Alcohol Affected Family

survivor

I still remember Northwest flight 255 that crashed over Detroit.
There was only one survivor…six year old Cecelia Cichan-Lumpkin.
You might have thought she would be overwhelmed by the loss of both of her parents.
She was raised by her aunt and uncle and only spoke out a few years ago about the incident.

Here are her words:

Hi everyone. I just wanted to give a quick update. I am doing great. I know the anniversary is coming up soon, and that is a sad time for us all. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you … families and friends of the passengers of flight 255 … even those of you who are concerned but have no direct connection to the crash. Thanks to everyone who keeps me in their prayers as well! God Bless!”
Sources: http://news.lalate.com/2009/06/30/cecelia-cichan-northwest-flight-255/

There’s something to be said about resilience and adjustment.

The reason I want you to think about this incident is two fold.

First, traumatic events happen often without good explanation.

Second, the nurturing of family can overcome most traumatic events.

There’s no doubt some survivors guilt present with Cecilia, but her caring for others suggests she’s not preoccupied by her own issues.

How then does this relate to you and your alcoholic.

Let’s agree on one thing.

Living in and around an alcoholic is very traumatic.

Living with an alcoholic

Poor judgment leads to all kinds of distortions.
This surreal family life becomes the backdrop for what each individual must adapt to for survival.

In Cecilia’s situation she was nurtured.

Maybe in your life you had a non-alcoholic in the family who provided nurturing.

If far too many homes the alcoholic consumes all of the attention.

Nurturing the the alcoholic becomes enabling and attention needed by children is far to often missing.

I’ve known people raised in alcoholic homes who resolved to NEVER marry someone like the one in their home.

This is a fine resolve but the harsh reality is more often than not they marry someone very similar to that alcoholic.

It’s almost as though it was scripted and they auditioned for the part.

Wouldn’t it be great if the only necessary ingredient to a wonderful life was a resolution not to get involved with an alcoholic?

You see it’s not just the trauma of every day life with an alcoholic, it’s as much the lack of sufficient nurturing through the years.

Nurture

I’m sure in your own life you may see times when your alcoholic(s) may have consumed all of the attention and you were left to fend for yourself.

An example: Most children especially during adolescent years need to have positive experiences with peers.

In an alcoholic home there may be no peer interaction because of the secrets of the alcoholism in the home.

There may be no opportunity to be a child because adult responsibilities are thrust upon children by the high stress situation.

There are very often issues of sexual trauma as a result of poor judgment of the alcoholic.

These traumas may not go away simply because someone nurtures them.

There may need to be therapy and soul searching to get through some of the issues.

Self Care

One of the reasons FreeMyAddict recommends coaching is to develop a sense of self care.

You need to be able to provide the nurturing you may have needed throughout your life but didn’t receive.

Learn to be kind and compassionate to yourself regardless of the circumstances.

When you take the time to know what you need and then put energy into it to make sure your needs are fulfilled, it will go a long way to make things better in your life.

It’s obvious by Cecilia’s words she’s been nurtured.

I’m sure there’ll be bumps in the road into adulthood but I suspect she’ll do quite well as not only a survivor but a compassionate person to herself and others.

In what ways have you felt nurtured? Let us know in the comment section below.




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Here’s What 14 Other People Thought...

  1. Kat

    I would have to say at this point I have been mostly nurtured by God almighty himself , when i was in tears he came to me when i needed him, when i was about to drive away and give up he pulled on me to go back , its is not just love , it is God telling us we can do this , and i would also have to say there has been many emotions rod has come to me and relaid to me his weakness and how he loves me for staying with him putting up with him, this is why i stay

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      How rewarding is personal faith. Even with faith it doesn’t always take away the emotional pain of every day living with your alcoholic. Faith does help sustain you through it.

      • Kat

        AMEN!

      • FreeMyAddict Team

        Thanks

  2. Ross

    I was a loner child, middle child, plenty of alcoholics and drinkers in our home at times.I was taken care of as far as food and shelter and i suppose my mother and father did the best they knew how.I was neglected and felt rejected.I guess that set me up to be picked on in school and later married my alcoholic husband.I have felt so rejected.I am trying to rebuild my life.

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      Rejection in the earlier years can have a tremendous influence on how you look at life. I’m sure your commitment to rebuild your life will make a difference for you. The secret? Don’t quit pursuing your life goals.

  3. Michelle

    I needed this article too. I was actually going to put in a request for it. The advice you’re giving is SO necessary. Children touch everybody. They are the center of their parent’s lives. When you’re worried you aren’t doing the best for them it hurts every part of you. The emphasis you put on Nurturing is amazing advice. I will look toward what I can do, all the positive things my son has in his life and continue to be the mother I want to be. The stress always comes from having to be both parents- financially, socially- I tend to loose myself in my work load.
    Like you mentioned my son is at the age where he CRAVES his father. He is looking for a male role model. More then a teacher or a friend, someone who he knows loves him- someone who is his own. I wish for that for him. And I hope his father gets sober before he kills himself. I’ve got a heavy heart, no matter how hard I try to stay positive. :(… But my son is loved, no doubt about that. He is loved, and that’s a start. I’m just not the best at discipline….
    really have to work on that.
    I did take your advice and had an open, honest but kid-friendly conversation about what his father is going through. I STRESSED that this was a disease and that his father couldn’t decide to just get rid of it. I forewarned him that if his father acts strange or even angry to not take it personally- it’s not about him, it’s that his dad is angry at himself. I stressed the dangers of drugs– even though they start out looking like fun. And I made sure to let him know that because this disease runs in his family he has to be aware that HIS risks, if he ever decides to use, are increased. I can’t control what he does behind my back but I can control the person he develops into. I’ll use my influence where I can. And I’ll talk to him frequently. I’ve always found that to be really easy and enjoyable any way.
    Thank you once again for this continued support.

    Michelle

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      Although I wouldn’t blame parents directly for the decisions of their children I would say most every adult I’ve worked with would say their decisions have been shaped and influenced by their family life through childhood. The critical point here is to decide where you want your life to go and make the choices necessary to take you there.
      It might look like this. Imagine the life where you’d be contented. What specifically would it look like? What would you have to do to get there>? Break it down in to smaller steps and work on each one until you accomplish it. Then you will find yourself where you want to be…Contented.
      Sounds simple but it’s a lot of hard work.

      • Michelle

        Cecelia was loved. That’s what made the difference in her life. Even after the trauma of loosing her parents she was surrounded by people who reenforced the idea she WAS VALUABLE every day of her life. Do you realize how much that is worth? The worst thing to deprive a child of isn’t food, shelter or even opportunities, it’s LOVE! Telling them, SHOWING THEM every day that they matter to you, that they have INTRINSIC VALUE. That way, no matter what the circumstances or challenges they face, they’ll know they are worth their own effort. In other words, you TEACH your child self-esteem by treating them right. Me I was raised to believe I was a burden, to believe I was a mistake and to understand that the only way I had any value was if I was giving something to somebody else.
        What I want for my son: Is for him to NEVER doubt his self-worth.
        What I want for myself: to have the strength to surround myself with individuals that reenforce the idea that I have INTRINSIC VALUE. That I’m “worth it”. Because I was raised with out it I will always need help manufacturing it.
        I want my son’s self-esteem factory to be fully functional. I know that because his father is using doesn’t mean he doesn’t love our son or that he isn’t capable of showing it. I just wanted our son to know that his father’s issues (and absence) wasn’t about or because of him.

      • FreeMyAddict Team

        Absolutely! When children are very young they think everything that happens is about them. When they get into adolescence they KNOW it’s all about them. The task of effective parenting is to teach our children to know how to care about OTHERS and the care about THEMSELVES. Our kids are so resilient and when they are given even the smallest encouragement to go on they do remarkable things with it.

  4. Michelle

    That was beautifully put. You should write a parenting blog….

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      Thanks for the compliment.

  5. Ross

    Is it common for people to cheat on someone they’supposedly’ love when they fall off the wagon?

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      Alcohol inhibits a persons judgment. This means often poor choices are more common than not. It’s not okay and there needs to be consequences for infidelity regardless of on or off the wagon. You deserve fidelity.

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