Today is the day I sit down and truly share my story on growing up in a alcoholic home.
Looking from the outside we looked like a happy little family. Growing up in a nice little town in Colorado I was an only child, it was myself and my parents
Unfortunately, when you step foot into the house of lies yourself, you will see whats its really like to be a daughter of not 1, but 2 alcoholic parents.
As a child, I wanted to do ANYTHING to prevent any kind of conflict or stir that would end with me in tears, resenting, and honestly scared of these two people that are my parents. To prevent conflict, this meant doing as my parents said. Making sure I was home on time, chores, getting them things ect.
There were rules that they made that i followed that were the “Normal” for me:
-Making sure if I needed to go anywhere or have a playdate, it was right after school (around 3:00) to only around 4:00 if they were picking me up (they usually called saying they were to tried and persuaded me to ask the parent of my friend for a ride.) OR the playdate was in walking distance so I could walk home. This was all because they started drinking right after work, my father would get off around 2:00pm and he would crack his first beer right after he settled in. My mother would get home around the same time and start the same routine.
-I had to get myself up every morning to get ready, and catch the bus that picked me up around the block for school at 8:40. I had to learn to pack my own lunch, make breakfast, ect. All at the age of 8 (1st grader)
-If I were to have homework after school they would attempt to help up until they just couldn’t understand it anymore (3rd grade) so homework became a priority of mine.
– Weekends were my parents “day off” so that means they “worked so hard” all week that it was okay to become couch potatoes for the weekend and drink the days away.
-Every night dinner was around 4:30 because it had to be made early so it wouldn’t interfere with drinking, and bedtime for them was 7:30 or 8:00 because they had “a long day” (AKA Hammered) These are only a few examples of how my life was but you get the gyst that it was a little unusual .
Dont get me wrong, I’m an only child they do anything for me. I have been well taken care of and i was put as top priority, They both worked full time and made sure food was on the table and a roof was over our heads. but as I got older i realized all their kind gestures like buying me things, or paying my way was only to excuse their drinking and make it unapparent. Coincidentally, every time we got into a an argument it’s always what I got punished for.
“All the things we do for you, and your treating us like this?”
“We just bought you ALL these school supplies and you’re going to act like a ungrateful little winch?”
These manipulating words were always, (and still are) their comebacks. Weird right? isnt it a parent’s job to take care of their child’s needs? I always would leave the argument frustrated that I just couldn’t get through to them ever, and sometimes believe all the nasty things they would say about me, and make me feel like i was a bad daughter.
As I grew older, the addictions my parents had became more obvious to me. I knew in my heart that my life wasn’t like anyones at school, they were all talking about the great vacations they went on, really cool places they visited on their weekends, and my weekends always consisted of being sat in front of a tv or occupying myself.
Holidays were the WORST. My father would go to a family gathering fine, and as the night went on he got louder and more obnoxious. These nights my mom, (as drunk as him) would have to drive home. I remember always being so embarrassed that he would act out like that. On those car rides home, he would be listening to his classic rock mumbling under his breath idiotic statements he turned to me that night on the way home and said to me
“Im going down tonight Im leaving this earth.”
I remember the fear i felt thinking “Is he seriously dying?” I would panic and ask my mom if he was serious, and she would say
“he’s okay he’s just really tired, he’s talking about sleeping.”
Her word never soothed my fears because it was clearly a lie to cover up how fucked up he got at the family get together. The nights he would mumble these idiotic statements I would literally go into my parents room while he was sleeping with a flashlight, crawling on the ground and going up too him and looking at his chest to make sure he was actually still breathing. I would do this a few times to help make myself feel better because they weren’t going to comfort me.
My father had so many bad drunk occasions where he would fall, crawl to bed, one time he was so drunk trying to pee he ran his ass through the wall trying to save a fall. He also has fallen down a hill and broke his arm (on my birthday of course.) I always found myself worrying about him and the way he was acting.
One weekend my mom was leaving for a weekend with her sister to visit their brother who owns a cabin in Grand Lake. I was Mortified to stay alone with my father when I knew his antics on weekends. Get plastered. So, the night before my mother left I wrote my dad a letter stating that I didnt want him to get drunk because I hated it when he was. He didnt get drunk around me for months because he felt so bad.
As years went on, my father didnt act out, and wouldnt let himself get so intoxicated anymore. He knew his limit and he would stop. These are the years I finally started to realize my mothers bad drinking problem. Being at a young age, its hard to notice a functioning alcoholic compared to a person who gets out of control when drinking like my father. This was all because simply falling all over the place and being out of control is obvious if you are intoxicated which was my father. My mother was the functioning alcoholic, she never started to slur,fall all over the place or anything crazy. She was the one who always acted normal until I got older and could see the difference. She always forgets things, repeats everything 499 times, and just tries to be funny and in your face. At 13, and beginning all these crazy hormones I began to really see what alcohol did to her, and it annoyed me more than anything. Thinking back to my early teens all I can think about it how much me and my mother fought. It was always about something stupid and it would always land me in my room. There were times she would get in face and say “WHO THE FUCK DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?” and pull my hair.
At 15, my view on my mother and her drinking forever changed every aspect of my thinking. Before the incident, I guess you could say I had faith she would change, or this was just MY normal. I didn’t really resent her until this night; I was 15, and I was staying at my best friend Emmas house, we were watching movies on her couch in the living room and all the sudden my phone rings. My parents were in BlackHawk this night to go gambling. It was my mother on the phone and i figured she was calling to tell me she won.
“Hi joey, its Momma.” She says in her distraught drunk voice.
“Is everything okay?” I ask concerned.
“Well, I fell down the stairs and I’m at the hospital now, I broke my ankle.”
At this moment the thought of her falling because of her being drunk was my first reaction.
“Oh momma, are you okay? Are you home? Do you want me to come home?”
“Were on our way home, but you stay at emmas tonight, dont worry im okay. Just have fun okay?”
“OK.” I say a little disappointed.
How could you have fun after you hear that your mother fell down the stairs and broke her ankle due to being drunk?
I went home the next day to see what we were dealing with. She was so out of shape she had to be in a wheelchair. Everything was a struggle for her. So, that lead her to sit in her chair and drink, and drink some more. After a few weeks of falling into a deep, dark depression about her broken ankle and not being able to do a damn thing she started to control me. She wouldn’t let me go anywhere or do anything because she was lonely, she began to have sharp pains in her abdomen. We didnt think much of it until she woke me up one morning begging my dad and I to take her to the ER. We get there and I could only think of the worst outcomes. She ended up having Pancreatitis a severe inflammation of the pancreas due to heavy intake of alcohol. She had to only eat Jello and Ice chips for a few weeks until the swelling went down. She got released about being in the ICU for 4 days with 1 doctors note; NO DRINKING.
I swear, this was the best time of my life. She promised leaving the hospital
“I’m never going through that pain again, my drinking days are over.”
“Do you promise mom? You’re going to stop?”
I actually began to enjoy my moms company and we were starting to get along. In this time, we spent so much time together and shared some good days. This only lasted 6 months and she relapsed. The pain of seeing my mother drinking again was outstanding, but what hurt the most was that she broke her promise to me. This made me feel like I was powerless to alcohol and her addiction.
A year later, Pancreatitis caught her again. This time it was even worse. She was hospitalized for 12 days. She was doped up on morphine for the time. The doctors said she had a ? of a pancreas alive and the rest was dead tissue. She was balling, not scared for her life, just scared of the surgery itself.They decided to not so surgery, but it was needed to stop drinking or else she would be where she was or worth, death. People from AA came into to her hospital room just offering a rehab or just to talk about why she drank so damn much. She was insulted and told the woman to the door, a piece of hope went out the door with that woman because my mother needed help to stay sober.
Once she was released, she had the opportunity to do outpatient care at home. We had a woman come by every week to make sure we were following procedure. She had to be hooked up to TPN each night before bed this was her only way of nutrients, she couldnt eat or drink anything. This was routine every night. This was hard to watch. at 16 having to help stick my mom up to tubes to eat, just because of the poison she filled her body with. Once again, she promised she was going to stop this time, and that the pain wasn’t worth it (let alone the medical bill, fuck.)
I was with a friend at my house and it was about 6 months since the out patient care ended and she was back to eating normals foods. I was getting ready to go to a wrestling match at the school and I went out to the living room where my parents were. She must have not seen me coming because all i saw was the silver can up to her mouth; She was caught and shoved it to my dad stating
“Its not flat Kev.”
My face of excitement for the wrestling match went to complete devastation. I couldn’t believe what I just witnessed. I could feel the heat of the anger inside of me build to a boiling point and all I could do is scream.
“HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO ME?! YOU PROMISED YOU WERE GOING TO STOP. YOU’RE GOING TO DIE MOM. HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO ME?!”
That’s all the could come out of my mouth her response was
“Its one beer, it’s not going to hurt me.”
I couldnt even bare listening to her excuses. I could say that is moment was the most heartbreaking, devastating, and feeling of abandonment I could ever feel in my life.
This was the start to a long, dark depression I sank into. I ate all my feelings and began smoking marijuana regularly to feel complete. I never drank because it was the damn devils juice, look what it has done to my mother!!!! I couldn’t stand being nice to her looking at her, or even talking to her without blowing up. What was the worst is all my word to persuade her to stop we’re going in one ear, and out the other. She was like a deer in the headlights. She didnt want to ever see this devil that has consumed my mother.
At this point, I was around the age of 16, I got my first car and i was out of the hell hole. I could not spare one more night in my room listening to the cracks of beer being popped open and the belches that followed. I could not sit on the couch one more night counting one after the other of the beers she put in that system. The most I counted 19 in a matter of 4 hours. I came to the realization that I could not be living my life worrying about my mother anymore I gave her enough worry, hell i gained 25 pounds due to my depression that was all because of her. I got out, got a gym membership and I went for 2 hours a day, everyday. I couldn’t stop, it was like a drug. The high you feel when you run, the burn on squats, lunges, and calf raises. I craved it. I finally lost all the weight and became a workaholic. I did everything and everything to stay away from my house. At the age of 16 I couldn’t move out, that just wasn’t an option. My first job was a pizza girl at a local pizza place. I stayed and became a manager after a few years. I took pride in anything that kept me occupied and sane.
Right now, I’m 19. I’m living part time with my boyfriend of 2 and a half years, and half time at home with my parents. I wish it was possible to move out but financailly it just doesnt add up right now. My mother and father are as bad as ever. My mother was diagnosed with diabetes a year ago and still, is drinking. There are meds that will help her feet that hurt so terribly, but the only way to take this medication is not drinking.
I’ve come to the conclusion that this is my life. I’m watching my mother and father drowned their sorrow lives in alcohol, and this will be the way they leave this life. I always think,
“what the hell is so wrong in your lives that you have to do this everyday?”
“How can you look at yourself in the mirror and accept what your doing?”
“Why won’t you stop for your daughter, to actually have a potential relationship with me? Do you not want to see me get married, have kids?”
Its heartbreaking, and its something that scares me because when they are gone, I have no siblings to mourn with, I have no one that has dealt with this pain I’ve dealt with all my life.
I wonder how much I stand out in a crowd. Can people tell I’m a child of an alcoholic?
I can say that I’m truly blessed with some wonderful people in my life and that have taken interest in me and have told me how amazing I am for beating the outcome of becoming like my parents, and that I’m on a better road. The sad thing is my parents take credit for it, saying they made me who I am, when really I’ve been raising myself since the age of 8.
I hope that my story can help someone out there, and just know you are not the only one dealing with such a hell. I wish I could say it will get better, but I cant promise anything because promises don’t get far as you can see in my story, and Im not going to promise something I cant keep. Thie only promise I can take to my grave is that I will never raise my children the way I was raised. If anyone wants to talk, or discuss anything please feel free to contact me.
KIDS OF ALCOHOLIC PARENTS, YOU ARE NOT ALONE, LET’S STAND TOGETHER AND HELP EACH OTHER FREE OUR MINDS FROM THE PAST THAT OUR PARENTS HAVE GIVEN US. <3