Adult children of alcoholics find themselves struggling through residual pain experienced as a result of being brought up in homes where parents struggled with alcohol/substance abuse and dependency. All families include imperfect parents yet some children have been raised with very unhealthy and often destructive parenting (even aside from alcohol/substance abuse and dependency). We can look at our upbringing and recognize that while we were not responsible for the way we were raised, we are responsible for what we do with our lives as adults, and how we can heal from a difficult past.
Some of the traits that adults may carry include:
• Struggle with understanding healthy social behavior–often impulsive
• Have problems with honesty and tells others what they want to hear rather than telling the truth.
• Hightened sense of self-awareness and self-criticism.
• Procrastinates – starts a project and does not complete it
• Often chooses unhealthy relationships
• Experiences difficulty sharing feelings and talking about themselves.
• Struggles between over-responsibility and under-responsibility
• Finds it difficult to relax or to just have fun
• Experiences life with a rigidity and finds change very difficult
• Often feels isolated and alienated and believes that they are different from other people
• People-pleaser; seeking approval and affirmation from others is the primary motivation.
Some of these traits are experienced by everyone, however those that have been raised in families where mistrust, abandonment, emotional abuse, etc., was weekly if not daily occurrence the traits will be more pervasive and debilitating. Healing and moving past these traits will not happen if someone attempts this alone. We need a little help from others who are willing to meet us where we are and provide grace and truth.