Children of Alcoholics

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This paper aims toward the children that have been neglected and abused by an alcoholic. Identification of these children is difficult for several reasons, the child being embarrassed, being ignorant to the fact alcoholism is a disease, denial, and simply not wanting anyone to know about it. Whether it is the mother or father there is no question that there are large numbers of children that have been severely affected by living in an alcoholic’s home. During the last decade there has been more and more research done on alcohol in society. Historically the number one most abused drug is alcohol. The most popular interest has been with alcoholism, alcohol abuse and alcoholics. Less attention has been given to the family and more specifically to the children living in an alcoholic’s home. The devastating damage that alcohol can do is fatal. Alcohol effects each family member even if the alcoholic himself ultimately reforms himself, the family that was so greatly affected may never recover from the problems inflicted upon him or her. According to Stanley Coppersmith and Morris Rosenberg (Authors of Children of Alcoholics 2007, cc) the effects are irreversible and sometimes the child never recovers to live a happy and healthy life. The chemicals within affect the alcoholic’s behavior, the non-alcoholic parent’s behavior is affected by reactions to the alcoholic and little or no emotion remains for the many needs of the children who fall victims to this family illness. I myself am a survivor of living in an alcohol environment. I have to say that everyday was a challenge for not only me but for my siblings as well. We are always asking ourselves this one question: What is wrong with us? Well I can say that we as children seen such frightening things my father did to our mother it was unheard of talking about it to anyone. Living with my father there were so many up and down days it was hard to establish any kind of routine. One minute would be fine and the next would be chaos to the extent of running to my grandmothers’ house or calling the police. I often found myself trying to avoid being around my father because I felt anything me or my siblings did would trigger a very violent dad to this day I’m still very much afraid of. I am the oldest of four and feel as though I was responsible for the safety of my siblings to this day. The feeling of insecurity and fearfulness has lead to a lot of self-doubt and guilt knowing I really could not do anything as a child. I have set to this day and watched my mother make excuses for my dad that has brought on hate and emptiness feelings that is never going to go away. Unfortunately my brothers have fell victims to this disease and it is hard watching them throw there lives away as my father has done with his life. As an adult, I have divorced myself from this situation but there is always lack of satisfaction and stability in my life and I have finally concluded that life is hard enough and that you cannot please everyone. Sometimes you need to live in the present and not in the past. I still need some closure, but how to get it I do not know. I still bury my feelings and the hard to trust attitude but with the proper education and counseling, it gets easier everyday. I cannot imagine the thousands of other children out there today living with this burden of an alcoholic family member being directly in there childhood. I know one day that I will be able to help a few of these kids and probably answer some of the same questions for them that I have asked myself for so many years. Why me? What have I done now? Why does he hate me? Even as an adult many things from my childhood contributes to asking myself what is normal? My parents did not provide us with any structure or consistency; we grew up physically but not emotionally or psychologically, I am still stuck back in my early childhood. I never learned a "normal" way of thinking, feeling or reacting. Doing this paper has really helped...
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