Guilt

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northlight0

My children were brought up in an alcoholic home ,their father is a recovering alcoholic now 19 years sober thanks to the support of the AA . All my children suffer from the chaotic years of drinking and all have mental health problems they are all now adults in their late thirties .
One daughter self harms and suffers BPD . My youngest suffers from depression and anxiety has no confidence and very low self esteem .
For years I was in denial about the damage living with an alcoholic was doing and thought it was best to stay in a marriage even though it was a deeply unhappy one of walking on eggshells and trying hard not to trigger a drinking binge . My husband was in a high powered well paid job and his drinking rarely caused problems with this he seemed to function well .
At home he bullied me and the children when drinking and often would disappear so we would not know where he was until we had the remorse call and the it won’t happen again promise and sometimes he would not drink for weeks but we were always waiting and watching for the signs of the next binge which could be triggered by any excuse happy or sad
My guilt is that I was the sober one and I should have walked away and protected the children but I made excuses and lived in hope that he would change .
I approached his work out of desperation and they arranged help for him but the drinking continued ,he could be the best supportive father when sober but when drunk the opposite and treated us all badly .
It only stopped when I contacted the police and had him removed from the home and went to a solicitor about divorce , this seemed to be the trigger and he started going to AA meetings and things improved , the trouble is he can’t seem to accept that his drinking has caused harm to his children and will walk way if the subject is raised and I feel such guilt that I allowed my children to live their childhood and adolescence in such a home and spend my time trying to make things right paying for counselling and worrying constantly that the damage cannot be undone .

  • uniquemind

    Hi Northlight0

    You are in my thoughts going through this difficult experience.
    I would not blame yourself or anyone else for this. Holding on to things does more damage than letting go which I know myself, It is hard. You stayed in the household because you tried to make things work, This represents courage and empathy in terms of wanting to make things work for your children and also in hopes to help your husband.

    It is sad to hear about your children but please remember, you or your husband are not to blame for anything. alcoholism is a progressive mental illness which affects all aspects of an individuals life. I can relate to you in terms with living with an alcoholic for many years and wanting to help. However, you must understand it is only the person using that can help themselves which is the harsh reality of the situation.

    Your guilt tells me you have a lot of compassion but please do not feel guilty for trying to make things work. It is no ones fault.

    I hope this helps,

    Take care

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