Monday, November 27, 2006


Sunday Scribbling poses the question "Have you had a nemesis in your life"? I didn't think I did until I started writing.

Dear Nemesis,
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.



paris parfait said...

Such a raw and honest post. I'm glad you're finding your way through all that pain.

Rethabile said...

You're not on the precipice of recovery. You have recovered. And it sounds to me that you know where you're from, where you're at, and where you going. You have recovered.

Next nemesis, please!

sundaycynce said...

Forgive yourself first--let go of that anger. You did not understand then all that you do now. You did the best you could in the place you were in at that time.

Then try very hard to forgive your Dad and let go of that anger, because he is gone now, he can change nothing now, and he did love you in the best way he knew how.
After that, letting go of the rest of the anger will be somewhat easier.

You have learned a lot. Holding anger helps nothing and hurts mostly you.

Truly, it sounds to me that you have that nemesis where you want it: nearly completely under your control. Pitch IT over the precipice; and welcome the rest of your life.

Hope I am only leaving this one time. Your system has me a bit confused. Thanks for coming by my blog and leaving a comment too.

Mary said...

I can't say how much I appreciate this post and your honesty. My Mom (who died 6 mos. ago) was a recovering alcoholic for 20 years. I also grew up in a party house. I was loved, no doubt, but, like you, felt there was something out of control in our home. She was a wonderful woman and I miss her. You are not alone and actually, you sound like a darn strong person. My hat's off to you.