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After the Tears: Reclaiming the Personal…

After the Tears: Reclaiming the Personal Losses of Childhood (1986)

by Jane Middelton-Moz

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Why did we write this book? Well, that's a good question. Probably an honest answer is that Jane Middelton-Moz had a burning desire to share the depth and breadth of what she knows about grief resolution for individuals affected by parental alcoholism, and invited me along for the "write." We have been "gestating" this book for about seven years and have been seriously thinking about what we wanted to convey for the past two years. Of the two of us, Jane is the "real" author, i.e. the one who willingly took pen in hand to share what she knows. I, on the other hand, an the "verbal historian," the public speaker, the metaphor-maker who must be coaxed to get my part down on paper. Here is the final product of this, our initial collaboration.

When we began, we took on the ambitious project of wanting to write  a book which would encompass all of the areas which we felt were important for work with Adult Children and the helping professionals who work with ACoAs. Such a book would address topics as diverse as object choice, gender identification, self-esteem, domestic violence, sexual abuse, copying skill repertoires, eating disorders, additions, and spirituality. WE found, however, that the linger we worked on the book the more we moved away from an all-encompassing "textbook" full of professional jargon, and more and more in the direction of a book which we hope will satisfy the needs of both Adult Children and helping professionals in making sense of the Adult-Child Syndrome and the grief resolution process which is integral to recovery.

Although we have tried to keep professional jargon to a minimum, there are some technical terms in the text. When we have used a technical term, we have tried to juxtapose it with a definition to the help makes sense of it.

Jane Middleton-Moz and I are, first and foremost, clinicaians, and it is our hope that this book will serve as both a cognitive map and as a beacon to the light the way in the journey towards the health and wholeness, not only for the many Adult Children with whom we have worked, but also for the many others who are trying to reconnect their feelings with repressed memories of the past. Although our specific audience is Adult Children who were raised in alcoholic homes, this book could also have been entitled Adult Children of Dysfunctional Families, for any family in which there is a major trauma which is denied rather than discussed and worked through, will reduce the same syndrome of variation on the same theme.

Many of the individuals for whom this book was written are also recovering from an array of other disorders symptomatic of both the genetic and emotional liabilities of early childhood experiences in alcoholic families Numbered among you are recovering alcoholics/addicts, compulsive spenders/gamblers Sexual or relationship addicts, workaholics, compulsive overeaters, etc.

We salute you in your recovery had hope that Middleton-Moz and I are both long-term optimists who believe that human beings are open systems shaped by, but not determined by, their pasts.

~ Lorie Weinell, A.C.S. W.
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