5 O'clock At My House

Everyday at five o'clock, my dad would come home from work and be greeted by mother with a kiss and a glass of whiskey and soda.  She would make one for herself.  It was the cocktail hour for both of them.   They drank all through dinner and well into the night, ending each night drunk. 

There they sat, every night at the kitchen table watching a small television set about twelve feet away from them, drinking...and drinking...and drinking.  I was a child and that's all that I saw.  I could not walk into the kitchen and say something without getting told to wait for a commercial...wait for a commercial...wait for a commercial.  That's how it was, my whole life, even til now. 

When I was thirteen, I started learning about alcoholism in my health science class.  That's when I started realizing what my parents were doing, and it just made me angry, bitter.  However, I seemed to take it out on my dad more, although I'm not sure why.  Maybe because he was more of an *** when he was drunk, more disgusting to me, although I never liked watching either of my parents get drunk, especially when they were party drunk.  It was gross to me.

It took a long time, a few glasses tipped over by me, a DUI with my dad, and some tough love but he has since recovered and has been sober for about...4 years now, I think.  I'm proud of him and I'm probably the only one that lets him know that.  My mom still drinks around him, my brothers drink around him, I don't...and I won't.  It's not fair to him and he's taken too much heat for the things he's done, and I won't make things any harder for him.


vampireheart vampireheart
31-35, T
36 Responses Aug 13, 2008

My mom and dad were also alcoholics thoyp

I can relate totally. Sadly though, my Dad never gave up and died of pancreatic cancer three years ago. Same story though. Thanks for sharing, love to all x

I love this story and I'll tell you why. I can totally relate. My dad was a drunk. He was a huge jerk when he drank, he used to beat me and my family. However, when he was sober he spent most of his time trying to mend relationships with us before the next outburst. For years I never forgave him and finally about a year and a half ago I started to forgive. Once you learn to forgive everything gets better. They just need support i've learned. Of course I still fight with him cause it's hard to forget everything but he's totally changed. I'm glad you forgive your dad. It takes a really strong person to say "I'm proud of him and I'm probably the only one that lets him know that." I know it took me forever. You are a really strong person for hanging in there through your parent's alcoholism. And I don't know if your dad tells you or not but i'm sure he's grateful to have such a great kid to love and support him even through his wrongs. Kuddos to you :)

I think you are so brave and incredibly strong to go through that and still try your best to support him now. My mother is an alcoholic- she's liked to drink since her teens but i only noticed any problem (worsening) when i was in my teens. I'm now 22 and she's drinking a lot more heavily as much as i try to be there for her i just really struggle. I feel so angry at her for what she is doing. The thing i hate the most is when she gets aggressive when drunk because at those times i know I've lost the smiling mother i love. I fear that she is just going to drink herself to her grave. She is a diabetic on insulin and her sugar levels are still through the roof. If she carries on there will be nothing the DR's can do to control her diabetes. I just wish that someday before it's too late she will realise what she is doing to her self and will seek out help. And I'll wait for her to do that.

you mean there aren't ANY black jews out there? Hmmm...I'll have to look into that. And there are no black cannabils out there? Or Jewish one's? Or Black Jewish ones? Thank the gods.....


I think it's really amazing that your father has attained sobriety even despite having so much drinking still around him. Especially still having his wife drink. I'm sure you know that often couple's follow each others patterns closely and it is very difficult to diverge in a lifestyle change like that. It's very admirable that you are mindful of his achievements and do not drink around him. It sounds like you have a solid head on your shoulders despite your rocky upbringing. Best of luck to you!

thanks, ya'll, for all your positive comments and luck wished my way. Things are alright, for now, although he's been sipping again...sometimes right in front of us, such as when we go out and my mom orders a drink, he'll take a long taste of it, or even at times make a drink. And then there's the times that we're not supposed to know about when he's sipping after we've gone to bed. Mom marks the bottles so she knows when some is missing. <br />
I feel guilty at times because since he started doing this again, I've almost wished he would either just stop completely or go head first back into the deep end and get it over with so we can move on with our lives after he blows his liver out.

Your dad will need all the support he needs. You pulled through it and that is good. But your mom and brothers are rubbing it in his face and that is wrong. Most kids that have parents that drink turn out to be a drunk or abusive toward their families. Well good luck to you and your dad.

At the age of 48 I have an alcoholic parent and learned at an early age that our relationship would always be ruled by what time it was. I do not talk to this parent after 6pm, if I do it there is never a good outcome. It doesn't help that I am not the "favorite." I moved away from my parent's at the age of 14 and while I maintain contact and visit I am always on my guard, as are my children.

What is maturity?<br />
<br />
Do I think most people who have a child have one when they are mature?<br />
<br />
How can a child raise a child?<br />
<br />
Where does love of self begin, and how much do you need to be able to feel love for a child?<br />
<br />
It seems to me that a lot of patience, action examples, and positive statements are needed to raise a solid loving kid who grows up to be able to do the same for their kid. <br />
<br />

Remains me me and my dad. We are very similar. I love my dad dearly and he does me. Because we are so far we talk about each other with others with pride. When we are accidentally together no word or tension came up. Don't know why since we have nothing to be tense about. Hmm

it would seem that easy but it's not. I've been ready several times and each time i just can't make it come out. My dad and I never had and still don't have that kind of relationship where we just talk.

Cela, you are so right, i know this is something I need to do. I would hate for him to pass not knowing that i love him as much as i do. There are many things i need to tell him but i dont know how. That scares me.

I can understand that route as well. There are things that I can't forget either and to a point, I don't bother as much as I should. My dad's not a jackass anymore from his drinking, he's just a jackass sometimes because of what the drinking did to his brain. All things aside though, I love the man.

unfortunately, the best way for me to deal with him is to not deal with him at all. because of his drinking and being a jackass in general, he's done some pretty bad things in his life that i can't forget. i just don't want to be bothered with him.

i'm sorry to hear that, I wish all of you who are still struggling and still struggling with someone the best of luck. it's a rough road and it seems like only a few survive.

sounds like my dad. but at least yours straightened his act up. mine is still drinking, a 74 yr old drunken jackass!

Hang in there I know what your saying, my husband drinks, and I hate it I hope our kids don't fall into it but I'm afarad that our 14 yr old might, I'm pretty sure my daughter won't cause she can't stand it when he drinks, cause sometimes he picks on her, but he thinks its just teasing, but I don;t agree with him about that, cause his teasing is different when he drinks that when he's sober. Well anyway hang in ther I'm proud of you.

lala...I'm not quite sure I get where you're coming from. Actually, I think I do, but I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt that maybe I'm reading it wrong. Are you saying that if my parents weren't alcoholics and I, along with many others, did not have to grow up the way we did, we would still be crazy and need mental help?

keep telling him your proud of him and how well hes doing. you deserve a pat on the back aswell for being there and for caring well done your strong xx

Most ACOA's are very resilient having had to deal with extreme disfunction and /or abandonment. It was suggested to me that a healthy way to get past the anger and hurt left behind by our parents' problem was to compose a letter explaining how we felt or feel and then when it was through, to burn it without ever delivering it. This part is very important, as a person may be upset after stirring the mud (so to speak) and become impulsive or even vindictive. Don't deliver the letter !!! Good Luck to everyone who choose to grow through these experiences . BTW This works for deceased parents also. Give it a try. It may help set you free.

A lot of ppl blame a lot of **** on alcohol and drinking. Whatever. If these fuc*-ups weren't drunk they would have to carry the burden of being crazy by themselves.<br />
F-that sh**.<br />

Intrepid...It is a major problem out there and something that effects so many people, yet doesn't get enough attention. Yes, there is al-anon, and teen-al-anon, but I can't help but think sometimes that if more people saw with their eyes what happens to themselves as they continue with alcoholism, what happens with families, to their relationships, to their futures, it might...just might...change things for generations to come. Make a reality-show about it or something...everyone watches those. I do!

Intrepid...It is a major problem out there and something that effects so many people, yet doesn't get enough attention. Yes, there is al-anon, and teen-al-anon, but I can't help but think sometimes that if more people saw with their eyes what happens to themselves as they continue with alcoholism, what happens with families, to their relationships, to their futures, it might...just might...change things for generations to come. Make a reality-show about it or something...everyone watches those. I do!

Bipolarwreck...hey, haven't chatted with ya in a while ;-)<br />
I'm sorry to hear about your dad. I'm also sorry that you weren't able to avoid the same path. I am glad, however, that you chose to share it. What I wonder is, do you believe that you were trying to bond with him in some way by following that path or did you just fall onto it like so many people do...unable to jump off before it's too late?

Sold, thank you for the kind words. I try to be as understanding as possible. My fuse is a little short with him anymore, unfortunately, because of what the alcohol has done to him. It makes him a very difficult man to understand, be around, enjoy, talk to, etc. I try to cut him some slack and do my best to help him out, it just gets to be hard. And he doesn't think anything is wrong with him. Which makes it even more difficult. <br />
When I lived at home, I helped take care of him. I've lifted him out of the tub, I've made him meals, I've made sure he had all his medication...and actually took it. He cannot do many things for himself anymore, or sometimes just chooses not to. My mom has doubled her duties since he stopped drinking and was diagnosed with encephalopathy. <br />
A while back, my mom had a cancer scare, and I was already trying to make arrangements for moving my dad down with me so I could take care of him. <br />
It's not easy. It's not fair. But it's part of a child's love for their parent.

Bitlord, that was incredibly honest of you to share those things. I am grateful that my parents were not abusive like that, although I did get slapped once...but I deserved it. I am grateful that I did not turn out like them, or like how you described. It could have been easy, it could have been an easy excuse as well, but I wouldn't let it. <br />
I was the bartender as well, often having a few sips a night, but never to the point of being even close to buzzed. I'm not sure, however, if they would have even noticed. I think I knew how to make a 7 and soda before I knew how to make my own pb&j.<br />
I'm so sorry things have turned out the way they did for you. I pray that one day your kids will understand, as I have, that it feels worse to hate and resent than it is to forgive and work through it.

I never got the chance to meet my father because of booze and drugs. I was 2, and apparently he tried giving it all up so he could be around for me but the depression got the best of him and hended up committing suicide! worse part about though, is even though i tried, i followed his exact steps. Almost an exact replay if you will. no life to live thats for sure...

B1, wow, that is quite the experience. You're right, I don't think parents really understand the damage they're doing to their children, that lasts their entire life, just by continuing to drink like that. I was often scared for my parents as well, when they were driving, when I was in the car driving with them, when they'd drink so much and go to bed...worried that they wouldn't wake up. It's hard, and it hurts on so many different levels. To watch them hurt themselves like that, to see the kind of people they become when they're drunk all the time, to believe that whiskey means more to them than you do. And yes, I have forgiven, and yes, it's hard to forget. So many of the ways that I am now are a direct result of how they were then. I love both of them and I dread the day that God welcomes them Home. It's just hard to forget.

You are a good person allofusinme. I can't give you any advice; but as a recovering person, I can say your dad has a compassionate and understanding advocate. Obviously, life is complicated; and trying to grasp addictions near impossible. God Bless.

My mother is an alcoholic too, she started when I was 12, quit when I was 21 for about 9yrs and has started back now for about 2 yrs, harder than ever. She is very out of control when she is drinking. Very manipulative, guilt tripping, lying. very argumentative. She cuts herself to get the attention off her drinking so we will feel sorry for her, maybe not be as mad. We have put her into treatment centers, the Mental Health ward, so many times I am loosing count! Still it is not enough for her, we are not doing enough to help! While nothing seems to help! She calls me all the time asking me to help her, especially when she is drunk. She gets upset when i wont talk to her or I don't go visit her as often because of her drinking; then the guilt tripping begins. Sometimes I just give up and try to shut her out completely, wont talk to her for weeks. She will quit for a little while, then I feel guilty. I always feel guilty....we always will! It is the curse of a child of alcoholism. We will always have the guilt, cause in some stupid way we blame ourselves. Why can't we stop it? If they loved us enough they would stop! They try to teach us in Al-Anon that, we didn't cause it, we can't cure it and we certainly can't control it! These are very hard lessons to learn! I too have struggled with my own Mental issues and your right, it does give you a deeper understanding and tolerance. I can deal with my Mother alot better now than when she was drinking when I was in my teens. Still it really takes it's toll. I think too in some way we can forgive, it's forgetting that's the hard part! This is only a small part of the story too, I could share some real horror stories from when I was a kid and I had to live with this everyday, it was alot worse then! Things I hate remembering, so many times I thought she was dead or I would get a call that she killed herself. She would drink and drive. Now I still wait for that call, because of her cutting, and I fear alcohol poisoning because she drinks to the point of blacking out. She doesn't eat either and has dropped to 110 lbs. She is also very depressive and suicidal. I have so much anger towards her, cause she can't see how this affects her family. I have a daughter myself, that this is affecting too.....has in soooo many ways; affected our lives together. She can't see how this has affected me in my life, all my life! There is so much resentment. I don't think you ever get over that. <br />
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Feel free to contact me if you want to chat about this, it is nice to have someone who has really been there and understands!

I give him all the support I am capable of giving right now. He lives back up north and I'm down south and the communication just isn't there. But he's still doing real well, and even able to joke about drinking without being tempted. It ****** my mom off but I grin at him, letting him know that I know it's a joke and that it doesn't scare me. Letting him know that I have faith and confidence in him. <br />
The poor man works his *** off now, doesn't really have the time, although I'm sure he would if he wanted to. He just doesn't want to. I hear him tell friends that offer him a drink that he doesn't drink anymore. That makes me proud. Personally, if I were him, and I lacked the strength that I have, and apparently he has, I probably would have fallen off the wagon. With my mom still drinking in front of him, my brothers drinking and even getting drunk around him, my mom's moody self and the financial situation their in...a lot of people would have turned back to drinking I think. But he hasn't. Only thing is, he's suffering in other ways now.

He will need all the support you can give. I used to drink too!

True...some people turn to alcoholism themselves, or other things, or can just never move. I did pull through because I am stronger than most people realize. My strength, and well...mental issues, lol, have enabled me to move through some of the most difficult things in my life, things that would have broken some people.

Thanks. I wish I could do a better job though. While I support him and protect him, part of me still feels like it holds a grudge. I don't want it to be that way but there's something there that is keeping me from getting too close to him. I call my mom a couple times a week but I never just call my dad out of the blue and for no reason. He, however, doesn't do those things either. Part of me is still mad at him for being the way he is now because of all the drinking he did then. I don't know, it's confusing, and it hurts me, I just don't know how to fix it...especially before it's too late.