Adult Child of an Alcoholic

I suspect I could be an “Adult Child of an Alcoholic”… this is a new concept to me that I had never thought applied to me, before. I mean, obviously I am the daughter of an alcoholic, but the term “Adult Child” implies something about stunted growth, a child that hasn’t grown up except physically, and I never thought of myself that way. While in the food, eating was the problem that eclipsed everything else, and once I got abstinent the freedom from that was so much more than I could ever imagine, so I thought this was the solution to everything.

And it is, really – because if I wasn’t abstinent, I would never have realised this ACA thing. I would have blamed the things I identify with on lots of other things, all to do with the food. Now the food isn’t there, isn’t the issue.

What happened: I simply picked up a book at the church library, something about healing for adult children of alcoholics. Just curious. Then I read the back, and it hit me like a hammer: could this be me? Not everything, but there were some very uncomfortable statements that resonate with me:

  • “I usually don’t feel happy OR sad.”
  • “I want to be close to people, but I just never make it.”

–> these two are complaints I have often made, often wondered about, but never knew that these were symptoms of being an ACA without recovery… I knew all along that most of the time I have no idea how I’m feeling, if anything; and of course I know that while I do have friendships, I have never been in an intimate relationship of any kind, I have not loved anyone since my mother’s death when I was 15. Most of the time I’m content. I perform well, I get along, I have a good life that I enjoy and friends I care about. But the above two issues remain…

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One response to “Adult Child of an Alcoholic

  1. Thanks for sharing your recovery. I had a therapist give a formal “diagnosis” as an ACA. I read over a checklist of some characteristcs (including the ones above) and immediately identified with the ACA title. I was both depressed to be able to relate so well yet strangely relived to for the first time that my feelings were “normal” for someone who is an ACA. (I have a thing with normalcy.) I try to remember it isn’t my fate or misfortune to have some of these character defects. I ask my higher power (Christ) to help heal me of the hurts associated with a particular defect and to forgive where forgiveness is needed. It’s a process that often seems too slow but I do belive progress is being made.

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