The Adult Child

7 Sep
 
After reading the book BRADSHAW ON: THE FAMILY several years ago (& more than once throughout the course of the past decade), what I found to be most amusing is the blurb John wrote about adult children (the offspring of alcoholics & dysfunctional families). If I recall correctly, without having to leaf thru the book sitting here beside me, he says that it takes at least 40 years for an adult child to grow up, and sometimes never. After haved lived in various situations & circumstances related to alcoholic & dysfunctional families, as well as having been born into one, right at the peak of when it was fashionable to always have booze & fancy glasses on the table – just take a look at the old black & white photo albums I found here in my house of various members of my family & the ones from the past several decades of my friends sitting around the kitchen table at various times & locations (which I will probably create a special slideshow about within the next week or so), it’s not hard to see that alcohol appears to be a staple for them. 
 
It’s really funny how a member of the younger generation (in their 20’s – the age when I was already considered to be grown up – when I was married, owned a house & a car, & worked at a full-time job "plus") asked me the other day what "staples" meant when I tried to point out to them how I budget every single month for the main food items & accessories that I need to purchase in this household in order to sustain myself, after the rent & utilities are paid. As I was trying to explain this to them, they kept their mouth shut the whole time while listening to me, with this dozy kinda expression on their face, as if what I’m telling them is being spoken in some kind of foreign language they can’t understand! Reason being, they know nothing about rationing, saving pennies for a rainy day & buying groceries for themselves to cook their own meals.
 
And after having had 3 separate tenants living here already within the past several years, all at around the age of around 20 give or take a few years, it’s evident to me that adult children have never been taught the ropes about budgeting or even giving it a second thought about having any money left over for tomorrow when they’re steady rushing in & out, day in & day out, to frequent take-out establishments like McDonalds & Wendy’s, for example. This is the very same reason why most of these kids (and yes folks, they really are in every sense of the word) are wearing tires around their waists, to put it mildly. I took a glance at one of the small fries packages they brought home one day from McDonald’s & it showed there were 220 calories in this harmless-looking package alone.
 
What I also see is adult children trying to teach their own children, after they themselves have finally been smartening up after many years of squandering & revelling in alcoholic debauchery, and most always, it is to no avail. Whatever they say, usually goes in one ear & out the other.
 
I think I’ve already given you enough of my opinions about Adult Children, based upon my experience & observations, so before I stray any further here from the topic I originally wanted to write about this morning, I’d just like to post a list of common characteristics I found about them from ACA, the Adult Children Anonymous group I’ve been thinking of getting involved in:
 

COMMON CHARACTERISTICS OF ADULT CHILDREN OF DYSFUNCTIONAL FAMILIES

(According to the book written by Dr. Janet Geringer Woititz, called "Adult Children of Alcoholics)

  1. ADULT CHILDREN GUESS AT WHAT NORMAL IS  
  2. ADULT CHILDREN HAVE DIFFICULTY IN FOLLOWING A PROJECT THROUGH  
    FROM BEGINNING TO END
  3. ADULT CHILDREN LIE WHEN IT WOULD BE JUST AS EASY TO TELL THE TRUTH 
  4. ADULT CHILDREN JUDGE THEMSELVES WITHOUT MERCY  
  5. ADULT CHILDREN HAVE DIFFICULTY HAVING FUN  
  6. ADULT CHILDREN TAKE THEMSELVES VERY SERIOUSLY  
  7. ADULT CHILDREN HAVE DIFFICULTY WITH INTIMATE RELATIONSHIPS  
  8. ADULT CHILDREN OVER-REACT TO CHANGES OVER WHICH THEY HAVE NO 
    CONTROL
  9. ADULT CHILDREN CONSTANTLY SEEK APPROVAL AND AFFIRMATION  
  10. ADULT CHILDREN FEEL THAT THEY ARE DIFFERENT FROM OTHER PEOPLE 
  11. ADULT CHILDREN ARE EITHER SUPER RESPONSIBLE OR SUPER  
    IRRESPONSIBLE
  12. ADULT CHILDREN ARE EXTREMELY LOYAL, EVEN IN THE FACE OF EVIDENCE  
    THAT THE LOYALTY IS UNDESERVED
  13. ADULT CHILDREN ARE IMPULSIVE

 

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One Response to “The Adult Child”

  1. Cinderella Story September 7, 2010 at 7:46 pm #

    May I add the common luxury staple of alcohol always seemed to be in all our families\’ & partners\’ meager budgets ~ going back to about a century up until now [from what I\’ve been seeing, now that I think about it for a while].That inner peace group of Ottawa (Canada) sounds like a nice place to be in.

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