“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 we were wronged) during our early recovery. To reveal the full extent of our grief and to unstuff our emotions, however, we needed to reflect on our past through the eyes of the victims we’d become.
Step work revealed how our past not only victimized us, but taught many of us to be cruel, vindictive, and scathing when we decided we were ‘gonna pay them back.’ Then we saw the Other Laundry List and found further self-identification. Along with being victims long ago, many of us were angry, frustrated children who learned how to hurt others. And hurt them we did, for many, many years.
Having promised ourselves as children that we would never be like our parents, we stood now as adults with their same behaviors.
But in ACA we soon found we were not alone in this paradox. In our meetings we sat together, each of us victims and victimizers; we lifted our heads, removed our shame, and understood we could not have turned out any other way. We started recovering with our new ACA family.
On this day, if I feel like striking out, I will take a time-out so I can take a “time-in.” I will focus inward, reflect and talk about it with a fellow traveler.
Copyright © 2018 by Adult Children
of Alcoholics / Dysfunctional Families
World Service Organization, Inc.
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