adult children



The Laundry List Kindle Edition    (  <–  click on link to Amazon)

I am so glad to finally be able to share this with everyone!  This is the original book written by Tony A. that began the Adult Children of Alcoholics movement.  This is where you will find the 12 steps that Tony developed.  Tony A.’s life story and how he came to create the ACoA group.  This is available as a Kindle ebook for $9.99.  Please get a copy and enjoy.  Much of the information on this blog was quoted from this book.

Just Lexxie, Chatter’in Again


I am so glad to be able to share this information with everyone.  There is actually an ACA Retreat!  This is the 28th year for the ACA Mingus Mountain Retreat just outside of Prescott, Arizona.  Who Knew!!   We ACA’s are not always the best at tooting our own horns…  lol

The Mingus Mountain Retreat is located just outside of Prescott, Arizona.  The retreat will be held September 6-8th, 2013.

Please go check out all the details for this retreat on the Arizona Intergroup Website.   Everyone have a good time!!

Just Lexxie,
Chatterin’ Again


When I was first finding out about Tony A and ACA and how it all started and who Tony was, I dug and dug around on the internet trying to find his story. What happened in Tony’s life that qualified him to be the fore-father of ACA? I am always looking for the back-story. Sadly, I never found it. Even today as I am writing this, I have not found anywhere on the internet that tells Tony’s story.  So, I decided to put it out there on the internet for anyone who is interested.  I created a page (you can find it up at the top) and have posted Tony A’s story.  I hope everyone finds this as interesting as I did.

Now, on the official ACA World Service Organizations website, at http://www.adultchildren.org/lit/EarlyHistory.s , they do give the history of the starting of the ACA groups.  It talks about how Tony and the Alateens got together and started a group that was separate from anything else they were doing at the time.

Just Lexxie, Chatterin’ Again!


    Many newcomers in ACA report they identify with the characteristics listed in “The Problem” (or “The Laundry List” or “The Characteristics”), but they can find no alcoholism in their family.  There can be many explanations — perhaps the family denial system prevents the newcomer from seeing the disease, or the family addiction has taken another form (drugs, compulsive over-eating, workaholism, violence, gambling, etc.) or there may actually be no aspect of alcoholism in the home.  The fact is, it doesn’t matter!  Our program is not about our parents or whether or not you can identify an alcoholic in your past.  Our program is about us. 

     For the first time in our lives, we are dealing with ourselves — we identify the characteristics in each and every one of us.  With this new focus on “self” and away from the personality, disease or identity of our parents or caretakers, we come to see how our program addresses us as “Adult Children” in the here and now.  We begin to experience a reality that is our own life, independent of the family drama that resulted in acquiring the characteristics that brought us to meetings. 

     In a healthy home, a child is allowed to develop a sense of “self” through the stability of the parents, through exploration and individuation.  The early stage called “The Terrible Twos” is the time when a healthy family allows the child to establish appropriate boundaries.  The child has learned the quality of trust necessary to risk finding their own identity (“I want…”, “Give me…”, “I don’t like…”, etc.) and the meaning of the word “No.” 

     In our homes (for whatever reason) we were not able to experience the stability needed for this vital process. Healthy exploration was distorted by unstable, unstructured lives.  Individuation was not possible. 

     We enter ACA feeling more comfortable talking about other people — what they did, what they said, what they were, etc.  We have had no experience in defining ourselves — what we feel, what we need, what we are.  When we grew up, we became extensions of those around us — learning their fears, behaviors, limitations, and prejudices.  In ACA we find a need to discover ourselves as unique individuals instead of living as extensions of those around us. 

     For many of us, the early stages of this process resulted in a feeling of guilt — as though we are “bad” for betraying the role placed on us by the family system.  There are those among us who froze at this stage of our voyage of Discovery/Recovery, but most of us progress at our speed if we are simply willing to admit those feelings to others.  The rigid and frightened child inside, who has come to view any change as a threat, can be loved, supported and nurtured through the changes necessary to become a healthy adult.

     We can see now that our lives, while sharing history and learned reactions with our family, are separate from our parents or caretakers.  We are not doomed to perpetuate the patterns we found necessary to our survival as children.

     Any Adult Child, through guidance of our loving Higher Power, can heal, accept the past and grow through the clear and consistent direction provided by the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.  Whether from the most violent alcoholic background or from the illusion of serenity in other dysfunctional homes, every Adult Child can begin progressing through the process of Recovery and the Discovery of “self”.

                              Joe D., Kelly M., Christian C., and Charlie Ann P.   1987


I just added a new page to this blog.  It is titled ACA’s and Workplace.  It is a laundry list from the Red Book, pages 417-19, outlining some of the common problems that ACA’s have in the Workplace.  Just another way of identifying some of the problems that we bump up against on a daily basis because of the simple fact of having grown up in an alcoholic or otherwise dysfunctional home.

If it is something that you can relate to, leave a comment.

Lexxie


NOTES ON ABUSE – EFFECTS OF ABUSE
1. Low or no self-esteem
2. Often feels responsible and blames self
3. Inability to trust self and others (may trust, but trusts wrong people)
4. Sense of worthlessness
5. Isolation
6. Sense of being helpless
7. Strong denial system
8. Low or no body awareness
9. Numb the pain with drinking, drugging, sexing, eating, etc.
10. Physical and medical symptoms – may be a lot of body complaints
11. Prostitution
12. Suicide – taking anger out on self
13. Sense of emptiness
14. Loss of playfulness and spontaneity
15. Many become abusive

“PROTECTIVE” DEFENSES USED TO DEAL WITH ABUSE
These defenses interfere with developing relationships on an adult level.
1. Silence
2. Denial – may be believing it’s not happening
3. Dissociation – “becoming the spot on the ceiling”
4. Numb feelings
5. Change feelings – from anger to ______________
6. Change meaning of abuse – child may be told, “This is good for you”, so child may think “Doesn’t
this happen to all kids?”
7. Isolation – stay away from home, etc.

RECOVERY FROM ABUSE
1. Share your story – you don’t need to deal with pain alone
2. Believe your story – you have a tendency to discount
3. Establish perpetrator responsibility – recognize it isn’t about you
4. Address the addictions used to numb the pain
5. Realize you can deal with the pain without mood altering substances
6. Learn to recognize, then accept, and then communicate feelings
7. Learn to nurture yourself
8. Build self-esteem and positive body image (affirmations)
9. Deal with family of origin – break the code of secrecy – by writing and talking with other people
10. Learn to be playful
11. Learn that now you do have a chance to live, you do have choices – YOU NEED NOT BE A
VICTIM
12. Take back your power – act responsibly, set boundaries that feel comfortable, control sexual
behavior – you can control who enters your life
13. Remind yourself of your strengths
14. Learn you can say “No”
15. Learn to give and receive criticism
16. Stop abusing others

Taken from the ACA WSO website


Just a note to let everyone know that I finally got the Laundry List expanded.  In Tony A’s book The Laundry List, he explains each of the ACoA characteristics.  I have created a page for each characteristic, like I did with the steps, and added Tony’s explanations of the Laundry List.  At the moment they are a bit out of order but I hope to get that fixed pretty soon.  Tony had some interesting things to say about each of these characteristics, I hope you find this information helpful.

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