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After the Tears: Helping Adult Children of Alcoholics Heal Their Childhood Trauma

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Adult children of alcoholics have learned how to "survive," but often have difficulty "living" their lives. The trauma and grief of childhood losses affect every aspect of the life of an adult child of an alcoholic (ACoA). Now the authors of the bestselling After the Tears offer further insight into the origin and cost of childhood pain for those who grew up in alcoholic f Adult children of alcoholics have learned how to "survive," but often have difficulty "living" their lives. The trauma and grief of childhood losses affect every aspect of the life of an adult child of an alcoholic (ACoA). Now the authors of the bestselling After the Tears offer further insight into the origin and cost of childhood pain for those who grew up in alcoholic families. In this revised and expanded edition, Jane Middelton-Moz and Lorie Dwinell combine their years of experience in working with ACoAs, tackling issues such as intimacy, sibling relationships, codependency, breaking the alcoholic pattern, building a relationship with the inner child, forgiveness, and opening a window to spirituality.


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Adult children of alcoholics have learned how to "survive," but often have difficulty "living" their lives. The trauma and grief of childhood losses affect every aspect of the life of an adult child of an alcoholic (ACoA). Now the authors of the bestselling After the Tears offer further insight into the origin and cost of childhood pain for those who grew up in alcoholic f Adult children of alcoholics have learned how to "survive," but often have difficulty "living" their lives. The trauma and grief of childhood losses affect every aspect of the life of an adult child of an alcoholic (ACoA). Now the authors of the bestselling After the Tears offer further insight into the origin and cost of childhood pain for those who grew up in alcoholic families. In this revised and expanded edition, Jane Middelton-Moz and Lorie Dwinell combine their years of experience in working with ACoAs, tackling issues such as intimacy, sibling relationships, codependency, breaking the alcoholic pattern, building a relationship with the inner child, forgiveness, and opening a window to spirituality.

30 review for After the Tears: Helping Adult Children of Alcoholics Heal Their Childhood Trauma

  1. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    I am hoping this is the beginning of something, for instance, LIFE.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Dominique

    I thought this was a very well crafted book. It had plenty of real life examples, and it has helped me to start to see more clearly how growing up in a home with an alcoholic has shaped me and shaped how I react to and relate to other people. What I truly appreciate about this book is that it is not about blame or reliving the past, but rather a tool to better understand myself. It has allowed me to see where I am holding onto past experiences and patterns that are negatively affecting my curren I thought this was a very well crafted book. It had plenty of real life examples, and it has helped me to start to see more clearly how growing up in a home with an alcoholic has shaped me and shaped how I react to and relate to other people. What I truly appreciate about this book is that it is not about blame or reliving the past, but rather a tool to better understand myself. It has allowed me to see where I am holding onto past experiences and patterns that are negatively affecting my current life. I am finding daily "ah ha's" to work with, everything from my relationship to my husband and children, to why my office never stays clean and why I am always "behind" and playing catch up with my to-do list! Very practical and an easy read.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Aimee

    I don't generally read Self-Help books, but as an ACOA I wondered what the book had to offer. After the Tears provided some valuable insights into the dysfunctionality of the alcoholic family and how the pain is transmitted through the generations. It reminded me of how far I have come in my own "grief work", and where I still need to focus. It's nothing short of a tragedy that there are ACOAs who will live the rest of their lives never coming to terms with their pain. I not only recommend this I don't generally read Self-Help books, but as an ACOA I wondered what the book had to offer. After the Tears provided some valuable insights into the dysfunctionality of the alcoholic family and how the pain is transmitted through the generations. It reminded me of how far I have come in my own "grief work", and where I still need to focus. It's nothing short of a tragedy that there are ACOAs who will live the rest of their lives never coming to terms with their pain. I not only recommend this to other ACOAs, but to their loved ones and anyone working with dysfunctional families.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sue

    Helpful, but doesn't really break any new ground -- any number of other books on this topic are equally enlightening. I suppose if this is your challenge, the best advice is just to pick a book and dive in. And if you are the spouse of an adult child? Same advice, just pick one and go for it (and accept that your spouse's parent, even if that parent is no longer living, will be one of the most influential persons in your marriage.) Helpful, but doesn't really break any new ground -- any number of other books on this topic are equally enlightening. I suppose if this is your challenge, the best advice is just to pick a book and dive in. And if you are the spouse of an adult child? Same advice, just pick one and go for it (and accept that your spouse's parent, even if that parent is no longer living, will be one of the most influential persons in your marriage.)

  5. 5 out of 5

    Dani Askin

    I wish I had gotten this book as a teenager. It is the best book available for overcoming the challenges of moving past the dysfunction of childhood and a guide for creating a better today and tomorrow. I recommend this book to anyone who grew up in dysfunction or who feels emotionally lacking parental support.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Angie Bigler

    very insightful! I don't usually read self help, but I'm glad I read this one. it was recommended by my therapist and it has helped me understand I'm not alone. very insightful! I don't usually read self help, but I'm glad I read this one. it was recommended by my therapist and it has helped me understand I'm not alone.

  7. 5 out of 5

    David Clouse

    This book seeks to give understanding of what it was like growing up in the home of alcoholics and it speaks of the experiences of several different people. There are almost no statistics, but the writers have many years of experience under their belt and many citations throughout. Not just adult children of alcoholics can benefit from this book. The knowledge contained within can help one become more aware to those who might have grown up as ACOAs and why they behave the way they do. Many great This book seeks to give understanding of what it was like growing up in the home of alcoholics and it speaks of the experiences of several different people. There are almost no statistics, but the writers have many years of experience under their belt and many citations throughout. Not just adult children of alcoholics can benefit from this book. The knowledge contained within can help one become more aware to those who might have grown up as ACOAs and why they behave the way they do. Many great principles found within. Not always exciting but a very informative and useful read.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sara Engra Minaya

    La portada es un poco fea, pero el libro está guay. Aunque está dirigido a hijos de alcohólicos, creo que el 70% es aplicable a la mayoría de familias disfuncionales y es bastante accesible. En algunos aspectos (el último capítulo, quizá) se nota que se escribió hace algunas décadas, pero, desde lo poco que sé yo de psicología, el libro está bastante actualizado con la revisión que hicieron en los dos mil algo.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Emily Ulm

    There is so much wisdom in this book I cannot summarize it easily. The authors describe in easy-to-grasp language how being raised in an alcoholic home negatively affects children. As a result, the children develop patterns of behavior that help them survive but in the long run cause more pain. Until the past is seen in its reality, the feelings for all the losses felt and grieved, no real healing can happen. And until the healing takes place no real forgiveness can happen. Siblings will not rem There is so much wisdom in this book I cannot summarize it easily. The authors describe in easy-to-grasp language how being raised in an alcoholic home negatively affects children. As a result, the children develop patterns of behavior that help them survive but in the long run cause more pain. Until the past is seen in its reality, the feelings for all the losses felt and grieved, no real healing can happen. And until the healing takes place no real forgiveness can happen. Siblings will not remember things the same, which I found comfort in reading. It validated my perceptions and memories. I am reading this book after over 25 years in alanon and I have worked through a lot of the grief of childhood (although at times it still creeps up in situations that trigger a feeling of shame or guilt), so I can attest for the accuracy of the authors’ assertions. I definitely feel more whole, happier, self-accepting and alive having shed an ocean-full of tears. Well worth it though. The book also says that alcoholism is generational and I do see where my beliefs influenced how I raised my kids. Often with some not so good consequences. But as I am healing and shedding the pain of the past, I can also be more open to love and be loving, which now, in contrast, influences my children for the good.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Justin

    Informative, but a bit redundant.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Siri

    Fourth time for me. I like to read this every 5 years or so. Still building my cognitive life raft, but I'm getting there. ***What doesn't kill you makes you stronger*** Fourth time for me. I like to read this every 5 years or so. Still building my cognitive life raft, but I'm getting there. ***What doesn't kill you makes you stronger***

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sue Campbell

    Self-help that's right on target for character development Self-help that's right on target for character development

  13. 4 out of 5

    Travel Writing

    After the Tears breaks no new ground in the ACoA literature, but it was still extraordinarily helpful. I appreciated the stories and the connections made in the book. For me, healing always comes back to the grief work we all must undertake. After the Tears speaks eloquently and practically about grief and loss and how it effects every part of our lives until we can face what we lost in our dysfunctional families. I would highly recommend it to anyone (ACoA or not) who is doing grief work or want After the Tears breaks no new ground in the ACoA literature, but it was still extraordinarily helpful. I appreciated the stories and the connections made in the book. For me, healing always comes back to the grief work we all must undertake. After the Tears speaks eloquently and practically about grief and loss and how it effects every part of our lives until we can face what we lost in our dysfunctional families. I would highly recommend it to anyone (ACoA or not) who is doing grief work or wants a deeper understanding of the grief work that must be worked through for our own healing.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Oresta

    I am not the daughter of alcoholic parents but the dysfunction in our household may have contributed to life long depression. While studying my addiction diploma, my teacher suggested I might get help from this book. It was an eye-opener to say the least. The same insecurities and trust issues that children of addicts and alcoholics are felt by others who come from dysfunctional homes. I also attended many 12 step programs as part of my studies and found them to be far more helpful than the years I am not the daughter of alcoholic parents but the dysfunction in our household may have contributed to life long depression. While studying my addiction diploma, my teacher suggested I might get help from this book. It was an eye-opener to say the least. The same insecurities and trust issues that children of addicts and alcoholics are felt by others who come from dysfunctional homes. I also attended many 12 step programs as part of my studies and found them to be far more helpful than the years of psychotherapy appointments. Just saying.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ellen

    A worthwhile read on grief processing and working through alcoholic family issues. It didn't rock my world but did provide plenty of insights and connections. A worthwhile read on grief processing and working through alcoholic family issues. It didn't rock my world but did provide plenty of insights and connections.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Rhea

    Great read for anyone. Therapists, friends, family, people who are trying to make the world a better place thought compassionate understanding.

  17. 4 out of 5

    matthew quigg

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kyle McElfresh

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ellen O'Brien

  20. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

  21. 4 out of 5

    Laura

  22. 5 out of 5

    Garla Johnson

  23. 4 out of 5

    Stefanie Davis

  24. 5 out of 5

    NR LAYCOCK

  25. 4 out of 5

    Pamela

  26. 5 out of 5

    Anthony

  27. 5 out of 5

    Tracy

  28. 4 out of 5

    Brooke

  29. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie Lapointe

  30. 4 out of 5

    skuldd

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