Children of Alcoholics

 Children of Alcoholics

The second week of February is designated as “Children of Alcoholics week.”

As a child of an alcoholic

I have the following characteristics and traits. I found the basis of these traits from this article from the Searidge Foundation.

  • I bury my feelings especially powerful ones. It was imperative for me to keep those feelings to myself to avoid any fallout from my father being drunk.
  • I did not want him to get mad so I made sure I didn’t do anything to upset him. Not just him. I learned the best way to deal with any drunk was to avoid any possible conflict. Don’t rock the boat. Stay under the radar. As a result I lost any identity of my real self or any self-esteem.
  • I feel responsible for the needs of others. I end up in relationships with men who need help. Thinking of others mean that their judgments of me are important. I need others to approve of me. I need those pats on the back.
  • I buried any feelings of fear. I would never admit to being afraid or threatened. Keep it in. Avoid conflict.
  • I have problems with my relationship with my husband because I find it difficult to express what I need from him. So I stew and get upset when he doesn’t give me support or understanding.
  • When younger I couldn’t go without a partner. I felt abandoned. That I needed to be taken care of too. I’m not sure that has changed but now I feel like I’d like to try to be on my own.
  • When stressed I feel that everything is out of control. One thing piles up on the other and life is sucks. It’s the all or nothing condition.
  • My body deals with a lot of physical issues. I have tight neck muscles, jaw pain, headaches and more. I suffer from depression. Along with suppressing feelings, I never really grieved any of my losses such as my childhood, my mother, my pets.
  • Although I never became an alcoholic myself I have an addictive personality and many traits of an alcoholic.

Here are a few links I found to help with alcoholism:

http://adstv.on.ca/

http://www.al-anon.org/

http://www.addictioncanada.ca/

http://www.smartrecovery.org/resources/family.htm

http://www.camh.ca/

http://forums.psychcentral.com/adult-children-alcoholics/

Are you a Child of an Alcoholic?

My Story of Childhood Abuse

moongirlca August 13, 2014 2

my story of Childhood Abuse

TRIGGER WARNING

This is my story of childhood abuse. I needed to tell my story and I believe my story needs to be heard.

For reasons I will never know, my mother took me away from my father and brother when I was one. We lived with the man who I thought was my father for as long as I could remember. My mother raised me as an only child but my bother did come and live with us for a short time.

My mother and ‘father’ frequently fought

I would lay awake at night listening as he yelled and threw things. The next day I saw bruises on her. I remember we had to sleep in the car one time. I was afraid of this man. One day my mother finally left him. We went to a hotel and met this other man who turned out to be my real father. He took us to his home and I found out that he was in fact my real father. I would have been about 10 to 11.

Mom and I moved in with him for a time. I met my new family. Found out from my dad that my birthday was not what I had thought it was. Someone told me that my mother had a false birth certificate for me with wrong birth date.

My mother left me with my dad

He told me she would rather go off with some @#%& guy than stay with me. He never had any nice things to say about my mom. He got me to feel sorry for him, all alone with no wife and his daughter taken away from him. He needed someone to take care of him. Being the kind caring person I am, I felt bad for him. Mom came back once for a visit but I never did see her again after that.

The Abuse started gradually

I was in grade six and was missing a lot of school. I’m sure that was because of the abuse. It started slowly. He made it seem almost natural. So much so that I didn’t think anything was wrong at first. He cautioned me to keep quite. Told me bad things would happen if I didn’t.

Emotional and Physiological Abuse

Although I don’t remember him hitting me he ruled with power. I was afraid of what he might do. I remember hiding from him over something I did, afraid of what he’d do. He hit our little Chihuahua over the head for some infraction and it had a bump. Once day that Chihuahua disappeared. He told me someone stole him from the back yard.

The Birds and the Bees

One day I saw the word ‘slut’ written on a wall and asking him what it meant. He told me about sex and about menstruation. He was my only parent and I trusted him and loved him dearly.

You’re not good enough

In grade 6 and 7, I didn’t do well in school. Math and English were difficult for me. I remember getting a high mark on a math test and everyone was happy, the teacher the students. I came home and told dad and his reply was “why didn’t you get 100 %”

Dad got a phone call in December and he was told that my mom died. He told me that she had a hysterectomy, had sex too soon after and hemorrhaged to death. My mom always seemed was at fault for things.

The abuse continues and escalates

He tried to penetrate but I resisted. Somehow he managed to get one of my friends to join us.

He penetrated her and there was lots of blood and pain. It was rather frightening which was confusing being as my body felt stimulation as well. (This made me think I must have liked it).

(Now after some therapy I learned that my dialog uses  consenting adult terminology and what really happened is abuse and or rape)

Alcohol

All the men and most of the women in the family drank a lot. Dad would get drunk and drive off the road with me in the car. He also fell asleep while cooking and I woke to smoke. I had to put it out and put him to bed. He fell asleep in bed while smoking and once again I awoke to smoke filling the house and we had to carry the smouldering mattress outside. My father was usually a quiet person but not so when drinking. He let me have alcohol. I felt quite special being about to drink while underage. He let me smoke cigars. I learned to avoid setting him off when he was drinking. You did what you had to do to avoid conflict.

It seemed to run in the family

My Grandfather would corner me in their small kitchen so I couldn’t easily get by. He would get right into my personal space and pat me on the bottom. It was uncomfortable and I avoided passing by him in small spaces.

My uncle drank even more than my dad I think. He would walk around his house naked when drunk and my aunt would have to yell at him. He was the silly uncle. The kids loved him. She was the nag. I remember being in his truck once and him making a pass. I said no and luckily that was the end of it. I can’t help but wonder what their childhood was like?

All the way

He finally went all the way sometime during the summer or fall. It happened while we were camping, alone. I remember thinking that I had nothing to stop him with now. By this time I knew it wasn’t right and I didn’t know how to stop it or what to do.

When I was 15 to 16 he lost his business and we moved. He became involved with my friends mom and we moved in together. She and I slept in the same bed. It didn’t take long for him to turn to her. He would abuse her while he thought I was asleep. I remember feeling jealous. I also remember thinking thank goodness it’s not me anymore. She became pregnant and her mother kicked us out. I think she told me I could stay with her but I declined. I still loved my father.

Pregnant

Next we lived above a bar. I became pregnant and quit school in my second year of high school. To hide me we moved to new city. We stayed with my sister-in-law and we told everyone that I got pregnant from a boyfriend. So I had the stigma of a teen pregnancy.

It didn’t take him long to find another woman and we moved in with her and her two kids. He told me that I could have an abortion if I wanted. I decided to keep the baby. I was already maternal and dreamed of having a baby of my own. I stayed in their basement for a while and then moved in with the sister-in-law and her friend. At age 17 I had my baby boy. I met someone and we moved in together.

My father was still in my life. I hated him but I loved him. I didn’t want to be alone. I needed a father. I remember my Dad staying over at my apartment, for some reason and he climbed into bed while I was sleeping. I moved and slept on the couch. That was the end of him trying anything again.

My father abandons me yet again

He moved away and was having a life of his own. He didn’t give me any financial or emotional support. I got involved in a support group and it was there that I finally told my story for the first time. The facilitator guessed it and said it out loud before I could. I also told my Grandmother, who had guessed as well. My grandmother was the only family member who seems to care at all. Dad left and the rest of my family lived far away. I felt like I had no family at all. It was just me and my baby.

Thanks to my father I was to start on another part of my life without the skills and love I needed to make the right decisions. See my Relationships post.

Where you able to tell your story?