Message in a Bottle...  

helga_hansen 50F
3122 posts
5/11/2006 12:55 pm

Last Read:
7/3/2006 3:17 pm

Message in a Bottle...

There has to be some delicious irony in the fact that my father is an alcoholic, and that my mother runs a pub. It would make more sense, I guess, if I added that my parents are divorced. Not that my father would ever admit to being an alcoholic. I think he'd just say he's a man who likes a drink. Which he does. He likes his drink. He drinks a lot of it. All day. Every day. But... he's not an alcoholic. He just likes his drink.

I can't exactly remember when I first realised my dad drank a lot. I guess I became more conscious that alcohol featured greatly in his life during my teens. I remember that he used to have water with his whisky. Then it seemed he was having a dash of water in his whisky. And then I don't think water even featured any more.

But I guess this isn't really about the drink, or the drinking. It's about the man my father became once he'd taken that first sip. Suddenly, he stopped being a man I could trust, and he became this stranger. Words came from his mouth that cut into my soul. This man, who claimed he loved me, abused me physically, mentally, verbally and emotionally while he was drunk. Night after night, week after week, month after month, year after year.

My step-mother is also an alcoholic, but would never admit it. She's just a woman who likes a drink. And she too, when drunk, becomes another person. But she didn't stop with verbal abuse either. No, she got physical too. I lost count of how many times I was punished - many times for things I had done, and many times more for things I had never done.

Throughout my childhood I was frequently beaten with a belt, or a wooden coathanger, or a wooden spoon, or a wooden stick. I was always smacked on the back of my legs, or on my bum... always in places where no one would see the bruises. And if I had bruises, I would make sure no one ever saw them. I used to change in the toilet at school, instead of the communal change-rooms, when we had sports, and I was never allowed to have any one to sleep over, or be allowed to sleep over at a friend's house.

The last time my step-mother hit me was when I was 16. This time, her weapon of choice was a bamboo cane, and as usual, I had put my hands out to protect my bum and the back of my legs. She rained her blows down on me, but this time she drew blood. The stick hit the fingers on my left hand, and cut deep into the flesh. I can't remember who was more shocked... me or her. I have the scars on my fingers as a reminder of those days, and I do remember that she never hit me again after that. I also remember going to school the next day and saying that I had accidentally cut myself with a knife while helping prepare the dinner.

Why do we lie, as children? Why do we protect the people who are meant to protect us?

After that, she never hit me, but the verbal abuse didn't stop, and with hindsight, the verbal/mental/emotional abuse hurt more. Far more. In the mornings, my parents woke up sober, and with no recollection of what they had said or done the night before. But I woke every morning, remembering everything. Remembering the harsh words, remembering ducking when an ashtray was thrown at me. Remembering being locked in my room.

Remembering... I still remember. The sad thing is... I can never remember any happy moments from my childhood. I am sure I had some. It can't have all been bad. But try as I might, I can't remember.

I am now a parent too, and I can count on one hand the number of times I have smacked my son. I made a promise to myself, when my son was born, that I would not treat my son the way I had been treated.

And I like a drink. Perhaps one, on a Saturday night. Or two at the most. That's all. The rest of the time I drink water, or coffee. Because I am NOT an alcoholic.

The message in the bottle says Warning: Consume too much alcohol... and it might consume you!

Love, hugs and kisses from ♥♥HH♥♥

sexyblokeinlincs 55M
470 posts
5/12/2006 12:39 am


Sorry to read this, childhood really should be the happiest time of your life, but at least you've learnt from it and your son will not suffer in the same way. AND you sound pretty happy now!

Best wishes


dutchpete 55M
563 posts
5/12/2006 1:33 am

Nobody expects the 'intelligent' animal we are to be so cruel. Even in wild nature there are normal rules for all.

but: The bottle will take them to the grave.

And I never use bottles, just glasses though they are filled with water or a soda.

Babel__Fish 46F

5/12/2006 4:52 am


I know that this is not an easy thing for you to write about and I am proud that you are a good parent, one that realized that you do not have to walk in the steps of your parents abuse.


HBowt2 60F

5/12/2006 5:45 am

Helga....thanks for telling us your's hard to believe that adults can perpetuate such atrocities on children they have been entrusted with....the silence needs to needs to be something we freely discuss....hugs for you...stay strong...HB2xx

TheQuietGuy2005 55M
2386 posts
5/12/2006 11:47 am

((( hugs )))

I always felt it was the scars on the soul and the mind that affect us most as time passes. We can try to hide them much as you did the physical ones but, hidden away, they still exert their influence.

I'm proud of you for opening up about this.


racingcrazy67 50M

5/12/2006 11:47 am

Helga. Normally I would post something but find this one too difficult to comment on right now. Sorry.

m1903a3 60M

5/12/2006 6:50 pm

This hits home. I am a recovering alcoholic, and I hope your words reach those like me who have not stopped.
I have been sober over twenty years, but I'm still shamed by, and am paying for, my actions while drinking.
You are in my prayers.

rm_EE407 42F
3903 posts
5/14/2006 2:44 pm

Helga, thanks for sharing your story. Unfortunately I can relate too well.

Hugs E.

rm_dizzyandfun 49F
752 posts
5/20/2006 7:06 am

Bit close to home for me too..although no physical violence or abuse thank god. The mental abuse tho stays forever, always just below the surface

diz xx

Become a member to create a blog