ACOA stands for – Adult Child of an Alcoholic/Addiction or any adult who suffered trauma as children. They learned at a very young age how to deny their pain by shutting down their emotions. Very often, poor childhood coping mechanisms sabotage Adult Love Relationships. These dysfunctional behaviors can be changed for good with a new understanding of “Why you Do – What you Do” – and by conscious living using a positive – mind set.
The other Nine Traumas that children may have experiences other than having an addicted parent include:
- Domestic Violence situation; of knowing the secret of a Cheating
- Emotionally unstable parent – Depressed, Anxious, OCD, Perfectionist, Demanding
- Verbal abuse
- Emotional abuse, neglect or lack of safety
- Sexual abuse, rape or molestation
- Abandonment from parent – (Fault or No-Fault) – Fault – physical, emotional or any addiction; No-fault (father at war; death) or Enmeshment by an opposite sex-parent
- Adoption or Foster care
- Feeling worthless – bullying or sever competition with siblings or in school
- Family Trauma – frequent moves, poverty, loss of home, a physically sick sibling
Severity index of 1 – 10: The ACOA checklist – developed by Sylvia K. & Ronnie Fisher; measures the attributes often associated with ACOA’s
It assesses – two sub-types: 1) Perfectionist, rigid controlling – OR –
2) Disorganized & Impulsive. There are 6 scales that are measured (see Handout) –
When Dating – Being an ACOA can cause you to choose another ACOA – usually resulting in an unhealthy, toxic Relationship or lead you to be Codependent or Love Addicted to your Partner
Initially the ACOA is charming, romantic, sexy, fun, outgoing, and socially confident, loving and very affectionate – they are stellar at the Art of Seduction!
Once a relationship becomes Exclusive or a Marriage occurs, faulty imprinted habits that were CHILDHOOD COPING mechanisms & survival strategies for self-comfort or safety re-emerge and often destroy the Adult Love relationship they really crave.
A few of these behaviors could occur:
- Controlling their partner
- Over working, eating or spending, abusing alcohol, drugs, or sex to sooth Anxiety
- People Pleasing to Raise Self Esteem & be Liked
- Trouble communicating about their fears, anger or needs (Passive – Aggressive)
- Seduction, Lies & Manipulate to cover their actions
- Blames Partner, can’t apologize, shows no remorse to their wrong doings (Sociopath)
- The Secret Life begins – the power of Control is “in the Secret” – the Dark side/shadow; using porn, Sexual fantasies or acting out to feel loved
LOVE Beyond Your Dreams – In my book I describe the ACOA and other risky Personality types, along with the warning signs to look for in a person that could lead to a Toxic relationship. Many techniques for healing the past and finding Emotionally Healthy Love are described.
The modality I use to help my clients: “You can’t Change what you don’t Understand!” I use Psychotherapy to explore, understand WHY he does WHAT he does, and then forgive the past; use Life Coaching to make goals to move forward from today into the future they dream of, in combination with Relationship Coaching to heal their significant Love and family relationships. Together this creates a complete Holistic – mind, body and soul Make-over where Living in complete Honesty & Integrity is Essential. This newer approach to addiction and wellness works extremely well.
Daily, clients do the following:
- RAINBOW for healing
- Bibliotherapy – The ACOA Sourcebook by Janet Woititz; LIVE Beyond Your Dreams
- Living more Consciously – 1/3 of a day at a Time
- Four Questions: The Client must ask — Will this Action or Choice —–
- Hurt ME in any way?
- My PARTNER?
- My CHILRDREN or extended family?
- My REPUTATION on the Job or in the Community?
- Couples & Individual Therapy to teach safety so they can speak about their feelings.
- A sense of faith for healing and growth
- An ACOA 12-step program
- Meditation to visualize their new life and calm anxiety
- Feng Shui their home and office for a calm, organized, clean and peaceful environment
- Healthy diet and regular exercise
And others…………. Please call me if you are dealing with any of these issues! Riana Ph: 201-281-7887; Delray Beach, FL
Riana Mine, MA, is a Certified, world-wide Relationship, Love & Life Coach, #1 Best Selling Author, motivational speaker, Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Cert Addictions Professional at Therapy by the Sea; 15300 Jog Rd, Suite 109, Delray Beach. Her free App: My Relationship Coach offers more articles and her books, LIVE Beyond Your Dreams – from Fear and Doubt to Personal Power, Purpose and Success, and LOVE Beyond Your Dreams – Break Free of Toxic Relationships to Have the Love You Deserve addresses relationships with yourself and others. To learn more about Riana’s Life or Love Coaching programs or suggest a topic, go to Riana’s website, www.RianaMilne.com or email RianaMilne@gmail.com. Worldwide Coaching Phone: (201) 281-7887. Delray office: (561) 701-8277; Skype Coaching and FB: coachrianamilne. #LoveCoach, #LifeCoach, #RelationshipCoach, #SinglesCoach