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Family and Friends of Alcoholics and Addicts This forum is for families and friends whose lives have been affected by someone else's drinking and/or drug abuse.

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Old 08-08-2013, 01:52 AM   #1
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Location: Hamilton, ON
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Default Traits of ACoA

Posted this on another site.

So here they are and by the way I have experience nearly all of these characteristics.

1. ACOA’s guess at what is normal

Normal is a cycle on a washing machine. Normal for what or should I say who? For someone who grew up in a dysfunctional family. For someone whose father was never there. Whose mother often took her anger out on others including herself. If that is normal, than so be it! Is it normal to want what you don't or can't have? Is it normal to be worried about tomorrow when it hasn't got here yet?

2. ACOA’s have difficulty following a project through from beginning to end.

Have made the decision to quit the clinic. I am not willing to wait until July to get the information I wanted six weeks ago. I don't qualify for the physical part of the program. I haven't given up on my goal. I am doing what my sponsor said I should have done in the first place, take charge of my life and make responsible choices.

3. ACOA’s lie when it would be just as easy to tell the truth. Don't do this as much although I may not tell the whole truth which is lying by omission. I will often try to sugar coat things to protect other's feelings so it only stands to reason that I do it for myself. I think it is called denial.

4. ACOA judge themselves without mercy. I have always been my worst taskmaster. Things just never seem to measure up or meat my expectations. In early recovery, I volunteered to cook Sunday dinner for the girls in the recovery house that I went through. No matter what I cooked, it seemed like I found fault even if they had two helpings and asked for more. I had to make a salad, cook meat, potatoes, have at least two vegetables and dessert. It was a major anxiety attack every time I did it. I had to give it up because it was too much phsyically. I remember worrying about making pastry without my all purpose flour and Crisco and lamented all the time I was making it that I had to use pastry flour and LARD! I never had pastry fail after learning how to make it properly. There was still the fear that it would happen sometime and this time was going to be it.

5. ACOA’s having difficulty having fun. My whole life was fear of making a fool of myself and that someone would laugh at me. I was the country bumpkin trying to be a cool city girl and trying to fit in. When I went back to the country, I was this cook city girl, trying to impress everyone how much of a swinger I was. Everythng was about control. Do it with style and grace! LOL. I was raised to be a lady and spent most of my life trying to prove I wasn't one. When I thought I was going to lose that control, I would go into the bathroom, stick my finger down my throat and make myself sick so I could drink more. Heaven forbid that I would get 'drunk' and disorderly. I didn't want to be a falling down drunk like my Dad and my ex-husband.

6. ACOA’s take themselves very seriously. Life was serious. It was a real gift to learn to apply Rule 62 and be able to laugh at myself.

7. ACOA’s have difficulty with intimate relationships. No kidding! I guess I am living proof of that. It took me two husbands to get 10 years of marriage. I had two relationships that lasted more than two years. I long term relationship was generally about 4 months.

8. ACOA’s overreact to changes over which they have no control. This is what kept me coming back to Al-Anon. I was told that it wasn't my husband's job to make me happy. My whole attitude had been 'preform' make me happy. Then I would resent him because he wasn't doing his job or doing what I felt he should be doing.

9. ACOA’s constantly seek approval and affirmation. This is something God and I are still working on. The affirmation not so much, but the looking for approval is still there, especially when I am with people who I feel are better qualifed and have more expertise than I do in a field.

I always like playing and doing things with people who are more experienced than I have. I have thought it was a way of learning but I think it was also a way of trying to prove I wasn't stupid like I had been told I was all of my life. This was true about darts and playing pool and still holds true in today playing bridge.

10. ACOA’s feel that they are different from other people. I think the favorite last words, "Well you just don't understand." "You haven't been through what I've been through." If you had gone through what I went through, you would...."

11. ACOA’s are either super-responsible or super-irresponsible. I see this in my son. I know that he had a good teacher. I can be so either/or on this. Take things so seriously and other times just turn a blind eye, especially if it is something I want to do! I love to run away from home and often look for a partner-in-crime. I figure the 'dishes' will always be there when I get home and the 'laundry' will be open another day.

12. ACOA’s are extremely loyal even in the face of evidence that the loyalty is undeserved. This whole thing has been like mirror, mirror on the wall. If you hurt a friend of mine, you hurt me too! If you are a friend of a friend, then I will stand by you and support you no matter what anyone says. Often I will dillusion myself into believing you are right although when it came to my ex-husband this wasn't so. He would get angry because he figured as his wife I should agree with him. If there were six people inthe room, I wasn't suppose to join forces with him in a united front. There was no way I was going to allow myself to be seen as an not a very nice person too!

13. ACOA’s are impulsive. (Lock self on course of action without give proper consideration. Ouch! I am glad this is the last one! I thought it was because I am an Aires. As I have said before, "The right foot is moving forward and the left foot doesn't know it has to move yet."

One day at a time, God and I are working on this. Thank God for progress not perfection! An even greater thanks that it is one day at a time and a living program that I can continue to grow and change and become the kind of person I want to be.

Love always,


I share because I care.

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