Guest Blog Post- Linda

Please help us give Linda Bartee Doyne a warm welcome! Interested in guest blogging for us? Reach out to us via the contact page!

Don’t Ring The Bell

“Growing up in a home where alcohol is a welcomed member of the family is a difficult situation for a kid. No one wants vodka as a sibling or even beer as a cousin. Unfortunately that is what happens when parents are alcoholics and alcohol becomes the most important aspect of life.

Although I did not grow up in an alcoholic household, I had friends who endured the agony of having drunken parents. One such friend could never have friends over in the morning because her mother was always “sick”. They had a bell on the gate to the backyard that was the entrance we always used. When entering through the gate friends were told to not let the bell clang because it would upset her parents. I didn’t understand what the purpose of the bell was if not to warn that someone was entering the yard, but still, I was careful.

Another friend had parents who spent a lot of time in our small town’s bar. Whenever she needed permission to stay overnight at my house or go somewhere with my family, she always had to go to the bar to get the note that told my parents that going with us was OK. They would always say “Now you girls go and be good” as we were leaving. I always thought “how would they know” if we were good or not because they were never home. My friend cooked the meals and got her young brother ready for school. Mornings at her house were just as quiet as at my other friend’s house. No noise for fear of waking her parents up. No smelly food like bacon, just cold cereal. She did nothing that would cause her parents to wake up and display their hangover irritability.

Often times when we are in the midst of things, we don’t really see what the situation is for a fact. My own children paid a high price for their father’s alcoholism. He never went with us to amusement parks, picnics, or any other events. Now I see that my children must have been very frustrated and their acting out was simply a plea for things to change.

No one really knows what a child goes through in an alcoholic home better than others who either have lived the situation or who are in the situation. Of course counseling would help, but that would be controlled by the parent. If the parent doesn’t want the world to know the true dynamics of the household, they will not be so eager to provide counseling to the child. If a school counselor gets involved that may lead to the possibility of the kid being put into foster care. While that may really be in the best interest of the child, children have a tendency to protect their parents – even abusers.”

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