We Became Isolated And Afraid Of People And Authority Figures.

For many ACoAs isolation and fear were the most natural, almost spontaneous response to living with angry, abusive, hypercritical parents. Our parents were our first authority figures, and they loomed large over us in an almost God-like manner.

Alcoholism distorts human relationships, and the effects of alcoholism are particularly devastating to young children who naturally seek love, acceptance, respect and consistency. To be verbally or physically abused during the most vulnerable and innocent years can create either a fear of, or hostility toward authority, and a hypersensitivity toward angry, oppressive individuals. Many ACoAs continue to retreat into isolation, avoidance and distrust of people and relationships in order to ensure survival. As adults many ACoAs found that their reactions to authority figures either put them at the feet or at the throat of those they viewed in this way. As one member said, “I either wanted to kiss them or kill them.”
Acquiring a more balanced approach toward those seen as authority figures is sometimes a difficult task. Until we learn to separate out and see that we are reacting in the present in much the same way as we did in our abusive family, we are bound to have troubled relationships. Just watching one’s typical reactions – be it withdrawal, fright or hostility – and modifying this response takes real effort; but it’s an essential step toward recovery. Don’t expect that knowledge alone will miraculously produce a new set of healthy responses. For many it takes painful trial over many months or even years.

Excerpt from Chapter 4 – The Recovery Process in The Laundry List by Tony A. and Dan F.

6 Responses to “Trait 01 – Authority Figures”

  1. vahv Says:

    Can someone please tell me where I can buy this book (Laundry List)? I have seen it on Amazon for an astonishing price and would like to know where I can purchase a more reasonably priced copy. Thanks!


    1. Lexxie Says:

      Tony A.’s book, The Laundry List, has been out of publication for some time now. I have spoken with Tony’s widow and emailed with the publishers and neither of them have any plans of reprinting the book. So the only place that you can get it is through a used copy, either Amazon, or some other place that you can find a used copy. I know people selling a used copy on Amazon are just getting flat out ridiculous about pricing. I just looked and they have 5 copies ranging from approximately $250 – $450. I can’t imagine anyone paying those kind of prices. You have to watch really closely so you can get an idea of how the pricing is running and then make a decision about buying the book.

      I have quoted extensively from the book in this blog. All of the info about the steps and the laundry list are here. I have also posted Tony’s own ACA story on here. I have not seen anyone else in a blog having anything directly from Tony’s book.

      1. vahv Says:

        Thank you. And thank you for putting out as much as you can of the book out there for the rest of us.

  2. Ed Garbarino Says:

    Hi Lexxie. I’m back for more. This is great work. I purchased Tony’s book as well. I’m grateful for the work you are doing here. I will pass this on to otherrs in the program.

  3. Elle Says:

    Thank you so much for this blog. This is a good and necessary work.

  4. Ed Garbarino Says:

    Thank you for this website. I appreciate the work that has made this possible.

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