My AA Sponsor Left Me to Die
My sponsor used to always say, “We are going to love you until you learn to love yourself!”
“Oh isn’t that such a nice thing to say,” I would think. And even though I did not believe that everyone in AA was really going to love me, after a time, I believed that my sponsor did love me…or at least care a lot about me. But it was all lies.
AA Will Lie to You Until You Learn to Lie to Yourself & Other Newcomers!
My AA sponsor took me through a lot to convince me that I was “powerless” over alcohol; then when I relapsed again and acted like I truly was “powerless” over alcohol, she got very, very angry and fired my ass.
I really do not believe that AA’s believe that people are “powerless” over alcohol. If they did truly believe that, there is no way that they could or would treat newcomer-relapsers the way that they do. They are full of it if you ask me. They know that alcohol dependence is a behavior and they expect one’s behavior to change if they “work” a good program.
“What if I am “powerless” over my program though Granny?”
I am working to heal from this awful mental and emotional trauma that my Journey Through the Valley of AA Death has afforded me. They did seem to harbor good intentions for me in the beginning; but when it or “they” or my sponsor turned ugly…it got really ugly and potentially dangerous. When I consistently failed to behave as my sponsor wanted me to, she spat me out like a rotten peach pit; with no warning. She was as warm and kind as ever one day; then on another day she grew horns. I have rarely been treated so cruely.
Now I find that I am not the only person for whom this has been the case. Being a member of AA has been very harmful for many people. It’s just that not many people have communicated about this until now. The Internet has made it easy for people to share information and experience.
Many Have and Are Leaving AA
It has been supremely eye-opening, to say the very least, for me to be able to communicate with other people who have decided to leave AA. It takes real courage and tenacity to leave AA. I mean, the longer you are there, the more they try to embed the thought that you will surely die without AA into your mind. They are so fluckin good at it too…
It is ONLY true that you will die without AA if you believe it though. I got a lot out of reading an article by a woman who has been successfully living post AA for over a decade.
She reports, “People in AA will say something like “I will never stop coming to these AA meetings, because I get a constant stream of evidence that says that this is the only thing that really works for staying sober. People who relapse go out there and they screw up and they drink again and then they come crawling back to these meetings, and they tell their story of how they quit going to meetings and ended up relapsing and it just don’t get no better out there. And every time someone comes crawling back after a relapse, they say the same thing, they say: I stopped going to my meetings and then I relapsed. So that there is all the proof that I need that these meetings are the answer and that we should never stop coming to them. Meeting makers make it.”
In this article she takes time to explain that of course everyone you meet in AA believes that what they believe because they are people that attend AA meetings. The many, many people who have left AA and gone on to live alcohol-free or alcohol-moderate lives will not be at an AA meeting to share that with us now will they?
Sometimes the most obvious truths can be the most elusive–especially in AA.
I Ain’t Dead Yet Dear Sponsor!
I have not been to an AA meeting in about 6 weeks. It is strange and new and old and familiar all at the same time. I feel a bit back to myself most of the time. There are still times, however, when I feel a bit isolated and cut-off. Now that I have left AA, the distance that being a member of the program has built up between me and the rest of the world still exists. I do not feel as close to anyone as I used feel prior to AA. I feel a bit alien…only others who have been AA members who have left AA can relate to this feeling. Loyal AA members attempt to criticize us, but they do not know what we know or feel what we feel. We know; we remember exactly where they are coming from though. We also know that even they may end up where we are right now…someday…if they ever wake the fluck up.
My closest confidante had become my sponsor; but now I am still trying to reach behind me to the center of my back to pull out this knife she left lodged in it. I have been working so hard to regain my sense of ‘personhood’ after leaving AA. I still feel foolish, relieved, angry, fortunate, lost, saved, stupid, smart, sad… But I am alive and I intend to stay that way with AA or without AA…with a dog-damned drink or without a dog-damned drink. Alcohol is not my life one way or the other. There is FREEDOM in that fact.
Losing My Mind & Coming Back to My Senses
The journey back to me is slow, but I am moving forward.
I am not yet able to 100% trust my THINKING as a full adult should. I feel guilty for getting a kick out of having a glass of wine and not EXPLODING…getting drunk, arrested or ending up dead. Then I feel bad for having it at all. Then I feel thankful that I can drink again without binging; which had become a HUGE problem for me in AA. (I never was a mad-binger until AA and imposed sponsor-control; I HATE being controlled by others. It feels oppressive and just plain wrong! Of course my ex-sponsor(s) would say that is just my ego talking… Well, okay. What the F if it is?)
I am a mad ball of contradictions now…
A Subtle Sadness
I was feeling a lot better for a while. Over the last day or so, this strange feeling of sadness has returned. I do not know why. I just do not know.
I have been staying home a lot so that I do not run into any of the AA members. They can be pushy when they want to be. I will not go to another meeting ever in this lifetime, but I do not feel like telling them that right now. (I have just DISAPPEARED on them; and I want to stay that way) I have always hated bullies and obtuse individuals; AA has more than its fair share of those…but it has some really cool, nice people too. And I do miss those few with whom I connected in a positive way…
“Yesterday…My Old Sponsor Seemed Just AA-Okay
Now it looks as though she’s gone astray
Oh my sponsor done gone away”
I love or did love my sponsor. She used to be so kind and I thought understanding. I was a bit insecure about what I thought was our friendship, but I never felt that she would just be out and out cruel to me…or any one for that matter. Was I ever WRONG!
I felt so embarrassed by how much I missed her at first. It felt like a being dumped by a boyfriend or something. It was weird as hell. I kept telling myself, “What the hell is wrong with you? I know you are not sitting here crying about some old lady!!”
I don’t really miss my sponsor in the EXACT same way anymore or my faux AA friends…(I started to text her Happy New Year on the 1st—but I just could NOT do it) She showed her True Colors to me when she called and read me the riot act for relapsing and being what she deemed “mentally ill.”
Still, I miss feeling like I had a good, older wiser friend who looked out for me and had my back. She was the closest thing I ever felt to like a big-sister-friend… I respected her. I tried to follow her advice and suggestions. I confided EVERYTHING in her and sought her counsel on all of my decisions…as instructed. (What an idiot!) Anyway, I miss that feeling of community and kinship that I thought I had with my ex-sponsor and the people that I have met in the fellowship over the past two years.
I miss that feeling of faux safety that I briefly enjoyed while sitting in the back seat of the car while my bossy, but protective sponsor and grand sponsor laughingly fussed about the best route to get to a favorite restaurant that they were taking me to with them. Those two used to really crack me up. I loved them…even though my grand-sponsor could be mean as a bag of cats and live crabs at times.
I miss that strange kind of family-feeling that AA’s know how to create for a so-called “newcomer” that has realized she has some kind of problem and has (against her better judgement) decided to take hold of that outstretched hand. I needed help. They helped me…I guess…at first.
Does it count if you pull someone from the edge of a cliff then turn around and try to smack their ass off of a higher cliff later? I’m just wondering.
I’m Ex-Sponsee…Hear Me Roar!
I am done with the entire concept of faux “powerlessness” which I always found in contradiction with my truest nature and God-given good sense. Why would God give us free will if we had not the power to use it? God giveth and The God of Alcohol taketh away?
Well, fluck The God of Alcohol!
I am a Mother, writer…a poet…and artist and a counselor. I am a very sensitive soul. I have survived all kinds of hardships and abuse in my life. I shared so much of myself with my sponsor and a bit with others in the fellowship…I feel violated and like they have sacred pieces of me that I can’t take back. It hurts…
In order to make sense of my Life’s Trials, I have dedicated myself to trying to help others. I try. (I would have not EVER hurt my sponsor in a million years…never…) I would have done almost anything in life to help my sponsor if she ever needed me. She and her sponsor were like family to me in my heart. I am very loyal…to a fault it seems. I still cannot understand why any human being would come into my life and purposely just hurt me as I have been hurt in AA. I don’t get it.
I Feel OK…but I’ll Get Better
I feel sad that people feel so justified in hurting one another as they do…even if they are brainwashed…indoctrinated…power-drunken-sponsors. Adult people should not be granted power like they do in AA over other adults. It is a recipe for abuse–especially with people who have ever had emotional, mental and substance abuse problems as everyone who is a member of AA has. Who came up with such a dumb idea? Oh, I know! A man with emotional, mental and substance abuse problems named Bill W.
The blind leading the blind is never an optimal scenario.
I never bought fully into the teachings, readings and jargon. I tried to go along and get on, but I never really bought it. I hoped that with time I would find some sort of happy-median wherein I could do just enough to get by, stay sober and just retain a sense of my true self. (AA does not allow true-selfness though.)
I pray to God that I would NEVER allow any kind of indoctrination or conditioning at all to ever convince me to harm people as I have been harmed.
My heart is sorely pained…hopefully it is not a bout of depression coming on.
Anyway…I have to pull my head back out of my arse and get some work done or my problems will be compounded. The AA Awareness blogs I have been on have really helped me a lot, especially www.LeavingAA.com I thank God that we have resources like this available to people now.
I hope more people will plug in and communicate with one another. Hang on. Hold on. Be strong and make a post AA life for themselves; be HAPPY despite AA’s lies and the many abuses of some sponsors and members of AA.
I hope some AA members will have the courage and integrity to admit to a struggling person that even though AA works for some people who work it, it is not right for everyone even if they do try to work it. It may not fit. It may even be harmful to some people. There are other alternatives.
I hope someone, even if they just love AA has the brass to tell someone that instead of just watching the person struggle, suffer and die.
My AA Sponsor Left Me to Die…but I’m Going On By God to LIVE!