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Cry Learned

7 Ways Alcoholic Parents Affect Their Children

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I had a breakdown a few nights ago after my business meeting ended with Tai Khuong, co-founder and CEO of Psych2Go. I almost didn’t want to share this story, but what kind of writer would I be if I didn’t want to open up? It’s never easy admitting this, but my relationship with my mother is a delicate one that consists of a lot of pain and breaking. For as long as I can remember, I grew up with a lot of inconsistency, unpredictability, and unfair disciplinary actions. My mother’s obsessive-compulsive disorder has always affected me in the sense that whenever she feels triggered by situations that make her feel unsafe, she has a tendency to use anger and control to cope with her fears.

As a result, I’ve always walked on eggshells, and even though it hurt, I learned to suffer silently because I grew fearful of setting her off even in the tiniest ways. Often, people don’t see this side of her because she’s good at saving face from her cultural upbringing and wears a convincing mask with her polished mannerisms. But, it’s a completely different story at home. Her predispositions of dismissing my emotions and shutting down opinions that are not her own grew worse over the course of time when she faced immense trauma, losing her own mother to lung cancer and then being diagnosed with breast cancer shortly after.

My mother never took a break her whole life. She married my father when she was only 18 years old and the two of them moved to the U.S., having to learn a new language, work irregular, strenuous hours, and getting used to calling this place her home. She had me when she was 21. My mother once told me a story about the time she was trying to give me a bath when I was a baby. I was crying and squirming in her arms when she was trying to place me in the small tub. I made it hard for her to hold onto me, so I accidentally slipped and fell into the water.

She quickly pulled me out and started crying. Already, we were off to an unstable start. My mother had to grow up fast and responsibilities always came one right after the other.

Luckily, her breast cancer was found in the early stage two years ago and she successfully finished chemotherapy. Hard times are supposed to bring you closer to your family, right? But, this year was filled with many episodes of harsh eruptions. I became afraid of the good days between us because I never know how much time I have left before the next bomb goes off. On Sunday night, it went off again in the worst way possible. My suicidal thoughts returned and I desperately wished that I wasn’t born. I told myself that my parents would’ve been a lot happier if they never met and had me. They could’ve lived such different lives. My mother faced a lot of trauma from her lack of being ready for the life she has led up to this point that, in return, she gave me trauma from the unhealthy ways she copes with it. This made it immensely difficult for me to realize it was okay to make mistakes and failures as a child.

On Sunday night, I wished that my mother dropped me harder in the tub and I grieved over the fact that she didn’t let me drown in it. The idea was originally reinforced when she began telling me to go die during her angry episodes. The very thought of wanting to kill myself terrified me and I realized I needed to talk things out. My boyfriend was already asleep at the time, so I messaged Tai and confessed to him that I depend on work to get me to stop experiencing nights like that. I felt lucky that his time zone is three hours behind mine, and he stayed on the phone with me until I was clear-headed again. Overall, I’m grateful that I work with people who care about me.

During our conversation, I mentioned to him that my boyfriend once recommended that I look up information on how alcoholic parents affect their children. I told him that when I was a college student, I tried to find research on how parents with OCD affect their children, but found little to no information online. He told me it was the same for his circumstance, but because alcoholism is more common, all the articles he read on children of alcoholic parents were eerily relevant that he was able to identify with most of the listed traits and behaviors. I told Tai that I was able to resonate with every single one of them, too. That’s when he opened up to me about his alcoholic father.

As a result, we realized that the experiences we’ve been through are more commonly experienced than we originally thought. Although I often write articles that include helpful statistics, I never fail to be surprised when I discover that one of my coworkers, lover, or friend falls within those percentages. The numbers mean a lot more when someone you care about makes that statistic true. That’s why I didn’t want to start this with just another number.

But in case you’re wondering, according to American Addiction Centers, roughly 45% of the U.S. population has been exposed to some form of alcoholism or alcoholic behavior within their family. That translates to as many as 76 million people and approximately 26 million of those individuals are children. Our purpose is to create a space where you feel safe, heard, and connected in regards to the struggles you face.

Even though this article pertains to alcoholic parents, if you were raised in a household that had overly strict religious attitudes, parents with chronic illnesses, or parents exhibiting other compulsive behavior, such as gambling, drug abuse, or overeating, then you may also find it relatable. We hope that by passing along the following information, it helps you understand what’s happening, whether that pertains to the relationships you have with others or the conflict you experience internally. Psych2Go shares with you 7 ways alcoholic parents affect their children:

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1. You have a hard time understanding what “normal” healthy family relationships are.

Adult children struggle with understanding what a normal family is like because they didn’t have an example to follow during their childhood. As a result, they have to guess what it means to be normal. They may also not understand the difference between good role models and bad ones. I think when you’re little, you expect your parents to be superheroes, so their behaviors and actions are never wrong, even if they hurt you.

I always gave my mother the excuse that she was just having a bad day whenever she lashed out on me. I’d tell myself her angry episodes were only temporary and that she’d be okay again soon. But looking back, I think I adapted to that cheerful outlook because I didn’t know how else to cope with the fears I had. It was my attempt at normalizing her erratic, frightening behavior.

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2. You’re hard on yourself and find it challenging to relax or make light of situations.

Children of alcoholic parents have a hard time giving themselves a break. They often feel like they have to go the extra mile and do things to the best of their ability because they feel like a failure otherwise. As a result, children of alcoholic parents may grow up with identity issues because they’re unsure about who they are when they aren’t doing more to fulfill themselves.

When people first meet me, they often get the impression that I’m this bubbly, open person, but they don’t realize that it’s taken me years to become that way. Sometimes, I’ll crack jokes and feel like I’m on top of the world, ready to take on anything. But, it’s a different story when I come home even after such a great day at work. I never know what’s going to hit me. Sometimes, I try not to get too attached to happiness. It comes and goes in waves.

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3. You have trust issues which makes it difficult for you to establish close, intimate relationships.

Children who grow up with alcoholic parents find it hard to trust others when they experience such a chaotic relationship with them. It’s their first relationship they ever built, which leaves a huge scarring effect that unfortunately influences the way they form relationships later on in their adulthood. They have difficulty being vulnerable and opening up, afraid that someone will hurt or betray them because they’ve been continuously let down by their parents’ toxic behavior.

I can go out and have fun with others, but very few people know me. Even if I’m going through a hard time, I often feel like I’m burdening someone if I want to talk about what’s bothering me. I can’t tell if people only want to hear about the problem because they’re curious or if it’s because they genuinely care about me. I still struggle a lot with that to this very day.

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4. You’re frightened by conflict, angry people, and authority figures in general.

Alcoholic parents can be angry, mean, and abusive. As a result, children who grow up with them may experience verbal, physical, and/or sexual abuse. Because their parents may not have created a safe space where they were allowed to express their emotions, they may try to avoid conflict at all costs because they fear upsetting their parents. This makes it hard for children to confront their alcoholic parents about issues that hurt or bother them.

When I try to confront my mom about problems, she’s quick to dismiss my thoughts. It’s hard for us to communicate and cultivate understanding towards one another. She has a difficult time relinquishing her control in exchange for a common ground we can meet on. Her cold behavior is tough to work with when I try to make things right between us.

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5. You have a fear of being abandoned.

Alcoholic parents are often emotionally or physically unavailable. As a result, children who are raised by them often develop a fear of being abandoned. When they find themselves in relationships that are bad for them, they don’t always know how to leave them because the thought of being alone scares them more. I’ve experienced this before and looking back in retrospect, I realized every person I ever tried to hold onto, whether it was a friend or a romantic partner, actually made me feel more alone than I would’ve been if I never met them.

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6. You’re either super responsible and have perfectionistic tendencies or the opposite.

Children who grew up with alcoholic parents may have faced a lot of harsh criticism from them. This often causes the child to try to be perfect in order to avoid hearing hurtful words. As a result, children of alcoholic parents may grow up to be workaholics and overachievers. They also tend to blame themselves, so they may take responsibility for problems that weren’t even their own. On the other hand, children who grew up with alcoholic parents may become irresponsible, too, when they’ve given up on trying to be perfect. Since their parents always criticized them, they may not see the point in trying at all.

I have experienced both sides of this. I was your typical good student that always made the Dean’s list, and then when things fell apart at home for me in my last year in college, I just wanted to sabotage myself. I threw out almost every single award I ever received throughout my life and hit rock bottom when I felt uncertain about who I was and what kind of future I was going after. There was a severe degree of hollowness that I couldn’t seem to shake off. I’m still careful nowadays not to touch it.

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7. You may often be attracted to excitement and want to save people, confusing love with pity.

Children of alcoholic parents are often attracted to excitement because they have experienced an unpredictable roller coaster of chaos. As a result, they mistake that sort of instability as passion, so they seek the same kind of experience within their romantic relationships. Often, adult children of alcoholic parents are attracted to cold and emotionally unavailable partners who they try to “fix” or “save.” It makes them feel wanted, but those types of relationships inevitably sour when they entered them all for the wrong reasons initially.

Living in a household that negatively affected your personal growth can be difficult. We want to let you know that you’re not alone and encourage you to share your story with us. You’re welcome to leave a comment down below!

 

References:

Characteristics and Personalities of Adults Who Grew Up with Alcoholism in the Home. (2017). Retrieved December 14, 2017, from www.searidgealcoholrehab.com

Children of Alcoholics. (2017). Retrieved December 14, 2017, from americanaddictioncenters.org

Nicosia, C. (2017). How Alcoholic Parents Affect Child Development. Better Addiction Care. Retrieved December 14, 2017.

T, B. (2017, October 30). The Effects of Parental Alcoholism on Children. Verywell. Retrieved December 14, 2017.

The Laundry List. (2017). Retrieved December 14, 2017, from www.adultchildren.org

19 Comments

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  1. This article makes me scream internally so bad..
    My father is an alcoholic parent too. I don’t know when it’s starts, maybe when my younger sister was born. Me and my sister were look like twins but I am 4 years older than her, and our personalities are different. I was an introvert child even when I was a baby, so I didn’t bother too much my father, who was working since he have 16 years and he has to grown up really fast. My sister is very extroverted and I think that she was the trigger who makes dad to act like an alcoholic (when he get lazy and sick of his own life with us). His father, my grandfather is alcoholic too. Dad it’s an child of alcoholic parent who grown to be an alcoholic parent. So, I was a perfect type of child that I don’t make noise, don’t need anything, don’t do anything in the most of my life because of dad… Because I was feeling scared, unimportant, abandoned the most. I was the type of flegmatic introverted who don’t smile and don’t talk with anyone never. That’s because dad makes me feel uncomfortable with all hysterical things when is drunk and I want just space and peace. Dad never said me good things, never make me feel loved, he just criticizing me all the time like the way I look, like I am not good enough at learning and life in all aspects… I was having suicidal thoughts too when I was in high school… I was having a bad time with school and all and all he said me is to left school and go to work to make some money…. Like to get him for more drinks? Because why should grow me if I don’t learn like others? Maybe I have a problem? Maybe I am autistic?? That’s why he said me and he hurt me to the dead. After that I auto learning myself, I was trying to fight for me, single, because I do care of me and even my dad don’t care, I do care! Now I go to university and study librarianship and I have 21 years and a better life because I try so hard to love myself to cover my scars, but I still have this holes in my heart…
    I hate when mom don’t like when I make bad decisions in life and she says that I am just like my father… For me to began the 3rd generation of alcoholic parent it’s like a scary movie… In addition, I was avoiding alcoholic like I was seeing a gost, first beer I was drinking was at my 20. I was so sick of this problematic alcohol and I was to scared to became someday an alcoholic too that I didn’t drink any and I still don’t like alcohol even I drink sometime with friends.
    I am writing this just because I didn’t talk about this with anyone else just with my bestfriend and I am scared because of these 2 : I’m scared to became an alcoholic parent and am scared to have an alcoholic husband too( I don’t want my kids to be like me, I want to make them feel loved and precious and on first place).
    Thank you for this article that makes me perhaps I’m not completely alone.

    • Aww, Raven, I just want to say thanks so much for being so honest and open about your story. You’re incredibly brave for taking that step and I’m so glad we’re creating a safe space here at Psych2Go for you to take those risks. I’m so sorry to hear about the way your father has negatively affected your life. I think it’s amazing how far you’ve come though. You learned basically what not to become and that’s inspiring. <3

      And I understand your fear of trying alcohol when it's had such a strong, negative impact on your life. If you're still uncomfortable with drinking alcohol, it's something you don't have to feel obligated to do. I barely ever drink alcohol myself because I think it takes away time from things I could be working on. It doesn't make you any less of a person, just remember that.

      I think it's normal to feel scared when you've been through so much, but try not to let it hold you back from building the life you want. From what you've already told me, you're nothing like your father. You're better than that and you should be proud of yourself. You sound like a great person with a good head on your shoulders and I really hope things get better. If parenting is something you want to do in the future, I'm confident that you won't repeat the same patterns as your father, because it sounds like you're too aware to do that, and you seem to care a lot.

      That's truly inspiring. I'm so glad I made you feel less alone by writing this. It helps bring meaning to the work I do. Take care. If there's anything else we can do to help you, please don't hesitate to make requests on more content you would like to see. <3

  2. I think there are differences. But this codepency and volatility are consistent. This is a simplistic surface introduction to a more intricate and pervasive problem. but maybe this comes from growing up with 3 different familys with members raging from narssassists, depression, alcoholics, anxiety, paranoid schitzophenics to bipolar. Emotional physical and psychological abuse. But its all okay right? its just our job to pick up the pieces

    • Hi Rachel, thanks so much for reading. Yes, this was meant to be more introductory. The purpose is to help people recognize these toxic patterns, and hopefully by being able to see them, it can be the first step to recovery. But, unfortunately recovery is never a straight line. It’s definitely not the case for me.

      I’m sorry that you grew up with three such complicated and toxic families. But, thank you for opening up about that and sharing your story and thoughts with us. It’s definitely not okay that you went through all that abuse. Abuse should never be normalized. I tried doing that at one point because I thought I was being empathetic, but that’s how the cycle repeats itself.

      It’s such a difficult thing to do when you’re trying to pick up the pieces, isn’t it? You can’t manage to do it without hurting yourself within the process. I’m experiencing that, too. But, realize that you’re brave and I’m glad that you were able to survive through all of that. Whenever I feel like I’m stuck in my trauma, I go by this quote from The Perks of Being a Wallflower: “So, I guess we are who we are for a lot of reasons. And maybe we’ll never know most of them. But even if we don’t have the power to choose where we come from, we can still choose where we go from there. We can still do things. And we can try to feel okay about them.”

      I really hope it does get better. Take care. <3

  3. These are me to a t. Alcoholic mother, my father is an overeater. I myself am an alcolic and also anorexic. I can’t trust people. Never speak up for myself (learned at a very young age it never does any good). I do talk to my mom but don’t see her. She’s not a nice person and yes she was always home physically but never emotionally. She really messed me up. I have no social skills, no relationship skills….. I’m in my late 30s but nothing more than a scared little girl. I’m trying to become more independent but It’s hard to start at my age.

    • Hi Lauren, thanks so much for opening up about your story. I’m sorry that you’ve been through all of that. Yes, being emotionally available for someone is one of the main factors to establishing healthy relationships with someone, but when that’s not provided, we tend to grow up with stifled communication. As a result, we never feel like we’re good enough because we’ve been neglected. Know that it’s never too late to start learning and practicing skills that will help you down the road.

      Here are some of my articles that may help you on socializing and building relationships with others: https://psych2go.net/5-tips-survive-small-talk-introvert/ and https://psych2go.net/7-effective-habits-strong-relationships/.

      I’ve also experienced an eating disorder myself. It wasn’t anorexia, but there was a period in my life when I had a hard time swallowing food because I experienced so much fear that it took a toll on my ability to complete simple physical tasks that we need in order to survive. Are you receiving help on how to recover from anorexia?

  4. I am 21, the oldest of five & my mother is still an addict. All of the effects are true, especially the trust & abandonment issues. Relationships are very difficult for me but luckily I found someone (the love of my life) to be there as emotional support. Growing up with no father & an addict mother who rarely comes home gave me depression, anxiety, & I’m bipolar. I struggle with so many things mentally & growing up all I was ever told was “stop feeling sorry for yourself”. so I held everything in & for the past few years, its been coming out & I cant seem to control it. I’ve went to therapy, anger management, counseling, spoken to a psychiatrist but nothing seemed to work. Then when I was 19 I tried herbal medication & it honestly helped A LOT. Im not dependent on it but I do love the way it stops my mind from overthinking & triggering my depression. Weed has so many negative connotations but it really helps if you struggle with mental disorders.. I’m still that broken little girl but everyday I’m repairing myself. One thing I’ll never understand is, how do people expect you to grow properly if you’re damaged from the roots?

    • Thanks so much for opening up about your story. I’m sorry that you’ve been through all of that. I also have a habit of internalizing my fears and problems because my mother tends to dismiss my emotions a lot. As a result, I always felt misunderstood and thought I was just being too sensitive, but I realize that’s no longer the case anymore.

      I’m glad you took the initiative to try many methods to help you, even though most of them haven’t helped you yet, which I’m sorry to hear about. I’ve never smoked weed, but I don’t judge people who use it, especially since you’ve been through so much.

      That’s an excellent question you raise. The thing about roots is even though they influence a lot of the actions we take, I think it’s important to recognize that it’s not the end of who we are. Even though damaging roots make it incredibly challenging for us to recover and grow, we can still try to do things and feel okay about them. I think being kind to ourselves can go a long way, and it helps to also find a supportive system, like good friends or coworkers we can rely on when we have bad days.

      I hope that helps. And I really hope things get better for you. Please take care, and don’t hesitate to request any content you want to see more of that can help you. <3

  5. I can relate to this all too well. My mother is an alcoholic. I do all 7 of these things and unfortunately it has caused me to make some very poor decisions that I truely regret. Even now to this day I am very disappointed with a couple of life choices ive made that I wish I could go back and change. Walking on eggshells, inconsistent & threatening behaviour, and worst of all being constantly let down by my mother has shaped me into a person that I dont even feel I know sometimes. My mother is a very messed up person who has clearly damaged her mind and body with the alcohol. I have made peace with it but it doesnt change the fact that it has made me this broken person.

    • Hi Melissa, thanks so much for opening up about your story. I’m sorry to hear that your mother has negatively impacted you with her alcoholism. It’s okay to regret some of the decisions you made in the past, but I hope you don’t beat yourself up too much over them because you’ve definitely been through a lot. I think it’s good practice to use your regrets as life lessons to help you make decisions that will help you lead a more fulfilling life in the future. That’s what I try to do to move myself forward from toxic situations. I really hope things get better for you. Please take care and don’t hesitate to request any content you want to see more of that can help you. <3 You're a strong person and I think you're still capable of making decisions that will steer you in a healthier direction.

  6. This whole article brought me to tears. It makes me feel so lonely and it’s strange to think that this is all true. With this perspective, I understand a lot about myself now. Thanks to this article, I feel less guilty, like I can do more things and it’s not selfish at all.

    Thank you.

    • Hi Hayley, thanks so much for reading. Aww, I’m really glad to hear that you feel less guilty now. I think that’s often one thing children of alcoholic parents or toxic parents in general struggle with: we want to do things, but we are often manipulated or guilt tripped into thinking what we want is wrong or selfish when in reality, a lot has been taken from us when healthy boundaries weren’t set or respected starting from a very young age. I hope things get better for you. Please take care. <3

  7. I’m a high school student and I’m the only child in my family, and I can relate to half of these things, my dad has been a high-functioning alcoholic for most of his life.Despite him smashing the living room TV to the floor while drunk, I don’t think his alcohol addiction has been such big of a problem, he gets drunk on various occasions, but when he only gets slightly drunk, he is actually much more sociable and open-minded.However, when he gets really drunk, it’s like he turns into someone else, it’s not that he gets aggressive or anything like that, it’s just that no matter what you say to him, he doesn’t seem to understand.My mom however, I think is the bigger problem, despite not having abused any alcohol or drugs in her life, she always seems to be some sort of enabler for my dad.She is always aggressive towards him when he’s drunk and tries her best to insult him and ridicule him and never really seems to want to discuss the real issues.Whenever he is sober, they never seem to want to talk to each other, and whenever my dad is slightly drunk and wants to talk, my mom is always dismissive up until the point of an argument.She has always been very critical of me and my mistakes and has often acted, as if she was the only normal person in the family.I have never been personally tempted to drink alcohol despite having numerous occasions and even trying it multiple times, I’m not worried about becoming an alcoholic like my father, I am however concerned about my mom’s toxic behaviour patterns brushing off on me.She always told me I should act like there aren’t any problems in my family around other people, but I’ve realized as I grew up that a lot of her advice was very bad advice and now I don’t any intentions in following any of her advice, if it’s gonna lead to me growing up into someone like her.

    • Hi Daniel, thanks so much for reading and for opening up about your story. My mother can be the same way in regards to being dismissive. I’m sorry that she enables your father’s drunk behavior. It sounds like he turns to alcohol as an outlet because they have a hard to understanding each other. My mother can be a highly critical person and when my father or I make mistakes, she drills us on such small matters that I became afraid of failure growing up. Now I realize just how much of a waste of time it is to live up to robotic standards. I’m glad that you’re not worried about being an alcoholic —it sounds like you have a good head on your shoulders. You seem perceptive of the situation. Growing up, I observed a lot in my household, too. I’ve watched the power struggles between my parents and the way my mother’s aggressive behavior drove my father away. It’s not an easy thing to watch, and it sounds like the both of us have watched our parents’ marriages fall apart.

      I think it’s amazing that you learned not to take your mother’s advice in terms of acting like there aren’t any problems in your family. That’s incredibly toxic, and it’s something my mother does, too. She cares very much about the way she presents herself to the world and often posts so many happy photos either of herself or our family on social media, but it’s not real. She wants perfection, but she’s far from living it, so she holds onto the hollow images of happiness.

      I’m just really glad that you recognize how bad it is to pretend like everything is okay. <3 When I first realized how incredibly toxic my mother is, I felt like things were never going to be okay between us. I'm not so sure they ever will be, to be honest, but you are such a perceptive person, and I wish you the best of luck on everything. If you ever need to talk, I'm here for you. <3 May the new year bring you better days.

  8. Reading this article definitely hit home and it’s pretty accurate. My dad has been an alcoholic for as long as I can remember and has been abusive to my mom and older half sister for even longer. As children we were all terrified of him and his anger and just wanted his love and praise. He always blamed my mom for his behavior when she did nothing wrong besides work all the time because he wouldn’t find a job. He always lied to us and made unfulfilled promises. Regardless, we loved him and believed he still cares about us like he says. My two younger siblings and I have come to the conclusion he says it and makes the little effort he does because he has to. We’re all so quiet and do all that we can to disassociate when we’re home just so he won’t seemingly exist for the time being. We resent him for ruining any chance at leading a normal life, or at least I do. Now none of us have any motivation for anything to do with our future because it’s like we can’t hold onto anything good. I see my siblings holding back and struggle with things most other normal people wouldn’t and it hurts me. But now, we’re not the same scared kids anymore. Whenever he tries to justify his awful behavior, we put him in his place and he just refuses to see those moments as a reflection of his behavior with us. He has stopped being physically abusive but the mental abuse hasn’t. Me and my little brother still have a hard time being normal, productive people of society but my little sister seems to have a chance at being normal to some degree.
    I’m glad articles like these exist to help open the eyes of those who don’t have a clue and help those who are going through this feel less alone. Thank you for writing this

    • Hi JMinnie, thanks so much for reading and for opening up about your story. I’m so sorry to hear about your father’s toxic behavior. I understand that you resent him because he’s made things difficult for you growing up. It sounds like you’ve been through a lot. I’m relieved to hear that your father has stopped being physically abusive, but I’m sorry to hear the mental abuse hasn’t stopped. Is your mother thinking about divorcing him in the future? It sounds like you, your siblings, and your mother are all tied down by his abusive nature and I really hope all of you get out of that harmful environment one day. I can see why you have lost motivation along the way in regards to doing anything with your future, but I hope you don’t allow your father to define what your future means to you, because that’s one way he remains in control. It’s definitely hard to understand what a normal life is when you had to guess what it means growing up. But, you seem extremely perceptive to how his behavior and actions have affected you, your mother, and your siblings. I hope you guys will be able to leave him one day and establish a new life together. I am so sorry about everything, but you are incredibly strong and brave. I will be thinking good thoughts to come your way, and if you ever need to talk, please don’t hesitate to reach out again. <3

  9. My mother was a alcoholic since she was 18. So basically I knew her as my alcoholic mother my whole life. Im 20, drop out of college and I still find it hard to express my feelings to my friends because I always have that feeling that I am being a burden and I try not to be positive anymore because most of my life when people promise me things they never happen. I have a lot more to talk about but to keep it short, I know how its like to grow up with a parent that lost themselves a long time ago, even before you were born.

    • Hi Zane, thanks so much for reading and opening up about your story with us, it means a lot. I’m really sorry about how much your mother’s alcoholism affected you. It’s not easy living with that, but you seem like an incredibly brave person just from the honesty you possess. Expressing feelings is a difficult thing and something that I still struggle with today as well.

      I just want you to know that dropping out of college still provides you with many opportunities. It means you have the freedom to explore what you want to do. In fact, I’ve written an article in the past that school may not be for everyone that you may find helpful here: https://psych2go.net/10-smart-signs-school-may-not/.

      I go through times where I have a hard time with positivity, too. It’s hard seeing the light at the end of the tunnel when you’re shrouded in darkness. But, for all the times I’ve failed to hold onto certain things, I use my energy to hold onto things that still provide meaning in my life. It’s harder on some days to find it, but it’s still there.

      I hope you find something worth holding onto, too. It might not be in people, but it can be a hobby. If you ever need to talk, you can reach me at catherine@psych2go.net. Hang in there. You’re always a lot stronger than you think. ♥

  10. The not understanding what normal families are like is the worst part, and not only not knowing normal family life but not understanding other normal things, like what a normal amount of alcohol consumption is, and not being able to grasp the concept of just occasionally having drinks at parties or just having a glass of wine at night and thats it. I feel like I can’t drink at all because I’m afraid of addiction, especially because it runs very deeply in my family.

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Written by Catherine Huang

Catherine Huang graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a BA in English. She has a penchant for storytelling, ramen, and psychology. Catherine is a writer for Psych2Go and looks forward to reaching out to its growing community, hoping to encourage others to tap into self-examination and confront life's challenges head on with the most difficult questions.

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