How Do I Process Growing Up With An Alcoholic?

growing-up-with-addiction

Alcoholism has terrible effects on the person living with it. Alcoholism also has terrible effect on the people living with the person who is living with alcoholism. When someone in the family home is living with alcoholism, everyone is living with an alcoholic, which means they are all living with alcoholism. Alcoholism is called a family disease for this reason. Everyone is affected and to some extent, everyone participates.

Growing up in an alcoholic home is full of uncertainty, insecurity, fear, and doubt. Some alcoholic parents are abusive. While they might not hit their children they may verbally, emotionally, and mentally abuse their children instead. Parents who do become violent with their children after they have gotten drunk reign a certain kind of terror over their children. Every day, children in an alcoholic home wake up with a fear and a hope. They hope that today, maybe today, their parent will choose not to drink. If their parent chooses not to drink they won’t have to be afraid of what happens when their parent does choose to drink. Of course, there is also the fear. The fear is that the parent will drink. All of the abuse, abandonment, neglect, uncertainty, and trauma that comes with a parent drinking every day and is a constant risk for the child.

If you grew up in an alcoholic home you have learned to cope with your experience in a way that works best for you. There’s a chance your old coping behaviors aren’t helping you anymore as the more adult realizations of your childhood experiences settle in. Many adult children of alcoholics find themselves to be alcoholics themselves, addicted to drugs, addicted to work, in unhealthy relationships, or struggling with a form of mental illness. It’s possible you don’t have any of these patterns, but instead  a deep emotional conflict which has remain untouched for many years.

Working with a therapist is an effective way to start sorting out the pieces of your childhood in a safe environment. If you feel that the pressure of your past might be too much to bear, you should consider checking into a treatment program where you will be free to be in your feelings with the love and guidance of a dedicated and knowledgeable staff.


At Lakehouse Recovery Center, we are watching people heal every single day. If you are struggling with alcoholism or addiction, call us today for information on our residential treatment programs, detox, services, intensive outpatient, and aftercare:  877.762.3707