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.
7:00 – 9:00 PM Closed Meeting
ACAa Only – No advanced registration is required
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.
Brenda (770) 317-7351
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
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 Red Book and Yellow Workbook study. The meeting is Non-smoking.
12:00 – 1:45 PM Open Meeting
Open to all for fellowship study, text and steps.
7:00 – 8:45 PM Open Meeting
The first hour of this meeting is available for checking in and sharing. The remaining portion of this meeting is an ACA Red Book Study.
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 Feelings Release
This meeting will feature support offering techniques for unblocking the flow of difficult emotions through the body.
There are currently no meeting in the area on Saturday
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...
PTSD "PTSD is a condition of the body and mind in which a person stores the memory of a violent attack or life-threatening event." BRB p. 344 When we got to ACA, we knew our minds and emotions were affected, but our bodies? We saw that the literature talked about how...
Inner Drugs "Because we were raised in chaotic or controlling homes, our internal compass is oriented toward excitement, pain, and shame. This inner world can be described as an ‘inside drug store.' The shelves are stocked with bottles of excitement, toxic shame,...
Survival Traits "The safe harbor we find in ACA meetings is the starting point for transforming our survival traits." BRB p. 112 The dysfunction we grew up with grabbed hold of many of us with such powerful claws that we learned to perform to suit the needs of others....
Step Two "Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity." BRB p. 130 Our parents had been our gods. This is normal for children because parents are their primary support system. As adults, many of us had not progressed past this stage...
Feelings "People want recovery, but they prefer it be pain free. That is understandable, but unfortunately, identifying and feeling our feelings is a part of healing." BRB Introduction p. xxiii "Feelings? What are those?!" As children from dysfunctional homes, if we...
Indecision "Children of alcoholics are paralyzed by indecision when trying to separate emotionally from their homes." BRB p. 87 When we started telling our story in ACA, we may have felt like we were betraying everything we had ever known, and we were - but that was...
Grief and Childhood "Genuine grieving for our childhood ends our morbid fascination with the past and lets us return to the present, free to live as adults. Confronting years of pain and loss at first seems overwhelming." BRB p. 83 We may have been going to...