Alcoholics do not just harm themselves; they also hurt people who they love. Alcoholics tend to become angry and abusive. Children are young and are in the middle of growing up. To grow up around someone who is an alcoholic can have dramatic effects on them that will last with them for a lifetime. They can develop personality traits or fears that they will not be able to recover from.
If you see that some of your habits seem to align with any of the following, do not worry. Recognizing trauma is the first step, and now you can admit to yourself you might need to find help.
Unhealthy Relationship with Angry and Toxic People
A person who lives with an alcoholic as they grow up can develop different types of relationships with angry and toxic people. This is already a serious issue. Most people avoid and do not pursue relationships with people who are unhealthy. However, when someone is abused, they might think that toxic actions are reasonable. It makes them seek out these relationships. In fact, sometimes they might even consider a healthy relationship is fake. They might view toxicity as a form of love and feel insecure when they live in a healthy relationship. Here are some of the relationships a child can develop.
- Seeking Out Toxic Relationships
- A Desire to Fix People
- Scared of Getting Close to Other People
When a child becomes adult, they may start to look for toxic people to date. Children still love and believe their parents love them. When that loves becomes a form of abuse and violence; it becomes the love they seek for as an adult. They look for spouses who are abusive of spouses who try to control everything.
Sometimes people are drawn to people because they have developed a pattern of taking too much responsibility for themselves. When a child grows up with an alcoholic, they either have to take care of the alcoholic or family the alcoholic hurts. This makes taking care of people a habit for the child. Angry and toxic people also have trauma that draws a child of an alcoholic to them. They will try to see their problems and help fix them by themselves. Everyone deserves help, but a lot of times trauma can only be helped medically. No one should take the full burden of saving someone. That is too much work and has serious mental health consequences.
A child of an alcoholic may also become too scared of getting close to people. Abusive people will make them feel safer because the abuse helps them feel there is a distance between them and the person they are in a relationship with.
It is important to note that even if the person thinks they are happy in their relationship, being in a relationship with someone toxic is extremely harmful. In fact, usually, the person thinks they are happy because they think unhappiness is normal. It is not true happiness.
Extreme Anxiety and Fear
When someone whose parents are alcoholics grows up, they will likely live in a lot of anxiety and fear every day. Fear happens because your body is trying to warn you and protect you. If you are living with an alcoholic, there is a good reason to be scared. However, after being scared for a long time, even when the source for that fear is gone your body no longer knows how to turn it off. Living in constant fear is really hard for anyone, but it can be fixed slowly.
People who have lived with alcoholics probably also have heard a lot of irrational screaming and yelling. This might make them jumpy to noise even on the television.
Avoiding All Conflicts
No one is saying that a lot of conflicts is healthy, but they are inevitable. People disagree all the time. When you have a conflict with someone who is drunk, the conversation usually does not get anywhere, and the alcoholic can become scary when they are upset. This is legitimate, and these conflicts are harmful.
The problem happens when someone is so scared of them they try to avoid them. This can spiral out of control. You may start to isolate yourself and stop creating connections with anyone because you know that there is a risk a conflict could happen.