If you’re like me, and your mother is the grown daughter of an alcoholic, you may have grown up feeling more like a specimen in a petri dish than an innocent, happy-go-lucky kid looking for joy. If your mom is an ACOA who hasn’t done her recovery work, you may have grown up feeling like something was always wrong, but since there was no alcohol abuse to point to, you may have sadly learned to assume that heartbreak What you felt inside–that you couldn’t name–was ‘you’.
Adult children of alcoholics who have not done their recovery work are unaware of how severely their emotional selves have been impacted. Because their priorities in life have been ranked according to their needs to simply survive, many times ACOAs are inadvertently stuck and don’t even realize it.
Because alcoholism is such an insidious disease, it seeps into the cracks of the psyche like a mist. To make matters worse, because alcohol use is often so socially glorified, it’s hard to hold on to the idea that people who abuse alcohol are acting irresponsibly, not just toward others, but toward themselves as well. .
If your parents were emotionally neglected as children because your parents were alcoholics, they may not realize how “disconnected” they are from themselves. When a childhood is saturated with fear, survival is often the only thing on a child’s mind. Because a child’s basic instincts must be in hyperdrive, to simply survive, there is little time to emotionally mature and connect with the spiritual side of Being. And when these adult children of alcoholics have children of their own, they are blind, detached parents. from any notion that they are emotionally disconnected from the whole. As a result, ACOAs are often unable to form authentic parental bonds with their children, simply because they have no idea what they are NOT giving their child.
ACOAs, like the rest of us, are doing the best they can. But unfortunately, they are often blind to what it means to ‘feel’ loved on a psychological level, because they don’t have the experience of ‘feeling seen psychologically’ themselves, as a result of being raised by self-absorbed, drunken, unselfish people. . sensible, alcoholic. Because they themselves had alcohol to point to as the reason ‘why’ mom or dad weren’t there for them, later in life, many ACOAs make a conscious decision NOT to drink, assuming that by choosing not to drink, their adult lives will work out. What they don’t understand, however, is that alcohol is not the problem. A painful sense of self-alienation–it is.
If you are the adult child of an emotional manipulator, an alcoholic mother, a narcissist, a drug addict, a sexual abuser, a verbal abuser, and the like, you have been raised by an individual who is wrapped in the curse of self-alienation. Because they are so alienated within Being, they are unaware and unfortunately cannot ‘see’ you in an authentic way. They raised you like someone was trying to lift a sofa. You were supposed to sit there, be still, quiet and out of the way. You were supposed to magically one day grow up, be happy, and move on. Your adult child of an alcoholic father, of course, would have been utterly flabbergasted by any statement from you, implying that you didn’t do enough to instill in him a true sense of worth. His reaction to your claim might sound something like, “You ungrateful little brat. Can’t you see how much I tried to make you happy? I brought you into this house, fed you, and clothed you. There was always heat running down the walls, and I always said ‘good morning and how was your day’, what else did you want from me?
Any attempt on your part, the adult child of the adult child of an alcoholic, to try to make your parents “see” or “understand” the emptiness or disconnection you felt with them, would have been met harshly and with insurmountable burdens. of guilt You would have been made to feel like the lowest of the low for daring to insinuate that there was something your ACOA parents didn’t give you. In their minds, because all their basic needs were met, unlike theirs when they were children, they would not have been able to understand that there was something they might have missed. In their minds, they didn’t drink, their house was always clean, and there was always food in the fridge. Because you never had to worry about where you were going to sleep at night, in your parents’ minds, they don’t know what ‘disconnect’ you are trying to express.
In fairness to our adult children of alcoholic parents, if they didn’t choose to drink, they actually made better parenting choices than their own parents. Although we their children may have grown up feeling lost in the abyss that is the fog that lingers long after our alcoholic grandparents have died, it is not the fault of our ACOA parents that they were raised by parents who were so drunk and self-absorbed that they could not see them psychologically.
On the road to recovery, you will face many hidden secrets. If part of your soulful digging has you looking at the fact that your parents are adult children of alcoholics, congratulations, you’ve found another puzzle piece in you.
In the future, he will have to accept the lack he feels inside: that has been the torch of alienation from himself that his ACOA parents have passed on to him. Healing requires that you embrace the lost and shattered facets of Self. Try not to spend too much time blaming your parents for lost time. Instead, look at it, acknowledge it, welcome your soul home, learn to forgive, and finally let it go.
Hire a therapist or life coach to walk you through your journey in life, so you can start making healthier life choices for your future.
Read as much as possible about what it means to be an adult child of an alcoholic, as well as what it means to be the grandchild of an alcoholic. Attend 12-step meetings and online social communities that are geared toward increasing self-awareness. Learn about codependency, enablement, denial, projection, and fantasy-type distraction thinking. Start meditating in the morning before you start your day, and do another one as you fall asleep. Begins to take baths, instead of showers. The aim is to learn to embrace the Self, instead of avoiding it any longer.
Congratulations and good luck to you on your transformation journey.
You are loved.