Every ACOA Can Mend Their PTSD

ACOA = Adult Child of an Alcoholic PTSD = Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Once upon a time there was a little girl who was unfortunately influenced by the effects of having a parent who was subject to being under the influence of alcohol. This child and this parent were truly just regular folks who felt pain. Be it the pain of overwhelm, fear of death, loss, lack, feelings of inadequacy, and depression. The child was subject to many mini-traumas and sometimes large traumas. Children feel way more than we understand. The sense of fear that would be elicited in the girl’s body made her heart jump and her breath stop. The fear of saying or doing the wrong thing made her become very careful and reserved, for an accidental burst of joy or smart talk could affect the whole family when the bear woke and showed its ugly teeth. One could not jeopardize the entire group through bad words or behavior. Thus slowly and sometimes instantly, the shut down begins and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is born within another innocent heart.

Gradually numbing and disconnect occur in the heart of the girl who loved to be free and spontaneous was gone and buried deep within where no one could see her. She was hidden away. Her trust in her family was shifted to disappointment. Was it possible to trust anyone in this world? Doesn’t every parent betray, abandon and neglect? How does one figure all this out? I know… I’ll be really good in school where expectations are more predictable.

Sometimes her fear turned into rage. How can anyone for so long hold their precious feelings ever so tightly with no room for passion and hopefulness, creativity, empowerment and enthusiasm? All of these wonderful growth feelings every child deserves to engage with were limited and diminished by the alcoholic parent. The feelings that were allowed were despair, discouragement, insecurity, numbing, unworthiness and powerlessness. She had acquired those in abundance and lived with them every day until her ability to feel the others was nearly gone.

Now as and Adult Child of an Alcoholic (ACOA), she has the clear choice to not engage with the alcoholic or the behavior patterns. She slowly uncovers the joyful feelings and creates space to give them new light and air to breath and expand. The process can be challenging, but the outcome is always blissfully better. More time spent with appreciation, love, knowledge and freedom, is worth the dark journey to it. She found her way out of the tunnel of fear and into the tunnel of Love. The Good news is she didn’t do it alone. She found many allies who held a loving witness to the traumas while she recovered her lost heart.

It is important to find the support you need with fellow travelers who have endured the rigorous training and imprinting living in a family of alcoholics brings to us. Get yourself to an Al-Anon meeting that feels good to you. There you will find a fellowship of travelers. Try some psychotherapy to work out the details of the pain and events that caused the mini-traumas leading to the varying levels of PTSD which may affect you in adulthood. Energy healing can help you re-pattern your bio-energetic neuro-network that was imprinted with the alcoholic training. Reiki Energy Healing can also help you re-parent yourself to a new place of improved emotional response to the triggers of life.

Always remember to have compassion for yourself and the alcoholic who was most likely a little child with some scary bear in the house as well. Love and forgiveness heal all wounds. It just takes time and support to recover. If you would like to talk about this disease some more schedule a Free consult with me to see if Energy Healing is right for you. Call or Email me today. See the schedule for days and times. Blessings for your recovery.

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4 Responses to “Every ACOA Can Mend Their PTSD”

  1. Tracy says:

    Thank you for your great article. You stated the feelings of an acoa little girl exactly. It is a rough and painful journey to healing but the freedom that comes with it is priceless. Acoa meetings are a great place to connect with others and I recommend the book Toxic Parents which really opened my eyes to all the damage that was caused in a more covert way aside from the physical abuse.

    I lived my life in survival mode and now I am a thriver. It can be done but it takes getting out of denial which can be extremely hard to do. We as acoa’ s never deserved anything that we had done to us. The greatest words that I can share with other acoas…..It is not or was not EVER your fault!!

    With love and light!

  2. Gayle says:

    You are quite welcome. Al-anon gave me many tools and insight to behaviors and responses I had which were unconscious and habitual. Once we become conscious about events in our lives and how we are effected by them, we have the ability to make a shift. Truly a gift that keeps on giving to become gradually consciously aware of our own being. It is true that we can thrive and continue to create a life free from abuse.

    Thank you for your kind words. I have not heard about the Toxic Parents book, but will look it up.

    Peace to you and all your kin!

  3. Barbara Spike says:

    What a wild trip I’ve been on to recently read about PTSD and come to realize that’s possibly at the bottom of my unexplained erratic behavior. This was not part of my Al-Anon experience in the past. It’s a relief to see your article! Thank you!

  4. Gayle says:

    Thank you for sharing. Once we start to understand how these patterns imprinted into our very sensitive emotional and physical bodies, we are able to name the cause and provide ourselves with a framework within which we heal. Some parts are quite hidden in the underbelly of the shadow and are not revealed until we are ready to see. Keep asking what’s this about? Let the words and or feelings come to the surface to be expressed fully. Much love to you for your courageous walk on this path.

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