Just out of curiosity...

Old 12-04-2013, 09:42 AM
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Just out of curiosity...

How many of us are adult children of alcoholics (ACOA)? Or, married to an ACOA?

I am an ACOA married to an ACOA who is also an A. All 3 of my sisters are either married to, or have been married to someone with a drug or alcohol problem. My oldest sister's EX died from liver failure due to alcoholism.
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Old 12-04-2013, 09:44 AM
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My parents barely drink, but my mom has a severe food addiction. Her father was an alcoholic. I am adopted and also know my biological parents both died from complications from alcoholism.
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Old 12-04-2013, 10:00 AM
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My parents didn't drink at all, ever. My RAH is also an ACOA. Each of us has a sister who is an active alcoholic.
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Old 12-04-2013, 10:05 AM
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I am an ACoA; my mother is an alcoholic and my father was very, very co-dependent. I'm the youngest of three kids with a a 7 year age gap between me and my next oldest sibling.

Three years after my divorce from my first (non-A) husband, I got into a 10-month relationship with someone I knew was an A. I am six years out of that relationship and now re-married to another non-A (who is, though, another ACoA).

I spent five years in therapy after my first marriage imploded -- I'd say the first year was total crisis mode, and after that, four years of figuring out what being an ACoA meant, how it affected me, and learning to love myself for the first time in my life.

I don't have kids, nor do I plan to. (Not sure why I felt it was important to add all that, but it feels right so whatever!)
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Old 12-04-2013, 10:11 AM
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I'm an ACOC (my father is an active A) and I'm married to an active A. I realized while reading through the co-depency definitions yesterday that my mom is severely co-dependent. I have two sisters, one is a 'normal' drinker (will enjoy a single glass of wine here and there) while the other is an active A. I'm feeling overwhelmed by being surrounded by it
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Old 12-04-2013, 10:27 AM
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My family doesn't have drinking problems, but there is mental illness ranging from depression and anxiety to personality disorders on both sides.
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Old 12-04-2013, 10:35 AM
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No drinking or drugging at all in my family. Depression and food addiction are semi prevalent in my fam tho.

To my knowledge, I am the only one that has ever chosen to be with and work for an A.
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Old 12-04-2013, 11:25 AM
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My father was an alcoholic from an early age (he didn't remember when he started, just had fuzzy memories of emptying his thermos in the mornings & refilling it with liquor from his dad's liquor cabinet so that he & his friend could drink on their walk to elementary school), and became a drug addict by his late teens. He got sober after doing a yr in a federal prison for drug trafficking. (cocaine)
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Old 12-04-2013, 11:48 AM
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RAH is an ACoA - his dad was definitely A with periods of sobriety, his mom was definitely codependent, possibly an A herself. RAH's niece told him this past year that her father/his brother seems to be showing signs of alcohol abuse...not good given family history.

My dad's dad was an A, his mom liked her alcohol, not sure I would call her an A though. I would call my dad codependent. No alcohol or drugs on my mom's side, but I would also call her codependent due to other trauma/issues within her family. I would say all of my siblings and I are codependent or have strong codependent tendencies...we have all played or are playing "rescuer" roles in our relationships.

I may be rambling, but I think it's so important to really be able to evaluate these relationships & family history to understand why we have made the choices we have and understand why we behave the way we do. To me, it's part of figuring out who we want to be and doing the work to get there.
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Old 12-04-2013, 12:09 PM
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I do not have any alcoholism in my immediate family.

I do however have two parents who I am pretty sure grew up in alcohol homes.

I have a lot of extended family with alcohol problems.

I have struggled with food stuff since a young age, and I suspect my brother struggles with substances.

I think the tenants of growing up in an alcoholic home can still be in place without any recovery. I think the don't talk, don't feel, don't emote mentality is present though the addiction was not. At least that was my experience.

My problem drinker that got me here grew up in a functional alcoholic home (I don't know that he would name it as alcholic as a result)
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Old 12-04-2013, 12:16 PM
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My Father is an Alcoholic. I had a Grandfather that was a Drug Addicts Various other family members in the same Gene pool are addicts as well.
I am the only one that is actually doing something about it.
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Old 12-04-2013, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by LifeRecovery View Post
I think the tenants of growing up in an alcoholic home can still be in place without any recovery. I think the don't talk, don't feel, don't emote mentality is present though the addiction was not. At least that was my experience.
Yes. DS's counselor says that alcoholism can skip generations for this very reason. The ACoA may not be an A, but he/she still has the learned behaviors and thought patterns he used for survival as a child. Unless the cycle is broken, it's perpetuated even though the grandchild does not grow up in an A home.

Originally Posted by LifeRecovery View Post
My problem drinker that got me here grew up in a functional alcoholic home (I don't know that he would name it as alcholic as a result)
I'm in my early 40s and have only recently realized that my father was an A (actually he/Dad recently told me he identifies as an A.) I still have difficulty determining how you tell when someone is "just" a heavy drinker/alcohol abuser vs. a true alcoholic if the person never really tries to quit.
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Old 12-04-2013, 01:40 PM
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Mother is codependent and an ACOA (no treatment/recovery ever) and stepfather, with whom I grew up, was physically and emotionally (and in 2 cases that I know of, sexually) abusive to my 6 siblings and I.

My husband is an A (RA, so far as I know) and is an ACOA. I am his 2nd wife and his first wife was also an ACOA and an RA.

So far as I know, none of my siblings is an actual A; altho I suspect one brother of being a heavy drinker, I don't think his problems in life stem from that but from other personality issues.

My other brother's college-age daughter was drunk enough to need an ambulance ride to the ER this past summer and has had at least one other incident of extreme drunkenness that I am aware of. I'm worried about her but don't believe there is anything I can do at this point.
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Old 12-04-2013, 01:42 PM
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Just a girl-

I truly believe I don't get to call someone who does not call themselves an alcoholic, one (contrary to what I wrote above). I do get to say if someone's drinking impacts me however and I have started to realize that that is enough.

My hubby (and his dad's) drinking impacted me. I live 2800 mi away from my brother but I suspect if I lived closer it would impact me too. I know my grandfather on my mother's side (though I was months old when he died) impacted me across the generations. None of my mom's siblings struggle with alcohol, but about half of them married people with alcohol concerns.

I am also super grateful that regardless of what anyone else in my family decides....I get to break the cycle with me, myself and I. I am grateful I choose (and keep choosing) recovery.
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Old 12-04-2013, 01:43 PM
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My father was an alcoholic and drug addict (intravenous user); my mother and step father were pot-heads.
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Old 12-04-2013, 01:52 PM
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My parents were non-drinkers into their 40s. After that, they had wine with dinner maybe 4-5 times a year. They both came from families who were teetotalers. Why? Because my grandparents on both sides came from families that were completely and utterly ravaged by alcoholism. So it was there, just three generations back.

And my aunt and uncle on my dad's side were both alcoholics, and I think I learned a lot of codependent behaviors from how my parents dealt with them (or, rather, DIDN'T deal with them…)
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Old 12-04-2013, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by LifeRecovery View Post
Just a girl-

I truly believe I don't get to call someone who does not call themselves an alcoholic, one (contrary to what I wrote above). I do get to say if someone's drinking impacts me however and I have started to realize that that is enough.
Maybe that's just enough for me, too. My husband does not identify himself as an alcoholic or problem drinker. He just considers drinking a coping tool. I don't call him an A in real life... only on here... for the reasons you cited. Doesn't really matter, his drinking has/does impact me and the kids.

I also recognize addictive tendencies in myself. For that reason, long ago, I chose not to drink regularly (after my teenage rebellion was over which is when I recognized this tendency in myself.)
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Old 12-04-2013, 11:36 PM
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Originally Posted by JustAGirl1971 View Post
Maybe that's just enough for me, too. My husband does not identify himself as an alcoholic or problem drinker. He just considers drinking a coping tool. I don't call him an A in real life... only on here... for the reasons you cited. Doesn't really matter, his drinking has/does impact me and the kids.

I also recognize addictive tendencies in myself. For that reason, long ago, I chose not to drink regularly (after my teenage rebellion was over which is when I recognized this tendency in myself.)
I started struggling with food before I can even remember.

That is enough of a challenge for me in this life. I am an occasional drinker, but even in my teenage years I did not overdue with alcohol....I knew I did not want another addiction on my hands.
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Old 12-04-2013, 11:48 PM
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My father is an alcoholic. I've heard he's recovering now, though we haven't spoken in many years. My mom suffers from paranoid schizophrenia and used to self-medicate with MJ when I was growing up. She is also a Defcon level 5 codependent. Her schizophrenia has progressed to the point where she is basically codependent on the entire world.
I just left a relationship with an active alcoholic. Before that I was married to a man with what I suspect now was undiagnosed ADD. He was a compulsive liar and verbally, emotionally and, before he got sick, physically abusive to me. He died of cancer last July. I feel guilty about how glad I was (and still am) about his death, because our son is devastated, but I can't help it.
Thanks to everyone for sharing. And thanks to Justa. Great thread.
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Old 12-05-2013, 12:11 AM
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I am am ACoA. My AM was probably ACoA as well, but my grandfather died long before I was born, so I will never know if he really was an A or not. I've heard he was, so I will just leave it at that. I toed the line with alcohol briefly, but I could take it or leave it. Mostly I prefer to leave it because anything fermented gives me migraines. My addiction was always nicotine, and I still fight the urges two years after I quit smoking. I know I've repeated a good bit of my childhood with my own children, and I am working hard in therapy and Al-Anon to break the cycle.
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