After reading other personal experiences I have realised so much about myself. I grew up with an alcoholic father and this has damaged me in more ways than one. I have never been able to say those words out loud, unless I myself am drunk (irony). And this is because I feel ashamed and I don’t trust anyone enough to tell them. There are people who know such as my sister and my mum but it is never spoken about. Even now when he is in hospital at least once a month from blacking out. Even now we know that his liver is beyond repair. Even now we know that he is literally drinking himself to death we still don’t talk about the problem.
When I was younger I would sit at the top of my stairs listening to the arguments. My dad was a very angry person when he was drunk. He would throw things at my mum and shout at my sister for not eating her tea. He didn’t do anything to me; he ignored me. He wouldn’t even speak to me. I used to spend most of my time crying in my room.
My mum finally left my dad when I was 12. My younger sister (11) turned into the typical rebel, attention-seeking teenager that usually happens when parents broke up. I’m not sure still to this day if she truly knew what was going on back then. My mum went a little crazy, enjoying the freedom a little too much. I was left at home with my baby sister, looking after her. People used to call me strange for staying in on the weekend and reading and doing my homework. The truth was that I was babysitting and making sure I made something out of my life.
My sister eventually moved in with my dad and this is when he finally turned his attention to me. I was 14 now and he felt he needed to win me over to win the war with my mum. I wasn’t as easy to convince as my sister though; I knew what he did. I kept in contact with him but I didn’t know how to control my feelings I had towards him. I hated him but felt guilty which made me feel ashamed because he was doing this to himself. But I would always give in to him, I didn’t like confrontation and that was down to him so I let him get away with a lot. I once lent him £100 that he said he needed for rent. I never got it back and I knew that it wasn’t really for rent. But like I said, guilt.
The final straw was when I was staying with my nan and grandad. He drove past me (drunk) and made me get in the car and took me to his house. I eventually got out and went to my aunties and they took me back to my nan’s. That night he set fire to their car and the next night he smashed it up. The guilt I felt for this was overwhelming and even now I am still not over it. I remember people hugging me, comforting me when it was all my fault. All that I had to do was stay in his house for 1 night.
After that contact dwindled quite a bit. The first time I saw him after he tried convincing me in so many ways that it wasn’t him, that is couldn’t have been him, but I knew it was. I started on a very destructive path then. When I did my A levels I would walk out of my exams, but still managed to get into Uni. I gave this up after a month. I then got an apprenticeship, which lasted 3 months. I started my driving lessons but gave up after 8 lessons. The only thing in the world I have wanted to do is to be able to drive and I couldn’t even do that.
I have a fear of committing to anything. I have a feeling that everything is just going to go wrong. I have at least one panic attack a month. Loud noises or extreme weather make me anxious and nervous.
I have been in a relationship for 3 years and I still can’t commit to him or communicate with him properly. I use sex as an escape when I’m with him. And when I’m not I turn to alcohol. Even though I see what it has done to my dad that doesn’t stop me. Which makes me feel even more guilty; how can I punish him for going down a road I am going down?
I know I need help, which is why I was on this website in the first place. I just hope I can get it.