The First Time I Got Drunk: 11 years old

The first time I  got drunk  I was 11 years old.

My parents got my sister and I drunk on a whim.

It was funny.

Our cousin was visiting and it was just Good Old Fashioned Family Fun.

Somewhere there is a tape recording of us singing

100 Bottles of Beer on the wall.

We are slurring our words.

My sister ended up vomiting all night.

We both woke with hangovers.

Our first hangovers; before we were 13

at our parents hands.


Growing up with alcoholics is Hell.

It really is.

I am running the old memory tape back and back.

I am  going over the outline of my mothers decline into alcoholics dementia hell

and that journey is throwing me deep into the past.

When did the brain damage take hold?

When did the brain damage really begin

to impact my mother’s ability to make good decisions?

I am thinking maybe the night I was around 11 years old

and she  got me drunk

and left my sister to vomit while she went on to bed.

Maybe then.

What else could  explain  this.

What mother  lets that happen?

One with early brain damage to the pre frontal cortex;

that’s who.

Thank you for being here,  Jen

~ by Step On a Crack on February 8, 2012.

33 Responses to “The First Time I Got Drunk: 11 years old”

  1. Jesus.


  2. Wow that is pretty young and in the hands of your parents too! I am glad you found a way to live a healthier life! Memories are difficult until we go back and share them and then at least for me the shame eventually melts away. I know it gets worse before it gets better, but happy healing!


  3. I’m also glad you won’t candy coat your experience! Truth sets us free!


  4. Sadly, this kind of story is not unfamiliar to me. I remember the first time hearing one of our men first drank at 6 or 7. No matter how many times I hear it, it is always sad. Incredibly sad as the scars that have been made. I often think of you and share with others about your blog. You are telling a story not of the victim but of one that has managed to survive and still surviving in a way to help others. Thank you Jen, for doing the hard part of sharing your story and your heart. I know it is touching and helping many.


    • Debby! This makes me want to cry! I know you are right. I hear stories like mine in meetings. I will never forget the feeling of belonging that came when I met other people, survivors, who had lived my story too. It is SAD and it is inspiring to see so many who have come from far worse than I experienced create healthy whole lives. It is the miracle that is the Human Heart and Higher Power working together. Thank you for sharing my blog. I truly hope it is of some help. I wrote the recent posts thanks to a personal email from someone in recovery who wanted to know MY story. I debated it and then remembered how much it meant to hear the stories of others who had what I wanted: a healthy life and sanity. We are all in this together. I believe that with all my heart.

      Thank you for being here and for being in my Heart. XO Jen


  5. Thank you for the raw honesty and sharing. I’m thankful to not have experienced such pain, but there are others are there who do. Speaking the truth is throwing them a lifeline.

    I read your blog because of its honesty. I can appreciate it even though I don’t have this type of story in my life.



  6. Oh my sweetie; thank YOU for BEING here. How’d that happen? I thank your God. xxxxxooopo m


  7. Holy fuck. Thankyou for writing x


  8. My parents also introduced booze to me at that age but they did it ‘consciously’ It was only on Sundays with the Fancy dinner and it was a small (very small) glass. I loved it though because of the buzz. My father became a sober alcoholic 10 years later and he has been sober ever since. All alcoholics act different but an alcoholic is an alcoholic.

    I feel your pain my friend and I am sorry it was an experience that could have been enjoyable that was turned sour. HugsXX


    • Val!

      I think about that a lot. We grew up in a culture that did let kids drink here and there and it was celebratory. This ONE incident totally upended that. It is sad and it is what it is.

      I am so glad your dad got sober! My life began to change when that happened. He was the first to quit AND he only quit because drinking caused him pain. So what? He quit. that is what counted. An alcoholic is an alcoholic; too true. We have em all: high functioning, indigent, sweet drunks, mean drunks…. it is all the same though isn’t it?

      I look at all of them and I KNOW what the alcohol IS destroying their brains. I KNOW that without a doubt now. It is vicious on the brain.

      Thank YOU so much for being here my Friend! XO Jen


  9. Oh, Jen, just loving you, here. Loving the little girl who had such horrific experiences.
    Moms are for nurturing sick children, not for making them sick and then abandoning them.
    Wish I could have been your mom.


  10. XOXO Loves to you my friend.


  11. Amen sister. This is recovery in black and white. Powerful and wonderful stuff can’t wait to hug ya in person!


  12. I’m with seanpaulmahoney!


  13. Lots of love and hugs Jen… Holding out a hand… Grab on whenever you need xoxoxo


  14. So tragic… While i never did this with my kids, there was a lot i did do that i’m ashamed of. Your post reminds me how important it is for me to continue my recovery from alcoholism, not just for me, but so that i can share the best of myself with my kids. Thank you, my friend.


  15. […] my parents got us drunk, on cheap […]


  16. So wonderful to meet you last night!!! I loved it!Thanks again for coming.


    • SEAN! What an AMAZING play! Diane and I will be talking about it for a very long time!

      Congratulations. Not only a finished product, but a thing of beauty!

      You are a Gifted playwright. Thank you for sharing your gift with us,

      Peace, Jen


  17. […] ACA […]


  18. Thank you for sharing this story. I know it’s not uncommon, but that doesn’t diminish the insanity of it – nor the pain. I cry for that small child. She should be playing with dolls and giggling with her girlfriends over teen magazines. and yet your primary memory is being drunk and your sister vomiting all night.

    I am in awe of your resilience. Be well stay well, sweet girl It’s your turn.


  19. […] The First Time I Got Drunk – 11 Years Old […]


  20. xxx


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