independent advocate reducing alcohol harm

Anthony

I wasn’t afraid of my father but I hated the person he became when he was drunk.

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 wasn’t afraid of 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.

Right up into my teens I had a dilemma at around 9pm. Would I 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.

2 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. As children we don’t speak about these things. We don’t want to upset our other parent by talking about it and if we can’t talk to our parents, who can we talk to. It’s so important to let children know it’s important to talk.

Thanks for reading my story