We cannot change the choices our parents make. We can only love them for what they teach us.
I have recently turned 20 and moved out of my parents’ home because I could not stand staying there any longer.
My parents are always fighting about money, but I can see how they cause their own money troubles. My dad has been unemployed for a long time and he smokes weed to relieve his stress. He can come up with the craziest things, and then gets frustrated and embarrassed, which makes it very difficult to speak to him.
My mom has a job that she hates, and she drinks two bottles of wine every night to deal with her stress. I work as a waiter and I have seen people sharing a bottle of wine and having a good time. I can see my mother does not have a good time – she drinks because she does not want to face her problems. When I try to talk to her, she says it is her money and she will do as she pleases.
My sisters dose themselves with prescription drugs and drink and smoke weed. I think they have also already tried crystal meth. I have tried to talk to them but they say if our parents can do it, why can’t they?
I don’t want you to think I am judging them. I have experimented with drugs and weed, but one day I had an experience where I felt God was reaching out to me and I just knew this was not what I wanted in my life. Now I will only take medication if the doctor prescribed it and there is no other way.
Even though I no longer live at home, I am really stressed about my family. Despite everything I love them and I know I can’t change them, but I want the best for them.
Can you help me?
I have to tell you the story of my life so that you can understand my current situation.
My mother was fifteen when I was born. Shortly after that my dad broke up with her. My mom told me later that my dad was abusive towards both of us, but I cannot remember anything about that.
We then went to live with my grandmother, who told me lots of stories and always smelt warm and lovely. My mom had a nice boyfriend who always played with me and took me to the park.
Then my grandmother died in an accident. My mom and her boyfriend started to argue (I was four at the time) and she tried to kill herself twice. She was already drinking heavily and was declared an unfit mother.
I then had to live with my dad and his wife (between my parents I have lived in about 15 countries over the past 17 years). They are both alcoholics and unpleasant people at the best of times. My dad used to beat me whenever I spoke about my mom. His wife did stuff to me and when I tried to complain to my dad, he accused me of making up stories and trying to take his wife away from him – when all I wanted was for her to leave me alone.
My dad told me if I complained about her or him, welfare workers will take their time and investigate everything before taking me away, and that while they do their investigation, he would make my life hell.
I moved back in with my mom when I was 11, and even as a child I was shocked at the state she was in. She is anorexic and depressed and self-mutilates. She never sleeps – instead she would wake up, drink too much, and pass out, only to wake up and start drinking again. She tells me just about every day that she wants to kill herself. I have spent the past six years talking her out of it almost daily and I am tired.
It got to a point where I started drinking with her, because if I did not she would blame me for who she is and tell me that I am looking down on her.