ACA Dubai

Adult Children of Alcoholics and Dysfunctional Families Dubai. ACA meetings Dubai.

Welcome to Adult Children of
Alcoholics®/ Dysfunctional Families

About ACA | ACOA

Adult Children of Alcoholics is an anonymous program of women and men who grew up in alcoholic or otherwise dysfunctional homes.

We discover how our childhood affected us in the past and influences us in the present. (See The Laundry Lists and The Problem)

We meet with each other in a mutually respectful, safe environment and acknowledge our common experiences.

We take positive action by practising the Twelve Steps and focusing on The Solution. We find freedom from the past and a way to improve our lives today.

Adult Children of Alcoholic/Dysfunctional Families. Big Red Book. aca meetings dubai.
Adult Children of Alcoholics and Dysfunctional Families – Big Red Book

The 14 Traits of an Adult Child – The Laundry List.


  1. We became isolated and afraid of people and authority figures.
  2. We became approval seekers and lost our identity in the process.
  3. We are frightened by angry people and any personal criticism.
  4. We either become alcoholics, marry them or both, or find another compulsive personality such as a workaholic to fulfill our sick abandonment needs.
  5. We live life from the viewpoint of victims and we are attracted by that weakness in our love and friendship relationships.
  6. 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, etc.
  7. We get guilt feelings when we stand up for ourselves instead of giving in to others.
  8. We became addicted to excitement.
  9. We confuse love and pity and tend to “love” people we can “pity” and “rescue.”
  10. 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).
  11. We judge ourselves harshly and have a very low sense of self-esteem.
  12. 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.
  13. Alcoholism* is a family disease; and we became para-alcoholics** and took on the characteristics of that disease even though we did not pick up the drink.
  14. Para-alcoholics** are reactors rather than actors.
    Tony A., 1978

* While the Laundry List was originally created for those raised in families with alcohol abuse, over time our fellowship has become a program for those of us raised with all types of family dysfunction.


** Para-alcoholic was an early term used to describe those affected by an alcoholic’s behavior. The term evolved to co-alcoholic and codependent.

The Other Laundry List

  1. To cover our fear of people and our dread of isolation we tragically become the very authority figures who frighten others and cause them to withdraw.
  2. To avoid becoming enmeshed and entangled with other people and losing ourselves in the process, we become rigidly self-sufficient. We disdain the approval of others.
  3. We frighten people with our anger and threat of belittling criticism.
  4. We dominate others and abandon them before they can abandon us or we avoid relationships with dependent people altogether. To avoid being hurt, we isolate and dissociate and thereby abandon ourselves.
  5. We live life from the standpoint of a victimizer, and are attracted to people we can manipulate and control in our important relationships.
  6. We are irresponsible and self-centered. Our inflated sense of self-worth and self-importance prevents us from seeing our deficiencies and shortcomings.
  7. We make others feel guilty when they attempt to assert themselves.
  8. We inhibit our fear by staying deadened and numb.
  9. We hate people who “play” the victim and beg to be rescued.
  10. We deny that we’ve been hurt and are suppressing our emotions by the dramatic expression of “pseudo” feelings.
  11. To protect ourselves from self punishment for failing to “save” the family we project our self-hate onto others and punish them instead.
  12. We “manage” the massive amount of deprivation we feel, coming from abandonment within the home, by quickly letting go of relationships that threaten our “independence” (not too close).
  13. We refuse to admit we’ve been affected by family dysfunction or that there was dysfunction in the home or that we have internalized any of the family’s destructive attitudes and behaviors.
  14. We act as if we are nothing like the dependent people who raised us.

The Promises

  1. We will discover our real identities by loving and accepting ourselves.
  2. Our self-esteem will increase as we give ourselves approval on a daily basis.
  3. Fear of authority figures and the need to “people-please” will leave us.
  4. Our ability to share intimacy will grow inside us.
  5. As we face our abandonment issues, we will be attracted by strengths and become more tolerant of weaknesses.
  6. We will enjoy feeling stable, peaceful, and financially secure.
  7. We will learn how to play and have fun in our lives.
  8. We will choose to love people who can love and be responsible for themselves.
  9. Healthy boundaries and limits will become easier for us to set.
  10. Fears of failure and success will leave us, as we intuitively make healthier choices.
  11. With help from our ACA support group, we will slowly release our dysfunctional behaviors.
  12. Gradually, with our Higher Power’s help, we will learn to expect the best and get it.

ACA Meetings Dubai

First ever ACA Meeting coming to Dubai on Friday 24th January

Fridays 5 p.m – 6 p.m The Meeting Room upstairs @ Costa Al Wasl near Al Manara

Tuesday Evening (to be announced) The Meeting Room upstairs @ Costa Al Wasl near Al Manara

Get In Touch

ACA Hotline

Andy: 056 104 3355


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