Acoa and dating later in life
This post describes what it’s like to grow up in an alcoholic family.As the years go on, the baby raised in a stressful, inconsistent home environment develops a battle-ready Fight or Flight response, does not develop the natural ability to trust, and thrives on chaos simply because it’s so familiar.We don’t handle that well, because we have no learned respect for authority figures, because we’re stubborn, insecure, and we seek approval constantly(well, depending on our level of self-improvement, that is!) No matter what you do, we’re probably going to interpret what you say as if you’re (a) criticizing us and/or (b) telling us what to do.But us–we always played with one eye watching the horizon.
Trust is Difficult for Us This is one of those “it’s not you, it’s me” deals. That’s not because you’re not trustworthy, by the way (though if your self-esteem is low, you may make the mistake of thinking our trust issues are about you).Just like anyone (adult child, or not), if someone has issues that are unresolved, the relationship will be used, in some fashion, to process the issues.That will often result in a short-lived relationship, but not always.Don’t ever think you’re “wasting time” in a relationship–relationships are never wasted time, not if you’re actively attempting to enjoy your moments with another person.) Here are some things that I think make us great in spite of our chaotic childhoods. This makes us great listeners and really compassionate people.
We Have a Soft Core, But a Steel Wrapper We are extremely sensitive people and we are very sensitive to other people–all people, including strangers. The problem is, we often forget to honor our own feelings because we make the mistake of prioritizing the feelings of others first way too often.I consider an “adult child” someone who was raised by child-like parents, insecure, needy, narcissistic parents; parents who were unable to assist their children in forming their own, independent sense of self during childhood.Rather than nurturing their child’s sense of self, these parents used their child to attempt to uplift their own vulnerable ego. Ideally, every baby born into this world is surrounded by unselfish, patient love and nurturing from at least one or two parents.When the child’s parent is alcoholic and self-centered, the child never gets help processing their own thoughts, feelings, and experiences–so they learn to ignore themselves and focus on the needs of others instead, as they were trained to do.