Sexual Abuse and Incest

  • “The five family types that can produce adult children even though alcoholism is not always present are: 
  1. Homes with mental illness in the parent(s). 
  2. Homes with hypochondriac parent(s).
  3. Homes with ritualistic beliefs, harsh punishment, and extreme secretiveness, often with ultra-religious, militaristic, or sadistic overtones. Some of these homes expose children to battery and other forms of criminal abuse. 
  4. Homes with covert or actual sexual abuse, including incest and inappropriate touching or dress by the parent(s)
  5. Perfectionistic, shaming homes in which expectations are often too high and praise is typically tied to an accomplishment rather than given freely.”

The Fellowship Text covers all types of family dysfunction and the effects of growing up in those homes:

  • “This book will address how ACA met the challenge of inclusion for adult children from homes without the presence of addiction.”
  • “While we come from different family types, our ability to identify with the ACA message is amazingly similar if not exact.”
  • “If alcohol or drugs were not a problem, your home may have been chaotic, unsafe, and lacking nurture like many alcoholic homes.”
  • “Most families across the world are dysfunctional, in that they don’t provide and support the healthy needs of their children. What results is an interruption in the otherwise normal and healthy neurological and psychological growth and development of the child from birth to adulthood.”
  • “Alcohol or drugs do not have to be present in the family for dysfunction to exist. Many ACA members relate to ACA literature and meetings, but their parents did not drink or have an addiction. In addition to the alcoholic family, there are at least five more family types that create the shame, abandonment, or perfectionism that create an adult child. You are a member of ACA as long as you identify with The Laundry List traits and have a desire to recover from the effects of growing up in a dysfunctional home.”
  • “…a reasonable number of adult children truly had no addiction in the home. …. There also appeared to be no addiction in the preceding generation of their families. Yet, their homes had features which created the early loss of security and sense of self-failing that characterize addicted homes.”
  • “…a caring parent always raises a caring child and adult. A dysfunctional parent always raises a dysfunctional child and adult. There is no gray area here in our experience. Our categories of verbal and emotional abuse are not so broad if we concentrate on the type of abuse and the specific effects on the child. In ACA, we are talking about abuse and neglect that involves belittling, threatening, shaming, hateful, and indifferent behavior by the parents on a regular basis. This behavior produces a felt sense of shame and fear in the child.”
  • Chapter 3 in the Fellowship Text is entitled “My parents didn’t drink but I can relate”