How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Elliott, LPCC, NCC Your Own Question
Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 7664
Experience:  35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
Elliott, LPCC, NCC is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My dad has been an alcoholic all my life. I was unaware of

Resolved Question:

My dad has been an alcoholic all my life.
I was unaware of it and my mom covered it up and enabled it.
I discovered I am a child of an alcoholic in several ways.
My past therapist detected signs or coping mechanism ive displayed as a child of an alcoholic. Mom told me recently my dad had a DUI in three different states, and come to think of it, it explains why their was always alcohol in my home. Dad was also physically abusive, for which my Mom denies. She also lied that he stopped drinking when he went to the restaurant with my uncle and had three large mugs of beer. Dad has not displayed any interest in a relationship with me all my life and he is now 60 years old. I am a grown adult with older teenagers and have little to no relationship with my parents for the past 20 years.
A big part of me wants to confront them and say "Hey, I know Dad has always been and still is an alcoholic!". I'm angry it was hidden from me at my expense. Would it be cathartic for me to call it like it is, and tell them about an addiction show?" or not bother? Or will I only get faced with denial like when they denied the physical abuse. And that denial caused a feeling of retraumatization for me. Or maybe say it in a casual way "Oh, by the way, their is a Dr. Phil show on tonight about addiction I'd thought you'd be interested in it"
I'm 45 years old and the wool has been pulled over my eyes about my Dads alcoholism and it now explains so much and connects the dots. But I am angry about it..!
How can I convey I know the secret about the alcoholism without experiencing their denial and abuse? Is their a way I can say it, even if indirectly that won't give them the opportunity to deny it? Will it bring any relief to me? I feel like calling up my father directly, who's never had an interest in a relationship with me because of the addiction and have the courage to talk straight to him. I would appreciate help in sorting out ways to deal with the deception and anger.. Thanks very much..
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 4 years ago.
Seeking expert counseling is a sign of strength. A personal relationship with a caring professional is proven clinically effective.

Dear friend,

I have read and carefully considered your entry.

It is my opinion that you will serve neither your parents nor yourself by confronting them in any way, be it direct or indirect.. This does not deny the anger that you feel, and you do have a need to deal with it.

I would suggest instead that you do two things. First contact "Adult Children of Alcoholics" (ACA or ACOA), You can read about this organization at:

and look at their home page at:

I also urge you to purchase and read any of the following books, available at and elsewhere:

Adult Children of Alcoholics by Janet G. Woititz

Recovery: A Guide for Adult Children of Alcoholics by Herbert L. Gravitz and Julie D. Bowden


The Complete ACOA Sourcebook: Adult Children of Alcoholics at Home, at Work and in Love
by Janet G. Woititz and Robert Ackerman

This approach will bring you more help and closure than trying to confront fhem directly. Try the second approach first, particularly one of the books by Janet Woititz.

I wish you can find peace and closure from this long and difficult chapter of your life.

Warm regards,

Elliott Sewell, LPCC, NCC, CCMHC

Elliott, LPCC, NCC and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

Related Mental Health Questions