Sep 01, 2023

3 Reasons Why Adult Children of Alcoholics Carry Shame

by Lisa A. Romano

adult child of alcoholic healing toxic shame shame toxic shame
Adult children from alcoholic, narcissistic, toxic, and or neglectful homes, grow up feeling blanketed in shame. We might wear lipstick, and slap on a pair of red heels like anyone else, and appear to have our crap together, but inside, we are battling dragons 🐉 we work hard at pretending we aren't
Here are three specific ways in which adult children may experience shame:
1. Self-Blame: Adult children of alcoholics often internalize the belief that we are somehow responsible  for our parent's addiction or the consequences it has had on our family. We may blame ourselves for not being able to fix the situation or for not living up to unrealistic expectations placed upon us. This self-blame can lead to a profound sense of shame, as we feel unworthy and flawed.
2. Secrecy and Isolation: Growing up in an alcoholic household often involves keeping family issues hidden from the outside world. Adult children may have been conditioned to maintain a facade of normalcy, leading to a sense of isolation and secrecy. This secrecy can intensify feelings of shame as we believe our experiences are unique and shameful, further reinforcing the idea that we are fundamentally flawed.
3. Invisibility and Neglect: Adult children of alcoholics often feel unseen and unheard within their family dynamic. We may have been neglected emotionally, physically, or psychologically, resulting in a deep sense of invisibility. This neglect can breed shame, as we internalize the belief that our needs and feelings are unimportant, leading to a diminished sense of self-worth.
It is crucial to emphasize that shame is tied to the external world and has nothing to do with an individual's internal worth. Adult children of alcoholics need to understand that our experiences and the shame we feel are not our fault. We deserve compassion, support, and healing to break free from the cycle of shame and reclaim our sense of self.
Dear One, my entire worldview shifted when it hit me...The same divine intelligence that created the stars, moon, earth, planets, and the sky, created me. I was innately worthy and so are you. When I made this sacred reality my focus, I understood it was never me that was wrong, it was only my programming.
You are enough!
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