The way I learned more about why they do certain things was by attending Al-anon meetings and reading literature associate with living with an alcoholic. Living with an active addict can be mind boggling sometimes because the chaos levels go up and down. In my particular situation there were some things that the alcoholic could be trusted with.
Alcoholism or any type of addiction affects everyone in the family in some way. However, it can be useful in getting a general picture of the common dynamics in families dealing with addiction.
Like anything else, please take the aspects of these family roles that apply to you and your family and leave the rest. Individuals and family systems are complex. You may have played more than one role at different times in your life or you may identify with a combination of these traits and coping strategies.
The most important takeaway that I hope to convey is that everyone in an addicted family is impacted by the addiction; everyone adopts coping strategies to deal with the stress of living with an addict and many of these coping strategies have lasting negative effects.
In fact, these family dynamics persist even when the addict gets sober, dies, or leaves the family, and they are passed down generationally through modeling and family dynamics.
Children with an addicted parent often experience a chaotic or unpredictable home life which may include physical and emotional abuse. Children may feel embarrassed and ashamed, lonely, confused, and angry. Some children cope by trying to be perfect and others cope by cracking jokes and getting into trouble.
Family members have to walk on eggshells and quickly learn that the addict dictates the mood for the entire family. Life is about keeping the peace, simply surviving, and trying to keep the family from imploding.
Addiction and the resulting chaos is a tightly held secret in most addicted families. For most, addiction progresses as the quantity and frequency of their drug or alcohol use increases. Drugs and alcohol become the primary way the addict copes with problems and uncomfortable feelings.
Over time, addicts burn bridges and become isolated.
Their lives revolve around alcohol and drugs — getting more, using, and recovering. One can also substitute other forms of addiction or dysfunction sex addiction, gambling, unmanaged mental health problems for drug or alcohol addiction and the dynamics are virtually the same.
The Enabler Caretaker The enabler tries to reduce harm and danger through enabling behaviors such as making excuses or doing things for the addict.
The enabler tries to control things and hold the family together through deep denial and avoidance of problems. The enabler goes to extremes to ensure that family secrets are kept and that the rest of world views them as a happy, well-functioning family. The Hero The hero is an overachiever, perfectionist, and extremely responsible.
This child looks like he has it all together. He tries to bring esteem to the family through achieving and external validation. The Scapegoat The family scapegoat is blamed for all of the family problems.
A scapegoat child acts out and temporarily distracts attention away from the problems of the addict. The Mascot Clown The mascot tries to reduce family stress through humor, goofing around, or getting into trouble. Humor also becomes his defense against feeling pain and fear. The Lost Child The lost child is largely invisible in the family.
He copes by flying under the radar. Getting a clear and honest look at how your family of origin functioned is an important place to begin.
Many adult children of alcoholics or addicts struggle with intimacy and trust in their romantic relationships and have difficulty expressing their feelings and loving themselves.
There are also many excellent self-help books and groups available.Community Sponsors. Winona Resources Other helpful websites to check out. Legacies provides well-trained, supported and energetic staff to people with mental illness, developmental disabilities and related conditions in 1 on 1 group home settings.
The family environment may be characterized by tension, fear, and shame—feelings that may become connected with the child’s sense of self. Developmentally, children of alcoholics are at a disadvantage in childhood.
Young children, for example, believe their thoughts and feelings are all-powerful. rutadeltambor.com (rutadeltambor.com) For family members of alcoholics. Nar-anon (rutadeltambor.com) For family members of addicts.
Gam-anon (rutadeltambor.com) For family members of gamblers.
rutadeltambor.com (rutadeltambor.com) For co-dependent individuals. rutadeltambor.com (rutadeltambor.com) For adult children of alcoholics and addicts.
The effects of parental alcoholism requires a deeper look into the establishment of roles and patterns that these Children of Alcoholics (COAs) generally pick up and live out.
One of the reasons that I am particularly interested in this topic is because I myself am an Adult Child of an Alcoholic (ACOA). “Children of alcoholics are people who have been robbed of their childhood” (Silverstein, , p).
Children of alcoholics, if untreated as children, carry their problems into later life. Adult children of alcoholics (ACOAs) often don’t relate their problems to having . Al-Anon members are people, just like you, who are worried about someone with a drinking problem.