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Sponsor Problems




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Sponsor Problems

Postby BatonRouge » Mon Sep 15, 2008 6:24 pm

Hello everybody, my I just found this website yesterday. I have been attempting to gather information about my current problem. Which is me as always, I am looking for further guidance on the issue.

First let me begin that my Sobriety date is December 27 2004. I have been sober for about 3.5 years. It hasnt been what I would call the smoothest road. I have had my current sponsor for close to two years now. He is a hardnosed no bs type of sponsor. He has 22 years. The last year an a half has been the most improvement since I got sober. And my sponsor has always been there for me and has invested countless hours with me. I went to Iraq for 11 months and I talked to him via email almost every day I was there.

On the down side, my sponsor tends to be controlling. As in if I dont do it his way, then I get a new sponsor. Its been this way since I have had him, and I knew it when I asked him to be my sponsor. It you dont want to do what he did, then find someone else. He has a high standard in my opinion, if you ask him. "Its the AA standard"

If anyone has experience with lying by omission, it would be helpful here. Because according to him, I am a pro at it. Sometimes I see it, sometimes I dont. And thats why he usually fires sponsees, for lying. Either directly, or by omission.

Ok, enough of the backround information, here is what recently happened. One of my sponsors biggest rules is, you dont persue relationships with Women with less than a year of sobriety. And so far I have adhered to this with no thought whatsoever. But last week, while I was activated with the national guard during hurricane Gustav, I came home to discover I had a female refugee living in my room. Immeditly I was attracted to her, I just knew something was going to happen. I felt it. I also found out that she had four months of sobreity. Which is a no go. I figured that it was no big deal, I wouldnt be at home anyway and hopefully she would be gone by the time I came back in several days. About four days later she was still there when I went home to get clothes and wash uniforms. And she invited me to lunch the following day, that she wanted to return my genorosity for letting a stranger stay in my room. ( I was hoping to get a day off ) And I told her yes. At this point I would usually call my sponsor and tell him what I had done, and he would tell me how I am wrong, and that if he ever found out that I had messed with a newcomer " So help me God " he would say. But I didnt. In fact I didnt say a word, I told him that the girl was still there, and that she had done my laundry and cleaned my floor in my room. I also said that I would avoid her, because I knew what might happen. Which he acknowleged as the correct answer. No big deal, but I still failed to mention that she had asked me to go to lunch, and that I said yes. I was hoping she would forget, or just decide not to go on her own. Anyway she called the day I had off and again asked if we were going to lunch. Which I said yes.

Anyway, as you might guess. I violated my sponsors rule, subsequently my rule. There was no sex involved, but we did stay up all night and have a great time. Turns out that we have a ton of stuff in common, and really clicked. I dont think I have clicked with a girl like this before. But then again, I am an Alcholic.

Anyway, I told my sponsor what had happened the following day, and got my butt chewed up and down. I belive he used the words, "Predator" "And worse than malestng a child" In fact he yelled and freaked out like he usually does when I have screwed up in the past. He gets really emotional, tends to beat me down to a moldable level. Then gets real tender and understanding. You know when you beat a dog, then pet it hoping you make it feel better. Similar, just with no physical abuse.

Anyway, I lied to my sponsor. I was wrong.I know better. I have done it before with similar relsults on his part. He got pissed off. I still want to see the newcomer. He thinks I think with another organ. He asks what girl would be interested in me. "Sick ones, because I am sick " I am sick of getting yelled at, I want to see the girl, And I think my sponsor should take his program somewhere else. But I am scared to death about what my life will become without him.

Help. I am going to my homegroup meeting now, he will be there. I told him last night that I needed some time to think about my situation.
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Postby Susan » Mon Sep 15, 2008 10:33 pm

She is only FOUR MONTHS SOBER!!!!! that is a form of HOMICIDE for you to be screwing with her. Why do you want to ruin her life?, just because you hit it off talking. You have been sober the longest and are held to the highest level of accountability. Listen your sponsor is doing his job, he is not sugar coating any BS with you. You are lucky this woman is not one of my sponsees because you would be in a world of #### and hear it from me too. We are talking about somebody's life here, you have 3.5 years but you do not care if you send someone back out in the streets of alcoholism! Take a look at the Four Absolutes and do it today.
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Postby Dallas » Tue Sep 16, 2008 1:44 am

Hello BatonRouge,

First, I'd like to welcome you to the site and thank you for expressing the courage to open up and share what's going on with you.

I don't believe that it would be right for me to judge you or your situation. All I can do is to share with you my experience of what I was like or what I did, what happened, and what I'm like today.

I have a pretty tough sponsor. There have been times when I felt like he didn't believe me, when I was telling the truth -- and other times when he let me know that I wasn't telling the truth. There have been times when I thought and felt as though he was trying to humiliate me. I have a great sponsor -- and, I'm just being honest. A couple of the many things he's taught me, is: facts do not always match my perception of reality. And, there have been times -- when he knew I was being dishonest -- when I didn't even know that I was being honest.

I do know that I'm trusting him with my life -- and, if I didn't think he had my best interest in mind -- I wouldn't trust him that way.

I also know that I MUST be totally open and honest with him. I feel that my life and my sobriety depends upon it. I have to tell him my deepest and darkest secrets. Now, you or anyone else may not have to do that with your sponsors. I can only speak for myself and my experience and what I've done and what I believe to be right for me.

When I have been honest with him with all the humility that I can muster -- and go to him with a problem that I would really prefer not to do -- he has always been there for me, and most often, with thoughtful and loving kindness. And, he encourages me. I can see that he is never as tough on me as I am tough on myself.

In regards to the lady -- if I couldn't trust myself to take right actions with her -- I know I had better get as far away from her as I can get, as fast as I can get away! :lol: Some slopes are too slippery to risk. The guilt, remorse and amends can be too much of a price for me to risk having to do.

Now that I've wrote all that -------- I want to say thank you, for serving me and our country and our citizens. I admire you for that -- and I am as grateful for you, as I can possibly be. I would imagine that you get yourself into some risky and lonely and tough and dangerous situations -- in your efforts to serve a Higher Purpose. If you are as super-sensitive as I am -- probably, your greatest fear -- is emotional pain.

For me, I could fall in love on a wink and a blink -- if I wasn't real careful about it. And, nothing is so painful as a broken heart... or the guilt and remorse that I can fabricate in my head -- over someone elses emotional difficulties. It seems like there are times when I'll blame myself for everything -- and, it could be just weather related! :wink:

I was always told -- that the reason the old-timers stay away from the newcomers is -- the newcomer can take it and bounce back -- but, the old-timer is likely to wind up dead........ :lol: And, I've watched that example happen more than a few times. I was also told that the 13th Step had it's origin, as "the 13th nail in the coffin"... of the old-timer doing something that he ought not have been doing -- and, it killed him.

And, of course... in your situation... sex might be the last thing in your conscious mind to do... For me, I have to watch out for the unconscious things in my mind -- especially, if there is any likely-hood that emotions can be involved. Also, my experience has been -- that there are more than a few A.A.'s that have twisted perceptions, and they like to make up rumors and gossip and sometimes out-right lies..... to get a little attention and to bring someone else down. I know it's not supposed to work that way -- but, it's the way that it often is. I try to watch what kind of situations that I get myself into. I know of one sick-o that's a member of our Fellowship... that brags about all the one's that she's driven back to drinking. She feels proud of her record! She has spent a lot of time trying to drive me to the brink of a drink... and I know of some that she was successful with. With strangers like that -- I don't need enemies.

Like I say..... I can't tell you what you should do..... I can only say that I would be mighty careful to try my darndest to not get myself in that kind of situation.

Best wishes to you,

Dallas B.
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Natzi sponsor & 13th stepping

Postby sunlight » Tue Sep 16, 2008 9:43 am

My 1st sponsor was very hardcore & when I was 13th stepped at 4 mos. sober she freaked out & said I would drink again. I was determined to prove her wrong & held back just how involved I was,then started to not reveal other things cuz she "wouldn't understand". I wasn't drinking so I thought I was well. I was insane & this man almost killed me & by the grace of God I escaped with my life.
My sponsor said she couldn't help me anymore - my mind was too shut. I was led to a new sponsor who had the same experience in sobriety. I was able to see that I was trapped in the same way that alcohol had trapped me & I was powerless. But she was much more easygoing & kinder & I was able to be honest with her. Ask God for guidance.
I heard that alcoholism is a disease of perception & distraction. Please don't distract yourself or this lady from your primary purpose!
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Postby garden variety » Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:05 pm

Hello BatonRouge,

From what you described you're in a difficult situation. First of all, when I am asked to mentor or sponsor someone, I look at this from the view of the Second Tradition. In particular, as a sponsor or mentor, I'm definitely in the position of "trusted servant". It doesn't matter if my protege' lies to me - before I speak to him, I have to remind myself that this is human being that God loves, and I am only there to extend the helping hand of AA. I always - and I mean ALWAYS - understand the way to treat another human being was said like this, by some carpenter fellow. I want to stress here that I'm saying this in the context of the univeral spiritual principles that are in the 12 steps:

"Verily I say to you, insomuch as ye have done to one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done unto me"

The way I see it is whatever I say or do to another person who is seeking a God of their own understanding, it's the same thing as if I were saying or doing that to the God of my understanding. There are things that are glaring to me in what you posted that I would not say or do to my protege' - and that is to accuse him of criminal conduct or say that his behavior was comparable to being a "child moletster".

My sponsor is a former marine and is as "hard-core" as AA's come with 30 years of sobriety. I would not allow him to talk to me that way. Period. Why? I was accused of being a child molester by someone in a position of trust. It was a lie of course, and it was wrong for this person to make that kind of accuasation. They were in the "position" of being a "trusted servant". The problems that little event had in my life were incredibly difficult to resolve. There are ways to communicate to people and there are ways to be abusive with people. If what you say about your sponsor is true, and if he were speaking to me and used those terms, to me there would be a boundary that was crossed.

I have had coffee with girls with less than a year of sobriety. I have went out on a date with a girl with less than a year of sobriety. I have socialized with women with ranges of sobriety all over the place. I've also had protege's that have done the same thing. I never lied to my sponsors about any of these things. I had a real heart-to-heart with my former sponsor about the girl I dated. Now whoever on this forum is reading into this "predator" - you don't know me and you don't know the situation. And there was much to this than meets the eye. So keep your cool for a minute.

We (my sponsor and me) both concluded the best thing was to not date the girl. This sponsor had that magical way of allowing me to come to my own conclusions. He told me I really had a choice to make. Was I concerned more with the girl's sobriety, or my own desires (yes she was very attractive)? He wasn't a dummy or playing games with me. He just knew it was one choice or another. I had to sleep on it, AND HE UNDERSTOOD that too! When I got back with him, low and behold, my choice was to be more concerned with her sobriety. He said good. He said since we had been friends for such a long time before we dated, it wouldn't be a good idea to just stop being her friend. But he also said that if I go anywhere with her or meet up with her, it should be a meeting. And sex, hugging, kissing, and dating wouldn't be anything I would be getting involved with if my choice was from my heart.

A little later I switched home groups and sponsors. Again, I had to tell my sponsor - my current sponsor - about the girl and our friendship. In fact, she asked me out to dinner again, and I threw this back at my current sponsor. He just said if I want to have dinner with her fine, just let her know in no uncertain terms that I wouldn't be persuing a relationship with her. Then go to a meeting together. The only commentary he offered was that even though we had known each other a long time, and we both had an attraction for each other that was obvious, she wasn't sober. And there was no way any kind of relationship that was meaningful could develop because all relationships are based on a spiritual relationship. And she was not where I was spiritually. In fact, that's his advice with any girl I date. Don't get involved with anyone I can't have a spiritual realtionship with.

Not bad from a "hardcore" 30-year AA and former Marine?

I trust the man with my life. I don't ever have a reason to need to lie to him. That's because he loves me and shows me the same respect as what that carpenter fellow said.

So that's my experience with this matter. If there is anything in it that can help you, then all is well.

PS - There is no such thing as a "13th Step".
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Postby Susan » Tue Sep 16, 2008 2:10 pm

Women at four months sobriety have a different mind set than men. Many women come into the fellowship male dependent and therefore do not grow up. I would also say that men do the "lets be friends" thing different than women. We women have a new foundation to go by. It is basically " I do not do anything with someone of the opposite sex that I would not do with my sponser". All women love good men and that means all you great guys on this board but a woman can be really screwed up at four months sober. I may have been a little hard on you BatonRouge in a previous post but you DESERVED a great woman TOO! not just somebody four month sober. You have done a great service to all of us and our country, now you just need to find a woman with at least 31/2 years sobriety. Read step 12 in the 12 & 12. I call it the relationship step. :D
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Postby garden variety » Tue Sep 16, 2008 4:22 pm

Susan wrote:Women at four months sobriety have a different mind set than men. Many women come into the fellowship male dependent and therefore do not grow up. I would also say that men do the "lets be friends" thing different than women. We women have a new foundation to go by. It is basically " I do not do anything with someone of the opposite sex that I would not do with my sponser".


Wow Susan! This is some really good stuff. Simple and to the point. I guess what I'm reading here is that "being friends" means doing things that you'd be "caught" doing with your (same-sex) sponsor. That's how I understand being friends. But I also understand that "being friends" is doing something a little more at times, and that is putting the best interests of my friend before my own desires.

Also about the 4-month "male dependent" thing you mentioned - I heard this girl do a great lead at "Saturday Nite Live" in a place called Garfield Ohio. Boy did she ever describe "male dependent". I was cracking up because she just painted her picture and story so simple and matter-of-fact that it was almost just like being there. I swear there were times I wanted to get up and run in the opposite direction of her. She did things with only a few months of sobriety that got her into trouble by picking out those "legally challenged" men at meetings. God bless her anyhow, now she has over 6 years and did end up marrying one of those fellows, but it was after a few years and done in a sane way. And she does take care of a good share of new girls that really seem to love her.

Nice to see you again!
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Postby BatonRouge » Tue Sep 16, 2008 4:51 pm

Wow, thank you for all of your experience, strength and hope.

I met with my sponsor this morning. We had a lengthy discussion about this. Mainly about replacing Alcohol w/Women. I am having a really hard time swallowng this. The girl called recently today to ask if I got her note. I didnt answer the phone, but I checked my voicemail afterword. Which according to my sponsor, is a form of communication. I am not supposed to communicate in anyway with this girl. Now I get to call him and tell him that, and I am not looking foward to it. This is causing a lot of trouble, and its eating my lunch.

The way my sponsor told me what he told me the other night is not the first time, and he says that if I didnt do what I did, he wouldnt have done that. My sponsor is a great guy, and I feel like I am just villianizing him to meet my wants.But what I said is the truth the other night, and it still isnt sitting well with me. On the other hand, the real deal is, if I get a new sponsor, I know one of the first things I would do is call this girl. No B.S.

Her sponsor met her current husband when he was less than a year, and the same goes with her grandsponsor. I know that there are more people that relapse because of engaging in new relationships early, but there are a few that dont relapse, and live happy lives. The numbers are not in my favor though.

Susan thank you for the other side of the coin. I am already learning from this forum

Again thank you for your time and hope.
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Postby garden variety » Tue Sep 16, 2008 11:08 pm

Heya BatonRouge,

Lets just pretend for a moment that I am your sponsor, and you are my protege'. Lets just do this as a hypothetical situation for a moment only? Bear with me and understand one thing ABSOLUTELY and CRYSTAL CLEAR in this little pretend exercise.

AA has no opinion on outside issues. I'm your sponsor for the moment, and that means one of two things. A: I have no opinion about your relationship issues. or B: I have an opinion about your relationship issues, but it's my opinion, it has nothing to do with AA, and is essentially not important because it's not directly related to sobriety.

Now those are the pre-requisites. OK? And don't forget THIS IS JUST PRETEND, and I'm not giving you any kind of advice.

You mentioned that if you changed sponsors, you would call this girl that you are attracted to. The only reason you're not calling her is because your former sponsor said if you did, he'd get indignant with you, chew you out, call you names, and drop you as his protege'.

But now that I'm your pretend (momentary) sponsor, and he is not, I will ask you a question or two. However you answer these things is meant for your own PERSONAL reflection, not to post here online.

What is more important to you, achieving quality sobriety by working the 12 steps of AA and allowing the newcomer girl to do the same thing, or is it more important to hook up and let the sparks fly? Your answers belong totally to you. I'm not going to drop you as my pretend (momentary) protege' one way or the other.

If you answer that your sobriety is more important than having a relationship with the newcomer girl, that's great (just like my sponsor told me). Then make it clear to the girl that having a sexual or intimate relationship is not something you want to do and would not be wise. Tell her that although you find her charming and attractive, you'll be passing on getting involved in a relationship. Because it's not going to work out in any good way until she reaches the point of having worked the steps to the best of her ability, and nothing becomes more important to her than her own sobriety. Unless you both can meet at this kind of spiritual level first, neither one of you can enjoy a lasting and mature intimate relationship. If this is the choice you want to make, it would mean communicating your decision to her in a clear and unmistakable way if she is expecting to hear from you. I trust that after almost 4 years of living sober you have the self-control to do this honestly and simply without getting all hot and bothered. Am I correct in assuming this? Also, if she miraculously disappears from your life and doesn't call you back anymore, count it as a sign or blessing from the "other world" and leave it at that (trust me this can really happen!)

Or if you decide that having a relationship is more important than your sobriety or hers, then all I will say is that I'm here for you to help you achieve sobriety whenever you need me. If sobriety isn't your top priority, I'm afraid you're heading toward a relapse. If you think that having a relationship with a newcomer girl is more important than her achieving quality sobriety and working the steps, I would say that your "drive" is talking louder than your head. But I won't stop you from any new learning experiences - you're a grown man.

But if this is your choice, and you honestly want my help or suggestions - then I think we should start from square one and at step one, and leave the newcomer girl to get sober with her sponsor's help, and without an intimate relationship with you.

Call me tomorrow.

How's that BatonRouge?

OK exercise is over. I'm back to a bunch of electronic specs on your screen and your old sponsor is still your sponsor. And if any of the above events or characters resembles actual people, circumstances, or advice it is purely coincidental and hypothetical.

Thanks for helping me today.
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Postby Dallas » Tue Sep 16, 2008 11:31 pm

Hey Susan,

Thank you so much for sharing your woman-insights. I miss having some great A.A. women to talk with, to ask them about "women things" and stuff like relationships. When I lived out in Southern California, there were many wise women in the Fellowship, that had way more time sober than me... and I could go to them with my questions, to get a woman's view on things. They nearly always left me with a "Wow! I never even considered it or thought of it that way!"

So, once again..... thank you for sharing your experience, strength and wisdom! I appreciate you and I know that my life will be better for it.

Dallas
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