We Are Not Ourselves Themes & Motifs

Matthew Thomas
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Alcoholism

Among other ill-effects, the disease of alcoholism ultimately zaps the brain cells and ravishes the liver of the victim. But the damage is much far-reaching than that. Alcoholism destroys marriages and families and leaves permanent scars on the victims. Children are the most vulnerable victims of the disease. The behavior of the parent that is distorted by alcohol frightens and confuses the child. The parents present different personalities and characteristics when they are sober than when they are drinking. In one instance, the child can speak freely and openly. When the parent is drunk, however, the same words from the child might be greeted with rage and even violence. The child loses confidence and begins to feel guilty that he is doing something wrong and bringing on the abusive actions of a parent.

In Eileen’s case, she became her mother’s parent and her father...

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This section contains 1,123 words
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Buy the We Are Not Ourselves Study Guide
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