I feel like I cannot talk to my friends about my Dad’s alcoholism




My friends all have lovely parents who are nothing like my own and it makes me feel really lonely. I have recently got a councillor, and although it is helping it feels way too serious all the time and it hurts not to be able to tell my friends about what’s happening in my life. I have to just pretend that everything’s okay and it’s so exhausting. I remember once I was telling my closest friends about it (I only have two friends that know anything about my Dad) and she said that she felt like me telling her this stuff makes her feel like she can’t tell me things cause ‘ I have it so much worse than her’. She shouldn’t have said that. I don’t think she meant it the way it came across, I think she was just telling me how she felt. But ever since then I haven’t told anyone outside of my family and my councillor about it. I feels so constricting and I feel so lonely all the time because I have no one to talk to. I feel like no one else near me understands my situation and like I am completely alone. I don’t know what to do anymore. I have my sister, but she is two years older than me and is leaving to go travelling around the world soon. What happens then? My Mum ( I think in an attempt to make herself feel better ) just makes excuses and pretend I’m overreacting, which is really hurtful and invalidates my feelings, and my Dad is the one with the problem. My sister is the only person who has always stuck with me and I just couldn’t handle it if she wasn’t here. I’m crying whilst writing this because this is a really sensitive thing for me to talk about. I just cannot handle feeling so lonely all the time. Always having to watch what I say just in case the truth ever slips out is just so tiring. I don’t know what to do anymore please please help me anyone who understands or who has gone through something similar.

  • listener

    Hi there,

    I'm really sorry that you're feeling so lonely. I can totally understand why - having no one around you who understands what it's like to experience growing up around alcoholism is very isolating. You can have the most supportive people around you and you can still feel like you're not understood.

    You mentioned that you have to pretend everything is ok which does sound exhausting. It must have taken a lot to open up to your friend, so for her reaction to be how it was, however well-meaning, must have hurt. I can see why that has caused you to shut down about it. I wonder if it could be helpful to try again with another friend? If this feels very scary, it could help to test the waters by mentioning something very small and see how that feels. While it's great that you have your counsellor, I appreciate that you also want more peer support.

    It must feel scary that your sister is leaving soon to travel if she has been your rock. I can hear how painful this is. It could be helpful to come up with a plan for when she leaves and when you don't have that immediate support. This could be things like planning to spend time outside of the house, planning time with your friends (even if you can't talk openly with them), for if you feel overwhelmed at home, possibly planning video calls with your sister, etc.. It might help you feel a little more prepared.

    I'm sorry to hear that your mum invalidates your feelings around the situation. Please keep reaching out on here; I hope it helps validate your feelings and maybe help you feel less alone. Remember the Nacoa telephone and email helpline is there for you too (helpline@nacoa.org.uk / 0800 358 3456).

    Take good care,

  • tayswizzie13

    I relate a lot to this i was actually reading this thinking omg this is literally me i feel the exact same things. i read this one and the one about you wanting your parents to be divorced and I relate a lot to this because my mum threatened a lot to leave my dad because of his drinking addiction and i have a sister who is at uni and which ends up leaving me alone with my mum and dad. my mum threatening to leave happened basically a year ago and now more recently i feel like she turns a blind eye to my dads drinking and ignores it or chooses not to see it anymore whether shes given up trying or just cant be bothered anymore. sometimes i worry shell turn into him. then itll be me alone with two drinking parents all the time. i still have around 3 or 4 years left until im 18 and can move out at start my life away from home but it kills me all the time just to stay here now in this house knowing im alone and cant talk to anyone about it yeah i could talk to my sister but shes never here so its not the same and if i talk to my friends i feel bad that im burdening them with my problems or leaving them feeling bad for me which i dont want because i just want to tell them it so i dont combust one day from holding so much stress in my brain. surely a child like me cant comprehend so much stress but when reading yours i realise im not the only one

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