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Death Of An Alcoholic Parent

Death Of An Alcoholic Parent

It was the early hours of January 6, 2014 when my brother called. For a few seconds and crying a lot, he uttered these words in pain, “Mother is dead.”

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Of course, some are afraid to hear those words, while they may be expected or even welcomed by others. For my part, the shutdown of my mother’s suit was sudden and unexpected, and this event caught me completely unprepared. Of course, there’s no way I could have known at the time, but his death was one of the best things that ever happened to me.

Grieving is different for everyone. Like everything else in this wonderful thing we call the human experience, there is no right or wrong way to do things. There is only your truth. Anyone who tells you different should know better,  and coin the phrase:

Psychiatrist and author Elizabeth Kübler-Ross knew little about death. He created the “Kübler-Ross model” which describes the Five Stages of Grief. It may not be an understatement to say that when someone close to you dies, you go through the process whether you like it or not. Or rather, the event and your reaction will actually invite the process.

Any good therapist (myself included) will tell you there is a very good chance that the death of a parent can trigger repressed emotional memories. If you are open, good things can come out of it. Not surprisingly, when my mother died, a long period of grief ensued. The maelstrom brings a massive increase in sedimentary pain and suffering from my core. So much turmoil and unprocessed emotion that I spent years building a fortress almost began to spit out and explode like a random fireworks display.

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In the midst of anger and self-loathing, I was given an amazing opportunity. I could hit, f*ck, and drink my way through the fight-or-flight situation like I always did, or I could learn to ride out the tidal wave of change that was headed my way. I’d love to tell you about how I carefully jumped on that wave and Zen-ride it to Happy Cove for a barramundi steak and a margarita, but that wouldn’t be the truth.

In fact, I went well and truly off the rails. You see, my mother was an alcoholic. I had an emotional crisis of the first degree. Not that I realized it at the time, but I was drunk too. So it was preordained that I would have to go a long way around this subject—by fighting, by running, and as it turned out, through a near-suicidal incident and a long-term self-loathing depression, which caused a very dirty cloud. destruction to those around me. Wow, this story is turning out to be very exciting! Stay with it. There is a happy ending.

In learning to heal myself, I now see the past events and my relationship with my mother with full compassion and forgiveness. This was not always the case.

Death Of An Alcoholic Parent

My mother was an elementary school teacher with a bad mind, a bad temper, and a sarcastic personality. He also loved words. When I was a child growing up, I would ask about the vocabulary knowledge my parents used, and he always responded with, “You know where the dictionary is Martin; check it out!” Since this was a common occurrence, I spent a fair amount of time with the Oxford English Dictionary, and of course this initial interaction turned me on to the wonder of words.

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At school, mom was loved, feared, and respected by children and parents alike. He taught a number of underprivileged children, many of whom were abused by their parents. I never fully understood what it must have been like for him to care for those broken children more than their own families did. And I had no way of knowing that he was broken all along either.

When she behaved oddly (which was often), my father would simply say “your mother has a funny turn,” and so, my brothers and I grew up believing our mother was different. Looking back, I have fragmented memories of those “turns”. Every day on the way home from school, we had a short and chatty ride where we shared stories of our respective days. Then we would stop by the local off-licence (liquor store) in the English market town of Pocklington, where we lived. He always parked the car outside, leaving me and my younger brother sitting patiently in the back. It was always a quick affair—in and out quickly with a white plastic bag containing cigarettes and two large bottles of Lambrusco wine. Home then, where my little brother and I were lying in front of the TV with a couple of biscuits each. He would leave something slowly cooking in the oven and then go downstairs to his room.

As the cigarettes burned and the cheap wine flowed, he would sit in silence, or perhaps with the TV on. He was often shouting and screaming real vitriol. Or he would just cry uncontrollably. Sometimes I would go upstairs and kneel outside his room—quietly spying through the doorway, while he sat in the dark with the curtains drawn even though it was light outside.

Initially, I was a child who could not understand the complex emotional and psychological problems that my parents had. I had no way of knowing that he was a chronic alcoholic. As I got older and saw less of each other, I used to wonder if I could have been kinder, more empathetic to his situation. Would we have a better relationship if she opened up about her pain?

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We had a wonderful relationship. There was an empty gap of understanding between us, created by his shared lack of availability and friendship. My disdain was increased by his lack of trust. Sometimes I loved him, sometimes it was pity. At times, my feelings escalated into an indescribable hatred. Now, as I consider her story with a heart full of love, I understand there were many things I do not know (and did not know) about my mother. Which is fine.

Ask anyone with an alcoholic parent how they stood up about not following suit. Then ask them about their future relationship with alcohol and other substances. I suspect their accounts will be a bit black and white.

Whether you are native or adoptive, I know I experienced my mental health issues in my childhood home. I was pre-programmed to have friendship and conflict issues. Aggression, insecurity, and general mistrust of women were standards for me. Sure, I continued to create drama throughout my adult life, but that was never my ambition. I swore I would never be the role model I was “disgusted” with, but I learned how to drink to get rid of it. By my teenage years, I was a regular attendant at police stations and hospitals, shaving very close hair and causing serious injuries and even death. So as the years went by, my relationship with alcohol and drugs became dramatic.

Death Of An Alcoholic Parent

At 38 years old and in the midst of an amazing life story, I got used to the pace of my wonderful and civilized life. In all those years, even though life kept giving me the right lessons, I chose to ignore them along with the people who teach them. If I’m being honest, when my abuse was over, I’d caused more damage to others (including my younger brother) than my mother had ever managed in her 73 years.

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Although I did not know that his death would be the beginning of a whole new journey. Ultimately it would be a great journey of self-healing and self-reformation. Inner journey.

Although I can say without a doubt that death is a part of life; that all things are permanent; and that refusing to consider this fact is against the reality of the Universe… Despite all that, for many, the idea of ​​losing a parent is still completely impossible to imagine.

If you’re lucky, you and your mom (or dad, or both) are best friends. Maybe they showed you love from the day you were born; she listened, clearly, and calmly communicated and invited the same, while teaching healthy lessons in boundaries and interactions. Perhaps, in this case, nothing was not done between you, leaving you without a few regrets.

On the other hand, maybe you didn’t have the picture of perfection I just painted, and so you’re still enduring pain, which can be resolved if you love yourself enough to share it.

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Either way, the choice remains: say all you’ve ever wanted to say, or don’t. Fear the consequences of that trust, or don’t. Choice.

There is something big I wanted to say

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