When I was a child, I was adopted into a family of three boys. I was a very quiet little girl and did whatever my parents told me to do. My father was a proclaimed alcoholic, though I only saw him drunk three times that I can remember. My mother was a closet drinker. The two oldest boys later became alcoholics. The home environment was tense, and I did everything to please my parents in the hope of getting some attention and praise from them. I did receive attention from my mom, but it was usually scolding or negative.

I never felt that I belonged in that family. I learned to escape from my pain by participating in sports. As time passed and I married, I thought this was the answer and we would be a happy family. However, because of some of my defects of character and a fear of confrontation, my marriage fell apart, and I was left with the sole care of our son. Once I was over the loss of my husband, I threw myself into raising our son with all the love and care I could give him. In 2006, I went to my first Al‑Anon meeting and I couldn’t believe that anyone could accept me. Before the end of the meeting, though, I knew I was in the right place. These people would become my family, and I have never looked back. The fellowship that Al‑Anon offers is awesome. I am here to stay!

By Sharon H., Nova Scotia

The Forum, July 2020