Written by Phong Dao
Originally published on MonkMe.com
It is a difficult journey being dependent on alcohol and drugs. This internal battle has many different factors and players that create emotional, spiritual and physical minefields. This creates an unsettling energy often manifesting in a chaotic life. What many people fail to recognize is that there are many more others who are affected by this alcohol abuse.
Loved ones, especially children are also caught in a vicious cycle. By living in this environment, children are extremely sensitive in these early forming years. As research has been recently done to study the affects that these children have, data has shown some clear, interesting trends.
Often times, children of alcohol dependants are more likely to have psychological difficulties, learning disabilities, anxiety, eating disorders, and other compulsive behaviors.
Children growing up in this unstable foundation are trained to think and act in certain ways. They learn coping mechanisms and survival skills to manage a life. Instead of thriving and enjoying life, they use their energy to survive. Some are unattached. Some become the class clown. Other rather bully their way around.
Research developed by Dr. Janet G. Woititz show that children of alcohol dependents:
- are more likely to abuse alcohol or drugs themselves
- more likely to have maladaptive compulsive behaviors
- have unstable notions of normalcy
- have difficulty completing projects
- are compulsive liars
- overly self critical
- have difficulty enjoying life and having fun
- can either be overly responsible or irresponsible
- have difficult with intimacy and relationships
- have the “black sheep” self image
- create a tunnel vision and behavior often leading to misfortunes and guilty behavior
- are constantly seeking affirmation, approval, and identity
Of course these common factors aren’t always the case. Events are introduced into the child’s life. How the child reacts will be how he/she experiences this event. The goal of getting Monk’d is to provide an environment that increases the opportunity to healthy and happy living. Alcohol dependency greatly reduces the odds.
Those children that are succumbed to this environment often bring these maladaptive personalities into their adult lives. Their anxiety reaches higher and higher every day. The nervous cleaning turns into a full blown Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
The child who was forced to be unattached as a child, becomes isolated and withdrawn/numb to life. The child that use humor and play as a self defense mechanism grows to become a man who is irresponsible and flighty in relationships, careers, and discipline.
But this is never hopeless. The first action is to remove the alcohol dependency from the situation. Get sober. Stay sober. Stay healthy and clean. Then allow the child or the adult with previous baggage to explore their psyche and spirits in therapy.
Perhaps a few hours is all that is needed to vent and process. Perhaps years is necessary to make peace with the dark and traumatic moments that are painful to remember.
Truth and honesty with your children is the best route. Know your audience. Speak to them and share what is necessary for them to find their peace. Find balance within, so that you may create balance throughout.
Give us a call or come visit our Addiction Treatment Center In Los Angles California