Sanctuary and Serenity

The List of Characteristics – By Adult Children Anonymous

Posted on: March 26, 2010

The List of Characteristics~By Adult Children Anonymous.

Adult children seem to have several characteristics in common as a result of having been brought up in an alcoholic or dysfunctional family system.  If you identify with some of these characteristics and want to change, the A.C.A. program is available.
  • We become isolated and afraid of people and authority figures.
  • We become approval seekers and lose our identity in the process.
  • We are frightened by angry people and personal criticism.
  • We either become alcoholics, marry them or both or find another compulsive personality to fulfill our abandonment needs.
  • We live from the standpoint of victims and are attracted by that weakness in our love, friendship, and career 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 faults or responsibility to ourselves.
  • We get guilt feelings when we stand up for ourselves instead giving in to others.
  • We are addicted to excitement.
  • We confuse love with pity and tend to “love” those we can rescue.
  • We have stuffed our feelings from our traumatic childhoodsand have lost the ability to feel or express our feelings because it hurts so much.  This includes our good feelings such as joy and happiness.  Our being out of touch with our feelings is one of basic 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 onto a relationship in order not to experience painful abandonment feelings which are associated with having grown up with sick people who were never there for us.
  • Alcoholism is a family disease and we became para-alcoholics and took on the personalities of that disease even though we didn’t pick up a drink.
  • We are reactors rather than actors.
  • We guess at what normal is.
  • We have difficulty following a project through from beginning to end.
  • We have difficulty having fun.
  • We have difficulty with intimate relationships.
  • We take ourselves very seriously.
  • We over-react to changes over which we have no control.
  • We usually feel different from other people.
  • We are extremely loyal even in the face of evidence that the loyalty is undeserved.
  • We tend to lock ourselves into a course of action without giving serious consideration to alternative behaviours or possible consequences.  This impulsivity leads to confusion, self-loathing and loss of control of our environment.  As a result, we spend more energy cleaning up the mess than we would have spent had the alternatives and consequences been examined in the first place.
  • We tend to look for immediate rather than deferred gratification.
  • We generally over-react out of fear.
  • We are either super responsible or super irresponsible.


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