Introducting myself

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mummabear

Hello, I am not sure if I am in the right place but I have to start somewhere, so if I’m not in the right place, please politely say and if possible, point me in the right direction. I was married to someone who became an alcoholic. After a few years, heavily pregnant and a toddler in tow, I finally left. 5 years on, my little ones are now 5 and 7 years old. They have phone call contact with their Dad, but he continues to drink and affect them. I am here to look for advice on how to help my babies and protect them from emotional damage… I personally still have bad anxiety over it all 🙁 x

  • listener

    Hello,

    You have absolutely come to the right place - it's really positive that you're reaching out for support!

    I'm really sorry to hear all that you've been through with your children's dad. It must be so hard for you, dealing with the impact of a difficult relationship and also unsure how to protect your children. You're not alone. So many parents are in this position, wanting to do all they can for their children but being unsure how to help.

    I think the main thing you can do is to be there as their reliable, caring parent. Having you as their steady support will be helping. Encouraging them to talk about their feelings can also be really helpful. If they don't like talking about it, showing them some other way of externalising what they feel is really good. This can be writing, drawing or anything they enjoy.

    Another thing you can do is to encourage hobbies and other activities. As much as it's helpful to talk about their feelings, it's also helpful to have space to focus on other things that help them feel good about themselves.

    There's lots of good guidance on the Nacoa website that I hope will help:
    -https://nacoa.org.uk/research-resources/publication/
    -https://nacoa.org.uk/support-advice/for-concerned-others-professionals/help-advice/

    Remember that you can't always protect your children from being affected by these things. But you can give them a loving environment where they feel safe, and help them work through their feelings.

    It's also really important to think about your own needs. Do you have any support for yourself? Reaching out is a great step and please know Nacoa have a helpline too (helpline@nacoa.org.uk / 0800 358 3456).

    Take good care of yourself

  • blue96

    Hi mummabear,

    NACOA is a great charity who have resources that will absolutely be able to help you, as listener said above.

    As a child of an alcoholic (COA), I totally agree that the best support you can give it to be a safe space for your children. Its also important that your children know that they are allowed to talk through how they are feeling, as this can sometimes bottle up and that's not good for them at all.
    I found growing up that it was sometimes easier to talk to a neutral party that I was comfortable with, perhaps a trusted family friend.

    Most importantly, it is evident how much you care about your children and you're doing a great job! :)

  • uniquemind

    Hi,

    Sorry you are going through this. NACOA is an amazing place to gain support and to have a lister here to listen to you and support you. As a child of an alcoholic I agree, It is very important to try and keep your children away from emotional damage and within a safe environment. Having at least one stable parent for a child's upbringing is very effective, I also had this growing up. However, making sure a child is intact with their emotions and can talk to someone over their parental alcoholism is also crucial. You are an amazing parent, you cannot control your ex partners choices and decisions. Accessing help and support would be a great path for him but only can he do so when he wants this himself.

    Take care

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