Just Annie Spilling Her Guts Only Tonight: Enough Alcohol In One Family

Hi, it's Annie again, only I'm sober tonight. 

Back in my hometown two thousand miles away, I wish my dad was.

Technically, he's my stepfather, but he's been around since I was about three years old. Given my actual birth dad is still also present in my life and a slightly strange familial dynamic, I have two father figures who I call "dad." My entire family has been going through an incredibly rough month since the new year started. I feel it's unfair at this moment to ask my mother about starting therapy (along with therapy costs) especially since I'm attending public university events for free food so I can ration out groceries longer, without having to go buy more. So, here I am, venting to a computer text box, because it has allowed me to be alone for the first time today and not burst into tears. 

I've been in quite a pit creatively and I'm not sure how to get out of it, until things get better back at home. It makes me feel worse because while shrinking into my bed, hiding from the world and not writing, just listening to sad ass music makes me feel better, it also makes me feel like an immense disappointment to other team members and editors for publications I write for (Her Campus, being one).

I try to show up to events and put on a smile, but then I cry on the train ride back home. It's almost so crowded that nobody notices. 

My dad has struggled off-and-on with sobriety for a long time, alcohol making things the worst, in addition to his mental illness diagnosis. He went away for a year to rehab when I was 7, but I have no memory of him being gone. I have two younger siblings at home that I worry for constantly, because they don't remember things being as bad as it is right now. One night, our family went to LA for the weekend. We were staying at a hotel, and I could tell something was off. I knew the signs by now. He wanted to rent every movie, bouncing from one idea to the next - and when he's like this, the worst thing to do is make him mad. Thankfully, nobody did. Then, my mother wakes us all up in the middle of the night. He went out to a bar and she wanted us to leave. I'm not sure why she stayed. I never am. 

He has replaced his addictions from alcohol to prescription medications in recent years, and while it's more dangerous, he's been a pretty sane level overall. Occasionally, my mother and him get into an argument about it, and sometimes, it gets really intense volume-wise on his end. Then, I cry because my mom's crying or screaming back and genuinely can't wait to be far away from it at school. I wish I could take my siblings with me. 

Today, I texted my mom about returning something she ordered and she blew up, telling me to let it go. I asked her what was wrong and she told me that she had to send my siblings out of the house last night and call the police. She didn't press charges, because she said it didn't get physical. I'm not really sure if I believe her or not. So far, she just stays. It makes me more confused and sad and angry with both of them. Him, for acting that way. Her, for sticking around for years. I'm nearly 20, isn't that crazy? 

I wish I could protect my siblings from the hurt and confusion too. She told me over the phone that my youngest sibling, who is six, is noticing too. He asked why "daddy's eyes look so weird." He's too young and innocent to understand and I wish it would stay like that. 

I had made loose plans with my friends earlier in the week to come over to hang out, jam out and watch shitty reality television while casually drinking beers I have leftover. Yet, the thought of even looking at any form of alcohol while this is taking place, makes me sick. I genuinely don't know if I can for a bit. I don't want to tell them this is what's going on, but if I cancel they'll be upset. If I don't drink with them now, it'll be weird. I just want to have fun, but knowing there's a serious alcohol problem resurrecting itself in my family again redefines my relationship with it. 

I'm attempting therapy through my university (since it's free) for the first time tomorrow and I hope it goes the way I want, clearing up just the tip of the iceberg that is emotional trauma. Maybe then I can rebuild and go back to being the fun and semi-chaotic "Alcohol Annie" I"ve been known by. 

Yet, for tonight, it's only me and me alone. 

Sincerely, 

Annie.