Would I Have Been A Different Person If I Didn’t Grow Up With An Alcoholic Mum?

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.

7 Comments Add yours

  1. Dani says:

    This was so brave to write and I saw, through your words, my own life. Especially the calls and texts – I moved away to uni last year and the calls and texts became so disturbing I had her listed as a ‘mitigating circumstance’ for my end of year exams (thank god my tutor was understanding). I now set a boundary where I only see her in public places where I can leave when I want (and so if she has an episode I don’t feel manipulated – general reactions from others keep me routed) and set her contact to Do Not Disturb after 9pm. If it’s a real emergency, she won’t be the only one calling me. I hope this helps at all. Wishing you strength and patience.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. coaisathing says:

      Thank you for this. Some really good ideas for setting boundaries


  2. Amanda says:

    A really honest and brave account that all of us can recognise. One thought I had when reading this was my 16 year old self and what I would say to her now looking back 33 years later. My overriding thought was this “Run don’t look back and find your happines”. I didn’t and stayed emmeshed in unacceptable bs that never ever changed. Make your life about YOU not them. You are awesome and no matter how guilty they make you feel know it’s not you. I love the comment about meeting in public places. X

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ali says:

    Hi there – I just want to congratulate you for being who you are and feel very sad for what you have had to cope with at a young age. My mum was an alcoholic and one of my sons is 16 – it’s me who is worrying about him- just now that he had enough dinner, if he’s tired etc. You are so brave. I feel for you with the anxiety as I get the same thing and it can be wearing after a while. Lots of love xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Teresa Hannaway says:

    Wow so brave to share! My youngest is still only 11, and was very much shielded from his father’s behaviour till I finally gathered the courage to put him out. Over the last 18 months his behaviour has spiralled and my boy only has phone contact. He is anxious all the time, he needs constant reassurance in every activity, school, bedtime, trips out, and jumps at every knock on the door. I hope we get him the support he needs. Thank you for sharing your story, makes me feel like we’re not alone. To many children are effected. So unfair.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ampy says:

    Wow! Sweetheart this is a powerful piece I hope you keep writing/talking and are being looked after well. I doubt I could have articulated my feelings so well at 16 I’m almost 50 and still find it difficult to share xx

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Abbie says:

    Wow, it’s so hard letting people in and talking even just thinking about the dark times.. with every thought it must feel like your actually Back there.. it takes a lot of courage to share and I deeply thankyou for doing so. Spking out brings identification keep doing it as little or as much as you can. And remember always you are not alone and it’s OK to feel how you do.. well done 😇❤

    Liked by 1 person

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