Angry Alcoholic Written By: Hegemone 6/23/11 8:58PM CST (Completion Time) Non-Fiction
Living with an alcoholic is not easy, as some of you may know. Itâ€™s what Iâ€™ve known all of my life though, and makes up a large part of why I am the way I am, whether I like it or not. In fact, it makes up a lot of my relationship with my father, who is an alcoholic and has been for all of my life. What makes it even worse is that heâ€™s an angry alcoholic, which seems to tie us together as much as it drives us apart.
My father was not gifted with the best adolescence considering his father died when he was around the age of 12 or 13. As a result of it he struggles today to be able to face or feel any other emotion but anger. He identifies with anger in a way Iâ€™m only beginning to understand. It seems to me his only two emotions are anger and indifference most of the time. If he isnâ€™t angry, heâ€™s indifferent to everything until he can find something to be angry about.
I have learned that in reality this is because he is so desperately afraid to feel all the hurt, the sadness, the loneliness, and the emptiness that he might feel periodically as a result of facing things with a full array of emotions. I also wonder if he doesnâ€™t fight happy feelings because he feels in a way he doesnâ€™t deserve them because those who he loves most are no longer on this planet to experience them with. Iâ€™m not sure about that though, but itâ€™s an idea.
I sympathize with him in a way. As Iâ€™ve grown up Iâ€™ve learned that I sometimes mistakenly handle things in the same way. My â€œgo toâ€ reaction is anger more and more often and this terrifies me, and shows me that Iâ€™m more like him then I want to admit. Itâ€™s another reason why I am so careful with consuming alcoholic drinks, because I never want to drink when Iâ€™m at all emotional so as not to become dependent on doing that any time Iâ€™m upset, as my dad does.
That in itself makes me angry at my father, because it puts me in awkward situations sometimes. Iâ€™m young and my friends like to get together and drink into the wee hours just to have fun. If Iâ€™m not in the right mood I have to decline, and either sit there being sober and harassed to just have a drink, or completely skip out on what I know could be a really fun time. My friends donâ€™t all understand enough to get why I choose not to drink. Some of them think Iâ€™m simply being boring when I wish so desperately they would understand thatâ€™s not the case.
My dadâ€™s alcoholism has affected me all of my life in ways that make me angry at him. One of the first, and most vivid, times I remember being angry at him in relation to his alcoholism had to do with shoe shopping. I had saved my allowance for weeks, and had even done tons of extra chores to make a little more money. I finally had saved enough money to buy my own pair of Adidas shoes. I didnâ€™t have to have cheap, no-name brand shoes and I could fit in at school.
We set up a time to be up and ready to go to the shoe store and I went to bed feeling like it was Christmas while my dad stayed outside with his radio up, drinking beer. I bounded out of bed that morning, full of energy already, ate some breakfast and got ready to go. I was ready and my dad was still in bed. I tried waking him up, which resulted in mumbling and tossing and turning. I tried again three or four more times over the course of three hours. At this time my dad also was working second shift, so I knew soon weâ€™d be out of time because heâ€™d soon only have time to get up and get ready to go to work.
Out of desperation I tried one last time to wake him in time for us to go and it resulted in me getting screamed at and chased out of the room. I remember being terrified and feeling crushed at the same time. After that entire episode he still didnâ€™t actually get up for the day, he went back to bed for another hour. I proceeded to go into my room and cry. He had let me down because he stayed up too late the night before drinking. I remember thinking that his beer was clearly more important than me, and after I was done crying I was so mad at him I couldnâ€™t think straight.
My mom was still living with us, as it wouldnâ€™t be for another few years before she left, and knew I was upset so she came to talk to me. That resulted in me getting more upset and I also remember screaming at her that I hated him and wished heâ€™d just drink himself to death already. I have no clue if he heard me or not, but in hindsight, that was really a horrible thing to say. I was acting just like him though, and have done it time and again. Anger was the first emotion I jumped to when my grandmother died, hysterical anger, throwing things, screaming and finally running away for a few hours. Everyone else was grieving, and I was throwing a complete and utter tantrum as if it would have changed anything.
So, you see, because of this, I understand my dad a little better than others, and yet also it makes me distant from him by the sheer nature of the personality trait. Itâ€™s not a trait Iâ€™m necessarily proud to share, and hope that instead of becoming an angry alcoholic I can learn better ways to experience my emotions. I hope that instead of limiting myself to that emotion, I know that itâ€™s OK to feel the other emotions. Maybe this awareness and hope is enough to make the difference.