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My girlfriend is having problems with her AA meeting

Old 10-21-2010, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by sugardaddy View Post
true. We have talked about her meetings, it's difficult to not want to help. That is just my nature.
I tend to help people or at least try to but still I try to reinforce one idea in my mind: You do no one any favors by solving their problems for them. A lot of time the help offered is to solve their problems to remove my own unease with their situation. By solving problems they are capable of learning how to solve themselves I am depriving them of the strength they would gain.
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Old 10-21-2010, 02:38 PM
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Does she often feel highly attractive to men? The scenarios she is describing sound...like men are swooning over her right and left. Do you find that believable?

I've been going to meeting for 2 years and I sure wish someone would invite me to the Bahamas. Hasn't happened yet. All they want me to do is make coffee.

ha.
For one thing, it is discouraged in almost all AA groups I know of that men and women associate as sponsors/sponsees and it is not encouraged that men offer women their phone number in fellowship.

Lets get down to earth here: when you described her as being amongst scum: wife beaters and what not....is that a fair assumption? I know that in the US there are a lot of court ordered AA members, but, most of them are not there for wife beating or abuse.I can't think of anyone who got sent to AA for wife beating. They are just garden variety drunks, like me.
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Old 10-21-2010, 02:45 PM
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I do find it believable..I have had very similar things happen to me.

I don't like feeling like fresh meat...I am older now and don't have to worry about it but yes, it has scared me and made me most uncomfortable.
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Old 10-21-2010, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by sugardaddy View Post
true. We have talked about her meetings, it's difficult to not want to help. That is just my nature.
With your history with her you may be the last person in the universe that can actually help her, indeed, your continued involvement with her may be extremely detrimental to her recovery, in spite of all of your good intentions.

You're not a therapist, addiction counselor, or psychiatrist, best to leave the helping to the professionals.

A last thought, she's an ex for a reason, and as an added bonus, you wouldn't have to associate with that 'type' of person anymore.
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Old 10-21-2010, 03:37 PM
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what he said!
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Old 10-21-2010, 03:40 PM
  # 26 (permalink)  
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well, can't say I'm not surprised. When my ex first started to go to AA meetings, he told his friend "There is a hot blonde in my meeting and I'm going to take it slow with her"
Him and I were still very much together at the time

The really sick ones can/do use the meetings as a place to hit on women.
The ones who REALLY want recovery, would not dare do this.

Even if your ex is telling the truth or not, get yourself to an Al anon meeting to better understand your need to fix (we all have that here) and to help understand her sickness.
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Old 10-21-2010, 03:57 PM
  # 27 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by littlefish View Post
Does she often feel highly attractive to men? The scenarios she is describing sound...like men are swooning over her right and left. Do you find that believable?

I've been going to meeting for 2 years and I sure wish someone would invite me to the Bahamas. Hasn't happened yet. All they want me to do is make coffee.

ha.
For one thing, it is discouraged in almost all AA groups I know of that men and women associate as sponsors/sponsees and it is not encouraged that men offer women their phone number in fellowship.

Lets get down to earth here: when you described her as being amongst scum: wife beaters and what not....is that a fair assumption? I know that in the US there are a lot of court ordered AA members, but, most of them are not there for wife beating or abuse.I can't think of anyone who got sent to AA for wife beating. They are just garden variety drunks, like me.
She is an attractive lady. Spot on for Michelle Pfeiffer. I am not in a relationship with her, however I am her friend. We talk, ya know. It's about as civil as it can be. I try to look at it objectively, but due to the emotional attachment i have/had, I understand my outlook may not be clear.

True, I may have been a bit harsh describing her fellow attendees. However, this is small town. Meth and booze are rampant. Kills the boredom, I guess. Amongst other things. I was just using wife beaters as an example. Perhaps they have just had 2 or 3 dozen DUI's, but that is a whole other thread.
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Old 10-21-2010, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by sailorjohn View Post
With your history with her you may be the last person in the universe that can actually help her, indeed, your continued involvement with her may be extremely detrimental to her recovery, in spite of all of your good intentions.

You're not a therapist, addiction counselor, or psychiatrist, best to leave the helping to the professionals.

A last thought, she's an ex for a reason, and as an added bonus, you wouldn't have to associate with that 'type' of person anymore.

I have told her that. I explained I am not a professional. I would assist her in getting help though.

I agree with your logic. She is an ex for a reason. I am in the 'getting over her" phase, but with help and sobriety for a period of time, I would consider rekindling our relationship.
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Old 10-21-2010, 04:13 PM
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Sugar, when my ex first went to AA, I often called the people in there names. Then I learned about addiction and went to a few AA meetings and realized, MANY addicts are really awesome people who just have different struggles.

I get your anger though
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Old 10-21-2010, 04:15 PM
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Oh lordy..

So you want to fix her so you can hook back up with her? (that's a hypothetical, but I figured there was a "whats in it for me" to be had here).

I'm glad you're here.. and I hope you read, and really let these posts soak in.. there's a wealth of experience to be found on these boards.

If you're going to stay completely enmeshed in her recovery, and hope that she attends AA with "those people", you may consider dropping the judgement of the "types" of people that attend (just so yanno.. lots of us here on this board are addicts/alcoholics in recovery, and we are 'those' people that have worked a program, attended meetings, etc.. I mean really.. dozens of DUIs? Lame.), for a moment, and completely butting out of her recovery program and any thought of helping her. Tell her to report back on her progress in 6 months when she's recovered and healthy and happy. Or stay inappropriately codependent in the relationship and never find the fix in this you're looking for.

How is it you're going to assist her in getting help for her alcoholism? Since you're not a treatment provider, counselor, fellow alcoholic.. ? Why is it something you think you have any qualifications for doing? Has she convinced you she needs your help? (she doesn't) Has she told you she would do it for you, for the relationship, for a chance at the relationship? (she wont). Do you think if you went no-contact with her, and left her to her own proverbial devices that she would pursue recovery with her entire being? (if not, she's not ready).

Your call..you'll need this place. You'll need alanon. Then maybe you'll learn what your role in this would be in it's most helpful form (a non-role of sorts).

Stick around.
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Old 10-21-2010, 05:17 PM
  # 31 (permalink)  
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"Action plan" (for her)
-Talk to the chair so he or she reminds everybody its about recovery and its alcoholics ANONYMOUS, you don't have to say anything and you don't have to give your telephone to anyone and you can go anytime and you can leave at any time...
-Sit close to the other women
-Wear earplugs so while walking from AA to the car, no catcalls etc can get to her
-Close car windows
-Wear dark glasses (works for me to avoid unwanted eye contact)
-Dress conservatively
-Have a working mobile phone available at all times for 911 and Police # in speed dial


Of course one shouldn't need to do all this, but it is what it is. In Alanon we learn others actions or non actions shouldn't prevent us to stick to our plan. I agree with the ones above, she is an ex, and real change takes time. We need time away from the last ex to really learn and grow, constant contact doesn't help anyone.
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Old 10-22-2010, 02:28 PM
  # 32 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by smacked View Post
Oh lordy..

So you want to fix her so you can hook back up with her? (that's a hypothetical, but I figured there was a "whats in it for me" to be had here).

I'm glad you're here.. and I hope you read, and really let these posts soak in.. there's a wealth of experience to be found on these boards.

If you're going to stay completely enmeshed in her recovery, and hope that she attends AA with "those people", you may consider dropping the judgement of the "types" of people that attend (just so yanno.. lots of us here on this board are addicts/alcoholics in recovery, and we are 'those' people that have worked a program, attended meetings, etc.. I mean really.. dozens of DUIs? Lame.), for a moment, and completely butting out of her recovery program and any thought of helping her. Tell her to report back on her progress in 6 months when she's recovered and healthy and happy. Or stay inappropriately codependent in the relationship and never find the fix in this you're looking for.

How is it you're going to assist her in getting help for her alcoholism? Since you're not a treatment provider, counselor, fellow alcoholic.. ? Why is it something you think you have any qualifications for doing? Has she convinced you she needs your help? (she doesn't) Has she told you she would do it for you, for the relationship, for a chance at the relationship? (she wont). Do you think if you went no-contact with her, and left her to her own proverbial devices that she would pursue recovery with her entire being? (if not, she's not ready).

Your call..you'll need this place. You'll need alanon. Then maybe you'll learn what your role in this would be in it's most helpful form (a non-role of sorts).

Stick around.
I was exaggerating on the "dozens of dui's" comment and your comment of "hooking back up" was not warranted. I care about this person and feel helpless. Otherwise, I would not be here.
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Old 10-22-2010, 02:30 PM
  # 33 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by TakingCharge999 View Post
"Action plan" (for her)
-Talk to the chair so he or she reminds everybody its about recovery and its alcoholics ANONYMOUS, you don't have to say anything and you don't have to give your telephone to anyone and you can go anytime and you can leave at any time...
-Sit close to the other women
-Wear earplugs so while walking from AA to the car, no catcalls etc can get to her
-Close car windows
-Wear dark glasses (works for me to avoid unwanted eye contact)
-Dress conservatively
-Have a working mobile phone available at all times for 911 and Police # in speed dial


Of course one shouldn't need to do all this, but it is what it is. In Alanon we learn others actions or non actions shouldn't prevent us to stick to our plan. I agree with the ones above, she is an ex, and real change takes time. We need time away from the last ex to really learn and grow, constant contact doesn't help anyone.
Thank you. This is probably the best advice I have received on this thread. Incidentally, she sent me a text this morning and wanted to come over and "snuggle". I replied that I didn't think that would be a good idea, so she didn't.
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Old 10-22-2010, 04:59 PM
  # 34 (permalink)  
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Hi OP, sadly what you describe happening to your ex is actually extremely common. It's known as 13th-stepping so while it is possible that your ex is making it up for whatever reason (?), it's also very likely that what she has told you is happening is the truth.

The way the AA works is that each group is autonomous so someone can bring this up with the chair and he/she may be able to stop this from happening again but other than that there isn't anyone "official" who can deal with this. If it were me I'd attempt to find another meeting that these two men were not at. If that was not possible I'd find an alternative, perhaps get a private counsellor.

She is very unlikely to find any recovery in a meeting where she feels uncomfortable or threatened.
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Old 10-23-2010, 07:27 AM
  # 35 (permalink)  
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Is it just me or does anyone else think that some of the replies to Sugardaddy's first post were a little harsh, especially considering he's new on the forum and is at the beginning stages of his own recovery, reaching out as it were?...I separated from my ADFH 15 months ago and the reality of my situation is only starting to sink in.

I've been angry, sad, scared, you name it. I've had the whole gamut of emotions. We who have stayed with our A partners, supported their attempts at recovery are often blamed because we're trying to 'fix' them and if we're not trying to 'fix' them we're 'enabling' them. We've often been shamed during our relationships with our partners who actively drink and also when we decide we've had enough.

It's hard in the beginning to understand that the alcoholic drinks because he/she drinks. Many times they say we're their 'trigger', stress is the 'trigger', work is the 'trigger', the kids are the 'trigger'. And it's very hard to go from being in love and wanting to care for someone in obvious pain to detached and working hard on our own recovery.

I can also understand that it can be viewed as offensive when people generalise regarding wife beating, dui's etc. I have alcoholic people in my life who are not like that at all and are the 'garden variety' type and I've been married to a wife beating, drink driving one and separated from another one who has alcohol induced psychosis and drink drives. I know someone who is so traumatised by his experience with his ex that he feels like blowing away anyone who drinks. (I've suggested Al-Anon but he's not willing to go there yet as he thinks he doesn't have a problem!) It's a horrible disease, it's a family disease and it affects everyone it touches.

I also understand how hard it can be to go to an AA meeting as a woman. I couldn't go on my own in the beginning. I had to take a friend. I'm so grateful for AA and Al-Anon and for this forum. Just wish there was a AcoA meeting in my area! Welcome here Sugardaddy. I hope you keep coming back!
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Old 10-23-2010, 07:43 AM
  # 36 (permalink)  
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sugardaddy, this is another good site. It has lots of information. I found the link on here somewhere and it's helped me a lot...

Getting Them Sober- Recovery Communications
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Old 10-23-2010, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Pelican View Post
I would not want someone attending a meeting with me if they themselves were not planning to work on their own recovery. I would not be willing to open up and share as honestly as needed while I had an outsider sitting in the room. Just me.
Don't you think that maybe the OP's ex feels just like that about the men who are making her feel uncomfortable in her group? Behaving so utterly inappropriately around a new member is hardly working on their recovery is it?
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Old 10-23-2010, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Floss View Post
Is it just me or does anyone else think that some of the replies to Sugardaddy's first post were a little harsh
I may just be you.

Have learned to take everything I read here with a grain of salt.

The advice given was pretty much standard advice, none of us are coming up with any new theories on how to deal with alcoholism in a family member/significant other/friend.

Many of us are/have been on both sides of the equation, sharing our experience as recovering alcoholics/addicts and codependents.

‎But better to get hurt by the truth than comforted with a lie -The Kite Runner
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Old 10-23-2010, 12:05 PM
  # 39 (permalink)  
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There ARE predatory types in AA meetings, who try to pick out vulnerable newcomers.

The best defense is to have a good sponsor to consult for guidance.

Some AA groups are better than others about confronting those who use the group for "Thirteenth Stepping" (what trolling for newcomers is called). My ex-husband had to confront a guy who was doing that in their group (he'd already been kicked out of other groups for doing the same thing) and when he refused to see anything wrong with his behavior, he was told he was no longer welcome in the group. That's how things should work--a group conscience should decide how to handle it.

Not all groups are that conscientious, though. Either way, sticking with the strong women in the group will be to her benefit.
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Old 10-23-2010, 12:07 PM
  # 40 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by sailorjohn View Post
I may just be you.

Have learned to take everything I read here with a grain of salt.

The advice given was pretty much standard advice, none of us are coming up with any new theories on how to deal with alcoholism in a family member/significant other/friend.

Many of us are/have been on both sides of the equation, sharing our experience as recovering alcoholics/addicts and codependents.

‎But better to get hurt by the truth than comforted with a lie -The Kite Runner
It wasn't just Floss. A newcomer typically doesn't know much about the dynamics of alcoholism or recovery, that's why they're here. Speaking harshly or belittling them based on the little we know of the situation is uncalled for and certainly not in the spirit of recovery (as I know it).
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