Alcoholism and Drug Abuse – Alcoholism

Each week I will be publishing a piece from the A-Z of my personal life experiences to show exactly what my knowledge on each of the topic I have listed is. This article will be split into three parts that cover different aspects of my experience.

Alcoholism

First off, I am not an alcoholic. My experience with alcoholism comes in the form of having witnessed a violent alcoholic take out his issues on my mother’s face and body. While this post isn’t about domestic abuse specifically, it is inextricably linked, because whilst there are devastating physical side-effects on a person with alcoholism, it is the lasting damage done to everyone who comes in contact with them that lives on.

Alcholic

I was 5 years old when my mother, who was recovering from an unsuccessful marriage at the tender age of 29, met a dark, handsome and charming ex-army officer, who whisked her off on romantic dates and showered her in affection and gifts. It was exactly what she’d needed and it seemed she was finally able to start her life again with her two daughters and a caring man.

When the physical violence started not long after he moved in, it seemed a one-off loss of control.

It soon became obvious what was behind the erratic and unpredictable behaviour. The alcoholism was so bad that if he couldn’t find any whiskey, he would start on the methylated spirits. The physical side-effects of alcohol abuse were truly traumatic to witness for a 5/6 year old. I remember fits where vomit would come pouring out of his nose and mouth while turning shades of blue and red before collapsing on the floor. After nearly killing both of them in a car accident whilst drink driving, he promised to get help.

But he didn’t.

I remember once picking all the beautiful red poppies outside of our house as a present for my mum. I couldn’t wait to give them to her as I ran inside shouting for her to come down. I remember so clearly the colour drain from her face as she shouted and cried asking me why I had done it.

The fear of what HE would do to her when he came home had taken a hold and as she sat crying with me on the bottom step, apologising for getting angry and stroking my hair, I felt the last shred of my innocence disappear. I was 7.

From that moment on, everything I did, I questioned. A nervousness about every action I took potentially resulting in the beating of my mother, dominated my younger years. I do not remember him coming home that day. It is probably a good thing.

For almost 4 years we lived in fear of the monster at home. I remember him breaking her arm. I remember being woken up in the middle of the night by screams, holding closed my sisters ears so she wouldn’t hear it again, and the fear of what we would find the next day…but more on that later.

I strongly believe that a lot of my anxiety comes from this man and what he put us through. It may not have been the sole cause, but it was certainly nurtured in this environment.

For a long time I hated alcohol. I saw it as an evil best avoided. I didn’t touch it until I was over the legal age at 18, where everything changed…

To read about my changing relationship with alcohol, tune in for part 2.

Image courtesy of Naypong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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13 thoughts on “Alcoholism and Drug Abuse – Alcoholism

  1. dani…I don’t know you from ‘eve’…. before you marry your night/present fiancé, read this post again with eyes wide open, understand behavioral patterns are not changed by ceremonies, words/promises are meaningless without the ability to comply and fulfill, and you may literally revisit this nightmare without ever intending to enter and navigate this destructive ,dark, dismal alley….. ‘he doesn’t hold his drink very well….. it’s all about drinking, and that’s what its become’…..

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    • Hi, I appreciate your concern, but my current fiancé doesn’t drink a lot (which is why on his stag he couldn’t hold his drink like the others), it was my ex that drank so much to the point he was wasted. I learned a lot from the past relationships and would never enter into a marriage without knowing in my head that I am marrying a good man who will make a fantastic father and life partner, not just someone I love with my heart. Believe me, I am marrying the best person I know – we were friends a long time before we got together and it was his soul I fell in love with. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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  7. Oh wow. I’m glad that you’ve found a way to share this part of yourself. Although the bit where you said you’ve lost your innocence at a tender age of 7 is heartbreaking, I am looking forward to your next post about your change of relationship with alcohol.

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    • Thank you for your comment Bem :). I’m very lucky I can speak about these things, almost factually now. I want to show people that what happens to you doesn’t have to define you as a person. Really means a lot when people read and comment so thank you 🙂 xx

      Liked by 1 person

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  9. Sounds a lot like my babyhood/childhood. Abusive father gone by 5. Crazy next door neighbor became my step dad almost instantly. Called him daddy for few years. I even ruined a whole bed of Tulips thinking it was a game to throw wood chips and cut the stems, when I was too young to know better. And lets not get started on how it affected my relationships.
    It has been a while since I thought of it though. I didn’t stuff it away, I was angry at everyone for a lot of my life, but eventually I forgave all involved.
    I only tell you part of my story to let you know I have been there and there is a way out.
    BTW-I was too ashamed to tell people I had problems when I was young and I think it is very brave what you are doing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your comment and sharing your story 🙂 It is awful the way these things can affect us growing up isn’t it. As if being a youngster isn’t hard enough, there’s this unidentifiable rage and struggle within ourselves that we have to overcome as well. Like you, I found my way out to the other side, and luckily for me I can now talk about it as just something that happened to me in the past. It has no emotional pull, but I do believe my anxiety is left after the continuous terror felt by me as such young and sensitive little girl.

      I tell my stories because, like you, I want to ensure that people know they’re not alone if they are currently going through something like this. Like you said, there’s a way out, there’s a way to overcome it.

      Hope you’re having great day 🙂

      Dani xx

      Liked by 2 people

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