From the article: Characteristics of Adult Children of Alcoholics
Adult children of alcoholics are people who grew up in a home with at least one alcoholic parent and whose lives were likely profoundly affected by the experience. If you grew up in an alcoholic home, share how you think it affected you most. Post Your Answer
- My dad has been a chain smoker and alcoholic. He is very weak now and unable to walk with health problems. He does not have a very good family background. He provided me and sis with good education but never loved us. He had a hoarding problem. Never wanted to keep the house clean. Was very miserly. Used really bad words. I feel extremely guilty when I dont want him to live. Not able to handle it. I do not know what it is to be normal. i am very cheerful on the outside but "want this day to be my last" on the inside.I am approval seeking which has gotten out of control. I would love to make friends as i dint get love in the family but people took it otherwise and I am so miserable in my personal life. I do not blame people. I just blame myself as I do not know how "normal" people are. I am pretty much talented. I am very good with music, literature and people appreciate me but i constantly put myself down. I have really low self esteem. I feel like i cant make it :(
- —Guest miserable
Thankyou mum for leaving my dad
- I found this a disturbingly accurate description of my personality. Unfortunately it doesn't make me feel any better about myself. Im just lucky I had a mum who was strong enough to finally give in a walk away from her marriage taking me with her. It does seam strange to me, looking back how well I took the news my mum was leaving my dad, I cried for about 10 minuites, got told we where going out for dinner, was cheared up by that and I was pretty much over it by the end of the day. Compared to friends experiences of separation it is very different. I also have emetiphobia (fear of people being sick), im pretty sure that was caused by my dads alcoholism. I remember thinking that life would be better if my dad died. I felt guilty and confused because I knew it was wrong. Looking back I feel angry that as a child I was lead to a place where I would think like that. And I know even know when how i feel is influenced by my past experiances. I find drunk men repelent and pathetic.
- —Guest heather
Son of alcoholic
- My father and mother separated when I was not quite two years old, and divorced when I was four. I do not remember him at all from that period of time, and very seldom saw him over the years. However about 18 years ago he became ill, and I stepped in a became his caretaker until he died two years later. My mother felt I owed him nothing, but he was my father. about five years later, I had counseling regarding some issues that I was having . My counselor pointed out that I had issues that the child of an alcoholic would have. such as intimacy, hyper responsibility, pleasing others etc. I protested that my father had left my mother when I was only two, but she conveyed to me that my father's alcoholism had a profound effect on the way she and her parents(my grandparents) raised me. " Don't be like your father". She said it is like a traffic jam caused by a accident on the highway. The car that caused the accident can be taken away but the effects linger. I think she is right.
- —Guest wayne
Run on empty
- My mother is an alcoholic , when I was younger we lived abroad . My dad worked away a lot and my mum would feel sorry for herself .My mum was always the focus of our family . I think my dad was kinda proud to have an attractive wife and could not see the neglect . She I think started to drink more when we came to England and would be me she focused the anger. , she would always threaten to kill herself and I would always try to be nicer , kinda and less trouble for her . People remember me then as intense and stressed and abrupt . I would write letters to my self as my mum ranted at me while I locked my self in the bathroom . It hurt me that she would then be nice and sober for the few days my dad was back from work . My dad never discussed it with me when I was younger . He must of seen her drink ! As the years went by she would be sober for a few weeks and start again , on the surface I am jolly and accomplished person inside I am self loathing and fragile .
- —Guest To
I hate him with all I have
- My dad he first gets emotional when he is drunk then he gets physical. Like today he ran up while I was lying on the couch and he jumped full force onto my leg. He is close to two hundred pounds heavier than I. I'm scared for my life most of the time around him even when sober. The last time he got drunk like horrible drunk I ended up breaking his nose and about killing him I was defending myself because he had ahold of one of my wrists and he kept on telling me to take off my glasses so he didn't break them( I didn't do anything) I told him no multiple times. I had my back against my wall. I was screaming at him to back up so I headbutted him then punched him in the temple than ran out the door
- —Guest Matt Kuter
- I grew up having both parents as active alcoholics. I had no one to turn to for guidance or love. My dad would call me every cuss word in the book every night- threaten me and embarrass me at every opportunity. I don't know why he hated me. My mom didn't seem to hate me, but she was always to drunk to be there for me or protect me. I was sexually abused from age 7-14 and as obvious as I now know it was, no one seemed to notice. Not just one molester either. When I finally did tell them, they didn't do a thing. I felt lucky they believed me. I acted out in every possible way to get removed from home, but it just wasn't easy in the 60's/ 70's, so all it did was make my life worse. I am 53 and even after years if therapy, I am still textbook acoa. My self esteem is non existent. I've never been able to look in a mirror and I will never be enough. No one can love me. I am so gregarious on the outside. People think I am funny and have it together. Death can't come soon enough.
- —Guest Broken
No Words, experiences trauma
- The good that i remember: My mom was a caring and loving person with a fun personality. She had amazing powers too, 'bio-energy healer' is the term used. Being able to sense the moods and aura's in people, and healing that energy. Its a job that drains the soul, and when faced with her mothers death, alcohol became her best friend and nightmare. I remember my grade 8 winter vacation in egypt, at the duty free my mom jumped at the opportunity for cheap vodka.waking up one day to my parents in a physical altercation. She stood on the balcony ledge and wanted to jump to her 8 story death. It was the first of many times seeing this side of my mom, and what chaos her alcoholism would unleash. Ive seen my mom take pills, take a knife to her self. after multiple head injuries, and years(7) she cant function properly and socialize at all. Living on her own for a few months, because we all moved out, her company can be anyone. I checked up on her once, was naked and with a homeless man. Inside im Empty
- —Guest yousef m
- I'm 18, turning 19 in a month. As a child I didn't really worry much. I think my father was an alcoholic then, but he also worked, so it wasn't really that bad. Years later, all that changed. He was fired from his job and to this day he still hasn't got a job and he isn't even trying to get one. This has been the case for about ten years. One year ago, he was diagnosed with Dementia, but he is in denial and me and my family choose not to tell him about it just in case he lashes out at us. It feels like his Alcoholism has gotten even worse over the years, and combined with the Dimentia, it isn't a very good mix. Every now and then he would lash out in his drunken fury and torment us to the brink. A lot of nights, he goes out to have a smoke and he is so drunk that he falls over and we have to help him up. It's pathetic! I'm thinking of moving out of home because of all of this, but I don't know if I'm ready. I'm so confused!
- —Guest Vanessa
Hiding It Well
- I grew up with an alcoholic father who was verbally abusive, but to the outside world we all put a show on that everything was fine. Because of this it's so hard for me to open up to people. I definitely have the need for constant approval from others and I feel the need to take care of everyone else but myself. I actually don't have a huge desire to drink alcohol because I have seen what it does to families. Sadly, my brother followed in my dad's footsteps. Now that I'm out of the house, I feel guilty for leaving my mom since Im the only one she has left. I couldn't take the constant worrying about two alcoholics. I also realized as I got older that I have the same angry temper as my parents, because growing up problems were solved by yelling louder; not talking things out calmly. I have depression and anxiety issues and I'm seeing a therapist to work on all of these things. One thing I have learned is that you have to set healthy boundaries with your family.
- —Guest MJO
Therapy Worked Wonders For Me
- My father was an alcoholic who also suffered from untreated mental illness (Narcissistic Personality Disorder). My mother was the classic enabler. I grew up amid chaos, instability and violence. It wasn't until my early 40s that I got a good therapist and went into group & individual counseling. This turned my world around and I was able to identify and understand so much about myself. Of course with that, I understood that my family was awash in liquor and relationships had to change. I couldn't save anyone but myself. Two of my siblings have died from substance abuse. Yes, I am scarred from my childhood experiences, but I have tools to use for healing thanks to a great therapist and wonderful people who cared. Never give up on yourself, you CAN heal.
- —Guest Guest Guy
- Growing up with an alcoholic parent didn't change me it formed me. Now I have to change that form in order to be happy at 56. It sucks!!
- —Guest Duff
The two faced monster
- I am a 17 year old girl living with my mom and alcoholic dad. Since before I was born he was an alcoholic just nt as bad as he is today. He is so messed up talkin bout how he came from the streets when he actually didnt he had a good family you can say. However he cant seem to move on from the past. He always goes on about how either his father or grandfather was this and that like he was one of them, but isnt or was never one of them, if you ask me he was jealous. To anyone else I seem to have this wonderful father, he's a peoples kind of guy, everyone loves him. But once he drinks he's a whole other kind of person, monster you can say. I fear everyday of both my life and my moms thats how bad the situation gets and its not like we can leave at least not until im 18, it doesnt help that I live in South Africa, we just have an ape for president. But my so called father loves to make my life hell. One moment he says he cares the next he's drinking and trying to fight with my mom and me.
- —Guest Toxic chic
- I'm almost 40 and got turned on to this by my boss. I was having a breakdown at work, and having said before that he sees a lot of himself in me, he took me aside and told me about children of alcoholics and how a lot of my issues - uber-responsible, workaholic, fearing confrontation, and letting things get to me, etc., were a result of that. Then I came to this site and started reading. As long as I can remember my father's been an alcoholic. I've always assumed that our personalities are how we are because we're south side Irish and it's family traits. Now I'm realizing it's just the alcoholism that runs in the family. My brother and I both drank a lot in our 20's, but stopped drinking heavily or frequently because we could see our father in us and didn't like it. i thought I had this family alcoholism beat, but apparently growing up this way has affected my personality, coping skills and soul. I'm trying everyday to be the positive, confident person I was meant to be.
- —Guest Indiana Joe
- I have witnessed first hand what alcohol can do. My dad has been drinking since i was born, at 1st it didnt feel like a big deal, until he started taking almost a cartoon of beer, he left beer and went to hard liquor, vodka, 42% distilled alcohol. He has threatened me with his guns so many times, has abused me and my mother, physically, emotionally. i think i have taken a lot of BS from him. My mother has been with him for 21 years, worked so hard just to make everybody happy, but he still bullies her, i have asked her to leave the marriage, but she thinks its wrong to divorce, i am scared that one day he would kill her, now his main aim is to just ruin the family, he wants to sell the house, he just wants to ruin us, he lost his job because of his drinking habits, he tells lies all the time and doesnt want to change. i just have to be strong for my mother. i am the only person she has. I dont think i am scared of him anymore. now , i stand up for myself, i am tired of having scars
- Like millions of other people I was raised in a home by a single mom who was an alcoholic and a prescribed/illicit drug user. Needless to say it was a very disfunctional home. By the age of 19 I became pregnant after dating the person for three short months. It was my way out of the life I had know. Little did I realize that he too had a substance abuse problem. I fumbled through the following 21 years of marriage, raising my two children, managing everyone's lives except my own. I had total control and an iron fist. My home was in perfect order and from the outside looking in I had the perfect life. I played an award winning role lying, manipulating, and pretending to be someone that I didn't even know. On the inside I was a tortured child screaming, crying, and scared. No one knew my feelings because I never shared them with anyone, including myself. I was busy with the lives of everyone else. I thank God every day for my blessings and for ACOA. It has changed my life.
- —Guest Melissa
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