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Posts Tagged ‘ACoA’

lilac Syringa vulgaris in bloom

lilac Syringa vulgaris in bloom (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There is no concept for ‘normal’ for most ACoA individuals. Not how a healthy family functions, not how a healthy relationship unfolds, not for what acceptable emotions and behaviors may be for any type of situation that for non-ACoA people would be obvious. This creates challenges when an ACoA person desires to move on in life and embrace change because they have no foundation on how they should be thinking, feeling or acting as they take their steps in growth.

People who have grown-up in an alcoholic home learned at a very early age that the only consistency they had was the fact that life was completely inconsistent. We became survivalists in this arena. It was always expected that the alcoholic parent would drink, we just never knew when or where it would start or what the outcome would be; would they simply pass out until the week-end was over or would the police be called to the house…..again.

When I was growing-up in the 60’s and 70’s there was still a lot of stigma and negativity towards alcoholism. My dad being an alcoholic was the biggest secret all the neighbors knew. I just didn’t know they knew, so was always walking on egg shells trying to cover the tracks. My stomach was tied in knots and I was always scared someone would see or hear my dad when he was drunk.

I only had one friend I’d invite into the house who I felt comfortable with if she knew he drank. When she moved to Europe it was three years before I invited anyone else in again. This is not ‘normal’ but for me it was my only option.

If you’ve grown-up in an alcoholic home you know how good you became at lying. It’s not like we set out with lying as our intention, but it became much easier than telling the truth. How did I get the black eye? Oh, I tripped and hit the doorknob in my bedroom. I soon had the reputation of being a klutz. Making up stories like that is not normal but again, at the time, it was my only option.

I was clueless how I was supposed to think and feel in various situations. To hide my insecurities I became the class clown. If I made people laugh I’d feel comfortable and when I got in trouble for it, at least it was because of something I did and not because of what was happening in my home. Of this one aspect of my life I had control.

It took a lot of years of inner work with myself before I was confident in expressing my feelings. I remember one night sitting in a meditation class; we had our eyes closed and our teacher was asking us questions about something and he said “raise your hand if you think this….. raise your hand if you think that…..” I would peek and see how people were answering and raise my hand accordingly. Then I got busted because he said “Debi, it can’t be both ways, which is it for you, A or B?” I was paralyzed in that moment. I was filled with fear of saying the wrong answer and fear that I’d be in trouble for it, when the reality of the situation was we were only being asked for our perspective. Again, not normal!

Hypnosis is an incredible tool to help individuals rise above their ACoA traits. Why? Because all those patterns of behavior and emotions are stored in the subconscious mind. The subconscious mind is like a computer; it will continue acting on the same program until the program is changed. This is why an adult child of an alcoholic has difficulty in learning what ‘normal’ feelings and behaviors are, because their subconscious mind is filled with the old patterns and pain from the past.

I have been working with many ACoA individuals in my hypnosis practice, helping them create a ‘new normal.’ We work on releasing the old negativity and patterns of thoughts and behavior that has been controlling them for so long. It’s like preparing a canvas to paint a picture. Once the subconscious mind has been cleansed, they start focusing in on the type of person they yearn to become, which is setting the foundation for their new normal. This takes time because getting in touch with new positive emotions with the permission to feel and express them is a whole new way of living life. But the journey is empowering and worth every step.

Love & Blessings to all who wander by to read this!

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