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Old 12-10-2012, 02:54 PM   #1 (permalink)
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question about working with a sponsor

I just started with a sponsor in September and was meeting her at her home once a week for about 2 hours and we had progressed to Step 4. I did not LOVE her, but I felt we could work the steps together. My very first time through the Steps this far. All of a sudden this past week she announced that we were now meeting at a cafe and on a different day and time. She also kind of sat there and criticized me, saying I had a lot of anger. Well who doesn't who has 6 months sobriety after 45 years of using, and is working on Step 4? Does this sound right? She said we are SUPPOSED to meet in a public place and I am simply not comfortable spilling out my 5th step in a CAFE!!

Thoughts?
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Old 12-10-2012, 03:08 PM   #2 (permalink)
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private room at a library. a park. so many solutions to this....

come to a compromise and commit to it!

get through steps 5, 6, 7
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Old 12-10-2012, 03:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Hi Pigeon.

As your question is pretty 12 step specific, I moved your question to the 12 step forum. You'll find the benefit of first hand experience here

Welcome to SR
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Old 12-10-2012, 03:19 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I just started with a sponsor in September and was meeting her at her home once a week for about 2 hours and we had progressed to Step 4. I did not LOVE her, but I felt we could work the steps together. My very first time through the Steps this far. All of a sudden this past week she announced that we were now meeting at a cafe and on a different day and time. She also kind of sat there and criticized me, saying I had a lot of anger. Well who doesn't who has 6 months sobriety after 45 years of using, and is working on Step 4? Does this sound right? She said we are SUPPOSED to meet in a public place and I am simply not comfortable spilling out my 5th step in a CAFE!!

Thoughts?
Hello pigeon21:

The first while with a sponsor can be ... can be... well, everything. Scary/maddening/exciting/depressing/overwhelming/easy (I know I missed a few).

My suggestion is to tell your sponsor how you feel and ask her to explain anything you don't understand.

Truth is I don't know you or your sponsor nor the details of your relationship. Every question I ever asked my sponsor was answered. If you need a second opinion then ask one/some of the trusted oldtimers in your group.

Most everything you are asked to do in early recovery will seem awkward/unnatural and mis-understood. Count on that and you won't be disappointed or surprised (too much)

All the best.

Bob R
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Old 12-10-2012, 03:19 PM   #5 (permalink)
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You don't have to LOVE her, just go with it.
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Old 12-10-2012, 03:35 PM   #6 (permalink)
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".... I had a lot of anger. Well who doesn't who has 6 months sobriety..."
true. the 4th is where ya find the causes and conditions.

i highly suggest takin Bob R's advise of tellin her how ya feel and get some explainiations. i sure wouldnt have felt very comfortable talkin about the 4th step( or any) that early in recovery out in a public setting.
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Old 12-10-2012, 03:38 PM   #7 (permalink)
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As the big book said, some of us thought we could find a easier way, but we could not. It also says if you want what we have and are willing to go to any lengths to get it....
I know I fought it at first ,but they have saved to many lives to be wrong.
Also my best decisions lead me to severe addictions, so for now I am counting on others and there way. Just stick with it, it does work if you work it.
Dang I sound like my first sponcor that I hated. Lol
Good luck and god bless
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Old 12-10-2012, 03:39 PM   #8 (permalink)
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At least she's involved with you.
The only advice my sponsor ever gave me was to lead our group.
He has not offered to work with me on any of the steps etc.
I haven't asked since I am an extreme introvert.
I think he feels that I am doing great on my own but I got stuck on step four and I haven't really thought about completing the steps in months.
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Old 12-10-2012, 03:49 PM   #9 (permalink)
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At least she's involved with you.
The only advice my sponsor ever gave me was to lead our group.
He has not offered to work with me on any of the steps etc.
I haven't asked since I am an extreme introvert.
I think he feels that I am doing great on my own but I got stuck on step four and I haven't really thought about completing the steps in months.
Maybe you should consider a new sponsor. Step work is very important IMO . This sickness we have takes a lot of care and attention to over come. I had to find someone I could connect with. I very rarely like him because he tells me the crap I don't want , but need to hear. Keep working to program, it works if you work it.
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Old 12-10-2012, 03:57 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks to everyone

this is incredible! Okay, I see that I need to talk directly to her and not skirt around. I also feel as though she spoke recently to HER sponsor and was spouting to me the advice her sponsor gave her about where we should meet, etc. I still am not happy about the 'anger' comment, because she is not a therapist and the 4th step is where the rubber of anger and resentments meet the road.

Do you think there is a hard and fast rule in AA as to where a sponsor/sponsee should meet? And if she has other sponsees, would she not know that already?

Thanks, everyone!
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Old 12-10-2012, 04:31 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Do you think there is a hard and fast rule in AA as to where a sponsor/sponsee should meet?
Yes, where you are both comfortable. This is not a precise science, it is a work in progress. Give and take... compromise.... communication.

All the best.

Bob R
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Old 12-10-2012, 05:56 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Pigeon, Maybe something happened w/ someone else. A sponsee of a friend of hers, etc. There are so many scenerios it may not even be about you as to why she changed venues, but I suggest you get thru that step and on w/ it. I felt soooo much relief when I did my 5th. Remember don't get resentful toward her, just be direct and ask her if you had done something. Resentments are our number one offender and rarely can we see our part because we just want to right.

Sugarbear gave great suggestions!

Blessings, Lily
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Old 12-10-2012, 06:05 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pigeon21 View Post

Do you think there is a hard and fast rule in AA as to where a sponsor/sponsee should meet? And if she has other sponsees, would she not know that already?

Thanks, everyone!
No rule exists that I have ever heard of.

I did mine on the bleachers overlooking a high school team practicing in the afternoon. Have also done some work in restaurants, cafe's, in the car, on a park bench...whatever is comfortable with us. If you're uncomfortable in a cafe, then let her know. Or find a corner table away from the hub bub. Whatever.
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Old 12-10-2012, 06:11 PM   #14 (permalink)
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you can always sit in a car and talk privately
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For now, laugh at confusion, smile through tears,
& remind yourself that everything happens for a reason.


All Big Book quotes are from the first edition.
Linked with the permission of Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.
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Old 12-10-2012, 06:35 PM   #15 (permalink)
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pigeon, theres something yer gonna learn as ya work the steps:
yer gonna see people come in who are just like you right now. you are gonna see the anger. you are gonna know what it is and want to help them work the steps. you just may even tell em that they have anger issues and get the same response. then yer gonna be able to share what worked and what didnt work.
no she isnt a therapist, but heres how i look at it: unless the therapist has been trapped in a bottle, has been where i was, has found a solution and can relate to my thinkin, i wont listen for 10 seconds to such therapist.
case in point:
had to do this impat weekend for a DUI years ago. 2 people runnin it. prolly 35 uf us with DUI's there. one was extremely educated on alcoholism and addiction through college, never had a problem with booze or drugs. the other came back from vietnam with a needle in his arm and bottle in his grasp and stayed tht way for 20 more years. then he got clean and sober.

one thing i noticed: the people there were very attentive to what the man who came back from nam with the needle in his arm and bottle in his grasp had to say. when it was the other ones turn, it was nap time.
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Old 12-11-2012, 12:25 AM   #16 (permalink)
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My experience,...my thinking was twisted till well into the amends process.
Slowly it dawned on me, that everyone wasn't out to get me or **** me off.
My attitude to life and people in it began to change....looking back i see how at odds with the world i was.

That said....its fair and reasonable for you to to ask for some privacy, ..but i wonder how angry you are?....is this a case of your sponsor feeling intimated.?
Maybe that's why she wants it in a public place ?

Most important ....see this through .....if your like me, you will slowly start not to recognize the old you, peace will start to filter in between your ears...then god willing, your be approached by someone just like you was...looking for answers and solutions.
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Old 12-11-2012, 05:29 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Personally, I would invite her to my house for my 5th step. If she declines, then I would say that I plan to share my 5th step in private with someone else.

Period. End of story.
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:25 AM   #18 (permalink)
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your topic, "question about working with a sponsor" has two key words.

working with

Please talk with your sponsor so you can "work with" them....
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& remind yourself that everything happens for a reason.


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Old 12-11-2012, 10:22 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Does this sound right? She said we are SUPPOSED to meet in a public place and I am simply not comfortable spilling out my 5th step in a CAFE!!
Step 4 is just about the structure involved in making your list. No details about your personal life needs to be discussed at this point. Step 5 is where you will need to find someplace private so you can let it all out.

If she insists on a public place, check to see if your local library has "Tutoring Rooms" available. They are typically small conference rooms that can be used for free by any member that makes a reservation.

If you don't trust this person 100%, you can do just the step 4 with her and do step 5 with someone else. I know many people who did their 5th step with a therapist or clergy member.
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Old 12-11-2012, 08:42 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Learning and listening

You all have said such different things and with so much compassion. I am gaining a lot of good insight. Thank you.
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