Wednesday, December 03, 2008


I had to learn how to deal with conflict when I got sober.  Previous to getting sober, my idea of dealing with conflict was to turn away and go find someone else to talk to about the matter.  That probably isn't such a bad approach if you ever go back and address the situation.  I never did.  I would either be a doormat or an angry lunatic, but not much in between.   I had to try to learn how to disagree without being disagreeable.  

Last night I attended the board meeting of my homeowners' association.  I am on the board.  I have been for a year and a half.  My term is supposed to be 2 years.  I don't think I can tolerate this long enough to serve out my term.   

Did you ever find yourself defending someone you don't agree with?  That is difficult.  But I had to do that last night.  Did you ever find yourself arguing with someone who is not very intelligent?  I did that last night.  Imagine having to tell someone that a neighbor has a right to her own property!  That it is her tree!  It is not the HOA's tree!  So, the not-very-intelligent person flatly stated that she would "take a chain-saw to the tree."  Oh my.  I don't want to be part of this.  I don't want to sit in the same room with people who think they are part of Hitler's Germany, not a small community in the foothills of the rockies.  

So, the conflict for me is:
I made a commitment to do this for 2 years.
Someone has to be the voice of sanity on this board (but I don't want to do it).
Someone has to defend the rights of people to their own property (but I don't want to do it).

Within my own family I need to deal with conflict.  That is unavoidable if I want to be part of a family.  At my workplace, I need to deal with conflict. That is unavoidable if I want to be gainfully employed.  Even within AA, from time to time,  I need to deal with conflict.  But do I really need to add another serving of conflict on my plate?  I really don't want to.

I will pray some more about this and talk with my sponsor.  I just don't want to do this.  


Syd said...

I've been on a landplanning commission for the island. It was before Al-Anon and I think that I enjoyed all the stuff that got bantered about. Today, I deal with a lot of intelligent yet difficult people. I focus on stating my opinion but not trying to change anyone's mind. That is beyond my control. I'm powerless over those who have a different view from me. Yet, I respect their right to state their opinion.

Regarding the tree, I would think that it's illegal to go onto someone's property and cut down a tree.

Findon said...

I try and keep things top the principles. That takes the personalities out of it. The first principle I use is this. "is what I am doing enhancing my sobriety or threatening it" Note there is nothing in there about people. I have had to learn to get on with difficult people and situations. I have also had to learn that if my sobriety is truly threatened and I'm not running away from the issues or the persons, then leave that alone which threatens .

Lou said...

OMG, I hear you. I was on a homeowners association, and it frustrated me to no end. Never again. I found a handful of people who think their house, their yard, are the most important thing in the universe. They are under the impression that their little piece of property is under assault by evil forces (their neighbors). You cannot reason with them.

I too did not feel it worth the aggravation.

Pam said...

Oh that kind of stuff is so hard. I've been at war plenty of times with Homeowners Assoc. They can actually take your home away for "tree issues" or even an oil spot on your driveway down here. They need a 12 step program :)
Where I live, they can acutally measure your grass with a ruler, if it is over the "allowed height" they cut your grass and charge you $50.00 for labor. OH DON'T GET ME STARTED !!!!

dAAve said...

I resigned from our HOA because of similar stuff. That conflict is a luxury I could not afford.

Scott W said...

I have heard that if you want to see all your character defects sit on the board at Lambda.

♥Shann♥ said...

I really dislike conflict too, and seems to be coming up a lot in my life lately.

I know you know already know this, sometimes we just have to do stuff we dont wanna...

for me its usually fear with dealing with conflict. I try to take the attitude of, I trust an infinate God, so I do the next right indicated thing and leave the results up to Him

Have a good day

Gabriella Moonlight said...

I saw a lot of conflict when I attended my first AA conference where they were looking at amendments and rules and was horrific for me, I've heard that in other places it's no so terrible, I hope so.

I agree that going on someone's property to cut down a tree may not be legal?

I usually just pray for the answers...I don't envy you though. I hope that there is some clear resolution.

Take care,

Findon said...

Cut gras for $50. Send them over here. What a hoot.

Cat said...

I am with ya on this - I cnanot put myself in a place where conflict will ensue - especially lately - now that I know I do not need in order to be happy in my family life.

I wish ya the best with this - I know when I have to do things I do not particularly like - it helps to find the silver lining in what I am working toward.


Trailboss said...

I hate this for you. It does however, make me grateful that I don't have to deal with such stuff. Out in the country we just do what we want on our own land. It doesn't seem hard to me but I don't know any different.

Pam said...

left you an award on my blog sugar butt.

Bill said...

I've enjoyed catching up on your blog this morning. You always have so much going on.

I have been asked repeatedly to join the Homeowners Association where I live. Some think I would bring a clear-headed approach to their meetings (if only they knew).
I avoid it like the plague. The stories I hear make me fear for my serenity.