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Al-Anon Forum Magazine Featured Article

I Tried to Be the Best Student - to Stop Dad's Drinking and Mom's Shouting
The only thing I want in my life is to be happy, but that hasn't been the case.
I grew up with an alcoholic father and a neurotic mother. I barely spoke. I felt sad, depressed, and very lonely. When there were parties, they were only excuses to drink. I could never enjoy myself because I feared something bad would happen later.
My mother would begin shouting. Sometimes my father got so angry that he would begin throwing things around. The fights always ended with one or the other physically hurt.
I remember one occasion very well. My parents began fighting after they came home from a party. I stood at the door to my room looking at them fight. I had tears in my eyes. They looked at me and stopped.
My mother, brothers, sisters, and I left home for a week. We always forgave my father, because, after all, we loved him. We believed him when he said he'd not do it again.
He quit drinking for a year and then began drinking again. Sometimes I wished I were dead. I couldn't stand my father drunk. My mother used to shout about everything and I don't have words to describe how I felt. Time went by and everything stayed the same.
I tried to be the best student at school to make my father stop drinking and to make my mother stop shouting. But things didn't happen like that. I started misbehaving and acting differently. That way I could make them feel all the pain I had felt for so many years. I didn't know I was also hurting myself.
It was too much for us to learn that my father had become a drug addict. It caused me a lot of pain. I thought I was going to die this time. Three days after my 13th birthday, I found Alateen. I have been in the group for a year and a half.
I have changed very much and the group is now my family. My parents also have their own groups and we are a happy family now. We wouldn't know what to do without the help of our groups.
By Joselen R., Texas - 14 years old
Published November 2006
Alcoholism is a family disease. Those of us who live with, or have have lived with, this disease as children or adults sometimes have problems which the Al-Anon program can help us to resolve. If you have answered yes to some of all of the above questions, Al-Anon may be of help to you. You can contact Al-Anon by checking your local telephone directory, or from the Resources page. Phone numbers and Contact Information for the Austin Area are listed on the Contact Page of this website.
These articles were reproduced with permission from 'The Forum', the monthly inspirational newsletter of Al-Anon. Al-Anon World Headquarters, Inc. is located in Virginia Beach, VA. See www.Al-Anon.org for more information.