Alcohol is poison. She saw a different side of the partying and “good times.” What she saw was dark and painful, because while other kids might think alcohol is a way to have some fun times, she has seen what happens after the party. After all the lights go out, after everyone leaves, after the music has ended and all that remains is the trash that litters the floor, she has seen things that not everyone else has.
Her father was not necessarily an alcoholic, but he did drink a lot whenever he partied (which was often). This is the story that no one knows, that she walks around school with these painful memories locked away. When alcohol was seeping through his veins, her father turned angry and violent.
As a young kid, some nights were filled with the sounds of screams and the crashing of objects being thrown about by a man who was supposed to be someone she could trust and lean on. And after the nightmares of the night slipped into day, the sun’s rays seemed to show her mother’s worried looks more vividly each time. Her mother was worried about her and her siblings. The alcohol was affecting everyone around her.
“It was just hard, seeing him so violent. It was just a bad time. It impacted me obviously because that’s not something you ever want to see.”
And those vivid memories don’t fade. She will always remember that one night that was “the absolute worst.” It was her father’s breaking point, and he completely snapped. Her mother had to the lock the doors so he couldn’t leave. And she saw the alcohol burning behind the wild eyes of the man yelling and throwing things. This man looked like her father, but the alcohol had brought out the worst in him.
Since that hard time, he’s realized how much it was hurting his family, and hasn’t had an alcoholic beverage in the past two or three years. She’s proud of him and respects him for this, but she will never be able to be close with him. She tries, because after all he is her father, but she just can’t seem to forget the things he’s done and said. You can’t take back what you did in the past.
“I don’t have a connection with him. He knows, and I know, and I think the rest of my family knows. It’s not a good feeling knowing that I have these feelings of resentment that will never go away.”
She will never have the desire to drink alcohol, because she’s seen how it can affect other people and yourself.
“It’s horrible to watch because stuff like that leads to arguments with your parents. Everybody’s parents argue, but with those arguments you question whether the love that your life is based on is real. It’s just hard.”
*If you are a senior and would like to share your story, contact Justine Walton (firstname.lastname@example.org).