This I Believe

Celci - Iola, Wisconsin
Entered on December 6, 2006
Age Group: Under 18

Growing Up With Alcohol

Six, twelve, twenty-four, and thirty are numbers I often observe around my Dad. The decision of how many beers he wants to drink that day. It is usually twenty-four that means fewer trips to the liquor store.

My Dad is an alcoholic, and no matter what happens, what is said, or what I do, it will never change. Yes, I love my Dad very much but I don’t love his addiction to alcohol and that is what his life is, drinking. It doesn’t matter who he hurts along the way.

Trying to talk to him is the worst. He never takes me seriously, he brushes it off and acts like I never said anything. Yelling, screaming, crying as hard as ever have, nothing works. In the end he will open another beer, swallow hard and get over the fact that his addiction is tearing me, his daughter apart.

My Dad and I see each other on weekends or whenever it’s convenient for the both of us. Whether or not I see him is my decision. I enjoy spending time with my Dad but when I do he’s always drinking so as a result, I don’t see him very often. It feels like he can’t spend time with me without drinking. I honestly didn’t think I was that bad of a child. He should be able to go two days without a drop when I’m with him. His excuse for undergoing the influence of alcohol is that it’s the weekend. My dad claims that the only time he drinks is on the weekend but I know it’s not true. I can tell when he calls, his voice and laugh are raspy, and his attitude is totally different.

Then there is Tammy, the insane girlfriend who treats my Dad like dirt. When they drink together it always results in hateful words by the both of them, and shoving done by her. After I yell at the two of them to stop, my dad and I leave his house because she refuses. We’ll go stay the night somewhere else and in the morning he’ll tell me that he’s done with her. After hearing that line for five years and she’s still around, the hope of her one-day being gone is lost.

My dad isn’t always under the influence, only most of the time. I wish I could take this horrible addiction away from him, but he’s the only one that can help himself. I have to accept the fact that my dad will always be an alcoholic and there’s nothing anyone but him can do.

I have deep empathy for everyone who has to or had to endure the pain of living with an alcoholic. The worst thing is having parents whose first priority is alcohol. I can say from experience it makes you feel like nothing. No child should feel like alcohol is more important than they are. This I believe.