Have you experienced danger?

Welcome to “First Steps to Al-Anon Recovery” from Al-Anon Family Groups. This is a series of podcasts to discuss some common concerns for people who have been affected by someone else’s drinking.

Maggie, Corrie, Jack, and Jane are with us today. All are active Al-Anon members. They are willing to talk about dangerous situations they or their chidren have experienced due to someone else’s drinking.

How to locate a meeting

2017-07-28T09:01:31+00:00February 8, 2011|Categories: Alateen, Alcoholic Friend, Alcoholic Parent, Alcoholic Spouse or Partner, Common Concerns|


  1. Becky February 2015 at 9:00 am

    I have experienced the danger that can sometimes happen in alcoholic families. My ex-husband became very violent after struggling with his drinking and drug use for several years. My problem was that I didn’t take it seriously. I felt it was my job to keep my family together–when in truth, it was my job to keep myself and our children safe.

    It took some time, but Al-Anon helped me learn what I needed to do to keep myself and the children safe from angry outbursts, drunk driving, and other things that can happen. I was not being disloyal by putting my own safety first. It’s kind of like an airplane that has a drop in cabin pressure–I must put on my own oxygen mask before putting on the mask for others.

    We do this with love and compassion for the alcoholic, and with love and compassion for ourselves.

  2. les August 2014 at 12:14 pm

    I appreciate everyone’s comments, so thank you.

    My husband and I met in a bar. I have been married for 10 years but with my husband for 25 yrs. Broke up when dating for almost two years when my daughter was 5 because he had an affair. We got back together and finally married because my daughter wanted daddy to be there.

    He is a functional alcoholic, works 8-5 M-F, comes home, has 2 beers to unwind, watches the news and then goes outside to enjoy the night air and drinks 2 mixed drinks every night. On the weekends he starts with coffee followed by 1-2 red beers, drinks beer throughout the day and then has 2-3 drinks in the evening.

    Our relationship has been on the rocks for the last 3-4 years. I have grown so angry towards him that I am having a hard time hiding my real emotions from him. He says I don’t treat him the same anymore. I think he knows I love him but I am not in love with him. It’s true I’m not. He has given me several opportunities to file for divorce.

    I feel like I need to give this relationship a chance, but I do not know how I am suppose to live this way. I only drink one drink on a Friday or Saturday to partake with my husband. I don’t enjoy it! I think I don’t drink because I want to be sharp and anticipate my reactions with him.

    Why do I feel I have to be so guarded! It really sucks to have to be cautious. I am hoping to join Al-Anon to help me cope. Sometimes I feel I am going to lose it. My children 18 & 11 have anger problems due to all of this. I have become a very angry person with a lot of self-doubt. I know I have to fix me before I can help anyone else!

  3. Mark July 2014 at 2:27 pm

    I was born in 1957 and exposed to the world of alcoholism and codependency for years to follow. Of course, I was too young to understand the destructive behavior from my mother.

    Back in those years, neighbors and relatives unfortunately looked the other way, except for the times when the fire department had to be called because she set her bedroom lamp on fire and barricaded the door with a heavy dresser. Neighbors came out of their safe and normal homes and quickly went back inside. This was just one of many incidents that happened through the years.

    My sister, nine years older, was lucky to escape when she was in her early twenties and move out of state. My father hid away in his home office smoking cigarettes, drinking soda and feasting on chocolate. He died from cancer in 1975 at 53 years young. My other sister, the protector of the drinker would always say, “Mom’s not an alcoholic,” and the path of destruction would continue.

    Years later, I met my second and current wife, who took verbal abuse from my sister and the alcoholic. This resulted in me screaming at them and, of course, high blood pressure. They seemed to get pleasure from this. I strongly suggested to my wife in the interest of our health and marriage that we relocate. We were in the process of doing just that and she could not go through with it. The unfortunate results are that we both became ill.

    The alcoholic passed away, which is what she wanted, and the protector, enabler, and guilt-giver went on to live a happy life in another state after causing all the damage. My wife now regrets not having gone through with moving, as we were both healthy at that time.

  4. Terry June 2014 at 7:16 am

    I am so grateful for finding this site. I am desperate for someone to talk to. I am so very ashamed about being with my husband. I cannot tell my mother because she is judgmental and I already feel like it is my fault for being in this marriage. I blame myself, thinking my relationships failing are my fault because he drills in my head that he drinks because I nag.

    I have been with my husband 13 years and been married 9. We dated when we were younger. He contacted me after he got divorced. I was married but my marriage was failing. Unfortunately I left my ex-husband for him. We maintained a long-distance relationship for 10 years and even after we married. I had my children and he had his to take care of. We took turns seeing each other on the weekends the entire time.

    3 years ago I moved with him and then noticed how bad his drinking had become. He always has drank alcohol but not to the level I had seen it when I moved in with him. He drinks when he gets off from working nights to go to sleep. He drinks all night in order to sleep for his night shifts. He drinks every night so he can sleep. He goes through a 12-pack, 3 25-ounce beers, and then goes back to get more in the middle of the night and drives my vehicle, and I am so worried he is going to hurt himself or someone else.

    He gets nasty if I take his keys. I have to work every day so I cannot be starting a fight. I pray every day, but not sure if that helps or not. He gets nasty, cusses, calls me names, very obnoxious, falls down, wakes me up, blames me for things, sometimes hits me if I argue with him, spends money irrationally when we don’t have it. He is not very nice when he drinks.

    I thought my prayers were answered last year when he was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. The doctors fully checked his organs since they knew he drank excessively every night. He checked out well. I felt this was a relief and his chance to recover and start anew. I felt God had answered and was giving him the warning he needed to hear. The doctors told him to gradually cut back, but that did not work. He drinks more now than he ever did. I really think he is going to die. I don’t know how he goes to work every day and functions when he drinks this much.

    Everybody keeps calling this a disease. I have a hard time seeing this as a disease. I feel he acts like he’s a kid and he is not acting as a responsible adult or role model. He makes his choices. I don’t know how he could even like who he is right now.

    He doesn’t treat me with any respect and he is very selfish, always thinking of himself and never thinking of us or me. I don’t know how much more I can take, but I’m ashamed to tell my mom and really don’t have anywhere to go. I have another house and could not sell due to the market and rent it out. I cannot afford another home right now.

  5. Sonya June 2014 at 9:30 pm

    I have been married nearly three years. But we have been together for more than eight. When we began dating he never drank. When I asked him if it was because he had a drinking problem, he lied. My husband drinks excessively every day and has done so for 3 1/2 years.

    I am angry and resentful. I have a great disdain for alcoholics and addicts. I have tried to be supportive, non-judgmental and even to ignore the issue. The more I try, however, the angrier I am becoming. He has made empty promises, more than I care to count. He has stopped drinking for a week or maybe two. But he always returns to his excessive drinking.

    He has a volatile temper when he drinks and has scared me from time to time. I have a teenage daughter from a prior marriage. Our arguments when he is drinking have petrified her. I don’t want to give up on him, but my resentment and anger are growing every day. I know that I have begun to give up on our marriage.

    Tonight I decided to see if there is a group for family members of alcoholics. Thankfully I discovered Al-Anon. I will be contacting Al-Anon tomorrow because his drinking is beginning to consume me with anger.

    I have read the stories here and I feel comfort in knowing that I am not alone and that there is help.

  6. Ranee April 2014 at 9:47 am

    Thank you all for writing the comments, for it is helping me again to get a grip onto my own life today. For I’m seeking once again Al-Anon’s help. I’m a granddaughter, niece, ex-wife and now a mother of an alcoholic, which I have just found out this past 3 weeks.

    My daughter is 29 and lives 1,500 miles from me. She screamed for help after wrecking her car into a telephone pole. We brought her home, got her into detox, and she went home after her husband had threatened her that she would never get to see her 3 kids if she didn’t come home by her daughter’s birthday. She is an adult, so I couldn’t hold her here with me so we could start her in AA as planned after detox.

    Not even a day and a half home being with her husband. She went out and bought a bottle of liquor and ended up waking up in handcuffs, because she ran her rental car up a telephone pole again. She now has a DUI.

    I know AA and Al-Anon can help us, but still the fear is there as a mother when she is so far away and her husband is not willing to get the help for himself through Al-Anon so he knows how to help her. I have gone to Al-Anon for 8 yrs because of my ex-husband, while he went to AA. He did good for years, until he relapsed and I decided I couldn’t handle it again with him. I can say also I am a recovered alcoholic for over 32 yrs.

    I hope with Al-Anon I can keep going again, since she has decided to go into an in-patient rehab. I found her a great place in Portland, OR, because she doesn’t want to leave her kids, even though I think it would be better for her to come to one that is away from her husband, but her health insurance only covers where she leaves to get help. Thank you all for reading, and prayers to all who are having to go through this with a family member, husband, or a friend.

    My fear is I will get a phone call that she is dead, or one of my grandbabies.

    My fear is that she will get the help in rehab and her husband will make her relapse (as she has done over and over).

    My fear is I won’t be able to survive if anything happens to her.

  7. jane November 2013 at 12:35 am

    I have always felt so alone–until reading these posts. Thank you all for writing so that others can benefit. It really does help knowing I’m not alone, and that I’m not crazy!

    I was married to an alcoholic man for 22 years. We divorced in the end of 2010 (3 yrs ago). The crazy thing is, throughout our marriage I had never ever complained about my husband to anyone, not wanting my family and friends to have poor views of us. My husband was also and still is a very functioning alcoholic. He gets up for work every day. He has no drivers license, due to getting now his 3rd DUI (causing a 3 car accident) last year, but he continues to not only drive but go out to the bar and get so drunk that I don’t know how he gets home every night.

    When he does finally come in the house (oh btw I’m staying at the house we once owned together until I can afford to move with my youngest son who is sick and I refuse to leave him here with his dad) at night after drinking (a lot of times he passes out in the car with it still running. My 13-year-old has gone out there many times, worried about his dad, trying to wake him). He stumbles in the house, knocking pictures off the walls, then trips up the steps finally making it to his destination (his room). But a few hours later he is up and off to work (He is in construction and makes a very good living. My oldest son, who doesn’t speak to me, works with him). My ex-husband gets away with everything, which I could care less about, except for the things that concern my kids and me.

    While attending a family vacation (his family, our family, our 4 kids and he and I) in the summer of 2008, he had come back very late from a neighboring party and stumbled into bed. Our youngest son was in our bed because be had not been feeling well. (This was around 3 am) I tried to not move so that he would just pass out, which he did. 30 minutes later his alarm clock goes off and I let it go because I didn’t want to lean over him and turn it off, afraid I would wake him. His brother finally came in and woke him and said get up, we’ve got to leave to go fishing. When I heard this my stomach was sick, because I remembered at that moment that my son and nephew were supposed to go with him and his brothers fishing that morning. I also knew that what he said went.

    So his brother left the room and I feel him tapping me, waking me up. He wanted our car keys. I said no. He started to get louder as he was obviously still very drunk. I got out of bed as to not wake our son. He was demanding the keys. I said let me look upstairs. I went up and begged the brothers if they could drive, both said no. One of them said to me, “What’s the big deal?” I went back to the bedroom. He came out of the bathroom and said where are they? (All the time, I had the keys in the back of my shorts) I told him I didn’t want him driving my son and my nephew. He got even madder. He said, “I don’t care what you want. Give me the key.”

    He started emptying out my pocket book, getting louder, then the beach bag, being even louder. Now he empties the suitcases and be is just throwing the contents. I know the whole family can hear this, but I see no one. He then picks me up and throws me up and into the walk-in closet, against the wall. I don’t know if I broke my rib from the fall or from him picking me up and squeezing so hard on my ribs. He must have done more things to me because I had cuts and bruises the next day (the key ended up falling out of my shorts and he picked it up and left). But that night no one left their room to see what had happened, no one.

    The next day and a couple days after that everyone that saw me in my bathing suit would ask how I got the bruises and cuts that I had. I would respond, “Joe (my now ex-husband) did it to me last night.” As soon as I would say his name, they would just either turn and walk away or pretend I said nothing.

    That night was the night I decided my marriage was over. It didn’t matter what happened. I was numb and had been for quite some time, but I now knew I could not do this anymore and my youngest was not going to grow up seeing this. My 3 older kids I felt had been brain-washed by him for the past few years (prior to 2008) and I wasn’t going to let that happen to my youngest.

    When I did tell him (after we got home from the vacation) that I felt it was best we separated, I had no clue how mean, manipulative, ruthless, heartless and vindictive the man I had married would soon be.

  8. LUCY December 2012 at 12:51 pm

    In a live-in relationship with an alcoholic boy friend. He was sober when we started dating and the drinking started and then escalated. He was sober 3 yrs before and understands the process needed to sober up again.

    I know it’s not my fault that he drinks and I know I can’t stop him. I found he has been contacting prostitutes, some are tranny’s, for a long time. I know he’s lying to me and of course he doesn’t want to talk about it.

    I can’t talk to him about anything while sober, because that’s generally while he is at work. Since we moved in together 6 mos ago, I find myself drinking to ” keep up” or ” defend’ myself. It’s not fun for me to go out with him, then get in the car and he drives us home drunk. That, or I’m supposed to stay sober and drive us home.

    This past weekend it hit rock bottom after heading to a party where he was oblivious to his behavior. He got irate when he realized I was angry and ready to go home. He sped down the highway erratically and I asked him to pull over. He would not. In a moment of despair, I reached for the door handle. When he heard the door start to open, he reached over, grabbbed me, hit me, started yelling about potentially causing an accident and I bit him. He then punched me in the face, not once, twice, while telling me to never ever do that again.

    I came home and took whatever sleeping pills I had left and approximately 20 Oxycodone left over from prior surgeries. I didn’t want to wake up. Just silently fall asleep permanently. He doesn’t know. He left to return to the party, and when he got home I was sick and throwing up. Got up, went to work and came home sick because I was still sick.

    Had a long talk with my minor son who lives with us. Obviously I can’t just let this go on. I also can’t up and just leave mid school year. We just relocated and changed schools. We can’t go back to our old residence either. Our plan now is to leave as soon as school is out in June, provided my boyfriend hasn’t chosen to sober up first. He talks about quitting every day, especially at night when he goes to bed early and his body hurts.

    I didn’t sign up for abuse and didn’t realize how bad it would get or what the extent of the lies were. If I continue to stay and attempt to tolerate the situation, someone’s going to wind up dead, and everyone loses.

  9. Jay July 2012 at 10:32 pm

    I have no history of alcoholism in my family–until I married one 2 years ago. When dating, my husband and I drank socially and I thought it was just that, social drinking. Things changed once we got married and I noticed a pattern of drinking that I was not comfortable with. With 2 kids in the household at the time (now we have 3), an incident occurred in which my children were put at risk of danger.

    Several incidents thereafter arose, including my son being left in daycare after hours while under his stepfather’s care. I had not a clue where my son was because my intoxicated husband kept telling me different stories as to my son’s whereabouts. That was until daycare called to let me know that my son was still there an hour after closing. I had to take my daughter and rush to daycare to pick up my son. I was beyond furious.

    I think the incidents that involved my children hurt the most because I thought he would have enough decency, love and responsibility to not drink while watching them. Well, he didn’t. From that point forward, the kids have never been left in his care. My kids are way too precious.

    At this time, we are separated until he can seek help and follow through with continued help with his addiction. I know the devastating impact that addiction can have on children just by seeing others around me (friends and acquaintances) who have experienced parents with addiction issues. While I want my family to work, I am not willing to put my children at risk. I’m a God-fearing woman and although God wants marriage to last, I think he also wants parents to protect their children. I’m choosing the latter.

  10. Silver P. July 2012 at 4:56 pm

    Survey results show that more than half of all Al-Anon members and almost 40 percent of the Alateens (young Al-Anon members, usually teenagers, whose lives have been affected by someone else’s drinking) received professional help before attending Al-Anon or Alateen. After becoming involved in Al-Anon, more than 40 percent of Al-Anon members seek medical treatment or counseling, and almost 70 percent of Alateens seek medical treatment or counseling.

  11. tattiana June 2012 at 9:34 am

    I have been in a lot of danger with my mom.

  12. Mzunipeg November 2011 at 2:44 pm

    Wow, love reading these posts. I am currently separated from my addict/alcoholic husband who is bipolar and diabetic. What a great combo huh? He would have fits of rage punching walls (many years ago) and recently just plain mean.

    I thought I was detaching, but I was ignoring and became a doormat and didn’t tell him his behavior was unacceptable. After finding out he started growing MJ in the backyard for “medicinal” purposes, I had to get out.

    It hit the fan and now my family of four and a granddaughter are all in different places. Life is not fun right now. But thank goodness for my Al-Anon friends.

    Not sure what I’m going to do yet, but so glad as all of us are to know we have places to go get love and support.

  13. michelle October 2011 at 10:15 am

    Well, I’m glad I found this site. My husband was doing good. So I thought, up till last night. He got dropped off again drunk. Then takes his vehicle into town at 9:00 p.m. to get cigars. I’m so sick of all of this. We own 10 rentals. Sometime I want to just move into one of fake rolex to get away. If he wants to go out and get drunk, I wish he would just come home and sleep it off. No, he tries kissing on me and the smell makes me half sick.

  14. michelle October 2011 at 9:58 am

    I’m so glad I came across this and was able to read the stories you all have wrote. I’ve been married going on 10 years. Been with him for 13 total.

    Same for me, I was raised around alcohol and partying. My mother would get drunk and go after my dad with swords. Yes, I mean swords. He ended up putting me on his lap one time that she did that hoping to get her attention.

    My dad also is a manic-depressive. Has been pretty much all his life. He also was raised around a bunch of drinking. My grandma was beaten on a weekly basis. And my mother was also raised in a house where my grandpa was a big drinker.

    I did what a lot of you said you did. Married an alcoholic, thought I could change him.

    When I was around 3 years old, I was molested by the drunk down the street. So, thinking back at that, when my now husband would come home drunk, I couldn’t sleep because I was afraid that would happen to my kids. So, I literally never could sleep at night. He never done anything. I think it was just the thought of what happened to me as a child by a drunk man.

    My husband is now court-ordered to a drug and alcohol program. I had to contact the court for help. He had gotten his 2nd DUI in 1 year. Total 4 in his lifetime. He seems to be doing pretty good. For now, I say. And his temper used to be horrendous. I was a nervous wreck.

    I told him he was going to go to the doctors and get help and he went. They put him on medication and you couldn’t ask for a better person. Now we have to work on the alcohol. Best of luck to everyone. This is a long, hard road.

  15. Mirna August 2011 at 8:58 am

    Ohhh my, it seems that we almost have the same issues.

    I am married for 7 months to a beautiful person, once she isn’t drunk. My wife has been an
    alcoholic for more than 10 years. She is also bipolar. I got so angry when she started drinking again. I try talking to her about her drinking, but she doesn’t want to stop. She gets physical and abusive towards me that she doesn’t remember anything when she is sober.

    I am extremely nervous to the point that I want to leave. She is hurting this relationship and if she doesn’t stop I am going to leave her. No matter what I say to her, I can’t change her–only she can. I have to set some boundaries with her.

    I have seen her falling, slipping, and walking into walls and doors, hurting herself because she is too drunk. It’s very hard to watch someone you love going down the drain like that, and I see my wife heading down that path.

    I don’t know what to do, but if she doesn’t seek treatment, I am leaving. I have tried to deal with it, but the verbal, physical, and emotional abuse, I can’t take anymore. I feel like I am going to get a nervous breakdown.

  16. Lori June 2011 at 5:10 pm

    I am going to attend my first Al-Anon meeting on Tues. eve. I am dreading telling my husband I am going for fear of his reaction towards me and his drinking. But I want to see if this will help me sort things out.

    I married my husband 24 years ago knowing he was an alcoholic and he attended meetings weekly. I wish I had known that he needed to continue his meetings to be successful, but once we married he started to slip and drink some wine with me and I enjoyed the company. I did not know how this would all start up again and as life got harder, so did the drinking and then he would slow down and for a time I demanded he go to an AA meeting or else we were over. I attended too, but I was so angry, this really wasn’t the place for me to be and many of them told me to attend an Al-Anon meeting.

    I didn’t. I just figured we would fix him. He was sober for 18 months. It was a time of change for both of us. I didn’t have my cocktail partner anymore and I still enjoyed a drink and our house was more normal, knowing that Dad was not going to get drunk and say stupid stuff. However, he started to slip right before the holidays and I witnessed it, one shot at a time. It was out of control by the time his mother came for xmas! Bad family history there.

    It is now June and he has gained weight from all this drinking, not to mention how disappointed he feels in himself and has told me he will not quit completely, he will just slow down. I can see my life going in a very unstable direction, so I need to get help now. I have so much more to say, but I will save that for a meeting. Thanks for letting me vent this very private side that not too many friends and family know about. It feels good to release these trapped feelings. Thank you.

  17. AnonymousWoman April 2011 at 2:06 pm

    I grew up in an alcoholic family – my father, step-father and grandfather. Many other family members as well. My father and step-father died early deaths, because of alcohol. My grandfather lived longer but had serious health complications that eventually led to his death. After hearing this podcast, most especially from Jack saying he didn’t know how to interact with normal people, I started to cry because I relate with that feeling.

    I’ve been in relationships that were healthy (with non-alcoholic men) but my last three relationships were with alcoholic men. I had a child with one, and left him 5 months after our daughter was born because I feared one night he would actually send me to the hospital by choking me and pinning me up against the wall.

    I have been going to counseling for most of my adult life and it wasn’t until most recently that my therapist recommended I attend Al-Anon meetings. A therapist may have mentioned it before, but it wasn’t until now – at 39 years old – that I am taking the advice.

    I checked out the web and I look forward to going to my first Al-Anon meeting this week.

    Thank you!

  18. Melissa April 2011 at 7:39 am

    I have a mother who is an alcoholic and who is bipolar. Alcohol has always been apart of my life. My father was also an alcoholic and passed away four years due to his drinking. It’s the hardest thing to feel so helpless for someone you love. I’m now just realizing that my parents’ drinking has affected me many different ways.

    I get so angry when I find out she is drinking and I try and talk to her about it. I try to be a peace maker with everyone. I get physically upset when I hear people yelling or screaming. It just makes me feel extremely nervous and upset to the point I have to leave. I see that I take it out on my bf by complaining to him about my mom. I don’t want to hurt our relationship I just feel that I need to talk about it. Thats how I came to find Al-Anon. I have come to the conclusion no matter what I say or do I can’t change her actions, only she can. I have learned that I need to have boundaries with her.

    It was very hard to watch one parent die from alcoholism. Now I see my mom heading down the same path. She used to make me feel guilty for the loss of my dad, telling me “Maybe if you would have been harder on your dad about drinking, he would still be here.” That is something I will never forget. She confirmed what I was thinking all along. I know that there was nothing I could have done or said to make my father stop.

    I am moving out of my mother’s house in the next month. I have told her that if she doesn’t seek treatment, my visits with her will be very few. If she doesn’t I know that, I have tried. Sometimes you can’t help the people that don’t want it.

  19. Patty March 2011 at 6:08 pm

    I have been married for twenty years to an alcoholic. I grew up with an alchoholic dad. 3 weeks ago I called the police on my husband for choking and kicking our 16-year-old daughter. He is living outside of the home. Due to a no-contact order. DHS is involved now. I feel like the biggest worst-ever parent for not doing something years ago. We have 2 children in college and one on the way to college. And a 9-yr-old son. After reading these comments, I realize that I am not alone.

  20. Jodie March 2011 at 9:51 am

    I have been in Al-Anon for about 2 yrs. Now my husband is an active alcoholic who refuses to seek help. I realize I didn’t cause it, can’t change it or even cure it. However, we have been married for 12 yrs. We have two young sons who have seen and heard too much of their father’s violent episodes.

    I separated from my spouse for about six months, hoping he would address his drinking and verbal abuse toward me. The time apart did wonders for me. I felt strong again, somewhat happy with the decision, then got the news my husband lost his job so I decided to move back home to try to save our home. I guess I bought into him telling me he was working on his problem and would continue to do so with us coming back home. However, that wasn’t the case.

    The episodes are more frequent, the tantrums much louder, the verbal assaults much greater! I feel in my heart I should run, not walk, to get a divorce. But I feel such a sense of guilt and fear to really go thru with it. Everyone has an opinion of what I should or shouldn’t do. I’ve been a stay-at-home mom now for six years, and I don’t have the technology skills to enter the workforce. I attempted to go back to school, but the chaos is so great. I’m feeling like I need to start at the beginning of my program and re-work the Steps because I am feeling so overwhelmed.

  21. Deb F March 2011 at 1:19 pm

    My husband held a shotgun to me and tried to get me to pull the trigger. My father broke my sister’s jaw and threw my brother off the first floor porch and broke his collarbone. They are both dead now, my father at 52 and husband at 54.

    I still have nightmares at times of stress. I am in this program 12 years now and I am still amazed at the transformation it has had on my life. I had a lot of lessons to learn on how to trust and feel safe. The rooms of Al-Anon are aways my safe place and the people who share how they get through the day continue to inspire me to change and grow in my personal recovery.

  22. Karen C March 2011 at 12:14 am

    I have experienced danger as a result of alcoholic behaviors numerous times in my life. During my early childhood, an uncle (whom my aunt was divorcing due to his issue with alcohol and abusive behavior) arrived at my house to confront his soon-to-be ex-wife. My aunt was not home. My parents were not home.

    The babysitter was with my sister and I. He talked his way into the house by asking us to confirm he was our uncle, thus persuading the babysitter to allow him to visit with us. After a brief conversation with my sister and I, my uncle entered the room in which my aunt was occupying during their separation. He gathered her clothes, poured her perfume and make-up on the clothes, piled them in the front yard, soaked them with gasoline and set them on fire.

    He was drunk and smelled like booze. My sister and I sat inside the house, looking out the window at his obvious display of alcoholic madness. I felt like the kids from The Cat In The Hat, as I thought: “Wait till my mother gets home.” I did not think my uncle would harm us, but there was a tiny bit of uncertainty, and I had an escape plan in the event he returned to the house after lighting the clothes on fire.

  23. hank February 2011 at 12:10 pm

    My daughter is an alcoholic. Three days ago she lost her job because she was drunk at work. This is the second time that I know of that she has had alcohol-related problems at her work. She was convicted of DUI in 2006. She was convicted of leaving the scene of an alcohol-related accident in 2010. I know of one other automobile accident she has had related to drinking. There have not been any physical injuries in these accidents that I know of.

    I live in fear that she is going to kill herself or someone else.

    I am at rock bottom emotionally with a crushing sense of hopelessness and powerlessness.

    I understand for the first time that there is nothing I can do to stop her drinking.

    I am going to my first Al-Anon meeting tonight. I am grateful for this podcast and the comments.

  24. Bev February 2011 at 5:58 pm

    After reading the comments of others on this site, I re-live my own episodes of drunken behavior as a child growing up with an alcoholic father. The physical fights, screaming and overwhelming fear that went with it. Fast forward to the next phase, of marriage to a man with alcohol/drug issues and the same scenarios playing out, only now with my young children involved and the episodes became more dangerous, now not just with me, but babies were introduced into the picture. Visions of baby bottles filled with beer or wine fed to them, or car doors being opened at 75 mph, glasses being thrown through windows, and ultimately drunks playing Russian Roulette with live ammo in my living room.

    I did get out of the nightmares for 17 years with my second husband, and I believe luck was just shining on me during this time. He passed away unexpectedly and again I married an alcoholic, never realizing the biggest reason I attract the type was me! How could I possibly know how to respond or react to aggressive drunken behavior except to lose myself and my voice? Avoid the confrontation and become more afraid and resentful. The only thing this has been successfully developing is manipulation, attempts at control and a passive-aggressive attitude, making me as dangerous to the relationship as he is. I joke that I was the morality police–what a joke on me to learn I don’t have to police anything but my own thoughts and actions, which is incredibly difficult.

    We are both in a program currently, he in AA and I in Al-Anon. I know it sounds trite to say it has saved my life, but I’m going to say, it is saving my life. When you are emotionally at the bottom and so distraught or depressed that you truly can’t function, this is a rope you can hang on to.

  25. Katie February 2011 at 8:32 pm

    As long as I can remember, my mom abused alcohol. But things got much worse after my dad was killed by a drunk driver. I was 11 and the oldest and I could no longer hide behind my dad, so I got the brunt of the abuse.

    The worst thing that ever happened was when we were arguing, and I tried to walk away from her and started walking to the stairs, and she screamed with rage and pushed me from behind, and I fell down the stairs.

    Until I was 18, I was always filled with rage that I had no control over the horrible things that happened to me. Even in my sleep, I was angry and I grinded my teeth until my molars were flat.

    I thought once I went to college that everything would magically be wonderful for me because I had escaped. Then I realized that I spent my whole life taking care of my mom and once that was gone I didn’t know what to do with myself. I hadn’t ever developed a personality. I had no wants and needs and without my mom and sister to take care of, I felt hollow. Without understanding why, I went home to continue the abuse I always thought I wanted to get away from.

    One terrible night we got in a fight and she started hitting me with a bag of something, and in a rage I threw something against the wall and stormed out as I heard her calling the cops. She told the cops I assaulted her and I was put in cuffs and went to jail. I’d never broken a law in my life before. I’d never felt so much shame before. I was terrified and they took me to a place full of drunk, screaming, and/or violent people. It was so hard to believe any of it was real.

    The judge put a restraining order against ME to stay away from my mom. I couldn’t believe it. I spent my whole life covering up for my mom and hiding the abuse she inflicted on me to protect her from the law, and after all that I’m the one that ended up in jail. I was enraged thru every cell of my body. My blood was boiling. I wished she was dead. It was truly at my rock bottom.

    Now that time has passed, I’m actually grateful she called the cops, because I might not have ever left. The charges were dropped. I stayed at my aunt’s house till I got my own place and I picked some roommates who actually don’t drink. I’m just beginning Al-Anon, but I already feel better. I’m finally learning who I really am.

  26. jack February 2011 at 2:02 am

    I came to Al-Anon 2 years ago this coming March, because I had no place to go. My wife was the active alcoholic in my relationship. I grew up in a traditional family environment with 3 brothers in a rural setting. We went to church every Sunday, ate meals together, and all that good stuff. But I did not fit in like the others. I had difficulty in school and just about everything else in life.

    I met my wife about 35 years ago in a party setting where the booze flowed freely along with other drugs. We did everything backwards. Had a child, built a house and got married in that order. I found AA when our daughter was about 1 year old. My wife could not seem to stop partying. I worked nights and my wife and daughter would be home fighting. My daughter ran away a lot when she got in high school, but now she is OK.

    To make a long story short, my wife’s disease progressed and since it is a family disease my thinking, behavior and happiness progressed also. Towards the end, I felt like a trapped animal. I never knew what I was going to walk into when I got home, so I dreaded it. I found another job, volunteered for community service and was gone as much as possible. She became more and more reclusive, violent, and sick physically, mentally, and spiritually–right along with me. Finally she was arrested for domestic violence and was forced into treatment, AA and counseling.

    We both hit our bottom, I found Al-Anon and she goes to AA. Things are far from perfect now, but we are slowly recovering from the disease. I have been trying to focus on myself lately and learned that she has a Higher Power & I am not it. I tried to manipulate, control, and do anything for peace at all costs. Nothing worked. I learned that I did not cause it, I can’t control it, and I can’t cure it. There is so much more I could write about this. I thank my Higher Power every day for the tools and my sisters in Al-Anon. I truly believe that it saved my life. I don’t know where I would be without it.

  27. ann February 2011 at 3:28 pm

    I married an alcoholic, not knowing that was his problem. I went out with this person for a couple of years while I was in high school. He was 1 year older than me. I was raised Catholic, so it was important to me to not have sex until I was married. My boyfriend, who I later married, gave me the ultimatum to either have sex or we were going to break up. I went against my wishes and had sex and got pregnant the first time.

    My future mother-in-law said that I kept my son up till 3:00 am. I said no, I had to be in at 10:00 pm. I should have known then that he had a drinking problem and also other addictions. Also, I might add that my relationship with my dad was non-communicative, and my mom I was afraid of–lots of yelling and screaming. I later learned that my dad had an affair and I have a half-brother somewhere in Boston. I believe that there was so much unpredictable behavior when I was growing up that it was natural to attract the same unpredictable behavior in my relationship with my now x.

    While I was married to my husband, I would go nights without sleeping–of the stress of him drinking every night and being out with other women. I went into insomia-indused psychosis and ended up in the hospital in the psych ward. I felt safer there than at home. I had no idea who I was or that I had a baby at home. Thankfully my mom and his mom helped out.

    I remember once when my husband came home from drinking, when he could not get a reaction from me he would go into my son’s room and I saw him throwing our baby in the air like a football. I was in so much fear, I took my son and went to a friend’s house. He never remembered anything he did. It makes me so sad writing and remembering about this so many years ago. My son also has an addiction problem and is in recovery 9 months. I’m so gratefull every day that he has chosen recovery. God bless every one out there who deals with this horrible disease.

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