Apr 21, 2022


by Lisa A. Romano

abandonment adult children of alcoholics attachment styles codependence in relationships codependency recovery setting healthy boundaries in relationships

Most of us struggle with setting healthy boundaries in relationships and sticking to them, but this is even harder for adult children of alcoholics (ACOAs) and those of us who come from dysfunctional homes. 

Understanding Your Attachment Styles:

So if you are the adult child of an alcoholic/narcissist and grew up with emotional abandonment, then healthy attachment styles will not be recognised by you. It’s sad but true. This also makes it hard to let go and trust other people who are genuinely there for you. 

Again, this is not your fault; your personality has learned survival coping mechanisms that push people away or fawn after them. You may also struggle to say ‘no’ to your own children; you may not be as confident as a mom to say ‘enough is enough’. You may struggle with your son or your daughter for being upset for doing something silly or even setting curfew boundaries that result in the removal of video games etc. 

You won't have the confidence to say, “This is my home, and I’m setting this boundary.”

But in order to be confident with setting the boundaries, you’ve got to face your own abandonment issues head-on. You’ve got to realize that the fear of abandonment can be transferred from mom to child, where you can also come off feeling like a child, being afraid of your own child’s abandonment. We’ve got to be really careful that we don’t transfer our fear of abandonment or the experience of it from our own parents onto our children, spouses or friends. 

Live Confidently and Love Yourself:

This is why I call myself the Breakthrough Life Coach. I want you to break through the subconscious patterns that are keeping you stuck. 

“I don’t want you to repeat the past; I want you to know what it is to 

live confidently and love yourself.”

I want you to also confidently assess your relationships, and if at any point they are pulling you down, you have the right to walk away and say enough is enough. When we heal from the fear of abandonment, we understand the survival coping mechanisms that have been in place such as codependency and pleasing people. With these, you are creating a problem for yourself because the more you are needed by other people, the less you are then able to show up for yourself. 

Codependence in relationships shows up as fawning, people-pleasing, and enabling. Many adult children of alcoholics and adult children of narcissistic parents have grown up FEELING INVISIBLE. Feeling UNSEEN impresses the SUBCONSCIOUS MIND with impressions that the mind assumes as facts. 

If you are codependent in relationships, you must ask yourself, what types of feelings dominated your childhood. 

  • Did you feel unworthy?
  • Did you feel invisible?
  • Did you believe your feelings were stupid, irrelevant and unimportant?

Codependency in Relationships is a Repeat of Subconscious Patterns 

If you struggle with the fear of abandonment, you may be codependent in relationships. Until you address the subconscious patterns responsible for your behaviors, you remain stuck in patterns of codependency. 

One day, you discover you are run down and tired of being the person solving everybody else’s problems, which in turn becomes an even bigger problem for you. You end up resenting everyone and everyday tasks which were once enjoyable. 

Putting yourself last, stuffing your emotions, and developing codependence in relationships have backfired.

The Breakthrough Moment:

We’re so far removed from showing ourselves love through taking care of everybody else that we’ve neglected ourselves, and we’ve taught everybody else to be narcissistic and self-absorbed by only taking care of them, fixing them, helping pay for any situations, constantly worrying about them. 

If this sounds like you, take a moment to ask yourself whether or not you’ve ever experienced feelings of abandonment, unworthiness and feelings of invisibility. 

The good news is that you can break through, you can fix this, and you can work through it. 

If you are ready to embrace the inner child healing journey, I encourage you to check out my program: 21-day journaling adventure. You will get 21 lessons and journaling prompts delivered to your email every single day. 

And if you’re ready to start setting healthy relationship boundaries, check out my 60-page Boundary Building Workshop that comes with a bonus one-hour audio!

“You don’t have to repeat your childhood; you can live an empowered life,” 

I really hope that the products that I create help you break through. I also hope that the tools I’ve created help you heal and work to your benefit.

One final note, I just want to say thank you so much for being here and thank you for sharing my work. Thank you for looking within and believing in yourself. The answer will always be within yourself; I hope this has been helpful. 

You can also check out the rest of my website www.lisaaromano.com for some more resources, as well as my 12-Week Breakthrough Program and Codependency Quiz.

Namaste everybody, thank you and until next time!