Am I an Adult Child?

The following questions can help you decide if alcoholism or some other form of family dysfunction existed in your home. If your parents didn’t drink your grandparents may have passed on the family dysfunction to your parents. If alcohol or drugs weren’t present your home may have been chaotic, unsafe, or un-nurturing.

These 25 questions offer a glimpse into some of the way’s children are affected by growing up in a dysfunctional home, even years after leaving:

  1. Do you recall anyone drinking or taking drugs or being involved in some other behaviour that you now believe could be dysfunctional?
  2. Did you avoid bringing friends to your home because of drinking or some other dysfunctional behaviour in the home?
  3. Did one of your parents make excuses for the other parent’s drinking or other behaviours?
  4. Did your parents focus on each other so much that they seemed to ignore you?
  5. Did your parents or relatives argue constantly?
  6. Were you drawn into arguments or disagreements and asked to choose sides with one relative against another?
  7. Did you try to protect your brothers or sisters against drinking or other behavior in the family?
  8. As an adult, do you feel immature?  Do you feel like you are a child inside?
  9. As an adult, do you believe you are treated like a child when you interact with your parents?  Are you continuing to live out a childhood role with the parents?
  10. Do you believe that it is your responsibility to take care of your parents’ feelings or worries?  Do other relatives look to you to solve their problems?
  11. Do you fear authority figures and angry people?
  12. Do you constantly seek approval or praise but have difficulty accepting a compliment when one comes your way?
  13. Do you see most forms of criticism as a personal attack?
  14. Do you over-commit yourself and then feel angry when others do not appreciate what you do?
  15. Do you think you are responsible for the way another person feels or behaves?
  16. Do you have difficulty identifying feelings?
  17. Do you focus outside yourself for love or security?
  18. Do you involve yourself in the problems of others?  Do you feel more alive when there is a crisis?
  19. Do you equate sex with intimacy?
  20. Do you confuse love and pity?
  21. Have you found yourself in a relationship with a compulsive or dangerous person and wonder how you got there?
  22. Do you judge yourself without mercy and guess at what is normal?
  23. Do you behave one way in public and another way at home?
  24. Do you think your parents had a problem with drinking or taking drugs?
  25. Do you think you were affected by the drinking or other dysfunctional behaviour of your parents or family?

If you answered “yes” to three or more of these questions, you may be suffering from the effects of growing up in an alcoholic or dysfunctional family.  We welcome you to to attend an ACA meeting in your area to discover more.

The questions above were taken from the leaflet “25 Questions: Am I an Adult Child”. This and more literature can be found at local meetings or on the literature page of this website.

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