The idea of codependency got its name only about 40 years ago and at that time was largely used to describe the connection between two parties in a relationship that was centered around alcohol abuse. One person, who was addicted to alcohol, became dependent on someone else to take care of them physically and emotionally. The other person’s life became centered around and dependent on helping the addicted person. The two dependencies compounded each other and led to behaviors that were mutually destructive. Codependency has since evolved to describe any relationship one person has with another that manifests in a dysfunctional helping dynamic.
Growing up in a home where drugs or alcohol are routinely used or abused can lead to a wide variety of problems. A parent with addictive tendencies is unpredictable and rarely emotionally available for his or her children. The addicted parent may disappear for days or weeks on end, and when he or she is around the children, there may be mood swings, rage or episodes of stumbling, falling or sleeping for long periods of time.
One common problem that children of alcoholics and addicts develop is love addiction. If one or more of your parents had a problem with alcoholism or addiction, you may find yourself having one unhealthy relationship after another, and you may not understand why.
The holidays can be one of the best times of year. However, it’s also one of the most stressful times for many people because of everything that’s going on. But there are many things you can do to keep your family stress-free during the holidays. Consider these tips:
Family 1: The Authoritarian Style
In this family, everything is black and white. The father rules with an iron fist and the mother supports him in all ways. The kids learn early on not to argue with their parents, and not to question any rules of the house. Things are done one way and one way only. Anything else results in punishment. Right is right and wrong is wrong. The kids have no input, no bargaining power and no voice. When they enter middle school and start learning about drugs and alcohol from their peers, mom and dad lay down the law: never in our house. The consequences will be dire. When the kids try to ask questions, they are shut down. The word is final: don’t do drugs, ever. Don’t drink, ever. There’s no need to know anything about drugs and alcohol, because drugs and alcohol are not an option. End of discussion.