My son’s alcoholism affects my granddaughter— who needs my love and support

I joined Al‑Anon because of my husband’s behavior when he was drinking—and he drank daily. My kids were little at the time. I heard people in meetings talk about their children’s addictions, and I thought it was bad enough dealing with a spouse. I could not imagine coping with one of my kids being addicted as well.

The time did come when I had to face a child’s abuse of alcohol and pot; as painful as it was—and still is—I’d had enough recovery to know that I had tools to use and program friends for support. But nothing could have prepared me for the pain of seeing my granddaughter suffer because of my son’s decline into this disease.

I’m lucky enough to have her stay with me most weekends. When her mom came to pick her up on a Sunday night, she threw a fit like only a two-year-old can. She screamed, “I don’t want to go home. My home is broken!” It tore my heart out.

My knee jerk reaction was to try to figure out how to fix the situation. Luckily, all my years of recovery helped me to hear that thought, then move on. Now I’m grieving over seeing my sweet granddaughter suffer, knowing that I can’t change her home life.

The recovering part of me got myself to a meeting where I had the opportunity to bring up my topic of grief. I knew I had to talk about it, to get it out. The wisdom I left with was that I have the gift of offering some stability and nurturing to my granddaughter, no matter what’s going on at her home. Perhaps her Higher Power put me in her life to love her unconditionally.

With the help of my Al‑Anon friends, I can feel the sadness of my grief, and feel the gratitude of having her in my life. Thank you all!

By  Marie Claire T., Ohio
The Forum, August 2011

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