acoa's Journal

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Adult Children of Alcoholics - ACOA
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All Members , Moderated
Adult Children of Alcoholics: the Solution is to become your own loving parent.

Welcome! I'm glad you found this community.

This is a community for Adult Children of Alcoholics on LiveJournal.com.

Note: No abusive posts will be tolerated in this community. This community is intended to be a safe environment for all to share their thoughts and feelings. It is often very difficult for people to express themselves, especially about such a personal topic. Please respect those who have had the courage to post here.

Additionally, when sharing sensitive details of your story or venting your anger about your situation, please use the lj cut tag along with a warning to your fellow community members about the nature of the post. Free speech is welcome and encouraged here, but please remember that many ACOAs have suffered physical and verbal abuse at the hands of the alcoholics in their lives. Let's give our fellow community members the courtesy of having the option of reading the full details or not. Therefore:

Regarding any post that includes potentially triggering material, such as profanity, violence, death, illness, etc. - please put this behind a cut tag.

Instructions on how to post using a cut tag are in the FAQ section.

Profanity used generally in the description of your story - such as "I told him how shitty that was." or "I hate seeing my father so fucked up all the time." will be allowed, but profanity directed at another community member will result in the post being deleted immediately without warning to the original poster. Other actions may also be taken at the discretion of the community maintainer if the problem persists, such as banning the user from this community or reporting them to LJ abuse. (Added 7 March 2005)

Thank you to all of the excellent members of this community for your cooperation in keeping the discussions polite and on topic.

Maintained by launch_pad as of 1 November, 2002. Also maintained by apel since 2011.

For any questions, please contact the community maintainers at:
launch_pad at livejournal dot com or apel at livejournal dot com

Traits List for Adult Children of Alcoholics

Situations - those states over which we have no control:
We were raised in alcoholic, emotionally abusive households. Consequently, each of us has many issues to resolve. One issue is that we acted as parents to our parents, and took responsibility for our siblings. As a result, we need to explore our sense of never having had a childhood.

Attitudes - reactions to self-perceptions:
1) We judge ourselves harshly
2) We take ourselves seriously and have difficulty having fun
3) We are approval-seekers and fear personal criticism
4) We feel isolated, different from other people
5) We focus on others rather than look honestly at ourselves
6) We are attracted to people who are rarely there emotionally for us
7) We guess at what normal is
8) We live from the viewpoint of victims

Character Traits - defenses developed as a result of having been raised in an alcoholic household:
  1) We are overly responsible
  2) We are frightened by angry people and authority figures
  3) We need intimacy, yet have difficulty with intimate relationships
  4) We fear abandonment
  5) We have an exaggerated need to control
  6) We have strong guilt feelings
  7) We are overly reactive
  8) We are loyal to others even though that loyalty may be undeserved
  9) We stuff our feelings, unable to either feel or express them
10) Our impulsivity leads to anger, self-hate and loss of control
11) We tend to look for immediate rather than deferred gratification
12) We are angry people
13) We find it easier to give in to others than to stand up for ourselves
14) We are addicted to excitement
15) We often confuse love and pity
16) We have a tendancy toward procrastination
17) We have difficulty trusting both ourselves and others
18) We have problems with self-esteem
19) We are anxious people, often dwelling on our past and future fears
20) We have the potential for, and tendency towards, becoming alcoholics and/or marrying them

Recommended Reading

Adult Children of Alcoholics Big Book and Workbook
The Complete ACOA Sourcebook - Janet Geringer Woititz
The Adult Children of Alcoholics Syndrome: From Discovery to Recovery - Wayne Kritsberg
Daily Affirmations: For Adult Children of Alcoholics - Rokelle Lerner
Perfect Daughters - Adult Daughters of Alcoholics - Robert J. Ackerman, Ph.D.
Bradshaw on: The Family: A New Way of Creating Solid-Self Esteem - John Bradshaw
It Will Never Happen to Me: Growing Up With Addiction As Youngsters, Adolescents, Adults - Claudia A. Black

12 Step Meetings

What you can expect at your first 12-step meeting
Adult Children of Alcoholics meetings worldwide
Al-Anon meetings worldwide
Codependents Anonymous meetings worldwide

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