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What is Adult Children of Alcoholics?

What is Adult Children of Alcoholics?

Aug 23, 2018 | Alcohol Addiction, QA

Alcoholism is a family disease that affects every person it comes into contact with, even if they have never have touched a drop of ethanol in their life. When addiction to alcohol is prevalent beginning with the family of origin, the dysfunction that is caused continues to seep into other areas of someone’s life. Some family members will begin to overachieve to compensate for their pain, others will rebel, and many will become alcoholics themselves.

One of the support groups that have been instrumental in helping someone who is has had to endure the struggles that alcoholism presents amongst the family is Adult Children of Alcoholics (ADA). This group was formed in 1973 and based off the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. By attending meetings, these adult children can see how the disease of alcoholism infected them as a child and continues to run unintentionally rampant in a person as an adult. The term “adult child” defines adults who grew up in an alcoholic home and have traits that are derivative from the abuse and neglect that are caused in the face of alcoholism. The characteristics that adults carry with them throughout their lives can be found on what the ADA calls their “laundry list”.

  1. We became isolated and afraid of people and authority figures.
  2. We became approval seekers and lost our identity in the process.
  3. We are frightened by angry people and any personal criticism.
  4. We either become alcoholics, marry them or both, or find another compulsive personality such as a workaholic to fulfill our sick abandonment needs.
  5. We live life from the viewpoint of victims and we are attracted by that weakness in our love and friendship relationships.
  6. We have an overdeveloped sense of responsibility and it is easier for us to be concerned with others rather than ourselves; this enables us not to look too closely at our own faults, etc.
  7. We get guilt feelings when we stand up for ourselves instead of giving in to others.
  8. We became addicted to excitement.
  9. We confuse love and pity and tend to “love” people we can “pity” and “rescue.”
  10. We have “stuffed” our feelings from our traumatic childhoods and have lost the ability to feel or express our feelings because it hurts so much.
  11. We judge ourselves harshly and have a very low sense of self-esteem.
  12. We are dependent personalities who are terrified of abandonment and will do anything to hold on to a relationship in order not to experience painful abandonment feelings, which we received from living with sick people who were never there emotionally for us.
  13. Alcoholism is a family disease; and we became para-alcoholics and took on the characteristics of that disease even though we did not pick up the drink.
  14. Para-alcoholics are reactors rather than actors.

Adult Children of Alcoholics can seek the help that they need to eliminate the characteristics that may unknowingly hold them back from having healthy relationships in their lives. Healing can be achieved by getting an understanding of how alcoholism changed them in their childhood.

Serenity Oaks Wellness Center is a 5-week extensive treatment program that can give someone who has a problem with alcohol abuse a chance to get sober. Our 12-Step aspects and holistic therapy combined can show you how to adorn your soul in recovery.

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