And finally in this week of booze and how it impacts this was on the website Children of Addicted Parents (COAP) and is an anonymous letter from a son to his dad, an alcoholic.
I don’t even know where to begin. I’ve grieved for you now for 15 years, and you’re still here. Every time I think I’m getting somewhere I end up back in the same place, longing for the man who took such good care of me and my siblings and loved me so much up until my teenage years when yours and my mother’s marriage broke up.
I often wonder if you do still love me and how often you think about me, my brother, and my two sisters. Years of broken promises, and unbearable pain you have caused always makes me wonder whether you feel guilty of that, or whether, in your crazy drunken world, you don’t give us a thought at all. Sometimes I think it would be better if you were dead because I know you will never get better, and that way I can get some closure. As it stands now I can’t get that closure because we still hear of you due to the fact we love and see our Nana, your mother, in her failing health. The Nana who you have crippled financially and ruined her retirement. She is blinded by her love for her son, even to the point where she was more worried about you on the day of my Grandpa’s funeral because you were so drunk you didn’t attend. Something I will never forgive you for. She has funded your drinking for the last 15 years to the point our Aunty has had to take control of her finances after you convinced her to take equity out of her home.
I feel all this anger inside but I cling on to the good memories I have because despite being 6’4 and 15 stone you’re the only person that makes me feel like that lost little boy, who would stand pitch side watching you play rugby, proud as punch. The same rugby club I have played at for ten years because it’s the only place I feel close to you and I don’t want to ever lose those memories. I tell all that are close to me that I hate you, but I don’t, I miss you. Not who you are now but I miss the father you once were, unbelievably so. At the end of last season our rugby team won the county cup, it was a fantastic moment, but I wished you were there to see it. I cried afterwards on my own in the car park when I should have been celebrating.
I have a son now, who you have met once. He’s 5 years old next month, and despite not being with his mother I will never let him go through what we went through. You have a grandson and you don’t even know what he looks like, he has to grow up and I have to tell him one day about what happened to his grandfather. All four of your children suffer in different ways because of your downfall; I have suffered terribly with depression, your other son is in and out of jail, your two daughters fear abandonment or seek to control situations because you took away all of our control. If you were the way you used to be, you would be proud of where we all are in our lives in spite of all the damage you have created.
I could never say any of this to your face of course. Despite being assertive and confident in the rest of my life, with no fear of telling people how I feel, I could never find the words when I see you to tell you how you have made me feel. I haven’t seen you for over a year but that last time it was so close. I had everything I wanted to tell you on the tip of my tongue, but it wouldn’t come out.
I know that you will never change or recover, it’s too far gone, but I hope one day you reflect on what you have left behind and the pain you have caused. It may seem selfish, but when you die from the damage you have done to your body, I think there will be a huge wave of relief that will wash over me, and I will forgive you.
Your eldest son.
Maybe those drinks industry lobbyists should go and read some of the messages left by children on this website’s message board ……..