In 2015, I identified as an Adult Child of an Alcoholic (ACOA). Since then, I continued to struggle to shed some of those nasty ACOA habits, like procrastination, anxiety, self-doubt, and self-sabotage.
I once had a dream about snakes. Snakes shed their skin to allow for further growth and to remove parasites that have attached to their old skin. As a snake grows, its skin becomes stretched. The classic dream of the snake is a symbol of transformation.
I’ve come a long way in my growth-transformation but find that I still have a long way to go. I still struggle in some areas and the process of going through my transformation is still uncomfortable. Yet I know I am changing with the help of my higher power, I can do all things.
Hi, I’m Liz Hawkins and I’m a recovering Adult Child of an Alcoholic.
Unreliability – Don’t trust anyone and you will not be disappointed
When you grow up with an alcoholic father, you learn early not to put too much stock into anything his says. Promises are broken on a regular basis – not to be cruel but it’s all about priorities. Given the choice between buying the toy you’d been asking for he decides his money is best spent on a pint of gin and a pack of cigarettes.
The addiction takes precedence in almost all matters in the alcoholic’s life. My father was unable or willing to fight the addiction; therefore, never tried to quit drinking and smoking. As an adult, I justified his action – at least the mortgage was always paid on time and the utilities were never cut off. Looking back, I’d characterize him as a “functioning alcoholic.” And although he lived in the home with his family – he was emotionally unavailable.
After a while, I became emotionally disconnected. I had decided that I would no longer allow my father to disappointment me – so I asked for little and expected even less. I grew up believing that I could only rely on, and trust myself. Unfortunately, my relationships with men and others have been affected. But thankfully, with ACOA awareness I’m learning to trust.