Sponsorship questions and worries

Most of us who recovered with AA's program did so with the help of a "sponsor". But what is sponsorship? How do I get one? Who can be a sponsor? What makes a good sponsor?

Sponsorship questions and worries

Postby vandelay » Sun Jan 03, 2016 5:13 am

Hi there,

I'm not going to sugar coat anything here and just say right now I need to talk and say some things. I don't necessarily expect people on the internet to have all the answers but I know when times are tough I need to reach out and when I don't feel like I can do it in the small town I live in I have to go to other places.

Without delving way too heavily into things basically I've been sober for almost 15 months! Feels great and I'm happy with the person I'm starting to know. I'm a 22 year old male. I live in a small town in the cold north. With that being said I'm very grateful for the strong fellowship I've found here and the hearts wanting nothing more then to help me.

Back to the matter at hand, I've had a sponsor pretty much immidatly after coming back after a year and a bit. He was the one person at the meeting (of four) that gave me his phone number. It's been going well for the most part, I had to open up about some abuse in the past and hadn't done that with previous sponsors so got a lot out on day one. Basically knew if I wanted anything to change I had to try some of the suggestions mentioned. We've been slowly doing the steps (I did a rushed version in treatment a couple years ago) so wanted to get things right. Also working for a living these days can make it a bit more difficult to be consistent with the writing. Anyways I'm on my Four (dun dun dun) and was sharing what I had written with my sponsor and whatever regular stuff and then he mentioned that he had fears and told me he had actually gone to jail for sexually assualting a boy the last time he drank. He had always hinted it was a DUI and I never asked.

I want to stress that I do feel grateful he felt comfortable enough to tell me something that obviously isn't easy but here in lies the problem. I've always felt a little uncomfortable around him (sometimes he'll brush up against me or at a table our feet'll touch) and my natural instinct is to recoil. I can't remember if I made it up in my head but I believe he did mention it once like it was weird. I'm an introvert and it can take a lot to open up so I basically had to keep telling myself that my Higher Power had put this person in my life for a reason and even if I didn't like his sense of humor (lots of sexual remarks) that it was a test as well.

In his sharing with me I'm just totally conflicted as to what's normal here and what's right. Am I just looking for a reason to ditch this sponsor? I don't even know what to do if I did let him go as there are only two meetings a week and we'd constantly be seeing each other (I have enough people I try to avoid in a small town) I also now question all the little things he's done and even the step work I've done because part of me feels tainted like there might have been something else going on too.

I don't have a problem with gay people in the slightest but I've been with this man for so long and now I don't know what to think. I want to phone some other local AA members but I don't know how much they know and I don't want to vilify the guy just for sharing with me. This all seems a little bit surreal still.

Any thoughts or incite would be greatly appreciated.

TL;DR Sponsor told me he went to jail for sexually abusing a young boy and I don't know where/what I'm at
vandelay
Forums Newcomer
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2016 4:46 am

Re: Sponsorship questions and worries

Postby avaneesh912 » Sun Jan 03, 2016 6:51 am

5th step is to for the sponsor to help you identify your short-comings and help you overcome it. Doing so the sponsor may share some dark secrets to help you make comfortable. If his actions are bothering you can politely explain the situation. If the situation continues talk to other members but since its a small group it maybe uncormfortable. Perhaps you can find another group?
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)
User avatar
avaneesh912
Trusted Servant
 
Posts: 4646
Joined: Fri May 30, 2008 12:22 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: Sponsorship questions and worries

Postby ann2 » Sun Jan 03, 2016 7:33 am

I've heard "we're here because we're not all here." It's definite a delicate situation, problematic souls like ours attempting to guide others. Bottom line, you have to be ready to stand up for yourself if necessary.

One of the main things I learned from taking the steps was that I was no longer a child. I had avoided being grown-up I think for the longest time out of laziness among other 7 deadly-type factors. When I confronted my fears of my mother and my husband it became clear to me that I was expecting them to take care of me in everything. That was an awesome responsibility to hand another person and naturally they never met my expectations.

I needed to be my own decider. I could no longer depend on other humans. What stood out for me most was that the steps showed me a healthy way to apply my defect of dependency. Instead of relying on people to sustain me, I turned to a higher power.

Connecting with that source of support has been the best use of my desire to rely on something outside of myself. I have to keep reminding myself of the need to let my husband, mother, et.al. be the imperfect humans they need to be. Sometimes they need me to guide them, in fact, something I never considered before taking the steps. I've sent strong messages to my mother about her driving over the speed limit, for example, and I can apply Al-Anon principles to my marriage whenever my husband goes in silent mode on me :roll:

If it weren't for the steps, I wouldn never have grown up. I would still be blaming others for my difficulties. Nowadays my difficulties are actually opportunities for growth and as such cherished.

Ann
"If I don't take twenty walks, Billy Beane send me to Mexico" -- Miguel Tejada
User avatar
ann2
Forums Old Timer
 
Posts: 8687
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2004 2:01 am
Location: Somewhere in Sweden

Re: Sponsorship questions and worries

Postby PaigeB » Sun Jan 03, 2016 2:20 pm

so I basically had to keep telling myself that my Higher Power had put this person in my life for a reason and even if I didn't like his sense of humor

I like to think the same thing about the difficult people in my life. And remember the words on page 84... "Love and tolerance of others is our code. "Steps 4 & 5 helped me define what was made up in my head. And things that my sponsor told me in confidence, I have to practice integrity and keep them confident. If is necessary to do a 4th & 5th Step on problems with your sponsor, maybe see HIS sponsor, but don't randomly set about a bit of gossip.
and my natural instinct is to recoil. I can't remember if I made it up in my head

The instinct to recoil may be one of the instincts gone to the extreme. In working the Steps, I have found balance between the extremes that used to rule me. I had to practice taking a pause and moving gently away as opposed to recoiling. Love and gentle movement. Practicing helped me change my mind. Meditating on Love & tolerance, helped me a great deal.

Good luck. Keep coming back! AA is full of people with various problems. Unity and "principles before personalities" are good topics for discussion!
If I'm not able to say how I'm working my program today, then I'm not working my program.
The e-AA Group's 7th Tradition link: www.e-aa.org/group_seventh.php
User avatar
PaigeB
Trusted Servant
 
Posts: 10396
Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2011 12:28 pm
Location: Iowa USA

Re: Sponsorship questions and worries

Postby vandelay » Mon Jan 04, 2016 5:54 am

Hi there,

Thanks for the responses. I honestly think I'll just tell him how I'm feeling about his sharing that and just see where it goes from there.

I do understand that sponsorship and especially work on the 5th step is told in confidence which made this all the harder to write. It's just a small town and I couldn't think of anyone else to talk to because I didn't want to be the one who outed him to them either. I ended up just sleeping through our regular meeting time, I work nights but just didn't feel prepared for the situation. It's not an excuse but it's what I wanted at the time.

Sorry if this goes against any rules, things don't seem so crazy now and I feel a little more grounded.
vandelay
Forums Newcomer
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2016 4:46 am

Re: Sponsorship questions and worries

Postby Layne » Mon Jan 04, 2016 9:07 am

For him to share what he did with you was a huge leap in faith. He believes in your basic goodness, believe in his.

Put yourself in his shoes. If I was making someone else uncomfortable by my actions (past or present), while it might be hard to hear about it, I would still want to. I can't correct what I am not aware of, whether it be invading someone's personal space, sexual remarks, or whatever.

I have things in my past that I am not proud of, especially when I was drinking. I can't change my past. I can change my future. I hope that most people will judge me on what I am today, so I try and extend that same courtesy to others.
Layne
Forums Old Timer
 
Posts: 1518
Joined: Sun Oct 29, 2006 7:20 am
Location: British Virgin Islands

Re: Sponsorship questions and worries

Postby clouds » Mon Jan 04, 2016 12:50 pm

It seems that that last drunk he had was his worst and where he hit bottom and maybe that gave him the awareness of powerlessness and unmanageability. I have shared my worst behaviors with others while they wre making step five with me. It helps to calm them down and to understand that I understand what its like to have done shameful things while drunk. Its true that we can pretty well find ourselves completely insane doing insane things when under the influence! I know I was. Sharing a couple of these experiences also helps to identify the drunken behavior from the sober. Our character defects will still be with us in sobriety, but a lot of alcoholics and addicts do things when they are drunk that they are never even tempted to do when sober.

If you feel he is not to be trusted I think you can seek another sponsor in peace. Give it some time and see what happens. I wouldnt want to keep sharing with someone I couldnt trust. For me there were a lot of vulnerable moments as I did the steps. Its ok to feel that way and to take care of yourself in whatever way you choose. Follow this guidline, make sure you avoid any gossip, not that you would intentionally tell anyone of this man's past actions, it makes sense not to do that unless you must do so to protect another child or yourself from getting abused. If it were the case that you found out he still has a problem with that behavior even in sobriety and you think others or yourself were at risk, then you must do the right thing in that respect and report it. But from what you said about him, it seems this was a one time thing he did while drunk. If you think it wasnt like that, and that he is still harming others, then you are in a tough spot and although its difficult, it would be a good thing to report this to the proper authorities.
" Burn the idea into the consciousness of every man that he can get well regardless of anyone. The only condition is that he trust in God and clean house." page 98 A.A.
User avatar
clouds
Trusted Servant
 
Posts: 1064
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2015 11:45 am
Location: España

Re: Sponsorship questions and worries

Postby Spirit Flower » Tue Jan 05, 2016 8:36 am

Trust your instincts and step back if you want to.

He could have told you his situation because he wants to hit on you and this was a test to see if you kept playing the game.
...a score card reading zero...
User avatar
Spirit Flower
Trusted Servant
 
Posts: 1755
Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2007 5:49 am
Location: Texas

Re: Sponsorship questions and worries

Postby KathyAnne » Tue Jan 05, 2016 8:47 am

Yes I'd go with the previous post be careful. It's strange sometimes, we think we know people but we don't. I've just been caught out by someone who comes across as laid back etc etc known her for over 4yrs and she's not what I thought she was like at all.
I think your spot on about talking to your sponser about this, just be honest I've done that twice with mine and it all worked out fine. (I mean when I've been troubled about something I felt about her)
KathyAnne
Forums Contributor
 
Posts: 203
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2011 7:13 am
Location: England

Re: Sponsorship questions and worries

Postby avaneesh912 » Tue Jan 05, 2016 1:23 pm

I think your spot on about talking to your sponser about this


Situation is tricky. The issue is with the sponsor. Need to go elsewhere.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)
User avatar
avaneesh912
Trusted Servant
 
Posts: 4646
Joined: Fri May 30, 2008 12:22 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: Sponsorship questions and worries

Postby vandelay » Sat Jan 09, 2016 7:40 am

Hi,

I'm going to try and phone my sponsor today, been in a bit of a dark place as of late just not knowing where to turn & questioning a lot of things.

I have a lot of anxiety so just looking at responses can seem too much to face at times but I'm glad to have this place.

Thanks,
your help really does mean a lot.
vandelay
Forums Newcomer
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2016 4:46 am

Re: Sponsorship questions and worries

Postby tyg » Mon Jan 11, 2016 6:37 am

I would trust your instincts on this one and get a different sponsor asap. I would not talk to your sponsor about this and seek answers elsewhere. Pray about it and listen for direction. It is good you have come here and are talking about it. Maybe call some different AA intergroup offices outside your area (even state) and talk with other alcoholic's during their business hours. Otherwise you will usually get an answering service person and not an alcoholic.

This is why AA suggests having sponsors of same sex or ones that sexual interest is not possible to occur at all. If you change sponsors, you do not owe any explanation for not working with them anymore. A simple, I finding someone else to work with, thank you for all your help...is enough. Short and to the point, hang up on them if they start to pressure you for more information. If you meet in person, be in a very public area, not alone with them.

Unfortunately, we sometimes come across a bad egg.. in or out of AA.
~The secret to the AA program is the first three words on page 112~
User avatar
tyg
Forums Long Timer
 
Posts: 574
Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2015 6:34 pm

Re: Sponsorship questions and worries

Postby Lali » Thu Jan 14, 2016 8:33 pm

You asked for thoughts so here goes. The man is a pedophile. Pedophiles almost never stop offending. He assaulted a precious child! This child has to live with this for the rest of his life. His childhood was likely gone the day he was assaulted.

I don't have a problem with gays and have gay friends. But I have a problem with a pedophile who has not voluntarily gone into counseling.
Step 1: I can't
Step 2: He can
Step 3: I think I'll let him
Lali
Forums Old Timer
 
Posts: 4869
Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2009 8:13 am

Re: Sponsorship questions and worries

Postby odat12 » Wed Oct 18, 2017 3:41 am

My heart goes out to you with this situation and you are quite courageous in dealing with it. I too believe your higher power has put you in this position with this man because you have the strength to deal with it. However unlike the person you were when you were assaulted, now you are in a place where you can better handle yourself and maybe that's why you're here today. That information is such a deep secret. I hate to agree that once a pedophile always a pedophile but unfortunately that is some deep issue that I too think would need deeper help. The fact that he's making passes at you concerns me as I would think someone who is truly remorseful of their deed would not even consider it however I've never been in that situation so I couldn't know. I would look for another sponsor to even assist with dealing with this one. Take care of you and best of luck.
odat12
Forums Enthusiast
 
Posts: 41
Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2017 11:31 pm

Re: Sponsorship questions and worries

Postby desypete » Sat Nov 04, 2017 4:21 am

plenty of wise word said in this thread

just to put in my 2 cents worth

i did my step 5 with a monk
i was around aa in my early 20s and left after 3 years
when i came back again in my 40s i wanted my original sponsor to be my sponsor again but the problem was he had left aa and was off doing other things so i had the problem of trying to find someone i could trust and i just couldnt find that person

i had plenty of guys helping me and old timers who were sponsors of a fashion as they would help and guide me but i didnt have a sponsor to take me through the steps

step 5 was also a problem for me and one of the reason it took me almost 2 years before doing them although my sponsor returning to aa also helped but by then i had already done step 5 with a monk

i recount what happend to me one time in my 20s
i ended up going to a take away shop in my area one night and there was a drunk girl in there being very loud i was about 12 months sober at that time
anyway it seems the girl had gone to aa and been present to hear some of my shares in the meetings
so now she was drunk in the shop and seen me and she then took it upon herself to tell everyone else all about me

she pointed at me and shouted, see him, he is an alcoholic and he has hit his wife and he has wet the bed etc

i wanted the ground to open up and swallow me as everyone looked at me etc it was so embarrassing having my warts and all shouted out for all to hear, i left the shop and wouldn't go back

i learned a hard lesson about alcoholics having clay feet

can you imagine if that would of been someone i had trusted to do my step 5 with and they got drunk and blurted out my warts and all ?

anyway i heard in the rooms from a member talking about his own step 5 and how he did his with a monk and it sounded perfect for me

as i could share anything and everything which is what i did and i would never again see that person who i share it with
so it really was for me the right thing for me

and i mention it to anyone who might be considering doing there step 5 as an alternative to doing it with there sponsor

my own sponsor offers out the choice to anyone he takes through the steps of doing step 5 with himself or someone else and he is now getting towards 50 years sober

i really am so glad i did mine with the monk as i certainly was able to get rid of all my rubbish in one go
desypete
Forums Contributor
 
Posts: 405
Joined: Sun Jul 25, 2010 10:23 pm


Return to Sponsorship

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest