Immune to distance, geography, language, and tradition, adult children, who have been raised in dysfunctional, alcoholic, and/or abusive homes, uncannily share fourteen behavioral characteristics stitched together by fear and adopted because of the brain’s rewiring so that you can foster the perception of increased security.
Collectively called “the laundry list,” a term designated by an child that is adult Tony A., cofounder for the Adult Children of Alcoholics fellowship, read them during the first conference held in New York in 1978, “… it describes the thinking and personality of an adult reared in a dysfunctional household,” according to the “Adult Children of Alcoholics” textbook (World Service Organization, 2006, p. 3).
“As kiddies, we had been affected in human body, brain, and character by alcoholism or other household disorder,” it also states (p. xxvi). “Our figures stored the trauma, neglect, and rejection in the form of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Your brain developed the laundry list faculties or the self that is false endure. The child that is inner the actual link with our Higher Power, went into hiding.”
What exactly is perhaps even more essential compared to characteristics on their own is just how and why they facilitate an individual’s perception of security.
The very first, “We became separated and afraid of people and authority numbers,” arises because the child that is adult believes that those he interacts with later in life wear the displaced faces of their parental abusers, especially if the person possesses comparable physical or personality faculties and holds a higher, stronger position, relegating him to your lesser, weaker, or disadvantaged “victim” stance. It absolutely was, after all, their extremely moms and dad who transcended the boundaries he never ever knew he had until they were crossed, betrayed their trust, subjected him to a hopelessly uneven power play, and infracted or abused him.
Introduced to such a powerful at a most likely early age, he completely expects similar harmful interactions with those he encounters later in life and from who, because they neither understand him nor owe him greatly, he anticipates also less consideration and regard than his parent gave him. Indeed, kiddies raised in such houses do not concern if other people will damage them. Instead, they ask if they will damage them. With this, they truly are certain.
The characteristic that is second “We became approval seekers and destroyed our personal identity in the process,” emanates from the opening within the adult child’s soul, or the one dug when their moms and dads neglected to fill it with developmentally nurturing praise, support, self-confidence, acknowledgment, validation, and love. The very requirement for approval implies the existence of a fundamental flaw and its own pursuit attempts to restore value, change a praise deficit, and prove he has, like others, the proper to feel add up to them.
So accustomed to the emptiness he felt when his parent did not nurture him is he, he neither feels he deserves nor can he accept and internalize such validation whether or not it is offered, reducing him to a mirror off of which it instantly bounces.
Having been constantly exposed to harm and abuse during their upbringing as soon as the person’s parent became agitated and unstable, and failing to know very well what their actions-or, indeed, their absence of them-did to result in the potentially traumatizing interactions he had been subjected to, the adult child continues to be mostly helpless to your dynamics regarding the third trait, which states “Our company is frightened by aggravated individuals and any individual critique.”
Emotionally regressed to an age which might have been the equivalent of their tender two (years or even months), he yet again becomes powerless and primed to endure just what their mind signals will likely be a perform of a diminishing, demoralizing, or completely dangerous parental interplay.
So adept can adult children become at detecting the characteristics that others share with them, they’ve used a sixth sense with regards to distinguishing them, even though these are typically in a room with 25 or more people and they have not really met them. That is embodied by the 4th trait, which states, “We either became alcoholics or marry them or both or find another compulsive personality, such as a workaholic, to meet our unwell abandonment needs.”
Although these traits are mostly unknown by people who experienced stable, secure, nurturing, and loving upbringings, they have been considered “normal” to children that are adult. In place, all of them are he knows. While others would consider relationships or marriages with unrecovered individuals challenging, if you don’t entirely impossible, barrier courses, adult children had first hand experiences with them during their upbringings and also have unknowingly amassed tolerances and strategies beyond the comprehension of other people.
Certainly, without sufficient understanding and recovery that is corrective interactions with these people can be considered nothing uncommon, since their home-of-origins were venues by which they survived, maybe not thrived. Noted author John Bradshaw wrote, “When you don’t know your history, you’re doomed to duplicate it.”
A few of these dynamics are key to the fifth characteristic-namely, “We exist through the standpoint of victims and now we are drawn by that weakness in our friendship and love relationships.”
Although there may appear to be two concepts in this trait-that is, initial concerning victimization as well as the 2nd about the attraction to those reduced to such a role-they really constitute two, but opposing edges for the seesaw that is same.