Sunday Scribbling poses the question "Have you had a nemesis in your life"? I didn't think I did until I started writing.
Someone asked me recently, “Who is my nemesis?” I did not think I had one at first. Then it hit me, my nemesis is you: the family disease of alcoholism.
Dad will be gone three years in January. If I could have one wish granted it would be to have knowledge, I have now about this insidious disease. I would have handled his passing and its aftermath in a much different way. But that’s hindsight for you, isn’t it?
I struggle admitting that I grew up in an alcoholic home. I know my parents loved me and I did not want for much. They made sacrifices for me in order to send me to France for a summer and to the college of my choice. Yet, there were times, I felt alone and unheard.
Our house was the “party” home, where grown-ups gathered, drank and were jovial for the most part. I will tell this, it made me uncomfortable. I did not like watching the adults being loud and crazy.
It was one reason for going away to college. And the funny thing is that I could be a party girl when I was not at the “party house”. I mean, did you ever see me drink beyond my limits in front of the parents? I am thankful for untangling myself from your grip, as I grew older but not without side effects.
I now understand where I got my control, anger, and mistrust. They are by-products of this disease. They have clouded my thinking a lot of my life. Some people see me as that “take charge person, the one who gets things done” but many times, it was to control my environment. Others see me as a trusting soul, yet I trust few and sometimes not myself.
The day Dad died, I was angry. Angry he died so suddenly and there was still so much to say. Angry with myself for not calling him at lunch. Angry for the chasm created among the remaining family. Angry with myself for the manner in which I handled his affairs.
I am standing on the precipice of recovery. I wish I could redo those months after his passing. I would do things differently. I am walking on the recovery path; learning to let go of the anger, learning to trust myself. It is painful. My heart aches but I understand you, my nemesis: the family disease of alcoholism.