My whole life




Hi I feel like I just need to write this down. I’m almost 58 and my mum has been an alcoholic since I was a child. My dad died from alcoholism aged 59 and my mum is now 83 and still dependent on alcohol.
My brother and myself had a horrible childhood marred by their drinking and there was abuse both physical and verbal. Sadly my brother died of cancer last year leaving me as the sole carer of my mum now. His daughters and my daughter all know of their grandmother’s drink problem and rarely visit her. I don’t blame them at all and wish that I didn’t have to either. I work full time and am exhausted.
I still feel shame about my parents and their drinking. I still can’t talk about it to anyone, even my closest friends. It’s still a massive secret I carry. I am grateful just to know that I’m not alone on here but feel sad that so many of us still suffer after all these years.

  • listener

    Hello haitchb,

    I'm sorry to hear about your mum and dads alcoholism and how that affected your childhood, and how it continues to impact your life today. I'm also so sorry to hear that you lost your brother last year. Dealing with this grief is hard in itself, but there are also ripple effects as it has left you alone with your mum's care. It sounds incredibly draining. Do you have support in other areas of your life, anyone you can lean on emotionally or to help with practical things for yourself? I appreciate that you don't feel able to talk about your mum's drinking, but could you perhaps still talk about being your mum's carer without mentioning alcohol?

    You mentioned that you still feel shame around your parents' drinking which is unfortunately very common, and can be an incredibly lonely space. 'Don't talk, don't trust, don't feel' are unspoke rules present in many families where alcohol is an issue, and these rules are often carried on even when children leave home, and even when parents are no longer here. I hope that perhaps by reaching out on here you may find some of that shame lessens a little.

    Do you have anything in your life that helps you to cope?

    Please do keep reaching ourt if you need to, and take good care of yourself.

    • haitchb

      Thank you. I almost told a close friend the other day but the shame continues.
      My daughter helps me as much as she can and listens but I do feel all alone since my brother died as he was the only other person who knew exactly what it was like. Thanks for your reply, it’s good to speak about it.

    • pearl

      So sorry for all you have and are going through, you are definitely not alone. I hope that by being able to communicate some of your feelings on here you would be able to try to open up to a friend when you felt comfortable to. I totally get that you would feel no one else would understand since losing your brother. Maybe a friend could just be there to listen? Also the helpline here is really good to have someone to listen. It can be really helpful to express these feelings. Thanks for posting here

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