ADULT CHILDREN OF
Growing up in an alcoholic family causes many problems that later surface as struggles in academia, in loving relationships, and in careers.
It’s hard to develop self- confidence and self- esteem when the family is chaotic, children feel afraid, the family subtext focuses on the alcoholic parents, yet no one is supposed to mention the obvious drinking problem.
Alcohol abuse may lead to other types of abuse: physical, emotional, or sexual. These behaviors compound the trauma for children.
Adult children of alcoholics learned to cope and survive, but at a cost: they pretend, they keep secrets, they avoid direct discussions, they disregard their own feelings, and typically, they can't allow themselves to trust others.
These strategies continue into adulthood, even though people like to think they can put the past behind them. Therapy and/or 12-step programs can be very helpful in undoing the pretending, facing what was, recognizing real feelings, and changing attitudes that once were necessary for survival but have now become self-defeating patterns of relating.