Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACA)/Dysfunctional Families is a Twelve Step, Twelve Tradition program of men and women who grew up in dysfunctional homes. We meet to share our experience of growing up in an environment where abuse, neglect and trauma infected us.
Flip Side of the Laundry Lists
ACA Dubai, also known as ACOA. This is a Twelve Step, Twelve Tradition support group focused on understanding the specific behavior and attitude patterns we developed while growing up in an alcoholic or other dysfunctional environment.
We move out of isolation and are not unrealistically afraid of other people, even authority.
We do not depend on others to tell us who we are.
We are not automatically frightened by angry people and no longer regard personal criticism as a threat.
We do not have a compulsive need to recreate abandonment.
We stop living life from the standpoint of victims and are not attracted by this trait in our important relationships.
We do not use enabling as a way to avoid looking at our own shortcomings.
We do not feel guilty when we stand up for ourselves.
We avoid emotional intoxication and choose workable relationships instead of constant upset.
We are able to distinguish love from pity, and do not think “rescuing” people we “pity” is an act of love.
We come out of denial about our traumatic childhoods and regain the ability to feel and express our emotions.
We stop judging and condemning ourselves and discover a sense of self-worth.
We grow in independence and are no longer terrified of abandonment. We have interdependent relationships with healthy people, not dependent relationships with people who are emotionally unavailable.
The characteristics of alcoholism and para-alcoholism we have internalized are identified, acknowledged, and removed.
We are actors, not reactors.
Flip Side of the Other Laundry List
We face and resolve our fear of people and our dread of isolation and stop intimidating others with our power and position.
We realize the sanctuary we have built to protect the frightened and injured child within has become a prison and we become willing to risk moving out of isolation.
With our renewed sense of self-worth and self-esteem we realize it is no longer necessary to protect ourselves by intimidating others with contempt, ridicule and anger.
We accept and comfort the isolated and hurt inner child we have abandoned and disavowed and thereby end the need to act out our fears of enmeshment and abandonment with other people.
Because we are whole and complete we no longer try to control others through manipulation and force and bind them to us with fear in order to avoid feeling isolated and alone.
Through our in-depth inventory we discover our true identity as capable, worthwhile people. By asking to have our shortcomings removed we are freed from the burden of inferiority and grandiosity.
We support and encourage others in their efforts to be assertive.
We uncover, acknowledge and express our childhood fears and withdraw from emotional intoxication.
We have compassion for anyone who is trapped in the “drama triangle” and is desperately searching for a way out of insanity.
We accept we were traumatized in childhood and lost the ability to feel. Using the 12 Steps as a program of recovery we regain the ability to feel and remember and become whole human beings who are happy, joyous and free.
In accepting we were powerless as children to “save” our family we are able to release our self-hate and to stop punishing ourselves and others for not being enough.
By accepting and reuniting with the inner child we are no longer threatened by intimacy, by the fear of being engulfed or made invisible.
By acknowledging the reality of family dysfunction we no longer have to act as if nothing were wrong or keep denying that we are still unconsciously reacting to childhood harm and injury.
We stop denying and do something about our post-traumatic dependency on substances, people, places and things to distort and avoid reality.