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Please read my story

Posted by wishfulthinking on 17 August 2012.

I've been reading the stories here and many phrases remind me of my own struggle. I should point out that alcoholism in my husbands case was abusive - and not always when he was drinking - it was just as likely when he needed a drink - especially first thing in the morning.  His drinking wasn't severe - just borderline at first (like a 'drip drip' effect) and I can't go into details about the abuse - but we all suffered.  All I could think of every time I wanted to leave him was the promise I made 'in sickness and in health.'  So it was over a decade when I left - and he fell and didn't get up. I see now that I had resigned myself to life with him as I was too ashamed to admit to myself or to anyone else that the marriage was abusive.  And most importantly I doubted my own instincts (was his 'heavy handed' form of discipline needed because I was too soft?)  So I left. But I was not out. The trauma continued for another decade and the kids got the brunt of  it - well that was how he would punish me I guess. And so it goes on. Letters to social services, the youth offending team and even my M.P had me marked up as a chav, loony and a liar.  I'm afraid I can't say too much here as I've written a novel 'inspired by real life events' and I cannot for legal reasons expose what is true and what is fiction.  I wrote this book because I am still so traumatised, anxious and angry about what happened to me.  I was married to an alcoholic and my son joined a gang - that much is true. However I have had to change the story into fiction as freedom of speech doesn't really exist these days :) Most of you will I'm sure, be able to work out what events are true because some things you only know if you have been there - why for example we don't just leave abusive relationships and how for goodness sake could we possibly get pregnant again? (This was one comment I got!) I want people out there; other more fortunate familes, social services, youth offending teams and so on to stop stereotyping families who suffer the consequences of addiction e.g. homelessness, mental health (especially in children - 70% of young offenders have a mental health issue).  Stop isolating single parents who struggle with the aftermath of abuse and addiction. When a kid starts to show signs at primary school don't wait until they are in and out of prison to try to help them. Most importantly, don't automaticaly blame the mother for everything that goes wrong (thank you John Bowlby - NOT!).  My heart goes out to all of you and my only real advice is to empower yourself -  that might be through campaigning, volunteering, studying or writing. Because if you are the one holding the family together you need to be strong with a good network of support. If extended family and friends have drifted away and you feel islolated you might start to feel angry - so turn that anger around. Help others who are like you.  To all the wonderful people on this site - remember what doesn't kill us makes us stronger.  If you do want to read my book it will be available free early November for a couple of days (sorry this is Amazon kindle regulations - I just had my quota of free promo).  What I really want are reviews from people who know about this stuff. The books is under 2 quid and is here http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008TL3PA4.   I should warn you it doesn't hold back. Lots of true events and very gritty - 7 chapters in the sons voice (including the first one) and 30 in the mothers voice.  In it holds the answer to helping prevent social exclusion if only Cameron would read it! I also have a book on bullying (Bullying as a social pathology - a peer group analysis by Sally Henry - before I met my new hubby!) But its not available as an ebook yet as its only in hard copy (and pricy -  I'm sorry I can't control this!) but I have a blog and I'm happy to help anyone who has problems with bullying or is struggling to cope with addcitions or mental health in their family - my blog is sallyhalsall.blogspot.co.uk.  I wish you all strength and courage. X

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