Especially for Young People
I sincerely hope that HOLD ON, JESSICA, DON'T LET GO will be of help to many young people. As one visitor to this site
said, "I hope it helps all the Jessica's out there and that they, too, find the strength to hold on."
On this page
I want to include other useful resources.
* An excellent resource is Alateen.
To visit the Alateen web site, click Alateen.
Al-Anon and Alateen have also published many helpful books and booklets.
* Since publishing my book about "Jessica," I've discovered a most
helpful nonfiction book, For Teenagers Living With a Parent Who Abuses Alcohol/Drugs written by
* I just read another excellent nonfiction book for young people
who have alcohol or drug addicted parents, Different Like Me by Evelyn Leite and Pamela Espeland
* Also, please see my new piece WHO'S IN YOUR MIRROR? near
the end of this page.
Things to Remember
* 1. Remember that the problems of the adults in your life are not
* 2. Also realize that no matter how much you may want to, you
can't solve their problems, nor should you expect yourself to be able to do so.
* 3. You can love the person while hating his or her actions.
* 4. Asking others for help when needed can be difficult because
of the understood rule of secrecy in dysfunctional families that "problems in the family stay in the family." You
are NOT disloyal to your family if you request needed help.
* 5. Make plans for your future. Even though you are discouraged
at times, be determined that you will not go down the same road of addiction.
* 6. Be aware that even after you are grown and have left
home, these experiences can continue to affect your life and that professional counseling can help you sort things out and
have a better life.
Dealing with Fighting
Many alcoholics tend to fight and argue, which is difficult for their children. Things some people recommend are:
1. Try not to become involved in their fights, and try not to take sides.
2. When possible, try to separate yourself from the scene of fighting; perhaps go into another room or outdoors.
3. Try to focus on something else, such as listening to music that you like.
4. Later when people are in a better mood, try to tactfully tell them how their fighting upsets and even frightens
5. See the list of "What some kids do" at the end of "When Mommy and Daddy Fight," a complete story found on the "Stories"
page of this site. (List now also added below.)
6. Many people (even famous people) have survived difficult childhoods. Be determined that you will too.
7. And though it seems a long way away, you will grow up and be able to lead your own life. Keep hopeful.
(If you have ideas that you found helpful and want to share them with others dealing with this problem, you may
send them via the "Speak Up" page. Some might be addd here. Nothing works all the time or for everyone, but we can try to
help each other.)
WHAT SOME CHILDREN DO WHEN
SOMETHING IS MAKING THEM SAD OR SCARED*
Grownups are supposed to help children.
When something is making a child
sad or scared,
sometimes talking to a grownup can help.
Some children tell a parent or a grandparent.
Some children tell another relative.
Some children tell a teacher or a pastor.
Some children tell a friend or a neighbor.
Some children tell a friend’s parent.
Some children tell a social worker.
Some children tell a babysitter.
Some children tell a doctor or a nurse.
If the first person they tell can’t help,
children can tell someone else.
If things are really extra scary and
there is no one to help, children can call 9-1-1.
*(Taken from "When Mommy and Daddy Fight" found on the "Stories" page of this site and in the book, Apartment Horse and Friends.)
WHO'S IN YOUR MIRROR?
Whom do you see staring at you in your mirror?
Do you see a person without hope?
Do you see someone who has given up?
Do you see a person who deserves a better life?
Do you see someone who is worth all
the struggle and hard work to make that happen?
If you don't see a person with possibilitiesThere are no magic wands,
but there are life preservers.
for a better future,
That person is there.
May you find yours and hold on and don't let go.
With best wishes always from
Deanna Hessedal Tiddle