Daughter of an alcoholic

As a Forty Plusser I sometimes have memories of my childhood years. I have happy moments, you know the normal memories like riding your bicycle, playing cowboy’s and crooks, and doing some mischievous kind of fun stuff.

Okay, but then there are some memories that I wish to push the delete button. Delete delete delete, but it is impossible.

I was the prisoner of Alcoholism
I am the daughter of an alcoholic father. About six months before he died we kind of made piece. (I was 22 years old). The day that he got buried I also buried my horrible childhood years as the daughter of an alcoholic father. I went to see a psychologist and prayed many evenings to forgive him. It was real hard, but I needed to set myself free from all the resentment.

So this is my perspective. How bad to admit this… When I was a child I was very ashamed of the fact that I did not have a “real”father. Yes, he was my biological father, but he never did the “father stuff”. He never hugged me, played with me, nothing. I looked at how my friends’ fathers gave them attention – you know that “Daddy’s little girls”moments. I could never really talk to someone about my alcoholic father. Other people’s lives seemed so perfect. My father was a “good person”when he was not drunk. Fact is: He was sober… like maybe 4 hours out of 24 hours of the day.

I begged him to stop drinking… I wanted a real father. But he was never nice to me, my brother or my mother. Alcohol was the number one priority in his life. He never ever told me that he was proud of my achievements. I tried to be the perfect kid…maybe that would make him stopped drinking… I became a real expert on pretending that I was this happy-go-lucky child. He always criticized us. I actually thought at some point that I was the reason for his drinking problem. He was a horrible husband(sorry to say).

When he was sober he would like to “apologise”for his behaviour…promised to never ever drink again… just to drink again a few hours later in the day… vicious cycle. This really confused me. He never ever told me or my brother that he loved us. If that is how love was supposed to feel… no ways! I honestly believe that this resentment and hatred that I felt towards my father contributed to my constant anxiety in my adult life. I have Bipolar but I do everything medical possible to have a “normal”life. At times I spike “downwards”out of no reason – maybe my childhood memories of my alcoholic father triggers my subconscious, I don’t know. If I think about him – my whole childhood resolved around him and his drinking problem.

As a kid I was never able to have like a “sleepover”for friends, because their was ALWAYS the possible, “potential embarrassment factor” that he might be drunk. As a teenager I NEVER EVER invited friends over. It was terrible. The absolute humiliation when he would passed out in the living room… You get the picture? So as a teenager I totally withdrawn me from friends. I was so lonely, but felt like nobody would understand. When I was a teenager I became more hateful towards his alcoholism. When he passed out I would pour out all the alcohol in the sink and put the empty bottles back to where I found them in the first place. I hoped that he could have amnesia to think that he had drank all the alcohol, but strangely he would remember exactly how much he drank from which bottle…

I was kind of popular in school, but when I strike my teenage years everything changed. I was just so ashamed. Most days I felt guilty(not my fault!!), unloved, and unprotected. O, the cherry on the cake was that he lost his job at some point! I did not even care because “dissappointment”already felt like it was part of my DNA. I am a daughter of an alcoholic father and it did leave a negative mark on my life! I think that I am sort of “knocked up”today because of all this. But life goes on and that is why I genuinely try to never follow in my fathers alcoholic footsteps. I often wonder how my life as well as my brother’s life would have turned out if we had a normal loving father.

O boy, how many Sundays did I sit in church, thinking that I was breaking that “honour your mother and father”commandment”!!! But the fact is that the past happened and you can do absolutely nothing to change it. I struggle to see alcoholism as an illness versus choice. Point is: My father could not help himself, nor did he want any help.

Today: The way my husband treats our son and daughter is amazing(that makes me cry…happy tears… so beautiful, so normal…I never had THAT). As a woman in her forties I no longer cry about my father’s alcholism. It kept me a prisoner for too long. I closed this chapter in my life (okay sometimes I still think of it). But is not consuming my whole existence anymore. Maybe you can find some closure as well.
Wisdom: “A man who drinks too much on occasion is still the same man as he was sober. An alcoholic, a real alcoholic, is not the same man at all. You can’t predict anything about him for sure except that he will be someone you never met before.”
Raymond Chandler, The Long Goodbye


15 thoughts on “Daughter of an alcoholic

  1. My heart goes out to you with the experiences you have had. Sounds like you are a person your dad should have been very proud of. It is great that you have such awareness that you can consciously raise your kids in a loving home.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. That is so very true as it very well could have happened the other way around.
      The vicious circle is herewith broken. Encouraging message.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. If you read the honor your father name mother whole bit it still ho!D’s the father’s responsible. Often the way it is taught is an addition to parental control with carte blanche. My Interpretation of the scripture is it holds the parents responsible. I they have to deserve the honor.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. My heart also goes out to you. Also: This post was very helpful to me. Thank you for your courage and honesty here. My mother had an alcoholic parent. And while she did not drink, I related with every word of this because my mother never resolved or worked through her broken relationship with her alcoholic parent which is why it just got passed on to the next generation, even though she didn’t drink herself.
    Good for you to have dealt with this and faced it head on!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. there is a song by kelly clarkson called ”piece by piece”that reminds me very much of your story.
    I had much the same upbringing from an alcoholic step fathers. my own father left when i was a year old. i never knew him. no great loss. he too was a drunk. It is a time honored question.? what makes people do such destructive things to themselves and others.? they must be tortured by unseen demons or something to be so selfish themselves.
    Your children are lucky they don’t have to experience that life. your strength and courage to survive and thrive despite it all is testimony to your strong will and pure heart and soul.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. This post nearly sank me.. Hugs

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Thank you for your honesty, will you come on and share your story with us please?


    1. Hi Sara. My main goal is to spread a message of hope and inspiration by sharing my own experiences.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. I think you just summed up my childhood with my father in your post – it could have been me writing that. Oh the memories of the embarrassment at people calling to the house and seeing my dad passed out on the sofa or worse trying to talk to them! Thank god for my mum, she made sure his behaviour didn’t stand in the way of us having friends round or sleepovers happening and my friends got used to it as the norm and mostly didn’t judge me. One friend did write in her diary about seeing my dad drunk whilst staying over one night. her mum found it and read it and that was her never allowed to stay again. I was gutted and so cross at my dad. It was humiliating and I knew her parents never rated me after that. I have since found out that my dad had a horrible upbringing and his mother had never shown him love like she did with his siblings. She made a difference of him and treated him like a servant. They all did apart from his dad. He’s carried it all his life and between that and serving in the troubles here in Northern Ireland he was a broken man. Now I accept who he is and have a good enough relationship with him but that’s because he is no longer torturing me, my brother and especially my mum. I’m only learning now how much my dad impacted my mental health and life and am working through it. So glad to hear you have come out the other side and have a loving family of your own. Thanks, Sibi xx

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You remind me of someone I know who sobers up for months, sometimes even for years at a stretch, then starts drinking again. With her, it’s not that she’s a different person drunk than not-at-the-moment-drunk, it’s that she’s a different person when she’s not drinking for a stretch than she is having not had a drink for a few hours or even a day or so.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. A very moving and inspirational post. In our experiences we find are strengths, it is those found strengths that enable us to be other’s strength. Thank you for sharing.🙏❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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