Alcoholism does not discriminate, it can happen to anyone. It's called a family disease as the whole family are affected and suffer.
It can bring the family to breaking point, by impacting the stability, mental health, finances and also the family dynamics.
As a child of a parent who has/had an alcohol dependent parent it can have life long affects.
Feelings of being different from others
Feelings of guilt and helplessness
Fear of rejection
Loyalty even when not deserved
It does not just affect home life but a child's school life because of the chaotic lifestyle. Children are often emotionally/physically neglected, not able to concentrate at school and friendships are affected or hard to form. Anxiety is high, not knowing what to expect and what mood they may be in. Children often believe they are to blame for their parents drinking and this can be reinforced with statements Such as " is it any wonder I drink with the stress of this family!" With the deep rooted irrational belief that they are responsible and feel guilty for not stopping the drinking or saving the parent. Unfortunately for the child it does not stop when leaving home or if the parent dies.
The thoughts and feelings of the child are confusing and upsetting whether it's past or present. Counselling can help by examining the difficult and painful childhoods, erasing denial and looking at behaviours that may still be present ie. Playing the role of rescuer as often children of an alcohol dependent parent do. More importantly counselling can provide a safe place to be heard.
"Drinking can be an escape for them, but it's not for us, every day was a struggle, there are too many traumatic memories, the knot in my stomach was constantly felt"
Quote from Anonymous Young Woman who grew up with an alcoholic parent.