Alcohol can have a devastating effect on families. We asked one person to tell their story on what it was like having a mum with an alcohol addiction.
Life with my violent brother at home was really hard – life threatening. It really kept breaking me and mum and we never got help no matter how hard mum tried.
I used to go to after school activities and clubs and mum would go to the pub just to avoid my brother and keep safe. In a way, I felt like that was the best way for her to cope at the time. But also to try to forget what was going on or the fact she couldn’t do anything to change life at home.
Mum ended up staying at the pub longer and longer. The thing I really did not like was mum stinking of alcohol at school. I didn’t feel ashamed, I never have, but I felt empty, like every drink my mum was having the more I was losing her. She lost so much weight she was in kids size clothes. We used to share clothes – I was 8 years old.
I remember going to bed crying and praying that someone would just help me and mum. The emotional and physical abuse from my brother had got really bad.
Social services eventually took me from my mum. I can still picture that very moment walking back from school not even being able to say goodbye to her. This was the first time I had ever been away from my mum and it hurt so bad it felt like someone had just ripped my heart out and my life was over.
I will never hate mum in any way but I just felt lost and afterwards like something that couldn’t ever be healed.
A couple of years later after coming out of care we attempted a fresh start. Things did not go well however, as I increasingly became her carer. Her depression spiraled out of control and we still had to deal with my violent brother. The drinking began again. It seemed occasional at first, but really she just got good at hiding it from me. When I found out I felt so deceived.
I was losing so much. I was skipping school to look after mum, even to the point where they were saying I would fail all my subjects. My number one priority was Mum. She found a boyfriend but it didn’t make much difference. He cooked and made mum laugh, but it was still all left to me to take care of her.
Every day, month, and year I was losing my childhood but even to this day I don’t regret looking after her. No matter what happened, my number one priority was Mum.
Then she found TACT (Telford After Care Team) and they started to help her.
I will never stop being thankful to TACT because they helped bring my mum back and I really believe without them she may not be here. Mum began to fight harder againsty her addiction. I started to see that her my life and mine was changing for the better. Despite what my school said, I managed to pass all my subjects.
Mum was sober for a day, then a week, then a month, then a year. That one year felt like it took forever – but she did it. Getting to that first year was one of the happiest moments of my life and till this day I will not ever stop being proud of her.
She has now been 4 years sober on the 19th of September this year and has a life of her own now. She has found love with someone called Graham who loves her for being her. He makes her happy and has taken the weight off my shoulders. So now I have my own life take as well.