Children suffer greatly from parental alcohol abuse. Not only physically but mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
Learned behavior in the home of an alcoholic causes children to adjust abnormally to dysfunction to such a degree that when out and on their own they are maladjusted in society.
Feelings of depression, not fitting in coupled with a deep sense that there’s something wrong with them are prevelent in adult children of alcoholics.
These adult children have strong desires to be heard and loved. They grow up without love and parental nurturing from the alcoholic parent, therefore, are taught to be “seen and not heard”, and “do as I say not as I do; creating emotional trauma and confusion about what is “right” and “wrong”. Left to their own reasoning as a young child; their thinking becomes distorted.
Western society has recognized the need to assist the partners/spouses, and the children of alcholics. For children and teens the organizaiton is called “Alateen” and for adult men and women the program is called “Alanon”.
These programs are specifically for aiding the individual attending. The meetings are a safe avenue to be heard. Respect for each individual and mutual respect for the common good of everyone attending is experienced.
Articles from About.com on the Effects of parental alcohol on children has listed the types of behaviors in Adult Children of Alcoholics:
These adults have to guess what is normal.
Judge themselves without mercy.
Take themselves too serious, and have difficulty having fun.
Difficulty with intimate relationships and have trust issues.
Become terrified of abandonment, and fightened of angry people.
Seek approval and feel they are “different”.
May become super responsible: Perhaps to avoid criticism or the anger of their alcoholic parent, many children from alcoholic homes become super responsible or perfectionists. They can become overachievers or workaholics. On the other hand, they can also go in the opposite direction, becoming very irresponsible members of society.
One misconception that many alcoholics and addicts seem to have is that their drinking or substance abuse is not affecting anyone else. Many times they will make statements like, “I’m not hurting anyone but myself!”
Unfortunately, there is a great deal of research and a vast amount of anecdotal evidence that this is simply not the case. The behavior of addicts and alcoholics can affect everyone around them, including family, friends, employers and coworkers.
Note if children of alcoholics do not accept that they too need recovery it is inevitable that the disease will cause them to become as sick as the alcoholic; exhibited by the “isms” in behavior: perfectionism, criticism, workaholism etc. Anger, rage and control issues are prevalent among the traits.
Admitting there is a problem is key to achieving Step 1: Admitting their Powerless over alcohol, people, places and things.
Recovery brings serenity, peace and the joy of living life one day at a time.