family Dysfunction



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

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I bet this is the ONLY place on the internet that you will find this news flash!!

In the last couple of weeks I have had a couple of emails from Carline, Tony A.’s widow and she gave me permission to announce to everyone that she is in the process of getting Tony’s book, The Laundry List, reprinted…  HALLELUJAH!!!

I just checked Amazon.com yesterday and prices for a used copy of Tony’s book range from $30 all the way up to $184 for a USED copy.

Over the years, several have asked me about my progress in finding the copyright holders.  They have also asked if I had any information about Tony’s book being reprinted.  Now I can clearly state, YES, I have been successful in contacting the legitimate copyright holder, Tony’s widow, Carline.  Yes, I have news about the book getting reprinted.

I don’t have any kind of a timeline as to when this might actually hit the marketplace, but I am hoping that Carline will let us know when she has a release date for the reprint.

So, again, YEAH!!!  I am so glad that this is finally going to happen.

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


Memorial Day….    What does that mean???

I had this vague idea, but not being a history buff of any kind, I had to go look it up…  Google is my Friend!  lol

Memorial Day was originally about honoring the soldiers who died during the Civil War to preserve the United States of America.  As time went on and other major wars were fought, Memorial Day Observances were expanded to include ANY American soldier who fought and died for his country.  Who “Gave His All”, is how they said it.  But, what about the soldiers who in many ways “Gave His All” and still managed to come home alive.  The ones they called “shell-shocked”.

Taken from WiseGeek:

[http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-shell-shock.htm]

The term “shell shock” was used during the First World War to describe the acute stress reactions displayed by many soldiers in the battlefield. When unaddressed, short-term combat stress reactions can lead to more prolonged problems, like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The study of combat stress reactions has advanced significantly since the First World War, when soldiers with shell shock were commonly treated as malingerers who were attempting to get out of the fighting.

Several things are signs of shell shock. Most commonly, soldiers seem disoriented and unable to focus. They may also experience a number of autonomic nervous system reactions like shaking, nightmares, twitching, headaches, fatigue, insomnia, dizziness, anxiety, and irritability, among others. The rate of combat stress reactions tends to go up as the rate of injuries and deaths increases. In the trenches of the First World War, the 10% casualty rate was devastating, and rates of combat stress reactions were extremely high.

Sadly, many ACOA’s understand all too well, what it is probably like in a combat zone, only they called it “home”.  Growing up in a dysfunctional home, whether that be with an alcoholic, an addict, an obsessive perfectionist, a rage-aholic, or whatever else made “home” feel like a war zone, many of us get it…

Like the soldiers accused of cowardice, we too were sent back to the front lines every day.  We had no escape either.  Many were told, “just get over it”, or “stop faking it” or any other of an endless stream of remarks designed to diminish what we were feeling, to shut us up, to make us doubt ourselves and our reactions.  ….   Just like the soldiers with shell shock or PTSD.

Thank God for 12 Step Programs!

Just Lexxie, Chatterin’ Again!

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