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Dating a child of alcoholics

It might seem like a simple thing, to know how you feel…but it’s not always obvious to us.The same goes for what we want to do today…we need time to sort out what we think you want from us versus what we want for us.Don’t ever think you’re “wasting time” in a relationship–relationships are never wasted time, not if you’re actively attempting to enjoy your moments with another person.) Here are some things that I think make us great in spite of our chaotic childhoods. This makes us great listeners and really compassionate people.We Have a Soft Core, But a Steel Wrapper We are extremely sensitive people and we are very sensitive to other people–all people, including strangers. The problem is, we often forget to honor our own feelings because we make the mistake of prioritizing the feelings of others first way too often.We Appreciate Patience We wish you would be really, really patient with us.As smart as we may be, sometimes, when it comes to emotions, it takes us a while to sort out how we feel.

As the years go on, the baby raised in a stressful, inconsistent home environment develops a battle-ready Fight or Flight response, does not develop the natural ability to trust, and thrives on chaos simply because it’s so familiar.

We had, and many of us still have, a lot more cortisol (the stress chemical) running through our bodies as children than all other kids.

Kids who were raised in consistent environments could relax and enjoy their childhoods because people behaved in predictable ways.

It’s because we grew up in such unstable, inconsistent environments–we were, essentially, trained not to trust.

(Years ago, my father yelled at me, “There is no safety in the world, and no one deserves safety from this world.”) If you were to evaluate us based solely on our upbringing, you’d come to the conclusion that we were raised for battle–to be on-edge and ‘ready’ at all times for chaos to break.


  1. Jun 21, 2016. We were taught to fear it. We were taught to avoid it. Here are five things you need to know about dating the adult child of an alcoholic parent.

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