Every day I dealt with the same wearisome scenario. The constant alcohol abuse had become a daily routine for him, and so were my late nights that were filled to the brim with worry.
There were countless late nights filled with anxiety. As I lay in bed, hoping to sleep, I would hear his favourite CD playing in the distance, destroying the peace and quiet of the neighbourhood. My ears had also become sensitive to the unique grumble of the gate motor as it opened in the early hours of the morning.
You could hear the house keys jingle as he struggled to find the correct one to unlock the door. Later on you would hear the pots and pans clatter as he tried to fix himself something to eat. At this point I would go back to sleep as I knew he had arrived home safely.
Some days I would not stay up late and continue watching television as I would want to avoid him and the responsibilities that cam along with staying up, such as making sure he got to his bedroom.
It felt as though during the day he was the adult and I was the child, but at night the roles were reversed.
I seldom had friends stay over, and if they did, the tactic was to go and play the video games in my room as it was unpredictable what state he would come home in. I felt as though I was living an isolated life and shielding my friends from the situation from home.
He would rarely give me money to go out with friends on the weekends, but there would be an ample amount of money for him to continue fuelling his addiction. It made me bitter inside.
Everyday was emotionally different, some days I would be so frustrated and drained that it no longer bothered me whether he got home safe or not, and other days I would anxiously await his arrival. It was an emotional roller coaster.
Now that my parents are divorced, it feels as though a colossal burden has been lifted off my shoulders.
The whole ordeal is permanently etched in my life memory. I occasionally look back at my previous life experiences and see how far I have come. I would not change any of those experiences.
• How did you feel in this instance when you were awake and your father came home,
• How did you feel when you had friends stayed over
• How did you feel when they saw your father in that state
• What did you have to do to hide your father’s behaviours from your friends
• Were there any questions from your friends about your father that you may had to lie about
• How did you feel when you were waiting for your father when he was “missing”
• What did you do when the feeling was too overwhelming
• Were you affected in the sense that you had to behave differently in order to incorporate your father’s actions
• What were your behaviours as a direct result
• Were there any areas of your life affected as a result of your father’s behaviour, ie school grades because you were so tired after putting him to bed