Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Daughter Says Parents Don't Share Interests

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Daughter Says Parents Don't Share Interests

Article excerpt

Dear Open Mind: I am an 18-year-old girl, still living at home. The only other sibling, my brother, lives out of town. My parents, while still married, live separate lives. My dad has a good job. He works long hours and frequently comes home with the smell of alcohol on his breath. He says it "helps him to relax."

Mom is busy three or four nights a week as a volunteer at church. For the most part, we do very few things as a family. At school they have talked about co-dependency. Does this mean I'll become an alcoholic? Is there anything I can do to bring my parents together before I start a life of my own?

*****

Thank you for having the insight and courage to recognize a problem. That is the first step toward recovery. You can't fix your parents, but if you begin your investigation of co-dependency and alcoholism, you will gain some very important insights.

I would encourage you to become active in Al-Anon, a support group for families of alcoholics (645-1572). By being open and honest about what you're doing, your mother might become interested and involved herself.

You could also share (lovingly) your insights and activities with your dad and at a time that you feel is appropriate. Show both parents your letter and this response. Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-Anon are there for anyone who wants help.

You want help, and you have already overcome the biggest problem - denial. Your parents need to be educated as well, not by lecturing but by example. Have faith that things will get better and write back and let us know what is happening. Good Luck!

***** Someone Who's Been There Your father's drinking does not indicate that he is alcoholic nor does it predetermine that you will become an alcoholic. Alcoholism is a treatable illness that must be properly identified. …

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