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Growing Up With Alcoholic Father

Discussion in 'Alcohol' started by dkelly, Nov 20, 2015.

  1. dkelly

    dkelly Active Contributor

    I grew up with a father who was alcoholic. He still is. I remember a lot of arguments in my home between my parents. My father wouldn’t pull his weight and his alcoholism led to him being verbally abusive. When his abuse got physical my mother packed up myself, my brother and sister and left. While we were growing up she didn’t speak ill of him and encouraged us to maintain a relationship with him. As I grew older I understood that his first concern was always what he found in bottom of a bottle. He scarred his kids for life. This taught me a valuable lesson and I live to give my own kids a good life and a positive role model.
    dyanmarie25 likes this.
  2. L_B

    L_B Community Champion

    I am sorry that you had such a childhood. No child should have to go through that though I know there are a lot who do. I am glad that your mom got you and your sister out of there and away from him. Your children are blessed to have a dad who is a positive role model and who will give them a better childhood then you had. Welcome to the group and thanks for sharing.
  3. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    I lived in such a household and life at home was hell. Good thing though is I hardly ever saw my dad since he spent half the night in some bar, would be working 9:00-5:00 every weekday so things weren't really that bad but his absence had a negative impact on everyone in the family. His addiction tore our family apart.

    Good to hear that @dkelly. Kids need a good role model in their life because their future [what they'll be] is built on the foundation laid by the parents.
  4. dyanmarie25

    dyanmarie25 Community Champion

    Hello there, @dkelly. Welcome to the forum, and thanks for sharing. Well, I am sorry to hear about what happened to you in the past. I am pretty sure it was really painful for you to see your father wasting his life away for alcohol. But I am glad that you were able to learn something good from this experience. I wish you all the best.
  5. gracer

    gracer Community Champion

    Hi @dkelly! :) thank you so much for sharing your story with us. You are such an admirable person because you were able to get past through the rough childhood you had and you were able to learn a valuable lesson from your dad's alcoholism. It certainly isn't easy to live in a home with a father who gave more importance to his drinking than to his family but your mom also deserves to be commended for being such a strong woman and a kind-hearted wife because despite the things that you have all been through, she never spoke ill of your dad.
  6. 111kg

    111kg Community Champion

    This is exactly the reason why I don't drink. Why would I? I've seen how can alcohol can transform people into agressive and abusing savages and I don't want to be like that. I made peace with my father (we are not in good terms whatsoever), but I will never forgive him for real for drinking that much.
  7. dkelly

    dkelly Active Contributor

    It was a very difficult childhood and we do not have a proper relationship. Even now as an adult he has been verbally abusive to me and accuses me of not letting him have time with his grand kids. What?! He's usually drunk and I don't want to expose my kids to the shame, fear and humiliation I experienced because of him. I try not to be bitter but I think a little still remains.
  8. mayasupernova

    mayasupernova Active Contributor


    It is very nice of your mum to have continued on her life with no ill word of your father, even after the abuse. She seems very mature, and very brave, especially by not trying to pull you and your sister and brother away from him.
    The good thing is also that she left him, because who knows what what that would turn out to be like...

    I have started reading a book that starts with the idea and mechanisms that lie behind the reason why some people tend to be alcoholic, and others rejecting the idea of alcohol whatsoever, both living and growing up in the family with either one or both parents, who are alcoholics. It is a very educational book, called Alchemies of the Mind - Rationality and Emotions, by Jon Elster. He points out that someone learns from the mistakes he or she experienced throughout the course of his or her life living in such conditions, gets valuable lessons and reject the very same idea of using alcohol, whereas others just continue the linkage of addictions...
  9. kassie1234

    kassie1234 Community Champion

    This was one of my main motivators in terms of getting clean. I didn't have children when I was caught up with drinking, but it wasn't the sort of environment I could imagine bringing a child into. I realized that I had goals for eventually starting a family and that simply couldn't happen if I was drinking all the time.

    It sounds like your mom was a strong lady - it takes a lot of strength to do what she did, no doubt.
  10. pwarbi

    pwarbi Community Champion

    I also grew up with alcoholic parents and while I did start to stumble down that path myself, literally, I managed to use their influence in my life as motivation to turn things around and see how NOT to live my life, as a lot of other people do.
  11. xTinx

    xTinx Community Champion

    Hello @dkelly and thanks for sharing your story! I do hope you'll find it in your heart to forgive your father. Perhaps he won't be able to change anytime soon but hopefully, he'll come around before it's too late for him. Having a father like him must have given you the drive to do better with your kids. Focus on your family and guide your children to the right path so they won't go astray. I wish you all the best!
  12. Psyduck

    Psyduck Active Contributor

    I'm very sorry that you had to go through this. I love your approach however though, being positive and using this to make yourself a better parent. I really wish all the best in your life and you would definitely turn out to be a very great parent!
  13. pwarbi

    pwarbi Community Champion

    A lot I feel depends on the strength of that individual person. Growing up surrounded by any sort of substance abuse can either send that particular person either one of two ways.

    They can either carry on the circle and their life will end up the same, or they can say enough and make sure it stops with them, and they turn the situation around.
  14. oportosanto

    oportosanto Community Champion

    Growing up in such an environment has to be hell, especially if there is some sort of abuse involved. Kids are just too young to know better and they might end up caught in addiction too.
  15. dkelly

    dkelly Active Contributor

    Thank you all for your comments. I struggle with the issue of forgiveness. I know that forgiving him helps both of us but then I still don't want to let go of boundaries where he is concerned. I know my mother did her best and she taught me that we have it within us to change a bad situation.
  16. serenity

    serenity Community Champion

    Well even if the ending of your story is not a happy one I think that at least you became aware of the negative effects of alcohol and you swore to yourself not to be the kind of person that your dad was and not to follow in his footsteps. I wish you all the best in raising your kids!
  17. doatk22

    doatk22 Community Champion

    Yes all you can do is make a better example for your kids now. I'm sorry you had to go through that.
  18. dkelly

    dkelly Active Contributor

    Thank you for your good wishes. I have every intention of giving them the kind of life that I hungered for as a child. I want them to feel secure and loved and know that they can depend on me.
    oportosanto likes this.
  19. oportosanto

    oportosanto Community Champion

    That is great from you and it only proves that you are a good person. When we went through a bad experience, the best we can do is try to break the cycle and prevent that from happening again.
  20. djolem

    djolem Senior Contributor

    I was lucky enough not to have a problem like this but my cousin i already mentioned here several times grew up with an alcoholic father. To start with my cousin was sick. He had epilepsy and was a troubled kid because his father was very violent to him and his mother.As time went by my cousin started with marijuana and his alcoholic father once on his birthday was provoking him about it, just to make him realize he knew. It escalated quickly and my cousin was chasing him with knife. That was not because of marijuana of course. he was angry because of all the years he was torrmentig him and his mother. After some time my cousin was a heroin addict but now after treatment he is clean and his father is sober for several years. I thin that realization that he could loose his son woke him up.