independent advocate reducing alcohol harm

Eithne

I was expected to only feel happy for his victory rather than shattered by his failures

My father drank from when I was born until about nine years old. In that time he crashed the car with me in it, injured family members, verbally abused us all, ruined my mum’s life, spent the mortgage on alcohol…..the list goes on. I spent a lot of time wishing I was dead.

It is only now at nearly 40 I am fully understanding the impact that this had on my whole life, my emotional health, my relationships, my parenting and my physical health. Although he stopped drinking, many of his other problematic behaviours continued into sobriety. I felt completely omitted from his ‘recovery process’ and was expected to only feel happy for his victory rather than shattered by his failures.

I have spent my life in therapy trying to heal from this trauma at a time in my life that I should have been cherished and cared for. I also feel betrayed by all those who left me exposed to this experience. My whole life has been geared towards proving that I could succeed in all areas of my life which led to perfectionism, eating disorders and constant anxiety and depression. I am working to heal but I will never forgive him for what was a shattered childhood.