That Feeling In The Pit Of Your StomachTo this day I still jump when I hear a door slam, the palms of my hands get sweaty and my stomach twists into a knot deep inside. It has been over 20 years since I lived with an alcoholic and yet I still can't stand to hear a door slam.
There were no happy drunks in my family, my parents would drink, go to bars and come home in the middle of the night fighting. Voices would yell, accusations were made, hands were raised, things were thrown, sometimes those things were people. The police were sometimes called although back then domestics didn't result in jail time. They would settle things down and go on their way. I don't know if anyone thought or cared to know that I was wide awake, listening to every word, holding my breath because in my mind as long as I could hear them they were both ok.
I remember promising myself that when I was a parent my kids would NEVER know what it was like to fear the sight of their parents drinking a beer. Not to say that I don't drink, I drank quite a bit as a teenager but once I was a parent that all came to a stop. I refused to NOT drink because in my mind that was letting the alcohol control me. I will sometimes have a drink but not very often, I have alcohol in the house but for the most part it just gathers dust. I used to drink a bit more, but when my husband passed away I feared using alcohol to numb the pain so I refrained from drinking even when I really wanted to. Now I don't drink because who likes to drink alone? Not me.
My parents are now divorced, the fighting is a thing of the past but they both still have their demons with alcohol. As far as I know they don't drink like they did when I was a child or at least they don't around me and since they can't torture each other the fighting is no longer an issue. But I am still a child of alcoholics, I still feel physically sick if I am around my parents when they are drinking especially if they are anywhere near each other, I worry about my sister who shows many signs of being an alcoholic and since my oldest daughter turned 21 last year I worry about her drinking. I am open with my children about the negatives of growing up with alcoholic parents and the fact that they have genetics that give them the tendencies to be susceptible to alcoholism. I talk to them about controlling alcohol not letting it control them. I was able to break the cycle of alcoholism and for that I am very thankful.