As kids, we come from a wide range of different backgrounds and family environments. Some kids are lucky enough to live in safe, secure, healthy homes with parents who bring them up as best they can. However, others come from dysfunctional families resulting from an unstable environment, poor lifestyle, and parents who are drug or alcohol dependent.
When it comes to the latter, it can have a profound impact on our lives both as children and into adulthood. Our parents have a huge impact and influence on our lives even though we may not realize it at the time. Therefore, children who grew up in an environment where one or both parents were alcohol dependent may show signs of this in adulthood. In this article, we will look at some of the things that adult children of alcoholic parents often do.
Some of the Signs
There are various signs and personality traits that could indicate someone has grown up with alcoholic parents. Some of these include:
Often, those who were brought up in a household where one or both parents were alcoholics had no control over their situation. They were placed in an environment where there was a lot of chaos and this may have made them feel helpless. As adults, these people sometimes go to the other extreme – whereas they had no control as a child, they become extremely controlling as adults. This is not in a vindictive way like a narcissist but in more of a frantic way where they become obsessive about getting things organized both in their lives and the lives of others.
Being Social Misfits
One thing to remember about those who grew up in a household with alcoholic parents is that they essentially came from a dysfunctional household. Therefore, certain social situations will seem alien to them, and this means that they can come across as social misfits at times.
When a person grows up in a household where the parents are too busy attending to their own needs, they are often left craving attention and not getting it. If the parents are often inebriated, they will have little time for the kids, so kids often grow up without the parental attention they should get. This can then lead to them continuing to crave attention in adulthood.
As kids, we feel we should be loyal to our parents no matter what happens. Even if they are drinking themselves into a stupor regularly, many kids will stick up for and care for their parents unconditionally – perhaps even more so because the parents are in no state to do it themselves. This can often carry through to adulthood, with some people being fiercely loyal to others even if that person doesn't deserve it.
Taking Care of Others' Needs
The children of alcoholic parents have grown up having to take care of others' needs before their own. This includes not only the needs of their parents but also of any younger or more vulnerable siblings. As adults, many will continue to show this trait, where they spend more time taking care of the needs of others rather than their own needs.
A Difficult Road Ahead
After a difficult childhood, there is a long road ahead for children who grew up with alcoholic parents. This is why many need the support and understanding of friends and other family members as they move into adulthood.