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Adult Children of Alcoholics begin meetings at Grace

By Russ Lambert

By Russ Lambert
Facilitator, ACA Bandera meeting

A new meeting of Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACA) will begin at Grace Lutheran Church in January of next year. The meeting will be at 6:30 pm weekly and will last about an hour and 15 minutes.
Many in this country know that something is wrong in their lives, but they can't put a finger on what it is. Maybe, like me, they seem to be angry all the time but can't seem to find a cause for their anger. Perhaps there is depression and sadness that seems to have no root cause and medications or counseling haven't provided a solution. The depression and sadness just continue unchecked.
I found myself in this situation until I reached a bottom in which I lost my job. During the process of losing my job, it was suggested that I get an evaluation of myself on the psychological, emotional, and spiritual levels. The outcome of this evaluation answered some of my questions.
One of the suggestions from that evaluation was that I needed to attend a meeting of ACA.
I began that journey in April of this year and then moved to Bandera in July. I soon found a meeting in San Antonio, which I now attend.
In my current job, however, I find many people who seem to resonate with the things I say about my childhood.
A list of the 14 traits of the Adult Child of Alcoholics is included below.
You do not have to be a child of an alcoholic to benefit from these meetings. If you, too, resonate with any of the traits, please join the new meeting of ACA that will begin on Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015. The weekly meeting will be at Grace Lutheran Church, 451 Highway 173 N, Bandera, at 6:30 pm.
14 Traits of an Adult Child of an Alcoholic
1. We became isolated and afraid of people and authority figures.
2. We became approval seekers and lost our identity in the process.
3. We are frightened of angry people and any personal criticism.
4. We live life from the viewpoint of victims and we are attracted by that weakness in our love and friendship relationships.
5. We either become alcoholics, marry them or both, or find another compulsive personality such as a workaholic to fulfill our sick abandonment needs.
6. We have an overdeveloped sense of responsibility and it is easier for us to be concerned with others rather than ourselves; this enables us not to look too closely at our own faults, etc.
7. We get guilt feelings when we stand up for ourselves instead of giving in to others.
8. We became addicted to excitement.
9. We confuse love and pity and tend to "love" people we can "pity" and "rescue."
10. We have "stuffed" our feelings from our traumatic childhoods and have lost the ability to feel or express our feelings because it hurts so much (Denial).
11. We judge ourselves harshly and have a very low sense of self-esteem.
12. We are dependent personalities who are terrified of abandonment and will do anything to hold on to a relationship in order not to experience painful abandonment feelings, which we received from living with sick people who were never there emotionally for us.
13. Alcoholism is a family disease; and we became para-alcoholics and took on the characteristics of that disease even though we did not pick up the drink.
14. Para-alcoholics are reactors rather than actors.