Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Newcomer

Not to worry, I'm not a newcomer to AA again -- the 590-odd days in that little counter thingy are still, by the grace of God, accurate. Ain't nuthin' gonna make me take a drink today. And, if I chose to worry about it today, ain't no way God will turn his back on me tomorrow.

I'm a newcomer to that other 12-step program -- the one for families and friends of alcoholics. I'm not real comfortable going into a lot of detail about my "Qualifier" (my favorite al-anon jargon so far), but let's just say I've become very concerned about my son's welfare and safety. My 4-year-old son was the victim of "playing doctor" with the 7-year-old girl (whose mom is an aging party-girl drunk, whose dad is not in the picture, you know the routine) who lives next door to my Qualifier, that crossed the line into sexual abuse. A couple weeks after finding this out, my Qualifier was too drunk one night to take care of my son. The light finally went on inside my (knuckle)head.

It's pretty easy to look at my Qualifier's drinking, compare it to my own, and say, "Phaw!! You call that drinking!?!?" My Qualifier seems to share my view -- when I raised the issue of her drinking, she offered well-thought-out reasons why this kind of drinking is not a problem, because it's not that kind of drinking. She clearly has given it some thought, and concluded everything is fine.

Oh, and she went ballistic, too.

So now I'm a newcomer in al-anon. It's real familiar in a lot of ways. It has resurrected the feelings I had as a newcomer in AA, but had forgotten: absolutely hating the fact I was where I needed to be. Not having a clue what these people are talking about. Wanting to gouge my eyes out rather than go to another fricking meeting. Really impatient that they aren't giving clear instructions. "Okay, yeah, I'm powerless over my Qualifier's drinking, let go and let God, got that... now, HOW DO I MAKE HER STOP!?!?"

The last few days I've started remembering how I got past it in AA. Surrender. God, I hate surrender...

One of these days I'll be making enough money to move out of sober living and have a place my son can stay with me. I'm astonished I've had to stay there so long, but walking through the consequences of my financial irresponsibility and checkered employment record has **ahem** delayed my prosperity. I'm getting there -- I'm in better shape than I was a few months ago, and employers seem to value that I now show up to work every day.

Patience is hard. My natural inclination is to do something dramatic and decisive to solve everything at once. My new friends in al-anon are wet blankets about this approach, just as much as my old party pooper friends in AA.

So I guess I'll just keep coming back and try not to do anything irretrievably stupid.

21 Comments:

At 9/06/2006 03:19:00 PM, Blogger Designer Girl said...

Hey, Phil! Good to see you posting. Sound like you have the right attitude about the Al-Anon stuff. I wish you the best.

 
At 9/06/2006 04:49:00 PM, Blogger dAAve said...

Great to see you Phil. Seems like I say that every time you post. "ahem"
Most likely, you can't fix her. Most likely, no one else can, unless she wants to be fixed.
Keep up with the Al-Anon. It works.

 
At 9/06/2006 11:32:00 PM, Blogger Michellebelle said...

AA is a cult,youre being brainwashed.
Beware of wolves in sheeps clothing.

 
At 9/07/2006 08:04:00 AM, Blogger Trudging said...

I am really sorry about your son. Have you reported the abuse?

 
At 9/07/2006 09:15:00 AM, Blogger Scott W said...

Michellebelle, you are hilarious!

Phil, welcome back!

God could and would if He were sought. Only she can seek that for herself. You can stay healthy in AlAnon, though. Best wishes.

 
At 9/07/2006 12:19:00 PM, Blogger SCoUt said...

Welcome to some new "NEwComEr DaZe!"
Al-Anon is a cult for sure -- lol -- and I have seen ti do a great deal for a great number of people. Many of them also have said though that it is difficult to keep the programs separate --as in -- hard to keep your own recovery from addiction separate from your recovery from the qualifier that brought you to Al-Anon.....just a thought for you to ponder.
Peace,
Scout

 
At 9/07/2006 01:11:00 PM, Blogger Shannon said...

HI Phil! first let me give you a HUG!!! and welcome you back to bloggers land
and now I am sorry to hear about what is going on with your son. I too am Alanonic... thats what we call it here for us Alky/Alanons
and I am so happy to hear that while you want to gouge your eyes out instead of a meeting that you are choosing a meetingLOL
hang in there Phil you are doing it
I hope you blog more, but if not you know we are all with you in spirit...

 
At 9/07/2006 02:09:00 PM, Blogger Phil said...

Shannon: "Alanonic" -- I like that! :) I'll blog when I can sneak it in at work. I wish I could do it more, and I really miss being able to keep up with everyone else's blogs. I really miss "meeting" the folks I haven't met yet. But I'm always with you in spirit as we trudge...

Scout: Keeping it separate is real confusing for me. Am I making amends and clearing wreckage, or am I enabling??? Tricky stuff.

Scott: Are you Michelle's sponsor? You may need to have her call you twice a day.

It seems the best I can do for my Qualifier -- and her relationship with my son -- is to turn it over to God in prayer. It's hard for me to accept that, but step one of al-anon, I noticed, uses that same word: "powerless."

Trudge: No, I didn't. As I said, it was borderline, and the advice I got from several quarters was that the best thing to do for my son was, first, to stop it and make sure it didn't happen again, and second, not to make it into a big deal in my son's eyes. He is doing well now, few obvious effects are still lingering. And he has no more contact with the neighbor. A few people I discussed it with are "mandatory" reporters of abuse, and they did not see a need or value to report it.

The little girl seems the one most at-risk. A seven-year-old does not figure out on her own the stuff she did.

Michelle: "Wolves in sheep's clothing" -- do you mean Dave? Don't worry, he's pretty harmless.

Thanks for sharing, Michelle. Get a sobriety date, get a sponsor, get a home group, take a commitment, and you'll be just fine.

Dave: I pray that my Qualifier will desire to be fixed before it gets real bad. They say you hit bottom when you stop digging.

Designer: Speaking of new friends! :) Thanks for your comments. I'll be adding you to my link list when I get around to some maintenance of this thing...

 
At 9/07/2006 02:39:00 PM, Blogger Mary Christine said...

Nice to see your post. Be sure to take care of yourself while dealing with all this other stuff.

 
At 9/07/2006 03:12:00 PM, Blogger Diego said...

Welcome and I hope the best for you and have patience and the believe that everything happens for a reason and in the program we learn that our worst experience is our greatest asset....we learn that our qualifier will help you help someone else......

 
At 9/07/2006 11:13:00 PM, Blogger Michellebelle said...

{Thanks for sharing, Michelle. Get a sobriety date, get a sponsor, get a home group, take a commitment, and you'll be just fine.}

Why would I want to be brainwashed into a cult like you MINDLESS SHEEP.
I'm having to divorce because of AA.I have read all the books and I never read such an enormous pile of crap in my entire life.Pretty soon youll be castrating yourselves and waiting for the next comet with a UFO following it.With Bill wilson in it-of course.I dont drink fart face.Naturally according to your cult doctrine everyone is just a mental as you are and anyone not in some sort of therapy is in denial.Yeah I want to join a group of losers who are convinced that they can never be cured and live in a constant state of being diseased and dwelling on alcohol.Hows life as a therapy junkie.I think I'd rather start drinking just to prove how stupid AA is.

 
At 9/08/2006 05:07:00 AM, Blogger NMAMFQLMSH said...

((((((((PHIL)))))))))

Man, I have missed you. There I go thinking of myself again.

Sorry to hear about your son. But you are one GREAT DAD!

Is dAAve brainwashing up again...WTF...I thought the deprogramer I hired took care of all that.

Love you bro!
I still see you,
JJ

 
At 9/10/2006 04:43:00 PM, Blogger Gwen said...

Hi Phil, I have not met but came over from Trudgings page.

My name is Gwen and I am looking forward to knowing you.

Peace~

 
At 9/11/2006 08:34:00 AM, Blogger Phil said...

Thanks so much for your encouragement, Mary Christine. ICU, JJ! Welcome, Gwen and Diego, looking forward to your experience, strength and hope.

Michelle: "I'm having to divorce because of AA." Unfortunately, it seems a lot of marriages formed within active alcoholism do not withstand recovery -- whether the recovery is in AA or not. In my case, it turned out the only thing my wife despises more than a drinking alcoholic is a recovering one. :) And as far as brainwashing: my brain really needed a good scrubbing.

I pray that you will find God's purpose and peace in the difficult path of anger and bitterness you are walking today. God bless you!

 
At 9/11/2006 01:39:00 PM, Blogger Michellebelle said...

And as far as brainwashing: my brain really needed a good scrubbing.
NICE SLOGAN-THATS SO ORIGINAL {GAG}{CHOKE}.

He wasnt an alcoholic before we were married.He started drinking when he stared dealing with his family's abuse.Its so ironic he accused them of using AA to hide behind.
Now thanks to AA brainwashing he refuses to blame his parents. HES LOOKING TO THE ABUSERS FOR SUPPORT.What kind of bullshit is that.

AA is selfish,self centered and promotes nothing more than Me,me,me.Except of course when expected to recruit for the cult. If you cant put your wife first then I hope she does dump your ass.You dont deserve her.Brainwashed people cant see the cult for what it is as long as theyre in it.AA doctrines are NOT biblical in any way.Its a counterfit religion.Worse yet he has an uncle and a cousin in it then his dad...those people are creepy.One good thing...when I do leave him I'll make sure that him and his family never see my kids again.After all in AA youre a diseased alcoholic forever so I'll be sure to keep my kids away from that alcoholic family,then there is the history of all forms of abuse that the grandparents never did a step 8 for any of their kids.They wont get so much as a photo.Mabe I can use the cult to my advantage yet.

 
At 9/11/2006 01:49:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is why AA is a cult:If a person finds God through AA and gets himself into a church....THEN WHY DOES HE STILL NEED AA.The bible makes it very clear that it is the only book you need,yet these AA junkies hold on to "the big book" like it is the word of God. If a person truelly is saved and born again why does he NEED to continue with AA,he should be able to leave with confidence that God has delivered him therefore no longer requiring the crutch of AA. Bill wilson said himself that AA was intended to create a psychological dependency.That is not of God.Gods plan is for healing and deliverence,not sitting in church basements spending the rest of your life focusing on that sin.True christians should have nothing to do with it based on the fact alone that its roots,teachings and form of religion comes into question. That is why I say its spiritual compromise,its no different than professing to love christ then putting on a santa suit at christmas or having easter egg hunts. Satan comes to decieve.He makes things look inocent and wholesome on the surface but you must look at the ROOT to see where it really comes from.People dont realise that when they dabble in things that "look good" they are giving satan legal ground to come into their life.I have heard many so-called christians say "the devil doesnt bother me and I dont bother the devil"....thats because THE DEVIL DOESNT BOTHER WITH WHAT HE ALREADY OWNS.
You are what you profess to be,and if you constantly profess to be an alcoholic then thats what you will be you are closing the door to allowing God to deliver you.AA is spiritual BONDAGE.Once a person finds God they should be able to move on and get on with their lives and leave the past behind. God never remembers your sin...so why are you.

 
At 9/11/2006 02:43:00 PM, Blogger Phil said...

Okay, enough is enough. Michelle, you have crossed the line and are simply a rude, mean, unwelcome guest. Goodbye.

Anonymous, get your own blog. I respect your views and opinions, but this blog is not intended to be a debate society. The "anonymous" feature is enabled on this blog so people can share things they may not be comfortable sharing with their identities attached. It seems strange and cowardly that you would hide behind that while using my blog as your soapbox.

 
At 9/16/2006 06:22:00 PM, Blogger tkdjunkie said...

Hiya, Phil :)

I'm also an alcoholic, and also a member of AA. I'm about to become a member of AlAnon as well -- so I'll be entering that new environment you wrote about. (Does that make me "Alanonic"?)

Good luck with everything. Remember to take good care of yourself too, and "do the next right thing".

 
At 9/17/2006 09:54:00 AM, Blogger doughgirl said...

Phil,

I am sorry to hear about your son. Believe me when I tell you, I know exactly how you feel as I went through a similar situation with my oldest daughter 4 years ago. For me, well, I did something irretrievably stupid and I paid the price. I justified it at the time by saying the price was well worth paying, but it wasn't. I harbored that resentment for a very long time. And while it still hurts to kow one of my babies was robbed of their innocence, the resentment is gone. Keep your head up and dont do that stupid thing that is lingering in your head. There are support groups other than al-anon that can help you get through this. My first advice would be to get your son to counseling though.

Im here if you need me.

 
At 10/03/2006 08:26:00 PM, Blogger Sober Chick said...

Hey I am a wolf but I promise I won't bite and I won't hide behind anything! Thank you Michellebelle and anonymous for allowing me to embrace my serenity and not crave the resent and anger you are drowing in. I will pray for you both. You are wonderful examples of what I don't want to be. Thank you again.

Great to see you post and even more so that you are sober and now entering a new chapter in your sobriety. You have some wonderful goals that you are working towards. It is so cool to hear from you and learn abot these events going on, and wow, I am sorry to hear about this not so good situation happeing.

And so here you are making a wonderful attempt to live in the solution. I hope that you will be able to post more if not, then I am glad to hear that you are sticking to your program and building a life in sobriety.

 
At 10/06/2006 12:55:00 PM, Blogger K said...

Wow, great to hear from you again Phil. I missed having you around and wondered if you left blogger for good. I've been praying for you and will continue to for you and your son. Keep your faith.

 

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