6 Ways Your Family’s Alcoholism Affected You
An estimated 6.6 million children under the age of 18 years old live in households with at least one alcoholic parent. The lasting effects of being raised in an alcoholic household can carry on for a life time. There is a tendency for us to recreate the homes we had as children. Often, these experiences affect our environment and personality traits.
Research says there are clear traits of adult children raised in addictive households. Here are some warning signs that you may be on the wrong path.
- You Play the Victim
Children raised with alcoholism in their families are likely to marry someone with addictive behavior as well. They tend to want to be around others who share those habits. You might feel like the “rescuer” and want to be with someone you feel you can save. You may cling on to unhealthy patterns and feel like a victim because you are around those patterns.
- You Fear Emotions
Adult children raised in alcoholic households tend to have trouble expressing their emotions, and may tend to overreact with anger and sadness. Childhood trauma makes feeling and expressing emotions difficult. You feel the most powerful emotions and the most positive yet expressing those emotions may be a challenge. Finding treatment that involves digging deep into your emotions is an extremely important step to recovery.
- You Avoid Conflict
As a child, you may have isolated yourself when your parents were argumentative or drinking a lot. Those who suffer from childhood trauma often fear people who are in authority or tend to avoid people who disagree with them. They often seek approval from others while losing their identities in the process. They find comfort in isolation rather than confrontation.
- You Have Bad Self Esteem
You have a compulsive need to be perfect and accepted. You find your days weighed down even if people try and lift you up with complements. This eventually can lead into depression and when hardships happen, you can lose composure easily. Being raised around alcoholism, this may have stemmed from your desire as a child to be better so your parents would not drink as much.
- You Struggle With Intimacy
Adult children who grew up around alcoholism fear losing control so often in intimate settings, they struggle. As a child, they may have wanted to control their family’s alcoholic tendencies but were not able to. Close friendships are strained because they have difficulties expressing their needs and sexuality.
- Your Life is Surrounded by Chaos
If you grew up in chaos, you might be more attracted to it as you get older. It can give you a rush of adrenaline and feelings of power and control. Adult children see and do everything in extremes especially under pressure. They may lead a risky and dangerous lifestyle because that is what their environment was growing up.
The way we are raised plays a role on what kind of person we become as adults. Think about how some of the challenges you faced growing up around alcoholism, or even just addiction, affected who you are today. With effort, you can combat these detrimental patterns and get on the path to a much healthier life. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-777-9588.