A third core issue is avoidance of feelings. In the alcoholic family, the child’s expression of feelings is typically met with censure, disapproval, anger, and rejection.
Often the child is told explicitly, “Don’t you dare say that to me; don’t even think it,” or “Don’t upset your mother. You have to be more understanding.” In other words, children of alcoholics are taught very early that it is necessary to hide their feelings. Hiding their feelings leads to not even have any feelings as they master the art of repressing, denying, or minimizing them.
I relate to the avoidance core issue very well. I have avoided conflict and anything I deem hard like the plague all of my life. And it has stunted by emotional growth. Thankfully, I’m learning to face my fears more every day.
Hi, I’m Liz Hawkins, and I’m a recovering Adult Child of an Alcoholic.
There is a poster that depicts a huge polar bear lying flat on the ice. The caption reads: “When I get the feeling to do something, I lie down until the feeling goes away”. This is the sign of the resigned procrastinator: broken by frustration, unable to catch up, chained by depression and sustained by the simple apathetic response, “I don’t care anymore”.
Well, I cannot say I’m that bad but my procrastination really gets on my nerves sometime. I find myself having arguments with myself, saying “you know you need to do this or that” or “if you don’t get started now you’re not going to be able to finish on time.” It’s maddening. I know procrastination must be an ACOA trait because it seems to go hand in hand with my propensity to avoid situations that I find uncomfortable or tasks the dread undertaking.
When I do prod myself to work on whatever job I’d been putting off, I find that it’s so easy for me to get distracted. I can be researching something on the Internet for a school or work project then find myself checking my Facebook page. During my continued research in ACOA characteristics, I learned that in fear-motivated procrastination, you have to try to identify the fear. Both the fear and the sources of that fear must be confronted before the behaviors expressed by procrastination can be addressed. I’m trying to get to the source of my fear so I can start dealing with my problems head on and quit procrastinating. It’s not been easy but one day at a time.
Hi, I’m Liz Hawkins and I’m a recovering Adult Child of an Alcoholic.
Modified re-post from www.myacoalife.blogspot.com 11-19-2015
Children of alcoholics tend to strive for perfection in an effort to avoid criticism. Growing up with an alcoholic father and ACOA mother, I endured criticism on a daily basis. It seemed like I could do nothing right. Or if I did do well an added ‘you could have done better’ almost always followed.
This set me on a treadmill, of sorts, of always having to prove my worth by achieving more and more. But my achievements weren’t satisfying. Perfectionism and low self-esteem forced me to set my goals higher and continue to try to prove myself. Unfortunately this is all quite exhausting and many times I found myself crashing and burning out both physically and emotionally.
I am now learning to love and accept myself for who I am; not trying to prove my self-worth to others. It is proving to be a very important step toward healing and happiness.
Hi, I’m Liz Hawkins and I’m a recovery Adult Child of an Alcoholic.