Category Archives: Alice Walker
Apr 07 comments
ALCOHOLISM AND POWER
When I was young both my parents drank to excess frequently. Fueled more often than not by alcohol, there would be massive arguments with ranting, screaming, stomping, door slamming, etc.
I used what power I had to escape into my room, my headphones, my car and other people’s houses. But eventually my power was in standing up to my parents, as did my sister. It didn’t cause them to make some grand transformation (that took a major catastrophe). But it wasn’t about us changing them. It was about us changing our response to them. We took hold of the power to state what we felt. It took a lot of courage for us both to do it, but we did.
I also had the power to move away, which I did. The post yesterday showed the miles I moved to go to various schools. They were all far away from my parents. I didn’t hate my parents, I just didn’t want to be around that dynamic if I could help it. That was my way of exercising my power.
That is the thing about power. You don’t just take it and then always have it. You have to take it and implement it again and again and again. You have to be constantly reminded that it is yours for the taking. But first you have to know you have it.
The catastrophe I mentioned? My mother having a brain hemorrhage and spending 6 months in the hospital and another 3 months in an alcohol rehabilitation facility after that. That, along with me being blown up in a boat explosion and almost dying during that same time, jolted my family out of many of those habits.
From that moment on they took the power they didn’t know they had and changed their lives. My mother and father both quit drinking. My father reduced his anger level dramatically. And best of all they were able to be much better parents, especially for my younger sister, who was only 9 years old when all that went down.
If you need help dealing with alcohol abuse, either in yourself or others, there are many resources available online. Starting here gives some good options to explore. You can also contact me if you would like.