Parents’ Drinking is Hurtful

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

My parents enjoy drinking every night which is not a problem, except that my mom changes. She becomes mean and wild. She had to get surgery once and she was intoxicated where she said when she wakes up she hopes she never see’s me agin. Another incident was when she told me all her problems started once I was born. She is constantly hurting me and this has been going oon for at least past five months.I hate smokers because the smell makes me start to gag and she smoked in the house and in my car one day. It seems like she never cares about me anymore. If I talk to her about how I feel she changes for about two day before she goes back to her ways. Im so tired of having such a stressful home life. It honestly really hurts and compared to other people this may not be like a big deal but it is getting harder to cope. I try and stay positive and say how this is a good lesson because I know how not to act and I will not ever hurt my children like this. I just wish she would realize how much she is hurting me by being basically a coma for the past five years of my life. She was here but not really and she would never remember anything the next day. I feel like i am never good enough and if i was she would not act like this and want to escape her life. Thanks!

A. I’m sorry about what you’re experiencing. In the state of New York, your parents’ behavior would constitute a form of abuse, reportable to child protective services. It is estimated that the majority of cases of child abuse in New York City involve some form of substance abuse. In such cases, the caregivers are more focused on using the substances than attending to the emotional and physical needs of their children. That seems to be what is happening to you.

It is important that you do not take your mother’s behavior personally (i.e. “I feel like I am never good enough and if I was she would not act like this and want to escape her life.”). Her behavior is not a reflection upon you. It has nothing to do with you. She has psychological problems that are motivating her to drink. It is not your fault. You are in no way to blame for your mother’s behavior. You have no control over this situation. It’s up to your mother to receive psychological help to deal with her psychological problems.

You seem to be a remarkably resilient young woman. You have a stressful home life, through no fault of your own, and yet you are able to maintain a positive attitude. Your parents are not well but you are doing your best to cope with this unfortunate set of circumstances.

My advice is to speak to a guidance counselor or another trusted school faculty member about your parents’ drinking. The school faculty can assist you in accessing the proper psychological help.

It’s possible that once the school faculty learns about your situation, they may call child protective services to determine if neglect or abuse is occurring in the home. Obviously, you don’t want your parents to get into trouble; however, their behavior might constitute maltreatment. If so, child protective services would likely mandate your parents to receive treatment for alcohol abuse. It might be necessary to force them to receive the help that they need to improve their quality of life. It would also ultimately improve your quality of life. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 27 Dec 2013

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2013). Parents’ Drinking is Hurtful. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 28, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/12/27/parents-drinking-is-hurtful/

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