I was really young when Kaze took us to a Round Up in Flagstaff. That is a meeting of alcoholics and their families in which there are 24 hour meetings. We slept in tents. I didn’t want to go but all the youth and some children went to the Alateen meeting. At first no one wanted to talk. Then someone put a picture of a beer bottle with the words “I promise” coming out the top.
There were two questions: Are you ashamed to bring your friends home and what promises have been broken?
A really young child said that he no longer expected anything for his birthday because they would promise him something every year and then get drunk. He said that it no longer hurt because he no longer trusted their promises.
I was at least 8 years older than this little guy and I felt the same way. I never brought friends home because I didn’t want them to see my parents and older brother drunk. We all talked a lot about living with alcoholics and what we could do.
All of us there talked about escape strategies when things got too bad and for most of us we never wanted to drink ourselves.
There was another picture that said “Broken homes, broken bottles, broken promises, broken hearts.” It had a picture of small children hiding behind a couch while the parents fought.
Now I have children and there is no alcohol or guns in our house. We invite our children’s friends over all the time and try to make it a nice place for kids to come. I will never forget going to a meeting where everyone was like me and hated what alcohol does. Moderation does not work for children of Alcoholics. Not drinking works.
Now I thank the Creator daily that I did not go down that path. We have a good life and don’t need alcohol.
Maybe my children will have the same chance.