independent advocate reducing alcohol harm

Brendan

I developed a shell but it has often cracked.

My dad was an alcoholic. There I’ve said it. I don’t remember lots of my childhood as it’s too associated with pain and shame. We all suffered and it was abuse in today’s terms. I witnessed violence, actual and threatened. I experienced unnecessary poverty and guilt. I developed a shell but it has often cracked. This past has brought me into places and conflicts and has made me hyper vigilant and hyper sensitive. I have spent so much time on other people’s issues as it was easier than addressing my own. I am embarrassed from an intellectual standpoint that I was not able to uncover my problems earlier.

Trying to come to terms with this is difficult. The biggest feeling is shame so I invented a cleaner version of my dad when talking to others only highlighting his intelligence. Other family members discuss him as some kind of big guy who drank but I know they know. Some have emulated his behaviour and drink to excess. I work hard to avoid alcohol because if I touch it I spiral out of control and take risks that are unhealthy. I have raged against my wife for slight mishaps and then become contrite.

I need to change so that I can contribute more and feel some content. I feel guilty about relaxing and am regularly anxious. Apart from that sure I’m grand. Obviously I use humour to deflect my demons. This doesn’t work long term so I have contacted a therapist today as a first step to healing. If I want something different then I have to do something different.