The Laundry List of ACoA


Adult Children of Alcohlics

I am an ACoA, ACA, or Adult Child of Alcoholic and I first heard of “The Laundry List of ACoA” in counseling. I grew up in a home with an alcoholic father and a drug-dependent mother. I was the middle child of three. My sister was four years older and my brother was almost two years younger. We were all affected by the disease of Alcoholism. April is NCADD Alcohol Awareness Month (National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependencies, Inc.). For the remainder of this month, my focus is the Adult Child of Alcoholism.

Today, I start with The Laundry List from Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACA or ACoA) that gives 14 Traits of an Adult Child of an Alcoholic. Although I don’t have all the traits, I do have many of them.



The Laundry List – 14 Traits of an Adult Child of an Alcoholic

  1. We became isolated and afraid of people and authority figures.

  2. We became approval seekers and lost our identity in the process.

  3. We are frightened of angry people and any personal criticism.

  4. We either become alcoholics, marry them or both, or find another compulsive personality such as a workaholic to fulfill our sick abandonment needs.

  5. We live life from the viewpoint of victims and we are attracted by that weakness in our love and friendship relationships.

  6. 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 own faults, etc.

  7. We get guilt feelings when we stand up for ourselves instead of giving in to others.

  8. We became addicted to excitement.

  9. We confuse love and pity and tend to “love” people we can “pity” and “rescue.”

  10. We have “stuffed” our feelings from our traumatic childhoods and have lost the ability to feel or express our feelings because it hurts so much (Denial).

  11. We judge ourselves harshly and have a very low sense of self-esteem.

  12. We are dependent personalities who are terrified of abandonment and will do anything to hold on to a relationship in order not to experience painful abandonment feelings, which we received from living with sick people who were never there emotionally for us.

  13. Alcoholism is a family disease; and we became para-alcoholics and took on the characteristics of that disease even though we did not pick up the drink.

  14. Para-alcoholics are reactors rather than actors.

Tony A., 1978

Many  of us do not initially recognize that we have a problem. We know that we grew up surrounded by alcoholism. We know that our experiences were not those of some of our friends, classmates, teachers, churches. We know that we are unhappy and troubled in our relationships with people because we don’t trust easily.When we learn that we are not alone in our feelings and knowledge we are both relieved by the fact and embarrassed that we thought we were unique. However, for me learning that I was not alone trumped the embarrassment.

I was not alone!…I was not alone!

If you have read this far, you may be (a) the child of an alcoholic or (b) know someone who is the adult child of an alcoholic. Write and let me know if this Laundry List from ACA literature was helpful and what you are thinking, Next blog will be about the paradoxical personality of the ACoA.



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The Garden Girl



Thank you to Joy over at Beautiful Words for suggesting this week’s theme!

Monday’s Finish the Story challenge is a flash fiction challenge with a new photo each week, and the first sentence of a story. My challenge is to finish the story using 100-150 words, not including the sentence provided.

Finish the story begins with:Once upon a time in a land far, far away...”

Please feel free to upload your story by clicking on the little blue fellow below to add your story to the list and/or to read other stories!

Genre: Flash Fiction/Haiku

Word Count: 150

(c) Barbara W. Beacham

The Garden Girl


Once upon a time in a land far, far away...”

There was a garden girl named Lily. She dreamed of a world full of life and a garden full of lush greens, delicious fruits, and vegetables. Lily gardened organically depending upon nature’s resources for weed control and plant growth. Her neighbor was jealous and tried to compete, undermining her garden.

“Why do you try to hurt me and my garden?” she asked. The neighbor just scoffed at her and waved his arm as he walked away.

The next day, Lily gave him her favorite book, “How to Garden Organically.” He was surprised but accepted her gift.

“Thank you. Why are you being so nice?” he asked.

“Because the world needs every gardener we have to feed people.” she replied.

“If we work together, we can save the earth and all the people on it.” Lily finished.


Organic Garden


Organic new growth

World sees lush garden green hues

People need more health


The research presented below [cited in the article] indicates that organic farming is even superior to non-organic farming regarding yields in addition to being greatly superior regarding friendliness to the environment. In addition, it is environmentally sustainable.


There appears to be good reasons for the US, Canada, EU and other countries, to consider diverting the large sums now spent on agribiotech to the development of organic farming.

Source of Quote: “Organic Farming Will Feed the World



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