I am 65 years of age and still carry the scars of my childhood surrounded by alcohol.

I do not have many actual memories of what happened but the emotional defences I had to put in place to protect myself, for many years, I still carry around.

It has affected my trust in other people and resulted in hopeless relationships.  Fear and rejection were overwhelming, the constant screaming and shouting at one another, lying in bed at night listening to the two people you love being so cruel to one another and feeling so helpless and alone.

It has been said that in a family situation, the alcoholic picks on one child to vent their feelings – out of 4 siblings I was that child being subject to verbal/physical/emotional abuse whenever the whiskey appeared.  When a child sees their parent/s out of control it is terrifying and the feelings of warmth and security dissolve and are replaced by fear. I suppose what I am trying to say is in a household where there is alcohol abuse the children may be physically well looked after but the alcoholic’s behaviour/speech/violence will cause emotional distress that young children cannot possibly comprehend.