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Old 04-17-2013, 04:45 PM   #1 (permalink)

Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: New Haven , ct
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Sponsor trouble.

So I've been in NA for a little over six years. I am also coming to terms with the fact that I have many adult child issues. I have experienced a very traumatic and abusive/dysfunctional upbringing and suffer immensely with trust and abandonment issues. I got a new sponsor after completing a fifth step with a previous sponsor, who was like my fourth sponsor at the time. A got the new sponsor because I didn't think the one I did my fifth step with could help me be the person I wanted to be. I was full of anger and insecurities and wanted someone who could teach me to be more assertive and sure of myself. Little did I know, I was looking for a father. I called this guy, who I had befriended a little earlier. He was like the most prominent figure in NA in my area. I figured he could show me how to be the person I wanted to be. I wanted to be the best. Now please don't laugh or judge, I was pretty screwed up at the time and suffering from compound ignorance. Anyway, this guy said he couldn't sponsor me the time, as he was exploring other modes of recovery, mainly ACOA and some other self realization programs. But he turned me on to another guy in the NA fellowship who he thought could help me. I spoke to this man and he told me to start my sixth step. Which I did. I was going through one of the most painful times of my life at that point. I had just gotten out of a longer term and off relationship; my first major relationship in recovery. Moved out of my family's home with my son, and just got my first job as an addiction counselor. After finishing my sixth step, I told my sponsor that I was ready to go over it. He had been taking my neurotic phone calls for the previous few months and felt that I was too wrapped up in character defects and just wanted to move onto my seventh step. I was a little confused but figured he must know what he's doing. I proceeded to write my seventh step, and when I was don, I told him. We went to go over it, and in my first answer to the first question, he stopped me and told me I wasn't being direct enough in answering the question. I told him that I write, as you can see, very thoroughly, and that I'd get to the point eventually. I wrote 1-2 pages per question sometimes, as I wanted to be as thorough as possible. He never listened to the rest of the step and I think we re-read the seventh step from the green and gold. I left feeling very angry and confused. I wondered what I did wrong and what I was supposed to do. I continued to call hi and eventually asked him when I could start the eighth step. He said I wasn't ready. So in complete frustration , I went to AA and got a new sponsor. Needless to say, that didn't work out, so I eventually ended up calling this guy again. We talked and I expressed my frustration and he said we could start working together again. I was a mess at this point, but still clean, and he started me back on my first step. When we met to go over so e of the questions, the topic came up about my sixth step. I reminded him again that I had competed my sixth step and he sounded surprised. He asked why I hadn't gone over it. I explained to him again, for the second time in the past few months, and he said he was glad I could be honest with him, then said we should go over it. Now, I was pretty pissed off and thought to myself, why the eff couldn't we go over this two years ago when I first did it. I've been sitting on this crap for two years and going insane. The whole time he's telling me I need to trust so done and make a commitment. I feel like I did trust him and got let down or rejected. I don't know if I trust him enough or can get over the resentment to now go over my sixth and seventh step with him. It really brought up my abandonment issues which makes it even tougher. And I still rely on this man for validation so its hard to just me it go. I feel like I've failed and am refusing to work through this and talk to him about it. But I also feel like a jerk and saying to him, "you let me down and I'm mad because i trusted you. Or should I just let it go and try to work with someone else. I don't even know if I want to work with this man but he seems to understand a lot of the stuff I've said to him in the past and has also experienced a traumatic upbringing. I really don't know what to do. I reiterate that I can't let it go and feel the need to resolve it with him but I don't want to be all accusatory toward him and make it worse. Ive been doin some acoa meetings as well which really seem to be helping but am having a hard time letting to of NA be size if all the people I know there. At the same to do feel inadequate and not worthy when I go to the NA meetings. So if anyone can give some gentle advice, I'd surely appreciate it. Thanks.
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Old 04-17-2013, 05:00 PM   #2 (permalink)

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Well, the first advice I have is try to take it easy. On yourself, on others.

I heard this cool idea that we only think we trust people anyway, and that what we really have is belief in our judgement of people.

So when our judgement is wrong about them, they hurt us, they aren't who we need, they abandon, etc....

We picked them, and we need to not get so wrapped up in our judgement of another human being, or reliance on a human being.

Turn to God.

Pray about it.

I hope you feel better about this soon.

You've got your book, you've got God. He is the answer. People can point us in the right direction, and I'm in AA, but the program, which I think NA is modeled after teaches us that God solves the problem. Lack of power is my dilemma.

I'm not going to get the power from someone else. I've got to connect with God.

If you feel you need someone to direct you...find someone new...it's alright.
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Old 05-09-2013, 11:01 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Hi Djp1000...I'm Gmoney and I'm an addict.

After reading your post, I can't help but to come away from it with more questions than I have suggestions for you to find your solutions. I'm wondering why you've made the decision to switch sponsors over 5 times in 6 years (?). I wondering whether you've been clean the entire 6 years you say you've been in NA (?). Have you ever read NA's IP called "Self-Acceptance?" I'm wondering why you're unable or unwilling to speak up and tell these people what you're sharing here?

I have no advice to give because I prefer to offer experience...and it has been my experience to find that (most of the time) when people let me down it's because I placed an unrealistic expectation on them or myself. I've also found that when I'm too easy to run away when I'm not getting what I want, I usually don't get what I want from other sources either.

When I first came to NA I would hear oldtimers talk about "No matter where I go...I take me with me!" I came to understand that this also applies to the outcomes I have in relationships. It's inventory stuff, really. If I were you, I'd inventory why I've had to change sponsors so frequently...and not the part they played, but specifically inventory my patterns of thinking and behavior.

Best wishes.
~Garry W. ~
One Program, One Disease, One promise
"We are powerless not only over drugs, but over our addiction as well. We need to admit this fact in order to recover." NA Basic Text, pg.20, 5th Ed
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Old 05-09-2013, 11:36 AM   #4 (permalink)

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I guess I have had some unrealistic expectations, though wasn't aware of it at the time. I've also been looking for a father figure, which I guess I didn't understand at the time either. There are also many trust and abandonment issues, coupled with low self-esteem and insecurity, which really bring out my people pleasing skills, and these really prevented me from talking this out with the current or recent sponsor. Self-acceptance is tough for me with all the guilt and shame I've acquired, both through my own actions and that which was given me by my family of origin. Sorting through all this stuff has been tough and for the first time in my life I'm starting to see it. It doesn't make it any easier to deal with or work through. Thanks for your response.
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Old 05-11-2013, 08:50 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I absolutely see where you're going djp and realize that it's an incredibly difficult journey for you. I only really have a couple of points, neither of which you need to pay any heed at all with!

I've never expected or sought my sponsor to help me through more complicated mental issues. These are just people who happen to be addicts. As a counselor yourself, you will know this to be true. A leader in a meeting this week shared on exactly that issue of not being anything more than just another addict, clean for 20+ years and her refusal to even begin to try and fill a void of mother figure to her sponsees, something she makes abundantly clear to them. All she gives is her experience and her friendship. That's how it should be.

Which brings me on to your last sponsor and step attempt. What she was trying to do was get you to emulate one of the key maxims - keep it simple. It's not their role to define the problems from a kind of stream of consciousness approach. It's for you to do the work - edit, work get to the real nub and communicate that. You have to take ownership and part of doing the work I think is being able to verbalize that without the need to beat around the bush as it were vomit and everything on to the page! Write it all out, then redo and redo until it really crystallizes your thoughts.

Just the meanderings of one long-term addict here. Best of luck to you.
"When I was doing drugs, it would be the finest stuff you can get. I wasn't undiscerning, except when I got desperate." - Sir Keith Richards
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Old 05-11-2013, 10:05 AM   #6 (permalink)

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Good point Natty. I guess that's what I was doing. The whole stream if conscious with my step writing and expecting my sponsor to figure it out for me and give me guidance. I am figuring a lot I this stuff out now and seeing some I it for what it is. Awfully close to smokin a doobie and saying **** it and **** em. I can do it on my own. Becuase it feels that ive had to anyway. at times i feel better and feel that i dont need to anything to anybodyband im not sure ive ever really done recovery for myself. Nor do i know yet what that may look like. But i feel like it would be chasing down my ambitions and my dreams, and i feel that i can do that while smoking pot. Its just that the only people i now know are those in recovery and is feel extremely uncomfortable and guilty now where i to try to retain the friendships while smoking pot because i know theu wouldn approve and say that in not living my life the right way. **** em. I'm tired of trying to live up to other people's expectations. I really don't know if this is right but it is how I feel.
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acoa, codependent, confusion, narcotics anonymous, sponsorship

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