Ever since I was a little girl, I struggled with having an alcoholic as a father. Hell, there's even a baby picture of me with my dad hammered in the background.
Our family never could go out and do a normal family activity like everyone else did because my dad was too drunk to go. I grew up being the oldest of four, having two sisters and one brother, so I always got the shorter end of the stick, while hearing my mom complain about how she couldn't handle my dad and his drinking. Growing up I watched as alcohol turned my dad from this wonderful fun-loving man into a mean bitter drunk.
As most families don't experience having an alcoholic as a parent, I did and still do to this day. Being so young and seeing your father drink until he couldn't sit up straight was embarrassing and hard because when my dad was drunk, he was mean and didn't care who's feelings he hurt. It was routine for my dad to come home from work, sit down at his desk and crack open a beer until he would reach relief from his life.
I remember my sister and I being young teenagers and our dad pulling us out of our room giving us a lecture in the hallway until we cried or my dad being drunk and screaming at my mother telling her how horrible she was. When my dad did things like this you couldn't say anything to him simply because you would pay for it verbally if you did.
I do not envy my father for being more involved with alcohol than his family because this has made me spiral into the direction of becoming a determined young adult.
After my parents' divorce, my mom was relieved because she no longer was trapped in a cage with an alcoholic, and unfortunately, I was relieved too. In many ways, I thank my father for being an alcoholic because I've learned that alcohol is not the answer to solving your problems.
My dad was always unmotivated when he drank and I saw that as a young kid and teenager, this is when I made the decision that I would strive to achieve my goals so I wouldn't have to turn to alcohol when I felt low. I am 19 years old and thus far I am in my second year of college, receiving good grades, paying tons of bills, and working a full-time job while maintaining a life outside of all the chaos.
I love my dad very much and although he is an alcoholic, he made me focus on the future and not let the past disrupt my chances of being successful.
Pain and struggle will always be a part of me somehow when reminiscing but I've learned how to take those struggles and the felt pain and turn it into strength. I hope that someday my dad will have the strength to turn away from alcohol and have the chance to enjoy life like he once has before.
I want my dad to be able to experience what is perceived as a good and happy life, to share success with my siblings and me, and to be there to watch us succeed and accomplish something that makes us all proud. I know my father experiences pain and uses alcohol as a filler to drown in his sorrows.
Strength comes from my struggle. One day my dad will find strength from his struggles, too.