- I'm 21 and I sit here wondering where my life is heading. I also wonder for why the way things are with my psychological/emotional well being right now. I do admit that I fall under many of the characteristics in "adult children of alcoholics". My father was an alcoholic when I was younger which especially affected me growing up. As a female, my father was very important during those early stages of development. Yes I have very low-self esteem, low-self worth, constantly seek approval, obsessive, tend to go in isolation etc. etc. However, even knowing all these traits, it only hit me NOW that maybe my father's alcoholic past has a great impact on the present. My anxiety/self-confidence has grown worse. I'm glad my dad does not abuse alcohol NOW and we have a better relationship. But i'm thinking that the PAST is catching up... it had to sometime? I do believe he has redeemed himself from his poor behavior in the past, but is that not enough? I don't know. what do y'all think?
- —Guest ladee
- im sober 2 yrs. my 20 yr old has not spoke a word 2 me in 4 yrs. its like he has erased me from even existing. on facebook he lists only his father as parent. my 13 yr old sent 1 letter in 2 yrs. i did not abuse or hurt them physically. made many promises not kept. my behavior was erratic. i feel a failure as mom. my heart aches. why hate me? we had good relationship before. they live w/dad who is in recovery also. they accept and forgive him. no one talks to me. what is going on? i cant do this . its killing my spirit,soul,heart,hope.i am acoa also. i dont get it. im desperate.
Don't like attention
- I so completely understand how you feel, fish. I HATE being the focus of attention. I have banned birthday parties since the age of 9, refuse to allow my co-workers to plan a retirement party for me, and, in general, need a lot of alone time. I didn't realize until today that it was because of my childhood - I learned to keep a low profile as the blood alcohol levels went up. No one could know, we weren't allowed to mention it even amongst ourselves. It was so much better to be invisible. The really odd thing, in my case, is that I became a performer and feel very comfortable on stage, in the spotlight. But only when I'm in costume. When I'm just plain old me, I'd rather just disappear. Funny, isn't it?
I Yam What I Yam (to quote Popeye)
- Both my parents were alcoholics. They were not physically abusive but mom could be verbally abusive. While they gave us everything we needed physically, I never felt loved and always knew that I would come in a distant second after the case of beer. At a very young age, I knew I would never marry or have kids, since I never wanted to take a chance that I would end up like them. I have grown up and grown old as a fiercely independent woman who trusts no one, has few friends and can't ever relax in public. I was wondering just the other day what it would feel like to look forward to going to a party: I dread them. In a way, I should probably thank my parents because I doubt I would have been as successful without the ever-present need to prove myself. But still there are days when I feel like the 12 year old who is consoling her terrified siblings while the 2 drunks upstairs argue about nonsense for hours on end, and knowing that no one will help us because it's a big, big secret
- This is something that has coloured my entire life. The denial is palpable. The abandonment is most hurtful.
- —Guest Mike Wales
- I am the oldest of four with an alcoholic father. Our mother has been sick for 11 years and then died now 8y ago. I have been trying to protect my younger siblings from his manipulation which I have been moulded by emotionally and psychologically. I always knew something was wrong but in all the years I don't seem to have been able to step forward in my life. I keep on trying to protect them and trying to make him stop while I really want to walk away and start my own life. My siblings are angry with me many times because I speak the truth about him and the blame me for my bad relationship with him while trying to keep up the happy family image for themselves. I realise now I have to move on and let them deal with it for themselves, I have dedicated so many years of my life to it, but then I also feel how much it is a part of me and of my personality. I recognised so many of the characteristics of ACOA's, I used to blame myself for being different and unable to have a normal life.
- —Guest Beatrice
i hate myself
- i wished i was big enough to stop him. he was chasing my mom around the dining room table. I knew the routine hit pull her hair maybe throw her down the stairs. he made me mad i went after him myself. He shoved me down to the ground. i was 7. i wanted more than the world to protect my mom and my little brother. he made me so angry the way he acted. they divorced. i think it was cause having me involved even when i was told to go to my room was such a pain. i didnt settle for bull at a young age and i dont now. aside from the alc parent and the recovering narc aditcting mother.. i hate myself.
- —Guest who cares
- My father was an alcoholic. My mother divorced him. My father has been in and out of recovery. He committed me to a mental institute after I was raped by a strange man. I am on medication that doesn't mix well with alcohol so I am like an alanon. I constantly feel like I "take care" of people. I have never had a relationship with a man that lasted more than a night other than with the man who raped me. My family treats me like a mother constantly asking me to nurture them. I can't gain employment. When I have it I can't stay for longer than several months. I am 31 years old female. I hate my life. I am so shy I don't like to call people on the phone for fear of being termed a stalker which is what that one person I loved in my life deemed me. My sister is really successful. She gets under my skin. My mother started drinking more about 10 years ago. Her father was an alcoholic. Seems like everyone wants to blame me. I am in a cycle of abuse.
- —Guest Danielle
- Dearest Caitlin, I have been where you are.It took me years and most of my young life and my inheritance to learn I couln't fix other people. We are attracted to people who are like the alcoholic parent, because it is all we know. Please have the self respect to know you deserve better and get rid of anyone who even remotely reminds you of the alcoholic in your life! I wish you well. Danger attracts us, but it is not healthy!
- —Guest Ruth
Adult child of both alcoholic parents
- Both of my parents were very bad alcoholics,I am now 32. I feel as tho the " laundry list" of adults whose a child of an alcoholic household is EXACTLY RIGHT. I am so resentful of these traits that I have because of their disease.My entire life and every aspect of my life has been so difficult because of these traits and tendencies. I STRONGLY SUGGEST EVERY CHILD AND ADULT READ THIS LIST. Now that I've seen it I know its not my fault and I know what I need to work on for myself....I just wish I read this 20 years ago.
- —Guest SaraJean
Trying to move on
- I finally went to a counselor for a while and it made all the difference. She helped me see that I have been reacting as anyone would having grown up with an alcoholic father. For some reason, that realization has been very freeing. It's nice to know that his problems were not about me. Now, at 49 years of age, I can start working on living without self-deprecation and a feeling of inferiority. I've chosen to look forward to the rest of MY life, that I have taken responsibility for, and not back. By doing this I am refusing to let his illness define me. It's going to be hard work, but I'm ready to MOVE ON!!
I disconnect when I things go wrong!
- My father who wasn't an alcoholic left when I was 10, he had a new wife and child and acted like I didn't exist anymore, (after being my big, strong, handsome man who was everything to me). Immediately I had an alcoholic stepfather in my house! I didn't even know why my Dad left and all of a sudden this horrible, ugly, mean man was where my Dad was supposed to be! He hated me and my brothers. He yelled at me and my mom all the time! I was afraid to come out of my room because everything I did was wrong! He called me bad names and threatened to kill me numerous times! I stated drinking and cutting classes, no one knew, no one cared! I ran away from home at 16 for three months, was kidnapped, and raped multiple times! I've had a knife at my throat and a gun to my head while three men took turns. I still didn't want to go home. I wanted my Dad to rescue me, to protect me--he didn't!I'm now 57 yeas old and I leave every man before he leaves me! It sucks!
I have been affected
- I grew up in, compared to others, a fairly decent house hold. I was involved in sports, had good dinners, was close to my siblings, and have a pretty average Childhood. However, my mother was a raging Alcoholic. It wasn't bad to the point where she wasn't a mother figure-but she was only one in terms of cleaning, laundry, cooking, etc. While she was 'physically' there, she wasn't 'mentally or emotionally' there. She was very verbally abusive, and I would often end up in tears more nights then not, swearing that I would never consume the liquid that made my mom this way. I begged my dad, when older, to help, or try to get her some. He was just so stressed with work, always gone at work, that he didn't have to deal with it. Some nights, it would get so bad that I'd take all the alcohol in the house and pour it down the sink. Eventually, this year, I went to college. My main goal was to get as far from home. I met my boyfriend, and when he's drunk, I get scared...do I have a right to?
- —Guest Caitlin
Opened My Eyes
- I grew up in what I thought was a normal household and that I've always felt I had a happy childhood. Now, however, I see the fallout of having a father who drank a lot but never became violent or mean. I went to a therapist yesterday to try to figure myself out and why I have such a problem with intimacy and having friendships. I make friends easily but I just let them fall to the wayside. As a child I had one or two good friends at any one time. I didn't date until I was out of high school and then sporadically. I married late and he, too, drank quite a lot and was very distant and disconnected to our family. The traits described in the test fit me to a "T" and I never knew why I was always described as cold or too reserved, etc. I am hoping with therapy and hard work on my part I can let down my walls and enjoy life and those who are important to me.
- I grew up with a mentally ill mother who was an alcoholic and abused prescription drugs. I think my father was abusive, but I disassociated the years I lived with him. I had to take over my family when I was 10. I had 2 younger brothers who needed me. At 16 I was drinking, doing drugs, and trying to get away. I was running away to save my own life, but I left my brothers behind. I feel so guilty that I couldn't be there for them. I get depressed and suffer from anxiety and chronic fatigue syndrome. There's just so much crap to go through trying to resolve it all. It's over-whelming! It's hard to be around people who just don't get it. "If you would just...." "It's easy! Just...." There is no "just" about it. And it makes me feel defective and worthless when I talk to them. I feel like the purpose of my life is solely to overcome my past. It's a sucky purpose and I want to move past that into something actually cool. Is that so much to ask?
- —Guest Karin