I didn’t hate my father
As long as I can remember my father’s drinking was an issue. Even when he was ‘off the drink’ his drinking was an issue. I don’t have many memories of my childhood, presumably because I’ve erased a lot of them as I didn’t have the happiest of times.
I didn’t hate my father but I hated the person he became when he was drunk. Most days would start with him apologising for drinking and promising faithfully it would never happen again, only for him to come home that evening hardly able to walk because he was so drunk. Another day, another promise broken. And so the cycle continued.
In my head it was my responsibility
Right up into my teens I had a dilemma at around 9pm. I would go to bed and hopefully be asleep by the time he came home or stay up and be there for my mother when he came home. Invariably I would lie in bed with a million thoughts going through my mind not able to sleep. He’d come home drunk and I’d get up and listen to him talk rubbish for a few hours. I hated my life.
5 years ago I ended up in a psychiatric hospital because I had a mental breakdown. I have no doubt this is connected to my childhood. I had financial problems that I didn’t speak to anyone about. In my head it was my responsibility to look after my wife and kids. I was not going to burden them with my problems.
I wanted to make sure they were never unhappy. I rarely would argue with my wife because I hated conflict. It got to the stage where, once again I hated my life and I felt I had no option but to end it.
Thankfully I reached out for help and I feel much better now. Most people don’t realise the damage a parent’s misuse of alcohol has on their children.
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