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Adult Children of Alcoholics

I am an adult child of an alcoholic (ACOA), that is I grew up in an alcoholic home.  Since I have been attending Celebrate Recovery for a few months, I have been thinking about characteristics of ACOAs.  Just found the following on Don’t Talk, Don’t Feel, Don’t Trust.

Following is the Laundry List of Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACOA) created by Tony A. Found it here.

These are characteristics we seem to have in common due to being brought up in an alcoholic household.

A. We became isolated and afraid of other people and authority figures.

B. We became approval seekers and lost our own identities in the process.

C. We are frightened by angry people and any personal criticism.

D. We either become alcoholics, marry them, or both, or find another complusive personality such as a workaholic to fill our sick abandonment needs.

E. We live life from the viewpoint of victims and are attracted by that weakness in our love and friendshiprelationships.

F. We have an overdeveloped sense of responsibility and it is eadier for us to be concerned with others rather than ourselves. This enables uus not to look too closely at our own faults.

G. We get guilt feelings when we stand up for ourselves instead of giving in to others.

H. We become addicted to excitement.

I. We confuse love with pity and tend to ‘love’ people who we can ‘pity’ and ‘rescue’.

J. We have stuffed our feelings from our traumatic childhoods and have lost the ability to feel or express our feelings because it hurts so much (denial).

K. We judge ourselves harshsly and have a very low sense of self-esteem.

L. We are dependent personalities who are terrified of abandonment and will do anything to hold onto a relationship in order not to experience painfull abandonment feelings which we received from living with sick people who were never there emotionally for us.

M. Alcoholism is a family disease and we became para-alcoholics and took on the characteristics of the disease even though we did not pick up the drink.

N. Para-alcoholics are reactors rather than actors.

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