My only recovery trigger in the rooms...please help

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My only recovery trigger in the rooms...please help

Postby emeraldg » Sat Jul 09, 2016 5:34 am

Hello everyone,

I have been doing a ton of work, reading and meditating on my own recovery triggers over the past while, and this particular one still gets me. I would love your advice please, to augment the guidance of my HP and sponsor.

There is an elderly woman in the rooms with many years of sobriety. Despite the bad rap that it's men who can be 13th steppers and predatory, this woman is the epitome of such a person. She uses her age and "grandmotherly ways" to prey on people, both men and women. She "collects" several brand new young female sponsees at a time, pressures them intensely to immediately do their inventory with her, and then spreads this personal information about them around the program. Most of the women she has ever sponsored have relapsed, and one confided in me that she feels this woman is constantly looking for a sponsor in her newcomer sponsees. She also preys on male newcomers who are usually extremely sick, still in active addiction and married.

I saw her yesterday at a meeting and felt extremely ill when I saw her approach a brand new young woman to sponsor. Then this elderly woman was going around the meeting bragging about this CEO program newcomer she was dating who is almost 20 years younger than her, a chronic relapser and married. She was showing people pictures of the 2 of them on her phone and how they began dating the day he came into the program. She also accused a very young woman in the program of "being after her man and needs to back off" because this young woman entered the program the same day as this man and had exchanged email addresses with him.

I felt absolutely sickened and horrified. I wanted to shout from the rooftops that she is a toxic predator. I said goodbye to her before sitting in my car and taking several deep breaths and praying. This is the only person I have ever encountered in the program that I feel physically ill and spiritually shaken by.

I really try and avoid gossip these days, and so I do not know if many others feel the same way that I do. But I know that I feel very, very cautious around this woman.

Any insight, guidance and help would be most appreciated.

Thank you so so much
Last edited by emeraldg on Sat Jul 09, 2016 10:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: My only recovery trigger in the rooms...please help

Postby Stepchild » Sat Jul 09, 2016 6:42 am

I once heard a guy say...."AA is not a museum of perfect people." I think that sums it up.

You mention...

I really try and avoid gossip these days, and so I do not know if many others feel the same way that I do.


I'd put money on it they do. I know an older guy like this...He doesn't attend the meeting of my homegroup....Because they kicked him out. But I've seen him in action at other meetings. Go to your next business meeting and bring it up....Say it concerns you. See what comes up. Preying on vulnerable newcomers to AA is not only sick behavior...It could be the difference between life and death for them. That's pretty serious stuff.

If you don't get any support at the business meeting...At least you know you did the right thing....Maybe find another meeting to go to. I got a feeling though....You're probably not alone on this.
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Re: My only recovery trigger in the rooms...please help

Postby D'oh » Sat Jul 09, 2016 7:12 am

A tough one but here is some of my experience. I hope it doesn`t become a marathon.

I once had a young member (of the opposite sex) start to call me for rides to meetings, go for coffee, corner me at meetings, even invited me to her place for coffee. This went on for a few months.

So we would come to meetings together and leave together, sit next to each other and so on. So the Meeting Gossip started, especially at the Old Timers Group. Enough so that my Sponsor asked 1 night `Whats going on. Her Sponsor would not talk to me. She had slept on my wife`s and my couch the night I had 12th stepped her.

That being said, nothing ever happened. Not that she did not want something to happen, but I would have had to live with that for the rest of my life. All that happened was she got to meetings regularly for 3 months before she had to move.

But walking into certain meetings afterwards, I still saw the little looks and whispers amongst some in the meetings. Which is theirs to live with. I know that I did what was right by my HP and by my Family and Myself.

So today I try to stay away from the Click Groups within the Meetings. I don`t judge them or anyone`s actions because there is someone much larger than me to do that.
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Re: My only recovery trigger in the rooms...please help

Postby Stepchild » Sat Jul 09, 2016 7:21 am

D'oh wrote:I once had a young member (of the opposite sex) start to call me for rides to meetings, go for coffee, corner me at meetings, even invited me to her place for coffee. This went on for a few months.


Probably not situation I would want to put myself in.
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Re: My only recovery trigger in the rooms...please help

Postby PaigeB » Sat Jul 09, 2016 10:51 am

I do not believe in "triggers". We are in a fit spiritual condition or we are not. And we only can be of help to others if our own house is in order.
BUT ~
Sometimes you can effect change by going to a person's home group to politely lay your grievance before them, (and then leave).

Sometimes you just have to pray and have faith that you will get an opportunity to be of service.

Sometimes you can effect change in others by having a conversation with them, honestly, openly and willing to listen. I would have to literally put my hand over my mouth!!! It is very likely NOT what you think it is though. The world does not change because I am uncomfortable, no matter what I believe my motives are. I do not do well at this myself. My sponsor asked me, "Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?" I said, "well, I am right. I ought to be able to be happy too!" She said, "Let me know how that works for you!" I was a bit put off by that, but I basically slammed my fist down and said, "I want to be RIGHT!" Shoot to the end of the story, 3 painful days later, I called her in tears and said, "OK. I give. Being right is not worth it. How do I "be happy" even when something I don't like is happening in my very own home?" She had me read the story from the back of the Big Book, Acceptance is the Answer. I also bought & read the author's non AA book, You Can't Make Me Angry.
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Re: My only recovery trigger in the rooms...please help

Postby D'oh » Sat Jul 09, 2016 11:52 am

Stepchild wrote:
D'oh wrote:I once had a young member (of the opposite sex) start to call me for rides to meetings, go for coffee, corner me at meetings, even invited me to her place for coffee. This went on for a few months.


Probably not situation I would want to put myself in.

It was somewhat strange, but I figured that my HP put us in this path, all I can do is what I think He would have me do. Regardless of what others might think. Hopefully she got some of that message. To live life today, so we don`t have any Fears or Remorse tomorrow. Which is the reason that I can bring this up today.
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Re: My only recovery trigger in the rooms...please help

Postby PuppyEars » Sat Jul 09, 2016 1:08 pm

I would completely ignore the situation. I play up these wild and crazy scenarios in my head that is usually dead wrong compared to what is really going on. And as soon as I inject myself into these kinds of situations I end up regretting it.
My vote is Let Go.
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Re: My only recovery trigger in the rooms...please help

Postby avaneesh912 » Sat Jul 09, 2016 1:19 pm

I know in my area there are 2 of them. Early on in my recovery that used to bother me. Not anymore. Maybe thats what it takes for their spiritual enlightenment. Now, If I know someone that is being hit upon, I may warn them of those characters, but I again, my responsibility ends there.
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)
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Re: My only recovery trigger in the rooms...please help

Postby Feeya » Sat Jul 09, 2016 1:57 pm

PaigeB wrote:I do not believe in "triggers". We are in a fit spiritual condition or we are not. And we only can be of help to others if our own house is in order.
BUT ~
Sometimes you can effect change by going to a person's home group to politely lay your grievance before them, (and then leave).

Sometimes you just have to pray and have faith that you will get an opportunity to be of service.

Sometimes you can effect change in others by having a conversation with them, honestly, openly and willing to listen. I would have to literally put my hand over my mouth!!! It is very likely NOT what you think it is though. The world does not change because I am uncomfortable, no matter what I believe my motives are. I do not do well at this myself. My sponsor asked me, "Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?" I said, "well, I am right. I ought to be able to be happy too!" She said, "Let me know how that works for you!" I was a bit put off by that, but I basically slammed my fist down and said, "I want to be RIGHT!" Shoot to the end of the story, 3 painful days later, I called her in tears and said, "OK. I give. Being right is not worth it. How do I "be happy" even when something I don't like is happening in my very own home?" She had me read the story from the back of the Big Book, Acceptance is the Answer. I also bought & read the author's non AA book, You Can't Make Me Angry.


Paige, thank you very much for sharing that! I have found myself in very similar situations as of late and I have been having conversations like that with my sponsor too.
It's funny how, sometimes, we hear exactly what we need to hear, exactly in the right moment. Your words found me in the exact right moment and I am very greatful for that!

Thank you for this topic and for reminding me of accepting the things I can't change!
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Re: My only recovery trigger in the rooms...please help

Postby Reborn » Sat Jul 09, 2016 4:40 pm

emeraldg wrote:I felt absolutely sickened and horrified. I wanted to shout from the rooftops that she is a toxic predator. I said goodbye to her before sitting in my car and taking several deep breaths and praying. This is the only person I have ever encountered in the program that I feel physically ill and spiritually shaken by.


I quoted the above because I'm wondering why this person affects you the way she does. What I've learned is people especially toxic people only can affect me if I give them power to do so. So for your well being practice a little acceptance here and realize that not everyone in AA is well. If you are concerned about what this woman is doing talk to her about it...like Paige said honestly, openly and see what its really about. You see there are my ideas of what is going on and then there is the reality....and usually the reality is not nearly as bad as my ideas...or let it go and realize and ACCEPT that there will always be sick people in AA no matter what you do. If it was me I would say something...but I don't give a S*** what people think of me...if someone is threatening a newcomers sobriety I will say something...I don't care who they are.
We have recovered, and have been given the power to help others. BB pg 132
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Re: My only recovery trigger in the rooms...please help

Postby Stepchild » Sat Jul 09, 2016 5:04 pm

Reborn wrote:If it was me I would say something...but I don't give a S*** what people think of me...if someone is threatening a newcomers sobriety I will say something...I don't care who they are.


I'm with you....I didn't even have to say anything about the guy in my meetings...They asked him to leave based on group conscience before I even came into AA. I've seen this guy at work in other meetings and I'm grateful the newcomers in my homegroup don't have to put up with it. I'm not a big fan of that acceptance story...There are some situations that need to be fixed. Thank God I don't attend meetings with a bunch of people that think acceptance is the answer to all of our problems.
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Re: My only recovery trigger in the rooms...please help

Postby emeraldg » Sat Jul 09, 2016 5:26 pm

Thank you all so very much. I am so appreciative.
To chime in, I relate to what you are saying, stepchild. I am having an extremely hard time accepting this situation. I am the LAST person who needs to tell anyone how to live their lives or be their moral police. And I know the sicker I was, the sicker the folks were that I attracted. And I understand that affairs happen and it is none of my business. That being said, I have seen with my own eyes this woman prey on the weak and the sick. And as someone with many years of sobriety in AA like this woman, it reminds me of a predatory almost child-abuser like situation that seems extremely calculated. I have seen the photos of her with this actively addicted, mentally unwell married man that she is bragging about while passing these photos around to anyone she can at a meeting, possibly putting at risk many things in his life over what may or may not be nothing more than an affair. I have seen her at her home group sitting with her multiple sponsees at one time, which dwindles as the weeks go by as the majority of them relapse and do not return, until she gets a new crop. She only goes for very young, brand new women who in turn may consider her a type of mother figure to be trusted, only to have their business exploited and spread around. As for the men, she has bragged to me herself which man has which occupation and how much money, and will "latch on" accordingly and immediately with no consideration whatsoever of their sobriety, health or family.

Another thing is she refuses to partake in any step/discussion/closed meetings and never has, nor has she ever spoken or chaired at any meeting. Which is none of my business and her perogative. But it does make me wonder if that is not a coincidence....to have information about others to gossip about while never putting herself in such a position of vulnerability.

Also...I had NO idea to this day that it is possible to ask someone to leave a home group!! How does that come about or occur? Thanks all! :)
Last edited by emeraldg on Sat Jul 09, 2016 5:31 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: My only recovery trigger in the rooms...please help

Postby Reborn » Sat Jul 09, 2016 5:27 pm

Stepchild wrote:I'm not a big fan of that acceptance story...There are some situations that need to be fixed. Thank God I don't attend meetings with a bunch of people that think acceptance is the answer to all of our problems.


I think acceptance is a great tool...but you're right...alot of people hide behind it like the live and let live crowd.
We have recovered, and have been given the power to help others. BB pg 132
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Re: My only recovery trigger in the rooms...please help

Postby Stepchild » Sat Jul 09, 2016 5:43 pm

Also...I had NO idea to this day that it is possible to ask someone to leave a home group!! How does that come about or occur?


This guy I'm talking about is pretty blatant about it...An older guy that preys on younger new women...Most of them right out of the homeless shelter.. Someone brought it up in a business meeting...And other people chimed in with same concerns. They voted on it and he was asked to not return. There is another line in that book I like....

God gave us brains to use.
pg 86
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Re: My only recovery trigger in the rooms...please help

Postby Noels » Sun Jul 10, 2016 12:13 am

Good morning beautiful people :D I agree with Stepchild and Reborn on this one. Some things are put on our paths because we can change what is happening. To me this falls under God will not do for us what we can do for ourselves ' and if another's behaviour is directly affecting another person's path to sobriety well,.... then God made me see it so I can use my God given voice and step in to effect change.
Sometimes we are there to speak for those who isn't ready or unable to speak for themselves.
Have an awesome Sunday
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