ACA

Join the Conversation on
ACA
522 people
0 stories
107 posts
Explore Our Newsletters
What's New in ACA
All
Stories
Posts
Videos
Latest
Trending
Post

Progress, not perfection #ACA #ChildAbuse #Jewish #Zen #Anxiety #AspergersSyndrome #MajorDepression #anhedonia

I have worked very hard on myself to make myself functional again. I'm now able to sustain a couple long-term friendships, and even interact with others occasionally. However, things like silence, vague answers, and people leaving (anywhere) suddenly, still throw me in a tailspin. The same with gaslighting, manipulation, and twisting my words. I don't know how to react better to these situations, so I try to separate my part from their part on whether it's my fault or not. Then I remind myself of how far I've come and what I've accomplished. Progress, not perfection.

17 reactions 2 comments
Post
See full photo

Even with the right answers I still feel so lost and alone! #Depression #Anxiety

I finally found a program that connects to all that I have been dealing with all my life. I do do mean literally all my life even before as was born.

Adult Children Anonymous (ACA). Being an adult child of an emotionally dysfunctional family of origin is by no means is something that very few people experience. It is actually probably even more common then what get reported. Pretty much anyone has experienced some kind of dysfunction in their lives.

Until recently, the last 6 years, have I come to understand and gain validation that my childhood trauma has so negatively affected my life. Oh I do not have many common horrific horror stories to tell. This is why for the majority of my life I truly was conditioned and was gaslighted to believe I had nothing to complain about.

This belief was reinforced by family, friends and even many mental health professionals. Since I could not articulate how I did suffer in my early childhood, teen years and early adulthood I just suffered alone. Even after having a couple breakdowns in my 30’s and 40’s left me completely confused.

Doing my own research and coming across #earlydevelopmentaltrauma only helped somewhat. I then finally figured out it was now known as #CPTSD but I could also relate to #HSP . Then last fall I came across #ACA and this encompassed everything I struggled with. I could relate to 14 traits relating to an adult child of dysfunction.

While validating I’m now on another major emotional rollercoaster. I now understand why I have become an isolated hermit. COVID only highlighted why I do seem to prefer to stay in my rabbit hole even though deep down I crave connection. I’m too afraid to trust anyone to actually be there for me and it all stems back to the fact that I grew up in a household that I was invisible and worthless.

This awareness does not seem to help me actually achieve a different outcome. In the ACA program me saying this means I still believe I’m a victim and not willing to change my circumstances. But I do. I just can’t seem to hold on to the faith that I will ever experience an honest authentic and meaningful connection with anyone. I really do not know how to achieve that since I have never experienced it in my 52 years of life. How pathetic is that? How do I fill that fundamental hole in my soul?

11 comments
Post
See full photo

Still overwhelmed but at least I have much more clarity. Letting myself trust in the process which can be a chaotic trip down a very winding road!

I’ve really been making some very big shifts in my life over the last few years.

It is extremely scary and hard at the same time. I’m still filled with so much fear.

While I’m a little better at self care. There is still a part of me that holds onto the old distorted idea that self care is selfish and self indulgent.

Yes I’m reconnecting to my feelings. Meaning I actually am successful at letting myself experience my feelings in “real time”. Sometimes I’m successful in actually naming my hurt, fear, anger and resentment. Processing current hurts but more importantly accepting and getting validation for the past decades of pain and hurt.This I’m calling my tsunamis and flash floods of emotions that are still sometimes catching me completely off guard. I’m trying to ride through the natural waves of emotions and not stop and avoid them like I was programmed to do from my early childhood.

Just listened to a podcast where it was stated of how a young child gets so confused because they have no clue how to process the mixed emotions of love/hate that can coexist towards our dysfunctional parents. Unfortunately many of us were never shown how to navigate this. This is the start of the worry/stress that turns into crippling #Anxiety and #Depression that I struggled with in silence and completely alone for decades. Then all of that turned into #BipolarDisorder .

Only recently do I have a better understanding that all of those diagnosis stem from #CPTSD (which is also known as early childhood developmental trauma). I’m on here repeating a lot of this because until recently all of this was so confusing and overwhelming that I had become so paralyzed in my life. I was stuck and it has been an extreme and intense emotional rollercoaster ride that I had no control over for years. My only break was basically reaching my emotional limits and literally crashing so low into a zombie state for days and weeks until the next crazy ride picked up and threw me into another emotional chaotic ride.

I got connected to #ACA (Adult Children Anonymous) last fall. Being around other adult children from dysfunctional families of origin. Learning together and finally getting so much validation from my peers is phenomenal. Among them I do not have continually explain and justify my reality of lived experience from day 1 till now. Understanding why I struggle so much in my adulthood with relationships and why I’ve not being able to live a life of, at least, satisfaction & contentment if not happiness.

I’m learning so much more about who I am. Connecting to and beginning the long road in being able to embrace my innate personality traits like being extremely empathetic. Being an #HSP #Highly Sensitive Person or HSP. I also discovered I struggle with elements of #ADHD . The more I’m learning to understand how my brain works ADHD makes more sense then my bipolar diagnosis. Right now that makes the difference of how I’m able to embrace and deal properly with my reality.

2 comments
Post
See full photo

Enjoying the little things..... #CPTSD #Anxiety #survivingemotionalneglect #Survivingchildhoodtrauma #HSP #ACA

Its been a really overwhelming emotional time for me. I'm in the midst of an intense internal emotional shift that has rocked me to my core. I had to reconnect to my true values and principles to rebuild my emotional core foundation from what seems like scratch. It's been really hard learning to love myself.

So especially throughout the winter I had become an isolated hermit. I'm being reminded that sometimes it is the simple little things that can make a big difference.

So as the weather started to shift too I just wanted to have more light in my place. Went on a mission to find decent curtains on a shoestring budget. I finally found some that really lets the light and this has had an immense boost to my spirits.

Even my cat is at more peace.....pretty bad that I'm so jealous of my cat. I want reach that kind of calm, peace and contentment. At least with this little improvement has given me much more hope. #Selfcare #Selfcompassion

2 comments
Post
See full photo

I’m still invisible...., #Depression #Anxiety #PanicAttacks #survivingemotionalneglect #survivingnarcisticabuse

I’m only now learning how to emotionally integrate how my #CPTSD has been impacting me. I only became aware and started attending #ACA group meetings this past fall. Until this fall I did not completely feel validated that my early emotional trauma was truly recognized and real. Of course my toxic and emotionally abusive family of origin would not admit or acknowledge my suffering. I found out the hard way that most of my long time friends are more like my family of origin then I realized. Why I only seemed to find narcissists to get romantically involved with. Then one negative workplace after the other, breakdown after breakdown over a 15year period took its toll where I’m now on ODSP (the Canadian/Ontario version of disability).

It has taken me years to connect to my emotions that I had stuffed away at some point in my childhood. Why I became so emotionally disconnected. Now I see how my over analyzing part of me was my way of disconnecting and dissociating from my feelings, from my hurt and justified anger. All the pain and suffering I took over to minimize and dismiss, that my feelings do not matter in the big scheme of the people and situations around me.

My people pleasing nature allowed every single person in my or came into my life to walk all over me. Of course I had been completely unaware I was “allowing” people to treat me this way. Take advantage of my caring nature but not give even a fraction back I return. I did not think, I still have difficulty feeling worthy. Feeling worthy to be respected, listened to or loved. Deep down I still believe I don’t deserve to be loved. To have even one person be there for me and not expect me to be always there for them.

I have made isolation my safe place so no can get close to me. I do not know how to make and maintain healthy relationships. I’m still only the support for so many wounded people I’ve me5 along the way. Even yesterday I ended up supporting someone through a panic attack. Of course I couldn’t abandon them.,..right. But guess what no was there for me when I had my own panic attack 3hrs later. I’m always alone because I had to talk to and rely on a stranger on a distress line since there is no one in my life who is there for me.

My inner child is silently screaming, yelling and crying for someone to come and notice her. Her cries are still being ignored and worse, being accused of being selfish and self absorbed.

2 comments
Post
See full photo

Progress is hard

So I got into this step group in ACA. They have already started before I was invited to join so I'm a little behind. We are going through a workbook and I'm trying to answer the prompts, but the whole time my mind and my body are screaming "no!". I just don't want to do it. It's emotional and my mind is trying to lie to me again that I don't need to do this, it's to hard, I need to just ignore all of my feelings and keep running away. I hate it. I'm trying really hard to push through, but it just makes me feel yucky.

I am proud of myself for doing this, though, and I know it will pay off.

#adultchildrenofalcoholics #ACA #Depression #Anxiety #progressnotperfection

2 comments
Post

What's your experience with Adult Children of Alcoholics? #ACA #BPD

I just learned about ACA, and was wanting to hear a bit more. I stopped drinking 4 months ago, and I really have some work to do on my sober self. I attended AA a few days ago for the first time, and although the people and info were great, I felt I needed less help with the alcoholism, and more with the trauma. And, Boom! Such a thing exists! I got really excited when I heard about this program. Unfortunately, the only meetings I can find are an hour away, and going to The Big City by myself to sit with strangers is super hard for me. I will try to find a virtual one, but I really need the presence of people right now. Maybe hearing a few more details will help me be brave :)

Post

Today I was thinking....

People tell me everyday to stay strong and keep going. If only they knew how hard I try to do so on a daily basis. My family thinks I’m weak. They just don’t understand how living in chronic mental and physical pain everyday is like. I wish they would understand.....but I know they never will. To all the people who also feel like this...please don’t let these people get you down. No one can tell you anything about something they know nothing about. No one can tell you your pain or suffering isn’t valid. You are worthy, you are beautiful, you are strong, and you are beautiful. Lastly, you are going to push through the difficult patches. xx #CheckInWithMe #ChronicIllness #FunctionalNeurologicalDisorder #ACA #Gastritis #Depression #Anxiety #Stronger #Beauty #ChronicDailyHeadache #Migraine #ChronicVestibularMigraine

49 comments