May 3rd, 2013


"Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACOA): The 13 Characteristics"

Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACOA): The 13 Characteristics - Yahoo! Voices -

Also true for Adult Children of Otherwise Abusive/Dysfunctional/Mentally Ill Families/Parents (e.g. me).

Especially, in my case:

8. Adult children of alcoholics overreact to changes over which they have no control.

The child of an alcoholic/addict lacks control over their lives much of the time. They cannot control when their parent is drunk, or that the parent is an addict to begin with. S/he cannot always predict what will happen from one day to the next, and this is very anxiety producing. A child needs to feel safe. Because of this lack of control as a child, the adult child of an alcoholic/addict craves control. They need to know what is going to happen, how it is going to happen, and when.

Of course, this control and predictability is not always possible. If plans are changed, or somebody does something that the ACOA doesn't like or feel comfortable with, all the insecurity of their childhood may come back to them, and the adult child may over-react, leaving the other party stunned or confused.