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Readers Respond: How Do You Feel Growing Up With an Alcoholic Parent Has Changed You?

Responses: 981


Updated September 22, 2012

Harmful learning

Currently, instead of using alcohol to deal with things, I am using alcohol to deal with alcohol.
—Guest Cheffy

Just another kid

I have grown up with both an alcoholic mother and an alcoholic father, Im writing this in hopes anyone can relate, so they can feel my support and not feel alone, dealing with the issues around this abuse can tear a person down to nothing, cause when you don't have a family then what do you have? nothing... my mom told me "son, tequila and weed are the best things on this planet" she drinks 2 wine glasses of 1800 a night and my father has passed out drunk on burben since i could remember... the odd thing is, i never faced the obvious truth... that my parents were serious alcoholics, i have memories of me and my brother crawling on my passed out dad opening his eyelids and laughing cause he wouldnt wake up... a harmless memory until i faced reality, i have never in my life seen a night in which they have not drank... they are beyond turning back, and now im left with damage control, i just am forced to love them while i have them, i ignore all the drinking and show them im here for them.
—Guest adam


I too grew up with an alcoholic mother, who was a closet drinker and weekend alcoholic. She and my dad divorced when I was 3 and I moved with my mom and step dad, he was married before with 3 children way older than my sister and I, I was the youngest. My step dad is 13 years older than my mom and he to lied to drink when ever possible, it seemed like very time they drank my mom would go crazy screaming and crying and accusing him of something, which I now believe because he was a sneeky, cheap, ignorant bastard, who abused my sister and I every chance he got. My mom neglected me my whole life, to be with my step father. All I wanted was to be loved and have attention and now it seems like the more woman love me the more I push them away, it has already ruined relationships and screwed me up mentally, I honestly don't know if I'll ever be able to love in return, I still don't have a normal relationship with my mom, because I resist her due to the neglect when I was a child. help please


My mum and dad were alcoholics. They had fights that led to serious harm to each other or the family there was lots of rowdy partying and often my mother would black out and forget to do things for us kids . I am 40 now and it still affects me . I have fought my demons by not drinking but the emotional scars run deep . My brother self harmed a few years ago he cut his finger of . We are both on antidepressants for being ridiculed neglected abused physically mentally. I clung to my mum for years worrying my dad would hurt her and isolated myself because I was ashamed of what was happening in my home.my dad would swear at my visitors. I was relieved when he passed away which I find quite sad. My mum is still alive but has never admitted to the damages she has done she blames dad. Life is so short and I am learning from the past by loving my kids that much more. Relationships are still hard to establish trust but I am working on it. Someone's gotta be the hero in the end.
—Guest Sue


Im 32 and I have grown up with a verbally and emotionally abusive alcoholic mother who is also a narcissist. It is so hard because she can be a wonderful human being at times and so loving, but an absolute monster at other times. She always needs to be the center of attention and is always creating dramas and expecting everyone to feel sorry for her even though it is her fault that everything has happened to her. I am a grown adult but have been financially supporting her for a long time and that includes buying her alcohol. I have grown up with this tragedy all my life - divorce, abuse, poverty and alcoholism. I have tried so hard to make something of my life but she keeps pulling me down with her depression and nastiness. Sometimes I just hang my head and cry, sometimes I hate her so much, I have so much anger for her. I find it hard to trust other people, and human contact feels uncomfortable for me - I am so unhappy in my life and it is all because I cant turn my back on her.
—Guest rita_32

Dad and Mom

My parents got divorced when I was 3. Me and my sister both had to move into a very small apartment. He was an alcoholic and addicted to many other things. i have not seen my dad in 3 years. My mom too is an alcoholic. She tried to commit suicide yesterday, i had to take the knife and put it away. I am 16. No parents.
—Guest Guest Jordan

My mum is an alcoholic

Since I was 7 my mum has been an alcoholic to the point I had to go to boarding school from 8-18. She gets terribly drunk 3-4 times a week systematically. Once she is drunk She gets really rowdy and starts shouting and throwing things at people. When I was 12 on new years I found her at the hotel bar drunk and attempted to help her to her room when she called me a dirty bastard like my dad then hit me. When I was 16 she came back drunk and through a bottle at me, a bottle of perfume and tried to kick me down the stairs. Earlier this week when I tried to confront her she said that she would stab me with a knife if I stopped her and then said that I ruined her life and should have been aborted. Tonight when out with my dad she was drunk and caused a seen in front of everyone where she spat at him and through and ash tray at him. After all this I have managed to separate myself from everything and no longer look at her as a parent or mother but as an individual with problems
—Guest Alex

Same for me

My father is an alcoholic but is in denial. I do try and tell him but he gets defenseless and starts shouting the odds. I am 13 years old and he has always liked a drink from when I can remember, but when I was 11 my mother pasted away and he suffers with depression because of my mother's death so his drinking has worsened. I would love for him to just drink less or even better.... quite for good. I don't like it when I walk in from school and he is already drunk I just want him to stop now but don't know what to do.
—Guest chelzz


My mum when she's sober is always so nice to me. For the the past 5 years now ever since her mum died she drinks, a lot. Sneaks vodka and gets incredibly drunk. This started when I was 10 and I'm now 15. A few months ago I told her how it made me feel when she drank and she promised to stop, said she could, for me. But of course she didn't and it killed me inside. I can't trust her at all. Today she got so drunk she couldn't even sit up straight, and I just got SO mad because we'd been having such a nice time and we were in the middle of watching a movie. And I lost it, I got a full bottle of ice cold water and threw it all over her and then threw the bottle at her. She tried to get up and I pushed her down and screamed at her. I rang my dad to tell him to come home and rang my brother. My mum and dad are currently yelling. This over the years has made me so uncontrollably angry and I also have depression and suicidal tendencies.
—Guest Chloe

I feel helpless

Do u know how hard it is when the person you love more than anyone in this world is suffering and u cant do anything about it? I love my dad soo much he is so intelligent and handsome and has good character WHEN hes sober which is hardly ever! All iv ever wanted to do was have a normal dad and a normal family. My dad has been a depressed alcoholic since i was a child after his sister committed suicide. I remember him beating my mum when i was younger and i would be doing my homework with always half my attention because the other half would be on hearing if they were fighting or if my dad has fallen over or something. My mum eventually left when i was 18 and mu brother was 16, and i have been stuck here trying to look after them since she left and never looked back. But its so hard my brother has now become a serious cannibis and cocaine addict although i tried my best to guide him straight he got in with bad company because he never wanted to stay at home. I feel i failed i am helpless.
—Guest Zakirah

Toxic people

I'm 16 and my mom is an alcoholic. She was born into a family with an abusive alcoholic dad and I guess she wanted to continue the pattern. She is currently in rehab, around her 12th one I think. And per usual is only there court ordered. She has been arrested twice for drunk driving and as a kid drove me drunk many a time. She has screwed up my younger sister beyond imagination into the spitting image of her. My sister has drank, smoked pot, and won't listen to any attempt at parenting. My dad is bad at getting her to behave and she doesnt respect my mom at all but constantly screams at me for not loving her because I want to keep her out of my life after all these horrible things she has done (including cheating on my dad with a drug addict no less). I feel bad as i know I will never have a good relationship with my mom or my younger sister. My baby sister and my dad I can possibly stay friends with as an adult, but I am horrified in the way my younger sister treats the youngest.
—Guest family?


My dad is the alcoholic and my mum is a typical obsessive wife. I'm 16 and for my entire life everything has been focused on his drinking, he only pays attention to alcohol, computer games and possibly the cat, my mum only pays attention to him and his drinking. I spend 95% of my life begging for attention from my parents, I rarely get it and instead I seek it from strangers, always men. My parents are completely unaware of the lengths I go to to get positive attention from men. Being heckled and winked at gives me a sense of accomplishment and pride, at least they noticed me. While my mum tries to notice me, if there is a drama going on with my dad, any arrangements or plans she may have had with me are thrown out the window. Growing up with an alcoholic dad and a mum addicted to controlling has made me resentful, angry and desperate for male attention to make up for the lack of attention my dad gives me.
—Guest Saaaad

Trusting adults

I still have a very hard time trusting and being around men..my dad was the alcoholic and the mental abuse was just as bad as the physical abuse. I am on SSRIs and sleep meds..I am 57 and still tend to avoid certain people. I never abused drugs or alcohol because it made me feel out of control of myself. I have had many years of therapy and that helped a lot. I was diagnosed with PTSD and have been hospitalized for suicidal attempts twice. My dad has passed on now and that helped a lot with the anger and hypervigilance. Time and forgiveness have helped greatly. Therapy, and meds help me a lot.
—Guest Jay

Makes Me Stronger Yet So Painful

My dad was an alcoholic ever since I was little. I was in denial and never realized how bad it was. My mom was my hero, she protected my sister and I. Without my mother I would've been exposed to his behavior as a small child. For the last year he came back from jail sober with a Bible in his hand. When he stopped going to AA he felt freedom and started drinking. When he asked the neighbors for a beer I told him no and dumped most of it out when he wasn't looking. As I dumped it out I realized that took him from my childhood. I was so angry, he was doing so well. I was trying to protect him and he told me that if I know whats best for me I wouldn't tell my mom. I did and I cried in her arms. He came in and told me I was being a hormonal female drama queen. He went to the basement and drank; probably drug dealed. Someone was downstairs with him. He's still down there for all I know. I cant look at a beer without disgust. That beer took away his life as well as him from my childhood.
—Guest Anonymous

Is there any hope?

My father was an alcoholic, when he drinks he become angry and hatefull person.He was beating my mother all most every day then she was beating me, it was terrible time my childhood. When he passed away we found peace. He died when he was drunk ,he fought with one guy and the guy kill him. Now I'm 37 years old I suffer with my self ,my mind is mess, I don't know how to move on? Scarey part I become like my father, I drink a lot, used drug and fight when I was drunk. i don't want to be like him, I dont know what to do? I 'm with some one at 4 years but it doesn't goes well cause of me, I love him to much I don't want to lose him. I din't know it was effect of alcoholic parent ,I just find out . I just want to live life happly with my boyfriend and people whome I love. Please any advice I don't wannna be loser.
—Guest Linda

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How Do You Feel Growing Up With an Alcoholic Parent Has Changed You?

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