This too shall pass
Hello, my name is H.
This is, mostly a story of hope to those of you still struggling with who you are and what your family is.
I haven't been on this website for the best part of 4 years but in the height of my mother's drinking, this website offered me a place where people didn't call me 'dramatic', 'attention-seeking' or 'stupid'. This was a place where I could talk to people who had the same suspicions as I did and where I was not judged.
I grew up with my sister and my mother who was an alcoholic. It was a traumatic childhood and one when where I was often told I was stupid. My mother would beat me with a broom when I had fights with my sister and turn up at school 4 hours late to pick me up. I would often find my mother lying facedown in the kitchen in her own urine and vomit. My mother was a prostitute and regularly put us in life-threatening situations where running away had become far too normal.
I was the caretaker, I would pay the bills, feed my sister, clean the house, walk the dogs and answer the phone. My mother had a deathly fear of post and phone calls so evidently they were my duty. I doubted myself for years. I believed everything everyone else had told me. I thought she had a drinking problem but the minute I brought it up she would scream at me and give me every excuse under the sun.
But for once, this story isn't about my mother, it's about me and how I felt. I felt so alone, my friends didn't understand and frankly nor did I, I was a child. I hated myself and my guilt wracked me everyday. I couldn't concentrate but was so afraid of misbehaving and getting punished by my volatile mum. I felt like an adult at the age of 9 and not in a good way. Whilst I loved my mother I also hated her more than anything. How dare she do this to me? How dare she take my childhood away from me! I had one goal, success. I would do what I needed to do and then go away to boarding school and never see her again. I hated her, I was so angry at what she had put me through, the danger and responsibility involved and all the lying I was forced to say to my friends and teachers about my situation at home. When I told my dad about her drinking he capped me childish and for many years I was so angry at him I refused to speak to him. My parents had made me feel pathetic and inferior. My need for control only grew as the years progressed. I became a bully to my sister, bottling every thing up and eventually taking it all out on her. She was 3 years younger than me and even more defenseless, but nonetheless she was a lot quicker to forgive my mother and still has not forgiven me.
Normal was never something that factored into my life. As much as I craved it and did everything in my power to achieve it it never came and I have accepted that it never will finally. But in a way I value that, I have an emotional intelligence that people 3 times my age fail to posses. I've had the trials of an 80 year old, and I'm still alive and happy.
When I reached out for help to my grandparents, things finally started to change. I asked them for help and then gathered evidence so we were able to do something about it. My mother went into rehab then and things seemed to be better. But, she came out with a chronic eating disorder and still has it to this day. Eating disorders are addictions as well and it's horrible to see someone you love more than anything waste away.
When the time came to go to boarding school, it wasn't as easy as I had originally thought. I didn't realise it, but I had become fiercely codependant on my mother. I was coming home as often as I could to tidy the house and enabling my.mother to remain stuck in her old ways. I was emotionally detached from everyone and was proud of my 'cold heart'. No one could hurt me that way.
Because I was so preoccupied with mum, I failed my a-levels. Again, more guilt, thousands and thousands of pounds had gone into my education and I failed, I always failed. I left sixth form and quickly fell into a deep depression and my own drug addiction. I attempted suicide many times and nearly succeeded many times. I was constantly seeking ways of ending my pain. I started to cut myself and eventually moved to class A drugs. I spent the entirety of my relatively short life promising myself that I would not turn out like my mother, only to turn out exactly like her. I was a prostitute and a drug addict and alcoholic. I had been diagnosed with numerous mental health illnesses and bulimia. This was my fight.
After two years of what seemed to be a bottomless pit I finally managed to ask for help. I realised that I was turning into my mither, that was my saving grace. I asked my extended family for help and sure enough I was in rehab 1 month later. I was in rehab for 6 months. It was hard and worth it. Recovering is not.easy and you have to be ready.
I'm 21 and approaching two years clean and sober. I'm learning to drive again and going to uni in September to study psychology. My trials have taught me that my mum's drinking was not my fault, nor was it hers. Which was one of the hardest things to deal with, I was desperate to blame someone. The things my mother said to me, and my dad were not, are not and never will be true. I've realised my mum will only get better when she wants to and I've come to terms with the fact that that is probably going to be never. It's heartbreaking knowing that she won't live to see 2026 but I still need to keep a safe distance from her. One that doesn't detriment me. I'm number 1, if I don't look after myself I cannot look after anyone else. The hardest thing to learn was that I am worth something and actually I'm pretty intelligent.
My past still appears in the relationships I have today but thats going to be something that I've got to be constantly aware of so it doesn't damage them too much. I don't live with my mum anymore and it was the best decision I ever made. I was finally able to heal and grow. My sister doesn't speak to me and hasn't for two years but maybe it will get better in the future. I've learned I don't have control over anyone else, just myself.
Whatever it is that you feel is breaking you it will pass. Focus on you as hard as it is it is paramount to your wellbeing and your family's.