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How Do Adult Children Deal With Feelings?
Simple questions, such as "how do you feel," result in complicated answers when an adult child, who emerges from a dysfunctional, alcoholic, or abusive upbringing, contemplates them. On the emotional level, he may feel little. On the intellectual one, he may not even entirely understand the concept.Feels Good
Indeed, one of the very characteristics of the adult child syndrome explains this deficiency-namely, "we have 'stuffed' our feelings from our traumatic childhoods and have lost the ability to feel or express our feelings because it hurts so much."
So stuffed were they, in fact, that such people soon believed that they no longer existed and often robotically functioned, unable to connect their experiences with the feelings that would otherwise have enhanced them.Feels Good
"An alcoholic home is a violent place," according to the Adult Children of Alcoholics textbook (World Service Organization, 2006, p. 86). "Alcoholism is a violent solution to the problem of pain, and anyone trapped in its lethal embrace is filled with rage and self-hate for choosing this form of denial. Children exposed to such violence come to believe that they are to accept punishment and abuse as a normal part of existence. They identify themselves as objects of hate, not worthy of love, and survive by denying feelings of hopeless despair."
"For many of us," it continues to note (p. 306), "we learned to tune out our true feelings because it was too painful to admit we were neglected, abused, or mistreated in various ways. We locked away events of our lives."
"To survive in the midst of confusion and to have any sense of control, adult children must distance or dissociate from their feelings of pain and fear," it further states (p. 87).Feel Like
Parents write on the slate of who their children are and hence become in life. The reactions to the danger these children are subjected to are understandable, automatic, and survival-oriented, since they had no means to protect themselves from or defend themselves against such exposure, nor did they possess the physical, emotional, psychological, or neurological development to either understand their parents' adverse, sometimes predatory behavior or escape it, other than to flee within by creating an inner child sanctuary in which they tucked themselves during heightened incidents throughout their upbringings.Feel Like
Any help from other, non-offending family members, who were most likely hopelessly caught in the same system and therefore wore sound-suppressing headsets of denial, proved nonexistent, leaving them to sink into the quicksand of despair, feel abandoned, and ultimately isolate, no longer reaching out to others later in life concerning their silent, internal plights.Feel Like
Exacerbating this dilemma is the fact that their detrimental childhoods robbed them of the trust they needed to do so.
Ironically, abuse can be self-denying, since a person cannot identify what he does not believe exists.feeling songs
'Family secrets, ignored feelings, and predictable chaos are part of a dysfunctional family system," according to the ACA textbook (p. 22). "The system allows abuse or unhealthy behaviors to be tolerated at harmful levels. Through repetition, the abuse is considered normal by those in the family. Because the abuse seemed normal or tolerable, the adult child can deny that anything unpleasant (even) happened in childhood."
Repressed feelings can quickly become volatile, each optionless "solution" contributing a little more fuel to their eventual fires, and touching any of them off, whether deliberately or by means of unintended retriggering, creates an unidentifiable, distorted jumble of everything in their pots.feeling songs
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