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Old 07-05-2016, 08:57 AM   #1 (permalink)
LOVE > FEAR
 
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My First Meeting





THE CHARACTERISTICS OF ADULT CHILDREN

Quote:
1. Adult children guess at what normal behavior is.

2. Adult children have difficulty following a project through from beginning to end.

3. Adult children lie when it would be just as easy to tell the truth.

4. Adult children judge themselves without mercy.

5. Adult children have difficulty having fun.

6. Adult children take themselves very seriously.

7. Adult children have difficulty with intimate relationships.

8. Adult children overreact to changes over which they have no control.

9. Adult children constantly seek approval and affirmation.

10. Adult children usually feel that they are different from other people.

11. Adult children are super responsible or super irresponsible.

12. Adult children are extremely loyal, even in the face of evidence that the loyalty is undeserved.

13. Adult children are impulsive. They tend to lock themselves into a course of action without giving serious consideration to alternative behaviors or possible consequences. This impulsively leads to confusion, self-loathing and loss of control over their environment. In addition, they spend an excessive amount of energy cleaning up the mess.

The Laundry List

Quote:
a. We became isolated and afraid of people and authority figures.

b. We became approval seekers and lost our identity 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 compulsive personality such as a workaholic to fulfill our sick abandonment needs.

e. We live life from the viewpoint of victims and are attracted by that weakness in our love and friendship relationships.

f. We have an overdeveloped sense of responsibility and it is easier for us to be concerned with others rather than ourselves. This enables us 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 harshly 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 on to a relationship in order not to experience painful 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.

The Problem

Quote:
1. We had come to feel isolated, and uneasy with other people, especially authority figures. To protect ourselves, we became people pleasers, even though we lost our own identities in the process. All the same we would mistake any personal criticism as a threat.

2. We either became alcoholics ourselves, married them, or both. Failing that, we found other compulsive personalities, such as a workaholic, to fulfill our sick need for abandonment.

3. We lived live from the standpoint of victims. Having an over developed sense of responsibility, we preferred to be concerned with others rather than ourselves. We got guilt feelings when we trusted ourselves, giving in to others. We became reactors rather than actors, letting others take the initiative.

4. We were dependent personalities, terrified of abandonment, willing to do almost anything to hold on to a relationship in order not to be abandoned emotionally. We keep choosing insecure relationships because they matched our childhood relationship with alcoholic or dysfunctional parents.

5. These symptoms of the family disease of alcoholism or other dysfunction made us ‘co-victims’, those who take on the characteristics of the disease without necessarily ever taking a drink. We learned to keep our feelings down as children and keep them buried as adults. As a result of this conditioning, we often confused love with pity, tending to love those we could rescue.

6. Even more self-defeating, we became addicted to excitement in all our affairs, preferring constant upset to workable solutions.
(The Characteristics and Common Traits of People Who Grew up in Alcoholic Homes)


Went to my first meeting a couple of weeks ago.

From the welcome pamphlet:

Quote:
"To be an adult child of an alcoholic who has come far enough out of denial to identify with "The Problem" is to earn recognition as one of the toughest, sanest, psychologically strongest people the world knows, with a capacity for personal responsibility that is unusual to say the least.

Sane, totally sane all our lives, wether we adopted insanity, suicide attempts, self-abusive drinking, eating or drug use, compulsive working or obsessive relationships as our ways of handling our lives.

For the few who have survived the traumas of childhood, adolescence, and adulthood who have screened themelves, selected themselves through the other twelve step programs, therapies, insane asylums, jails and hospitals all that is needed is a safe place where we can finally shed our defenses, our denial, and admit to ourselves and others how angry, hurt, maddened and wounded we have always been. Admit it, experience it and release it..."


I must say that the people at the meeting were next-level nice.
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Old 07-05-2016, 10:27 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I've attended a few meetings online but haven't been able to get out to a face-to-face one yet (the closest being about a half hour drive away from me).

Reading this gave me a bit of insight as to how some of my character defects developed (working the NA steps). Thanks for posting this.
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Old 07-05-2016, 02:07 PM   #3 (permalink)
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You're welcome. I posted for it's own posterity as it was a worthwhile experience. 6 hours by train and a +12 hour day, I spent 3 hours with the group. It was good.

Also starting to work the AA steps. I have trouble identifying my shortcomings as they are mostly inverted. You just gave me the idea to look at these also, cheers.
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Old 07-05-2016, 02:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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There was no alcohol in my family but I relate to everything listed. I was able to get inside and take a look at the book on Amazon. It's also for just plain "dysfunctional" parents also. Our local meeting includes those hurt souls. I'm almost a year sober and use this for healing. Thank you for sharing!
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Old 07-05-2016, 03:18 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Totally relate, this was confusing for me too as I wouldn't have considered my parents to be 'big drinkers' at least by mine and my (24 hour party people generation) peer's standards.

Fact remains though that there was plenty of alcohol around in my childhood. And plenty of traumatic incidents. They just made a concerted effort to drink less when we moved back here (age 10).

And still there was some alcohol and plenty of traumatic incidents. The real issue was mental illness (NPD e.g.) and having done relentless research it appears to be also rooted in childhood trauma.

I've looked inside the book on Amazon too, I get made vibes from it. I know that my truth and the healing is there. I'd be so grateful to work the steps of ACoA like you wouldn't believe...
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Old 07-06-2016, 05:13 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I attended my first meeting tonight. I must say, the amount of courage it takes to attend the first meeting, is nothing short of miraculous.

I hope you are really proud of yourself, your mindfulness, bravery, and strength. All I had to do was drive around the corner from my house, and it felt daunting. Lol. I was personally so overwhelmed by just the blatant acknowledgement of something I've so shamefully denied and hid all my life. I embarrassingly wiped tears furiously for at least 25 mins, then snuck out the door at the end. Lol

The statement you made to yourself by taking this step is profound I'm proud of you Did you share?

Hope to hear about more meetings. Thanks so much for sharing
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Old 07-10-2016, 02:00 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Mad vibes I meant above. Well done yourself. I wouldn't say proud, but somewhat satisfied on the day.

Instead of complaining about no meetings here once I had a day free I took it as this is important to me.

I did share. I shared more effortlessly and honestly than I have at any other meetings and I get to a few.
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Old 10-01-2016, 11:05 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldsoul112249 View Post
There was no alcohol in my family but I relate to everything listed. I was able to get inside and take a look at the book on Amazon. It's also for just plain "dysfunctional" parents also. Our local meeting includes those hurt souls. I'm almost a year sober and use this for healing. Thank you for sharing!
... in the Aca pre amble or at least in 'one' version of it, it reads something like

"You may have related to our readings even if there was no apparent alcoholism or addiction in your home, this is common because dysfunction can occur without the presence of addiction. we welcome you"
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Old 10-01-2016, 11:40 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spacegoat View Post
You're welcome. I posted for it's own posterity as it was a worthwhile experience. 6 hours by train and a +12 hour day, I spent 3 hours with the group. It was good.

Also starting to work the AA steps. I have trouble identifying my shortcomings as they are mostly inverted. You just gave me the idea to look at these also, cheers.
when I was introduced to Aca I was so very disappointed to learn the nearest meeting was 2hours away and 2 hours back home. I bought the big red book and the yellow book (which is a very excellent steps workbook btw) anyway... when I mentioned the logistical nightmare to the man who I now know as my mentor (he's an aca old timer and pioneer) he said "start you own local meeting"

This seemed like a particularly crazy idea to me, but I did it with the help of some like minded others. We now have a very healthy group in my city and people travel to us... for those that stick aaround long enough I tell them what my mentor told me "start your own local meeting".

Of course I remind them that I'd like them to keep coming to my city and keep in touch, but .. I understand. its tough having to travel big distances and it's unnecessary. For some people it's simply not possible, I wouldn't have been able to attend regularly at all, in fact I would have been a very irregular member... nibbling at aca and it's program.

Besides that means there are more meetings within travelling distances of me.. so everyone is a winner.
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