I grew up in a home filled with violence, drug addiction, alcoholism, abuse, and neglect. I was so confused. I even needed someone to teach me the basics of hygiene, but there was no one. By the time I reached junior high, I just knew my mother hated me. She was always hitting me or yelling at me. I was 15 years old when she beat me for the last time. I had belt marks all over my body and belt-buckle marks on my face. She had finally lost control.

Healing has been a tough road, but I have welcomed it with open arms. I was tired of feeling less than and crying for no reason. I could not shake the old memories of abuse. The question why was always on my mind. As an adult, I discovered Al‑Anon. It was hard at first to face my abusive childhood honestly, but I decided that, if that’s what it took for me to live a normal life, then that was what I had to do. Through many tears and painful memories, I faced each incident. Learning about alcoholism and what it does to the family was an eye-opener. Our family was broken, as was each one of us.

Learning what alcohol and drugs do to the brain helped me face how sick my dad really was. It also helped me let go of the anger I felt toward him for giving us such an abusive childhood. I had always been blamed for the abuse inflicted on me, as well as why our dad drank and used drugs until he was raging. It took many Al‑Anon meetings to truly accept that it was never my fault that Dad struggled with addiction. It was never my fault that my mother chose to stay in a violent and addicted marriage.

My job today is to “Let Go and Let God” take care of what is not my job. Working on myself is a full-time job. I had to learn to love myself and become my best friend. All those ugly names I was called were lies. I grew up around many hurting, needy people, but I am no longer one of them.

By Daisy P., California

The Forum, June 2019