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Dealing with an alcoholic parent as an adult

Dealing with an alcoholic parent as an adult

Alcohol can and does have devastating effects on people. And it has even more devastating effects on relationships. When the person who has a problem with alcohol happens to be a parent, this can cause irreversible damage to people. What could have started out as a problem them children need to endure, can and likely will continue to be a problem that hinders the person long into their adulthood.

This is because as you get older, your sense of understanding grows but also brings with it a great deal of conflicting emotions. “How do I justify their behaviour?”, “Why is their problem having such a strong effect on me?”, “How do I stop being influenced by their behaviour?”. These are just some of the questions that you can land up asking yourself on a daily basis.

The fact is, growing up does not mean being freed from an alcoholic parent. You may no longer be subjected to their direct behaviour everyday but their behaviour can and will still have an impact on you no matter the distance.

This is why it is so important that in dealing with something like this, you have to remember to take care of yourself always. Prioritising your health and wellness is essential to maintaining your wellbeing.

Never hesitate to reach out for help and support if things feel like they are getting too tough or just feel like it’s too much to handle.

Linda’s Story:

Linda had grown up very close to her mother and whenever people told her that her mother had a drinking problem, she would shrug it off and get defensive. She would even sometimes buy what she saw as an inconspicuous bottle of something for her mom so that she could please her. As she grew older and eventually moved away from her family home, she never really took notice of the frequency of her mother’s drinking but she began to notice at certain times (when visiting) that her mother would sometimes be off. At first she put it down to bad moods, or stress but eventually she notice there was a pattern. This was not bad moods, it was the effects of hours of binge drinking that eventually could not be hidden.

Her mother would become vicious and say the most atrocious things. She would start fights and when it first started happening, Linda would get into huge arguments with her and then leave when she realised it was not going anywhere.

Things only unravelled further from there. It became like clockwork and Linda realised the only reason she was seeing it like this now was because when she was still at home with her mom, her mom was just using her to get what she wanted. So in her mother’s eyes Linda was protected from the ugliness because without her, she would not have an ‘ally’ nor would she get her alcohol.

But when Linda left, this all changed. And she became the object of her mother’s anger, resentment and any other harsh feeling she happened to be experiencing that day.

When Linda first confronted her mother about the fact that she may have a problem, she was met with conflict and denial and ugliness. It got so bad, she left.

Linda learnt that her mother’s shortcomings were not ones that she needed to burden herself with and that the guilt her mother would always put on her was not hers but her mother who could not deal with her emotion.

Linda began to distance herself from those feelings and started taking care of herself, making sure that she was giving herself enough and her wellbeing was always taken care of.

While she still communicates with her mother, her feelings are not determined by her mother’s reactions and alcohol related words.


To get help on knowing how to deal with an Alcoholic Parent and ways to Protect Yourself and cope with an alcoholic parent check out the second blog post on my website

How to deal with an alcoholic parent and protect yourself from alcohol abuse and parent’s, husband or wife drinking problems.

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Nicola Beer offers addiction counselling services in Dubai across the UAE and online. Individual therapy includes alcohol counselling Dubai, addiction counselling Dubai, addiction hypnotherapy Dubai and online, anger management as well as couples therapy and hypnotherapy Dubai, UAE and online.