Different Ways of Coping

Everyone has a different way of coping with difficulties in our lives. Children are no different. In fact, they may be even more haphazard because they do not have as many life experiences to pull from as adults do. There are several ways that children of alcoholics cope with their homelife. Many believe these kids will take on the stereotypical rebel way of acting out. The leather jacket, drinking/smoking, cursing and generally looking for trouble type of person. Certainly it is easy to look at these kids and wonder what their family is like at home. Allow me to enlighten you on just two more types that are not so easily identified as troubled youth. My sister made vigorous strides to become the perfect child. She was in every sport, received straight A’s, and was adored by friends and teachers, alike. She made her perfect world at school while her homelife was in a shambles. Of course, I am not saying that every straight A child has a bad home life. It is just a characteristic and behavior that is not considered to indicate a possible problem at home. I, myself, became withdrawn and painfully shy. I built up a brick wall around myself in order to insulate myself from getting hurt. So much so that I would not dare even cough in class. If I had a tickle in my throat and needed to cough, I would hold my breath. Tears would be streaming down my cheeks, but I would not utter a sound. If I coughed or made a noise, I was terrified that someone would notice me or look at me. At home, being noticed meant you were a target for humiliation and verbal abuse. Isolating myself from almost everyone and everything made me invisible. I was just another child that fell through the cracks. My grades were average and I was quiet. Since I never caused any trouble, I flew under the radar and slipped past any notice. Extreme shyness and withdrawal can also be a cry for help, but is rarely acknowledged. Kids will come up with several different ways to cope with a disfunctional homelife. I have only touched on three different ways. How much do you know about that rebel, perfect student, or shy child?

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Different Ways of Coping

  1. this confirms the fact that we don’t know what goes on behind closed doors.

  2. Jill

    This is so true as well…..Most siblings fight and try to get each other in trouble…..whereas, those of alcoholics I assume do just as my brother and I did, we covered for each other. The abuse given to the guilty party was bad enough to make the other cry……btw, at the age of 29, my brother committed suicide on mothers day……my parents had sworn off “hard” alcohol after that…..it lasted for a few days maybe……I didn’t live at home any longer so was not entirely sure what was going on…….

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