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Adult Children of Alcoholics don't often know what is and what is not appropriate behaviorWhere ever you search, all you get is how we got screwed up, not much on how to fix it, till now. For more information visit Healthy Boundaries- No More Victim Beha

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A.C.O.A. or Destructive Alcoholic Behavior Without Drinking

Wed, 17 Aug 2011 08:59:00 +0000

Adult Children Of Alcoholics or A.C.O.A.s may not drink but suffer from the same self destructive behaviors of Alcoholics or other substance abusers.

A.C.O.A.s feel extra "crazy" because to them, there is no "reason" for them to keep on doing less than functional behavior.

It is a basic tenent of AA that the drinking is only a symptom of a larger Alcoholic behavior. See the definition of "Dry Drunk" (Not Drinking, But Not 'Of Sober Mind' Either)

September is National Recovery Month, in the Sept 25 2009 HuffingtonPost featured author Dr. Tian Dayton complied a list of behaviors often experienced by A.C.O.A. adults:

  • Problems with Self- Regulation
  • Hyper Vigilance/Anxiety
  • Hyper-reactivity/Easily Triggered
  • Emotional Constriction
  • Loss of Trust and Faith
  • Unresolved Grief 
  • Traumatic Bonding
  • Learned Helplessness
  • Somatic Disturbances
  • Tendency to Isolate
  • Cycles of Reenactment
  • High Risk Behaviors
  • Survival Guilt
  • Shame  (insert: guilt and shame are often used as synoynms: guilt is "I've made a mistake", shame is "I AM a mistake", shame is toxic, guilt carries the implication that it is repairable, shame... there is nothing to repair so why bother)
  • Development of Rigid Psychological Defenses 
  • Relationship Issues
  • Depression with Feelings of Despair
  • Distorted Reasoning
  • Loss of Ability to Take in Caring and Support from Others
  • Desire to Self Medicate

========== This article is for informational purposes only. Please contact a licensed professional in your area if you are in crisis or require mental health services
David Bruce
Healthy Boundaries & Victim Behavior(image)

Secondary Gain, Or She's Not Doing What You Want Her To Do

Thu, 31 Mar 2011 21:49:00 +0000

Secondary Gain

You tell yourself you want X because of Y... well that's your story and you're stickin with it.

For some reason, Y just doesn't seem to happen?

That's cause part of you, wants something OTHER than what YOU want,,,,
Part of you, is looking at another part of you... in contempt
That is the very essence of codependency
and it's evidence of dis-harmony (lack of harmony, aka absence of serenity)

That part of you (the one with inner contempt for you, or for the "rest of you") has an agenda

an agenda that isn't YOURS... it has a secondary target in mind

here's the kicker.. if you're wounded, if you're not a healthy well rounded inter-dependent being


guess what's gonna happen if you want something and IT wants something else?

This article is for informational purposes only.
Please contact a licensed professional in your area
if you are in crisis or require mental health services

David Bruce

Healthy Boundaries & Victim Behavior(image)

Make Friends With Your Negatives

Mon, 30 Nov 2009 07:11:00 +0000

--------------------------------------Living With Your Negatives--------------------------------------If you have been studying personal growth materials for anylength of time, you have probably heard it said over and overagain that the name of the game is positive thinking. In otherwords,  you must work to reduce and ultimately eliminàte negativethinking and emotions from your life.Well, yes. It's a nice idea in theory, but the practical realityis something different altogether.Although it is definitely correct and useful to develop anoverall optimistic and positive mindset, it may NOT be helpful totry to eliminàte ALL negative thinking and emotions from yourlife.Quite simply, to try to do so is rather like trying to bail outthe ocean from a leaky lifeboat, using just a coffee mug. Themore you do it, the more there is to do, and the more hopelessthe task seems to become. From a purely human aspect of striving,it is an almost impossible task.Indeed, the problem with getting too hung up with the negativeaspects of ourselves is that it can be a very dispiritingexperience if you are expecting to see positive improvement, butit nèver really happens, or else you end up backsliding.Hence, too much focus upon the negative side of your personalitycan be rather like trying to dig the seeds up every day to seehow they're growing. Ultimately, they won't grow at all.Why do people have negative emotions and attitudes? Well, putsimply, it's the human condition, certainly in the unenlightenedstate. This is a BIG subject and one we cannot tackle here.Childhood experiences, genetics, influence of peers, even pastlives (!) - they probably all play a part.However, what is for sure is that you are very unlikely toovercome the matter in the very near future. Certainly, there arepersonal development gurus who claim that you can, and even givethe impression that they have done so themselves. However, youdon't know them personally, and you are not there in every momentto see if they really have. Maybe their spouse might tell anotherstory altogether!Even the major spiritual traditions emphasize how hard it reallyis to overcome the negative aspects of ourselves. Christianitygoes as far as to talk about Original Sin, i.e. that we areactually totally helpless to effect lasting change on account ofthe fact that we inherited this "sinful" condition at birth. Weneed the heavenly "Salvation" that comes from above, and which iseffectively a "new birth". However, even this only comes intoeffect in full force when the old bòdy is shed off and the newspiritual bòdy taken on. Buddhism talks about achieving"Enlightenment", which is an analogous concept, but whichis tied in more to liberation from ignorance, delusion, and theshackles of the Flesh.Hence, if you think you are going to solve ALL your personalityissues overnight by listening to a twenty minute self-hypnosistape, or by doing some affirmations... Well, it's unlikely tohappen.However, that does not mean to say that personal growth is awaste of time. You ARE supposed to accentuate the positive. Justdon't focus on any perceived lack of progress with the negative,or get frustrated with its continued presence. Use "movingtowards" motivation, i.e. moving TOWARDS what you want, ratherthan "moving away from" motivation, i.e. trying to avoid anddeny what you do NOT want.Whatever you focus your mind upon has a tendency to grow inpower. Hence, focusing on your negativities has a tendency tomake them stronger. Focus rather upon what you wish to incrèasein your life, and let the negative side of your personality findits own place. In other words, make friènds with it a bit, ratherthan treat it as an enemy. Regard it rather as you would anaching limb. You don't hate it just because it aches!Statistics show that optimistic people actually have a lower riskof heart disease than pessimistic people. Hence, even from apurely pragmatic health perspective, it IS better to be positivethan negative in mental outlook! No doubt about it.nèvertheless, total[...]

Food is a Good Girl’s Sex

Mon, 27 Apr 2009 02:50:00 +0000

Changing Our Relationship to Our Skin: Sexual Anorexia and OvereatingApril 16th, 2009Last week on Oprah’s show they explored how to talk to your children about sex and Dr. Laura Berman said something that provoked a huge response in the audience: that parents should give their daughters permission to masturbate. She went so far as to say that at 15 or 16, introduce a vibrator. She asserted that if we teach young girls to take their power back around sexuality, they won’t be dependent on boys for their pleasure and confuse the good feelings they get from being pleasured by a boy with love.Although Oprah was completely on board with this, Gayle was against it. She asserted one of the most sexist things I’ve ever heard on this show: that it is ok for boys to masturbate because they are more sexually driven as teenagers. Well, I can tell you that as a child growing up in the 70’s where sexual mores had changed dramatically, I lived in a home where I was taught sex was for marriage.If you've just stumbled onto this blog, please consider leaving a comment and subscribe to my RSS feed and remember to subscribe to Repair Manual 4 Self Destructive Behavior via email to ensure you can enjoy the latest post(s).I drove all my chaotic, sexual feelings into food and between the ages of 13-15, gained 40 pounds. I remember having sexual arousal but not knowing what to do with it, my stress management technique was to eat cookies instead. How many girls who aren’t dating is this also true for? In the words of Dr. Toni Grant:“Food is a good girl’s sex.”But I digress. Getting back to Gayle and the Oprah show. Gayle has made no bones about mentioning her love for food.Why is it ok to derive pleasure from food but not from our own bodies? If a teenage girl sat down at a great meal and ate from pleasure, Gayle (and many people in America who agree with her) would be fine with that but it is not ok to have that pleasure come from touching ourselves.Dr. Berman did not go far enough. Although masturbation is part of the pleasure, what we aren’t taught is how to touch ourselves lovingly all over our bodies.And here’s the irony: Food when eaten to excess produces childhood obesity, diabetes, and a host of other health issues. The last I heard, stroking your own body does not make you go blind! Nor does it produce weight gain.In Ashley Montagu’s seminal work first published in 1971, Touching: The Human Significance of the Skin, he shares with the reader the studies that were done that support how critical being touched is to healthy human functioning and as an extension, to the ability to bond with another.My take on this is that when we are not touched, food becomes the safe mother. The mother who gives us unconditional love.When a teenage girl is given permission in her formative years to have intimacy with herself first, she does not reach out to find it indiscriminately with a boy, another adolescent most probably incapable of giving her what she truly needs. He can’t because he is being driven by the mother lode of testosterone into focusing his desire for sexual release. If girls had another avenue for nurturing themselves, they wouldn’t be as driven to make food their lover. It is time for us to move beyond this puritan schizophrenia we have that allows kids to see soft porn scenes in day- time soap operas while at the same time making a physical relationship with our own bodies forbidden. Dr. Toni Galardi is a licensed psychotherapist and author of The LifeQuake Phenomenon. Her website address is She is also available for consultation at 310-712-2600. article is for informational purposes only.Please contact a licensed professional in your areaif you are in crisis or require mental health servicesDavid BruceHealthy Boundaries & Victim BehaviorAlso check out[...]

Ward of the state- incompent social workers

Mon, 02 Mar 2009 20:47:00 +0000

Who do you hang out with?I used to hang out with the people I was dysfunctional with on a regular basis, that made it easy for me to write about my personal experiences and dealing with both my self destructive behavior and the dysfunctionals I spent my days and nights with. I've come to the conclusion that you can't be dysfunctional in a vacuum, you need someone to agree with you if you're to really do dysfunction and get it right.While I did experience helping people less dysfunctional than me by showing by example that a foul up who was just like them could pull themselves up and out by their own bootstraps, I did eventually have to get away from the proximity to drugs.If you've just stumbled onto this blog, please consider leaving a comment and subscribe to my RSS feed and remember to subscribe to Repair Manual 4 Self Destructive Behavior via email to ensure you can enjoy the latest post(s).I'd gone from daily use (cocaine as a means to further sex addiction as a function of love addiction) to once a week to twice a month and could not get completely sober until I removed my self totally."Hockey Players don't hang around with Chess Players"John Bradshaw"If you don't want to slip, stay away from slippery places"anonymous 12 step saying."People who don't go to meetings don't hear about what happens to people who don't go to meetings"anonymous 12 step saying.Having gotten away from the dysfunction has had pros and cons associated with it:PRO - I'm now at 140 days consecutive sobrietyI'm not at all ashamed of the 4 months of once a week, and dwindling down to twice a month... but totally clean is great, I have to say.CON- I'm finding it harder to write about dysfunction, in a manner that dysfunctional people can relate to. When I was one of them, it was easier. I'm still one of them but I'm a lot, LOT better off now as compared to then.Which brings me to the crux of this post's main idea:Rehab and 'programs' offered by Governmental agencies are MORE dysfunctional than the people they are ostensibly attempting to help. The schools are churning out idiots with social working degrees... and the social working jobs are hiring them.The entire concept of 'social work' has become a cottage industryI'm of the opinion, based on the people I've seen in this field and the people I've seen taking this in college... that social work is seen as a cushy job for slackers.If you go to and type in social working, before you even get the entire sentence completed you see millions of possible results... all biased towards helping YOU get into this billion dollar industry with the governments blessing, and a virtually unlimited number of possible 'patients' or 'clients'.Results 1 - 10 of about 388,000,000 for social working===As a journalist, I'm bound to protect my sources.I've heard from the people who's job it is to "process" teen delinquents, it's heart breaking the stories I've been told. The fools in charge of 'social work' don't give a damn about the kids, their families, the public... they only care about retiring from their cushy job.The text books teach garbage, who writes that crap?Would you want a drug counselor that never used?think about that for a moment.No where do they teach Family Systems Theory.They still teach B.F. Skinner for Christ's sake.Wikipedia has this to say about the definition of social work:Social work is a discipline involving the application of social theory and research methods to study and improve the lives of people, groups, and societies. It incorporates and uses other social sciences as a means to improve the human condition and positively change society's response to chronic problems.None, not one, not a single social worker I've ever seen or heard about did a damn thing to positively change anything other than their time clock. of societies miscreants and all of the disaffected would be served well if the people charged wit[...]

Some people just cant live with the 12 steps

Mon, 11 Sep 2006 12:25:00 +0000

There are many people who just cant go along with the entire theme of the 12 steps.

Surrender... and Ego, that's why.

If you think you ARE your ego, you're not gonna want to submit to anything other than yourself.

Lemme ask you something...
When you talk to yourself (we all do)... who are you talking to?

the only relationships we have in real time are with ourselves and a higher power.

all vision, once it gets processed by our minds, is in the past.
all sound (sound travels at 760mph at sea level), has to get processed in our auditory senses before we can assimilate it.

even sex, the most intimate bodily sensation... is not in real time
think about this: it's possible to accidentaly touch a hot stove... and it will take several micro seconds for your nervous system to realize you're getting burned.

Surrender is the sticking point
will go over this a lot more

But there are secular recovery processes that work very well. Just because I'm a hybrid Christian doesn't mean the secular stuff works.

Try these if you just can't get with the *program*.

to these people AA is a religion... they do have a point:
AA was started by a couple of old, white collar professionals who were drunks in Baltimore in the 30's

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This article is for informational purposes only.
Please contact a licensed professional in your area
if you are in crisis or require mental health services

David Bruce

Maximum is not Optimum- A.C.O.A's need to burn this into your pyche

Tue, 29 Aug 2006 19:56:00 +0000

As Adult Children of Alcoholics, we need to burn this quote from Gregory Bateson into our collective psyche...

Maximum is NOT Optimum

see Ego is Great, it's good to have one on one of my other blogs.

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    Please contact a licensed professional in your area
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  • Hubris, your Ego's primary job

    Tue, 22 Aug 2006 02:11:00 +0000

    Wikiopedia defines Hubris as:

    exaggerated pride or self-confidence, often resulting in fatal retribution.

    I've been watching the History Channel, Rome's emperors had hubris, they were ultimatley done in by refusing to grant rights to the very Goth's who were merely seeking a small section of the vast Roman Empire for a place of thier own.

    The Vikings, the ones that settled Greenland and the first Western explorers of North America had hubris: When the mini ice age began to make it so cold that their livestock froze... well they SAW the inuit's methods of surviving the extreme cold and ignored the eskimos.
    The Viking word for the inutit translates to "Little Ugly People".

    During the Civil War, the Generals at the War Department rejected the Winchester Repeating Rifle... they said they didn't want the army to have to carry extra ammunition... they thought that the soldiers would waste ammo if they were able to shoot as fast as they could pull the lever...

    Your Ego is hubris central...
    And if you let it run the whole show... you'll end up like Rome!

    for more info on your Ego construct and options for you to use additional mental resources go to my other blogs here:

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