The 13th step.

The 12 Steps are the AA program of recovery from alcoholism.

The 13th step.

Postby Feeya » Sun Jun 19, 2016 5:22 am

Hi my name is Feeya, I am an alcoholic.
So. At one of the meetings I go to is a young gentleman, a refugee who has just come here and does not really have any friends or family.
He is two years sober. When I first crawled through the doors of AA he gave me his number, like many others did, so I could call if needed.
I haven't called, because I got plenty of numbers to chose from (and also just started taking that option) and did not really feel comfortable talking to him since there is a great language barrier (he barely speaks German and his English does not really make sense either) but we occasionally text and he seems like a really nice guy.
We started texting a little more after my relapse on Wednesday, just AA related stuff.
Today he texted me and asked if I wanted to go to the movies with him and he kind of kept pushing after I told him that I did not really feel like going out today. He said we could meet at his place and 'chill' and just watch a movie at home.
From the way he became more persistent (I hope that is the right word) and pushy I got a feeling that there is more to this then just 'wanting a friend' or whatever.

I am, first of all, a lesbian and absolutely not interested in men, and second of all I am absolutely not interested in having a relationship. I do understand that my number one priority needs to be my recovery right now. I don't want to relapse again and I don't want to mess up what I have already learned.
So to me there is absolutely nothing more to this then texting with an AA friend but it doesn't seem like that is the case with him.
I am not aware that I could possibly have given him a feeling of wanting more (since I openly talk about my sexuality and have adressed it at meetings too) but I do have a very strong feeling of him wanting more.

Since this is not an issue for me but him I am not quite sure what my responsibility is right here and if I need to take actions or if it is enough on my part to keep telling him that there is no way to go.

I am not trying to cause fighting, but any ES&H would be appreciated, since I am not sure what the consequences of my behavior would be and what kind of effect that would have on him (e.g. me telling the group or my sponsor vs me not making this 'public').
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Re: The 13th step.

Postby Karl R » Sun Jun 19, 2016 8:04 am

How about "thank you very much, but I'm not interested". Keep it simple for now.

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Re: The 13th step.

Postby Brock » Sun Jun 19, 2016 8:08 am

I have some experience with people from different cultures, especially as they view man/woman relationships, and most especially their feeling towards lesbians. In the Caribbean many men, (particularly those who lack education and live in lower class areas), treat gay men generally with scorn, and make fun of them. As for gay women, they are absolutely sure they are only gay because they have not met a good man. I am disappointed to say there are cases of gay ladies being raped, under the so called duty of men to show them what they are missing, the defense of rape to convert has been used in court.

I don't say this to frighten you, but also in England and France I have seen reports of these refugees being very pushy to local women, I am afraid in their culture the respect for women is not the same as in many developed countries.

I would say to him in the same nice way you have treated him in the past, that you are not interested in socializing at any level, while thanking him for the AA advise he gives by text. If your sponsor agrees, you can even say she is not in favor of anything but the same text arrangement you have at present. I appreciate your concern for his feelings, but it sounds like you need to just set him straight, and I wish you the best in doing so.

Edited to add : I basically said the same thing as Karl, but used more words.
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Re: The 13th step.

Postby D'oh » Sun Jun 19, 2016 8:57 am

How about "thank you very much, but I'm not interested". Keep it simple for now.


Thanks Karl, I couldn't have said it any better.

Edited to add : I basically said the same thing as Karl, but used more words.


Really?
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Re: The 13th step.

Postby Spirit Flower » Sun Jun 19, 2016 10:36 am

I agree with Brock about cultural dis-connects. Men from other parts of the world can have a very different idea of how to treat a woman. You sound vulnerable. Be firm and quit texting or communicating at all.

Well, I've had to be firm with American men too. Some men just don't think "no" means no.
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Re: The 13th step.

Postby Noels » Sun Jun 19, 2016 11:34 am

Hi Feeya :D totally agree with the members above. Just tell him nicely but firmly that you are not interested, tell you sponsor so she knows and dont go anywhere where you and this person could end up alone. Rather safe than sorry. Unfortunately we forget that everybody at AA are there because they are sick. Some more so than others.

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Re: The 13th step.

Postby PaigeB » Sun Jun 19, 2016 11:37 am

The old woman in me is screaming RUN!!!!!!

Seriously, never EVER go to the home of a strange man - or woman for that matter.

AA is full of sick people by it's very definition. We all bring other crazy BS to the table. Safety first!!! He may have misunderstood

"I don't want to go out"
as
"I would rather stay in"

and from there he may have instantly gone to thinking you needed a "good man".

Run like hell, stop texting him and tell another woman or 2 about this incident. You do not need to suffer alone if he continues to push. I will come and hit him with my cane!! :twisted:

Seriously Feeya - DO NOT GO. :evil:

Then call another woman, please? Call now?
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Re: The 13th step.

Postby Feeya » Sun Jun 19, 2016 12:01 pm

Thank you everyone!

No, I obviously did not go! To me this is an absolute no go and the way he pushed set my alarm off right away.

I did text him earlier today and told him that I will definitely not meet with him and that he must not text me again as I feel like that is not where my focus needs to be.
He has read the text. Has not answered yet, so I guess he got the message.

I will leave it at that for now, should he make any move at the next meeting or text me again I will talk to my sponsor and some of the 'bigger and scarier' men at the meeting. There are a few of those and they all keep an eye on me as it seems. If I tell them what's going on or show them some of the pushier texts I am sure they would gladly take the guy aside and have a word with him.

My concern was not so much about my safety but about his behavior having a bad effect on his recovery, but as I read your posts I realised that his recovery is not my concern and not something I need to work on.
I am busy enough as it is working on my own recovery...

I am an easy target, always have been. It seems like some people are just able to sense that. I hope after going through the steps that will change and I will know my ways to avoid attracting those kinds of people.

Anyways, thanks again.

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Re: The 13th step.

Postby Tosh » Mon Jun 20, 2016 3:10 am

I make a point of not giving my number out to members of the opposite sex. Okay okay, then it gets a bit more complicated when you're gay, and I do sponsor a gay bloke, but keeping it simple, I still don't give my number out to members of the opposite sex.

Anymore! I learnt the hard way too. :lol:
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” Rumi (No sniggering from the sex addicts)
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Re: The 13th step.

Postby Feeya » Mon Jun 20, 2016 9:01 am

Tosh wrote:I make a point of not giving my number out to members of the opposite sex. Okay okay, then it gets a bit more complicated when you're gay, and I do sponsor a gay bloke, but keeping it simple, I still don't give my number out to members of the opposite sex.

Anymore! I learnt the hard way too. :lol:


Well, I understand that we all need to be careful when it comes to our feelings, especially when newly sober and I understand that distancing yourself is probably for the better sometimes!
I easily forget that, because I easily forget that just because I am not interested in men, doesn't mean they aren't interested in women...
To me it is a foreign concept for a male person to want more or to read into my behavior that I could want more, I guess that is what put me off yesterday.
Is there actually any talking about that in the BB that one could recommend, regarding these kinds of issues?
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Re: The 13th step.

Postby Tosh » Mon Jun 20, 2016 9:31 am

Feeya wrote:Is there actually any talking about that in the BB that one could recommend, regarding these kinds of issues?


No. You've got to remember that the Big Book was written when Bill and Bob were three years sober. They didn't even have A.A. meetings when it was finished; they had Drunk Squad of the Oxford Group meetings. Meetings took their name from the book when we split from the Oxford Group. And it was probably very rare that women joined in the early years; it was mostly men I'm afraid.

But there is a brief mention in the Questions and Answers on Sponsorship leaflet:

2016-06-20_17-26_P-15 Questions & Answers on.jpg


Full leaflet here:

http://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/p-15_Q&AonSpon.pdf

We've just got to use some common sense; there aren't any hard fast rules. A.A. ladies generally warn their sponsees to stay away from the men, and I suggest to my sponsees that they stay away from the ladies. We're not a dating agency; we're there to stay sober and help others achieve sobriety.
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Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” Rumi (No sniggering from the sex addicts)
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Re: The 13th step.

Postby Feeya » Mon Jun 20, 2016 9:47 am

Tosh wrote:
Feeya wrote:Is there actually any talking about that in the BB that one could recommend, regarding these kinds of issues?


We've just got to use some common sense; there aren't any hard fast rules. A.A. ladies generally warn their sponsees to stay away from the men, and I suggest to my sponsees that they stay away from the ladies. We're not a dating agency; we're there to stay sober and help others achieve sobriety.


Thank you!
See, that is what kind of puts me off... because there is something in between 'staying away from somebody' and 'dating them'. There is 'having a normal conversation' too...
And don't get me wrong I am well aware of what happens when two sick people cross paths and how toxic it can become. I just don't see the danger in 'having a conversation'... I mean, aren't we all there for the same reason? Or am I being too naive?
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Re: The 13th step.

Postby Tosh » Mon Jun 20, 2016 9:53 am

Sorry, I didn't explain that properly. Yes, of course, I have conversations with ladies and I'll talk recovery with them and just be friendly.

But I keep it there. I don't swap numbers with new ladies (homegroup ladies with sober time are different; they have my number). And I do keep some kind of distance - though I mean a 'mental distance'. I would meet up with a male alkie for a coffee and a one-on-one chat.
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” Rumi (No sniggering from the sex addicts)
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Re: The 13th step.

Postby Feeya » Mon Jun 20, 2016 10:05 am

Sorry, I just realised that I am bullsh*tting myself right there!

I obviously have witnessed just yesterday that not everyone 'just wants to chat' and that there are people who wanna take it further than being AA friends.
Yeah, I guess keeping a 'mental distance' can be hard in early sobriety, so *Edit: 'physical'* distance right there is probably better.
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Re: The 13th step.

Postby D'oh » Mon Jun 20, 2016 4:27 pm

I have seen same and opposite sex sponsorships work. If the message is the correct one. Remember that We are the one's that have to live with any motives that are other than carrying the message.

I want to share, but in no way endorse this. When I had just came back in. Second meeting, still shaky and scared like a Deer in the Headlights. Some people remembered me from long ago, and there was a New to Town girl but long time sober. So a group decided to do Tim's for a Meeting after the Meeting. Having did the same thing the night before, but having to leave early because of shakes and trying to hide them. I went also. It is some of the best meetings.

Leaving to get in my vehicle, my future Sponsor walked up and said he had to run to Wal Mart before Coffee, "Don't worry (insert new girls name) will be at Tim's. So there we were, her not knowing me from an Axe Murderer, having coffee together. I will always remember that. We have since shared many great talks, but I remember the trust that this person showed. Partly because others knew me and had a belief in me, even though I had slipped. It might be because I am in a small town, but she was from a much larger City. But we are not alone in the program. And never without someone much larger watching our motives and actions.
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