The hardest time of day was after school. I was never sure who I was coming home to.   Sometimes she was in the kitchen getting dinner ready, others she was passed out on the couch. Why, these many decades later, is that memory so vivid?

Lisa recently passed on to me an article talking about the typical traits of people who had grown up with an addicted parent. “Can you relate to any of these points?” she asked. I’m assuming the question was rhetorical.

I am a control freak with a high propensity for chaos. I feel responsible for everything, and guilty for considering myself first in most situations. I have a high need for attention given my sense of loneliness and abandonment. I am a therapist’s wet dream.

The first time I learned about being an adult child of an alcoholic was when my mum had checked in to rehab –after being found by my siblings in a rather compromising situation in the bathroom. We were summoned as a family for an intervention and some education. It was a revelation.

Like an adopted kid finally knowing where they came from, I understood why I was like I was. I told my mum what I’d learned. “Don’t make me your excuse” was her well differentiated response. In other words, ‘you’re on your own with that one’.

She is right though, what is the point of blaming her? Besides, if I’d lived a ‘normal’ childhood I might not have enough ideas to write about everyday.

However, those years are still indelible and tough to shake. Not hard at all to feel like I’m back standing at the top of the driveway assessing the signs before I go and open the front door.