I’m Glad I Have Finally Found A Voice.

Todays piece has been written by a popular coaisathing blogger and is their 3rd piece an in their words –

‘Im glad I have finally found a voice through these blogs and the amount of love received by other people makes me so happy. Id like this one to include my name this time please. Thank you!’

So, with that in mind, this piece has been written by Olivia, aged 16.

If you feel affected by a parents drinking then Nacoa are there for you in a whole range of ways, so check out the website. On Facebook we have a ‘secret group’ that is strictly for people affected by a parents drinking to offer each other peer-to-peer support, message me on facebook for details. I also now have my own youtube channel that you may want to check out as well as the Nacoa youtube channel. 

If, like Olivia, you would like to share your story then please get in touch. 



When it comes to writing about my life with an alcoholic mum I always tend to focus on the anxiety side of things and not the depression and anger side. I dislike talking about this side because I feel pathetic that I let someone who doesn’t care about me get to me so much. But it does.

It gets to me that alcohol made my mum have no interest in who I was as a person. She didn’t know me or the things I liked. She didn’t know where i was or what i did half the time because she was always drunk. She didn’t attend parents evenings. She didn’t take me to sports clubs or ask how it went after I had been. Drinking was always more important than anything else, so it made me feel as though i wasn’t important and no matter how perfect i could try to be, it would never be enough.

It gets to me that I was never allowed to think for myself. Confronting my mum about her problem only made her scream in my face of how it never happened and how I was being brainwashed by other people to believe she had a problem even though I clearly saw for myself every single night. I would even record and show videos back to her and ask her to stop drinking and she would tell me that the video I recorded was from ages ago and when i would ask her to stop drinking she simply said “no”.

She always had to be right and she never apologised and made me feel as though I had to apologise to her when i had done nothing wrong.

It gets to me that no day was ever free of alcohol or arguments. We would go for a meal for birthdays and she’d be drunk before we even got there and then would be in a hurry to get home to drink more. There would be intense arguments every single night till all hours in the morning about her drinking.

It gets to me that I cared for my mum more than she cared for me.

Every night it was following her around the house, undressing her for bed, helping her in after a night out, helping her get to the toilet etc It was anger and frustration of trying to be nice and get her to bed safely while she’s pushing me and screaming at me. It was embarrassment when people where round at the house and she’s stumbling everywhere in her underwear picking scraps of food from plates like a zombie.

It gets to me that it was constant arguments in the shop. Me begging her not to buy alcohol and her continuously saying “its only for tonight” and I would stupidly always believe her.

It gets to me that she put alcohol before me and she kicked me out of her life instead of alcohol. You constantly ask yourself how worthless you must be that your own parent put a drink before you.

It gets to me that today she hasn’t changed one bit and that i still get blamed for her drinking and I’m expected to have a relationship with her just because she’s my mum when she never was a mum. Theres constant voicemails and messages telling me she’s had a breakdown because I wont talk to her and threats that if i don’t call back she would wait outside the school for me.

Most importantly it gets to me that its permanently affected me and most likely will my whole life. Its annoying not being able to fully describe everything that happened and just how bad it was. Its changed who I am as a person. The way i feel and react about things. The way i cope, the way I act, the way i speak and the way i think. Basically the way i live. I’m quiet, i get overly stressed at the slightest things and cant cope with it. I have moments where i just explode with rage when things get too much due to built up anger, which could be at the slightest things.There are periods where I’m just blank and I don’t have the energy to talk to people, which can last for weeks and i get annoyed if people talk to me because it means me finding the energy to say something back. I can’t be alone or focus on anything without getting lost in overwhelming thoughts and I wake up feeling sick and tearful nearly everyday and fall asleep crying. I feel as though I’m held back by what happened and i don’t know how to start fresh and live a life where I’m happy and care free.

I don’t like who I am.

I feel like I’m a completely different person to who I’m supposed to be. I feel weak, but the only thing that I like about myself is that no matter how i feel i will always find the time to smile and show kindness towards people.

There are many more things I’m discovering about myself that happen as a result of living with an alcoholic. I notice I am very hyper vigilant. The slightest noise could make me flinch. When trying to have a conversation with someone in a busy area the background noise of other people becomes increasingly loud and it causes panic. I laugh when i talk about living with my mum because i get so nervous and don’t know how to cope with hearing the reality of it all.. I always hear things negatively, even things that may be compliments just not as directly said as I’m so used to hearing critique. I will always have a friend with me when talking to teachers so they can say back to me what they translated in their head, which is always different to what my head translates. I hide any negative feelings I have and always put on this happy act as it’s what i learnt to do. In my mind, negative feelings are associated with negative reactions.

Olivia – age 16

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Charlotte says:

    I have read your blogs and wish i could give you a hug. Not out of pitty but because i have walked this path. I am 1 of 4 children, my mum was an alcoholic and to this day we all deal with depressing, anger, anxiety. You are an amazing person for sharing this and i only wish i new about blogs and other peoples stories when i was your age. Keep working hard and keep your head up.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Annie says:

    Your an amazing young woman Olivia. Exceptional communication explaining your/our fears and feelings. Because of your experiences , you can relate and are supportive to others suffering ,be proud of you X
    Get your support from speaking out for young people as you do its so unfair to have an alcoholic parent you have every right to get angry.
    Although best to beat up a pillow really well ! Nacoa can help you chose articles and books so you can gain further understanding of COA and expand your resilience further. I think your fab. Best wishes Annie.

    Like

  3. Ali says:

    Thank you for sharing this Piece it’s so well written and I can sense your frustration about the unfairness of it all. I feel angry too- on your behalf. It makes me wonder why should a young person have to look after their own parent to the point of undressing them and helping them to and from the toilet and bed instead of themselves receiving proper support and protection. I’m so sorry your mum was an alcoholic and I can relate – my story is ‘ secrets and lies..’ Keep strong, you are amazing. Xx

    Like

  4. Tree says:

    Wow Olivia! Brilliant piece. If my daughter ( who just gone 15) could put into words how she feels I’m guessing it’s pretty similar! I’ve shared it on Facebook for her. Her father doesn’t even speak to her now because she has an opinion about his drinking. I just hope my support and other services are enough to see her through to being able to not feel like it’s her fault. Stay strong and thank you for sharing x

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Eugene says:

    Very powerful writing and I work in this field and can relate to why you say , addiction is a very self serving behaviour where nobody else matters, the person in addition feels it’s only them but this is so far from the truth.
    I wish you well in the future and can hear how strong you have had to be .

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Rini says:

    Hi Olivia,

    You articulate so well how difficult it is when a parent chooses alcohol apparently over their own child! It’s not how parents or life should be. I have my own children and would NEVER do that to them.

    I hope you have people or even just one person professionally to help you make sense of this mess, chaos and those negative feelings. I want you to know it’s absolutely not you or your fault, none of this is you – it’s the powerful effect of alcohol.

    I say this as a now adult child of an alcoholic father (who died when I was 21) and as someone who works in healthcare. I sadly see this more often than I would like.

    Good luck, you are in my thoughts. X

    Liked by 1 person

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