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Impact on Children

Old 08-17-2018, 02:43 PM
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Impact on Children

A lady shared how that when drinking she found pieces of paper in her 7 year old daughter's room saying "please let mummy stop drinking". I found this incredibly sad and made me deeply regret the worry and distress I have no doubt caused my own son.

She was single parent and talked about in her drinking years her daughter went from a baby unaware of her mum's drinking, to being sad and worried to eventual anger at her mum. The lady has been sober a couple of years now and has good relationship with her daughter.
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Old 08-17-2018, 02:46 PM
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This is a huge part of my sobriety. My son, and now new daughter, deserve and need to have a father who takes care of himself.

It's a source of stress and worry for me as well, damage I've caused. But much more than that, it's a source of motivation.
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Old 08-17-2018, 02:57 PM
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My moms alcoholism tore through our family like a tornado, from the time I was eleven through college. It is a devastating, complicated and long term situation for all when a family stays together as ours did. I have always wanted to forgive my mom, and only through my own recovery and development of empathy have we all, and she and I specifically, come to a very good place that I believe and trust will remain.
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Old 08-17-2018, 03:12 PM
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My family ( wife and 3 kids ) was the primary motivator in quitting. They know why I quit and they know I also try to help others who need help. I think the helping others part shows them something even more important than the act of quitting itself. I do have regrets for all the time I wasted on drinking that could have been spent with them, even when I was physically here but not really “here” because I was drunk. But we cannot change the past, so making a good effort today is the best we can do.
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Old 08-17-2018, 03:16 PM
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Wow! It’s amazing to me how such young kids are aware of so much and how deeply they are impacted at a young age. My mother did not develop alcoholism until I was in my teen years. She already had mental problems though so we were dealing with that. The gravity of the situation never really hit me until much later. In fact, not really until after she died, and worse after I had my own son and started processing my own family stuff more deeply. Negative early childhood experiences can really creep up later in life and hit you hard. I am trying to be mindful of this with my own son, and it is one more thing keeping me sober.
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Old 08-17-2018, 03:48 PM
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Hey, Fearless. I am so glad you are keeping sober for your son. Children are so intuitive and get much more than you might think.
My father was a virulent alcoholic. He was the kind who could go for 12+ years without a drink, but then it would be off to the races in a horrifying way. He was insanely bad when I was 9-11 years old. He was a master sergeant in the US Air Force and we led a nomadic existence; mom was a teetotaler who thought she could save him (and as is so often the case my dad was a kind and sensitive man when sober) and her enabling and their (non-physical but vicious) fights were epically terrible.
I remember a lot of that time-- much of it with photographic clarity--and even though dad never believed his behavior ever really harmed us, the opposite was the case. I ended up despising my father and ultimately becoming the thing I most hated, an alcoholic like him.
Dad was sober for 19 years, until his death, and I am happy that we reconciled. I cared for him at the end and we made our peace.
You are absolutely correct that negative childhood experiences can hit you hard later in life. I wish you all the best on your sober journey and hope you have a wonderful life with your son.
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