Coping With Having an Alcoholic Parent

Valeria Mendoza and Milan Boykins

Many adults suffer from alcoholism, and children who are greatly affected by alcoholic parents are often overseen by society.  

Due to the topic of growing up with an alcoholic parent being very personal, some of the sources would like to remain anonymous. Each story is extremely personal to students at DVC and they have the right of remaining unnamed due to personal reasons.

Valeria Mendoza
Women Advocator, junior Valerie Palomo.

“I already have somewhat of an adult mentality because I had to act like an adult for my whole life. But sometimes it makes it hard to act like a kid,“ a student from DVC who has a mother with alcoholic problems said. “ I know that for a fact that she was not built to be a mom. Because of the way she was, she always thought of herself instead of her kids.” 

When having to deal with a parent who physically and mentally can’t support themselves, many children often find themselves growing up and overall maturing much quicker at a younger age.

A senior at DVC who has a mother suffering from alcoholism expressed, “I felt like I was leaving her to die. I just had to choose something for myself because I was literally so depressed. Living in that house with her, that’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done moving away.”   

According to American Addiction Centers,  growing up around alcoholism increases the chances of a child developing depression or other psychological difficulties because of the discomfort under their very own roofs.

“I fell into a premier hell of depression. It got to the point where I didn’t even go to school on my own terms. Because I was too upset to get out of bed, I was too upset to eat, I was too upset to do anything,” a junior from DVC added. “She chose the substance over me, it just became a pattern where she chose friends over me, boyfriend’s over me. My mom has been in and out of my life, I don’t know how many times. But her alcoholism stuck with me forever.”

When minors are exposed to this unclear lifestyle, many victims find themselves confused and overall disconnected from the world.

An anonymous student from DVC, who has an alcoholic father confessed, “I get along with him more when he’s drunk, he’s more relaxed, I feel like I could tell him more things when he’s under the influence.”

Children of alcoholic parents are adapted to this lifestyle. It becomes “normal” to see people within their household under the influence frequently.

Children often find themselves questioning their parent’s identities. “She’s not the person she was before. She wasn’t the person she was when I was six years old. Then again she has been like this practically my whole life,” a junior at DVC said.

After years of watching his father drink, a junior at DVC advised, “Try and stay away for yourself, you can’t control what other people are going to do. Even though you want better for your loved ones, they have to want better for themselves in order to fix things.”

Constantly seeing this addiction take over loved ones’ lives, makes many victims begin to feel hopeless without a chance of progress.

A victim suggests, “You have to put your love for them to the side, realize that you’re no longer going to be the focus of their life, this thing is going to consume their life. And there’s nothing you can do to stop it. If your parents don’t want to change, they’re never going to change. You can’t help someone who doesn’t want it.”

Unfortunately, the results of being raised by alcoholic parents can be significant and this emotional abuse can be a lifetime factor in a child’s life.

Milan Boykins
Men Advocator, junior Carlos Ordonez