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AMA

I’m the child of an alcoholic. Ask me anything.

45 replies

marryoneorbecomeone · 08/07/2018 16:45

I’m also in recovery.

OP posts:
LoisWilkersonsLastNerve · 08/07/2018 16:47

Well done on your recovery. When did you realise your parent was an alcoholic? How old were you?

marryoneorbecomeone · 08/07/2018 16:48

I think when I was about 8, because that was the age I was when I could tell if he’d been drinking or not. That’s when an awareness of disordered drinking sort of came to me, although I don’t think I realised “what” it was, just that something was wrong.

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marryoneorbecomeone · 08/07/2018 16:50

It’s weird what comes back - I remember a lot of rows at home and words like “hammered”, “canned” and “sponned” were around and I loved writing stories and these got used in my stories. My teacher, who also knew the family, absolutely bollocked me. Sad

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SecretSquirreller · 09/07/2018 19:07

What kind of alcoholic was your parent?
What was it like for you?
Was it your mum or dad?
Why do you think you became an alcoholic?
X

ApolloandDaphne · 09/07/2018 19:10

Did anyone support you (social work?)?

Were you neglected or did your parents manage to care for you adequately?

niceupthedance · 09/07/2018 19:12

What's been the hardest thing about recovery so far?

Well done btw

milkysmum · 09/07/2018 19:14

Did your parents stayed together?
If they did do you wish the non alcoholic parent had ended things with them- so you were not exposed to the alcoholic parent so much?

Tjzmummabear · 09/07/2018 19:15

Do you wish things were different?

Tinlegs · 09/07/2018 19:15

Me too. Bloody shit way to grow up. My Mum. Stole from me. Screamed abuse. 4 children, 1 an alcoholic. 1 with serious food issues. 1 with other mental health issues. I was the oldest and got away (sort of) at 11 to boarding school. Had the least bad experience but it is bloody awful.

So sorry OP.

Hellywelly10 · 09/07/2018 19:16

I was going to ask if you had addiction issues when i saw the headline. However i can see your in recovery.
So what was your turning point?

Whooptydoo1 · 09/07/2018 19:16

Hi, my parents were both addicts too 👋 my mother still is, did ur dad get sober in the end? Do u have a relationship with him?

ShowOfHands · 09/07/2018 19:22

My Dad was an alcoholic and didn't become sober until I was married with a child and for him, it was symptomatic of undiagnosed mh issues. He says he was an alcoholic from 14 years of age.

I am teetotal for this very reason BUT must point out that he was a brilliant father in all the ways he could control and we are very close indeed. I hope you don't mind me commenting op.

WhittlingIhopMonkey · 09/07/2018 20:02

This reply has been withdrawn

This message has been withdrawn at the poster's request

Marryoneorbecomeone · 09/07/2018 21:52

What kind of alcoholic was your parent? Functional. Certainly not the stereotypical park bench type. He was a chef and we had a restaurant and it sort of went with the territory. I think it's a short stride from being a keen epicurean to a problem drinker.

What was it like for you? If he had been drinking heavily, everything was different and distorted somehow - my mum would be on edge, he would be overly affectionate and trying to be funny, boundaries were crossed, I didn't know whether to be amused or embarassed, it's just how it was.
Was it your mum or dad?Dad, although my mum drank and still drinks heavily.
Why do you think you became an alcoholic? Because, (and when this penny dropped it was the end of drinking for me) in my family, alcohol was so normalised. We were given wine and beer from an early age, every family function was a massive binge for everyone concerned, every picnic had bottles and bottles of wine, it was just how it was. I didn't think it was odd. So I didn't see that I had a problem. My family still don't think I had a problem because by their benchmarks, I don't!

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Marryoneorbecomeone · 09/07/2018 21:55

Did anyone support you (social work?)? No. Not even a whiff of concern from anyone as far as I knew.

Were you neglected or did your parents manage to care for you adequately? I think they managed adequately. We were always fed and looked after, but the damage is the sinking feeling of knowing that "Tuesday is Dad's club day so he'll be drunk so I need to get out of the way." I hated that so so so much.

There were things that I saw that I should have been protected from. Fights (not with each other) and vomiting, and mortifying behaviour. I felt so powerless. And also at the time so unreasonable for being upset, because this was just normal, right?

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Marryoneorbecomeone · 09/07/2018 21:58

What's been the hardest thing about recovery so far?

The first month is mental. You've got so many more hours in the day to sit with the things that make you reach for the bottle in the first place. I've had to become another person. My values have changed, and so have some of my friends, as the things they like doing (weekends on the lash, getting dolled up to do it etc) all suddenly seem pointless and inaccessible. It's been hard to see some people for who they really are, and accept that maybe we were just drinking buddies and no more than that.

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Marryoneorbecomeone · 09/07/2018 22:00

Did your parents stayed together? Yes, they are still together now.

If they did do you wish the non alcoholic parent had ended things with them- so you were not exposed to the alcoholic parent so much?
Yes absolutely. I think it would have sorted both of them out. But my mother is the child of an alcoholic so she couldn't see where the problems lay.

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Marryoneorbecomeone · 09/07/2018 22:02

Do you wish things were different?

That's a very broad question! I wish that alcohol didn't have the place it does in society. I wish that going for a drink wasn't synonymous with meeting up.

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Marryoneorbecomeone · 09/07/2018 22:02

Hey Tinlegs! Hope you're ok now x x

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Marryoneorbecomeone · 09/07/2018 22:06

I was going to ask if you had addiction issues when i saw the headline. However i can see your in recovery.
So what was your turning point?

It's a thread on here actually. I couldn't stop. If a wine bottle was open, I'd finish it, and if there was another one in the house I'd finish that too. It was just a way of life, the thing I did after I put on my PJs. Oddly my drinking in company was less disordered but I'd still go over the top.

I knew I was letting everyone around me, down. I made some really poor judgement calls, was blacking out regularly, and I just couldn't stop. So I knew I had to.

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milkysmum · 09/07/2018 22:07

Thank you for this. I am in the process of ending my marriage to my husband who has drink and drug problems ( cannabis and some cocaine use). He has always been a complete arse with me when drunk but recently started to become increasingly angry and abusive to out daughter also ( she is 9). I also have a son who is 6. My husband is lovely and laid back when sober, but angry as hell with a drink in him. Mainly just verbal but recently pushed by daughter by the neck when drunk ( he denies it but it's true). I've kicked him out but the kids are pleading with me to let him back. Reading this post is helping me stay strong. I'm doing the right this arnt I?

Marryoneorbecomeone · 09/07/2018 22:11

Hi, my parents were both addicts too 👋 my mother still is, did ur dad get sober in the end? Do u have a relationship with him?

Yes I have a relationship with them both. But, when I first stopped drinking, I cut contact with them for over a year. It was for all sorts of reasons but I realise now with hindsight that I needed to step back from them, and just make my own judgements. They, especially my mother, are very domineering.
My Dad has never got sober, he doesn't seem to think it's an issue. You see, this is how normalised it is - that it's ok to get piss your pants drunk, throw up and roll about in the garden, it's funny, everyone does it. Except of course they don't. All their friends are massive drinkers too. Funny, that.

I think the children of addicts carry a terrible burden, and hope you're ok.

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Marryoneorbecomeone · 09/07/2018 22:13

ShowofHands, thanks for your comment. I get that totally. I love my Dad dearly, I'm just sad for him and for us that this got a hold of him and he doesn't even see it's an issue.

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LetticeFortescue · 09/07/2018 22:13

What is your relationship now with your father? And with your mother? If you are angry with them are you angrier with your dad for being the alcoholic, or your mum for not removing you from the situation?

Marryoneorbecomeone · 09/07/2018 22:14

Do any children of alcoholics here find alanon good for supporting families? My parents are alcoholics and it's been suggested I go to alanon but I don't know what to expect

I went once, a long time ago, and then told my mum I had been and she was astonished, I mean really astounded and said she thought I'd had a happy childhood. But of course her perspective is different to mine. It wasnt terrible but there were aspects that were very very fucked up.

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