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

Some of us have wandered through life wondering why we had so many problems. Our childhoods were not filled with alcoholism or addiction. And yet, there was a dark cloud over our homes. We couldn’t talk openly; we couldn’t be ourselves. There was a lot of confusing behavior. We received punishments that didn’t make sense. We had to watch out for ourselves. Sometimes our parents were available, but often they were full of rage or confusion, or they seemed to mentally “check out.”

The first time we heard the Laundry List in a meeting, we related to many of the characteristics even though no one drank or used drugs at home. We felt the need to be there. We heard others share and realized that ACA embraces all of us, simply because we walked in the door.

Working Step One gave us an opportunity to draw a family tree. We soon saw the connection: alcoholism and addiction in past generations. The disease of family dysfunction was like a legacy. This helped us stop wondering if we belonged so we could focus on recovering.

On this day, even if I can’t pinpoint where there might have been addiction in my family, I know I belong in this program. I will use all the tools available to me to recover from my family’s not-so-unique dysfunction.

Copyright © 2018 by Adult Children
of Alcoholics / Dysfunctional Families
World Service Organization, Inc.
All rights reserved.

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