Immune to distance, geography, language, and culture, adult children, who have been raised in dysfunctional, alcoholic, and/or abusive homes, uncannily share fourteen behavioral characteristics stitched together by fear and adopted because of the brain’s rewiring in order to foster the perception of increased safety.
Collectively referred to as “the laundry list,” a term designated 우머나이저 by an adult child after Tony A., cofounder of the Adult Children of Alcoholics fellowship, read them at the first meeting held in New York in 1978, “… it describes the thinking and personality of an adult reared in a dysfunctional family,” according to the “Adult Children of Alcoholics” textbook (World Service Organization, 2006, p. 3).
“As children, we were affected in body, mind, and spirit by alcoholism or other family dysfunction,” it also states (p. xxvi). “Our bodies stored the trauma, neglect, and rejection in the form of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The mind developed the laundry list traits or the false self to survive. The inner child, the true connection to our Higher Power, went into hiding.”
What is perhaps even more important than the traits themselves is how and why they facilitate a person’s perception of safety.