Is ACA for me?

Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACA)/Dysfunctional Families is a Twelve Step, Twelve Tradition program of men and women who grew up in dysfunctional homes. 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.

If you answered “yes” to three or more of the questions below, you may be suffering from the effects of growing up in an alcoholic or other dysfunctional family. We welcome you to attend an ACA meeting to learn more.

  • Do you recall anyone drinking or taking drugs or being involved in some other behavior that you now believe could be dysfunctional?
  • Did you avoid bringing friends to your home because of drinking or some other dysfunctional behavior in the home?
  • Did one of your parents make excuses for the other parent’s drinking or other behaviors?
  • Did your parents focus on each other so much that they seemed to ignore you?
  • Did your parents or relatives argue constantly?
  • Were you drawn into arguments or disagreements and asked to choose sides with one relative against another?
  • Did you try to protect your brothers or sisters against drinking or other behavior in the family?
  • As an adult, do you feel immature? Do you feel like you are a child inside?
  • As an adult, do you believe you are treated like a child when you interact with your parents? Are you continuing to live out a childhood role with the parents?
  • Do you believe that it is your responsibility to take care of your parents’ feelings or worries? Do other relatives look to you to solve their problems?
  • Do you fear authority figures and angry people?
  • Do you constantly seek approval or praise but have difficulty accepting a compliment when one comes your way?
  • Do you see most forms of criticism as a personal attack?
  • Do you over-commit yourself and then feel angry when others do not appreciate what you do?
  • Do you think you are responsible for the way another person feels or behaves?
  • Do you have difficulty identifying feelings?
  • Do you focus outside yourself for love or security?
  • Do you involve yourself in the problems of others
  • Do you feel more alive when there is a crisis?
  • Do you equate sex with intimacy?
  • Do you confuse love and pity?
  • Have you found yourself in a relationship with a compulsive or dangerous person and wonder how you got there?
  • Do you judge yourself without mercy and guess at what is normal?
  • Do you behave one way in public and another way at home?
  • Do you think your parents had a problem with drinking or taking drugs?
  • Do you think you were affected by the drinking or other dysfunctional behavior of your parents or family?