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

Responses: 587


Updated September 22, 2012

No Title

At this writing I'm looking at numbers. 1-15 of 481. That's a lot of pain. It's amazing what we ACOA's have endured, huh? But, there is hope. Hope is a good thing.
—Guest No Name

Rejection and Abandoment

I was left alone as a baby with an alcoholic mother, who continually told me I ruined her life by being born. This rejection continued up until her death. She tried to prove to herself with my children, that she was a good person, she never accepted me, although I sought her approval throughout 35 years. I have now learned the answers and the truth, and am presently writing a book on my life story, which is about the inheritance my mother left me, which was only my life story. I am writing this book to help others. I have a great story to tell: strength comes through tribulation. Having lived the life I was given has given me the opportunity to relate and show others how to overcome the unhappiness.
—Guest Roxybaby

He's dead now - so I must move on

My Dad's alcoholism and my mom's denial sapped my self confidence and self belief because Dad was never there for me emotionally. But he's long dead now and I have to take responsibility for my actions today and not play victim. He was sick and he's gone now but playing victim is a losing recipe. Get help and move on.
—Guest ozeeboy

The effects of Alcoholism

I grew up with an alcoholic dad. He used to be the greatest dad in the world and was always there for me and my sisters. When I turned 11 is when I started noticing that he was drinking a lot. I have a hard time remembering that part of my childhood because of it. One thing i remember the most is waking up in the middle of the night because my dad was trying to cook while he was drunk. Then in the morning he'd be passed out at the kitchen table. No child should have to witness anything like that. I am 22 and still suffer from being a child of an alcoholic. Another thing that kills me is that my son's father is also an alcoholic along with being a drug addict. But from what I've experienced I never want my son to witness anything I have when I was a child. So I do my best to make sure he knows that he has at least 1 parent he will always be able to count on and I got out of that relationship so my son would never have to see anything I have.

Change is good

I grew up with an alcoholic father, but he functioned. Always being there attending my school functions, he was always the one to take care of us. I followed in those footsteps meeting someone in high school getting married 17 years later 3 children it only got worse. Through Al-AnonI learned to care for myself. Three attempts at rehab later with my husband, I decided to leave. Two years later a foreclosure, a divorce. I'm still learning how to love and take the good with the bad. Unfortunately the husband hasn't changed. His bottom was quite different, now possibly facing jail time. Two of the three kids want nothing to do with him. At times I still blame myself, but understand we all do the best we can with what we have, we go through challenges to make us become the people we were meant to be.
—Guest Smile

Don't blame anyone except yourself.

I am 52. It started too with me. Beatings (back then they were brutal). Now you can complain and services will help you. Alcoholism, is much deeper. It is addiction. A horrible addiction. It is both biologically deep and chemically deep. Bottom line. If you are reaching out and seeking advice when you are younger. Trust me when I say, I never thought in a million years that I would follow that path. But, I still do it. Fight it everyday. Now , I see my children doing it. It breaks my heart to see them follow my path. But, I see it. Do not do drugs or drink when you are younger. Especially in a family that has a history. Even, one drink or one thing will ultimately change your brain function. Don't believe this? Well, take the first glass of wine. Take that first drug. Go through some stress with it. See were it takes you. Now, I would have never gone down that path. Two roads. I chose the bad turn. Everything since has been fighting uphill very slowly very tough road.
—Guest Purelife1.

Growing up with alcoholic parents

I am 30 years old and I am coming up on 2 years sober from alcohol and drugs. I grew up in a very abusive family, and the abuse was fueld by alcohol. It affected me in a huge way. One might think that growing up in a household like this, you would go in the opposite direction. Well, not me. I followed exactly in my fathers footsteps, drinking, getting in trouble with the law, and having constant blackouts. I drank form the age of 11 until I was 28. When the alcohol stopped, I was drinking so much that I required 2 liters of vodka a day, accompanied by a couple of 12 packs of beer. I drank until the wee hours of the night and woke up sick, shaking, and coming out of my skin by 7 a.m. It was so hard to put the alcohol down. It had become my only constant companion. I thought that I would never stop. I was reprimanded by all my "friends," family and everyone else that made contact with me. My family all drank in excess, but I was on a different level to them. I changed, but they did not.

I'm beginning to understand my choices

My father was a Bible thumping alcoholic who targeted me with criticism and condemnation, and heaped praises on my sister. This still goes on. I have lately finally accepted that this will never end. It is difficult for me to think I am a decent person. I got all of dad's traits and drank alcoholically until I was 38, and found AA and stopped. I tried marriage, but was drinking, so part of the failure was mine. During my marriage I was unfaithful, and eventually chose women over men. I am now 52, and that choice has run its course. I know my father's example as a husband to my mother, and his dominance over me, pushed me into that choice of lifestyle for a number of years. I only went to AA for two years, and now I guess I am just a dry drunk. I isolate and am afraid of meeting people, thoough I want to very much. Don't know why I am even answering this, or posting a reply. I don't have any answers and feel very despondent in life, despite being very responsible.
—Guest Karen

It's so embarrassing

When I was a baby my dad started to drink I'm 11 now and he still drinks. He starts off one glass of whiskey to the third bottle. Once in awhile he throws up on the grass, it's so embarrassing. He always makes fun of me and if I'm hurt and crying he just laughs. I live with my mom my sister and my dad. I want my parents to get a divorce. I know that's not normal but its so hard growing up in the house where my dad drinks and makes fun of me. I'm afraid I'm going to grow up like him, although I promised myself I will never drink. I'm still afraid.
—Guest Imhurt

My dad...

My dad never drank at home. He always went "out" and before he'd leave he'd start a fight with my mom to "right" himself. I remember laying in bed and hearing the doorbell ring multiple times. My mom had locked the storm door and put the chain lock on. He banged on the door and she yelled at him through the door. I cried as I listened and asked God to please tell mommy to let daddy in the house. A lot for a 6 yr.old to endure.
—Guest s.ann.s

To: Traverette

Dear Traverette, You've been through a lot. I can understand some of your pain because I've been there. I don't know what happened when you were 10 but someone will believe you. Seek out help. Talk to a counslor or clergy. Someone cares and is interested in what happens to you and has happened to you. You're correct in avoiding your family too. Think about yourself and forget what your family thinks. Where were they when you needed them? God loves you too and he cares about you.
—Guest Rick

I can't believe I survived!

Looking back, I am lucky to be alive. My dad was drunk on the night I was born and had to be removed from the hospital. Mom lived in a fantasy world. We were not allowed to talk about what dad did at night. He would often drive fast and drunk. We would end up at the police station in a small town. Teachers often told me I wouldn't amount to anything but the town drunk like my father. I had work at the age of 15 because my father lost his driver's license and mom would dump us off to go to a Motel. We had to cook and clean since the age of five. Super responsible am I; while my brother did not fair so well (super irresponsible). I have a hard time trusting anyone. I can't tell what happen when I turned ten, no one would believe me. I am now 48, my parents still try to control my life with quilt trips. I finally have had enough with covering up for their actions. Family members are in shock that I refuse to have a relationship with them anyone.
—Guest traverette

Finally get it off my chest

My mother was an alcoholic/addict, never cared if I came home, I was embarrassed to bring friends home let alone a boyfriend. I would always daydream what it was like to live in a normal household where there was dinner made every night and your mother asked how your day was at school. I spent so much energy on working to cover up what was wrong at home, trying to act like I was overly happy because everything was great in my life. Truth is I was terrified some one was going to call DCF on my family. I had two little sisters I had to take care of. If it was just me I'd had called them myself to take me away. She was not a nurturing mother in fact I'm ashamed of some of the things she put me through, I hate her for that. I'm 26 now and have a hard time showing my feelings in a relationship, I can't let people in I'm so scared to let my guard down. I'm afraid to love because I'm so afraid of being disappointed again. I'll never even tell anyone I wrote this because I don't talk about my "real" feelings.
—Guest im ready for help


I'm 19 and completely consumed by my mother's alcoholism. Three years ago my auntie died having heavily drunk her whole life. I live in constant fear that my mum will shortly follow. She's unaware that I know where she hides her alcohol so I'm able to monitor it despite her secrecy. She can easily finish a liter bottle of vodka plus a bottle of wine a day, and she does so every day of the week. I've twice been unable to move from home and continue with my life without her. Whilst all my friends have moved away I remain at home due to anxiety and fear. I feel a responsibility to keep an eye on her. But it's ruined all the hopes and dreams I once had for my own future. I refuse to simply turn my back on her. She's my mum, I'll always love her no matter what. Yet I know being around her is completely destroying me. I don't think anyone other than those also affected by an alcoholic mother can ever understand how difficult it is to deal with the pain of such unrequited love
—Guest Ali

Parenting my parents

I was a parent to both dysfunctional parents. I used to sing: Cinderella, Cinderella, How come you don't have a fella? Cause you're always in the kitchen With your mom screaming and bitchin' No kidding. No childhood. Went on to become a caring mother of 3 sons.

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

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