Post

Both My Parents Were Alcoholics

The title kind of says it, really. Both my late parents were alcoholics, though not at the same time. My father was a very shy man, who felt awkward around people, and clearly drink made him feel more confident, though he would still not really talk to people, but just get quietly more and more morose. At home, he had both a soft side, and a very hard side to him, and was not always a nice person to be around. His drinking just made this worse, mum and dad would row and row and row, and dad would turn more nasty. I seemed to get it in the neck the most. Anyway, his drinking got worse and worse. Eventually, my mum and dad split up when I was 16. 

Up to this point mum was virtually teetotal, save for the odd xmas sherry, where she would have one drink and get tiddly (merry). We used to laugh. Mum joined a couple of divorced and separated clubs, and bit by bit started drinking socially. Within two years she was an alcoholic.

Mum's alcoholism was chronic. For six years, she would get smashed out of her head nearly every day, the only days she didn't was when she didn't have the opportunity to, which wasn't often because alcohol is everywhere.

She stopped, but the damage was done. She died 5 years later of blood poisoning after two strokes, and had many health problems. My father carried on drinking had a stroke, gave up, and started again. He died in November 2007. He lived to a decent age in the end, 78, my mother was 65. 

I just wanted to share this with you 

Thanks mizzen123  

mizzen123 mizzen123 46-50, M 21 Responses Apr 26, 2009

Your Response

Cancel

I really feel for you , all you must have gone through.

I used to nurse people admitted for alcolic induced isues. The damage was mostly irreversable and incredibly sad :(

It is the most destructive drug there is, for the addict , their loved ones and socially.

My parents are alchoholics. I am almost 12 years old and by brother is 16. My parents get drunk every night and argue. They are really perfect couple when they agree with each other like in the morning (when they are sober) but they hate each other around 3:00. my dad drinks tonic water then goes to wine then goes to beer, and my mom drinks vodka and then about a bottle-and-a-half full of wine. I hate how they say they would quit then later, they get drunk again and threaten to divorce.

I'm so sorry you and your brother are having to go through this. I would strongly urge you and your brother get support. You don't have to face this alone. Is there other adult members of the family you can talk to? Maybe they might not be aware of the extent of the problem, maybe they might be able to support you with talking to your parents, if that is possible. There are also organisations out there that will support you. Am I right in thinking you live in the USA? I think, like the UK, there is Al-Ateen, who support young people, I would VERY strongly urge you talk to them. They offer counselling, practical steps for those dealing with their loved one's alcoholism, and can even help you talk to your parents, if that is what you wish. I hope you can find a way through, cupcake.

I also had two alcoholic parents. I didn't know my father well. My mother was a chronic alcoholic with periods of sobriety lasting a few years. I grew up around AA. Some of the meetings were at our home.My mother kept hitting a wall in her periods of sobriety. She was very unhappy and bitter. My brother, on the other hand, has been sober for 20 years. He made some huge changes, and has a life he is happy with. My mother never got there. <br />
<br />
Her heavy drinking and smoking two packs a day really took its toll on her health. She died at age 56 of breast cancer that had metastasized to her liver.<br />
<br />
It amazes me that marijuana is illegal while alcohol is legal. Alcohol is so much more destructive.

Thank you, SaratogaGirl:)<br />
<br />
It's great that your father was strong enough firstly to admit to having a problem (it takes courage and it's something my parents were never able to do) and to go to AA. It's also good that he has remained active within it, it helps both the recovering alcoholic and the others in the group. Again my parents never did because they never fully admitted to a problem.<br />
<br />
Thanks once again to you both :)

I'm so sorry that you had to go through this with your parents.<br />
<br />
I've written about this before here, but I'll do it again. I am also the child of an alcoholic, my father. But I have never seen him drunk. He became sober through AA and has remained active within it. My experiences have been with a loving, caring, sober man, whom I totally love.

Thank you for your comments, musicspirit:)<br />
<br />
It's good that you are wary about the dangers. It is easy to slip from using it to relax and needing it to relax and then to function. That's kind of what happened with my mum, and by the end she couldn't function.<br />
<br />
As for why there are not stricter regulations, the problem is that the genie is out of the bottle, if you'll pardon the pun. What I mean is that it has been so widely and as you say readily accepted, that beyond putting prices up and getting rid of certain promotions (the most sexist I've come across is in one club in the town where I live, they have had a free drinks promotion on a Thursday, using the women as a 'honey trap' to attract men to the club), there's not much else they wil do. The drinks industry and the pub industry won't allow it, particularly in the light of the 'credit crunch' and in England, the relatively recent smoking ban-thousands of pubs and clubs have closed over the last 18 months. Supermarkets are selling very cheap drink as well, which is another factor. <br />
<br />
Mizz

I don't have alcoholic parents, but I've always been a bit wary of alcohol because of what it can do to people. At one point, I found myself really craving a drink and resisting the urge to raid the cupboard. At around the same time, I found myself unable to go to sleep and so I took to drinking something - nothing big - at night to help me relax. That made me realise how easy and dangerous it is. It's not like I'm a heavy drinker - the opposite. I barely drink at all now. Next to teetotal. I was slightly horrified - I'd heard about my grandfather. <br />
<br />
It is a drug but why are there not stricter regulations on it? Why? I think you're right in saying that it is the most destructive drug. Nothing is more available and more readily accepted.<br />
<br />
This was a bit like a confession; sorry.

wtffx3baby<br />
<br />
Thank you for your post, and I apologise for not posting a reply sooner. <br />
<br />
I'm really sorry you're having to go through this with your parents. Is your dad still off the alcohol? How is your mum? Sadly, the drink takes over the alcolholics personality. Who they were before is still there, but alcohol is such a powerful drug. Do you have people around you to support you? I would recommend, if you haven't already contacted them, organisations like Al-Anon and Alateen, as well as Alcoholics Anonymous. <br />
<br />
Best wishes<br />
<br />
Mizz

DumbDrunk<br />
<br />
Thank you so much for your post<br />
<br />
I'm touched by your post. First of all, congratulations on becoming a father to be! You really have taken some major steps already. Firstly, by admitting your alcoholism, and then by asking for help. I'm so pleased that what I've written had opened your eyes. The two major reasons for posting about my experiences is to get rid of stuff in my head and, most importantly, to help anybody caught in alcoholism. If I can do that then that means a hell of a lot to me. <br />
<br />
I will talk to you soon DumbDrunk<br />
<br />
Mizz

Just reading all your stories really helped me I'm 27 married and an alcohlic with my first child on the way! Don't want my wife or my child to live in a home with an alcohlic! Thank you for your stories it's bringing tears to my eyes but at the same time opening my eyes to get a handle on this so I don't lose everything that means so much to me! I'm new at this and don't have any friends so give me a shout! Thanks again!!!

both my parents are alcholics also, and trust me its not easy to be in school and having to think about them 24/7. all my life i've been dealing with this, but the last three years, i started realizing what it was like to have a real alcholic parent. i've been in the car with my dad drunk, it's so not fun. i've called the cops on both my mom and dad for fighting. i've snuck out of the house just so i don't listen to them fight. now, my dad isnt drinking, and my mom is sorta, she keeps having relaps. She's not herself and i sometimes don't think of her as my mom anymore, she sleeps, and drinks and works. and that is pretty much it. I can relate to your story.

ascs, thank you so much for your comment.<br />
<br />
My father's alcoholism, the horrible things he said, I felt that everything I did was wrong..he blamed me for things that weren't my fault, criticised me all the time, threatened me...I know exactly how you feel. I withdrew into myself. My own depression came later, when my mother became an alcoholic. To be honest, I'm still working through things now, hence the post, but ascs I hope you feel comforted that you have friends here that care about you and will help you :)<br />
<br />
Have you contacted any of the self-help groups, such as al-anon? Are there others around you that you can talk to? Take care of yourself<br />
Mizzen123

I can relate. My dads an alcoholic. He drinks 12+ beers lately. Then when hes drunk he says hateful things or starts hollering and ****.<br />
<br />
thats why i suffer from depression and other things...<br />
<br />
:[

Fortunately, my brother has been sober for a little over a year now, not by the twelve steps which didn't work for him, but with being StraightXedge. My brother, my mom and I have all expressed how we feel about dad's drinking, usually after a relapse incident. He will be or act convicted, change his ways for about a month, then usually relapse. He was drunk once about 5 years ago and that was the first we knew about it. He was drunk on occasion that we noticed after that, but later he confessed to my mom that he was drinking a pint of vodka almost every day for several months. He would say his back was hurting, skip dinner and go to bed. I had always been suspicious of that, but my mom never believed me until he told her. He has stopped drinking so regularly, but with stress he will drink at the drop of a hat. I wish my dad would see my brother as a sign of hope, but he resents my brother. Any time my brother says something that could help my dad, my dad points out that my brother had a DUI and he didn't (even though, as I mentioned, he has driven drunk many times before).

BleuJean, thanks for your comment, and I totally empathise with everything you said. Tolerance is a major factor in alcoholism. My mother started with a couple of glasses of sparkling wine, went onto barley wine, with is both potent and tasted vile, and quickly onto whiskey, first with minatures then bottles. Every part of her body was ravaged by alcohol by the time she died. Forget heroin. Forget crack. Forget cigarettes. The most destructive drug is alcohol. You don’t have to be the alcoholic for your life to have been wrecked by drink. The thing is, BleuJean, the body is remarkably good at healing itself if the problem is addressed in time, so don't give up hope that your dad might be able to stop drinking and maybe not do too much long term damage. Can I ask how long he's been drinking? Have you managed to speak to him about your fears? I know how difficult it is to be able to get through, though.Is your brother still drinking? (by the way, please don't feel you have to answer any of the questions I've just asked) If you did think it would help in any way, you could show him anything I have written or will write, or you could use my experiences as an example of what happens, not just to them, but those that love them. The impact it has on loved ones is something I intend to return to. I know how much it has impacted on me and who I am, bad and good. There are people out there who will support you, BleuJean, and anyone else who is reading this.<br />
Best wishes<br />
mizzen123

My father is an alcoholic and continually relapses, especially when I'm home. To answer your question about how I feel about drug use now, I have had a couple drinks before, but now the smell of it and the way people act when they're intoxicated disgusts me. Not to sound pompous, but it really makes me sick to my stomach and anxious. This is probably because my father had driven drunk with me in the car before, and my brother (who is also an alcoholic) used to rely on me during his antics. I do understand that not all people who drink will turn into my father, but my gut reaction to drunk people is anxiety. My father also has developed a tolerance for liquor.. one such that he requires about a pint of vodka to get drunk. I often wonder what this has done to his liver, and I wish he could read stories like yours.

Sorry, I keep doing this, signing off before I've finished. Randomnotes, I really hope your mum will come through the relapse okay. Is this the first time she's relapsed? Please don't feel you need to tell me anything that upsets you, but if you feel you would like to share anything, then I would feel privileged, and if anything I could say to help would also be a privilege. I know that, at times, memories are still raw for me. <br />
<br />
FrancescaMarie, same for you. Whatever you want to share, or not, I thank you for opening up to me. Both sides of my family have a history of alcoholism as well. I do drink, but I will always be wary of what I am drinking. That is a good thing overall, and I think on the plus side generally, I have always tried to strike a balance with whatever I have in life. FrancescaMarie I was very interested when you said that alcohol and addiction has affected you in so many ways, including relationships with men. I feel the same way, it has affected my relations with everyone, and has always affected relationships with women.<br />
Best wishes, mizzen123

Thank you Randomnotes and FrancescaMarie for your kind comments. My dad was the one that continually relapsed, though he never drunk as much as he did. He could just not totally beat it. My mum, as is common amongst alcoholics, never admitted that she was. My mother’s alcoholism took a hold of my life as surely as it took hold of hers. The carefree years I should have spent going out getting drunk, throwing up and sleeping all day, dancing, going out with the opposite sex, all of that passed me by as this most of diseases took hold. It’s all very well saying you should let the alcoholic hit rock bottom. It’s another to be able to stand back whilst the person you love the most kills herself. I couldn’t do that. Believe me, I tried to break away, but mum didn’t want to live with what was going on inside her head. Right up to when she stopped, she was drinking as much as ever. For a few years she had been seeing an holistic therapist (as was I). A few days before she had her last drink, the therapist said something along thelines of "If you don't want to stop for yourself, then stop for your son". Although I had expressed similar sentiments many times, something seemed to click in mum's head. She stopped at the end of January 1989, and never drank again. Some years before, she had developed epilepsy, which myself and the doctors are 90 per cent sure was because of the alcoholism killing off so many brain cells in the frontal lobe of the brain. She carried on drinking whilst on the medication, but used it as a reason to refuse drinks when offered. I was just thankful we had a few years of sobriety at the end. The damage had been done to her health, though. <br />
mizzen123

There is a strong history of alcoholism in both my maternal and paternal grandparents. My Dad is a drinker. I like to drink, but am very conscious about that that fact and very careful about how much I drink. I have talked to my children ad nauseum about the fact that alcohol and addiction runs in my family. It has affected me in so many ways. Particularly, in the way I relate to men.

I can totally relate. Trust me. My mom and dad are recovering, but my mom is relapsing and is an addict.

Hope you all don't mind me replying to my own post, but I wanted to expand on a couple of things I wrote. I wrote this today because there is a drama on tv about the mother of the footballer George Best, who lost his battle. Like my mother, she was teetotal until she was in her 40's and then was destroyed because of alcohol, dying 10 years later. I believe one of Best's sisters is a recovering alcoholic. Alcoholism runs on both sides of my family. I wanted to ask you all out there how you feel alcoholism has impacted on you, how you are as a person, how you view alcohol in relation to other drugs, legal or illegal and whether you have any apprehensions about yourselves and alcohol.<br />
lol mizzen123

I don't want to overgeneralize but it seems to me that the British or English (??) tend to imbibe quite well with the drinking..is that another misconception by an American?