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Post Info TOPIC: Al-anon ACOA vs. ACA-Dysfunctional Families


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Al-anon ACOA vs. ACA-Dysfunctional Families


I listened to a guy that had some great recovery and he said in his home group the first thing the do is help newcomers make sure they are even in the right place. I do think that is very important.

 He went on to say which I have seen and experienced myself having Al-anon/ACOA issues and being in AA can get quite confusing sometimes. Tony A. the ACA founder actually said in his presentation, "The A.A. Steps can make an ACOA crazy", I do like Tony's Steps!

My opinion of Al-anon is that it is a great program yet like A.A. the singleness of purpose and strict non - conference approved literature policy limits me too much at times. ACA's open literature policy is more helpful to me.

I do want to discuss PTSD, Codependency and other things related to my recovery too without feeling like I am limited and or doing something wrong. Road To Recovery is a bit limited and I want to stay more focused on the grief process. The stuck feelings of the fight,flight or freeze response. I have lots of stuck feelings and my body tells me all about it.doh

The newer Al-anon book "Transforming Our Losses" touches alot on grief but just not enough for me. This current rebuilding of Adult Children of Alcoholics/Dysfunctional Families...seperate from Al-anon ACOA has been interesting.

I do wish the ACA WSO board of trustees was full, currently I think there are about 8 trustees and currently just a small service structure. I am also investigating about the history of both Al-anon and ACA, ACOA, Adult Children Anonymous it gets confusing at times.

One main Al-anon principle is about detachment and although ACA/Dysf. Families (ACA WSO) also talks about detachment and integration I think ACA has more to do with the Inner Child concepts and more understanding of the importance of getting to the anger before the forgiveness.

PTSD can cause real detachment within, so although I do go to both Al-anon and ACA I feel there are actually completely different.

 

ACA vs.AL-Anon


ACA/Dysfunctional Families, ACDF, Al-Anon's ACOA; Adult Child Anonymous., Miracles In progress, Step Chat, etc..can't we all get along. LOL

It's like the Native Americans in my area ever wants there own seperate tribe.

The information passed on by my ACA Fellow Travelers helped to give me clarity when I first came to ACOA type recovery.

Besides the different First Step and the different Tradition Seven funds I have learned ACA has the copyrights to The Problem ,The Solution and The ACA Promises "is" ACA WSO conference approved literature.

The Problem,The Solution and The Promises "is not" Al-Anon Adult Child Anonymous conference approved literature.

I was listening to the Marty.S presentation again this morning and realized he mentions the reason ACA had to separate from Al-Anon in the very first few minutes of this presentation. http://www.acawso.org/Marty_S.htm

Marty S. said at the 2006 ACA convention:

The major piece of literature we used was the Problem and it was not conference approved literature.....(quoting his friend)"It was put in a box and shoved under the table"
The "We" he is referring to is Al-Anon ACA.

Here are two quotes from an ACA Fellow Traveler:
#1.)
While Al Anon and ACA are Twelve Step programs, they are somewhat different in focus and approach. Al Anon primarily focuses on familial alcoholism and how to live detached and serenely with a drinking alcoholic or to live a better life with an alcoholic, who has found recovery. In Al Anon, the Al Anon focus on self and works their own program.

In ACA, we focus on ourselves as well and work our own program. With the Twelve Steps, we focus on recovering from the effects of growing up in an alcoholic or dysfunctional home. We believe the effects of a dysfunctional home guide or steer our behavior and thoughts as adults. Unlike, Al Anon, we look at the family system in addition to inventorying our own behaviors in recovery.

The ACA member looks at dysfunctional family roles, harmful messages and other abuse involved in growing up in a dysfunctional home. We believe it is essential and healing to work the Twelve Steps and to look at the family system as we also concentrate on our individual behaviors and thoughts.

If you look at Al Anon's First Step and ACA's First Step, you will see the difference.

Al Anon -- Step One:
``We admitted we were powerless over alcohol, that our lives had become unmanageable.''

ACA -- Step One:
``We admitted we were powerless over the effects of alcoholism and other family dysfunction, that our lives had become unmanageable.

#2.)
Hello,
I agree with the idea of having ACA meetings that adhere to the principles and the Twelve Steps of ACA. I believe in clarity for ACA meetings so that newcomers are clear on which fellowship they are involved with. I can't tell you how many times I read these two questions on this forum.

1) ``What is the difference between ACA and ACoA?'' (None).

2) ``Is ACA and Al-Anon ACoA the same thing?'' (No).

ACA WSO has done its best to present the answer to these questions in ACA literature and through this forum and we will continue to do so while remaining respectful to Al-Anon and other Twelve Step fellowships.

With the publication of our new fellowship text, more and more people are understanding that ACA is an autonomous 12-Step program that is separate from other fellowships.

 They understand that this separation is reasonable and in line with the separation called for by AA and Al-Anon and which works for AA and Al-Anon. More adult children are finding ACA and embracing our solution to the effects of growing up in an alcoholic or otherwise dysfunctional family.

Additionally, I respectfully ask that ACA meetings should not be confused with outside entities or other Twelve Step approaches that use ACA material but who do not use our fellowship name.

Adult Children of Alcoholics was the first Twelve Step fellowship to write literature that is specific to the adult child experience.

ACA meetings use the Laundry List (Problem), the Solution and the ACA Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.

ACA meetings include ACA's foundational language of alcoholism and recovery from the effects of alcoholism.

ACA has widened its focus to gladly include adult children from other dysfunctional family types but we remain Adult Children of Alcoholics with a focus on the the effects of alcoholism.

 We are not CoDA or Al-Anon ACoA or any other combination of other fellowships. These are fine programs but they are not who we are.



Thank You Very Much for that quote-clarity


In my understanding there has been an ongoing problems with ACA separating from Al-Anon for a long time.

1989 Caucus Session http://www.acawso.org/ipb/index.php?showtopic=538
Jim M. noted that in the process of a years development of the Intergroup "(BREAKING AWAY FROM AL-ANON)" a very strong group conscience developed around the issue of inclusively. Here they discuss the name change Adult Children Anonymous and changing the name to Adult Children of Alcoholics.

It was decided the ACA would not discriminate against any individual, irregardless of background, as long as they identified with the characteristics of the Problem.

Currently there is actually an intergroup on the ACA WSO website using Adult Children Anonymous name. I find that VERY confusing and even against Traditions.

Again, The Problem is not Al-Anon conference approved. That appears to be a real on going problem to me.

In my understanding of the Identity Papers and the reason for this separation is explained very well in the first paragraph of:

 The Identity Papers:
Finding Wholeness Through Separation    http://www.acawso.org/ipb/index.php?showtopic=473

I did not come to ACA recovery for more confusion. I am glad I finally understand the difference between ACA/Dysfunctional families and Al-Anon.

I have also heard there is technically only one Adult Children of Alcoholics and it is ACA/Dysfunctional Families.I hope others can add to this topic and spare other newcomers of the confusion.

In my understanding with the 2006 final release of the ACA/Dysfunctional Families Text this separation of Al-anon ACOA and ACA will finally be 100% complete....eventually.

I also had quoted Dr.Jan alot but now I disagree with her. She said," Go to AA to get sober, then go to Al-anon to learn to detach then go to ACOA for recovery of core issues. Today I think that is too black and white thinking and know of many personally that could not get sober without doing family of origin work first or at least combined etc...

I also know there is alot of confusion between Tradition Seven funds. I attended a chat meeting once at ACA WSO website where someone used a Miracles In Progress format or was that a Stepchat format and the fund asked to be sent to Al-anon that was discusssed later at there ACA WSO meeting and cleared up.

I can support both but like the importance of understanding all the Traditions I do want to be clear where I am at  the time and have respect fro that fellowship and not cross pollinating fellowships, not robbing from but actually supporting each when I choose. biggrin

I also heard Al-anon had been around since 1951 and yet Tony A. started the first ACA meeting but branched of from Al-anon etc.. I think in Tony's presenatation he says the Mothers were in Al-anon and the fathers were in AA and the Al-a-teens that turned 18 had no where safe to go.


http://www.adultchildren.org/lit/EarlyHistory.s

With all that said I am still not sure if I am ever in the right place myself...the I'm differert disease? confuse

Thanks for listening

 



-- Edited by sparky on Thursday 11th of March 2010 08:15:45 PM

-- Edited by sparky on Thursday 11th of March 2010 09:05:19 PM

-- Edited by sparky on Thursday 11th of March 2010 09:07:49 PM

-- Edited by sparky on Thursday 11th of March 2010 10:12:44 PM

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P.S.

I hope the links to ACA WSO website are not offensive to any supporting only Al-anon. Many websites that are more strick on Traditions policy don't allow these type of links because of Tradition Six "affiliation" issues.

I hope I am not crossing that boundary yet all of this is also important for me to understand. Please help me to understand more and share experience, strength and hope on this important issue of clarity.

-- Edited by sparky on Thursday 11th of March 2010 08:21:41 PM

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I agree that al anon and acoa are completely different, and al anon is NOT for me. At all.

I'm not sure what you're asking sparky?

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Thanks sassy pants.

I guess for one where do the Tradition Seven funds/donations go to for this site?
I thought they went to Al-anon. smile

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Sparky,

This is just a simple message board. If you want to know the political structure of it all then please PM - John about it. He is the founder of the MIP site.



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That sounds suspicious to me. Sorry maybe just my acoa issues kicking in. Surly it is not a secret and us children can talk about adult issues or is that just for behind closed doors.

A message board that openly asks for donations surly would not mind telling everyone where they go now would they?

I am confused are you a moderator instructing me here or are we equal members. I feel like I am being told what to do. Are you a moderator or maybe part owner of the site?

If so I would have thought you would pm me. Who I am who are we supporting is there no 60/40 that goes to a 12 step organization or simply a stand alone message board, not that I am belittling it if it is.smile

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Sparky, you really have some issues. There is no conspiracy. I told you how to have your questions answered.

This is a message board for people wanting a safe environment to discuss issues that matter to them.

And from the "Attraction vs Promotion" thread not to many are concerned with the political aspects of it all...

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i was under the impression that alot of the donations went to the maintenance of the site. i'm sure that's not cheap in and of itself. i'm no expert, i don't maintain the site, i'm not a moderator and i don't know how the political structure works. i've never really been concerned with that.

since we're all just regular members here like you are, i'm not sure that many of us could directly answer this question for you on the message board. we simply don't know anymore than you do about it. seems like you know more than i do about the structure and political side actually :) that's why dave asked you to pm john about it. he's the founder of the site so he would know.

also, the donations are voluntary. so if you don't feel comfortable with where the money is going, no pressure.

it's a service that's provided so that we have a safe place to share our feelings and experiences. no more, no less.

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In my experience, people who spend major time obsessing about political issues in this or any of the other wonderful fellowships are usually doing so to avoid their own real issues. Not saying they are even conscious of it, but it is a trait I have noticed and something I consciously avoid doing myself.

I need my energy for recovery and to be able to help others. I have seen some people be able,and almost with a sense of 'great superiority'  quote verbatim the literature and the traditions yet be totally unaware that the member sitting right next to them is screaming out for comfort not a political discussion.

As ever, the above is only MY experience strength and hope and not really meant to further this discussion.

Wishing all my beautiful ACOA brothers and sisters a peaceful and loving day.

Karen xx





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Thanks for sharing Karen,

 Perhaps focusing only on myself is not good for the group. Perhaps that is  why they have they invented the  tools "Traditions Check List" and perhaps as another way others can interact in recovery.

I am told and learned from Dr. Whitfield's(Dr. from the Doctor's Opinion in the ACA Text) personal books and from the ACA Text itself and elsewhere that in business meetings and actually interacting on another level besides just listening will bring out what in my understanding is referred to as The True Self.

In other words from my understanding every time a group if formed..the family of origin roles/positions will arise., The heroes will usually, according to Tony A., be the driving force, then the lost child (my role) usually just sits back and obeys,runs away or rebels. lol

Scapegoat,...the most codependent (like me) will go into shock and  dread watching the family (group) not stay united. If I treat my group were I do recovery with the same principles, don't talk rule, break the don't talk rule, if I am scared try my best to use my voice, speak up in a business meeting etc...within the protection of the group.

In my local area a girl once told the group, "These are our playgrounds for life we practice here first then practice it in "real life"...practicing these principles in all our affair. It is so true for me, I need the protection of the group and people that understand F.O.O roles enough to spot then and lovingly address it. 


All codependency runs very deep, focusing outward runs very deep and It would not be nice to shame members, be sarcastic of members or treat someone that is focusing outward like they don't belong.

In my understanding focusing outward is actually sign of recovery too nothing is black and white. there does need to be balance.

I personally use the ACA history, the Traditions, Steps and the Concepts (36 principles) as part of my recovery process. I am told that is a healthy approach to 12 step recovery too.

My therapist told me STOP what I was doing...all the digging and finding all the painful memeories...and to find the nurturing parent...I find this approach more nurturing for me balancing my recovery.

I can get obsessed about focusing on the program but it is not healthy for me to obsess on all that pain either..catually quite dangerous...I was re-traumatizing my Inner Child. 

I heard another profound saying from an A.A. old timer I found to be wise he said ,
" We comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable" after all it really all does boil down to the ego, ego and denial run deep and hand in hand.


I am so thankful for the once that told me the truth enough to see I have a serious problem too...bordering on a narcissistic personality "love me hate you" type thing and thankfully I can see it today because someone told me about it.

In my opinion if I admit I am an ACA I am admitting at some level I have readily denial, dissociation and I need others eye first to help me see myself. I was told it is all about "mirroring" this is what I heard, this is what I see and lovingly reflect that back (or the best I can) to others and hope like heck they do the same for me because ....

I am an ACA and somewhat emotionally and intro-respected blind. But I have hope.
Anyway bare with me...I am still learning and thanks for the "insight", Karen.

I was also told recovoery looks like something, one thing I am trying to get over is pure "Blind obedience" and they "Don't bite the hand that feed you complex."

Dr, Whitfield also says all these Step are about "control and conflict" I couple that with what Scott Peck said," All neurosis is the avoidence of pain." I feel I  want too stop avoiding my fear and confront my fears...in the safety or my new playground of life...exibit new behavior progress not perfection.


 I sense, I feel  that may be what other are somehwat coverytly saying, responding, surly may only be my own paranoia, ptsd, fear, (false evidence appearing real)?

Thanks so much for listening
banned.gif

-- Edited by sparky on Friday 12th of March 2010 10:43:18 AM

-- Edited by sparky on Friday 12th of March 2010 10:54:44 AM

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  My road to Recovery has followed more or less the path through AlAnon and now ACoA.  Mostly as a participant of the online forums and Chat Rooms provided by MIP.

  AlAnon guided me for 2 years through my struggles, separation, and finally divorce from my A-wife.  I am forever grateful for the many wonderful shares from some truly dynamic people and how I was allowed to share my own issues and work the program without feeling I was being judged in anyway.

  Once the divorce was finalized however, I quickly realized that the common bond of living with an Alcoholic was removed between myself and my fellow AlAnon-ers.  It was then that I began a new journey and fould the ACoA forum.

  Here I have realized that I still have issues related to my own upbringing in an Alcoholic home.  Again, through the many shares that I have read, and my own postings, and as a participant in the Chat Rooms, I have truly found the peace that I have sought my entire life.  This is no small accomplishment and I, for one, am forever grateful to John for having set up and maintained this forum and all that goes with it. 

  I have never felt pressured in giving any money to this site.  Yes, it has been solicited once but even that did not feel like I was being pressured.  Like all things in life, nothing is free including the maintenance of this site.  If I choose to give money, that is my choice that I make freely.  If I choose not to give, that is my choise as well.  I know either way that I will be treated the same.

  If I wanted to know where the money goes, I would simply ask John, as others have already suggested.  I have no direct knowledge and, to me, that helps keeps the anonymous side just that.  Anonymous.

  In closing, I'd like to thank John for establishing and maintaining the Miracles in Progress website and forums.  It has made a tremendous difference in my life and those whose lives I touch.  You're the best!

- Tom

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Peace101 wrote:

    If I wanted to know where the money goes, I would simply ask John, as others have already suggested.  I have no direct knowledge and, to me, that helps keeps the anonymous side just that.  Anonymous.

  - Tom




Thanks Tom,

This questioning is not just about Tradition Seven funds. I also am not a 12 step program fundamentalist supporting only ACA WSO or Al-anon. I did hear the term once called "splinter group" that scared me but perhaps the guy that mentioned it was a fundamentalist?

I think I am questioning the name "Adult Children Anonymous" wondering if it is an organization in itself. Does it have a head quarters etc...or is this sole a name John picked out and or MIP and there is some kind of treatment center/ halfway house, I love all that too. truly glad someone is carrying a message.

Surly my Traditions study of Tradition Seven "self supporting" is not only about money may be at question here. I am valuable I matter and where I participate "support" is important for me to know about. Self supporting myself and who else. Yes, I understand focusing on myself is also important and glad this message board exists.

I think it is a sign of health asking question even if it is in open forum, unlike the ACA WSO share only style forum, the blend is very important. I may not be able to make the business meeting and don't even know when they are, if they are etc..


I certainly am not question/ criticizing  the integrity of John, of MIP or others "supporting" here etc.

I have PTSD, I have trust issue, I have safety issues. I find asking healthy questions helps and finding healthy/nurturing answers help relieve my fears. I am starting to feel a tiny bit safer...but honestly just a tiny bit. banned.gif

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Landing in a relationship with an Alcholic is what led me to alanon...As I spent time there I found that I was not interested in learning to live with the disease I was more interested in finding out what was it about me that got me there in the first place.  Aca was the missing link for me.  I want to make sure I dont make the same mistakes and re create my childhood experiences in my adulthood....If I didnt look at that honesly and fearlessly I knew I was destined to make the same bad choices in the future....:)  I do alanon to remind me ...and aca like I said was the missing link for me....:)

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Sparky,

I am an adult child - I used to be married to an alcoholic for three years, but for different reasons than why someone with codependency would marry someone who is an alcoholic. 

I am trauma bonded.   The difference between codependency and trauma bonding is the codependent is addicted to the person who is addicted - in trauma bonding the person is addicted to the same emotions that they felt when they were abused as a child or in some long term traumatic event.  I had both in my life. 

Alanon deals with the codependent - the person in love with the person who is addicted to alcohol or other addiction.  Its priority with the people involved in alanon is to support and guide through others who have gone through the same thing, people who find themselves in an addicted relationship to gain and maintain their sanity - and hopefully empower them to make choices for themselves as they need to.   Because codependency is not my true issue, I was able to take care of myself very well within this program.  I left when I needed to, and didn't look back. 

Adult Children of Alcoholics / OR Dysfunctional families was recommended to me by my therapist.  I suffered a lot of abuse when I was a child, teen, young adult.  I kept finding myself in abusive relationships over and over and over again.  I am Trauma Bonded - as, I believe, in my opinion, MOST adult children are.  When faced with my TRUE dysfunction - addiction to shame - then wow. . .then I really have to work hard.  ACA is different . . . I've heard it described as the master's program of the 12 steps.  It addresses a very different issue in a very different way. 

The steps work book for Alanon is very very different from the steps workbook from ACoA/ACA.  For the first time in my life - I really have found the true answer to why I repeat the kind of relationships that are deadly to me.  Each person I've been married to has been very good at shaming me.  It was up to me to learn how to set boundaries that prevent this. . .and it's working.  My husband no longer tears me to pieces with his words - but it was up to me to take action and set limits and stop it. 

I never learned this in Alanon. . .because I was learning how to detach from an alcoholic.  While the same insanity existed in the relationships, there was a different motivation driving the abuse.  One took the bottle and became Mr. Hyde. . .the other - saw me as someone who deserved to be shamed - because I SAW MYSELF as someone who deserved to be shamed. 

I hope this helps - this is my experience.  I know that both avenues are great support systems and offer wonderful tools that can be taken to navigate through any situation.   I'm thankful for both.

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Beth...wow thank u...loved that post............

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Quiet Morning...thank you ..its a good thing I was sitting when I read your post as I might have fallen down.......have never heard of this before trama bound..omg ....makes total sense...thanks so much for your esh :) 

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You're welcome, DreamXL. The book Betrayal Bonds by Patrick Carnes is recommended in the Steps Workbook for ACA. It's an amazing book - something well worth being worked through and taken time with. My therapist nailed it on the head in my first session of Marriage counseling with him. . .wow. . .finally . . .and that's what ACA is truly all about. I never got answers like this in Alanon - though there were plenty of people around the table always saying, "I don't know how or why I keep doing this to myself - connecting to people that will hurt me." I wish I still lived there - and could tell them. I tried to go to ACA when I was in that city - but they only allowed children of alcoholics at the time, so I never found the benefit of ACA until now - but I'm so glad I did. :)

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There are only two people who can tell you the truth about yourself an enemy who has lost his temper and a friend who loves you dearly. Antisthenes (Greek philosopher of Athens, disciple of Socrates, 445-365 BC)


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Sparky, I also have PTSD - and the first step in truly managing it was found here and in working the ACA Step Work Book and the Betrayal Bonds Book. 

It's one day at a time. 

I hope you will continue to work on your path of self discovery - it's a wonderful freeing road to walk on. 

I never felt safe - and was very anxious and didn't trust, either.  Trust is slowly building as I learn how to set good boundaries.  I trust myself - and in so doing, I find that needing others to be trustworthy is not as much of an issue as I can make good empowering decisions to take care of me despite their actions.  They can be exactly who and how they are - trustworthy or not trustworthy - I don't have to change them or convince them to change. . .I can just decide for myself whether I want to continue the relationship or not.  Some I do with acceptance and making my own decisions for me (my marriage) - some I don't (friendships I have left behind.)  But I had a whole lot of learning to do about ME, before I could get to the place I am now. 

My goal in working my program is to understand that I live in a crazy insane world, but be ok despite. . .and in doing that - I'm the one that's changing, not everyone else.  It's a tough step to take, but the first time I took that step, it was so empowering and so healing that I took another one. 

I invite you to take a step in taking your power back.  It really works if you work it.

 



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Just ordered two on amazon :)  sending one to my sister..:)  thanks again...

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DreamXL wrote:

Just ordered two on amazon :)  sending one to my sister..:)  thanks again...




DreamXL - word of caution - the Betrayal Bond book is a TOUGH book to work through - it suggests in the book to work with someone - talk about it - a sponsor, a therapist, someone who can hold your hand through it.  There was a lot of time in working through it that I just sat and stared and cried for hours - I needed that. . .it was part of the process, so it was well worth for me to communicate to my husband that I needed this, that he would have to take care of himself during the process.  When I needed breaks, I took breaks, but I went back to it as soon as I felt strong enough to do so.  Communication was very important for me to be able to work through it  and successfully complete it.  There were times when my husband flipped out over the time spent, but that was his issue - I kept going, because I was worth HEALING.  The pain level I had prior to the working this book was over the top - I was edging toward suicide.  Before the book was a quarter of the way worked through I noticed the pain being released and at a much lower level.  I couldn't laugh or enjoy anything - I was in so much pain.  Now?  Wow. . . emotional pain is there sometimes, but when it supposed to be.  It's not constant. . .and it's much more manageable - and I'm laughing like crazy now!  Back to my old joy filled happy adventurous self.   My nick name used to be Pixie at one point - because I tended toward being a mischievous free spirit before Joe died.  That's my little girl, my inner child coming out to play again. . .and she's so welcome!

It took me nine months to slowly work through the book - taking breaks and letting it work.  I'm so glad I took the time I needed.



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Thank you Quiet Morning..I hear you loud and clear.  I remember when I started reading the big red acoa/aca book I would go in near shock as I read things that were floating in my head but never found the words to put them in.  I will be careful :)  What hits me so hard with your post on this is a few things.  A 2 year relationship with an alcholic/addict is what brought me thru the doors of alanon but all the while never in my mind was the thought of changing him.  In retrospect I didnt know all that much about addiction so I really didnt know what I was in for.  Not to excuse the relationship because if I was honest the minute I knew I should have run for the hills had my thinking been healthy.  It wasnt about me trying to change him as I was clear he was who he was.  It was my attraction and heart break over a person who was incapable of meeting my needs on any level.  I knew something was wrong with that picture.  Alanon helped me see many things and find a relationship with my higher power but there was something missing for me.  I do continue to do alanon on line only and face to face acoa/aca.  This truly has been the missing link.  My mom who is an unrecovered acoa herself raising me I now see how much of my thinking has been askewed and understand why.  She was my role model after all :)  I was never physically or sexually abused but emotionally I dont think growing up with an unrecovered acoa can be any other way.  Not intentionally but at this point that becomes inconsequential.  She married a man who never spoke.  Literally ignored everyone in the family and I watched her pain and grew up feeling sorry for her.  I was very embarrassed about my family as a child.  As young as I was I knew someting wasnt right.  I met my father who I was told was dead my whole life when i was 19.  Being a heroin addict my mother thought it was best I thought that. She did always tell me how much they were in love and how I was the greatest thing that ever happened to her and on and on.  At 19 and spending about a year with him I find out how things really went....I watched my mom her whole life live in a fantasy land with respect to my father.  She would talk about him like he was the second coming and her soul mate and knew she could never find another man like him..hence she married a man that she thought would be a good provider and father...good grief!!!   Im rambling now lol....anyhow....I came into these 12 step programs "willing" to take a look at anything, entertain all ideas, see if the shoe fit so to speak.  My desire to get healthy in mind and spiritually is just that great.  The shame addiction just hit a loud cord with me.  I mean I just stopped when I read that.  Someting yelled me to...thats how I felt when I was the alcholic. Not all the time of course but at times...and yet instead of running 100 miles an hour I stayed for more... good god!!  Because that is how I felt alot of the times and I have never ever heard of this before so I really feel I need to look further into this and see if the shoe fits.  I dont really have anyone to talk about it with when I receive the book other than  my sister.  She is also in aca in california and finds herself married to a sex addict...ugh...No denial there for her but working to get healthier and leave him herself.  I thought this may be a good book for the two of us and perhaps we can discuss it .  Otherwise, I may be posting to you LOL...kidding you...thank you so much again for caring and taking the time ...blessings :)



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DreamXL - perfectly fine to email me - I think my email address is on my profile.  :)

Sharing the journey with your sister may prove to be super beneficial to you both . . .won't know til ya get there. :)

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Beth

There are only two people who can tell you the truth about yourself an enemy who has lost his temper and a friend who loves you dearly. Antisthenes (Greek philosopher of Athens, disciple of Socrates, 445-365 BC)


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((QuiteMorning))) thank you :)

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Thanks so much for sharing,

What was brought up for me is how deep this all runs in ACA and a couple other terms I have been studying along with the Trauma Bond, I have been studying the Fantasy Bond and Stock Holme Syndrome. since coming to ACA I have heard of entire 12 step groups turning Stock Holme recreating the family drama within the group. Sick sponsor sponceee relationships etc..all the way into business meetings too. "strong hero personalities"

I love NA saying about Tradition Two "There is often a vast difference between a group conscience and group opinion which can often be determined by popularity." Trauma bonded to those on the pedestals.


The book Women Who Love Too Much, a recovery classic I got for free and although I am a man decided to read and could not put it down, she also had a small section in the back for men I read first...and it all applied to me, the entire book on the dissociation level.

Why I repeat the ACA cycle, is also talked about in depth in Appendix A of the ACA Text by the same guy/committee that wrote the original ACA Identity Papers.

I learned in childhood, I suspect my mother had an affair when I was maybe about 4 or 5...sadly I can't remember it all but I feel it and sense it, the betrayal of my father, the betrayal of the family...I developed this love hate relationship pattern.

She did end up with the same guy when she left my father...a couple times she went out to drink and locked us in the basement of his house.

Luckily my father had a detective watching and took that info into court and got custody of us, which was almost un-heard of in the early 70's.

Bill W. talked about that a bit too about his own wife probably, in the 12/12. Bill W. was an adult child, Bill W. was a sad story in the book by that same name or the 1976 Readers Digest Vol. 1, I have found several at used book stores for .25 - .50 cents.

Needing someone and hating them for needing them. Mad at "them" because I can't trust them, projecting all my childhood drama on them and sadly because of the dissociation (my complete blindness) I did pick women just like my mother, passive aggressive, strong personalities, controlling, best not disagree though.

My ex-wife used to say apples don't fall far from the tree. If I accused her of insanity I have to remember I jump right in that row boat with her.


So, it is so hard and unfair for any "her" I meet to love someone and not trust them. I know today a bit more about why I do that. What blows me away is all those years I just blamed myself. I do believe spirituality and sexuality are intertwined and loved my mother that she was kind open like alot where in th 60's.

She also emotionally molested me, mommy's little boy, I had to rethink why my father did not seem to like me, perhaps he was sort of jealous? She always said the easiest way for him to get her was through me. I was a pawn.

I watched my fathers heart literally get crushed and surely he had his part too in their relationship drama, perhaps wanting her to be his mother in some Oedipus complex sort of twisted way. H dropped out of life, turned reclusive and became very ill mentally and physically.

I know alot more about his own childhood, my grandfather was a raging alcoholic, my grandmother an extemely codepnedent enabler, possibly religous abuser. He sobered up when my dad was about 12 and was in AA from 1946-1968 until the day he died.

My dad sobered up when I was nine. I went to my first AA meeting with him when I was 9 but it did not take for me. LOL I started smoking pot that year and went through decades of hell but never stopped coming back to 12 step recovery. So, thankful I have found insight and in all reality (for me) I have been interacting with adult children in and out of recovery, which ever program, treatment, group therapy it is/was for quite a while now.

Seems like the more I know the more I want to know...and even get addicted to the process, over obsessed...I heard one old guy say. If I have problem in recovery if I am struggling with the programs than maybe that is the problem" I am addicted to the struggle, always have been since about 4 0r 5 maybe even earlier.

Yet was blind to the Trauma bonds created this fantasy bond (my delusion ran deep) and depths of it ALWAYS blaming myself. Today I know all the PTSD created by "them" was why I drank and did drugs trying to just fit it "my own skin" around others. Now I continue to re-create this cycle myself and passed the cycle on to my four children.

At least I have a little clue today.

Today I know I have an internal addiction to my original ACA cycle. I hear knowing the Problem is half of the Solution. Still trying to decide exactly what exactly I am powerless over and what I just sometimes don't want to work on or face yet.

A friend asked me once when I said in regards to my family drama, "I can't remember" He asked "You can't remember or you won't remember?

Today I know memories will return if I let them..."As ACA becomes a safe place for me" as my support group becomes safe for me, as I become safe for myself/them and as I interact and keep focused and perhaps as my therapist/friend tells me and "As I find the nurturing parent."

The Inner Child angle works so well for me and yet as Melany Beaties says in her 2009 book "The New Codependency", "Recovery is experiential" as mention above as I learn to set boundaries , demand they be kept and honor my Inner Child.

Yet watching for the rigid boundaries, lack of empathy and compassion, M.B. talks about and projecting my indifference, apathy and selfishness that can be mistaken for recovery...doing what was done to me.

Although, I was told there is only one way to confront a perp., take charge of the situation (courage to change the things I can). A narcissist is a different story. (spot it I got it?) confuse

Which reminds me I think that may be why Bill W. stayed so sick for decades with his depression...being passive and thinking acceptance is the key...all my problems are me...doesn't work as well for me as the new day learning assertiveness does.

As far as why I also started this tread...knowing if I am in the right place there is a link I found by googling "World view of Alcoholics Anonymous" which discusses "enlightenment approach to recovery vs. non-enlightenment.

(As far as dissociation and denial goes I agree with AA service manuel and Concept five, others taking our inventory is good and sometime they are right!)

I know more today than ever I am in the right place in ACA and Al-anon than AA...although each group is autonomous etc...I agree many approach with "put it all in the God box approach."

Honesty with out compassion is abuse type thing I have to watch out for. Tony A's fourth step is profound for me taking a blameless inventory of my parents because in essence I have become them.

I am in the right place at ACA but surly can benefit learning more about detachment and relationships because I can get obsessive and Trauma Bonded to an entire organization, fellowship too.

I think Tony's 30 years in AA before starting ACA clues him into Stock Holme groups.

#20). Tony A's sick families

 http://www.houstonadultchildren.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=58&Itemid=62

I heard this once and liked it alot: The Recovery Paradox; I can't recover alone I can only recover alone. I was completely blind but now I see a little bit better.

Thanks again.

edited by a perfectionist? lol
-- Edited by sparky on Sunday 14th of March 2010 04:57:34 PM

-- Edited by sparky on Sunday 14th of March 2010 08:58:45 PM

-- Edited by sparky on Sunday 14th of March 2010 10:22:37 PM

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Sparky, thank you....:)

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Thank you - very helpful information.  When I was going to Alanon only, I didn't feel quite at home AND I wanted them to change...you know express their "feelings" etc.
I fit into both groups as many do I guess
Davie

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Gail Crandall


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Karen,

How very true. When one is confused or in need of SOME form of understanding and connection, a discussion of "politics" doesn't even hit my radar as important. 

I also agree, by getting hung up and stuck on any other issue, we are able to avoid our own stuff.



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aww Hmmm- thanks CoG... I was aware this bit of diatribe was locked up here in the archives.

I arrived on board after this all happened. I asked the same questions that appear on this thread. I must have bin a bit more bruised along the way, an' got weary of the fight. So I chucked down my spear and my shield with I hit this forum.

To be honest I did check it all out- and know a lot about the workings- in ACA and Alanon at least- and i do think its okay...

 

smile David.



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