This comment was by Will in reference to the post – 9 Common Struggles for Adult Children of Alcoholics
I’m an ACOA, only recently have I learned about the effects of alcoholic parent(s) on kids.
You mention that we underestimate the effects it has on us and think there’s a couple reasons why;
1) We don’t recognize (at least I didn’t) that my father’s alcoholism was problem – in fact it was normal to me. Even when I did, I only recognized it as his problem.
2) We don’t know what “normal” (functional) is, so it’s hard to compare our life to it. Sense the biggest problem, from what I can tell, Is lack of emotional support – the problem isn’t something that can be seen (like verbal or physical abuse), you don’t know it’s missing and hence how it affects you.
I started having moments of realization at the start of the year on why I do some of the things I do. I realized that I was going through life in neutral, never happy – just content. I’ve never seriously questioned and tried to answer why I do and don’t certain things. As I had these moments, I learned more about myself until about 6 months later I finally happened to search for something while trying to find an answer and stumbled on ACOA.
I felt so relieved. Knowing that I’m not alone and that something major was in fact, wrong. (I always felt something was off in life or that I was different) In a way I feel gipped, I stopped being a kid when I was between 5 and 10 – I don’t even remember much of growing up.
It has affected me in many, many ways. But when I really think about it, I could be a lot worse off ( prison, drug addict, dead…) so in a way I’m thankful.
The sad part is, it’s no one’s fault. Both of my parents could be considered ACOA, except dysfunctional families instead of alcoholism.
When I used to hear people say that you should be required to pass a test or take a class to be a parent, I never understood why—now I understand and agree with them.
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