ACOA (adult children of alcoholics) meetings worldwide have been helping adult children of alcoholics find hope, strength and healing for over 30 years. Attending your first ACA meeting is an important step in the recovery process.
ACA online meetings offer several advantages over in-person groups. They allow members to avoid barriers that might otherwise keep them from attending a meeting, such as lack of transportation or childcare access.
|Have you tried Meetn, the new online meeting platform?
It’s turning out to become a decent alternative to Zoom and to the other major platforms.
The anonymity of acoa meetings online provides an extra layer of safety and security that allows individuals to openly discuss things they might not be comfortable talking about in a FTF meeting, or to give feedback to others. This is especially important for those who may be reluctant to offer corrective or negative feedback in a group setting.
Anonymity can also protect an individual from doing illegal acts. This could include slander, distribution of child pornography, illegal threats, racial agitation, fraud, and other forms of destructive or disruptive communication.
In addition, anonymity can allow people to shoplift taboo goods and services, which can be a serious threat to the consumer. This is because consumers are more willing to engage in these activities if they think they will be anonymous, instead of being identified by their name and other identifying information.
Finally, it is important to note that members often loose their network connection and get “bumped” off of the system at inopportune times. If this happens, it can be frustrating for members who are trying to communicate with others.
One of the best things about working an online group is the flexibility to participate when it is most convenient. As I have discovered, the acoa community is very diverse and the vast majority of the members are not in the same zip code. The most efficient way to find your nearest acoa meeting is to use the site’s search function and scour the listings by topic. Fortunately, our search engine is able to filter out the obvious from the slew of “everything” searches. The resultant search results are a treasure trove of acoa meetings in all shapes and sizes, including some of the most unique and compelling acoa groups I have ever visited.
Feedback and cross-talk are not allowed in in-person Al-Anon or ACOA meetings. These topics can be discussed after the meeting in a private chat or phone conversation.
The ACA meetings strive to provide a safe place where each member can share their feelings and perceptions freely without fear of judgment or interruption. This may be difficult for some ACA members who have come from family backgrounds where their emotions and perceptions were judged as wrong or defective.
As a result, some people attend meetings with their victim or victimizer scripts and try to meet their own needs through manipulation of newcomers. This is against the guidelines and a boundary violation.
Some members of acoa meetings online correspond on an email list twice a month, around the first and fifteenth of the month. They post topics on the list and ask other members to respond to them. The person posting the discussion topic usually chooses a topic related to ACOA, writes their opinion and then sends it out to the entire group for their input.
ACOAs have a tough time accepting criticism, especially when it is constructive and well-meant. They may also find it difficult to see the value in anything that doesn’t fit their preconceived ideas of what is good or bad, or how they should behave, so they might try to shut down the discussion with a flurry of emotional manipulation (e.g., crying, shouting, blaming), but in the end, they will have missed the opportunity to learn and grow from the interaction.
Aside from the aforementioned, there are many other ways that ACOAs are misunderstood or mistreated by their loved ones. One of the most notable examples is their tendency to overcommit themselves or seem unreliable, both of which can lead to a strained or deteriorating relationship. Some might even have a hard time making eye contact, and their social awkwardness can cause them to be labeled as being odd or eccentric. This, of course, can have an incredibly negative impact on their mental health and well-being.