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Old 05-11-2019, 12:27 AM #1
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Default Father who stopped drinking - son with ACOA characteristics

Hi all,

Iím new here as I havenít focused on this area of my therapy and self-work. I have a tough question and wanted to see if anyone here had any knowledge or resources about the following scenario (or if it is even possible):

First, some background - Iím an educator who ended up completing a PhD through which I became very aware that my mother suffers from borderline PD and my older brother (Iím youngest of 2) is Narcissistic PD. Obviously, they are undiagnosed but that tends to be common due to the external blaming nature of Cluster B disorders.

Now, my question - when I first went to therapy over a decade ago, after one of the initial sessions my therapist gave me some information of adult children of alcoholics. I found this confusing because I had never seen either of my parents drink. I was told my father was a raging alcoholic who struggled mightily but gave it up when I was born and started a successful business. My brother confided that my father continued drinking when I was very young but I can confirm that he hasnít touched anything in at least 25 years, if not more. However, I exhibit most of the characteristics of an ACOA. Iím curious - can a former alcoholic who has seemingly fully recovered still act in a way that can cause ACOA traits in a child?

Iíd appreciate any advice or knowledge that the community might have. I had previously viewed my father as more of a co-dependent to my mother - the Ďgood guyí, if you will. My family has hidden much truth from me my entire life and Iíve been the scapegoat of sorts - that is how they (unknowingly) justify everything. I took a break from my research into family for a year or two and focused on work, life, etc. Iím looking forward to interacting with this community
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Old 05-11-2019, 02:53 PM #2
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Default Re: Father who stopped drinking - son with ACOA characteristics

I apologize if that was a bear to read. Have a wonderful weekend, all
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Old 05-11-2019, 04:57 PM #3
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Default Re: Father who stopped drinking - son with ACOA characteristics

I often wonder how far back my dad was an alcoholic because I don't remember it specifically before about age 11. I tend to see my childhood before that as idyllic.
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Old 05-11-2019, 06:11 PM #4
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Default Re: Father who stopped drinking - son with ACOA characteristics

Two things come to mind fwiw.

1. There is a big difference between your father stopping drinking before you were born and stopping drinking when you were "very young". A great deal of personality is formed in the first few years of life.

2. I am not so sure that one can make a one-to-one connection between the behavior of a parent and the resulting traits of children. In particular, I would think that having a mother with borderline personality disorder can explain or strongly influence many personality traits of children.

What ACOA-type traits of yours do you have in mind?
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