The voices get louder and louder and you hear the sound of glass breaking. The door to your room is closed and you cover your head with your pillow as you lie on your bed. Fear washes over you as tears begin to flow freely. Why couldn’t you just behave? Then they wouldn’t argue like this. Somebody is going to get hurt. Maybe one of them will pass out soon. Why didn’t you study more for that test? Oh why, oh why couldn’t you just have kept your mouth shut and done what mom said? Then none of this would be happening. . . . or would it?
It is not your fault.
There is nothing that you did to cause your parents’ drinking. There is nothing that you did not do that caused their drinking. It is not your fault. You do not have the power to make them drink, just as you do not have the power to make them stop.
Do not let your circumstances define who you are.
You are not responsible.
Your parents’ behavior and problems are not your responsibility. You are not responsible to fix their problems. You are not responsible to take care of the consequences of their choices and actions. It doesn’t matter how many times you are told it is your responsibility or that you need to “fix it” or “fix them.” They are not your responsibility.
You are not alone.
There are many, many people of all ages struggling with the behavior of a loved one that is controlled by their “need” for alcohol. When that person is a parent, or worse yet, both parents, the problem is multiplied. When a person is controlled by alcohol, they are not taking care of themselves and their responsibilities. Family members and other loved ones bear the brunt of not only their irresponsibility, but also their erratic behavior and outbursts. In fact, there are at least ten family members (or close friends) who are negatively impacted by an alcoholic’s drinking.
Help is available.
There are many programs and groups where you can meet other people who are going through the same thing. Each group, whether through a church or a secular group, has its own personality and its own quirks. Most insist on a strict policy of anonymity. One of the primary things they provide is a place where you can go to regain your sanity and find serenity.
The best defense is a good offense.
It’s common to say that you will not do the same things to your children that your parents did to you. To make this statement come true, it’s important to address and overcome the issues inherited from your parents. The earlier you do this, the easier it is to change the course of your life. Do not let your circumstances define who you are. Instead, take charge of your circumstances and use the adversity and pain to become a stronger person, healthier and better able to connect with others in wholesome ways.
God has already provided a pathway out of your problems. But typically you’re looking to God to provide the pathway you want, the one that makes the most sense to you and is easiest. Instead of following your own ideals, reach out to God and ask Jesus to guide you to the path he has prepared just for you. You are never alone; Jesus is always with you, even when you don’t feel like it. He is right there at your side with tears streaming down his face while he waits for you to ask him to help. He wants to help. He loves you, and it hurts him terribly to see you suffering.