Ten million alcoholics are in this country (U.S.A.). These people whom are victims to their own self, also (victimize) adversely affect others with whom they associate
Employers, relatives, friends and families of alcoholics suffer from the effects of alcoholism. Many man-hours of work are lost because of absenteeism and inefficiency due to alcoholism. Those who are the closest suffer most of all. The family becomes emotionally ill themselves.
Children of alcoholics seem to have in common a low self-esteem. This is not surprising. Conditions which lead an individual to value himself and to regard himself as a person of worth can be briefly summarized by terms of parental warmth,clearly defined limits, and respectful treatment. There is considerable literature in which it is argued that these conditions are absent or inconsistently present in the alcoholic home.
The alcoholic parents behavior is affected by the chemicals within, non-alcoholic parents behavior is affected by reaction to the alcoholic.
Little emotional energy remains to consistently fulfill the many needs of children who become victims to the family illness. Parents are models whether they want to be or not. It is in the give-and-take of relationships with parents and others that the child finds a sense of security, and self-esteem. A Study with adolescent boys indicates that children develop self-trust, and the ability to deal with adversity if they are treated with respect, well-defined standards of values. Persons with high self-esteem are outgoing, socially successful, and expect to be well received. On the other hand, pupils with low self-esteem are easily discouraged and sometimes depressed. They feel isolated, unloved and unlovable. The authors own research into Self-Esteem in Children of Alcoholics showed that children of alcoholic parents have lower self-esteem.
Adult Children of Alcoholics:
- Guess at what normal behavior is.
- Have difficulty following a project through from beginning to end.
- Lie when it would be just as easy to tell the truth.
- Judge themselves without mercy.
- Have difficulty having fun.
- Take themselves very seriously.
- Have difficulty with intimate relationships.
- Overreact to changes over which they have no control.
- Constantly seek approval and affirmation.
- Usually feel that they are different from other people.
- Are super responsible or super irresponsible.
- Are impulsive. They tend to lock them selves into a course of action without giving serious consideration to alternative behaviors or possible consequences.
We recommend picking up a copy of Adult Children of Alcoholics by Janet Woititz.