Thirteen Step Blues Volunteer Not a Victim
iI debated writing about thirteen stepping because that inevitably leads to the story of my own 13-step experience. First, I think I'm pretty much like every newcomer, even though in my mind, I was much more than that. I had come into the rooms of AA, I still had my car, I lived in a house (my mother’s) both my children lived at home (my mom was my de facto baby sitter) and even though I came in dragging myself through the door, once I got comfortable I started to think I was immune to a lot of stuff. I was a regular attendee at a large group in New York. The area that it was in had many rehabs, halfway houses and battered women's shelters. So, in any meeting, most people tended to know each other. as I remember there were only three of us in a group of about a hundred that walked in from the street still sweating and shaking. When I became sober my life (my ego) suddenly switched into high gear.
At work I was nominated and accepted a position as a director of a department about which I knew nothing. I thought that I could handle it because I’m sober now (right?) and the bottle was my only problem. That rather sarcastic saying don't you know who I am should have been tattooed on my face. I heard about thirteen stepping and I was given to usual warning to stay away from guys for the first year which worked for the most part, until a young man saw me looking at the Twelve Steps and offered to help me learn which ones I really needed. That should have been the first red light. (if you’re new and someone approaches you, check in with somebody and listen to what they say). I gave him my number and I took his. In the time it took me to walk home my phone rang and there he was.. We chatted a bit then hung up and he made his grave error of waking me up for work at 7 a.m. Never an early riser my beast came out next time I went to a meeting cried and I shook and I think I scared a number of men from even saying hello.
Did I learn? Of course not. I began interviewing candidates and developed my own list of contenders for after I made my first year. Then I met a guy at a sober friend’s house. Al was everything that I thought I wanted handsome, well-built, employed, ten years sober, interesting and not looking to get laid. What I didn't know was that I was the last in a long string of women who he had tried his particular brand of charismatic insanity. His pattern was always the same he would talk be gentle and funny with them, he would have sex with them and decide at some point it wasn't working and it would end. But he would keep keys to their car their house (even though he lived in a room). He would insinuate himself into every family event, every trip everyone thought I was his girl but I was a prop to teach him how to act around women as he worked his way through a new female every 90 days. we went fishing together, we went to restaurants together, we went on trips together. For psychological various reasons this man was incapable of maintaining a relationship or traveling or sitting in a restaurant without extreme anxiety attacks which he disguised with angry outbursts.
With his history of a schizophrenic mother and an abusive father and a family of brothers and sisters are all of which had alcohol or drug problems he was essentially the last person that I needed to be around. but he was charming and he was handsome and he wanted to spend time with me and since on the surface he seemed to have it a lot more together then I did, despite all the warnings I received from AA women. But by this time we weren’t calling it dating anymore he would meet someone he would date them and then it would end and he he’d come back to me to attempt to maintain the relationship we had (if you could call it that) this was the equivalent of being dragged face-first by gravel by a day-to-day basis and when I would try to break it off keeps saying oh but we're just friends we're not in a relationship but he kept the keys to my car, the key to my house and regularly came into use my washer and dryer.
At one point I had a broken tail light and the police stopped him he was very angry because I should have gotten a tail light fixed. when I went to Department of Motor Vehicles office to pay the ticket, the lady showed me a printout of his traffic violations that went on for pages about road rage incidents and anger issues. now I knew why he needed to borrow my car or wanted me to apply for auto insurance. he could no longer get insurance. I would like to be able to say to you that despite all of this I was well able to see what's going on and extricate myself from it but the truth was I stayed I stayed though several girlfriends, I stayed through his mother’s and his sister’s death and when I finally decided enough was enough my moment of awakening came when an old-timer at a retreat said to he's not going to change anything that's just how he is and I finally heard it, he developed a fatal cancerous brain tumor( glioblastoma) just as I had decided enough was enough.
In the last year of his life his friends and family wanted nothing to do with him when someone has a brain tumor their behavior becomes bizarre. andcan include headache, nausea, vomiting, and drowsiness, weakness on one side of the body, memory and/or speech difficulties. Guess who got to be his caretaker.
Around this time my mother had her second stroke, and was paralyzed on one side. so my days were going to work stopping at his room making sure he ate because he would forget or he use the bathroom because he would forget, then going to my mother to make sure she was clean dressed and had been fed by her home attendants. I have no idea how I got through that but God/ my higher power.
when he passed away I was so enraged and angry wanting to blame somebody else but I had to blame me. when people give you these slogans and DJ expressions and tell you that you those suggestions that you don't take will take you out of here it's absolutely true it has taken a lot of therapy to even begin to think about being in a relationship with someone of the opposite sex I go between how stupid could I be why didn't I listen to anybody to how could people watch me do this I really want to blame somebody badly. But me and my magnificent self-centeredness – I know what I’m doing. Don’t you know who I am?
I listened to no one. my desperate need for attention and to be seen getting lots of attention from the male of the species. After all being dumped hard was how I got into the rooms of AA. Running from the pain of relationships gone bad after too much booze. I thought removing the drink would make it all right and I would suddenly miraculously find [sober]Mr. Right. Instead I found the sober equivalent of every drunk I ever dated and tried to fix. Don't judge, You’re new? I don't care how smart you think you are, there's no way that volunteering to be thirteen stepped ever works. You don’t have to do it I did it for you.
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