Better Drinking Culture Commentary:
The stories of alcohol abuse can run deep and be very personal. Millions of people across the United States have stories like this, but they are often not shared. Alcohol is not a bad thing, but if abused it can cause serious harm to individuals and families. As we celebrate the benefits of what a healthy relationship with alcohol can bring, it's also important to hear these really tough stories to bring into perspective the enormous impact we can make with Better Drinking Culture. Because stories like this shouldn't exist.
This story was submitted anonymously to Better Drinking Culture on November 16th, 2015.
"Growing up, I had a very interesting view of alcohol. One my my most distinct memories was when I was four years old, sitting in my aunt's lap, next to my daddy's chair, freaking out. I was crying and terrified that my father was dead. I wasn't the only one. My entire family was convinced that my dad's drinking problem had finally come to an end in the form of a fatal car crash. Well, the car crash he was in did not kill him or anybody else. His car lost traction on ice and flipped several times. He was the only one involved in the crash, but certainly not the only one involved in the repercussions. My entire life up until that point was full of verbal, emotional, physical, psychological, and sexual abuse. The sad thing is, maybe that was an important wake up call for the drinking issue, but it didn't do much for the other areas of abuse that my sisters and I had to endure. Being drunk, I've learned, is simply an amplification of one's true self. My dad was, is, and likely will forever be abusive, addictive, hateful, and harmful; all of which masked in a legalistic mask that looks oh so fine. Abusing me and then telling me that I should believe in a god who is perfect, instead of my own dad who makes it a point to harm me in every way possible isn't a great evangelistic strategy, let alone parenting strategy.
I am 21 now. I am still coming to grips with my past. I finally found a girl who doesn't abuse me. I am marrying her this summer and I am elated. I am so excited to be a good father where my dad fell short. I am also terrified that I'll treat our kids just like he treated me and my sisters. I think I'm okay now. My dad is not. He needs help. I drink alcohol with my friends, but never more than a drink or two. I have never been drunk, just a bit buzzed after a rough time back at home with my mom and dad, where I had to run out of the house with wet laundry in my arms. People experience pain. Fear. Heartache. Abuse. I refuse to let the abuse of my drunk dad to define my life, or the father I will be to my kids. I will love my wife with selflessness and respect. Life is cool. I want to remember my nights, rather than pretend they were probably fun."