About Me

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I have recovered from the disease of Alcoholism. I believe there is only one person really,.. everybody. And that peace of mind is everything. -So treat your neighbor as you would treat yourself, because your neighbor IS yourself. I think most of recovery is what I would call common sense, but that learning to be ordinary is a true gift very few people acquire. My ambition is to accept everything unflinchingly, with compassion, and therefore be intrinsically comfortable in my own skin, no matter what. I am comfortable being uncomfortable and am willing to go to any lengths to improve my life. I believe the Big Book was divinely inspired, and is extraordinarily powerful. Unfortunately AA's best kept secret a lot of the time. (In my opinion). I just try to do what works, no matter what it is.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sexual misconduct: Sexual inappropriateness is par for the course

Sexual misconduct: Sexual inappropriateness is par for the course
At work
With friends
At meetings
With Sponsees

Sexual inappropriateness is par for the course and is actually quite normal if you know what I mean. Meaning I am not very surprised when I see it. I see no reason to make a big deal of it. Its human nature after all. What did you expect? Even KIDS can be inadvertently sexually inappropriate for gods sakes. Part of being a good parent is learning how to skillfully manage misplaced sexual behavior in children. Eg That some nudity or inadvertently sexual behaviors are best reserved for the privacy of ones room, as opposed to ! mealtimes. Or whatever. I'm sure you know what I mean. (Not bizarre overly sexual actions as a result of sexual abuse, just boundaries relating to nudity and physicality that kids are not aware of.)

Certainly with AA's they are very often off kilter with regard to their sexual instincts, because they are by and large compulsive creatures and so tend to keep going back to destructive behaviors again and again, thinking 'this time it will be different'. Of course this is delusional. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. The area of sexual behaviors is no different. This is why SLAA is full of people who are unable to rein in their compulsive sexual acting out (affairs, casual sex etc) despite recurring damaging effects such as Hepatitis or whatever, losing significant relationships, to name but a few.

In AA this inappropriateness can take many forms. At its most extreme this will involve rape of a newcomer woman by a longer time sober AA member posing as a trusted ally to the new female.

Less extreme, a 'consensual' sexual affair with a very vulnerable new woman by a longer time sober AA member who sees the affair in an utterly different light later in recovery. This is what we call 'thirteen stepping'.

Less extreme. Sexual irresponsibility between those that are not new but are just plain compulsive. That would involve affairs and betrayal of their significant others, possibly disease and unwanted pregnancy to boot.

Next: the openly verbalized sexualization of friendship by one person which is out of step with the sexual intentions of the other. Ie one is reading this as a sexualized friendship, and the other isn't.

I am afraid to say I have heard of all these scenarios.

And last but not least, This one is not a problem as such, but one I prefer to not have to deal with. This is the NON-verbalized sexualisation of friendship by one person which is out of step with the sexual intentions of the other. Ie one is reading this as a sexualized friendship, and the other isnt.
This is very common and arises as a by product of friendships. If I find the other persons sexual interest ? 'slimy' for want of a better word, I will not make time for that person even if their words and actions contain no openly culpable act of Sexual inappropriateness. They are not at 'fault', as such. Its just I find their company a bit 'slimy', and their reasons for wanting to maintain the friendship somewhat hypocritical. Ie they have an undisclosed or unacknowledged sexual interest which is not mentioned. This is 'their stuff', and is no big deal, its just I prefer not to be around it unless I have to. To some degree there will always be sexual tension in friendships, so to bar all such interactions would mean you avoided just about everyone! We all have sexual instincts, so it is entirely a personal matter at which point one decides the EXTENT of non-verbalized sexual attention one feels comfortable with. I can find sexual interest a bit intrusive. ? Or something. I don't really analyze it. I just do what is comfortable for me.
Disclosed sexual interest is not 'slimy' in that it is open and guiltless, but I would avoid that one too as I prefer not to be pestered by inappropriate requests.
BTW having spent at least 3yrs up to my neck in study, work and other commitments, that does not mean that when I have no free time, that the cause is this! The longer you are sober the more protective you get of your free time, and I am no different. So don't assume that my absence means there is a sexual subtext behind it all :)

So there you go. The whole bandwidth of sexual ? weirdness. The stuff people try to avoid anyway...
Just get used to the idea that most are very disappointing when it comes to the way in which they manage their closest relationships with respect to their sexual instincts, and you will not be too far off. :)
Sorry to puncture your idealism of AA and human nature generally, but there you have it. Who said human nature was flattering? It isnt! Its very ego puncturing. And it stays that way no matter how long sober you are. The skill is in how you manage it, so that you do not harm others. Until you do step 8 it is hard to grasp what harming others means to any great extent.

And no, not that it matters, but I have not been involved with an AA member. Ever. The ones that appeared on my 'radar' always looked a bit too ? Crazy to me. Probably because they were. Bless em. Besides, I much prefer non alcoholics. Who knows? Perhaps I will meet an AA I feel inclined to become involved with? ..but as yet that has not happened. Not even when I was very, ! very new. Non alcoholics always seem much more appealing. Certainly a LOT more sane by comparison. To me anyway. Plus I have heard many ! horror stories of AA relationships. Far !!! more than I would have liked to..
PS This does NOT mean that I think all non-alcoholics are incapable of having mental problems. Of !! course they can. One has to use ones common sense in these matters.

Oh yes and don't assume that you have the moral high ground if you have managed to avoid various affairs, diseases and ! whatever. It is just as morally culpable to be repressed as is it is to indulge destructive behaviors. Sexual repression can be just as destructive in the long term. So no cozy moral hilltop to view this sorry mess from I'm afraid :)

Right well I'm off. I have scary written submissions to do!!
Have a fabulous Sunday. It is gorgeous over here thank god :)

Friday, July 03, 2009

Criticism and Hostility: Whose Feedback do I pay CLOSE !! attention to?

FaintOrbsJuly09, originally uploaded by Irish friend of Bill.

I read about some nasty feedback someone received, started a reply, which ended up so long I though I may as well do a post. :) Here it is.

If people 'do not have what I want' I consider their feedback (good, bad or indifferent) worthless. The blind cannot see. Why credit them with insight and wisdom if their vitriol and hostility communicates VERY clearly that they have NONE. ..Well none at that moment anyway. They are merely held hostage by the transient tide of resentment sweeping over them. We all suffer from this condition to SOME extent, so the comparison is always RELATIVE. Not 'he is BAD, and I am GOOD, ..type thing. That is just BS and an lame excuse to not PAY ATTENTION to what is REALLY happening.

We are by and large very similar. In terms of the component aspects within us. How we end up depends on WHAT WE FOCUS ON. Not whether we are 'good' or 'bad' people. But yes. Someone who habitually focuses on REVENGE, POWER DRIVEN ARGUMENT, self righteousness etc etc may eventually act in criminally violent ways. But it is their BEHAVIOUR that is 'wrong', not THEM as such.
Hate the sin not the sinner, as they say

This is why I am such a strong advocate of RESTRAINT OF TONGUE AND PEN
PRECISELY because we are ALL capable of great cruelty with words.

The people who behave in a HOSTILE way, or SPEAK in a cruel manner, are telling you EIGHT things about themselves VERY !!! CLEARLY.
Why? Because actions speak MUCH LOUDER than words. Every time.

They are telling you:
That they have ZERO self restraint. And probably have a pretty low level of restraint UNDER EMOTIONAL PRESSURE generally. Not !!! Nice people to be around when things do NOT go their way!!

That they are NOT WILLING TO GO TO ANY LENGTHS to 'Practice these principles in all their affairs.'

That they are INCAPABLE of being OPEN MINDED

That they have very poor levels of WILL POWER

That they are VERY INCONSIDERATE because they either:
Do TOO LITTLE service work,
Or the 'service work' they do contains significant SELF SERVING or EGO MASSAGING habitual tendencies. Therefore CANNOT deliver what the big book promises IF CONDUCTED IN THE MANNER SUGGESTED in the big book.

They really do not understand what 'acting out' means."

They PROBABLY have done a pretty shoddy step 8. Ie not even remotely ! thorough.

They are not very good at recognizing or dealing with their resentment. This is either because the step 4 method they used was ineffective, OR they used an effective method but have stopped maintaining it by using step 10, allowing the resentment to build up to dangerous and antisocial levels.

Right well I have a ton of stuff to do so I am OFF. Have a LOVELY weekend :)