Children of Alcoholics

 Children of Alcoholics

The second week of February is designated as “Children of Alcoholics week.”

As a child of an alcoholic

I have the following characteristics and traits. I found the basis of these traits from this article from the Searidge Foundation.

  • I bury my feelings especially powerful ones. It was imperative for me to keep those feelings to myself to avoid any fallout from my father being drunk.
  • I did not want him to get mad so I made sure I didn’t do anything to upset him. Not just him. I learned the best way to deal with any drunk was to avoid any possible conflict. Don’t rock the boat. Stay under the radar. As a result I lost any identity of my real self or any self-esteem.
  • I feel responsible for the needs of others. I end up in relationships with men who need help. Thinking of others mean that their judgments of me are important. I need others to approve of me. I need those pats on the back.
  • I buried any feelings of fear. I would never admit to being afraid or threatened. Keep it in. Avoid conflict.
  • I have problems with my relationship with my husband because I find it difficult to express what I need from him. So I stew and get upset when he doesn’t give me support or understanding.
  • When younger I couldn’t go without a partner. I felt abandoned. That I needed to be taken care of too. I’m not sure that has changed but now I feel like I’d like to try to be on my own.
  • When stressed I feel that everything is out of control. One thing piles up on the other and life is sucks. It’s the all or nothing condition.
  • My body deals with a lot of physical issues. I have tight neck muscles, jaw pain, headaches and more. I suffer from depression. Along with suppressing feelings, I never really grieved any of my losses such as my childhood, my mother, my pets.
  • Although I never became an alcoholic myself I have an addictive personality and many traits of an alcoholic.

Here are a few links I found to help with alcoholism:

http://adstv.on.ca/

http://www.al-anon.org/

http://www.addictioncanada.ca/

http://www.smartrecovery.org/resources/family.htm

http://www.camh.ca/

http://forums.psychcentral.com/adult-children-alcoholics/

Are you a Child of an Alcoholic?

Stranger in the Family

Stranger

My real name means foreign or stranger

That is who I have been.

During my early years although I thought I had a mother and a father, in reality I was a stranger to this father. I was not his natural child. It’s hard to know if he accepted me as such as I don’t have any good memories of him.

My memories of him are of fear

I remember an incident when I bought a bunch of candy at the store when I wasn’t supposed to. I remember sitting at the dinning table and being made to eat all the candy. Unfortunately for me the bag did not contain all the kinds I liked. I had to suffer eating things I didn’t like and becoming sick from too much to teach me a lesson. I also recall that it went like that for meal times too. I had to sit there and try to swallow foods I hated. This could have been both my mothers and his rule, I don’t know.

Another memory, I had been accused of stealing money from a jar. I only remember that I was fearful, not what actually happened.

The most impact-full memories are of him hitting my mother.

Maybe I wasn’t a stranger in this household but I wasn’t in a good place.

Then I met my new family

Now I really was a stranger. The family did get to know me and I started to feel a little more comfortable but I still felt like the outsider.

Enter the abuse and now no one knows who I really am, including me. Why didn’t anyone figure it out and help me? My Grandmother should have figured it out.

I had to move away

I moved from my new family with my abuser. Again I was a stranger living among people I didn’t know. A child with child.

I made friends and had my sister-in-law and her family and my father and his girlfriend as my new family. Although my sister-in-law did her best I still felt I had no family. When my secret came out they blamed me as being a big mouth. I told my dads girlfriend to save her daughter from harm but she sided with him, not me.

I have my own family

Now I have my children and their children and my husband’s family as mine. However we are not as close to his family as the rest of them. I’m not sure why. I am an outsider to my real family. I have Aunts and uncles and cousins that I barely know. I have a niece, a step brother and their children that I don’t know. I didn’t know my brother or his wife. I don’t have a mother nor a father. All these people live somewhere else. No one is near by and no one makes tries to connect with me.

I got excited when I got on Facebook as I thought I would finally connect with them. But they have lives of their own and don’t give me too much thought that I know of. This hurts greatly. This is still a sore spot with me as I cry into my keyboard.

I do my best to enjoy the family I do have. I’ve tried to put my needing of family behind me and I’ve managed to get over not having parents, but I need to tell my cousins how I feel. I will do this by giving them my website to read.

Are you still a part of your family of origin?