The Survival Traits of an Adult Child

What exactly is an adult child? Is he a miniaturized adult who somehow never crossed the border from childhood? Was his maturity and development somehow stunted? Does he behave differently? What could have caused all of this to begin with?

“The term ‘adult child’ is used to describe adults who grew up in alcoholic or dysfunctional homes and who exhibit identifiable traits that reveal past abuse or neglect,” according to the “Adult Children of Alcoholics” textbook (World Service Organization, 2006, p. xiii).

“(It) means that we respond to adult interactions with the fear and self-doubt learned as children,” it continues (p. 3). “The undercurrent of hidden fear can sabotage our choices and relationships. We can appear outwardly confident while living with a constant question of our worth.”


Numerous early-life circumstances, combining in complicated ways, produce the adult child syndrome.

Adult children chronologically age, for instance, but their emotional, psychological and neurological development is arrested.

They lived in unstable, unpredictable homes-of-origin, sometimes in danger of the very parents who download pussy888 were supposed to be there to protect and nurture them, during very uneven power plays.

Their parents were not emotionally available and were thus unable to provide the needed and nourishing warmth, validation, praise, and love.

They were sometimes abandoned in ways that transcended the traditionally physical ones.

Unease and tension habitually hung in the air of their homes. So thick was it, that you could almost have cut it with a knife.

The disease of alcoholism or dysfunction, perpetuated from one generation to the other, ensured family member denial, along with the unspoken rules of “don’t’ talk, don’t’ trust, and don’t feel”-in other words, everyone agreed not to see and not to challenge what was apparent on deeper levels of consciousness.

Any detriment or abuse the adult children were subjected to was justified because of their own inadequacy, flaws, and unloveabiity.

They were forced to live in survival modes, hypervigilant for shame, blame, or attack, and often did not get their needs met by parents who were unable to do so.

Parental bonds were often tenuous or altogether broken, since children cannot connect with their caregivers when they are shattered or deficient.

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