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Alcohol support

To any children of alcoholics, how can I best help mine?

16 replies

Eesha · 07/05/2018 09:32

I recently left my ex due to his drinking and anger issues. I look at my small children who love him but whom he hardly sees or has time for. I don’t want them to have a lifetime of sadness due to his putting drink above everything. Is there anything I can do to make it easier for them? I made the decision to leave to protect them, and have tried to stay amicable but drink is still ruining him.

OP posts:
ILikeMyChickenFried · 07/05/2018 09:36

You've already done the very best thing you could Flowers

NicEv · 07/05/2018 09:38
Adversecamber22 · 07/05/2018 09:38

Let them know none of it is their fault and well done for putting your dc first.

Sounds like he hardly sees them but I wouldn't want him to be alone with them ever. I would look to your access arrangements.

Good luck with your new life, I hope your being supported by family and friends.

FusionChefGeoff · 07/05/2018 09:38

You can attend Al Anon meetings which are designed to support the family. When they are older, they can also attend to understand the illness better and to learn how to detach with love.

Eesha · 09/05/2018 21:24

Thank you all for your responses. I want him to get better but there is this darkness about him that I can’t seem to fix or help. Even when we were together, he was the same. I just want the kids to see the daddy that he could be.

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HopeClearwater · 21/05/2018 19:55

I just want the kids to see the daddy that he could be

Don’t do this unless he is going to be that daddy ALL THE TIME. Or you will mess with their heads.
I agree with a pp - you have already done the best thing you could have done for them, which is to save them from being brought up by an active alcoholic.
Flowers for you. Such a difficult situation. I wish I’d removed my dc earlier.

ArkAtEe · 06/06/2018 21:39

Child of an alcoholic here and can only offer you my personal experience...

Any prolonged amount of time with my alcoholic father was/is very stressful and upsetting. After my parents split, my dad would take us on holiday and these were the worst times where he would drink the most.

When we saw him on weekends, most of the time we just spent all day in the pub.

The best time to see him was probably when we just went round his for tea on a school night as those visits would only be a couple of hours long.

My opinion is that if you are going to let him see the children then to keep the visits short. I also find it more comfortable to see him in the company of my grandmother, his mother.

However this of course depends on whether you want them to see him at all, and only you can make that decision if you can trust him enough.

lostlalaloopsy · 07/06/2018 18:37

You've done the best thing. My mother didn't leave our alcoholic father until I was in my 20s and I still hold a bit of resentment to her. Good luck, your children will be so grateful to you in the future.

Eesha · 07/06/2018 20:03

Thank you for sharing @lostlalaloopsy and @arkatee. At the moment he comes round to mine and spends a bit of time with them but I doubt he could cope with them for any longer. I just wish he would get his act together, not for me but for them. I feel really sad that they might think he loves drinking more than them.

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Racecardriver · 07/06/2018 20:04

Keep them away from him for a long as it takes to get sober. Nothing worse c than slowly losing all love and resprct for a parent.

jimmyjimmy · 20/07/2018 22:52

This is my life at the moment. I left my husband last year for this reason. I so want him to be the Dad for our child, but he isn't. I can't do anything about it. And the more frustrated I get, it's only me gets upset.

I'm learning every day to stop expecting him to be anything that he isn't. Instead I give all the love, support and nurture to our child. I can't make him be anything and his love of alcohol is stronger than his love for his child. Incredibly sad, but that is why we are not together.

I don't rely on him for support as he does the whole "poor me" attitude. He takes our child after school for tea, but it's a hasty drop off as I know he will start drinking when our child is gone. Weekends are generally 1-5 when I know he is sober. Overnight stays are when I know someone else is there. Its heartbreaking to watch but our child sometimes doesn't even want to go to see their dad. I try and encourage our child to go even for a short time, but if they say no, I respect that also.

Only the drinker can change and change their ways.

Prawnofthepatriarchy · 07/08/2018 15:41

It's very important that you don't misrepresent their dad to your DC. I get that you want to protect them but part of the harm done to the children of alcoholics is when the rest of the family cover for drunken behaviour.

So, for example, if he lets your DC down because of his drinking, be truthful.

I'm both a long term sober alcoholic and the child of one. My DF's drinking wasn't discussed so I learnt it was a shameful secret. It was glossed over so I learnt incidents were portrayed as accidents or the fault of others rather than caused by his drinking.

I endorse what others have said about Al Anon. There's Al Ateen too

Prawnofthepatriarchy · 07/08/2018 16:43

@Eesha, I'm sending you an email notification as I expect you're not monitoring this thread.

Eesha · 07/08/2018 20:18

Thank you all so much. TBH we don’t see each other much now because he has become very lazy about coming on the allotted days. My kids are just babies so I believe they will forget him sadly if he continues this way. I focus on building a strong network around them so they don’t feel sad in any way in the future. I do feel disappointed in him, the drink has just taken over him.

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Prawnofthepatriarchy · 07/08/2018 21:40

If they gradually forget him through his neglect so much the better. It would be worse if he said he was going to see them and then kept letting them down. Far better that he just fades.

However he may suddenly decide to take an interest years later. If that's because he's got sober that might be good news. If it's just something like him pretending for the benefit of a new partner it'll be difficult. But in both cases you'll need to be honest with your DC about why he hasn't been in their lives.

Eesha · 09/08/2018 16:12

Good advice, thank you. I do feel sad for them but he just can't pull himself together which is frustrating. We both really wanted the children but feels like now he just doesn't have the energy to make any effort with them

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