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#458397 - 01/10/14 06:33 AM Sharing life story Alcoholics Anonymous
catfish86 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/27/09
Posts: 820
Loc: Ohio
Just venting a little. I am a survivor of an abduction with my brother at age 8. I was also abused sexually and perhaps physically long before and several times since. I started heavy drinking by age 12 and crossed that line to alcoholism by the age of 14. No small part was a desire to crawl in a bottle and die, part of it was the alcohol fueled the pity party and part of it was I needed to numb the pain I was suppressing.

I have been involved with AA for about 3 years, have a sponsor and sponsor two alcoholics (neither of which are known survivors, but they are alcoholics just like me). I have been sober for a little over 3 years and if I am still sober by September I will mark the longest period of continuous sobriety of my entire adult/teen life. I have been asked to do "leads" which are essentially a testimonial of what we were like, what happened and what we are like today. I have done it 4 times, a couple of them with a hundred or so in attendance. I was asked to do it again at a large meeting in June.

Although probably not unique in having been abused and being an alcoholic, I am a little more open than most. It's one thing to admit it relatively obscurely online, another thing to look people in the eye, many of whom you know, and admit to it. Per my therapist's advice, I avoid graphic detail and describe it in a general way since the details are actually traumatic to listen to if not triggering. Although we are taught to focus on our problems as they relate to alcohol, I have found I have been educational to several. One is a lady who has thanked me in her own lead for enlightening her to the fact that her brothers could have been (and indeed were) abused themselves. She also learned that they were every bit as defenseless as she was.

Anyone else in AA that has broached this topic in a lead?
_________________________
God grant me
The Serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The Courage to change the things I can,
And the Wisdom to know the difference.

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#458403 - 01/10/14 08:49 AM Re: Sharing life story Alcoholics Anonymous [Re: catfish86]
KMCINVA Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1625
Catfish86

Thank you for sharing. I believe your therapist is correct, looking at people in the eye and telling of the abuse is therapeutic and healing. I also agree skip the graphic details, which will be disturbing to most. I am not in AA but I have found telling so helpful in my healing. So I can only imagine how it releases a burden and helps you in your recovery in AA.

Good luck and rooting for you next milestone of sobriety.

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#458416 - 01/10/14 01:24 PM Re: Sharing life story Alcoholics Anonymous [Re: catfish86]
freeze-on Offline


Registered: 08/08/09
Posts: 72
Loc: southeast
Bro. indeed it is considerably therapeutic to share and look folks in the eye, sparing the sordid details. not i aa....but in an addiction center 6 months after i 'graduated'...i went back and shared what sobriety had enabled me to unearth re: triggers that led me to drink and drug and numb....it was helpful....and plan to repeat it every 6 weeks as the program allows me a chance to speak....theapeutic in my recovery and hopefully contributory to others in recovery...peace

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#458441 - 01/10/14 11:20 PM Re: Sharing life story Alcoholics Anonymous [Re: catfish86]
catfish86 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/27/09
Posts: 820
Loc: Ohio
Freeze, if you google the 12 steps you'll see what I am talking about, but I have noticed that alcohol is only mentioned in the first step (admitted we were powerless over alcohol, that our live had become unmanageable), the rest of the steps deal with the problems that caused us to drink and the problems we caused when we drank.

Forgiveness of a very legitimate resentment is a big part of my lead. As part of working the steps I realized that not only had I not forgiven my uncle, but in triggering circumstances I was lashing out violently. I stated that I forgave him but then would say I would love to hear him scream in hell. Not sure of your definition or forgiveness, but that doesn't meet it. Although generally not a violent person, my reaction lost a promotion in the military (broke my company commander's arm), got expelled from an ice rink (slammed a kid face first into the ice) and arrested (pulled a gun in a road rage situation). My sponsor told me to read "Breaking Free From Bondage" which is a story in the back of the Big Book. It had an alcoholic who had a legitimate and great resentment and her sponsor told her to pray for the person for two weeks. By the end of the 2 weeks, she found that she meant it. It took me 3 months and only after I stopped setting time frames and just decided if it took years so be it. At this point, I now have the ability to step back in situations and not get angry where I was once powerless, doomed to fight a battle long ago lost that I can do nothing to change. Now my uncle, who is dead, may currently be screaming in hell for what he did, but I would gain no pleasure from it, I see him as a very sick person.

There is a lot of my problems that are very interwoven with my alcohol and PTSD/abuse issues.
_________________________
God grant me
The Serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The Courage to change the things I can,
And the Wisdom to know the difference.

Top
#458446 - 01/11/14 01:13 AM Re: Sharing life story Alcoholics Anonymous [Re: catfish86]
Jude Offline


Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 1510
Loc: New England
Originally Posted By: catfish86
....I started heavy drinking by age 12 and crossed that line to alcoholism by the age of 14. No small part was a desire to crawl in a bottle and die, part of it was the alcohol fueled the pity party and part of it was I needed to numb the pain I was suppressing.

Hey Catfish,

I could have written this paragraph myself. As a kid, I combined alcohol with drugs and isolation to cope with what happened to me. That continued into adulthood. Now at age 57 I have been sober for 17 years, but only was able to begin dealing with the abuse issues about 2 years ago.

I have spoken at A.A. meetings of being sexually abused, and describe it as an experience that contributed to my alcoholism. The first time I did so was at a men's meeting and was scared shitless. But two other men in the group spoke up and admitted to similar experiences. Since then, nearly everytime I have spoken of it as part of my story, others have come forward. I like to think that perhaps my "breaking the ice" makes it possible for others to find the courage to speak of it. Some for the first time.

Thanks for sharing this Catfish.

Jude
_________________________
I went back to the doctor
To get another shrink.
I sit and tell him about my weekend,
But he never betrays what he thinks.
Can you see the real me, doctor?.
The Who

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#458859 - 01/17/14 11:46 PM Re: Sharing life story Alcoholics Anonymous [Re: catfish86]
freeze-on Offline


Registered: 08/08/09
Posts: 72
Loc: southeast
awesome bro's....thanks for sharing the experiences. i see a lot in those posts.

c

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