How do I stop my trauma ruining me?
- 5 years ago I lost my Dad at 35. Three months later my partner left our family and removed us from our property.
Everything in my life changed.
I started again, from a refuge with 4 children to a home of our own. I have worked fulltime since then Also.
My heart was in pieces.
From the day I lost my dad, I started drinking heavily. It turns out that I'm a highly functioning alcoholic.
Our mornings begin around 5.30am, work, school, preschool, sports, play dates etc. Once we were all home I would start drinking while making dinner. I could barely make it to bedtime before literally passing drunk.
I've moved around alot and after the last move, promised my eldest that we would stay put til he had finished his schooling.
I've just signed a lease for the 2nd year, now I'm wanting to run away.
Why is this?
I've changed careers also from chef to office, so I can be home at night with the kids. It's since this change that I have been more aware of my alcohol intake. I have tried cutting down, I only have one glass of wine while cooking dinner at night these days. But once dinners done, I sit in front of the TV and wait for 8.30 so I can go to bed.
My kids have been raised by their devices for the past 5 years and I'm noticing this now because I'm home at nights and they're all off in their rooms. I'm lonely.
I'm realising this past month that I am not the person I used to be.
Nor do I like the person I have become.
I don't do anything except work, run a household and clean.
I'm not the involved parent that I once was. There are so many times where my head is stuck in my phone and I completely ignore what my kids are saying until they yell at me for a response.
I have no hobbies. I have isolated myself from all of my friends.
I do the bare minimum with my house ( my washing pile is the size of a small car). And I am so wasteful with money that I'm always broke ( I used to be great with money).
I gamble when I'm down, I shop when I'm down, I smoke pot sometimes and drink sometimes. Occasionally, when I need to clean my house, I'll use a point of ice to get through it.
I believe this all started when my Dad and ex partner exited my life.
5 years on, I know the traumas in there, but how do I bring it to the surface and deal with it? I'm not much of a crier, I hate feeling weak which is exactly how crying makes me feel.
I want so badly to be someone my children want to be around again.
I don't have a life that would afford me rehab, Im a singke Mum with 4 children and no one to take them for an extended period of time. I have thought about going to detox, kind of like a reset.
That and ongoing counselling support would definitely help.
But what can I do in the meantime?
I would love to find someone to talk to on here, tell me I'm not alone.
Wow, I read your post and think- what an achiever. That was the 1st thing, not the drinking nor the piles of washing, I'll get to that. Gee, I'm in full praise mode.
I'm 67yo happily married man but prior to my marrying my wife had a up and down bipolar life that saw similar challenges without the drinking. Suicidal thoughts, attempt, relationship issues, separation from my kids to a part time dad etc. So lets look at this life you have.
With 4 kids you have at least one or two that are the ripe age to share some household tasks. "Share" is the key word. They can do the washing together with you, the rubbish bins, the cooking, they can fetch non alcoholic beverage from the fridge and pour it for you?? Set times for homework, get them into a routine and stick by those times eg After dinner (which is absolutely in the dining room never in front of a TV) they ALL clean up and help wash the dishes, this is life training. Then 30 minutes individually helping you to do the washing (actually its their chore and YOU are helping them). Then they have up to 60 minutes neutral time. That is a period whereby they can do homework, family activities like playing games. Then whatever they want to do before sleep.
A routine structure is essential.
With addictions when I smoked cigs I realised I had to wait till I was ready to give up. When my mind wasnt ready, it was pointless trying. So build yourself up, replace alcoholic drink half with non alcoholic drink and start there. Build up your own self esteem, you have to rely on yourself more and when ready got for it. An older man said to me once when I said "I'm just going out for a cig" he said "you dont need that to live"... that was the turning point, I took one puff and threw them all in the bin. Havent had one since 29yo... 38 years ago.
At night when alone ring a friend, old friends dont mind a chat if it isnt long. Look for opportunities to join a friend with kids, often the kids will play in the yard while you are chatting away. It isnt a kid free zone but better than not visiting.
Look, I'm no expert on managing kids, I do know the theory of life change and the difficulties facing challenges. Those theories include- self praise for self esteem (you have good reasons to do this, you are an achiever), routine in the chores department, restricting social media with your kids until its a certain time of evening after chores done and be kind to yourself its ok for you to use your social media- its your lifeline to others.
I hope I've helped. I'm here daily if you want to reply and other champs and members might respond.
You're grieving the loss of your dad and partner. It sounds like you need time trying to process what has occurred. You probably didn't have time to because your life was so busy.
Not trying to minimise what you've been through but I'll share something of my own. Years after dad died I was sitting out in the shed where dad and I spent some time building his canoe and me with my own interests. And I just balled my own eyes out. A grown man sobbing. In the end of the process, it was like dad was tapping me on the shoulder telling me things would be OK. It'd ok to cry to feel the emotions. But you usually need a good support network (friends, counsellors). The substances, gambling are all coping mechanisms. Once you can process what's happened, you'll become that better person you're seeking.