I am grateful for the glimpse I had of you

Today’s anonymous piece is beautiful in the way it reflects on some of the memories that can be easily lost in the pain of having an alcoholic parent. Not all alcoholic parents are amazing parents behind the drinking but often it is the case that they are and this piece captures that perfectly.

If you feel you need support as a COA then Nacoa are here to listen. If you would like to share your story as a COA then please get in touch. (Please bare with me on the backlog, I will respond as I work through it. 🙂 )

I got chatting to someone the other day…she told me she was envious, her Mum had severe mental illness, she never saw the real her. She said she had wished her mum drank when she was young, at least sometimes then she would have seen her sober and normal, she felt she only ever saw her poorly, what a different angle to view things from…..

So I wanted to say thank you Mum

Thank you for the four years you gave me before alcohol crept in, thank you for carrying me, for keeping me safe inside you, for feeding me for my first year, I remember you said I never wanted food, sounds to me like we once had a wonderful bond.

Thank you for taking me for a picnic when I was 3, we went to a meadow, it was magical, and thank you for my birthday card you sent into CBBC, they didn’t show it on the TV and you cried, thank you for caring once Mum.

Thank you for waiting for me at the school gates on the days you could get there, you never knew the excitement I felt when I saw you as I peeped round the door of my class, it wasn’t very often, sometimes weeks or months went by, but I want you know I just loved it, I still remember your blue hoody, it was so cosy to snuggle into,

Thank you for being so brave when you knew it had all got too much, it must have been hard to let me go, but in your own way you made sure I was safe. Sometimes it just wasn’t right for me to be with you, and Grandad did a great job, he wasn’t you though, and I secretly cried too most days,

Thank you for trying again and again, repeatedly to stay sober, you were so strong to do it, and the side effects of that were the most painful to watch! You were a warrior in those times, and I was with you, holding your hand through the chaos that ensued…you even once said out loud that you knew there was a problem, I can’t imagine how hard that must have been!

Thank you for being the Mum that all my friends could laugh with, you really were ace! You wore my Nirvana t-shirt, and your smile was all I could see, those days where the alcohol glazed eyes were no more, however few they were, I no longer had to tell them I was busy, or ignore them when they asked where I lived,

Thank you for the ridiculous chats, we talked about anything, there was no slurring, you didn’t judge, you cared about me, I know you did deep down, and that’s taken me 15 years to say, but I get it now and do you know why?

Because I’m recreating those magical glimpses of you with my babies, those tiny special moments are running through me, and as much as you have broken me, and made me worry of the Mum I am, I also love the Mum I am becoming because of you!

I laugh until I cry with them, I’m ridiculously silly with them, I get on their level sometimes so there is no parent and child, just a stream of magic that we’re all part of, and that’s from you, and I know once you felt it too,

I know we started with a bond, a strong attachment, because if not why can’t I think of the grandparent you’d be without my chest aching, literally a breathtaking physical pain? I will always try to separate my memories of you from the drink, and remember the sober times, however small they were, and I’ll tell them about the real you, just my Mum,

Tomorrow I may feel different, no two days are the same, but today I just want to thank you…..

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