Essay about A Brief Look at Eleanor R

Submitted By Angie-Haring
Words: 1200
Pages: 5

A Brief Look at Eleanor R.
Angela Haring
Reading Area Community College

Eleanor describes her childhood in pretty vivid details. She was raised by a mother who frequented Alcoholics-Anonymous and a fall down drunk of a father, which she idolized like “Hercules”. She was the middle child of three and felt like the protector of the family. Eleanor was sexually assaulted at an early age by an extended family member and delinquent at school. She was constantly told by her mother that she would grow up to be like her father. Eleanor R. (2011) says, “I am pretty sure that while other mothers were praying that their children would finish high school and get into a decent college that my mother was praying that I lived through high school without getting arrested or pregnant (p.5-6). She also suffered from a bone disease that affected her bones and in particular her hip. She constantly was seeking her father’s approval at all she did. Her home is described as complete chaos and dysfunction from an early age. Risk factors include family history of drug abuse or addiction. Drug addiction is more common in some families and likely involves genetic predisposition. If you have a blood relative, such as a parent or sibling, with alcohol or drug problems, you're at greater risk of developing a drug addiction. Having another mental health disorder can be a risk factor. If you have a mental health disorder such as depression, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or post-traumatic stress disorder, you're more likely to become dependent on drugs. Peer pressure is a strong factor in starting to use and abuse drugs, particularly for young people. Lack of family involvement can cause difficult family situations or lack of a bond with your parents or siblings may increase the risk of addiction, as can a lack of parental supervision. Unfortunately for Eleanor she did not have many protective factors in her life if any. The only parental monitoring she had was the constants nagging of her mother towards her behaviors. The contributing factors to her desire to use started with wanting to escape the pain of wanting her father love and the sexual abuse. The food made her feel comfort and the drinking gave her power. Cultural factors that may have contributed to her addictions are that Mexican Americans are known to drink a lot and at all occasions. Social factors are that they come from a poor economic status and lived in a poorer section of town. Eleanor took on her addictions of drinking and eating and held in all her emotions, along with feeling like her own parent. This is how she describes feeling parentified to us. She still had a child’s mind but with the burdens of an adult life style. She tells us she had lots of responsibilities and no guidance. Eleanor exhibited all the usual signs of alcoholism by drinking, having risky behaviors, and binges. However she hid her food addiction well. She would binge eat foods and then vomit them up. She would do this procedure of binging up to six times a day. She suffered from depression, anxiety, and shame from her addictions. She also had promiscuous sexual activity in her life during early childhood. Eleanor was living in Washington D.C. and had already broken all her promises to herself that she would not do here. She was drinking alone, in the morning, drinking and driving, and had slept with a married man. She had literally become her father, the weekend binge drunk. She picked up the phone found AA meetings and went the next morning still drunk. I think that seeing the powerful people admitting their addictions and seeing them sober with their stressful jobs helped her see the light. She was seeking relief from the shame and guilt and AA offered it with open arms she had been seeking since little. Eleanor struggled with early recovery like many addicts. She had to acclimate to her sober brain, abstain from people places, and things, and watch for triggers. She