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If your live with an Alcoholic and have children in the home.

Old 02-11-2012, 04:29 PM
  # 61 (permalink)  
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wow. What a wonderful thread. You guys are the best. Here's my .02 worth.

I come from an alcoholic family. Grandparents, uncles, aunts, everybody was nuts in one way or another. Couple of pedophilles in the mix as well. One of my aunts did not drink, but she was extremely anorexic and died of that in her 30's. Whenever my father came home, which was not every day, somebody would get beat.

When I was 12 years old, I ran away from home. I only lasted a few days, maybe 3, I'm not sure how long. I snuck back in the house and expected some horrible punishment. Something wonderful happened. Nobody noticed that I had been gone. Nobody.

So I kept running away, each time for longer and longer periods of time. I found out, rather quickly, that living on the streets was much the same as living at home. The one difference is that on the streets I got _paid_ to do the things that at home I was forced to do for free.

I found some decent people out there. One guy owned a junkyard and if I stole hubcaps and brought them to him he would let me sleep in the yard with the dogs. That was great, I was safe _and_ warm.

Eventually I managed to not go home again. I fell in with some older guys that had a lot of money, and partied all the time. Booze was free, and I loved it. I became a full blown alcoholic, ended up living in a trash dumpster. A priest came by with some garbage, found me, and dragged me into a homeless shelter they had in the basement of the church. I was 17.

It took me a few years to completely stop drinking. I was not one of those "instant miracles". But I did stop. Got involved in AA, went to a couple therapists. Put myself thru college. Got a career, married a lovely alanoid. Helped raise a daughter.

I made a life.

It's been awhile. My biological parents died some time ago. Our daughter grew up, had four kids of her own, now there is one grandchild.

Over the years I have spent a lot of my time helping out in the various programs of recovery. AA, ACoA, al-anon, even OA. I have met people in ACoA who had a childhood so much worse than mine. I've met children in the ER who were living a nightmare beyond my imagination. I thought I had seen it all living on the streets, I never saw the inside of some homes.

I have also seen the beauty of homes where both parents got sober, and the kids are happy and healthy. Many, such homes.

I know that the reason I did not have a childhood is because my parents were drunks.

I also know that the reason I found recovery was because I _wanted_ it. The reason I got myself straightened out with meetings and shrinks, the reason I put myself thru college, got a career, a marriage, a life, all that was because I _wanted_ it.

Made no difference what kind of parents I had. I made my own life, and I made a good one. I survived and overcame my childhood, like so many others have. Today I know _hundreds_ of people thru ACoA who have perfectly happy, healthy lives.

Recovery has taught me that I had some seriously broken "parts" in my psyche. I had a choice, and I chose to fix them. They say in the meetings that when you fix those broken parts they end up stronger than if they had never been broken. I look at my hundreds of friends in ACoA and I know that is very, very true. They are the strongest people I have ever known.

Someday my time will come. I will be able to look back over my life and see that there were some seriously bad times. My childhood was only one of them. I will see that I had some fantastically wonderful times. In the end the bad times won't matter. Those bad times in life are not what define me. What defines me is what I have done _with_ my life.

Yes, I was injured as a child. Injuries heal. Now I am an adult, and I am ever stronger for having learned how to heal.

In ACoA we say that we don't care where you have been. We care where you are going. We have our own version of the Serenity Prayer.

God, grant me the serenity
To accept the past I cannot change.
The courage to change the future I can.
And the wisdom to start today.

Mike
( p.s. thanx for all the compliments, you guys rock )
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Old 02-11-2012, 09:59 PM
  # 62 (permalink)  
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God, grant me the serenity
To accept the past I cannot change.
The courage to change the future I can.
And the wisdom to start today.
Thank you for sharing this, and your story, Mike. There is so much hope in both.
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