To the residents in the small town I grew up in I was a part of the “perfect” family. I had a father, a mother, and two sisters. My sisters and I were all very active in school and sports. Little did the community know we were a broken family with a father deep into alcohol abuse. As we grow from children to adolescents we begin to notice what is really going on and gain an understanding of abuse, along with the embarrassment of having a parent suffer from any kind of substance abuse. The issue with alcoholism is that it does not only affect the individual who is suffering from the “sickness” it affects the entire family, especially a teenager who is now beginning to gain an understanding of substance abuse. It’s unfortunate for many children and adolescents who have to deal with any kind of substance abuse, particularly in such crucial transitional period in an individual’s life. To me, alcoholism was my biggest weakness growing up, but now it’s one of my many strengths. Because of the emotional and physical abuse in my childhood I consider myself I stronger person. I do not consider myself a product of my environment but I do use my children hood environment as a motivator. I am motivated to stay on task and follow a positive path (that I have created myself) to accomplish the goals that my incompetent father discouraged. I hope that other children/adolescents can use their “not-so” perfect child hood and their environment to make positive decisions and stay motivated until they have accomplished their own goals, without the negative discouragement from others.