I am not really sure where to begin, so I will just start writing and see where it takes me…
I am in my 30s and have read pretty much everything ever published about being the child of an alcoholic. I know all about the roles (I am a hero), the shame, the dysfunction, the warnings (Just FYI- I didn’t marry an alcoholic “like my dad”, but my ex was a jerk anyway, go figure). But I never read anything that really sounded like MY life or MY family or MY alcoholic (awww!). I’m tired of all the hokey, psychology-ridden rhetoric about living with an alcoholic…I think people need the harsh truth. Living with an alcoholic parent is hell. No book you read is going to change that. The only thing that ever helped me was finding other people in my situation (rare) and using humor (often).
My dad is a special kind of alcoholic; the kind who hasn’t had to face many repercussions. But after being an alcoholic for over 20 years now, it is finally starting to catch up with him. It’s about time.
That sounds mean, but once you start to read a little more (if I get anyone to read this since I am not sharing it with family or friends), you will see. Because my story stretches over two decades and has no definite end in sight, it is a little overwhelming to know where to really start. So, let me just explain the title of my blog: “Do Nothing Taker”. That is one of my many nicknames I have been given by my alcoholic father. For many, many years, he was a functional alcoholic (one of those fancy Al-Anon terms!). It basically means that the alcoholic gets to go to work and have everyone think he is a normal person, but then comes home and acts like a psycho-monster to his family. My dad made a very good living and my younger sister and I were very well provided for. My ex (the sober jerk) used to say “big house, no problems”. This was the truth. We appeared like a very nice family. It was exceptionally deceiving for a long time (we will get to that). But when my dad acted especially mean, he would buy my sister and I gifts- it is how I got my first Nintendo. But my father’s favorite thing in the whole world (besides cheap vodka) is throwing things back into people’s faces. Hence my nickname. I am a do nothing taker because he bought my first bike, paid for my college, etc. etc. and I have done nothing in return- I just take. He conveniently forgets me dropping assault charges against him, but alcoholics have fuzzy memories like that (and that is a whole OTHER story…)
I do hope someone reads this, maybe even someone who can relate to this (or who just wants to feel like their dad maybe wasn’t such an asshole in comparison to mine- my friends like to do that lol), but even if no one does, I think it will help me to get some of it off my chest. Besides, I want to write a book about him one day so this is prewriting (did I mention I teach English?)