Welcome to the Atlanta Area Adult Children of Alcoholics® – Dysfunctional Families
We meet to share our experience of growing up in an environment where abuse, neglect and trauma infected us. This affects us today and influences how we deal with all aspects of our lives.
ACA provides a safe, nonjudgmental environment that allows us to grieve our childhoods and conduct an honest inventory of ourselves and our family—so we may (i) identify and heal core trauma, (ii) experience freedom from shame and abandonment, and (iii) become our own loving parents.
The 14 Traits of an Adult Child, also known as The Laundry List, are shown below. If you identify with any of these Traits, you may find a home in our Program. We welcome you.
- We became isolated and afraid of people and authority figures.
- We became approval seekers and lost our identity in the process.
- We are frightened by angry people and any personal criticism.
- We either become alcoholics, marry them or both, or find another compulsive personality such as a workaholic to fulfill our sick abandonment needs.
- We live life from the viewpoint of victims and we are attracted by that weakness in our love and friendship relationships.
- 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.
- We get guilt feelings when we stand up for ourselves instead of giving in to others.
- We became addicted to excitement.
- We confuse love and pity and tend to “love” people we can “pity” and “rescue.”
- 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).
- We judge ourselves harshly and have a very low sense of self-esteem.
- 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.
- 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.
- Para-alcoholics** are reactors rather than actors.
Tony A., 1978
* While the Laundry List was originally created for those raised in families with alcohol abuse, over time our fellowship has become a program for those of us raised with all types of family dysfunction.
** Para-alcoholic was an early term used to describe those affected by an alcoholic’s behavior. The term evolved to co-alcoholic and codependent. Codependent people acquire certain traits in childhood that tend to cause them to focus on the wants and needs of others rather than their own. Since these traits became problematic in our adult lives, ACA feels that it is essential to examine where they came from and heal from our childhood trauma in order to become the person we were meant to be.
Copyright © 2018 by Adult Children
of Alcoholics / Dysfunctional Families
World Service Organization, Inc.
All rights reserved
Atlanta Area Meetings
Click on a tab to see the meetings for that day.
2:00 – 4:00 PM Open Meeting
The first hour is open for sharing and the 2nd hour we read from the Big Red Book and discuss what comes up.
Directions to the Meeting:
Using your favorite GPS application and the address above will bring you right to the Day Hospital building.
Ridgeview is located off I-285 at Exit 15 (South Cobb Drive). From Exit 15, you will travel north on South Cobb Drive approximately 2.5 miles. Ridgeview is on the right.
Turn right on Glenridge Rd and then take a right at the first stop sign. Park in the first parking lot to your right.
The meeting is in the Day Hospital Rooms 1&2, which is adjacent to the parking lot.
Ridgeview Phone Numbers: (770) 434-4567 or (800) 329-9775.
2:00 – 4:00 PM Open Meeting
Online Zoom Meeting
This meeting is available for anyone who would like to connect virtually instead of in person. We hope to allow those with the need to continue to meet via Zoom during the current crisis and ongoing for all who just cannot make it to an in person meeting.
If you would like the link to join, please email ACAHaven@gmail.com
7:00 – 9:00 PM
Johns Creek Presbyterian Church
10950 Bell Road
Johns Creek, Georgia 30097
This meeting lasts for one hour and forty-five minutes. The first part of the meeting is available for checking in / sharing. During the remaining portion, we work from the ACA Red Book.
From Atlanta – north on SR141/Medlock Bridge Rd. turn right on Bell Rd. after passing SR120. The church is on the right side. We meet in a room in the back of the church, lower level, next to the playground.
Ariana (770) 540-8490
12:30 – 2:00 PM Women Only
7:00 – 8:45 PM Open Meeting
This meeting lasts for one hour and forty-five minutes. The first part of the meeting is available for checking in and sharing. During the remaining portion we work from our ACA 12 Step Workbook.
7:00 – 8:45 PM Open Meeting
Open Discussion and Sharing
7:15 – 8:45 PM Open Meeting
Together On Tuesdays
(Contact Email: ACA.InTown@gmail.com)
Intown Community Church
2059 Lavista Road Northeast
Atlanta, Georgia 30329
Room 217 – On the First Floor – Enter through the double doors on the side of the building that faces Houston Mill Road. Once inside, hang a right. The hallway dead ends into the room.
This meeting is open to all, including beginners / new-timers. We focus on sharing as well as Yellow Workbook study. The meeting is Non-smoking.
12:00 – 1:45 PM Open Meeting
Open to all, fellowship text study, and is a fragrance free meeting.
For more information about the meeting reach out via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
5:15 – 7:00 PM Open Meeting
The Manse Church Office
124 Maple Street
Carrollton, Georgia 30117
Open Discussion, Fellowship, Text and Steps
6:30 – 8:00 PM (3rd Friday of each month) Feelings Release
Open Meeting – meets only the 3rd Friday of each month
This meeting will feature support offering techniques for unblocking the flow of difficult emotions through the body. The meeting takes place in the Auditorium of the Day Hospital.
There are currently no meeting in the area on Saturday
Surrender "We must find a way to surrender and to become teachable." BRB p. 156 At each meeting, we see ourselves in the ACA Problem as it is read aloud. We identify with the Traits and know the pain they have wrought. We hear the Solution and want to see it working...
Grandchildren of Alcoholics "More and more people are identifying as grandchildren of alcoholics. Technically, these ‘GCoAs' are ACAs. They were raised by parents who passed on the disease of family dysfunction without having alcohol in the home." BRB p. 56, footnote...
Tradition Eight "Sponsorship and Twelfth Step work are free, but the special worker should be paid for his or her good work. All aspects of recovery in general are free." BRB p. 530 We give service from a space of love in ACA so that every adult child seeking...
Therapeutic Ideals "There are, as well, ways to describe the manifestation of two therapeutic ideals: no excess tension in the body and a neutral reaction to symbolic associations and mental representations of trauma." BRB p. 622 Many of us thought there was no way...
Boundries "I am more aware of how I overstep my boundaries, and how I try to force things to work the way I want them to work." BRB p. 414 We were vulnerable as children in dysfunctional homes. We experienced no one who was able to set healthy boundaries and maintain...
Self-Sabotage "I decided the only way to overcome this self sabotage was to integrate my critical parent into my recovery process." BRB p. 207 We tried to ignore our critical inner parent - that compilation of the voices we heard as children and were used to hearing...
Honesty "With the help of ACA, we are offering our parents fairness as we look at the family system with rigorous honesty. We are looking for the truth so that we can live our own lives with choice and self-confidence. We want to break the cycle of family...
Acting Out "By working the ACA program, we learn to recognize when we are thinking like a victim or persecutor and to talk about it." BRB p. 9 Since the Laundry List was such an important part of our original identification when we found ACA, we used that mindset (how...
Survivor "It is my bias that no one deserves to live a life of fear and shame." BRB p. xviii Many ACAs go from blaming, shaming, complaining, and condemning ourselves and others to finally learning to name what is really going on. By doing so, we begin to come out of...
Grief as Freedom "Experienced ACA members speak of grief with a sense of serenity rather than with sorrow or resentment." BRB p. 200 When listening to ACAs share at meetings, newcomers may at first only hear the recounting of the childhood events and their effects. If...