Blogs


Notices

Bear with me, folks. A further explaination...

Old 04-03-2009, 02:53 PM
  # 61 (permalink)  
Member
 
jamdls's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Dallas, Tx
Posts: 2,405
Blog Entries: 2
Originally Posted by Bamboozle View Post

Believing that I can change...change more than just the drinking...to have confidence in all I do and to get a backbone...that's what I'm hanging onto.

Good for you Bam! I haven't socialized in the 18 months since I got sober except with family, and that is rare, because I recognized that I had a lot to work on beyond drinking, I was hiding behind the bottle and I'm not ready yet (very close though) to go beyond my comfort zone.

J
jamdls is offline  
Old 04-03-2009, 06:14 PM
  # 62 (permalink)  
Member
 
sfgirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 679
Resentment

While I am not sure how direct the link is between alcohol consumption itself and resentments, I do think that resentment can eat at people and make their world and experience smaller. Here is my story about this:

I was sexually abused by a stranger (male) right before I started drinking and think that those two things are directly linked. I have been sexually abused/assaulted numerous other times while drinking and while sober (there is this strange thing that once you are a victim of abuse once you have a much higher propensity to have it happen to you again). So basically I grew up socialized to men sexually in the worst way. I could make a huge list of horrible things that not one man did to me, not two, but tens, maybe even one hundred. This is how I grew up. So while I am completely cool with men as friends, I have major issues when it comes to men as boyfriends or men as sexual partners. Until very recently, and even now it still lingers, I hated men. I distrust them completely. I had feelings that they ruined my life, maybe made me a drinker even, that they had raised my defenses to be so psycho-ly high, that I was never going to be able to be in a normal relationship with a man. These weren't necessarily thoughts that would coarse through my brain all day but they were there on the back burner, in my actions and reactions, when men would approach me, when men in the street would holler and I would grow inflamed, etc.

Then I read some of my books on the 12-steps (FYI I'm not an AA member). Step 4 really struck me. I am not sure where I was reading this exactly, probably some woman's book about the 12-steps, but it was describing it in terms of resentments. And I started thinking and realizing how much hate I was harboring, not only towards the men that had hurt me but to all potential sexual male partners, to all men. I had a lot of hate, a lot of anger. So many times before I had felt this indignation, like why should they be let off the hook for having treated me like they have? I mean it wasn't just one it has been many and no one has made up for these mistreatments. But then as I was thinking and feeling more and more, I realized that all of these feelings weren't doing sh*t to these men but were doing a hell of a lot of not good things to me. It was keeping me from good men. It was keeping me from healing, from dealing. It was keeping me in this little anger shell, wallowing in all that had happened. It was keeping me from moving on. I don't know if it was keeping me drinking but that really doesn't matter because it was keeping me unhappy and stagnant.

But resentments are hard to let go off especially when you have learned them almost as survival strategies. I saw it so differently though. I mean the thing is think about how your hostility is affecting those you are hostile towards— not much. But how is it affecting you? A lot, and probably more negatively than positively.
sfgirl is offline  
Old 04-03-2009, 06:51 PM
  # 63 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Pugetopolis
Posts: 2,384
Anger is Violence

Originally Posted by Eroica View Post
I don't agree with this. Some of those fundamentalists are using every breath, every ounce of energy to fight socially progressive causes. (like *gay marriage*) They seem like sick people to me, but I'm the one who has to let go of resentments? Are the civil rights activists who fight them in the courts resentful? I don't think so.

I think resentments have nothing to do with alcoholism. These people seem to be very resentful of secularism, but I can't be resentful towards them?

Some degree of resentment is healthy. Only AA says its not. As long as it not eating away at you then theres no problem.


You obviously have no experience with what resentment really is. Resentment is more than the fact that I got angry at the guy who cut me off yesterday. Resentment goes deep. Early on in my recovery I uncovered resentments toward people I hadn't thought of in years. I was thirty-one years old when I got sober. The name of a teacher I had in fifth grade came up. I was ten years old in the fifth grade. This teacher had slapped me in the face in front of the whole class. When her name came up all the feelings of outrage and embarrassment resurfaced. The thoughts of revenge came out. After twenty-one years of not thinking about it, it came back.

In order to recover, I had to have a change of heart or a change of perception, if you will.

You are right, they are sick people. But try changing them. You can protest and fight and rail all you want. I was the one that had to change. What had to change was the way I viewed the world and its people. Yes they are sick, but instead of looking at them with contempt, I have learned to view them with compassion.

You seem to be a follower of Gandhi. I believe said something to the effect of "Be the change you want to see." I can't change the world with anger. All I can do is not contribute to the mess its already in and be a postive force through acts of love & service. I've never seen one biter & cynical person be a force for good in the world.
Jim
jimhere is offline  
Old 04-03-2009, 06:59 PM
  # 64 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Pugetopolis
Posts: 2,384
Bam,

For what it's worth, I never took your OP as bashing anyone's beliefs.

I think that we can disagree with it turning into a flame fest.
Jim
jimhere is offline  
Old 04-03-2009, 07:28 PM
  # 65 (permalink)  
Today's Muse
 
LosingmyMisery's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: West end
Posts: 1,081
Blog Entries: 3
Boy, my alcoholism was heavily tied up with resentment. I had years and years of resentment stored up. My Mother was verbally abusive while growing up. My ex-husband was physically, mentally and verbally abusive. I drank and drank over it for years. I would stew and stew and drink and drink. I really was a very sick person by hanging on to all of it. AA didn't teach me that. I did it on my own as I had no part of AA and knew nothing of its teachings. However, I can say that AA taught me how to get rid of my resentments. I'm not filled with anger today. It is like night and day. Anger corrodes the vessel in which it is stored. I use that saying quite often. It is so true. Stewing on a resentment is only hurting ourself, not the person you are holding the resentment against. The sensible thing would be is to let it go...
LosingmyMisery is offline  
Old 04-03-2009, 07:49 PM
  # 66 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Pugetopolis
Posts: 2,384
This has been a good discussion. I think I'll bow out now, before Bam thinks I hijacked her thread.
Jim
jimhere is offline  
Old 04-03-2009, 10:14 PM
  # 67 (permalink)  
6/20/08
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 4,467
I think this has been a good discussion, too.

Imagine how boring this place would be if we all thought the same.

Bam, speaking to your OP, it really doesn't matter how you get/stay sober, so long as you do. I don't 'do' AA, but I do read and use alot of what they say. I also come to the secular forum and steal ideas from you guys.

Keep on, keepin' on, Bam. You're okay.
coffeenut is offline  
Old 04-04-2009, 01:28 AM
  # 68 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: France
Posts: 783
Originally Posted by jimhere View Post
You obviously have no experience with what resentment really is.
Jim
Hmmm, maybe resentment is subjective? Which would make us all "unique" in our own ways and views, even if we share many resemblances with others.
californiapoppy is offline  
Old 04-04-2009, 02:57 AM
  # 69 (permalink)  
Up from the ashes
 
Freepath's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Northern California
Posts: 213
I was also raised in a religious family, but became an atheist, a humanist and an existentialist during my late teens. The more I read, the more it seemed like these beliefs were just perfect for me. I also really like Buddhism, but I don’t think I could devote myself entirely to it’s concepts and practices.
Religion is a personal experience, and, in the name of freedom, I also don’t believe it’s right to slander anyone based upon their personal beliefs, provided that those beliefs do not violate the peace and freedom of other people.
So the next question that I have is: do religious beliefs violate the peace and freedom of other people?
The Jewish, Christian and Muslim faiths all have the same commandment:
Thou shalt have no other gods before me
This simple direction breeds arrogance, contempt and violence. It has resulted in more bloodshed than any other sentence ever uttered. Look no further than the crucifixion of Christ, the Crusades, and the contemporary agenda of militant jihad.
These are good reasons to resent the offenders. They are good reasons to question religious people about their personal perception of killing in the name of God. These are fantastic reasons to embrace atheism.
Our philosophies define our mind, our character, and our ethical framework. So I would not assume that a religious person necessarily is bigoted, but clearly prejudice has existed in tandem with religion to the point of war and murder.

Which transitions nicely into the homosexuality consideration.
How many times do we have to listen to self proclaimed religious people attribute the death of homosexuals as God’s punishment for their sinful lifestyle?
How many more times will we witness hate crimes directed toward homosexuals? And how many of those criminals, if polled, would call themselves atheists?
Christians seem to think that because I am an atheist that I can’t wait to get out there and SIN!!!! Nothing could be further from the truth. I don’t have a god to forgive me of my indiscretions. I don’t have the devil to blame.
Here are some examples of Sharia Law which demonstrate both homophobia and misogyny:
1. The death penalty for sodomy.
2. A daughter's inheritance is half that of her brothers.
3. In instances of rape, some authorities of Sharia law require for an allegation to be validated, victims must have four Muslim-Male witnesses to the crime or else the victims risk being charged with fornication or adultery. By the way, Punishment under Tazir law, in the fine country of Pakistan can include incarceration up to twenty-five years, a fine and 20 lashes with a whip.
4. Men have the right of unilateral divorce. Women do not.
5. Some hadiths indicate that husbands have a right to discipline their wives in a civilized manner.
9. Conversion by Muslims to other religions is strictly forbidden, and is, you guessed it…punishable by death.
10. Men are permitted to engage in polygamy and reject alimony.

Hey, I have a friend who successfully used AA, and I absolutely admire him more than words can express. He has 20 years of sobriety, and he is happy, successful and well adjusted.
The 12 steps mention God 6 times and contain references to “a power greater than ourselves” “prayer” and “spiritual awakening.” The times that I have attended AA have left me believing that theists have a much better chance of feeling comfortable with AA than atheists.
I have come to the point where I believe that anything we do to permanently quit drinking will keep us from being prisoners in our own bodies. It will make us happier, healthier and more capable of appropriately dealing with emotions like anger and resentment.

I would like to thank you for sharing your post, since it is obviously very personal, and to tell you that there are others who have many of the same beliefs and feelings with regard to religion and AA.
Freepath is offline  
Old 04-04-2009, 05:49 AM
  # 70 (permalink)  
Big Idiot Man Child
 
windysan's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: La
Posts: 5,664
religion scares me
windysan is offline  
Old 04-04-2009, 06:41 AM
  # 71 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 26,407
Blog Entries: 1
but all of those bigots all that hatred all that stuff exists regardless of religion....if you remove religion from this world all that stuff would still be there.

If you remove the religion something else...philosophy, some sort of pshycology, perhaps polotics...would become the justification for those acts.

When I find that the framework of a religion, philosophy or other theory is damanging me and doesn't seem to reflect my true beliefs or hold tre in the world i step away from it.

During my periods of sobriety I find that i can better see what seems to me to be true and not true. During my periods of drinking, i manage to completly bungle things and run willy nilly from one belief system to another clinging for dear life for something to make since of things

things don't always make since...i don't get to understand everything...
Ananda is offline  
Old 04-04-2009, 07:41 AM
  # 72 (permalink)  
I got nothin'
Thread Starter
 
Bamboozle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: My house.
Posts: 4,889
Blog Entries: 14
Originally Posted by jimhere View Post
Bam,

For what it's worth, I never took your OP as bashing anyone's beliefs.

I think that we can disagree with it turning into a flame fest.
Jim


jimhere, I think your contributions here have been good. Please don't think that I think otherwise.
Bamboozle is offline  
Old 04-04-2009, 07:43 AM
  # 73 (permalink)  
I got nothin'
Thread Starter
 
Bamboozle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: My house.
Posts: 4,889
Blog Entries: 14
Originally Posted by jimhere View Post
This has been a good discussion. I think I'll bow out now, before Bam thinks I hijacked her thread.
Jim
You don't have to...it's morphing...and that's okay.
Bamboozle is offline  
Old 04-04-2009, 07:52 AM
  # 74 (permalink)  
I got nothin'
Thread Starter
 
Bamboozle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: My house.
Posts: 4,889
Blog Entries: 14
Originally Posted by ananda View Post
but all of those bigots all that hatred all that stuff exists regardless of religion....if you remove religion from this world all that stuff would still be there.

If you remove the religion something else...philosophy, some sort of pshycology, perhaps polotics...would become the justification for those acts.

You're probably right.


I know it's a silly example, but look at rivalries in sports. And of course politics, which you already mentioned. It's an "us vs. them" mentality everywhere you look.
Bamboozle is offline  
Old 04-04-2009, 09:17 AM
  # 75 (permalink)  
Member
 
allport's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: north yorkshire, england
Posts: 1,891
The problem with formal religon is that it legitamises hatred of those who are different.

Of course this does'nt mean that all religous people are full of hate but those that are feel fully justified, and even judge other people for failing to share their hatred.

I would never judge a religous person without knowing them but I do fear the mindset that encourages predjudice, this goes for all branches of religon, I know christianity seems to bear the brunt of most of the comments but to me all religon is equally irrational and frightening.
allport is offline  
Old 04-04-2009, 09:40 AM
  # 76 (permalink)  
Member
 
sfgirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 679
Originally Posted by Freepath View Post
I was also raised in a religious family, but became an atheist, a humanist and an existentialist during my late teens. The more I read, the more it seemed like these beliefs were just perfect for me. I also really like Buddhism, but I don’t think I could devote myself entirely to it’s concepts and practices.
Religion is a personal experience, and, in the name of freedom, I also don’t believe it’s right to slander anyone based upon their personal beliefs, provided that those beliefs do not violate the peace and freedom of other people.
So the next question that I have is: do religious beliefs violate the peace and freedom of other people?
The Jewish, Christian and Muslim faiths all have the same commandment:
Thou shalt have no other gods before me
This simple direction breeds arrogance, contempt and violence. It has resulted in more bloodshed than any other sentence ever uttered. Look no further than the crucifixion of Christ, the Crusades, and the contemporary agenda of militant jihad.
These are good reasons to resent the offenders. They are good reasons to question religious people about their personal perception of killing in the name of God. These are fantastic reasons to embrace atheism.
Our philosophies define our mind, our character, and our ethical framework. So I would not assume that a religious person necessarily is bigoted, but clearly prejudice has existed in tandem with religion to the point of war and murder.

Which transitions nicely into the homosexuality consideration.
How many times do we have to listen to self proclaimed religious people attribute the death of homosexuals as God’s punishment for their sinful lifestyle?
How many more times will we witness hate crimes directed toward homosexuals? And how many of those criminals, if polled, would call themselves atheists?
Christians seem to think that because I am an atheist that I can’t wait to get out there and SIN!!!! Nothing could be further from the truth. I don’t have a god to forgive me of my indiscretions. I don’t have the devil to blame.
Here are some examples of Sharia Law which demonstrate both homophobia and misogyny:
1. The death penalty for sodomy.
2. A daughter's inheritance is half that of her brothers.
3. In instances of rape, some authorities of Sharia law require for an allegation to be validated, victims must have four Muslim-Male witnesses to the crime or else the victims risk being charged with fornication or adultery. By the way, Punishment under Tazir law, in the fine country of Pakistan can include incarceration up to twenty-five years, a fine and 20 lashes with a whip.
4. Men have the right of unilateral divorce. Women do not.
5. Some hadiths indicate that husbands have a right to discipline their wives in a civilized manner.
9. Conversion by Muslims to other religions is strictly forbidden, and is, you guessed it…punishable by death.
10. Men are permitted to engage in polygamy and reject alimony.

Hey, I have a friend who successfully used AA, and I absolutely admire him more than words can express. He has 20 years of sobriety, and he is happy, successful and well adjusted.
The 12 steps mention God 6 times and contain references to “a power greater than ourselves” “prayer” and “spiritual awakening.” The times that I have attended AA have left me believing that theists have a much better chance of feeling comfortable with AA than atheists.
I have come to the point where I believe that anything we do to permanently quit drinking will keep us from being prisoners in our own bodies. It will make us happier, healthier and more capable of appropriately dealing with emotions like anger and resentment.

I would like to thank you for sharing your post, since it is obviously very personal, and to tell you that there are others who have many of the same beliefs and feelings with regard to religion and AA.

I think it is a huge mistake to confuse the church or any political organizations of religion with spirituality or religion itself. You say you are in to existentialism— have you read the Grand Inquisitor by Dostoevsky? I think that story is very good at showing the difference between the two. I also think that people are always more apt to cling to Buddhism, probably because it is non-theist and doesn't seem to have the history of violence associated with the other religions, when at the core many principals of Buddhism are found in every other religion.

So I want to share two things. One, I want to share the flip side of the coin of organized religion because it is not all evil and bad and nasty. This is not to deny that the bigotry exists but to show that alternatives do. I grew up never going to church. I have probably been to a church service 7 times total in my whole life but I have been to some very accepting church services. My godfather is gay. His father was a preacher. He is extremely active in his church and has always been into church. He teaches the preschool kids Sunday School there. And his church has a sizeable gay population mixed with straight. I know when I went there on a fair day there were tons of booths with pride flags. This is in LA not SF, although very similar churches exist here that are all inclusive where all types of people attend and embrace each other and God at the same time.

The other is what I hinted at before and that is that just because organized religion has been and become so hateful does not mean that religion and spirituality at its core is that. In fact it is its opposite. I think the same could go for AA as well (keep in mind I'm not in AA) if you think that about AA, not that AA is evil but if you think it is dogmatic and rigid, if you go back to the history and roots of it all, it emerges as something very different. As for religions, I guess I came at them very differently, growing up in my NorCal bubble, I came at them in school, through books, so I don't know I understand having a lot of hatred for their representations but they deserve another look. St. Augustine. St. Thomas of Aquinas. The Bible. Jesus is sort of an amazing character— especially when looked at through existentialist writers.
sfgirl is offline  
Old 04-04-2009, 10:16 AM
  # 77 (permalink)  
Member
 
Eroica's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Htown, baby!
Posts: 384
Yes you can be hateful and it can have nothing to do with religion. Look at all the racists and the hate crimes they committ. Right after 9/11 I was asked several times what my religion was, and knew people who were harassed because it was thought they were Muslim.

Look at all the violence and discrimination towards women. Not all of that is due to religion.

Last edited by Eroica; 04-04-2009 at 10:41 AM.
Eroica is offline  
Old 04-04-2009, 10:38 AM
  # 78 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: France
Posts: 783
ouch !
californiapoppy is offline  
Old 04-04-2009, 11:24 AM
  # 79 (permalink)  
Member
 
allport's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: north yorkshire, england
Posts: 1,891
I am in no way suggesting that all the worlds evil and hatred is bound up in religon.

I worry about the fact that certain beliefs are so widespread that they are taken as fact.

The recent Islamophobia is a very good example.

As far as I can tell all relgions treat women as second class citizens, religon tends to be on the side of the man in all aspects of life!

There are probably a couple of examples of woman having more rights than men but I don't know of them and I do know of hundreds where women are basically treated as breeding stock.

As for homosexuality don't get me started.

I know that spirituality is not religon but religous factions hold a lot of power in both the political and social arenas and are rich enough to force their views of the world onto people who don't share it.
allport is offline  
Old 04-04-2009, 11:30 AM
  # 80 (permalink)  
Big Idiot Man Child
 
windysan's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: La
Posts: 5,664
Come Mr. Taliban tally me banana.
windysan is offline  

Currently Active Users Viewing this Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off




All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:41 PM.