People Pleasing An Alcoholic Family Member

Escaping An Alcoholic Mother - "No More Mr. Nice Guy' Story 15 of 25

In this video, I want to share a personal story about growing up in an unpredictable and unsafe environment. If you've ever wondered why some of us turn into "nice guys" who are overly attuned to others' emotions and constantly trying to please everyone, this story might resonate with you.

The Early Days

When I was a kid, my mom drank a lot. I didn’t see her as an alcoholic back then. After all, the portrayals of alcoholics on TV were extreme and almost cartoonish. But looking back, it’s clear she had a serious problem. She drank almost every day, starting around noon and continuing until she passed out at night. There were times when she’d wait for the clock to hit a certain hour just so she could start drinking. Other times, she’d go out to get more alcohol even after she’d had plenty.

Coming home from school was always a gamble. I never knew what to expect. Would she be in a good mood? Already drunk? Would there be a fight? I’d walk up to our trailer, stand at the door, and brace myself before going in. “Hey, I’m home!” I’d call out, all the while scanning the situation to see if it was safe.

The Turning Point

Things got particularly rough as I got older. One night, when I was preparing to leave for the Marines, my mom turned all her anger and fear on me. She knew I was leaving, and it terrified her. She said horrible things, and I had to sleep with my back against my bedroom door to keep her out. The door didn’t lock properly, so it was the only way to feel a semblance of safety.

We had a codependent relationship. She was the only family I had; I didn’t know my biological father, and my grandparents had passed away. It was just us, and the thought of me leaving was too much for her to handle. Those 2 a.m. confrontations weren’t uncommon. I’d have to get up, go to school, and pretend everything was fine. No one knew what was going on at home.

Coping Mechanisms

Living like this teaches you to be a chameleon. You become highly attuned to others’ emotions, constantly trying to keep the peace to ensure your own safety. You learn to push your own needs aside because the person you’re trying to protect needs you more. This survivor’s guilt makes you feel like you can’t have any needs at all.

Even after I left home and joined the Marines, my mom would call me drunk, saying vile things. The next day, she’d apologize, claiming not to remember what she’d said. This cycle repeated until I decided enough was enough. I had married young and was thinking about starting my own family. I didn’t want this toxic cycle to continue, so I broke ties with her.

Moving Forward

She died in 2019, and we never spoke again after that day. It took time, but I’ve forgiven her and myself. These experiences shape the rules we create for ourselves, rules that keep us stuck until we challenge them. We need to ask ourselves if these rules still serve us and if we want to continue living by them.

Your Turn

I shared my story because I want to hear yours. What rules and beliefs are holding you back? What would you like to change? Let's walk and talk through your journey. 

Schedule a call with me. We'll spend an hour together, and I promise you won’t be the same afterward. You'll have already started your journey to something different.

SCHEDULE A "FREEDOM FROM" COACHING CALL
Schedule a free coaching call with me to share your story and discuss what you'd like be different in your relationships and life.

RECOMMENED READING
I highly recommend reading the book
📚 'No More Mr. Nice Guy' by Dr. Robert Glover

RECOMMENDED NICE GUY STUDY COURSE
📚 Take my Happy Man Coaching No More Mr. Nice Guy Course

The course includes private one-on-one coaching calls to help you understand the key concepts covered in the book, along with other important related concepts NOT covered in the No More Mr. Nice Guy book.

Much love, brother,

Charlie McKeever
Your Happy Man Coach
HappyManCoaching.com

"The very best thing you can do for the whole world is to make the most of yourself." – Wallace D. Wattles, 1903

Disclaimer: I sometimes earn commissions when you use my links to make purchases, but these products and services don't cost you more. Your purchases support my efforts to reach and help more men.


Download Your Happy Man Action Plan (PDF)

Get the intimacy and connection you want in your marriage.

No spam. Ever. Period.

Related Articles

Here are a few other thoughts you might find helpful.

Why Hiring A Men's Coach Is Cheaper Than Buying A House After Divorce

How Being A Nice Guy Helps A Man Grow

Overcoming People Pleasing and Perfectionism