It's ok to ask for Help



"Many people around me think I’m not “fun” for not participating in party culture or having a couple drinks."

I absolutely despise alcohol–and with good reason. Maybe that’s a good thing perhaps? Many people around me think I’m not “fun” for not participating in party culture or having a couple drinks. How could I when I’ve witnessed the very critical repercussions of excessive drinking from a family member of my own first-hand? [Also, I’m underage, and do not condone underage drinking.]

There was a family member in my household I was living with since I was a baby–let’s name this person X. I remember growing up with X living in the same house as me for as long as I could remember, but X was never really a part of my life. Every other day, multiple times a week, X would come home drunk. My mom would have to take care of X–even with all the motherly duties she would have to uphold along with a 9-5 job as a counselor. I would watch her worry almost every night before bed about X even though she would have to wake up early and prepare everything for the day. There would be nights where X would not come home, leaving my mom frantic in the early morning. There was a time when X was beat up by gangs because X was unconscious due to the amount of alcohol consumed. She would drive to the usual places X would drink at just to find out after 50 calls later that X spent the night at a friend’s place. 

My mom, worrying about X’s safety with good intentions, would get screamed at for the many calls or even just for wanting answers. X had severe anger issues that would lead X to scream and throw things. I was 8 years old when X threw a glass cup across the room breaking the TV where my mom was standing close to. I was 8 years old and that memory is deeply ingrained in my head. When I was in high school, X had a hangover and my mom was arguing for answers, which was completely just. I vividly remember the moment X got out of bed to pin my mom against the wall. I remember having to separate the two. Amidst this madness, X ended up getting a DUI… and then a couple years later, X got another DUI.

Perhaps I wasn’t directly affected. Perhaps I wasn’t the one enduring the screaming and sleepless nights. Perhaps I wasn’t the one pinned against the wall. But this is the story of what it was like to grow up with an alcoholic, and how it still affects me to this day. I still suffer from the consequences of being the bystander and feeling so limited in the things I could do. Guilty, almost. It’s as if I was a sponge, soaking in everything, feeling helpless.