Friday, June 17, 2011

To hit an alcoholic below the belt...

When I was married to my abusive recovering alcoholic husband, he would frequently accuse me of not really being sober. He didn't think much of my relationship with God. He didn't like much of anything I said or did. And somehow, that translated into him feeling he had the right to proclaim my sobriety as somehow invalid.

I have now been divorced from that man for nearly 17 years - it's been almost 18 years since I walked away from our home with just a backpack. So, normally, I don't think about this, or when I do, it is not with the feeling that I have right now.

One of my sponsees is going through a terrible breakup as I have mentioned several days running. Her partner has resorted to this tactic. She is calling it "addict mode." I asked my sponsee this rhetorical question: Were you ever an addict? The answer was no. But, because she is not behaving the way the other person would like her to, she is in "addict mode." And since I, as her sponsor, have been kept apprised all along, her partner has questioned my "ability to be a sponsor."

My daughter is also going through a terrible breakup. Please God, she gets away from this man, it has been a sick, sick, relationship - as frequently our relationships in early sobriety are. She called me yesterday to tell me that he was threatening to call me, her mother, to tell me that my daughter is "using." I must admit I first asked my daughter - are you still clean and sober? yes. Are you going to meetings? yes. Do you have a sponsor? yes. Are you talking with her? yes, every day, and meeting with her once a week face to face. OK then, I HOPE he calls me. Really, I do. She said he probably won't call me because I terrify him, but she wanted to warn me in case he did.

I guess when you cannot take responsibility for your own behavior and its impact on another person, it makes sense to impugn their integrity.

Praise God, I am not in that dark, dark place. Nor are my daughter or sponsee.

But I gotta tell you, I think this is cheap, cheap behavior.

Again, I am grateful I get to go sit in silence in a church basement all day today. At 3 o'clock, I will join the other ladies in the other room and pray. Oh, this is SO what I needed this week. Thank you God.


Pammie said...

I am listening to the EXACT same thing within my own family. I guess when we love our sobriety, it makes it an easy target to hurt us by saying we really aren't sober.
Please hold me a seat in the basement, I'm grabing my purse now to head out....:-) I WISH.

ScottF said...

it is so frustrating to witness this behaviour when it afects those we love. Thankfully you are the voice of reason, the example of sobriety for those two women. You've been down their road and have come out the other end in good shape. What a gift to be able to share that with them.

Anonymous said...

I am going through something similar. I am the alcoholic, but my husband has severe depression. We are going through a "peaceful" divorce, sometimes. On good days he is kind and almost remorseful of how he has been treating me, on bad days, I am the worst person in recovery. He is so hateful and I know it is coming from all his pain, but I am stifled!! I am leaving July 1, and I am really sad, but a little excited. The only problem is I have to move 5hours away from my AA family. I almost think he's excited to take that part of my recovery away from me. It is hard to be in a sober place with all that anger. I just have to keep talking to my sponsor and remember that this will soon pass, I give it to my HP!

Syd said...

I have been on the receiving end too. It came from another wanting to blame me and not accept responsibility. It is an energy Sapper.

Regarding mayonnaise, my wife had a quadruple bypass in Feb. So we eat as fat free as possible. We even use Miracle Whip Light!

Steve E said...

At 16 years' sober, someone passed a rumor that they had seen me 'take a drink'. It hurt my ego--a LOT. But it was a lie--because it was not the truth.

No alcoholic of my type ever took "A" drink.

Your icon and prayer sounds so spiritually wonderful.

dAAve said...

Isn't it nice to be able to react in a sane, mature fashion?

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Mary Christine said...

Or, instead of spending thousands of dollars, you can just go to an AA meeting and go out for coffee afterwards. And get a sponsor - who will not charge you by the hour.

Steve E said...

We do what we have to do, to get where we have to go. Police, cuffs, middle of the night (morning)...sounds vaguely familiar
--me, about 55 years ago.

Thanks for your experiences.