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TOKIEMOON's Photo TOKIEMOON SparkPoints: (53,483)
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3/24/13 10:52 P

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Just found this Team. I was not aware of the ACOA characteristics, but they do fit me too close for comfort. Wish I could also say I didn't know I was an ACOA.

FAVORITEAUNT84's Photo FAVORITEAUNT84 Posts: 719
10/4/12 12:18 P

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Most of them apply to me. Al-Anon has helped me a LOT with them though. I'm also a compulsive overeater, so the two issues worked together to try to get me to destroy myself...

One day at a time.

"A mind without anger is cool, fresh, and sane. The absence of anger is the basis of real happiness, the basis of love and compassion." ~Thich Nat Hanh


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MEDDYPEDDY's Photo MEDDYPEDDY Posts: 7,830
6/21/12 3:10 A

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Going for some characteristics that I suffer especially from right now..

Adult children of alcoholics...
-Become isolated
This is what I want to do today – I feel awful as a journalist and as a mother and instead of sharing this I want to isolate and crawl inot a dark hole somewhere...

-Fear people and authority figures
I think that everybody loathe me because I am so useless... painful

-Be concerned more with others than themselves
I am happoy toi engage in other people because it keeps my mind of my own shortcomings.

-Feel guilty when they stand up for themselves
Not only stand up, I also feel guilty when I take care of myself.

-Become addicted to excitement
Excitement is a way to forget about myself and the things I don¨΄t like about myself.

-Stuff their feelings
Cookie dough yesterday evening...

-Judge themselves harshly
How come I am not doing better when I know so much about how it works?

-Become reactors instead of actors
Totally paralyzed for the moment...

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
"Trust God and buy broccoli."

Author Unknown



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CRISM82's Photo CRISM82 SparkPoints: (8,310)
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6/11/12 11:24 A

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“...lie when it would be just as easy to tell the truth.” I find myself exaggerating more than anything now. And then I’ll wonder why I did.
“...judge themselves without mercy.” Yes. I'll rehash a conversation slip-up several times and beat myself up over it when the other person probably never thought of it again.
“...feel that they are different from other people.” Not as badly as I used to, but it’s still there.
“...are extremely loyal, even in the face of evidence that loyalty is undeserved.” Absolutely, the best friend ever no matter what you do to me... until I cut ties completely, and then there is no going back. I am a super loyal friend until I am an ice queen.
“Fear people and authority figures.” Not nearly as much as I used to, but it’s still there.
“Become approval seekers.” Yes.
“Be frightened of angry people.” Quite a bit.
“Be terrified of personal criticism.” I get more irrationally angry by it now.
“Be concerned more with others than themselves.” Yeah.
“Judge themselves harshly” I’m always criticizing things about myself that I wouldn’t even notice about others. But if I think back 5 or 10 years, I notice that I’m getting a lot better about this too.

A lot of these are easy for me to say that they aren't a big deal for me right now, but that's because I'm in the very beginning happy stages of a relationship. Once I get into the work stages or even the messy end stages (which, of course, I hope doesn't happen) I'll be pinging off a lot more of those like crazy and the list will be flashing like blinking Christmas lights.:D


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HEAL4LIFE's Photo HEAL4LIFE SparkPoints: (1,774)
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1/2/12 9:14 P

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You name it I have it. My greatest concern is that i Stuff my anger by eating. I get depressed and i am afraid of releasing the anger because i have never been taught how to release anger in a productive way. my goal this year is feel, deal and release. I have been taught that i cant feel my emotions and this is my struggle. By doing this i have created many health issues for myself.

Thanks for the posts


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Read WHEAT BELLY: Gives a new meaning to Food Addiction


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LIZANNMARIE's Photo LIZANNMARIE Posts: 71
11/18/11 12:25 P

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Thanks for the list. I definitely see some traits in myself. I find I get very upset at my husband for things my father has done. I also have a hard time with the fact that I always thought as being my Dad's perfect little girl. I expect the same from my husband. I can get jealous of my daughters. I am having a difficult time realizing that my father really didn't put me first he put himself and his addiction first. It was all "fluff" really, or I and my siblings and mother wouldn't have went through all the things we did. I miss the "fluff" though... emoticon

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PARISTASAI's Photo PARISTASAI Posts: 1,375
10/15/11 3:49 A

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Become terrified of abandonment
This has been my most prominent ACoA characteristic, but in recent times, I am not terrified of abandonment anymore. I have been able to think more clearly about so many things.
Ants have been a plague--Automatic Negative Thoughts, that is. I have been able lately to stop believing them!

Whatever is true . . . noble . . .right . . . pure . . . lovely . . . admirable . . . excellent . . . praiseworthy—think about such things.


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MEDDYPEDDY's Photo MEDDYPEDDY Posts: 7,830
6/12/11 4:40 A

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I will think aout two of them - not to finish started projects and judging myself mercilessy... these are hard because they make me an easy victim for depressive feelings.
To cope is an every day work, if I think I have made it and relax the trait will start creeping back.

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
"Trust God and buy broccoli."

Author Unknown



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ITSACLAIRE's Photo ITSACLAIRE SparkPoints: (2,858)
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6/6/11 7:43 P

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Thanks so much for sharing your personal stories. I definitely feel like my anger can also get out of control, and if not anger, then any other emotion. I over react to situations that don't necessarily need to be dramatic or emotional. This has gotten better over time, but still lingers.

As for me, the following definitely apply to at least some degree:

...guess at what normal is. (I'm always trying to figure out what I am "supposed" to do)
...lie when it would be just as easy to tell the truth. (I do this all the time and have no idea why!!!)
...judge themselves without mercy.
...have difficulty having fun. (I actually tend to avoid situations where I might have fun with others and instead self-isolate)
...take themselves very seriously.
...have difficulty with intimate relationships. (taking down all of my defenses seems almost impossible)
...overreact to changes over which they have no control.
...constantly seek approval and affirmation.
...feel that they are different from other people.
-Become isolated
-Fear people and authority figures
-Become approval seekers
-Be frightened of angry people
-Be terrified of personal criticism (this is a pretty intense one for me)
-Stuff their feelings
-Lose the ability to feel
-Have low self-esteem
-Judge themselves harshly
-Become terrified of abandonment
-Do anything to hold on to a relationship

So, yeah. I definitely fit the bill. I only discovered these lists of characteristics of ACOAs about a month ago and it has been really eye-opening, but in an enlightening and positive way. I'm beginning to realize that while these have been my instincts for a very long time, I don't have to continue on like this. I think that retraining myself and being emotionally present and in touch with how I'm feeling, and reminding myself that it's not necessary to protect myself all the time, will help me to deconstruct and discard many of these impulses. Or at least that is what I'm hoping.

Anyway, I am so glad that there is a community on SparkPeople full of people who understand how I am feeling and where I'm coming from. I think that is really valuable. I don't really have anyone to talk to about this stuff in my daily life, so this forum is really great for me. I hope it's helping other people as well!

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SERVINGTHRUPT's Photo SERVINGTHRUPT Posts: 1,599
6/4/11 12:24 P

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Wow DAWNFIRE72, I can so totally relate with the anger thing. I too find that my can be inappropriate. I really see it in my siblings also, making me even more in tune to my own. I too am/was the responsible one, I'm the second child (middle) and I attempted to step up & parent younger sib & oldest one (sister) set out to live life and be "the fun one."

It is interesting when you see the "Laundry List" and read other ACA literature, to see that we're not alone.

I attend Al-anon "regularly" (this particular location for...almost a year now) and don't feel like I "fit in," and yet...I visited an ACA (ACoA) meeting out of the area & felt like I was at "home" immediately.

I thought I would include the link to the ACoA website, just in case someone wasn't aware it exist.
http://www.adultchildren.org/ This is where I ordered the ACoA "Big Red Book," it's like AA's "Big Book." I ordered a workbook as well. I will start them this week, as I connected with another woman in an on-line ACA meeting & we're going to read/work through them together.

Good for you for recognizing that you want to make changes, versus passing some of the ACA stuff on to your own children. It's all a process & to be taken "one day at a time."

: )

Kiko : )
"Be blessed, and/or be a blessing."



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DAWNFIRE72's Photo DAWNFIRE72 SparkPoints: (45,553)
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6/3/11 10:55 P

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Thank you for posting this, it makes me realize that I'm not alone in this struggle to figure out "normal".

The characteristics that I see in myself are:

..judge themselves without mercy.
...have difficulty having fun.
...take themselves very seriously.
...have difficulty with intimate relationships.
...overreact to changes over which they have no control.
...constantly seek approval and affirmation.
...feel that they are different from other people.
...are super responsible. (my sister is the exact opposite).
...are extremely loyal, even in the face of evidence that loyalty is undeserved.

From the second list:

-Become isolated
-Fear people and authority figures
-Become approval seekers
-Be frightened of angry people
-Be terrified of personal criticism
-Have an overwhelming sense of responsibility
-Be concerned more with others than themselves
-Feel guilty when they stand up for themselves
-Stuff their feelings
-Lose the ability to feel
-Have low self-esteem
-Judge themselves harshly

I find that anger is the most predominantly felt emotion for me and I am realizing that sometimes my reactions are not emotionally appropriate. I find that even though I am the younger of 2 kids I am and have always been described as "the responsible one" "the mature one" and my sister has always been "the fun one" (I call it irresponsible). I am nearly 40 and just learning to deal with the baggage of childhood. I didn't become an alcoholic and I didn't marry one but I did marry a fellow ACoA. I don't like meetings or doctors so I am muddling through this on my own and hoping not to screw my own kids up too much.



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SERVINGTHRUPT's Photo SERVINGTHRUPT Posts: 1,599
6/3/11 1:38 P

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Great post. I'm going to have to "digest" this, and I'll post more later. My ACoA "journey" has been an interesting one. Started in program in my 20s, didn't "work" it just "facilitated a group for...7 yrs. Returned to Al-anon (no ACoA meetings where I live) a little over a year ago, and now...getting serious about working my program.

I'm on a mission to find a sponsor & to work the steps. Ordered my Big Red Book & workbook. I would like to make some changes so the next 50 yrs. look different than the past 48 have been.

Again, thanks for stepping up & leading this team.

Enjoy the balance of your Friday & have an even better weekend! emoticon

: )

Okay, so...as I re-visit the list, I find the following applies to me (or, these are the ones that are the "greatest" challenges in my life)...-difficulty w/follow through on projects - judge myself harshly w/o mercy - love people who need rescuing - low self esteem - fear of abandonment, yet...often isolate

I believe these all impact my life, as far as my weight goes because I don't have a "healthy" self image & I'm never pleased with my weight, tone, etc., no matter what the #, or size?!

I have seen changes over the past couple of years, and yet I realize it's a life long journey, as I'm a work in progress emoticon

Edited by: SERVINGTHRUPT at: 6/3/2011 (17:54)
Kiko : )
"Be blessed, and/or be a blessing."



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ITSACLAIRE's Photo ITSACLAIRE SparkPoints: (2,858)
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6/3/11 12:41 P

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Below are the characteristics of ACOA. Which ones apply to you, and how do they impact your life? How do they influence your efforts to live a healthy lifestyle and lose or maintain your weight?

[taken from alcoholism.about.com/cs/adult/a/aa07
30
97.htm
]

Adult children of alcoholics...
...guess at what normal is.
...have difficulty in following a project through from beginning to end.
...lie when it would be just as easy to tell the truth.
...judge themselves without mercy.
...have difficulty having fun.
...take themselves very seriously.
...have difficulty with intimate relationships.
...overreact to changes over which they have no control.
...constantly seek approval and affirmation.
...feel that they are different from other people.
...are either super responsible or super irresponsible.
...are extremely loyal, even in the face of evidence that loyalty is undeserved.
...tend to lock themselves into a course of action without giving serious consideration to alternative behaviors or possible consequences. This impulsivity leads to confusion, self loathing, and loss of control of their environment. As a result, they spend tremendous amounts of time cleaning up the mess.

[taken from alcoholism.about.com/od/adult/a/Comm
on
-Traits-Of-Adult-Children-Of-AlcoholR>ics.htm
]

Adult children of alcoholics...
-Become isolated
-Fear people and authority figures
-Become approval seekers
-Be frightened of angry people
-Be terrified of personal criticism
-Become alcoholics, marry them or both
-View life as a victim
-Have an overwhelming sense of responsibility
-Be concerned more with others than themselves
-Feel guilty when they stand up for themselves
-Become addicted to excitement
-Confuse love and pity
-'Love' people who need rescuing
-Stuff their feelings
-Lose the ability to feel
-Have low self-esteem
-Judge themselves harshly
-Become terrified of abandonment
-Do anything to hold on to a relationship
-Become "para-alcoholics" without drinking
-Become reactors instead of actors

Edited by: ITSACLAIRE at: 6/3/2011 (12:41)
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