I went to a birthday party last night for an 18 year old girl. It was pleasant and fun. It also brought back memories of my childhood birthdays. We never had a party, since any get together was an excuse for my stepfather to drink. When he drank, you could not predict his behavior. Rather than take the risk of him causing a scene, we had a quiet dinner and cake at home. This also applied to sleep-overs. One time, in 8th grade I had a friend stay the night with horrific consequences. Needless to say, my friend was scared to death and refused to come to my house after that. There is a chapter in POP describing this sleep-over and the what happened later. What other childhood memories are stolen by having an alcoholic parent? Many, I believe and the emptiness by losing such memories and other social opportunities just promotes further seclusion. I believe others who did not have such a conflicting childhood, take moments (such as birthday parties) for granted.