From the June 1989 magazine.

A Family Affair

It seems like so long ago to me now, that my two children lay in their beds at night, afraid that when Mommy and Daddy got home they would be fighting. The living nightmare of the two people they loved most in the world, full of hate and screaming at each other, would descend without warning. If Mommy and Daddy weren't fighting, they would have all sorts of strange and noisy people with them who were rude and whose breath smelled bad. Then the next morning would come, and Mommy would be too sick to get up and cook breakfast. She and Daddy would hardly speak to one another. So these two small children were left to fend for themselves on many weekends, in a house full of fear and angry tempers, with no one but each other to turn to for comfort.

When it got bad enough, when the losses continued to pile up and there was no ambition beyond that devoted to defending my right to drink against all odds, I finally surrendered. And when I did, some strange and wonderful things began to happen between my children and me. It didn't happen overnight, although they went to meetings with me right from the start. They were my biggest supporters, never condemning or judging, and never once faltering in the love they felt for me, their Dad. Looking back at the emotional damage these two wonderful people suffered as innocent victims, I now realize that there was more than one miracle with my sobriety. There were three!

-- D. F.

Wakefield, Massachusetts

This is a preview. To view the full article, use the link below to begin a free 7-day trial!