Alcohol Problems

Essay by auth3nticCollege, UndergraduateA, February 2006

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Growing up in an alcoholic family is certainly traumatic. In these homes, children experience a daily environment of inconsistency, chaos, fear, abandonment, denial, and real or potential violence. Survival becomes a full-time job. While most of us know that alcoholism is a disease, too few recognize it as a family disease, which may emotionally, spiritually and often physically, affect, not only the alcoholic but each member of the family. Little emotional energy remains to consistently fulfill the many needs of children who become victims of the family illness. For many years, professional psychologists were barely aware of the vast pool of suffering of the family of alcoholics. They concentrated on healing the alcoholic and felt that it solved the problems of the family as well. Today they realize that the whole family suffers this sickness and all must be made well. By looking at what it is like to live in a alcoholic's home, the side effects, and how to cope with the problem there will be evidence to see how the disease negatively affects the children.

Children will record their parent's actions at their worst. When Mom and Dad are most out of control, they are the most threatening to the child's survival. The child's survival alarm registers these behaviours the most deeply creating shame. Any subsequent shame experience, which even vaguely resembles that past trauma, can easily trigger the words and scenes of said trauma. What are then recorded are the new experience and the old. Over time an accumulation of shame scenes are attached together. Each new scene potentates the old, sort of like a snowball rolling down a hill, getting larger and larger as it picks up snow. As the years go on, very little is needed to trigger these collages of shame memories. Shame as...