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The Challenges of Growing Up with an Alcoholic Father

Mar 4, 2023 | 0 comments

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Mar 4, 2023 | Essays | 0 comments

Never Again

Raging with anger I flung my book across the room. I swore to myself, this will never happen again. Yes! I definitely will not let it happen again. My last straw had been pulled. It has been seven years since my father strayed into the dark hole of alcoholism. I only recently turned seventeen a few weeks ago. I lost my mother to a fatal car accident at the age of ten.

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“GERALD!” The sound of his voice instantly made every hair on my body stand. I could no longer tolerate his voice. I decided to remain silent. After all, I was still recovering from the strangling I had just received barely half an hour ago. I was done with him and could no longer bare looking him in the eye or even seeing his face. My younger sister, Eleanor, I could see was worn out as well, as she lay right next to me sobbing and quietly crying herself to sleep.

Eleanor can barely remember our mother; she is only ten years old and barely got to know her. We lost our mother before Eleanor really got to understand and experience how much she really loved us. It had become a ritual to make a reminder to Eleanor not to speak a word as long as dad was in the house and awake. Although, he practically stays at home and awake for a maximum of three hours a day. There are days, however, when lady luck is on our side and he does not make it home.

By the age of thirteen I had already learnt the reality of my life and gotten myself a job so at to have the capability to take care of my sister and me; our little-broken family. When I did not get enough money for food, I was forced into stealing some money from my father’s wallet and pockets without his knowledge, mostly because he is literally always drunk and will barely even notice. I was determined to make sure I shared with my sister the love my mom had given me all the years back. I know as a matter of fact that I was far from any comparison to replacing what Eleanor would get from a real mother. My sister’s happiness and well being had become my source of strength and ambition. I was ready to do anything to make it a better life for her, a better life for me. I had no capacity to afford shopping for food and necessities at Wal-Mart; I, therefore, did my shopping at the local Family Dollar and the goodwill centre. Once in a while, I did my best to buy Eleanor some new clothes with a good bargain as a loyal customer at our local Family Dollar. I personally relied on goodwill to get some fitting decent clothes for myself, where I landed my favorite beige-brown coat with its matching hat that I wore practically everywhere I went.

Eleanor turned over to me and hugged me really tight, I could feel it literally eating me up, at her young age instead of creating happy memories and enjoying her childhood she was drowning herself in sorrows. I could only wish that I could change her life and given her a real family. Why did she have to go through all this? Eleanor is such as wonderful, sweet and kind-hearted little girl. Eleanor really did not deserve to live such a life. My determination to give her everything and much more only grew more and more with every dawn. The thought of her being bullied in school by the other kids because she did not keep up with trending fashion in new clothes, hurt me to the core.

Eleanor’s only friend is our next door neighbor, Mrs. McGraw, an old friendly lady who lived with her eight cats. Eleanor stays over at Mrs. McGraw every day after school and even on the days she is home and I am caught up at work. Mrs. McGraw has always helped taking care of Eleanor and could easily pass as our grandmother that we never really had. I could never leave Eleanor alone with dad in the house, and so I could not thank God enough for giving us, Mrs. McGraw. With time I had saved up enough and bought myself an old second-hand scooter which could help me with saving time on transportation time, just to be home on time.

“GERALD!” My father loudly bangs at the door. I could feel a volcano almost erupting in me; I almost screamed my lungs out, “WHAT IS IT?”OPEN THIS DOOR RIGHT NOW!” I was dripping in my own sweat completely nervous and afraid to be injured again, grabbed my baseball bat as I walked towards the door. I found him almost blacked out in his usual spot at the corner couch, barely holding on to his last bottle of beer. “Ran down to the shop and get me my beer,” is all he stammered. I went to my room to grab my coat and hat, and asked cautiously,” Dad, please give me the money.” Before I knew what happened, I felt a sharp pain at the right side of my head and found myself on the floor, with a warm liquid dripping down my face. “THAT IS THE REASON YOU GET PAID GERALD.” I was still in pain, and slightly dizzy before I found out what had actually just happened. Dad threw the bottle right straight at me and that the force knocked me out, the bottle cracked causing a deep cut to my head.

I was done. It was about time I made up my mind. I slowly stood up, went straight to the bathroom to try to clean off and reducing the bleeding before Eleanor saw me. I put some bandages on the wound and had my hat right up to cover it. Went to straight to my room quite sure I had made my decision. “Hey, Eleanor? Want to go out for a little trip?” I whispered to her. “Yes! Gerald that would be amazing!” She lit up and had her beautiful smile on her face that always lit the room; if only she knew how much she resembled mum at that moment. I locked the room and we quickly began to grab a few clothes and items and stuck them in the only travelling bag I had, one that I had received as a gift from Mrs. McGraw last Christmas. As we packed the little belongings and necessities together with Eleanor beaming with joy, I was certain that I was making the right choice I was determined to provide a better life for my sister and I, a life of peace and happiness. As I made sure Eleanor was warmly dressed because it would be sunset soon and the weather had been rainy for some days now; I knew that our future lay in my hands and that with the passion and ambition I had bubbling in me I would provide a better life for us. I helped Eleanor sneak out through the window with our bag and I took all the money I had been saving in the floor spaces for Eleanor’s college. I walked out through the front door just to let dad know I was on the way to the shop.

I tied our bag firmly at the back of the scooter chair and hopped on as I waited for Eleanor to climb up after me. Now as Eleanor was shuffling her feet getting ready to hop on up the scooter. I got ready to begin our journey, ahead of me, was an unending road, I did not know where we were going to go, all I know is that even with the sun setting I was sure I was heading for a future better than where we came from. Right behind us stood a house that was once a happy home was now just a building full of lost dreams and horrible sad memories. With my sister, my source of ambition and strength with me, I knew for sure that I would make it. I took one last glance of the house and I felt that affirmation that I was never going back. Never again!

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