I’m 28 years old and I am the daughter of an alcoholic.
For several months I have participated in the meetings of the therapeutic group for adult children of alcoholics’. I have known for a long time about the group, but I had no intention to participate in it, because I thought it was “for those who cannot handle with the problem.” And I, of course, I advise myself… almost perfectly. I’m going to graduate from alternate faculty, learn another language. At work I also fulfill my obligations excellently. I have a lot of friends, I’m in good relations with my family – well, maybe not perfect, but “there are no ideals”.
Besides, I’ve already lived in my own apartment, I’m financially independent and I’m just FINE. My dad sometimes drinks, then mom is a little bit nervous, but otherwise all is FINE. Well, maybe last time he came the acid – he had the seizure of alcohol as mom and dad were on holidays, but otherwise everything is FINE… My mom last time can’t sleep, so she takes some strange sedatives and her mood is constantly changing, but it’s probably because of the menopause, besides it’s FINE…. Well, my relationships with guys go off half cocked, but of course it is a coincidence, because otherwise it’s all ok!
And God? Still the same arid confessions. For so many years I have thought about going to the priest and asking him to be my confessor. What was I really afraid of? Go girl, do not be afraid. Maybe he will also recommend you a prayer group. You can mention him about your dad, but of course you’ll tell him how wonderful you cope with your things and that you’re FINE. Well, maybe the priest offers to attend a meeting with a psychologist, but you will explain to her, that you take control over your things and that you’re FINE, and the group is definitely not for you.
I walk cut-up along the streets. I am adult child of an alcoholic. What kind of a statement is that? It sounds like a leper. Am I irregular or an outcast? Mind you I’m so cool, and they call me like that. This gets stuck in my throat!
Okay, I’ll join this group, but I don’t really have enough time. Okay, but the only reason is because I want to find a good husband. On this condition I can agree. Just let me give a quick recipe for a great marriage. Will it hurt? Will this make me sad? Will it help fast? A course for busy, please!
It hurts, and I am very sad. From the cheerful girl I’m becoming a sad woman. And my dad is getting worse and worse… He doesn’t want to eat, loses weight, drinks everyday- fasting, at night, in the basement, in the house, before work (for courage), after work (to chill out), before driving a car… Cans of beer are everywhere. “Psss …” I will recognize the sound of opening cans everywhere. I didn’t think, that tiles around the tub are moving … the more that they fit 2 cans of beer.
Phone from holiday.
-Dad is in hospital. He fell on the ground, whole shaking. Doctors say that it’s alcohol epilepsy. His liver is a wreck and he has problems with blood pressure. Come for us.
-I’m coming mom.
And me? I have no time to meditate. Olga act, think!
Situation 2- weekend in the mountains
Apart from that, everything is FINE … Maybe it was a dream, or my father simply hacked several furniture and beds in our house in the mountains. Father said allegedly things to my mom in a jarring way… She told me about that on the phone, but it’s probably not true. She sat there with him all alone and was afraid of him, that’s the main thing that I remember. She didn’t know how to come back home, because my dad behaved erratically.
And me? I have no time to meditate. Olga act, think!
Apart from that, everything is FINE.
Why did you leave me my Prince?
Come back My Prince, My Hero…
I want to fight for you My Prince, don’t leave me alone… You were my knight, my hero, my strong father. Please return. Vitamins, warm conversation. We will look for a new job for you… Return my hero.
And do you remember when you went with me to the dentist and you held my hand, My Hero ..?
And do you remember when you taught me to ski, My Hero ..?
And do remember when gently you combed my hair, My Hero ..?
And do you remember when you carried me to the fourth floor in the block of flats, and
I pretended to be asleep and you knew it well, My Hero ..?
And do you remember when you ran down the sidewalk, when I saw you coming back from work and laid the briefcase on the pavement and you took my in your arms, My Hero ..?
I also remember the taste of the beer foam from the bar next to the nursery, harmless foam… Once you told me to wait outside the bar and wait in a given place and not to move anywhere … You painted a circle around me and over again, is it possible? Maybe I just trumped it up? In jokes you always deny.
Now you’re gone, but when I was younger you always were by my side … I think you were. Well, once or twice you weren’t with me when I needed you…
Dad why were not you there?
You were away when mom was screaming out loud about every little thing.
You were away when mom told me to write a silly statement, regarding the choice of school, if I had no right to make a mistake.
You were away, when she forced me to study two faculties at the same time.
You were away when I started seeing guys, we always had to hide.
You were away, when he dumped me after 3 years for another girl.
You were away, when I hitched and one almost raped me, I didn’t trust you enough to tell you that.
You were away, when I was solving difficult mathematics tasks, and only about 9 p.m. I was able to solve them, and you were drunk…
You were away, when I needed support in taking high driving test – you paid for it, and for the third time I failed it again.
You were away, when I was looking for a job, taking new challenges. Always when I wanted to ask for help with agreement I was answered with a storm of criticism.
You were away, when I discovered my passions, hobbies … You were never interested in them, and I wanted so badly to tell you about them… Then you changed the topic. I think, that you didn’t like to talk to me…
You were away, when I was telling stories about my new job, what I did. You always asked me how much I earned.
There was a time when you had an accident on the bike, because I did not want to bother you… Unfortunately, I was right. You were the first, who accused me and didn’t believe in my innocence.
You were away, when somebody broke into my apartment, you didn’t give me a sense of security, but guilt and anxiety.
Nevertheless, for me you were this better parent…
With you, mom, it was always much more difficult. I remember the constant bickering and criticism. I tried as I could, but it was really hard to please you. He had easier. Luke always had easier much easier. He didn’t have to do anything at home, because he didn’t know how. He was handsome and talented, that was enough. You got four, why not five? I got five, why not six? Did you get six, why not two. You got two sixes, but … look, you have something on your face! When viewing in your eyes I am so small… so worthless… I jump and climb for you to see me … Why can’t you see me, mom? I am here, heeeeere!
You were always, you were everywhere, but you were always in the other team, you were very unpredictable player. In a moment you were a calm sea and in a second minute – the raging storm. For all my life I was looking for a mathematical formula that would give the key to identify the causes of the storm… And the lack of the rule!
You were away mom, when I passed the state exam, which was really important for me and you absurdly said that I managed to pass it because of connections.
You were away mom, when I made friends. You don’t know my closest friends. Who do you invite to my wedding?
You were away mom, when I called so many times in the hope of a good word, and instead of “Hi” I heard the charges…
You were away mom, when I called so many times to praise about something, share something joyful…
Waiting for the spring
Maybe someday you will come in springtime and bring lightness, freshness, flowers, fruit, beauty… Maybe if I were born again …
And now autumn…Too early for the autumn of my life! It was supposed to be so beautiful – husband, children, home, holidays, vacation… And this is all wrong.
I’m tired. Tired of getting phone that brings nothing but bad news. On the cell there should be an inscription: “You have one new BAD message”. Instead of ring tone I should record mom’s voice: “I’m calling you because I have for you new bad news”. Will it ever end? I am taking a vacation. From work you can take vacation. And from the family? It’s not really proper. You’re with each other in good and bad time. Christian wouldn’t do this. Don’t you want to talk with your father? Don’t you want to talk with your mother? What a daughter are you!
Mom, I always was by you… Long evening talks, comforting, nodding, translation, sometimes stormy discussions… I can’t do this, it’s too much for me… Can I ask for half-time? Alternate, please.
And what’s the point? Is there a progress? My mom is one bag of laughing and crying. For her everything is in order and not in order at the same time, she makes me sad and equally requires me to be happy, wants me to live my life and be with her at the same time. She is saying that she copes with everything, and then that she is so lonely; has friends, while they do not existsimultaneously. She says, she can count on the family, and at the same time that she can’t count on anybody. She says that she is in need of psychological help while she does nothing to take advantage of it.
Mom, you play with us… You tell everybody a different story, and we all believe in it and we snarl on each other. I do not blame you, mom because it is a disease, but I am not able to help you now, because I feel myself poorly. The power goes from Someone who has THE POWER.
I am not able to give you what you want from me… I think that you don’t know, what it should be, me either.
Recovery is not so simple.
Recovery is really painful for me. I thought, that this course for student driver under the title “the life of an adult child of an alcoholic”, will be a little faster and easier. I guess I’m just about at the stage of the first class of theory, so it’s hard to say how it will go further. I believe that God has placed in my path people who can and want to help me. I put all my eggs in one basket and I gave myself this year on a weekly group therapy and regular confession. Any of them are neither pleasant nor easy. I might go for a fitness or dance club at this time. I am ashamed to talk about it, so I told about this problem only my closest friends.
It’s hard for me to write about the progress of recovery, because I think it’s still too early. I have the impression that I wash myself carefully from lying, misunderstandings, stereotypes, falsehood…. I guess I have been curing the blindness. I do not have the horrible depressions, but life does not taste as good to me as it used to… I miss that girl that I used to be …
And God touches my wounds slowly. Finally I am able to cry … I believe that all I have gone through is for a reason… That there will be a great joy and a grand ball. This can’t last forever. I believe that He has a beautiful gift for me… If not here on earth, definitely with him in heaven …
We all will rest in His arms …
Translated by Wiktoria Płonka