We Judge Ourselves Harshly And Have A Very Low Sense Of Self-Esteem.
Children who are subjected to constant criticism and told repeatedly that they are “less than” are not able to develop healthy feelings about themselves. Our parents provide us with much of the framework and structure of our early identity. On a daily basis they define us as good, bad, lovable, worthless, helpless or inadequate. Out of this daily litany children develop a sense of who they are and the stuff they are made of.
In an alcoholic household the daily input is generally harsh, punishing and critical. Alcoholic parents verbally abuse their children in a variety of ways; but the result is almost always a child with a painfully low sense of self-esteem. Even the over achieving hero children of an alcoholic household harbor troublesome feelings of not being good enough. Indeed their compliant achievements and heroic efforts are usually an attempt to compensate for the harsh inner voice that constantly challenges their adequacy and capability.
Excerpt from Chapter 4 – The Recovery Process in The Laundry List by Tony A. and Dan F.