Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Relationships Foster Resilience

We hear and see it all the time in ACA/ACOA meetings and literature: "The first step is coming out of isolation". This sentiment is now being echoed by those studying overcoming adversity and increasing "resilience".

A recent article from suggests that regardless of your past or your genetic ability to handle stress, anyone can cultivate resilience. Psychiatrist Steven Wolin, M.D., defines resilience as "the capacity to rise above adversity". His findings are based on 20 years of his own research on adult children of alcoholics. Most of them, he has found, do not repeat their parents' drinking patterns.

Those who overcame adversity yet lacked strong family support systems growing up, sought and received help from others—a teacher, a neighbor, the parents of peers or, eventually, a spouse. They were not afraid to talk about the hard times they were having to someone who cared for their well-being.

Resilient children often hang out with families of untroubled peers. As adults, the resilient children of alcoholics marry into stable, loving families with whom they spend a great deal of time.

Psychologist Edith Grotberg, Ph.D., urges people to propagate their own resilience by thinking along three lines:

1. I Have: strong relationships, structure, rules at home, role models; these are external supports that are provided

2. I Am: a person who has hope and faith, cares about others, is proud of myself; these are inner strengths that can be developed

3. I Can: communicate, solve problems, gauge the temperament of others, seek good relationships—all interpersonal and problem-solving skills that are acquired.

It's often been said that the path to healing and maintaining recovery involves being around healing, balanced people; a safe group, family, friend, recovery org., therapist, church group, etc. The biggest challenge to improving resilience may be to overcome the long standing isolation that once provided protection from trauma and dysfunction.

Check out the Orange County ACA website at: Orange County Adult Children


Anonymous said...

well done!

Anonymous said...

After reading lots of Bradshaw I had come to the internet searching information on the Inner Child. I knew lots about "relationships" in 12 step recover.

I also knew I had to learn more about this "experientially" and to start practicing....

I learned more about family of origin matters and why ACA's have such a hard time with healthy relationships and that the cycle began in childhood.

I had come to the internet- just after the new 2006 ACA text came out. My very first forum ever. In trying for the first time in my 25+ years to get active in 12 service and "Start a new family" with others in recovery...I actually came upon some of the sickest unhealthy behavior in the current ACA WSO and thier current forum I have ever seen in my personal recovery,involving major control, deciet and cover up.

I am still in therapy and found it was a major mistake trying to foster a healthy relationship, interact with these ACA moderators/ACA WSO board members.

As Tony A. said Heroes are the driving force behind ACA and often the hero need to learn to sit in the back of the room and learn to be silent.

I have learned more about how important it is to be careful in recovery and I WAS so naive' thinking it was a spiritual program and everyone that has been around long enough to be in high levels of service positions was spiritual.

I was hurt and wounded really bad over all of this and although some may say I am playing a is my truth and trying to learn more about ACA and relationships yet still having some dissociation and lacking disernment was very,very dangerous.

ACA WSO itself has now become part of my abuse-a-log and I still can't understand why everybody and thier brother still links to them on the interent.

I have found that the relationship with myself, mind, body and spirit..unity within myself is the most important relationship for me.

Taking that risk to establish relationships was dangerous and I relized I became an introvert for a reason. I know relationships with other is important but I have to be extra careful with flexible boundaries and not walls.

My favorite poem:

I looked for my God che eluded me

I looked for my soul I could not see

I looked to my brother and found all three

I was taught I needed to be MIRRORED, loved and accepted in the eyes of others to see myself as I am.

It is sad that sometimes I am way too trusting in my constant search for those accepting eyes. I am told to become my own loving parent and learn to look into my own eyes for that love....yet isolation is not good at all.


sparky said...

Oh Yeah I forgt to mention in regards to resilience I was told to check out the word


Youtube had a few decent videos concerning neuroplacticity...which gave me lots of hope knowing this is all about the neurological pattern/wiring that started in childhood and it can be re-wired.


Anonymous said...

I think the key is being around "healing, balanced people; a safe group", family, friend, recovery org., therapist, church group, etc.

I think balanced, nurturing, safe people can, by definition, be hard to come by in groups that are filled with those on the road to recovery. That doesn't exclude everybody- but one must be very selective. And the more intimate the relationship becomes, the more dysfunction may be revealed.

I had a similar experience in that I was surprised by the level of dysfunction in the ACA WSO. In hindsight, I guess it should have been expected!

sparky said...

"I had a similar experience in that I was surprised by the level of dysfunction in the ACA WSO. In hindsight, I guess it should have been expected!"

I hear an expectation is a premeditated resentment. I assumed that the Adult Children Of Alcoholics World Service Organization would have a general understanding of the LOVE and TOLERANCE they preach of....

I have actually heard of more people that were abused by this current ACA WSO than those that were helped by it.

Why an hell is everyone linking to them and setting them up for abuse?

It is beyond me...maybe they were hoping like I did that if enough show up it had to get better...but it appears as more shop up more just recieve abuse.

I see they are back down to six ACA WSO board members, capacity is 20. I don;t think I would take any "relationship" training from that crew.

Of course I have met many of the 12 step parrots that could talk the talk but not walk the if I am all that recovered finger pointing out three pointing back.

Since my introduction to ACA I actually have realized exactly how dangerous some relationships can be...and how naive' I was. Like boxing I had to get my butt kicked to learn to fight.

Today I am finding and learning to use my voice. Sadly this current ACA WSO is now part of my abuse-alog.

Hopefully someone will start an actual forum for adult children abused by ACA WSO.

I feel my ACA WSO experience is comparable to going to a preast for guidaence and then getting molested by them.

The adult children movement is gathering some very wounded people...sometimes it appears that the psychotics are beating up on the neurotics.


Really Engrossed Love Affair Turns Into Outrages Nightmare Serenity Hangs In Peril

What a nightmare it has been for me. I have been in therapy and instead of talking about my childhood I am talking about ACA WSO but I can see the connection.

I dislike the behavior of controlling bleeding deacons, heroes with unresolved control issues etc...etc...

How long does it take a bleeding deacon to become and elderstatesment? I certainly will stick around long enough to find out. LOL

Lots of room for me to learn my part and of love and tolerance...and relating to others.

prince mondal said...

Great article and thanks for your work. I appreciate to your post.Keep posting.
fostering children