1 out of 5 Of Us Is The Adult Child of an Alcoholic--7 Million Children Are Living With an Alcoholic Parent RIGHT NOW!
by Lisa A. Romano
One out of five adults have lived with an alcoholic parent in our lifetimes.
Those are alarming statistics. Here's another one.
A new report shows 7.5 million children under age 18 (10.5 percent of this population) lived with a parent who has experienced an alcohol use disorder in the past year. According to the report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) 6.1 million of these children live with two parents—with either one or both parents experiencing an alcohol use disorder in the past year. (SAMSHA)
I cannot help but think about the consequences these facts create.
We know that one out of five, (and some argue that a closer figure is 1 out of 4) children have lived with an alcoholic parent in their lifetime, then it is time we as a nation address this issue head on in our School Systems.
Children who are being neglected, traumatized and abused at home do not have the mental capacity to focus on learning reading, writing and arithmetic when they are at same time worried about whether or not mommy or daddy is going to beat them when they walk through the front door, or be in a drunken rage.
As a Life Coach who specializes in Adult Child of Alcoholic recovery, I experience daily the lifelong consequences of childhood trauma that is created by being raised by the self absorbed, emotionally, verbally, psychologically and sometimes physically and sexually abusive alcoholic. My clients carry the invisible wounds of childhood trauma. And because of the catastrophic and undeserved pain that is created by being the child of an alcoholic, self worth is often times non existent within their being.
As an Adult Child myself, I empathize with the enormity of the life challenges that become a part of the everyday existence of a wounded and shamed ACoA. Healing however, is possible. I know because I have done it. Undoing what has been done is a process that requires patience, understanding and trust. Without trust in 'something' outside of the Self, it is more than difficult for an ACoA to ask for help--or even accept it when it shows up.
Adult Children include those of us whose grandparents, Aunts and Uncles were alcoholics as well. Because chemical addiction is a dynamic that is earmarked with denial, enabling, fear and shame, it matters not if you were raised in a blatant alcoholic home, or if you were raised in a dry home where alcohol was not visibly abused. In my experience, helping to unravel the dysfunctional belief systems of an Adult Child from a dry home is sometimes more difficult because the abuse they suffered was covert, as there was no 'thing/substance' to point at and identify as the causing agent of their parents core issue.
If you are an Adult Child of an Alcoholic, know that I see YOU. I see YOUR wounds. I know YOUR fears. I feel YOUR pain. You Dear One--are not invisible, not to me and not to those like me who have carried the same cross.
Dear One, it is time to come out of the closet--to step into your truth--and to allow the shame to drop from you--like an old tattered coat. Whatever shame you have carried--know this--it was never yours to begin with.
Namaste Dear Ones...Namaste...