Growing up with an addict in the house, whether in ab abusive situation or not, leads to learning a lot of things as a child that are not good for us as adults.
Living with an addict (including alcoholics1) can feel like life in a war zone. The addict’s personality changes caused by addiction create chaos. The family dynamics are organized around the addict, who acts like a little tyrant, denying that drinking or using is a problem, while issuing orders and blaming everyone else. To cope and avoid confrontations with the substance abuser, typically, family members tacitly agree to act as if everything is normal, not make waves, and not mention the substance abuse. Family members deny what they know, feel, and see. This all takes a heavy psychological toll, especially on those most vulnerable, the children. In fact, despite evidence to the contrary, more than half are in denial that they have an addicted parent.
Read more to learn about the effects this can have later in life.