In Her Shoes: Navigating Adulthood As The Child Of An Alcoholic


By Meghan Duke

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I am the child of an alcoholic” can be a simple statement of fact. It describes a circumstance of a person’s past or family life in the same way that another person might say, “I ran track in high school” or “I’m one of four kids.” But Adult Child of an Alcoholic (ACOA) can be an identifying label as well. It describes not only something about a person’s family or past, but something about themselves. Because alcoholism is a “family illness,” often leading to negative emotional, psychological, and physical effects in those close to an alcoholic.

Adult children of alcoholics (especially men) are at greater risk for developing alcohol dependency than a child without an alcoholic parent. Several studies have found that children of alcoholics report “more anxious and avoidant behavior in romantic relationships and a more fearful style of general adult attachment.” Some research indicates that daughters of alcoholics are more likely to marry alcoholic men.

But no person can be reduced to a statistic. Emily (not her real name) now in her thirties, married, and a mom herself, shares her experience growing up with a mom struggling with alcoholism and her experience now, as an adult child of an alcoholic. Join us, as we take a walk in her shoesclick here to continue reading