A 17-year-old Fixer, who witnessed her mother binge drinking throughout her childhood, is shedding light on the emotional distress this can cause children.
Her story was broadcast on ITV News Calendar on Thursday 6th March.
Fixer ‘Daisy’, whose real name has not been used, endured many sleepless nights coping with her mum’s alcohol problem.
‘She didn’t drink every night and every day. It was just that when she did go drinking, she’d come back very, very drunk,’ Daisy explains.
‘She would say she’d be back at about 12, but wouldn’t be home until 2, 3 or 4 in the morning.
‘It happened over and over again. I’d put her to bed and wouldn’t go myself until I knew she was asleep.
‘As a teenager, I didn’t think of it as my mum having an illness. I just thought she was abandoning me. I felt very alone.’
According to the Children’s Commissioner’s website, nearly one in three children in Britain is living with a parent who is a binge drinker.
Daisy’s mum also appears in the broadcast story to explain how excessive alcohol consumption almost drove her daughter away.
‘I last had a drink just under a year ago and I stopped drinking then because I would have lost her,’ her mother says.
‘I feel very, very guilty and ashamed of how selfish I became.’
With her Fixers campaign, Daisy hopes to encourage parents with drinking problems and their children to speak up about the problem.
Supporting her campaign is Leanne Smullen, a Drug and Alcohol Family Rehabilitation Specialist at Phoenix Futures.
She features in the broadcast piece explaining the importance of parents and their children finding support.
‘The children of alcoholics are often really reluctant to come forward and seek help,’ Leanne says.
‘A resource like this would show them that other people are going through similar experiences and it’s okay to talk about it.’