CBC: 10 years sober: Cree woman shares impacts of alcohol in viral video

Some of Carol-Ann Tanoush’s earliest memories of growing up in northern Quebec revolve around alcohol.

“[It was] loud music, screaming drunks. Arguing.  And I was feeling scared,” said Tanoush, sharing memories of life as a five- or six-year-old in the small Cree community of Nemaska, about 1,100 kilometres north of Montreal.

On Jan. 7, to mark the 10th anniversary of her own sobriety, the 27-year-old mother of two posted an emotional video to social media.

Click here to view video.

Tanoush shared the impacts of alcohol on her childhood and how she chose a better life for her children — her son Sebastien, six, and daughter Ava, one and a half.

“It left a deep cut in my heart,” Tanoush writes in her video. “I cried a lot when no one was there. [I] felt alone. Always abandoned.”

Chaotic childhood

In an interview, Tanoush describes a chaotic scene growing up where she and her older sister would often have strangers coming into their bedroom during parties. She says they felt alone and scared of what might happen.

‘My children don’t know what a broken home feels like,’ Tanoush wrote in her video. (submitted by Carol-Ann Tanoush)

She learned years later, when she was 14 years old, that her mom, like so many other Indigenous parents, was a residential school survivor and managing her own trauma from sexual abuse that started when her mother was six.

“That was the hardest part of listening to my mother share her story with me,” said Tanoush. “But at the same time I was grateful to finally understand why things were the way they were at home.”

Click here for the full story.

By Susan Bell, Cheryl Wapachee · CBC News · 

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