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The trauma and grief of growing up in an alcoholic or addicted family create a lifetime of baggage. If you grew up in an addicted family, the dysfunction that permeated every aspect of your childhood may have seemed 'normal,' and you may not even realize the level of affect alcohol still has on your adult life?whether or not you drink.
If you are one of the millions of Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACOAs), the cost of your childhood pain can be unbearable. You may have learned ...
The trauma and grief of growing up in an alcoholic or addicted family create a lifetime of baggage. If you grew up in an addicted family, the dysfunction that permeated every aspect of your childhood may have seemed 'normal,' and you may not even realize the level of affect alcohol still has on your adult life—whether or not you drink.
If you are one of the millions of Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACOAs), the cost of your childhood pain can be unbearable. You may have learned how to 'survive,' but are you 'living' your life? Do you fear normal conflict? Do you blame yourself when something goes wrong—even when it isn't your fault? Are you a chaos junkie? Or do you just fear relationships because they are too difficult or too painful?
Having devoted much of their careers to working with ACOAs, therapists Jane Middelton-Moz and Lorie Dwinell now take a deeper look into the origin and cost of childhood pain, as well as the grief resolution process that is integral to recovery. This revised and expanded edition of their groundbreaking 1986 hit After the Tears discusses the latest research and offers insights on living a good life despite a dysfunctional childhood by tackling issues such as intimacy, sibling relationships, codependency, breaking the alcoholic pattern, building a relationship with the inner child, forgiveness, and opening a window to spirituality.
1 The Bomb in the Basement and the Bomb in the Attic: Common Characteristics of Alcoholic Families and Survival Adaptation of Adult Children of Alcoholics 5
2 The Same but Different: Differences in Children from the Same Alcoholic Family and Differences in Alcoholic Families 22
3 Self-Sufficient in an Insufficient Way: Learning to Survive Under Chronic Stress 37
4 The Gift That Keeps On Giving: Characteristics of Children of Alcoholics 54
5 Surviving the Unimaginable: The Resilliency of Children of Alcoholics 76
6 Validation of Trauma and Breaking Through Denial: Understanding the Normal Response to an Abnormal and Painful Life 86
7 Building a Cognitive Life Raft: Developing an Intellectual Understanding of the Effects of a Painful Life 99
8 An Emotional Safety Net: Building a Relationship with the Child Within 113
9 Grief Work: The Pain That Begins to Heal Itself 121
10 Mourning, Then Behavior Change: Moving On and Giving Back 135
11 I Want You, Want You Gone, Want You Back: ACOAs in Intimate Relationships 146
12 Misplaced Loyalty: The Codependency Factor 169
13 Empowering Change in a Painful Legacy: Adult Children and Sibling Relationships 180
14 ACOAs Become Parents: A Pioneering Effort 197
15 A Pain Too Deep: ACOAs Taking Care of Elderly Parents 216
16 ACOAs in the Workplace: I Can Be a Team Player as Long as I'm the Only Player on the Team 230
17 Acceptance and Forgiveness: Holding On to Resentment Is like Taking Poison and Hoping the Other Guy Dies 242
18 Finding the Sacred in the Ordinary: Opening a Window to Spirituality for Adult Children of Alcoholics 254
Selected References 279
Posted December 21, 2012
I've never gone to Al-Anon or anything, so I'm writing from the perspective, but I thought this book was extremely helpful and insightful. It helped me feel more compassionate toward myself and I thought it provided some very practical ways to approach healing from a childhood trauma I was kind of in denial about.
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Posted December 2, 2013
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