Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACOA) and Household Responsibilities

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‘’Adult Children of Alcoholics’’


If you were high in a home where one or both parents were alcoholics (or even addicts), you are probably an Adult Child of an Alcoholic (ACOA).  ACOA’s are a collection of individuals who have unique and sometimes dysfunctional ways of living and behaving due to their upbringing.  There are also certain specific family roles ACOA’s may take on when they are growing up.
‘’Adult Children of Alcoholics’’

When you live in a home with an alcoholic or devotee parent, life may feel unpredictable.  You might feel that you walk on eggshells all of the time.  What was okay yesterday may not be okay currently.  ACOA’s may avoid conflict because there was so much in their family of origin.  They may struggle to be in any type of relationship due to the mixed messages they received growing up.  ACOA’s might feel more comfortable in chaos instead of stability.  They often have a lot of shame and bad self-worth.             ‘’Adult Children of Alcoholics’’



The following are certain family roles you may take on as a child of an alcoholic:

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Hero
This child in a people is the “perfect” child.  They may be the oldest, but not continuously.  The Hero child is moral at everything—grades, sports, activities.  They grant to have it all together.  They are serious in nature and very goal-oriented.  Hero children frequently have to grow up faster than most children.  They feel responsible for the parent who has the dependence, as well as their siblings.  They may take on the role of the second or third parent, depending on the family dynamic.


Hero children inside feel inadequate and not decent enough.  They battle perfectionism and disgrace as children and into adulthood.  Hero kids struggle with intimacy as they get older.  It may be hard for them to let their guard down and entirely trust others.  They may also struggle with bad self-worth and self-esteem.
‘’Adult Children of Alcoholics’’

Mascot

The Mascot child is the comedic respite.  The Mascot is occasionally the youngest, but not always.  They have a moral sense of humor and try to keep things light.  They are habitually the class clown.  Their character in the family system is to diffuse stressful and serious situations in the household.  Their humor assistance distract from the alcoholic and their problems.     ‘’Adult Children of Alcoholics’’



Mascot children as adults can fight with fear and anxiety.  They may have known belongings were not okay growing up, but felt crazy because no one acknowledged it.  They may feel insecure and unworthy as adults.  Mascot children might also deny their own feelings, since they were never validated growing up.  Mascot children as adults may be very ignorant and detached of how they feel.

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Lost Child
                                                                      ‘’Adult Children of Alcoholics’’


The Lost child is just overlooked.  Oftentimes they are the middle child, but not continuously.  This child is quiet, a loner, and thoughtful.  They stay to themselves to avoid any conflict within the household system.  They are a good listener and often observe the performance of others.  Lost children often get little to no attention from their parent or their siblings.   ‘’Adult Children of Alcoholics’’



Lost children struggle with sensation forgotten.  They may grow up to have bad self-worth, anxiety, and depression.  They may struggle with consciousness of their own thoughts and feelings.  Since they were overlooked, they may have problems being in relationships of any kind, or feel unworthy of love or affection.  These adults might struggle just to have friendships, let alone any kind of romantic relationship.

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Scapegoat
                                                            ‘’Adult Children of Alcoholics’’


This child is the difficult child, also known as the “trouble maker”.  They are risk-takers, self-governing, and always into something.  They rebel against the household system.  Their difficulties distract the family from the alcoholic’s problems and behaviors.  They might be angry, withdrawn, and Opposition.  They may become pregnant, get into drugs, or fail out of school.  Scapegoats are careful to be the “screw up”.  The family may rally to try to assistance the scapegoat, which continues to take the focus off of the alcoholic parent and onto this child.
‘’Adult Children of Alcoholics’’

Scapegoat children act out because of the dysfunctional family regularity.  The problem is, many people don’t understand that and impartial see a rebellious child.  Scapegoats feel alone, and don’t know where they suitable in the family.  As adults they may continue to make self-destructive choices and fight with intimacy of any kind.  Deep down they have a lot of disgrace and blame themselves for things within the family system.            ‘’Adult Children of Alcoholics’’



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Codependency

If you are in an association of any kind with someone who struggles with alcoholism or addiction, you might be the co-addict (also called codependent).  It’s very common for ACOA’s to battle codependency into adulthood.  When you are trained to accommodate somebody else who is in active addiction, you learn to over-extend yourself to keep peace.  Your own wants, thoughts, wants, and desires get put on the back burner.  This corrupt pattern may continue into friendships and romantic relationships as well.               ‘’Adult Children of Alcoholics’’



Codependency means that you fight to set appropriate boundaries with others, you won’t say no to others, you put others’ wants and needs above your own, and you parrot other’s emotions.  You may scuffle with control and solving other people’s problems that are not yours to solve.

Codependency is so intertwined by ACOA roles.  If you have ever been in a relationship of any sympathetic (partner, friend, child, a parent) with someone who battles addiction, there is a chance you have fallen into some codependent patterns of behavior.

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If you find yourself reading and trust you may be an Adult Child of an Alcoholic (ACOA), please reach out for help!  There are many resources to assistance you process your upbringing and find hope and healing.  One of the finest resources is to attend an ACOA meeting.  You can find a native meeting at the ACOA Website.
   ‘’Adult Children of Alcoholics’’

Written by Christy Fogg, MSW, LCSW


*Christy Fogg, MSW, LCSW is a licensed therapist at Journey to Joy Psychotherapy. Christy likes doing marriage/couples therapy, individual counseling, premarital counseling. She also delivers family counseling, teen and adolescent counseling.


Journey to Joy Counseling helps the Indianapolis area, with Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Zionsville, and Westfield.
‘’Adult Children of Alcoholics’’

Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACOA) and Household Responsibilities



Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACOA) and Household Responsibilities Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACOA) and Household Responsibilities Reviewed by health shop on November 16, 2018 Rating: 5

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