Mirror Image

A mirror image is a reflected duplication of an object that appears almost identical, but is reversed in the direction perpendicular to the mirror surface.  When I look at my reflection in the mirror, I realize that what is being reflected back on the surface is not really as it appears.

ACOAs tend to be perfectionist.  On the surface our lives may appear fine but scratch that same surface and wounds appear.  And anxiety and control issues are rampant.  I have been living my life in a state of denial; believing I’m in control.  The image I presented to the world was just a façade.

I never wanted to look in the mirror and see my alcoholic father reflected back at me.  I vowed never to abuse alcohol.  But I find myself repeating substance abuse-like patterns with food, shopping, and other compulsive behaviors.  Our mirror image, on the outside, reflects the image in the opposite.  If only it could reflect the true image from the inside out.

I’m Liz Hawkins and I’m a recovering Adult Child of an Alcoholic.


Repost from MyACoALife.com 09/08/16


The Peacemaking People Pleaser

I always thought axioms like Walk a Mile for Peace and Avoid Conflict at all Cost were good words to live by. Now I understand that as an ACOA, it’s simply my go-to approach to conflict.

Conflict is inevitable. It’s a part of relationships between individuals who live and work together. But ACOAs have a fear of people who are in authority, people who are angry, and we don’t take personal criticism very well. We also tend to misinterpret assertiveness for anger. So we are constantly seeking approval of others; sometimes losing our identities in the process.

I have definitely been guilty of going along to get along and people pleasing. I don’t like the back and forth people go through trying to get their point across or trying to get their own way. Aggressive people do, at times, intimidate me. Although not the alcoholic in the family, growing up, my mother was very aggressive and I could never win an argument with her. She would have a hundred reasons for why I couldn’t do something or go someplace.

I learned only ask for things that I knew fit her specifications. Consequently, I spent a great deal of my youth in a self-imposed isolation in order to please others.

Hi, I’m Liz Hawkins and I’m a recovering Adult Child of an Alcoholic.


Distorted Reasoning

Some ACOAs suffer with distorted reasoning, a disease that distorts the reasoning all around them.  Because we try so hard to hide the pain of watching ourselves and those we love become mired in the disease and losing our grip on our own happiness, we use our thinking to twist and bend the truth into a more palatable shape.

We rationalize and deny what is right in front of us, make excuses and sometimes lie because it make us feel better than to admit the truth.  The alcoholic lies to hide their uses and abuses, the family members lie to hide the extent of addiction and their fear, pain, and confusion.

Soon our thinking becomes so filled with denial and rationalization that we lose our own sense of what is normal.  Eventually, our sense of reality becomes distorted.  This is the story of my life.  But I am able to tolerate the truth because I have a program; I accept the things I cannot change and change the things I can.  One day at a time.

Hi, I’m Liz Hawkins and I’m a recovering Adult Child of an Alcoholic.


Repost: My ACOA Life.com Blog 12/15/16