiety which doesn’t help. Talking about alcohol and the addiction of it always sets of a panic attack and I don’t understand why. It’s like my brain thinks I’m in danger and has developed a natural instinct of a flight response when anything about alcohol is brought up that triggers memories. A bad anxiety day always puts me in a low mood. I constantly tell myself “what’s the point in living a life where your constantly on edge and unhappy”. I worry that if I can’t even ask for help when I’m stuck in school how would I ever be able to attend an interview for a job. I always wonder if I’d of been a completely different person if I hadn’t of grown up with an alcoholic mum.
The months running up to Christmas and New Years are always the worst memory wise. They were the times when everything went down hill and when mums alcoholism got worse. Last Christmas was my first Christmas without being with my mum and even being away from her I didn’t enjoy it. It was drunken phone calls and text messages calling me names but then begging me to give her another chance , as well as floods of memories from past times. Last year she went missing and told my brother she had intended to kill herself and it was because I wouldn’t see her. It made me feel so guilty and still partly does because if anything did happen I’d feel as though it was my fault.
There are thousands more things I could go on to write about but for now I’ll leave it here.