ACOA

being raised in an alcoholic home. Review the characteristics listed. If you identify with these characteristics then seek appropriate sources of support to understand and resolve them. Common Characteristics* Isolation, fear of people, and fear of authority figures.* Difficulty with identity issues related to seeking constantly the approval of others.* Frightened by angry people and personal criticism.* Have become an alcoholic yourself, married one, or both. A variation would be the attraction to another compulsive personality such as a workaholic. The similarity is that neither is emotionally available to deal with overwhelming and unhealthy dependency needs.* Perpetually being the victim and seeing the world from the perspective of a victim.* An overdeveloped sense of responsibility. Concerned about the needs of others to the degree of neglecting your own wants and needs. This is a protective behavior for avoiding a good look at yourself and taking responsibility to identify and resolve your own personal difficulties.* Feelings of guilt associated with standing up for your rights. It is easier to give into the demands of others.* An addiction to excitement. Feeling a need to be on the edge, and risk-taking behaviors.* A tendency to confuse feelings of love and pity. Attracted to people that you can rescue and take care of.* Avoidance of feelings related to traumatic childhood experiences. Unable to feel or express feelings because it is frightening and/or painful and overwhelming. Denial of feelings.* Low self-esteem. A tendency to judge yourself harshly and be perfectionistic and self-critical.* Strong dependency needs and terrified of abandonment. Will do almost anything to hold onto a relationship in order to avoid the fear and pain of abandonment.* Alcoholism is a family disease which often results in a family member taking on the characteristics of the disease even if they are not alcoholics (para-alcoholics). Dysfunctional relationships, denial, fearful, avoidance of feelings, poor coping, poor problem solving, afraid that others will find out what you are really like, etc.* Tendency to react to things that happen versus taking control and not being victim to the behavior of others or situations created by others.* A chameleon. A tendency to be what others want you to be instead of being yourself. A lack of honesty with yourself and others.