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Brewer Burns

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Denial

Much of what makes being the child of an alcoholic so difficult is that it is often a problem that is unacknowledged and hidden. In my case, there was a point at which my mother said to my father: you are an alcoholic and you need to get help. And he did. For a time he quit drinking and went to AA meetings religiously. He had a sponsor. He worked the steps. There was even a brief spell of family counseling involved.

Unfortunately, his sobriety was not permanent and even more importantly, sobriety did not instantly turn my father into a loving, thoughtful, conscientious adult or parent. When he started drinking again it was very difficult. The fragile peace that had reigned was shattered. My mother kicked him out. He refused to acknowledge, from that time on, that he was an alcoholic or ever had a problem with alcohol. He only went to AA all that time because it made my mother happy. He had no problems. He did nothing wrong. My mother was a nagging harpy that hagrode him into admitting he had an addiction that he did not have. And my sister and me? We aided and abetted her in this criminal act. He painted each of us with the same brush.

1 Comments:

At 11:37 AM, Anonymous johnhanscom said...

Thanks for sharing this. I am also ACOA, as is Steve's mother, Lynn. My father died from alcohol related difficulties. Both he and Lynn's dad "daddyjack" could be very, very charming, and my father was super-intelligent (that does not mean daddyjack wasn't; I don't know him as well), but all was meaningless due to the alcohol. I can certainly relate to the "blame" issue. I am 60 now, and sometimes still hear his voice.

 

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