View Full Version : Hear from the children

November 22nd, 2006, 04:37 PM
I would like to hear from the children of alcholics, abusers etc. What are your experiences with your parents? what has hurt you the most.

I am hear because I drink too much and have children. I just would like to hear from other people as to the impact drinking has on them.


November 22nd, 2006, 07:54 PM
a huge impact on me

My dad drank heavily when I was growing up. It had a huge impact. Knowing my feelings first hand gives me strength to stay af. I could not bear to put my kids through that...they are 3 and 5 now. Nor did I want them to feel as unloved as I did.

As bad as it was...I am glad now for the experience. If I hadn't understood first hand the feelings that go with it I probably would not be af now.


November 23rd, 2006, 10:21 AM
Hi Not powerless
My mother is an alcoholic. It impacted me in a big way too. I remember when my little sister and I were young, we would find pop bottles filled partially with alcohol (we were too young to know what kind). She would also get really depressed and I felt she took the brunt of her frustrations out on me, both emotionally and physically. As I grew older, (like the last 5-7 years) she became a really withdrawn, out of it kind of drinker. Meaning, when she drank, she completely would be incoherent and you could not talk to her. She would call me after I moved away and I would not be able to understand her half the time. My family and I knew right away if she was drinking because her eyes would become vacant, she would be unable to speak or understand things, she fell down and hurt herself etc. She also did things like got sick on herself while sitting in the living room, right in front of us, then would continue to sit there - it broke our hearts. And my mother didnt even start drinkinbg until her early 30s.
In recent years, she was drinking up to 5 or so times a week and so she really wasent there most of the time. it was heartbreaking, especially cause my sister and I worried about our Dad and how lonely he would be when my sister also moved out.

I experienced guilt and shame because in many ways, I blamed myself - if I did something to stress her out and she drank, I would feel at fault (and when I say "did something to stress her out", I am talking about things like moving out on my own etc.). My sister and I were afraid to do anythig to stress her out (still are) for fear she will get even more sick. There was definitely stress, blame, shame, guilt and the feeling of alienation - and I struggle with all of these things still.
I am doing better now though cause she entered a treatment centre in September and with the exception of one slip, is sober...
Hope that gives some insight and help...

November 25th, 2006, 06:34 PM
Thanks so much for sharing that. I am interested to know how teenagers and grown children feel. I finally got a grip about a year ago as a result of losing control in front of my daughter. She had never seen me that way. The next day, I dont know who was more devastated -- me or her. Or my husband? He's the one who said that either I find help for myself, or he would do it for me. Anyway -- that must have been SO painful to see your mother that way on a regular basis. With my kids, I hid it most of the time and didnt drink until after they went to bed, or would have my first glass around their bedtime. But they knew I drank, but had no idea that is was an issue with anyone. But my daughter finally told me after my losing control that one night, that she "noticed" I seemed to have a glass of wine almost every night before bed. She even said I didnt seem to ever abuse it or get drunk, but that she just noticed I ALWAYS had a glass of wine, and she didnt like it. What you said is very impacting to me because one thing I have said a lot over the years in ear shot of the kids when I was "stressed", is "Wow! I could really go for a glass of wine now." They've known it was my crutch and my fix. That makes perfect sense as to why she is always trying to be the peacemaker and keep me from getting stressed. What an eye opener for me. She kept hugging me all day on Thanksgiving and thanking me for everything from A to Z, and telling me she was sorry "Dad" was not here for Thanksgiving. I think she was trying to make up for my feeling lonely or something. Wow. Powerful story Jenneh. It helped me understand how maybe I have affected my kids, and how I need to be really careful to not verbalize stress in front of them!

And curious -- now that your mom is sober, how is your relationship? Does she talk about it?


November 27th, 2006, 11:40 AM
Hi Allie
Now that my mom is sober, our relationship is much better. She is there for us now and I can tell she is much happier too. I have tried to "let go" of that feeling of not ever wanting to stress her out/be a pleaser because it means that I tiptoe around her and our relationship is not totally real. I still struggle with that internal dialogue though - dont let mom know you are stressed/in a bad mood etc. - cause she might get stressed and....etc.
Allie, I know you are such a good person.....I think your children will be fine, and especially because they never really saw you "that way". You have had the strength and courage to pick yourself up and you should be so proud for that. Despite it all ,when my mom went into that treatment centre and I knew she was helping herself, I have never felt more love and respect and admiration for anyone. I love her to death and I forgive her. It was not her fault, and i know it wasent mine either.
As for the verbalizing stress thing, EVERYBODY does that but you bring up a good point - we really SHOULD try to remain aware of this. I guess its never a great message when we say " I have had a terrible day, I need a glass of wine!!" - to show we need a crutch or that a crutch is normal....I guess that can have a pretty major impact eh? I never really thought of that aspect of it until i just read your post...

I hope to take what I learn on this site from you beautiful people, as well, so that I can be the best parent I can be (when I become one).
I love you Allie....
Love Jen

November 27th, 2006, 08:46 PM
Both of my parents were heavy drinkers. My father was diabetic but never gave it up and just became a miserable, depressed drunk. For some reason, he simply did not like my existence. It is true. So I took the brunt of his depression, anger and verbal abuse. My Mom just drank more & more as she got older because life was so very hard. She definitely had a problem and in my teenage and young adult years she really embarrassed me. My whole family scene was an embarrassment. I think embarrassment is one the most painful things for a teenager.

So although I have drunk wine for yrs I have been very controlled regarding in front of my children. We have all talked about this. I never lost control, never embarrassed them. Altho I bounced a check at the liquor store (which is next to the little grocery where my son worked after school)once. He was embarrassed. But I bounce cks cause I am an airhead so I got away a little -- but still.....it pains me that I caused him that embarrassment.

Anyway, bottom line, my son.m y oldest (29) has thought for real long time I drink too much and he does not like it at all!. It bothers him a lot. I have never embarrassed my daughter either and we have a different relationship. She is more my best friend. But they all watch me because really at this point, my age, it is a health issue for them.

Anyway... I truly think that all 3 of you: Kim, Jenneh, Allie..are going to be fine. I think Kim said it..because we had the pain as children we are conscious of our problem & will try hard not to inflict pain on our children. My parents were totally unconscious. Not their fault -- the post-war era, not as well educated as we are, etc, etc, etc.

You are all beautiful women. We need to stay vigilant. But I have great faith in al of you. Less in me --- but great in you!!

Oh .. but yes..the stress...I hear you...my son hides things from me so as not to cause me stress..I was terribly terribly stressed for yrs with horrible migraines and outbursts and the controlled drinking was in there of course. Many many financial & marital problems . That took such a toll on my son. The oldest always gets it the worst.

It is kind of a heavy night, losing Kanga and all. A heavy siubject is fitting I guess.

Luv you guys, C

November 27th, 2006, 09:43 PM
You are a beautiful man, Mr. Fan.

Remember she loves you.

November 28th, 2006, 01:01 PM
Hi, I'm 44 years old and I have 2 great children. I know now that while they were growing up I made a lot of their days very miserable. I know this because they have told me. I didn't realise at the time that they would feel so bitter. I thought only of their physical health. It never crossed my mind that I might be scarring them emotionally, I just didn't think it through. That sounds very selfish and shallow I know, but I was being selfish and shallow. They have grown up now and we have a reasonable relationship considering they way I behaved. I was never violent towards them or their mother, I just didn't realise what I was doing. I was fine during the week, but at the weekends they always saw me drunk.
My mother was a very heavy drinker and for years, while I was growing up, and I couldn't do anything about it.From my early teens until my early twenties, we had no relationship to speak of. We lived in the same house, That was all. Eventually after a while, I honestly didn't care if she lived or died. I knew that she couldn't live long the way she was knocking it back. After I got married, she left the area for a few years and I saw her only infrequently. I can hardly remember her sober at all. She found out after many years of abusing herself that she had terminal lung cancer. She died 4 years ago, but we had a year and a half to become friends again. I got my mum back.
I can see similarities in the two stories when I think about it. I don't blame her for my problem. I just don't want my family hurt like I was. It's not too late for us yet, though, it might be soon.
I don't want my family to have those memories or bad feelings about me any more.
I didn't realise I could talk about that.

November 29th, 2006, 09:14 AM
i would just like to say. thank you to all of you who shared your most inner thoughts. i really enjoyed reading all of your posts. each of every one of them were very inspiring.
I pray that we all can make progress each and every day.

December 11th, 2006, 06:27 PM
Thank you all so much. I have 3 young children and my father was a drinker. He got very emotional and sentimental when he drank. When he was sober he didn't really interact with us and when he drank he wanted hugs and family time. I guess I got bitter. Now he doesn't really drink at all. Re married and my step mother has gotten him in line after about 12 years of marriage. It's weird b/c he was here for Thanksgiving and I drank more than him. Actually quite embarrasing. Wake up call too.
I know I need to do something now and so appreaciate the time you all took to answer my question.

December 12th, 2006, 07:09 AM
Ding Dong
I can feel your pain reading this. What a terrible position for a young child to be put in. I am so thankful for your stories and the others because I am now taking a harder look at how I behave when I drink. I do change and I am seeing it. Thanks to all.

December 13th, 2006, 01:18 AM
My parents drank too. However, I only remember my dad drinking. My dad would go the the El Torito (a popular place in the 70's) when I was young, and my mom would track him down. I remember my eyes watering beacuse of the cigarette smoke. I am an only child. It was horrible to see my mom so upset.

She later commited suicide, just before my 10th birthday. She had her own problems...can't blame that one on anyone.

They, my family, don't think I really remember because I was young. They are so wrong...I remember too much. My dad re-married 11 months later, and his wife was a horrible and mean drunk. She used to tell me, with saliva dripping from her mouth that my mom went to hell because of the way she died. I was pretty spoiled, pre-mom death, so having this new woman in my life was horrid. My dad and I became friends when I entered adulthood, and talked about these things. He ended up becoming my best friend, and I thought I was going to die when he had a heart attack 10 years ago. I found him. I was newly married, and still am thankfully to a wonderfully understanding husband.

But, let me drink another bottle of wine! I saw what booze did as a child, yet here I am.

I guess, I am here. That's what matters.

December 15th, 2006, 12:30 AM
Thanks Ding Dong.

I try not to live too much in the past, but it is a part of me. I am starting to realize that I cannot ignore it, and I think this will be a part of my new journey. I have never been a big fan of "shrinks", my theory has always been, " If you start looking for a problem, you will find one".

Maybe this is where the wine comes into my life?

I would like to think that I have dealt with my own grief, and I honestly believe I have, but I still think, "what if"? None of us have lived a life without scars, but it is how we bandage those wounds that is important. I have cousins that do not speak to their own mom, yet I speak to both my cousins and my Aunt. I love them all and try to not to get in the middle (so far so good). I think that it is sad, but I do not know their own personal grief, whatever it may be with one another. In my ideal world, there would be no harsh words, war, abuse, neglect.....etc...

And, if I think long enough.......there would not be anyone like you or me, or anyone else because we would be devoid of personal feeling. So, even though life can be tough, it is worth it to have feelings and share them with one another....and it's OK to be us. Because we have each other.....all of us.