Book/Media Recs for a Young Adult Child of an Addict?
October 31, 2019 1:09 AM   Subscribe

My family have relatively recently acquired a young woman whose family of origin has a lot of dysfunction, including on-going mental health and addiction issues. What books or media can you recommend that might resonate? Snowflakes within

She's just aged out of Ala-Teen, and the local ACOA group has an average age about twice her age. She is, however, a big reader, so any ideas for books (particularly fiction, rather than self-help) that might be resonant or helpful would be greatly appreciated. Movies, tv, or anything else that would appeal to a pretty stereotypical 20-ish-year-old would also work.

Bonus points for books that either have realistic, healthy romantic relationships or none at all, as she has the exciting combination of believing she needs to be in a relationship and having not had a lot of healthy models in her life. Anything where finding The Right Boyfriend fixes everything is Right Out.

Thanks!
posted by DebetEsse to Media & Arts (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
The classic in this genre is Codependent No More by Melodie Beatty. Maybe others know of something more recent that is for younger adults. Carolyn Hax Captain Awkward and Scarleteen focus on this demographic and healthy relationships.
posted by childofTethys at 4:11 AM on October 31, 2019


The US TV show The Fosters is about a blended family (focusing on the teenagers in the family). The main characters are two wives with a very healthy relationship, a stepson (and his father, who is a sometimes-active alcoholic), adopted kids, foster kids, those kids’ biological parents (some of whom are also addicts), and there’s also a focus on the kids’ friends. Some of the characters definitely have the “I need a relationship” thing going on, and it’s explored as a response to addiction/codependency (in a very gentle and humane way).

It’s a teen drama, but it’s not immature or all that soapy and I watched and enjoyed it as an adult. Very sweet and well done show. It ended last year, I believe. It aired on ABC Family.
posted by rue72 at 4:41 AM on October 31, 2019


Twelve Steps to Normal is about a kid whose father is in rehab for alcohol and his subsequent release/her homecoming.

The Art of Losing is about a girl whose ex-boyfriend and another friend are struggling with alcohol addiction.

Both fiction.
posted by lyssabee at 6:22 AM on October 31, 2019


Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell.
posted by Lawn Beaver at 6:59 AM on October 31, 2019


Mona Simpson's Anywhere But Here. I don't think the parent is an addict, but she has mental health issues and is generally extremely unreliable and unstable.
posted by praemunire at 11:50 AM on October 31, 2019


@lyssabee The Art of Losing looks like it may ping some problematic things for her with the Raf storyline. Can you comment?
posted by DebetEsse at 2:47 PM on October 31, 2019 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure if it's entirely what you're looking for, but A. J. Albany's Low Down might be of interest. It's a series of autobiographical vignettes instead of a story. I think there's a bit of a relationship, but it's not a significant part of the book. There are also some quite brief but traumatic sexual encounters, in case that's a concern.
posted by eotvos at 3:31 PM on November 1, 2019


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