Many people reach out to WSO concerned about a family member or friend who they feel could use ACA. It’s not a bad idea to read over the Laundry List for yourself. If another person’s behavior is difficult for you, it might be that you would find some help in ACA. Perhaps you relate to the Laundry List Traits and could find recovery in ACA for yourself. There are meetings all over the world. If there is not a meeting in your town, you can attend a phone meeting today.
Your childhood didn’t have to be filled with drunks and drug addicts for you to find recovery in ACA. If your family was strict, ultra-religious, perfectionistic, blaming, belittling, chaotic, shifting rules, a place where you couldn’t state your opinion, or your needs or act on your emotions. Those are some of the many types of families that successfully raise an adult child and there is recovery from every effect. This might not be anything you can relate to.
But if you have related to it, there is recovery for you. Your loved one or friend can certainly find a way to an ACA meeting too. We’re not AA and we’re not Alanon or any other fellowship, although we cooperate with all other 12 Step Fellowships. We are ACA and we are a fellowship to help adult children raised in alcoholic and dysfunctional families recover from those effects that most of us still carry today and don’t know it or we do know but we don’t know how to “change”. Here is some information that you can peek at if you’d like.
- Am I an Adult Child?
(This trifold is available for purchase here I’ve included an excerpt here)
The following questions will help you decide if alcoholism or other family dysfunction existed in your family. If your parents did not drink, your grandparents may have drank and passed on the disease of family dysfunction to your parents. If alcohol or drugs were not a problem, your home may have been chaotic, unsafe, and lacking nurture like many alcoholic homes.
The following questions offer an insight into some ways children are affected by growing up with a problem drinker even years after leaving the home. The questions also apply to adults growing up in homes where food, sex, workaholism, or ultra-religious abuse occurred. Foster children, now adults, relate to many of these questions.
1. Do you recall anyone drinking or taking drugs or being involved in some other behavior that you now believe could be dysfunctional?
2. Did you avoid bringing friends to your home because of drinking or some other dysfunctional behavior in the home?
3. Did one of your parents make excuses for the other parent’s drinking or other behaviors?
4. Did your parents focus on each other so much that they seemed to ignore you?
5. Did your parents or relatives argue constantly?
6. Were you drawn into arguments or disagreements and asked to choose sides with one parent or relative against another?
7. Did you try to protect your brothers or sisters against drinking or other behavior in the family?
8. As an adult, do you feel immature? Do you feel like you are a child inside?
9. As an adult, do you believe you are treated like a child when you interact with your parents? Are you continuing to live out a childhood role with the parents?
10. Do you believe that it is your responsibility to take care of your parents’ feelings or worries? Do other relatives look to you to solve their problems?
(15 more questions in trifold; snipped 11-25)
If you answered yes to three or more of these questions, you may be suffering from the effects of growing up in an alcoholic or other dysfunctional family. As The Laundry List states, you can be affected even if you did not take a drink. Please read Chapter Two to learn more about these effects.