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.