I’ve been reading books on children of alcoholics, and something I notice is that in these situations certain roles are created in the family, and these roles are maintained to keep focus away from the alcoholic parent’s problem. What does one do when an alcoholic parent seems to see Catholicism as a means of making there appear to be family unity and harmony when in fact the alcoholism and problems with anger make the relations between members very tense?
I ask this because I myself grew up in this situation, and still feel bitter and angry about feeling as if I’m under psychological control. Growing up, we all went to Mass every Sunday, but there was cursing to and from, and drunkenness and anger in recent memory. In my mind, the attractiveness of Catholicism to my parent was, among other things, about the factor of control. My other parent and I no longer are Roman Catholic, and even nowadays, when my one alcoholic parent comes home drunk and deliberately prays in drunken Latin (in nomine Patris…) I feel a great sense of rage against Roman Catholicism, as it appears contrary to the Christianity espoused in Scripture and the early Church. At one time I felt that my parent wanted me to become a priest. My parent didn’t push it heavily, but I felt conflicted and at unease about this, and felt angry inside because of it.
I have Catholic friends who are pious, so I know Catholicism need not be lived this way, but I still struggle with anger against Roman Catholicism, and since I’m living at home now, I was wondering if there is any practical advice how to keep my sanity but also not become anti-Catholic.