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Think About the Flower

A professor came to accept her alcoholism and became willing to change

One of my earliest memories–not the earliest, but the earliest scary memory–is of being in the car with my little sisters while my mother is trying to get the car keys from my drunken father so she can take us all away. My youngest sister was just a baby, so I must have been about six. I have no memory of returning home, but I think my father came to the friend's house the next day, remorseful, and we all came back. She never did that again, but we spent many insecure days and nights dealing with my father's alcoholism. He was never violent–he was a gentle, sweet man, and everyone loved him–and up until the end of his drinking, he always had a job, but there were arrests and some dangerous behaviors.

Meanwhile, my mother was hysterical a lot of the time, and we all just figured out ways to get away from home as soon as we could. It wasn't until I was in detox so many years later and saw a film about adult children of alcoholics that I fell apart, realizing how dysfunctional my family had been–as children, it's the only world you know, so you think it's normal.

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