Saturday, April 07, 2007

Just when I thought...

I had no resentments... Really. I no longer resent anyone at work. I no longer resent anyone in my family. I no longer resent anyone in my AA circle. Then, I was at a meeting a few weeks ago and someone was talking about a conference later this year and said that "female alcoholic X" would be speaking, everyone should go, she is a GREAT speaker, a CIRCUIT speaker! I turned to the man, a dear old friend, next to me and said "she is a f***ing b****." How do you like that? Woops! At that time, I told my friend I probably have some work to do around this, he agreed (amazingly enough!) This morning, I was perusing blogs, and looked at an attachment someone had on their blog, and there she was again! A featured speaker at an AA event...

Another blogger has written a bit in the last year or so about people in AA who are "living dirty" and I smiled. It is my experience that when I am busy tending my own side of the street, I haven't time to worry about how others are living. But, then there are the people whose lives impact ours, and their "dirtiness" gets in our lives, and then we might end up with festering resentments. And then, guess what? It is OUR problem. Yep. When I am calling someone filthy names, it is MY problem, not hers.

Condensed version of this story: When I was married to my AA husband, he liked to travel around the country to round-ups and conferences and conventions, and I would go with him. He was sponsored by a series of "circuit speakers," who tend to have minions following them around, hanging on the hem of their garments. One day, sober about 8 years, in the throes of agony of a marriage that was falling apart, I was sitting in the back row at one of these events, listening to a speaker. She had every single thing I wanted. I asked her after the meeting if she would be my sponsor. She said she would. Over the next year or so, as we talked and she got to know me and my situation, she told me this - direct quote, I will never forget it.... She told me I MUST leave my husband... "there is a place for men like that, it is called the penitentiary." I left my husband, on foot, with nothing but a backpack. Really. No car, no furniture, no family pictures, nothing. I had my big book, some underwear, a toothbrush - whatever fit in that green back pack.

A few months later, I met with my then estranged husband for coffee, he was moving out of our home. He had a keychain with the letter "X" on it. I asked him what the "X" was for. He told me it was "female alcoholic X," it was her keychain - because he was moving into her house! Holy Shit! He was moving in with MY SPONSOR. Oh my goodness. I still get a sick feeling in my gut when I write this. After a few more months, he started telling me what was in my 5th step, because he said it had been discussed around her kitchen table... I told him I was free of all of that - the steps DO work, you know. She could put it on the front page of the Rocky Mountain News, I don't care. I told him that I would much rather be the aggreived party in this situation, because I can't imagine being sick enough to do what she did. sheesh.

But now, 14 years later, I realize that I am going to have to write some inventory on this. I simply cannot feel this way about another person. I will call my sponsor after church this morning and discuss this with her and make a plan. -- And thanks to anyone who has read this far in this long, long, grim post.

So, I am going to church for Morning Prayer. Then I will go buy a leg of lamb and all the rest of the stuff for Easter Dinner. A run later today if the ice clears off the sidewalks. Last night I put sheets on my lilacs and roses... we have got major ice and snow. I hope the pretty blooming things survive.

"It is plain that a life which includes deep resentment leads only to futility and unhappiness. To the precise extent that we permit these, do we squander the hours that might have been worth while. But with the alcoholic, whose hope is the maintenance and growth of a spiritual experience, this business of resentment is infinitely grave. We found that it is fatal. For when harboring such feeling we shut ourselves off from the sunlight of the Spirit. The insanity of alcohol returns and we drink again. And with us, to drink is to die." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 66

13 comments:

Christine said...

How does that woman X sleep at night?
no wonder theres a resentment. But its like you mentioned its something for you to give up to God. Thank God you aren't where she is.

Couple a years ago I heard in an open AA speaker meeting a woman whose sponsor gave out her 5th Step information to a daughter and was so awed by her words about the situation. She said sometimes we get to see an example of how not to be.

Hope your Esster with your family is lovely.

dAAve said...

You are SO cool.

Scott said...

MC... wow, I think I might have just a touch of resentment over that one myself. I know you'll work your way through this, you have an awesome HP and a wonderful spiritual life. I'll say a prayer for all three of you. You have Happy Easter. Can I come over for some lamb? lol

peace be with you, my friend!

Meg Moran said...

wow, your willingness to do the work on this takes courage MC. It requires a level of faith and understanding that we get (hopefuly) only when we are READY. Your HP had a magnificent plan putting all of this on hold until now. Sweet surrender, a new attitude and outlook on life, resurrection...amazing. You may find (you) don't need a "plan"...release will come on the out breath of a prayer.

Scott W said...

Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaang. That is some sick behavior. I have a friend that thrives on stories like that because it lets him see that he isn't as sick as he sometimes thinks he is. Some ARE sicker than others, right?

You will be fine I bet.

Syd said...

This isn't just sandpaper on the soul but a big splinter that hurts. I think that it is a good reminder of how we don't want to be. My sponsor calls this a lesson in dealing with difficult people to the point of not reacting one way or the other around those who are the antithesis of who we are. I'm still working on that one...

recoveryroad said...

What is "living dirty"? This must be a US AA-ism. Does it mean they are drinking [but keeping quiet about it at meetings]? Or perhaps they're having a love thing with another AA-er?

**confused**

Good post and I like the resentment quote at the bottom.

Ta. :-)

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Tee Shirt Man said...

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lash505 said...

put some whoop ass on her.. Is it who I think it is. Also I am planning my trips today Denver included.

Pam said...

I'm afraid I just want to keep writting that story....He moes in with her, falls madly in love, leaves her for her sister after taking all her money, ruining her credit.....getting her pregnant with quadruplets etc.
It's hard to let go of those kinds of hurts....it's a good thing we have tools to help us with that work..You are setting a good example for us...

Mary Christine said...

He actually became so disillusioned by her after moving in with her. He dislikes her MUCH more than I do... and he never got over the fact that she discussed my 5th step with everyone. I told him I don't care, and I really don't. But I have some writing to do about that marriage.

vicariousrising said...

Holy crap. I am so sorry you had to go through that. I wish you all the best in working through your resentment. You deserve so much better than having to live with residuals from that.

Best wishes,
Judith