This is a big one for me and I suspect for a lot of children of alcoholics out there. Do you feel resentful about the childhood you’ve lost?
The whole environment of living in an alcoholic home is usually extremely toxic, as well as being co-dependant. I know that I have felt a lot of resentment and anger about my lost childhood.
Resentful about your childhood
One of the many areas that stands out for me from my childhood, was how responsible I was. My Dad was working as a welder and out all day of course, Mum had a part-time job as well as looking after my sister and I.
We also had a house full of foreign students that lived with us, pretty much all year round. My Mum relied on my sister and I to help her with everything. I know all children have to help around the house, but it was more than that, or it certainly felt that way.
Even though I may not have had the responsibility I had in reality, I perceived that I did and that is what matters. This is true of anything, if your perception is telling you one thing but reality another, focus on the perception. You can only work on that, because you can’t change the past.
So anyway, I felt I had the weight of the world on my shoulders, maybe it was because I would hear too much. I would hear what stress and worry my Mum had. I’d learn of how little money we had to pay the bills, so I wondered how that would be resolved.
That sense of responsibility real or otherwise weighed on me, I also had to do practical things around the house. My sister remembers it differently but I just know we had to hoover, do the dinner table, wash up, help with shopping, get things from the shops, tidy up, talk to the students (which I hated) and anything else that Mum needed.
Resentment and anger about my childhood
I had a lot of anger and resentment and my childhood. I blamed my Mum and Dad for taking that away from me. For making me be too responsible, taking away opportunities for fun and not supporting my dreams.
This has had such an impact on me as an adult, having fun doesn’t come easy although I crave it and love it when I have it.
Childlike not childish
So what now? If you still feel resentful about your childhood, read on.
Even though I felt I lost a lot of my childhood I can still bring the elements I did enjoy back into my life. I can introduce the areas I missed and if you relate to my story, then so can you.
I’m always learning of how to “play”. My friend is getting me to do this at the moment, she wants to get me a sticker book and the other day we went to a pottery place, and just spent 2 hours painting. I loved it.
However, saying all this, I’m still not able to just totally let go. I can’t just do something for the sake of it. My “play” has to have a purpose. So if I’m drawing something, I’d want to put the picture somewhere, give it to someone, rather than just leave it in the book.
When she said about the sticker book, I did say, but what’s it for? she said, it’s just some fun. But I struggle with just sticking something in a book if it has no purpose. Am I alone in this?
What can you bring into your life that you missed as a child? I do love to bake and I do that when I can. I do stupid things like jump in puddles too! (when the mood takes me).
If you aren’t use to playing and having fun and enjoying the innocence of childhood, you may not know what you want or what you’ve missed. Watch children at play, what are they doing that you could do or join in with. It’s not being childish, it’s being child like.
I have a vision of creating an adult play space. My mind explodes with ideas, I’m thinking human hungry hippo, adult ball pits.. can you imagine the fun!
I’ll continue my journey to embrace some child like things in my life, because why should we miss out.
May be you can ask the people in my Change Your Mind closed Facebook group, you can click here to join and I’ll approve your request.
Alternatively you might like to get in touch with me for a chat, my clients have found that really helpful because they realise I get where they’re coming from. Click here to get in touch.