A man openly confessed on social media to resorting to alcohol as a coping mechanism for dealing with his family. However, when his family discovered this revelation, they were deeply hurt and offended by his approach
His Sexuality Was a Problem
Growing up, the Original Poster (OP) faced a lot of homophobia from his family. He is gay and describes his orientation as the “Voldemort of our family.” While all his relatives knew of his sexuality, no one spoke about it.
An Immoral Person?
When he was seventeen, his parents invited strangers over to tell him about the consequences of being “an immoral person.” His parents also spoke to the local priest, who made him the subject of a Sunday sermon—thus outing him to the entire town.
Once OP’s peers at school learned about his sexual orientation, they harassed him. They would “bully [him and] beat the sh** out of [him].”
He Got Kicked Out Of The Family
After high school, OP’s family attempted to stop him from going to university. They feared “it would exacerbate [his] gay feelings.” His parents called OP many names and eventually disowned him, saying he was “not [their] son.”
OP chose to attend college regardless. When he left, his father “demolished” his room and told OP he wasn’t welcome anymore.
OP Was in a Dark Place
OP and his family didn’t speak for years after the college fight. Reaching the point where he could spend time with his family again took a lot of hard work and “getting over it” on OP’s part. He learned to adapt and make himself palatable by avoiding most topics about his life and hiding his authentic self.
Things Were Different
Refusing to acknowledge a major part of his identity made conversations weird for OP and his family.
At every family event, he was forced to hide parts of his life. His relatives also tiptoed around the subject of his sexuality and relationships.
The result? Most of them defaulted to making awkward small talk with him. OP was stuck in conversations about the weather, those relatives’ lives, or his “seven million nieces and nephews.”
He Couldn’t Handle it Anymore
As expected, OP grew weary of these exchanges. His first step in dealing with the problem was to minimize the number of family gatherings he attended. For the ones he couldn’t get out of, OP coped by getting drunk.
“Not the lying-under-the-table-puking-in-Nana’s-shoes plastered,” OP clarified, “but finding-everything-amusing drunk.” As OP isn’t a regular drinker, it took little to get him to that point.
His Family Was Concerned
At a recent event, OP’s brother mentioned the drinking. He approached OP, visibly worried, and asked if drinking was a daily occurrence. OP said, “No, not at all.”
OP’s brother then started laughing and said, “What, you only drink when you see us? You couldn’t handle being around us sober, huh?”
OP just smiled, took a sip of his mulled wine, and didn’t respond.
Rumors Were Flying
About twenty minutes after the conversation, OP’s mother approached him. She claimed his sister-in-law told her that he only drinks because he can’t stand them. OP denied ever making such a statement.
She Got Further Input From The Sister in Law
Keen to get to the bottom of the rumor, OP’s mother brought the sister-in-law over. OP’s sister-in-law admitted that he never made those statements outright.
However, he also didn’t deny those statements. Both women “put [him] on the spot,” so OP finally confessed, “It’s not as bad as that; I just find it easier to socialize with so many people if I have 2-3 drinks.”
OP’s mother and sister-in-law saw through his careful phrasing. They were deeply offended and insisted that OP must hate them.
After multiple failed attempts to get OP to confess his disdain, they told him they didn’t care anymore and that he didn’t have to attend their events.
OP described the exchange as a “vomit of passive aggression.” He couldn’t get a word in. Finally, the family asked him to leave, and he obliged.
He Should Tone it Down a Little
Since that infamous family gathering, the only person to contact OP has been his brother. His brother laughed the whole thing off and insisted that “they didn’t mean it.” OP’s brother also shared that he felt it was “a**holish of [OP] to get drunk at every gathering.”
What Should He Do Instead?
OP felt the only alternative to drinking was simply not going to the gatherings at all. He said he only attended because “they like seeing me and being with me (despite not liking most things ABOUT me).” He thought going and getting a little drunk was less rude than not going at all.
Social Media Users Reacted to the Story
The reception to OP’s post was split. Many users felt he wasn’t “an a***ole” for doing what it took to cope with a bad environment. “It sounds like you’re getting mildly inebriated so you can deal with your toxic family,” a commenter wrote, “It’s more a reflection on them than it is you.”
They also encouraged him to stop visiting altogether. One user advised OP, “I’d reevaluate how much contact you want with your family at all… I think you’d do better distancing yourself and building yourself a family with your partner and your friends.”
Deal With The Elephant in the Room
Some commenters had a different opinion. They thought everyone involved behaved poorly. While they denounced the blatant homophobia, they also pointed out that OP’s choices were immature.
One user called him out, saying, “You need to stop the passive-aggressive *******. If you have a problem with the way your family is treating you and you dislike being around them so much, you have two options; stay away from them or confront them about their behavior.” Others agreed and added that, as a whole, people needed to “stop glorifying drinking to handle mildly uncomfortable situations.”
Drinking Alcohol as a Coping Mechanism
Navigating how to cope with difficult relatives is something most adults contend with at some point in their lives. While OP’s current solution harms his health and hurts those around him, he is not alone in using alcohol to deal with family drama. Hopefully, others will learn from his choices and find healthier ways to set boundaries.
Read More: The Worst Things Teachers Have Confiscated
Teachers have seen it all. So we asked them: what was the worst thing they had ever confiscated from a student?
Their answers would be enough to put you off the teaching career for life.
Read More: Dad Let His Son Take “Toy” To Show And Tell, Not Knowing What It Really Was
When Mom’s away, Dad and son will play.
Read More: Teaching Or Chatting?
Did you know that up to 45% of all Americans have a side gig? Do you?
We found probably one of the most enjoyable, rewarding ways to earn money by teaching (chatting) with those who want to learn English online. Log in any time you want, 24/7, and get paid weekly for the hours you put in.
Read More: The Time I Ruined My High School Teacher’s Career And Got Her Fired In The Greatest Way Possible
A story about a high school student who was mistreated by his teacher and got her fired.
Read More: She Donated Her Daughter’s College Fund Instead Of Giving It To Her Stepdaughter. Was She Wrong?
Her daughter tragically passed away, and now she is left with her college fund. What should she do with the money?
This article was produced by TPR Teaching. Reddit source.
Caitriona Maria is an education writer and founder of TPR Teaching, crafting inspiring pieces that promote the importance of developing new skills. For 7 years, she has been committed to providing students with the best learning opportunities possible, both domestically and abroad. Dedicated to unlocking students' potential, Caitriona has taught English in several countries and continues to explore new cultures through her travels.