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Shouting Inside: Whispers in the Roar
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Neglect Is My Life

January 7th, 2008 by author1

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There are many trials in life that one must go though, and everybody deals with things differently.  Some write, some fight.  Everyone in my family seemed to drown their problems with alcohol.

 As a six year old, I didn’t’ see the problems that my family faced.  My world was big and full of wonder in the eyes of a curious little boy, but having alcoholic parents made my world a lot smaller.  I could never put into words how scared, embarrassed and annoyed I was at their drinking.

 I learned quickly to figure out what my parents were thinking and feeling.  I needed to know what I was coming home to.  At some point, my parents split.  I stayed with my dad most of the time because my mom’s drinking was really bad.

 One time though, my dad left me and my friend on a Friday night to go out and didn’t come home.  We went to my friend’s house; I remember his mom was real nice about it.  My dad didn’t come home till late Saturday; he didn’t leave me any money or anything.  He came to pick me up at my friend’s house and I knew he was hung over.  He didn’t talk at all on the ride home and he went right up to bed as soon as we got home.  The next morning he acted like nothing had happened.  The thing he really forgot about though was that day was my birthday – he never even mentioned it.

 Daniel

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January 4th, 2008 by editor

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Missed My Childhood to Play Parent

January 4th, 2008 by author1

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            My parents would fight almost every day when I was little.  I was afraid of my dad because he drank a lot.  I never knew what he would do to my mom or me or my sisters.  I always felt like he might hit her or one of us.  On those few occasions when he did actually hit one of us kids, I would tell myself we deserved it because we had done something wrong. 

            I was young so I really had no clue what was going on with him.  I just knew he would come home drunk every day, fight with my mom and ruin everything.  I always tried to keep the other kids out of the way.  I would make dinner for them and then take them upstairs to do homework – out of sight, out of mind kind of thing.  The fighting would go on until he eventually fell asleep.  I would hear my mom on the phone with her sister afterwards, she would cry and swear she was going to leave him, but she never did. 

            In the morning, the house would be very quiet.  My mom didn’t get out of bed so I would have to make breakfast, pack lunches and get everybody out the door on time.  All this while trying really hard not to wake up either my mom or dad.   This went on for years.  My dad never did quit drinking and my mom never left him.

             When I grew up, a friend convinced me to go to an Ala-non meeting.  I really didn’t want to go and didn’t think I needed to talk about any of this because my dad was no longer around.  Boy was I wrong, I had a lot to say and a lot of feelings about my having to pick up the slack for my parents. It really did help simply to tell someone else my story.

 Anonymous, Ohio

Fearful of the Next Moment

January 4th, 2008 by author1

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I got everything on my list for Christmas after my parents were divorced when I was 11 years old.  My mom would spend the rest of the year paying off the debt.  Christmas gifts were so important to her because when she was a child she got next to nothing.  She didn’t want to let that happen to her children.  After the divorce my dad didn’t see us much except for at the holidays but he usually didn’t get us anything. 

My father was what some would call a “raging” alcoholic, hitting my mom, swearing at everyone, picking fights.  We learned early on to try and stay away from him when he would come home drunk.  There were times when I just wanted to take care of him, make him something to eat or help him get out of his work uniform but he would just get angry, swear and yell and chase us away.  We never really talked about all this.  My mom would just beg him to stop drinking and threaten to leave and eventually after many years, she did.  She would say that the happiest day of her life would be when “the old man is six feet under”.  I couldn’t believe she would wish my dad dead.  When my dad did die, my mom was a wreck, it turned out not to be the “happiest day” for her.

 I mostly just remember always feeling afraid 24/7….what would happen next.  I still feel afraid a lot of the time for no special reason.  You just get use to feeling that way.  I feel sad a lot too especially when I think about growing up in that house.

 Suzi

My Dad

December 14th, 2007 by author1

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Ever since I can remember, my dad was always drunk. He wasn’t a mean drunk but a little too friendly but thankfully my mom was always around to keep him from getting too friendly with us girls. I’ve been told by my counselor that this is why I have serious men issues. My dad never talked to anyone and we learned to just stay out of his way because he was either drunk or hung-over.

Anyhow, my dad was never, ever a part of anything – I actually don’t have a single memory of him as a little girl other than my mom sending us little kids up to the neighborhood bar to try and make him come home…which, of course, he never did until the middle of the night. We would find him asleep at the kitchen table when we got up to go to school in the morning.

In high school, I never, ever brought friends to my house – I didn’t know then why – but since then I’ve figured out that on some level I was “hiding” my dad from everyone.

Right after I graduated from high school, my best friend’s parents took me and her out to dinner and over dinner, my friend’s mom asked if my dad was alive…..I remember being TOTALLY shocked by this stupid question, of course, my dad was alive. It took a few years to figure that one out but because I had never, ever even mentioned my dad – they assumed he was dead.

Speaking of graduation, that’s a story in itself. I had a lot of scary times with my dad – like the time we found him laying outside in the snow in the middle of winter in Cleveland – he was coming home from the bar late at night and had fallen – I found him along with my sister and we thought he was dead. Anyhow, I have one really sad memory and that was the day of my high school graduation – I worked hard in school – wanting to get good grades. I was Class President much to my surprise because I was pretty quiet and kept to myself. So on graduation day, I got to walk in the procession first and wear a special blue tassel. My dad had said he would come…but he didn’t and all I can remember is seeing him passed out on the couch when I got home. Not sure why, but that one really bums me out still.

I feel sad a lot and I think a lot about how kids should just not have to grow up that way. I realize now that a lot of the time growing up, I was just totally embarrassed and afraid about what would happen to my dad.

-Sally

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