By Tanya Hazelwood
In My Daughter’s Eye
One thing that always remained consistent in my drinking was the disapproval of my daughter. She never approved of my drinking. She always took it very personally. I never really understood why, and honestly I got mad at her for being mad at me. I didn’t abuse her nor was I mean to her, but she despised to know that I was drinking or to see me drunk.
I tried to hide it from her a lot, but sometimes she was smarter than I gave her credit for. Somewhere in my house are letters she wrote to me about how horrible of a person she thought I was when I was drinking. One particular night I came home and she got upset and wrote me one of those notes. She called up our aunt and uncle to come get her because she didn’t want to be around me while I was drunk. Of course I was very defensive. Telling her I was a “grown ass adult” and I could drink and do whatever I wanted. Another night I recall being at one of the PGA concerts (a few years ago), feeling pretty good. I came upon her and her group of friends and thought I was being the cool, hip, young mom and all of her friends would love me. I approached them and acted like a fool. She was devastated. I didn’t know until days later that she broke down in tears because of me. Her friends had to comfort her. A stranger came up to her and asked if I was really her mother, and they were sorry. Recalling this now, sober, I am so embarrassed of myself. I was so selfish. Repeatedly I made false promises to her that I wouldn’t drink again and failed at any attempts. Oh, but she didn’t hesitate to remind me of those promises.
Once she turned eighteen she started to change. She got a job and started hanging with an older crowd and experimenting with social activities. I don’t believe she ever drank, I think I pretty much ruined that for her. She got wrapped up into her new found life and suddenly she didn’t care anymore if I was drinking. I even questioned her about it. She stated it didn’t bother her anymore. Was it because she had given up on me? Did she view it differently now? I don’t know. But I do know that one night, as she confided something very important in her life, I was drinking and I did not react like a loving mother should. We ended up into a horrible argument. Again.
A few months later we had a huge blow up over my stinking birthday party and her not wanting to be my DD. It was bad. We both said things we didn’t mean and hurt each other terribly. She moved out. My drinking continued and began to get worse. I tried to reconcile with her but she wouldn’t speak to me. Not until I got sober. She is one of the reasons I decided to get my head straight. It took her a while but she came around. So, now I am going to be a grandmother! She has decided she wanted to move back in with me. I asked her if she was OK with being back home and she said “you’ve changed, Ma” and smiled at me. I couldn’t be happier. Now I get a chance to be a granny and hopefully my grandbaby will never see my drunken mess and me and my daughter will be closer than ever.