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Adult Children of Alcoholics/Dysfunctional Families (ACE)

Adult Children of Alcoholics/Dysfunctional Families (ACE)

By answering the following questions, you will be able determine if you are a child of an alcoholic and if this experience has impacted you in any way.

  1. Did you grow up as the child of an alcoholic?
  2. Did you grow up seeing a lot of chaos or instability in your home?
  3. As a child, did you or do you feel like you are forced to make adult decisions for your parent that they should be doing themselves?
  4. Did your parents put you in the middle of adult issues?
  5. Did they tell you stuff that you did not want to hear?
  6. Did you witness things that made you feel uncomfortable or unsafe?
  7. Did you worry that your parents were going to divorce or wish that they would?
  8. Were you raised in single family home with parent who struggled with addiction?
  9. Did your father or mother often miss visits with you, due to substance use issues?
  10. Did your one of your grandparents, aunts or uncles have a drinking or drug problem?
  11. Did your parent suffer from some type of known trauma in their lives?
  12. Do people in authority tend to frighten you?
  13. Do you see yourself as a victim?  
  14. Do you see yourself being re-victimized by others in your life before and now?
  15. Do you find yourself constantly seeking approval from others?
  16. Do you often consider the needs of others while neglecting your own?
  17. Have you had relationships with people who need you to rescue them?
  18. Do you feel that you are different from other people?
  19. Do you judge yourself harshly and see things as your fault?
  20. Do you tend to isolate yourself from others?
  21. Do you find that you have difficulty having fun?
  22. Do angry people tend to frighten you or are you the person who has anger issues?
  23. Would people describe you as controlling or manipulative?
  24. Do your friends and family see you as being super responsible or super irresponsible?
  25. Are you a risk taker or enjoy the high of taking risks?
  26. Do you have difficulty having or maintaining intimate relationships?
  27. Is it easier to give into the demands of others than stand up for yourself?
  28. When others disapprove of you, do you feel you need to change their mind?
  29. Do you have difficulty in telling others about your feelings without crying or getting mad?
  30. Have you ever been in a relationship with an alcoholic or addict?
  31. Do you tend to corner yourself into a situation or plan, even if it appears it will fail?
  32. Do you tend to hold on to relationships, even if they become painful?
  33. Do you feel that you spend a lot of time cleaning up problems of others?
  34. Is someone in your family struggling with an addiction?
  35. Would people describe you as an enabler?
  36. Do your parents have a history of anxiety or depression?
  37. Did you ever have to lie for your parents? Or lie for someone else due to their addiction or behavior?
  38. Has someone had to lie for you?
  39. Have you sought help for your own issues?
  40. Have you been honest with yourself and others about your past?

This series of questions will reveal the same answers for many adults who were raised in homes where there were other compulsive behaviors. The characteristics of the adults are often the similar when physical, emotional, and sexual abuse are present. Issues like anxiety, depression, shame, anger, negative attachment, abandonment, and substance use are often found in children of alcoholics, and quite common in homes where there was:

  • gambling
  • overeating or eating disorders
  • behavioral addictions (eg gaming, porn, sex addiction)
  • chronic illness
  • strict or legalistic religious practices
  • trauma or loss
  • other addictions (prescription, narcotics, cannabis)
  • other dysfunctional systems

In some cases, adult children were raised in homes where alcohol and drugs were not present at all, but abuse, neglect, or unhealthy behavior was very much present, and the impact was remarkably similar to an alcoholic home.

Seeking support from professional or program that specializes in an Ace Recovery Program and offers Ace Recovery counselling and therapy is key to identifying and healing from these experiences, so that you can stop the cycle in your own lives, and your children’s lives.

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