Tony A. Version of Step 4 as found in his book, The Laundry List

We made a searching and blameless inventory of our parents because, in essence, we had become them.

from page 58 of The Laundry List:

“We examine, in a no-blame manner, the behavior of our parents.  The ACoA’s emotional responses to life are largely a composite of the behavior patterns of our parents.  Growing up in an alcoholic household almost invariably means that we take on both the constructive and the destructive character traits of our parents.  In order for us to forgive and accept ourselves, we need to see clearly who we have become and how much we still react to life as our parents did.  No matter how far behind we may think we’ve left them, they’ve always been with us.

Many ACoA’s have told me that early in life they vowed never to be like their parents, only to wake up many years later to see their behavior patterns and relationships were largely a carbon copy of their parents’.  What confuses many ACoA’s is the misguided belief that because the financial, educational, employment or social structure of their lives is different from that of their parents, then it logically follows that they could not turn out “like their parents.”

As we work on this fourth-step inventory, two important discoveries may occur.  One, we will come to see just how much we do resemble our parents emotionally, even though we may have steered clear of alcohol [and our family problems] when we grew up.  And two, we may see few similarities  in attitudes and behavior but come to understand the pain, fear, confusion and sadness of our parents’ plight.  In this comprehension may be the seed of forgiveness and acceptance. ”

ACA Official Step 4 / Alanon Step 4

Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

3 Responses to “Step 04”

  1. Ed Garbarino Says:

    Thank you so much for the work you are doing. I started going to meetings last July and in September started meetings in Marysville/Yuba City. I found this site and appreciate being able to see Tony A’s view of the steps. We have two meetings a week with 10 to 15 people on the average. I will try to promote what you are doing here because it is so helpful.

  2. anne Says:

    Thank you for an excellent resource. I am so happy that someone rather “beat me to it” in regards to an effective blog on Tony A’s version of ACA.

    I will use your site a lot!

    peace and self acceptance,

    1. Lexxie Says:

      Anne, I am so glad you find it helpful. I intend to add what Tony said in his book about each of the ACA Laundry List items as well. Give me a couple weeks on that though! lol…


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