Growing up with parental alchohol misuse

Children who grew up in a family affected by the misuse of Alcohol, drugs or gambling, by either or both parents, are very likely to suffer negative consequences right into adulthood.

They learned to survive and adapt at a very early age, to behaviours that were unpredictable, critical, irresponsible…….sometimes physically abusive, but almost always emotionally abusive. They learned that they must keep secrets, that it wasn’t always safe to speak your mind or display emotion, and they became very aware of how to read the mood swings of others and how best to protect themselves. They learned to ‘tune in’ to the everyday sounds that many of us take for granted…..the sound of the key going into the door……the way the car door was closed or slammed….the sound of footsteps on the stairs……the clink of a glass or the snap of a can being opened………..all in the interest of self-protection! Some had to take on responsibilities way beyond their years, some took on the task of being the peacemaker, some just faded into the background…………

Many adults who survived the trauma of such an upbringing find themselves struggling with life, with mental health issues, emotional issues, that impact on their lives and their relationships. Some seek professional help and discover that they can find recovery and freedom by recognising and acknowledging the power and influence that those childhood experiences had, while sadly, others still carry the secrecy, the stigma and the fear of asking for help. To you, if you are one of those people, I say – don’t be afraid, there is hope and understanding out there for you…..reach out…………you deserve it.

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