Living in an environment of hatred

People keep on telling me it's important to speak out and not hide things away with my casual "everything's alright smile" at this important time in my life, but i'm not sure people really understand how hard it can be opposed to how easy it is to put on that smile.

At 18, i have now been the daughter of a chronic alcoholic mother for the entirety of my life... from day dot, born months premature weighing next to nothing with a variety of health issues... to now being unable to live in my own home with my parents who resent me and cant even accept that their daughter needs help.

Why's it always the harsh memories that stick in our minds? It's the endless arguments and fights, the running from home, the rebelling against everything, the hospital visits. I never signed up for a life of looking after a drunk! Coming home from school everyday to my mum passed out of the floor, an ambulance sitting outside the house or even just being unable to bear stepping foot back in the house for fear of what i would witness this time.

I was always the kid that loved school or was it in fact that i loved being able to be a kid again for those few hours... although forever in trouble for my actions and behavior right through both primary and secondary, never really understanding why i was unable to stop being "the bad kid". I feel i had to grow beyond my years. Fending for myself in many ways, all because i was deemed as "safe" living with at least one sober parent (not that it made a difference, as he still couldn't care less about me to this day) and older siblings who have fled the household and are living their own lives blocking it all out. I often wonder how different my life would be if i was just taken to live somewhere else.

I would be lying if i were to say the amount of emotional and mental stress this entire situation has put on me over the years wasn't almost unbearable a lot of the time and im now coming to the realisation it has in fact affected my physical health. Yet the time in my life where i need my parents the most, where are they??? Oh yeah... one will be downing a bottle of vodka and the other will be observing, both acting oblivious to the situation.

The one thing in my life that i feel gives me that sense of worth and belonging is sport. Its where i feel at ease and as though i have nothing to be worrying about. All the problems just disappear for a while and i can be me again. One of the few times the smile on my face isn't painted on and people would look at me and believe i was genuinely happy... i am happy playing sport or being in the gym, or even out running (maybe it's as though i am running from all the problems, but its almost calming).

I'm at the point now where i can't bear the pain and stress that is put on me when i'm at home. No 18 year old should be worrying about what drunken state they will walk in to find their mother in... or if she will even be alive. Or what's going to start the next argument, if things are going to get physical or even if i would be allowed back into my own home. At this point, i feel the hatred i feel is at a point of no return. The anger and resentment i feel anytime i even see my parents is a horrible feeling but "you can't help those who don't wish to be helped" as they say... so what can i do, other than live my life the way i want not having to worry about waking up and having to paint that same old smile on again.

Against the view of many i do not feel alcoholism is a disease, yes the mental health issues associated around it are, and they bring their own demons. However, choosing to pick up that bottle and drink it... not quite the same is it? So maybe once they have lost all of their children (me being the last to walk away) will my parents realise the destruction they have caused... or maybe i'm just hopeful of them to take responsibility for what i have been put through. Although i'm more than aware i will never receive as much as an apology from either of them, but at the end of the day it's their loss i'll continue to live my life, now hopefully with a real smile!

Sorry just a wee ramble, i guess one you start its hard to stop when you hold it in so much. -K.

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