Let us now come to what
is beyond his understanding.
In order to make out the situation, the child badly wants
A key to the vicious
circle of drinking. At first, drinking is for escaping worries,
but worries crop up again in a grimmer version with withdrawal.
So then, drinking again in order to deny
realities through other flights.
As problems get worse,
all the near relations are regarded as responsible for them.
They too are under threat,
in case they dared tell such a pretendedly unbearable lie
as that of the drinker's drinking. Let us keep in mind the
thrashings received by Dave Pelzer and Tim Guénard
and followed by nearly three years in hospital.
As for the dependent's
other lies, foul and stinking, no denying them to him is allowed.
The price for it would be a thrashing with a flood of vociferations.
A missing key to understand
the endless alternation of hatred, attachment and indifference.
A missing key to imagine
what the dependent really suffers
during the morning withdrawal: nothing less than a death anguish
he never speaks about, while everyone around him is abashed
at his complaining about the merest trifles.
A missing key to understand
that the dependent is so humiliated
by his powerlessness to keep from the bottle, that he compensates
for it by humiliating everyone around and revelling in arrogance.
Finally he has no remaining positive emotions, only hatred.
A missing key to penetrate
the dependent's awe of a legal order placing
the child in a foster-home. Feeling it to be unjust
would then aggravate his drinking.
In the meantime, revealing
the truth to a welfare worker or a nurse would be
rash words if a shelter-place is not ready for immediate
The child is in danger of an
early initiation to alcohol,
which would enhance the risk of becoming dependent later.
As youth, he will distrust
love like Tim Guénard.
He will mistrust others and himself, to the point of fearing
success, even to the point of failure neurosis.
He may even come to believe
that pain conditions his being loved, joining thus in the
romantic mythology. Such a belief would be throwing violent
partners in his way.
Brought up in an atmosphere
of disrespect, he is more likely to become a
delinquent in his turn: a girl who was the victim
of incest, turning to prostitution, drugs and alcoholic beverages;
a boy getting vulnerable to drugs and drinking.
In extreme cases, he might become another Patrice Alègre,
the serial killer whose two parents spent their lives in alcohol:
a mother idealized and worshipped and a father hated for his
violent behaviour and lies.
Yet careful! This is only
a matter of probability.
Reproducing one's parent's pattern is in no case inevitably
bound to happen.
Let us conclude with
positive legacy" of some of those children
was brought to light by Paulette and Fabienne in Canada. When
they become adults, their trials turn them into courageous,
tenacious and resourceful customers, highly self-controlled
in difficult situations.
They are perfectionist, keenly interested in understanding
and helping whoever may be seeking a solution. They are trusted
Such observations, rare but
precious, bear evidence of resilience.
So do the lives of Dave Pelzer and Tim Guénard who
became stronger than hatred.
Let us not forget this:
an alcohol dependent can recover
and change completely for the better. He will then show a
need for affection and a capacity for giving it that will
be a great delight to his relatives.
some messages to people in
charge of education and families:
At school, in Denmark,Iceland
and England, role games make the detection of child abuse
A regular coping with the
sorrowful little mites' worries aims at preventing future
reactions of flight into alcohol, drugs or suicide.
near relations can have an effective power as soon as sliding
into alcoholism starts.
For instance, I am interested
in the ninth month of pregnancies,
because for the first time since their pre-adolescent days,
women do take people's advice.
It is the right moment to whisper to them that they might
not be overjoyed at baby's being badly disabled in a car which
would have been driven under influence; or that they might
not be overjoyed at baby's father being dismissed for his
alcoholism; or at their child's growing in a family alcohol
or drugs have made havoc of.
Anyway whichever spouse is
faced with alcohol dependence, the other will have to accept
being out of action, necessarily bound to take some distance,
handing over his spouse's case to a micro-network and to
Finally, no divorcee
in charge of children should settle with a drinker or a drug
consumer. That is the very kind of step-father or -mother
to steer clear of.