So here's a somewhat irrelevant update for everyone, if you think you can stand it... lol
I did a 4th Step on these 5 guys a couple weeks ago, just for fun.
Whats my role in all this? Why did they all get together & fire me at the same time, when I least expected it? Well - they all think I'm an asshole, so that's a good start.
I never did anything bad to them or anything I regret - just did what is my job as a sponsor. If I have to call someone on their ####, I'll do it regardless of whether or not they want to hear it. I know I don't have the most tactful demeanor, but I don't go out of my way to be a dick, either. I just do what I have to do.
However, I'll concede the "asshole" part, since it seems to be the majority opinion... (Although I'm pretty sure I told them that right when I first started sponsoring them - but that's somewhat tangential at this point...)
But somehow, I just didn't think that just "being an asshole" was a good enough answer for my 4th Step - there must be more to it, so far as MY role in getting fired.
Also: so what if they all think I'm an asshole? (They don't think so, but they're all kind of spoiled, anyway...) By their definition, anyone who doesn't do what they want, when they want it, is an "asshole"! They act like little badasses, but they're basically just young, spoiled, wealthy suburban kids with a different value system than me. I kept forgetting to take that into account.
Anyway, after meditating on it a while, for a few days, I came up with a semi-brilliant NEW revelation (to me... lol)
I VIOLATED MY OWN RULES!
When I sponsor people, I always tell them right up front what I expect out of them and what they can expect from me. I'm always totally consistent. This is very important. I always have them go to daily meetings, meet up in person for a few hours to do weekly Step work, call me every day, get commitments, meet a few stable sober people to hang out with, get a home group, etc... (I've mentioned all this a few times in this thread already, ad nauseum).
EVERY one of these 5 guys who fired me had previously either missed doing weekly Step work meetings for a month (or more) in a row, quit going to the bulk of their daily meetings for a month or more, or quit calling me daily, etc...
I ignored my own rules and let it slide, HOPING they'd get it back together & start showing up again later.
I won't "fire" someone for missing a meeting or not calling once, or whatever -- but EVERY one of these guys showed signs of MAJOR lack of willingness to work, compared to when I first met them. Because of this lack of maintenance, and EVERY one of them got a major ### attitude. A couple of them were in FULL relapse mode, and when I told them about it they totally freaked out & became really antagonistic towards me.
Its MY fault for not just getting rid of them, at that point. I got too wrapped up in THEIR recovery, cared TOO much for them, and wanted to "protect" them from going back to prison, some horrible mental hospital, or etc..
If I had simply quit "covering" for them & fired them when I should have, then they would have just had the attitude of "Whatever, asshole" - and gone back to whatever THEY felt like doing, without really giving a #### one way or another.
NONE Of these guys have ever thanked me for anything - its MY mistake for getting WAY too wrapped up in it. So what if they go back to prison, or some mental institution, or whatever? Its their life, not mine. This is how I set myself up for getting totally shut down by these guys. I had WAY too much wrapped up in their well-being. In retrospect, the right thing to do is that I should have hung them out to dry, instead.
No matter how much I (used to) care about them, or how much they remind me of my missing kid, or how much I THINK I'm doing to help - I can only do so much. The "so much" part of the equation only works when they put in an EQUAL amount of work! So theres ANOTHER one of my rules I violated - I put more work into their recovery than THEY were willing to do, themselves!
I really try not to think about my kid, and how much he's like them, and how much I wanted him back. This also has a LOT to do with me setting myself up to get totally shut down by these guys. No wonder I was so jammed up for so long, about this!
I was basing my opinions of my sponsees on what I saw when I FIRST met them, when they were DESPERATE and willing to do ANYTHING to stay sober, and BEGGING for my help.
By the time they fired me, I had FAILED to see they had returned to spoiled brat mode - they had a new circle of "fellowship" friends, had become more or less comfortable in their new lives, got rid of their legal problems, etc... A TOTALLY different ball game, than when I first met them.
No wonder they all told me to fock off & all hate me now, for making them do Step work, when they are totally "cured" and don't need it anymore!
I'll never get my kid back from wherever he went, these guys are all eventually going to relapse (3 out of 5 of them already have), and no matter how much I try to help them, nothing I do will make any difference.
Thats just the way it is.