From the May 1945 magazine.

A Daughter Is Proud of Her A.A. Mother

I'm proud to say that I am a daughter of a member of Alcoholics Anonymous. Indeed, I'm proud to be the daughter of a true alcoholic, for it makes my mother seem like a special kind of person. I cannot say that I have always felt this way. No one could who has grown up with an alcoholic. Certainly A.A. brings a happier life to the family and a wonderful new beginning for the alcoholic. It brings a realization that it wasn't her fault; she didn't do it just to be mean; she had an illness that somehow made her allergic to alcohol. I realize that no matter how perfect the picture is now, there are still hurts and resentment, inside of me, covered over, repressed. All the many years that I was told "Mummy isn't quite herself today," when I was afraid to bring friends home from school because "Mummy might be that way again today" --these wounds cannot be immediately wiped out just by joining A.A. Naturally.

And I think this is important for a parent to remember. The alcoholic cannot recall the things she has said and done while drinking, and she often cannot understand why her children don't trust and respect her. It takes a long time to gain back the respect of a child. It will be difficult to wipe out the wounds of these childhood experiences, but they can be wiped out. It took me more than a year before I could live pleasantly with my family again. There was so much resentment and antagonism that I could not understand what A.A. philosophy was or what it meant in my life. It is important for the alcoholic to work slowly toward a new relationship, and not to expect an immediate change in the child's attitude. It is even more important for the child to study the A.A. program. Through this she will realize that her mother was not to blame, and a much richer, fuller relationship can develop than exists in most families. Many of my school friends have mothers who are very neurotic or very domineering, or live with families where there is some great conflict. I think I am more fortunate than they are, because many of their problems can never be solved. The remarkable thing about the problem of alcoholism in the family is that, when the alcoholic becomes sober permanently, your solution is there --concrete, visible.

-- Pat M.

New York

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