Unhooking from the past

Growing up with an alcoholic parent, I was under the misguided belief that my father’s excessive drinking was somehow my fault.  I thought if I could be the ‘good’ daughter, dare I say even the ‘perfect’ daughter, my father wouldn’t need to drink and all would be well again.  However erroneous this thought process may have seemed, it at least enabled me to survive my dysfunctional upbringing.

My brothers may have felt the opposite, seeing our fathers’ alcoholism for what it was: a destructive, chaotic force taking away any consistency, trust, love, and happiness from what might have been an idyllic childhood.  The concept that their alcoholic parent was indeed sick but playing the best they could with the card they’d been dealt was somewhat helpful.

There is value in ‘going back in’ and recognizing what happened in the past and its continuing effect on our lives today.  We now must try to become our own loving parent and unhook those old erroneous survival techniques we adapted as children and move on.

Hi, I’m Liz Hawkins and I’m a recovering Adult Child of an Alcoholic.

Reference: Hugh Trethowan (2017)

When your mother is ACOA

Bestselling author, speaker, and healer, Lisa Romano wrote an interesting article, which gave me further insight into my mother, who is also an adult child of an alcoholic (ACOA).

She said if your mother was emotionally neglected as a child because of her father’s alcoholism, she may be unaware to the extent of just how disconnected she is to her own self.  When a childhood is lived saturated in fear, survival is often the only thing on a child’s mind.  Because the basic instincts of the child must be on hyper-drive, in order to simply survive, there is little time to mature emotionally, and to connect to the spiritual side of self.

And when she has children of her own, she parents blindly and detached from any notion that she is disconnected emotionally from within at all.  As a result – many times ACOA mothers are unable to form authentic paternal bonds with their children – simply because they are totally clueless as to what they are not giving their them.

The transformational journey on the road of self-awareness is powerful.  Hi, I’m Liz Hawkins and I’m a recovering Adult Child of an Alcoholic.