Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Can Adult Children Of Alcoholics "Forget" About The Past?

Dr. Tian Dayton describes PTSD as a post traumatic stress reaction in which childhood pain is being lived out in adult relationships without our awareness.

When we experience trauma the prefrontal cortex (responsible for planning and rational thought) shuts down and the traumatic experienced does not get processed. It works the same way in Adult Children Of Alcoholics as in others, although ACOAs may experience more of these Adverse Childhood Experiences than others.

These traumatic memories later get triggered and re-experienced. Unresolved hurts are  "imported from the past and layered onto the present." For example, you may experience a conflict with someone and feel just like you did as a powerless child.

According to the ACA Solution, becoming your own loving parent is key to resolving things.

As ACA becomes a safe place for you, you will find the freedom to express all the hurts and fears you have kept inside and to free yourself from the shame and blame that are carryovers from the past. You will become an adult who is imprisoned no longer by childhood reactions. You will recover the child within you, learning to accept and love yourself.

This can be a challenge for ACAs as many did not have loving, empathetic parents to model and learn from. Becoming your own loving parent might require the help of a safe group, good therapist and/ or healthy, caring friends.

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