My early childhood was what most would consider normal. Both of my parents were very involved in my life. My father would coach my little league team. My mother would attend each and every game or event that I took part in. However this was not to last. In the late 80's my idyllic world was due to be shattered. It was then that my parents packed the family up and moved us to my father's rural hometown.
We hadn't even completely unpacked when my father's alcoholism reared it's ugly head completely dismantling the perfect life that I thought we had. We hadn't been in our new home a few weeks when I saw my father intoxicated for the first time in my life. At first I thought it was funny watching my father stumble around running into almost everything. I had never seen him in this shape.
The novelty of my father's alcoholism didn't last long. The bumbling, happy go lucky drunk was quickly replaced with a harshly violent and abusive drunk. We had only been in our new home a few months before he got violent. It started with my mother. If she made something for supper that he didn't want he would start throwing dishes, or anything else that he could get his hands on. For the most part in these early years he would leave myself and my siblings alone. He didn't get violent with us, instead he used something much more cruel, mental abuse.
It seemed like nothing we could do would satisfy him. If we did well in school, he would tell us that we could do better. No matter what we did, it was not good enough for him. So I gave up. In my adolescent thinking, why should I care about how I did if he didn't either. We would be told that we were worthless. As bad as the violence was, the mental abuse was worse.
It is only recently that I have come to realize that my experiences growing up have deprived me of my peace of mind. As I contemplated these experiences I came to the realization that my life was made by mental scars inflicted by living with an alcoholic. And I have now begun the process of healing those scars through the steps and concepts of Al-Anon.