People who grew up with alcoholic parents usually realize at some point that there are certain behaviors and thought patterns that are happening that are different from other adults.
This realization often comes as a result of problems with relationships, particularly romantic partner relationships. You may have struggled with feelings of inadequacy and depression.
You may also struggle with a mental illness like an anxiety disorder or even bipolar disorder. The situations that people grew up in were similar in some ways but with important differences. This is why everyone did not end up with the same disorders.
The important things to talk about here are the things that are similar between adult children of alcoholics and what you can do to help yourself. If you grew up in a house with an alcoholic parent then your normal emotional ans social development was interfered with in some way.
You were exposed to bad communication and you did not get the emotional support you needed. There was not enough validation of you as a person with individual thoughts, ideas, feelings and identity.
When early programming is screwed up you are left with a brain that does not process and function in the best way to serve you. The proper “software” that you needed to function well as an adult was not installed into your brain’s hard drive.
As an adult you now struggle with feeling adequate and asserting your boundaries. You also may have trouble maintaining a sense of identity and your role in relationships.
There are thought patterns that are inflexible and also work against you. Thought patterns are habits, just like anything else can become a habit. They can be re-programmed with NLP and NLP hypnosis.
Black and white thinking is a typical pattern for people that are ACOA’s. This is when you see situations as rigid and being two sided, with no other possibilities. Things have to be one way or the other and your brain is trapped into this box that you were taught is real.
Catastrophic thinking is also a typical pattern of thought of ACOA’s. This is when your brain begins with one event and projects into the future a series of consequences that you believe will inevitably follow , ultimately ending in your pain or destruction.
These programs were installed into your brain from early ages and trained into you over time. You were brainwashed into accepting your fate about certain kinds of scenarios.
In order to avoid painful communication, shaming, and other abuse, you had to comply with your alcoholic parent, your codependent parent and other care givers that were revolving around the alcoholic parent.
These coping skills you learned were survival techniques in order for you to stay safe and to feel safe. You endured years of various kinds of emotional / mental abuse.
You were made to focus on needs of the the alcoholic parent.If they were prone to rages, then you were conditioned to always be on alert for anything that would set them off. You had to alter your natural behavior so as not to incur the wrath of the parent.
Your relationship with the non-alcoholic parent was probably not normal either. They may have been a codependent that was catering to the alcoholic and they may also have had other mental disorders or at least emotional problems from living in the situation themselves.
In order to overcome the thought patterns that are working against you now, you need to identify what they are and why they are not serving you.
Your life can improve and you can have more possibilities and options open to you, if you can understand what parts of your thinking are programs that other people installed into you.
Seeing the difference between your own thoughts and feelings as opposed to those that were trained into you, is a step towards being able to be true to yourself and have more possibilities open to you.