OVER AND ABOVE MY CHILDREN WERE MY ADDICTIONS
My experience with alcohol began as a young teenager when I got drunk on a stolen bottle of hard liquor and drank it all with a friend. We were baby-sitting at the time and I ended up in hospital as a result of diving into an empty swimming pool and breaking my wrist.
As soon as I found the magic in the bottle and how it affected me, I was a believer in getting drunk. It brought out the fun and giggles, my hurts and insecurities drifted away, and I found I was able to get relief from my own childhood abuse in alcohol.
My teenage years were a struggle on the inside. I felt insecure, not able to fit in with my peers and feeling less than others. I hated myself and felt alone. However, to look from the outside, nobody would think so. I excelled at sports, I was the class clown and was never alone – I had a following. School report cards were filled with comments such as cheeky, naughty, disruptive, not good enough, lacks attention, could do better and falling behind.
I had an amazing ability to just shut anything and everything and anybody out of my mind and life. Whatever the hurt I would just erase it, including people – just completely gone. I smiled a thousand smiles and bluffed the whole world. Nobody knew what was going on inside of me.
Alcohol helped take away the insecurities I felt and helped me fit in with my peers. Drinking became what one did on the weekend if someone could get served at the bottle store, however there was always someone who would provide us minors with booze. All sports events (once you were playing on the provincial teams) involved bus trips which on the way home also meant drinking. I remember having fundraisers that were pub crawls on buses, but I always ended up in the gutter somewhere being sick. The feeling that drinking provided for me was worth the consequences of always vomiting and blacking out and not remembering great chunks of the evening or what actually happened.
I became pregnant in my late teens and I immediately decided to adopt this child out as deep down I knew I was going to be an unfit mother. At that time, I had no idea that alcohol would be a major factor in destroying what a mother’s true love was. Yes, I drank more to shut out the pain of adopting out my child, yet all hurts just became a big blur of one general hurt.
But I was still fun to be around. Exciting, with no boundaries ‘on any level’, especially once intoxicated. I was out of control, totally reckless and disregarded my own safety. Yet, if I was to be honest, the red flags were already waving violently in my teenage years for all to see. If I had bothered to look, I would have seen the writing was on the wall and that I needed to get off that track as it was leading to trouble.
Fast forward eight years to my next unplanned pregnancy which again was due to the effects of alcohol. At this time in my life I was travelling in a foreign country and was having a baby with a man I had only known a few weeks. I could never see the long-term picture and never looked at the consequences of my actions, I just always lived in the moment. I had a way of minimising the facts of how things really were and always looking at the bright side of life. So, as a result, I decided that I was keeping this child and sent a quick prayer to God asking for a girl just like the last one.
I married this man and we had three more children who were all conceived in and around alcohol. Drinking was just the way it was, no different to smoking weed. It was what we did.
My children grew up thinking pot was incense and just the normal smell in the home.
We lived in the country on ten acres of fields and woods and rivers running through. It was just beautiful, and I was able to be a stay-home mother as money was not an issue. All day long we played outside and made beautiful gardens. Yet I was still drinking.
Years came and went and every birthday for our children was just a drunken party for adults. Sure, it started out with daylight, presents, cake and friends, yet it always ended in darkness, drunken adults, fighting, screaming and violence coming from somewhere. Once I was drinking, I lost any sense of responsibility for my children. I may have started to cook dinner for example but would not serve it to my children or put them to bed. There was no bedtime routine or support with getting their school homework done and I did not make them go to school the next day.
By this time my oldest child was the guardian of her siblings. I would leave her to sort out fights between them and she would make sure they were fed. I would justify it as me teaching her responsibility. I was totally checked out at this time.
The next day, or when I had recovered from the effects of the alcohol, I was always picking up the mess and trying to make the house a home again, by baking yummy food, putting flowers in the vase and having clean, shiny surfaces again. Such efforts were to no avail as I was to be right back in the same place before the week was over.
I would promise myself and the children I would not drink again but it was a promise I always broke. To stop me drinking they would smash the bottles of booze and it got to the point where they would not let me leave the house by myself for fear I would not return.
I terrified all four of my children over their lifetime. I felt I smashed the qualities of love and light out of each and every one of them as a result of exposing them to what I brought into the house via my intoxication.
I now know that I became a host for an unwanted energy as soon as I drank. I had checked out of my body and an energy coming through me had taken over: booze is not called ‘spirits’ and ‘the demon alcohol’ for no reason.
I can remember times where I would see my children’s faces get wide-eyed with fear as they were seeing me as a stranger in front of them. I didn’t have to be yelling, they could just sense a presence that was not their mother and would remove themselves from me by shutting themselves away in their bedrooms or going away to play elsewhere. They didn’t want to engage with what was present in me. My children knew immediately if I had taken one drink. I would lie of course, but they knew. There was no shelter in our home as both adults had addictions. Who was worse, Mum or Dad?
As soon as my oldest child could get her driver’s licence, she drove off to live with someone more suitable. By this time violence had escalated to the point where every door that could be kicked in had been replaced multiple times, the walls were full of kicked-in holes and we would throw knives into the walls for drunken fun. I was terrified of myself by now.
The children had nowhere to hide and were not able to get help or to leave. The children’s school had notified the state authorities of the trouble in the home, so now there was the real threat of them being removed from the home. My husband and I rallied and cleaned up our act and we coached the children to lie as best they could and tried to present a happy home if anyone came to check.
Yet the problems never went away and instead they were just buried and smoothed over for a while until the heat was off us.
When I saw the state of what was supposed to be a safe environment and a nurturing home for our children, I would wonder ‘What the hell has happened here?’. I was not raised like this; my parents didn’t drink or behave in this manner.
My children passed the violence on to each other, which I as the parent I did not stop. It was like I had become paralysed to all that a loving mother should be moved by. In the end I ran away and left them all but then my drinking really took off. As soon as I had somewhere to live, I retrieved some of the children, thinking they were better with me than their father.
So, there were now two houses in the depth of the hold that alcohol had over us as parents. Unfortunately, the children still had to fend for themselves as two adults raged over a divorce.
These were very hard times for all of us and often, because of the disregard I was living in, we were left just inches and seconds away from death. During this period for example I wrote off two family vehicles as I often drove in a drunken state. The scary thing is that both times I could have had children in the car. The accidents were serious (such as chopping off power poles at ground level) but I always walked away with minimal physical injury. But I never appreciated the fear I placed on all my children. When I left the home, they had continual anxiety as to whether I was coming home that night and whether I was dead or not.
Having overcome these addictions I even find this hard to write about as I don’t recognise the person I used to be and I don’t know how I could have lived like that, let alone how I could do that to my own children.
My understanding of life comes back to what I have learnt recently, and that is everything is because of the energy one aligns to. If you align to the energy of alcohol and drugs then you are opening up a passageway for all sorts of expressions, thoughts and actions to come through you.
Today I align to my soul’s fiery energy, where only love lives. I cannot undo my past, nor do I wish to erase it, but with love I can walk back through the said damage and heal what is to heal. My children are all now adults and they have much to heal themselves but today they have a mother who is free of her past addictions. Today they have a mother who can hold them in a space of love showing them there is another source of energy to align to that brings joy, love, harmony, truth and stillness, all of which they missed in childhood.