It is a heartbreaking image. With all earnestness, a parent, drunk, urges their child to get ready for bed. It’s okay they tell them, I’ll put you to sleep. Sadly instead, their most recent consumption of alcohol puts them to sleep. Pajamas on, favorite book in tow the child is disappointed once more. Perhaps passed out on the bed, perhaps in a chair, at the kitchen table, or on the couch. Instead of being tucked in by their parent, the child once more becomes the parent and does the tucking in. Experiences like these can affect a child for a lifetime.
Throughout the world, wherever there are alcoholic and addicted parents, their are sweet children being neglected, abandoned, and abused. In Great Britain, Nacoa, the National Association for the Children of Alcoholics witnesses the spectrum of these children’s needs. Mirror reports: “Nacoa receives over 30,000 phone calls and e-mails a year from children as young as five desperate for help, love or someone to talk to, and sadly, this has been going on for over a decade.” Last year alone, the article cites, the organization received 32,000 phone calls and emails.
Children call to hear stories from the dedicated and compassionate voices on the other end. Rather than be read classic books and fairy tales, children want to hear made up stories which might reflect a common hope: that one day, things will be better for them. Most important to these children is knowing that they are not alone in the world, though they may feel alone in their world. Alcoholism in parents creates a higher chance for a child to develop alcoholism as well. After experiencing it and living through it children either resist against temptations to drink and use or follow their temptations as well as the footprints of their parents.
Being a parent in recovery is often accompanied by tremendous shame and guilt. Abandoning, neglecting, and hurting our children was never supposed to be part of the addiction and alcoholism, despite our best attempts. Going to treatment is the greatest gift you can give your children, in addition to continuing to stay sober and fight for recovery. Design For Change is a long term residential treatment program providing detox and recovery services as a refuge for those in the grips of addiction and alcoholism. Everyone is capable of recovery. For more information, call us today at (877) 267-3646.