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