Coping as an adult




I can’t remember as a child a time when my dad didn’t drink but at an early age I didn’t realize it was an issue, he held down a job, took us away on holidays and only drank in the evening, I thought this was normal, I think my mum helped in hiding my dad’s behavior

But as I went into senior school I realized more and more how it wasn’t normal and how it affected me (I only know now), it started becoming earlier and earlier in the day, he still held down a job, God knows how but it was almost as soon as he got home it would start, I couldn’t have friends round for the fear of them finding out cos the likelihood is he. Would be drunk and walk in my room, wedge himself in the toilet or wee in the fridge, ( yes one friend saw that) so I found myself with no friends in school, noone to talk to about it, and no confidence in anything I did.
Christmas was the best my mum could make it and with little money we always got nice presents and Santa magic, until about 10 am then I felt this horrible feeling and sadness that he was going to ruin another Christmas, as soon as he drank one drink I instantly knew he had, and the day was filled with tears and sadness that today as an adult makes me hate Christmas day
He wasn’t nasty I just had this feeling for hate towards him I used to think, why can’t he just not drink for one day, I used to wish it every time I had to “make a wish” other people would. Have Christmas and celebrate by drinking, “cos it’s Christmas” and all I wanted was for him to celebrate by not drinking
All my memories of happy times have been tarnished by all the rubbish things like worrying if he has left a cigarette alight and have to get out of bed and check, ruining my wedding after he promised he wouldn’t drink, searching for him one day and finding him and an ambulance after he went to the shop 3 hours earlier, picking me up drunk driving, falling down the stairs, cutting his.head open after passing out in the bath and then being abusive to paramedics I literally could go on and on, the thing that’s sad is he was such an amazing dad when he was so a, kind generous and i was daddy’s girl, but those periods of that person became very rare

When had kids I decided he wad not going to make me sad anymore and i did not want my kids to experience any of that so I cut contact which meant my mum dealt with it all, then I would get my mum calling upset and then it still made me sad, so when he went into hospital and passed away I had no relationship with him and although I was obviously sad I was relieved it was over

I don’t Think anyone who hasn’t been there will get that as it sounds mean but it was a release from chains that had held me back from everything haply

I still struggle with Christmas, with my husband innocently falling asleep on me, anyone who is drunk around me but I know I am stronger from all I have been through and very grateful for the people I now have in my life

  • meshel

    Hi redby, your whole post feels very familiar.
    I used to think my own childhood was a normal one as my dad held down a job, we went on holidays, done things ‘normal’ families did. It wasn’t until I was older I realised it wasn’t, due to his drinking.

    Your feeling when he passed away is normal. I too will feel a great weight has been lifted the day my dad passes; when people hear me say this they judge me, thinking I am the worlds worst daughter. I have now suffered almost 20 years of verbal abuse from the man, so yes I will be hugely relieved when he is gone.

    You definitely made the right decision in cutting contact with him because of your kids; I had my first baby 8 months ago and my father has just completely ruined my first Christmas with her with his abusive crap. My husband has had to message him to finally tell him to stay away. I feel guilty as the man lives alone, but I do not want my daughter to experience anything that I did.

    I am sorry that you experienced very similar situation to myself. Your feelings and thoughts are validated. Everything you feel is completely normal.

    • fazza20

      Hi redby,

      Wow - I can relate to so much of what you’ve said here. A lot of people find that they don’t realise the damage that has been done until they are older or have their own children.

      Christmas is the most difficult time for a lot of people with alcoholic parents as it’s the most ‘acceptable’ time to drink to excess, the important thing is to creat a safe environment for yourself & communicate with the people around you.

      The feeling of relief is something I felt when my dad passed, we had little to no relationship at the time. Grief comes in so many forms and can hit you at different times.

      Take a look at the ‘experiences’ page of the nacoa website where you’ll find many people with similar stories to you. Please just remember that all your feeling are valid.

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