Tuesday, September 20, 2011


The "Adult Children Of Alcoholics" title can be a bit of a misnomer. It is a blanket term that includes those who suffered abuse or neglect even though their parents didn't drink. The cause of the trauma matters not. Everyone who suffered from dysfunctional parenting is welcomed into the fellowship of ACA with open arms.

My fear is that some of these people may never make it to an ACA meeting. They may, after hearing the word "alcoholic", quickly decide that they do not belong in this group. I have the advantage of knowing that even if my parents stopped drinking it would not have changed their behavior. The anger, judgement and fear I grew up with would still have emerged.

Recently I saw the term "Adult Children of Dysfunctional Families" or ACODF. It seems a more inclusive term than ACA or ACOA and more clearly describes the broad spectrum of people who grew up with all types of parental dysfunction. This acronym is a more apt fit for the majority of the population that grew up with dysfunction, with or without the substance abuse component.

There are many who don't know where to seek help or have yet to discover they even need it. Here's hoping the inclusive term, ACODF, will inspire a feeling of belonging and is seen as a warm invitation to join in recovery!

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