I new here and confused with a sponsee situation

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ezdzit247
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Re: I new here and confused with a sponsee situation

Post by ezdzit247 » Tue Mar 01, 2016 3:39 pm

emeraldg wrote:Thank you all so much. Here is my latest update with this former sponsee. I did not return her email and do not contact her whatsoever. I saw her yesterday at a meeting for a first time since she got a new sponsor and I have to admit I barely acknowledged her, would not sit with her, and in front of her put my arm around another one of my sponsees and said "I'm going to sit with my girl today". I also showed a photo of my new cat to the people sitting on either side of her and skipped her. I also admittedly told my other sponsees (without naming names) about her bottom- infidelity. Since others at the meetings appear to like her, I did say goodbye to her.

I have hard feelings toward her and let it be known. I don't know if I should have acted this way or what a better alternative would have been. Please help and offer your perspective so I can get some clearer thinking. Thank you so much.
A few years ago, an AA member in Long Beach, CA, a man, gossiped about a sponsee, a young newcomer man. The confidential information he revealed about his sponsee to other members of the group was the young man's secret confusion regarding his sexual identity. When the sponsee found out that his sponsor had betrayed his trust and gossiped about him, he had a psychotic break, went nuts and shot the sponsor to death during an AA meeting. If you seriously don't know whether or not a sponsor should betray a sponsee's trust by gossiping about her secrets to other members of an AA group, what happened to the Long Beach sponsor should give you some perspective on the matter and some clearer thinking on possible worst case scenarios.
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children...to leave the world a better place...to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Lali
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Re: I new here and confused with a sponsee situation

Post by Lali » Wed Mar 02, 2016 10:11 pm

Brock wrote:What you have said here saddens me very much, and I am afraid that where I come from, your behavior would be considered the opposite of what an AA member should exhibit. I am tempted to say it isn't even what a grownup would do, but more like the actions of a silly schoolgirl.
My thoughts exactly. In another thread, emerald, you asked for honest replies. My honest reply is that I do not think you are right for sponsorship. The program does not require that we sponsor others. You said nothing about working steps 1 through 3 with this woman, yet you hounded her to get to her inventory.
emeraldg wrote:Before receiving the flowers from her, I also asked her several times how far along she was in her "Big Book" reading and when could we get together to do her inventory, and she was rather standoffish to this.
Based on this, it sounds like you were just wanting to hear her most private personal information as a means to gossip as you stated that you had shared others' personal information with her. If honesty is what you want, then I feel the need to let you know that the behavior you exhibited in this entire situation seems really odd.
Step 1: I can't
Step 2: He can
Step 3: I think I'll let him

Annette222
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Re: I new here and confused with a sponsee situation

Post by Annette222 » Thu Mar 03, 2016 6:18 am

I will admit, this thread kind of freaked me out. it really makes me want to get a background check on any future sponsors.

Lali
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Re: I new here and confused with a sponsee situation

Post by Lali » Thu Mar 03, 2016 6:48 am

Hi, Annette. I'm sorry this thread has upset you. This is one of the reasons we have temporary sponsorship. You can always ask someone to be your temporary sponsor and before you have given up too much private information, you will have had an opportunity to get to know the person. Also, if a potential sponsor seems to be a bit "out there" ("bat crazy"), others in the rooms may be able to warn you before you have gotten in too deep with this person.
Step 1: I can't
Step 2: He can
Step 3: I think I'll let him

Noels

Re: I new here and confused with a sponsee situation

Post by Noels » Thu Mar 03, 2016 9:01 am

Hi I'm new in sobriety so I can remember what it was like in the early days.

By six weeks I was trying to get my life back in order, putting out fires at work, trying to get a routine back into my home with my family, attend meetings, the occasional ralleigh, big book meetings and weekend big book marathons and most importantly, getting comfortable with the idea that I'm an alcoholic.

Remember that the new comer's life does not change just because he is sober. He is still facing the same challenges, people, stresses, etc, with the only difference being that he is now doing it sober. Which by itself takes getting used to.

I remember that I reached a stage where I set boundaries with meetings - not because AA is not important to me but because AA is SO important to me that since it was going to be a part of my life for the rest of my life, I had to be able to fit it in with still carrying on with life. So if a newcomer don't come to all the meetings please don't think automatically that its because their sobriety is not important to them. It is perhaps BECAUSE their sobriety is so important to them that they want to make it a part of their life rather than be consumed by it for a few weeks, not manage, and then give up.

At six weeks I was definitely not ready to chair a meeting. I started with reading pre-ambles after around 4 weeks which made me feel part of the group and started building my confidence again. Around 8 weeks I was ready to participate in the groups normal function - i.e washing dishes, fetching newcomers and taking them to meetings, etc, etc. Small things. That helped me build my confidence.

When people asked me too often " So how are you REALLY doing " it irritated me badly. I had their number. I was gaining knowledge. If I needed help I and I alone would decide whether to pick up the phone and WHO to phone.

Hope this helps. Don't mean to sound harsh but gotta run and make dinner before going to meeting. Just remember - our Creator trusted each of us enough to give us the beautiful gift of CHOICE. If He/She trust us enough to make the right choice at the end of the day, who are we to question and make the choice for someone else?

Mwah have a good everning.

Love and Light
Noels

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whipping post
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Re: I new here and confused with a sponsee situation

Post by whipping post » Thu Mar 03, 2016 9:25 am

Hi Annette,

Don't let this throw you off of sponsorship. This is an extreme example.

Noels

Re: I new here and confused with a sponsee situation

Post by Noels » Thu Mar 03, 2016 3:07 pm

Hi Emerald, I'm very young in sobriety but talking from how I handle things, the message I take from mistakes I make is to learn from it and try not to make the same mistake again. You clearly have a good heart and possibly because you have experienced the wonder of sobriety yourself you badly want everyone to have the same amazing feeling. Perhaps at this stage just take a small step back. Go through Big Book again as I have embraced that working the 12 steps never end. Hehehehe at my old group believe it or not, by the time I did step 4 for instance I would think " aaah man, ive DONE this four times already) but amazingly something new is revealed to me each time I go through the steps. Ive come to realize that I " clean out " and grow a bit more every time I do the steps again.

Also, don't beat yourself up about this particular incident. My personal belief is that our Creator and Universe knows what is in our hearts and if we made a mistake which could affect someone elses life would fix it for us. So ask our Creator to take care of it, to protect the lady whom you are concerned about and to ensure that her path have not been affected by your sincere attempt to help her.

But learn from this hon. Then it wont be a waste. Perhaps this had to happen not so much for the lady's recovery but for yourself to help yourself with furthering your growth.

We all make mistakes. That is why we are human and still on this earth. If we didn't make mistakes we would be singing and dancing in the after life.

Good luck and remember ..... one step backwards and move 12 steps forward.

Love and Light
Noels

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Re: I new here and confused with a sponsee situation

Post by emjusten » Thu Mar 03, 2016 6:42 pm

Thanks, Noels.

You expressed my sentiments exactly. I could see the mistakes made because I have made some of them too. The earlier comments seemed to be good but then it seemed like it was getting too heavy. We can't change until we see we need to and the tools are all there in the 12 steps as you stated.
Ellen J
Ellen J (Minnesota)
When a door shuts a window opens; Lord let me be patient and have faith in you while I wait in the hallway for that window to open.

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Re: I new here and confused with a sponsee situation

Post by PaigeB » Fri Mar 04, 2016 11:48 am

emeraldg wrote:
I have hard feelings toward her and let it be known. I don't know if I should have acted this way or what a better alternative would have been. Please help and offer your perspective so I can get some clearer thinking. Thank you so much.
If it was me I would talk with my sponsor. Are you sponsored? Are you actively working a Step 10 and 11 here? It might need a 4th Step and a 5th Step to get Ego in check. Daily prayer for the person I resented really brought results and I am now quite good friends with her, but above all I truly findmyself caring about her welfare and happiness.

"Praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out."

If I caught myself shunning another AA member (a sick person for being sick) I would hope to become aware and seek God's will. I do not think my HP would ask that I be mean to anyone for any reason.

I do hope my perspective helps get you to see that the words on page 90 of the 12 & 12 are as true as they ever were... "It is a spiritual axiom that every time we are disturbed, no matter what the cause, there is something wrong with us."

I edited my post because upon rereading I found I was saying "you" instead of "I". I truly apologize for any hurt feelings. I am sorry. Sometimes I think my way is the only way and I am way off base there! Hugs, Paige
Step 6 is "AA's way of stating, the best possible attitude one can take in order to make a beginning on this lifetime job... with most of them we shall have to be content with patient improvement." 12&12 Step Six, p.65

Noels

Re: I new here and confused with a sponsee situation

Post by Noels » Fri Mar 04, 2016 12:57 pm

No come on guys. We all make mistakes and we do not have the right to judge. I refuse to believe that my Creator would allow anything that is not supposed to help me grow happen so I look at it the same way in this instance.
Yes the actions was not according to big book but this member asked for honest but surely constructive advice? As a newcomer with barely enough sober time to really have a say I can tell almost everyone who posted on this thread to go back and do step 4.
Enough now.

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Re: I new here and confused with a sponsee situation

Post by PaigeB » Fri Mar 04, 2016 1:03 pm

Thanks Noel. Quite enough. Even though emeraldg asked for help and perspective, we should remain kind and stick to our own experience. Judgments should be left outside these doors.
Step 6 is "AA's way of stating, the best possible attitude one can take in order to make a beginning on this lifetime job... with most of them we shall have to be content with patient improvement." 12&12 Step Six, p.65

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Re: I new here and confused with a sponsee situation

Post by Reborn » Fri Mar 04, 2016 1:09 pm

Annette222 wrote:I will admit, this thread kind of freaked me out. it really makes me want to get a background check on any future sponsors.
I'm not sure but maybe you guys missed this post? These are the kind of things we need to guard against...not just "you made a mistake now just grow from it." So not only is this person effecting the gal she's posting about...but the post itself is affecting newcomers that read this kind of S***. I get that we're supposed to show love and patience in AA...if you have read some of the other posts from this "member"...she seems like a troll looking to stir S*** up.
We have recovered, and have been given the power to help others. BB pg 132

Noels

Re: I new here and confused with a sponsee situation

Post by Noels » Fri Mar 04, 2016 1:37 pm

I understand and appreciate that but to continue kicking her while she's down is not going to make things better. I'd rather guide her with love and teach her what I understand from my own life experiences combined with big book and the steps. This member was honest about her actions and reactions which indicates to me a sincere attempt to learn. We don't know her experiences that brought her to aa but the mere fact that she still haven't opened in terms of step 5 indicates much pain to me. However she still is willing to try help others who is still suffering also indicating a good heart. I
Even though a newcomer doesn't necessarily believe that they already have an HP doesn't mean that their HP is not already protecting and working with them. You know that and so do I. We also both know that a relapse doesn't just happen. It takes a while to get to the bottle and pour that drink.
So let's rather try and help this member to see the light rather than possibly kicking her into the grave.

Said with only love. Mwah Noels

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Re: I new here and confused with a sponsee situation

Post by emeraldg » Sat Mar 05, 2016 6:22 am

I apologize for not responding sooner- I have been away. Thank you sincerely to all who replied. I am NOT a troll but understand entirely why some of you may think this. I am very much struggling with this conflict with this former sponsee and am trying to seek out other objective, cross cultural/national etc opinions as my sponsor has guided me on this but I still struggle. For example, I am showing shunning behaviors toward this former sponsee as are some of the other people in the meeting because it appears that AA is low on her priority scale and does not go above and beyond whatsoever to help others. I understand she still has less than 2 months behind her, but I also heard that she did not get a new sponsor despite telling me that she did (perhaps trying to avoid hurting my feelings?) and instead decided not to have a sponsor alltogether. She told another group member that she felt so "burned" by her experience with her first sponsor (me) that she currently did not want another sponsor. This morning I saw her again at a meeting. This time I did acknowledge her as there were a couple of others around. I admit, I sat in the front and "reserved" each of the seats on either side of me for women I actually wanted to sit with. I did not invite her to sit near me. She then sat in the very back at the meeting. One of my sponsees who was going to sit beside me at the meeting saw her and gave her a hug and asked if she would like to sit with us. I then heard her say "thank you so much and I might join you later. I'm just not feeling well today so am taking a bit of space". This former sponsee brings baked goods to the meeting, makes idle chit chat with other members, sits in the back, does a reading, puts money in the basket, thanks the speaker and then leaves right after the meeting. That's it. I hate to think I might be having a part in giving her such a bad experience that her sobriety is at risk, but really I just find her so unbelievable. I do not ask how she's doing or talk with her at all.

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Re: I new here and confused with a sponsee situation

Post by avaneesh912 » Sat Mar 05, 2016 7:01 am

I do not ask how she's doing or talk with her at all.
Is this how you want others to treat you? She is a newcomer to the fellowship right? Dont we have the responsibility to guide them through those difficult periods?
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)

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