16 year old, Female, NJ
My life at home isn’t so great at the moment. My dad has developed an alcoholic addiction due to depression. Fast forward to 3 years later and the situation has not improved. He comes home drunk every day after work and fights with my mom. It’s really sad that my little 11 year old sister has to hear all the yelling and see my mom cry afterwards. My dad has tried reaching out for help at addiction centers but he never stays for more than a few weeks. I’m embarrassed of him because of the way he acts when he’s drunk in front of our neighbors and people in public. One time he embarrassed me in front of a friend from school when she came over to work on a project. And another time, he almost got us into a fatal car accident while driving to a school event at a science center. I don’t speak with him much now because I feel like I lost him as a dad a while ago, and he’s a stranger to me now.
My father’s alcohol abuse is not the only problem in my family right now. My little sister was recently diagnosed with ADHD and she takes medication to help her stay focused in school, but at home she acts really aggressive towards me. She always picks up a fight with me over the silliest things, even when I ignore her. When my mom hears her fighting, she yells at me and I get in trouble for something I had nothing to do with. When my boyfriend comes over, my sister is super disrespectful towards me and treats me like garbage. Sometimes, she curses and tries to hit me. It really hurts that she has no consideration for her big sister, especially since I’ve been taking care of her while my dad struggles to get better.
People have noticed that I’ve lost weight and it makes me uncomfortable to hear that since I already have body image issues. I’ve been trying to distract myself by doing other things but nothing seems to help. I haven’t talked with the guidance counselors at my school because I feel like they can’t do much to help,It feels as if I have to deal with this by myself. I start my senior year of high school this fall, and I want to make the right choices and move ahead with my life.
TEEN LINE WROTE:
Thank you so much for contacting TEEN LINE and sharing what has been going on in your life recently. It was so brave of you to reach out and contact us. It really seems like so much has been happening lately, and you do not deserve to be going through all of this. It must be so hard to see your dad come home drunk and fight with your mom, especially knowing that your younger sister also sees this happening. You must feel embarrassed of your dad’s behavior in public, and it seems like you have been really affected by your dad’s behavior. You do not deserve to feel as if you have lost your dad; I am so sorry that you have to go through all of this. It also seems really annoying that your sister has been picking fights with you over the silliest things and treats you like garbage. It is so admirable of you for taking take of your sister right now and it must be so hard to see her treating you so poorly.
You do not deserve to be going through all of this alone right now, and I am wondering if there is anyone you can talk to about what has been happening. You mentioned that you feel as if your guidance counselors will be no help for you, but maybe there is someone else you can confide in. Talking to a close friend, trusted adult, or close relative may help you receive the support the comfort you deserve right now. You can also search the Internet to find a therapist that lives around you to talk to someone for free confidentially. You deserve to be happy at home, and I encourage you to check out http://al-anon.org/how-to-find-a-meeting, a resource that offers support for individuals with family members that have drinking struggles. You can attend an Al-Anon meeting near you, share your experiences that you have had with your dad, and learn effective coping mechanisms to deal with your dad’s behavior. You can see that you are not alone right now and other teens have family members that have drinking issues. If you are not comfortable talking to someone, you may find relief in journaling, exercising, singing, dancing, listening to music, playing a game, or sketching. Doing something that truly makes you happy make help you at this time. You are also welcome to call TEEN LINE any night from 6-10 pm PST at (310) 855-4673 and talk to a teen about everything that has been going on lately. You also mentioned having to deal with body image issues. You deserve to start your senior year on a good note, and I hope these options help you.
-A Teen Line Teen