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    There are many forms of addiction that people use as coping skills to help them get through their day-to-day lives. Addictions include: work, raging, alcohol, drugs, food, shopping, sex, pornography, even working out can become an addiction. If you have been affected by someone with an addiction, whether it was a parent, husband, wife, child, grandparent, or friend, it can be very painful and confusing. 

    It can feel like no one understands, and with addiction, there is a lot of shame and secrecy. I like to think of it like an iceberg, where most people are only aware of about one-tenth of what is actually going on – the part that they physically see, or that we show. The other parts are under the surface and lie beneath the day-to-day events happening within the family system. This can feel extremely isolating and disorienting. 

    If you grew up with addiction in your household, there are coping skills you may have learned that you find yourself still using today as an adult. Adult Children of Alcoholics and Dysfunctional Families is one term that is used to describe a person raised in a family with addiction or dysfunction. Of course, every family has some dysfunction, but when a parent is emotionally wounding with behaviors that are rejecting, neglectful, enmeshing, shaming, or chronically misattuned, children form attachment wounds that show up in their relationships as an adult. 

    As a child, you do whatever it takes to survive in your family of origin. Your nervous system learned to be on high alert, and you may have gotten a message that you were not good enough for love and attention because our parent(s) were giving their attention and love to the addiction, rather than to you. Most of the time, this is not intentional, but it is unavoidable when any active addiction is present. This developed as a wounded part of yourself that feels unlovable or you may believe that you must be perfect to be loved. You can learn about this belief system and learn a new way to treat yourself and show up in relationships with those around you! 

    Seeking support is a great way to begin to understand how these things have affected you and to start healing. I am here to support that journey.