Step 9. Made direct amends wherever possible except when to do so would injure them or others. Great! Not a problem. Movin on!
First impression for me, Step 9 was kind of a one shot big apologies deal where I made an honest and humble approach. Sober, newly reborn and living on the suggested spiritual path, I go back and in all honesty expose my seemingly at times demonic harmful, and well.. always selfish behavior. I'm doing this because I can. I see it. I have seen myself finally, how I have devoured people in my endless search for emotional security by feeding on their spirits. Leaving the most promising relationships in a pile of bleached bones. Of course this is much too late for many sad wives, girlfriends, and blameless children..
In cleaning up my past in my 9th Step I have already come to terms with my sex conduct in my 4th and 5th Steps. I am free to talk about myself. My conduct. I can admit my extreme selfishness, extreme fear everywhere. My need for psychological romance. Even humble myself and admit my inability to see others needs. How I recognize them as a threat, if I can't control them I destroy them. I have been an extreme example self-will run riot as described in the Book. Not just with self-centeredness and self-seeking behavior controlling my resentments but sex conduct also. That whole "if I can't have them nobody can" thing. I am completely full of myself. It has to be all about me. I am dominated by extreme self centeredness. A frustrated dictator of sorts..
I see the survivor in me and how my relationships were more a reoccurring hostage taking nightmare for everyone involved than a shared effort in meeting life's challenges. No partnerships, just me and my need for new stage props. A people places and things upgrade to create daily scripted presentation of a man with high self esteem. See me and follow my script everyone looking at me and admiring what I can do. Hop, twirl, spin and bow to the crowd. I am not a loser, I'm not a failure. All those people or basically everyone before I met you are wrong about me. You will co-sign me, validate me, save me, fix me, surrender your life to me by becoming the missing piece to my puzzle. You hold the map to my emotional labyrinth.. Sex is the key. Having sex with me means you love me. Of course there will be sex for me. You will prove your love to me daily. We will have sex and create a emotional bond of love and happiness from it. Just like in the movies.
I see the survivor. I see myself as sick. There's nothing good about it yet it is what it is, factual, I have seen it in black and white in my inventory.. My selfish sex conduct, my inability to have healthy or atleast balanced emotional relationships with anyone sexual or not. This often harsh reality has nothing on what comes next as I head down to the basement where the evil lives. I am armed with my spiritual higher power for courage and strength to face the worst of my demons. I understand that for many who suffer in themselves this may not be enough so. I put on my spiritual armor and speak for myself from here on out. I wish only the best for those who cannot or simply will not confront their sexual abuse horrors.
I can only offer myself as a stepping stone out of the pit of despair. Stand on my shoulders, climb on my back, take the ten fingers. Anything but give up. Anything but suicide as the only hope of relief. There is no magic bullet.
YOU'RE NOT ALONE. MY RIDE'S NOT COMING.
Sexual abuse. These two words get thrown around freely by many who have never looked into the eyes of a sexual deviate. Never laid motionless, disconnected, paralyzed in a unknown fear as their spirit was sucked from them. Never been used and emotionally left for dead. Left to walk the earth dead on the inside and living on the outside. A pariah betrayed by life itself. Professionals want to help and many do.. Decipher the spiritual mystery, understand the schematic, document causes and conditions, put back together the insides with the outsides. Introducing the latest recovery model to the newest recovery resort where you bet your bottom dollar on your life..
But the real recovery is gifted freely to those who live to tell their tale. Who break through the wall of human understanding. Who find kindness in pain and suffering and offer it freely above all the carnage. Those who share their tale of hope and overcome themselves.. I have lived to tell my tale. I am no longer a paper doll.
PARK ANYWHERE YOU LIKE.
Anything from a sexual innuendo to blatant boundary jumping immoral acts are covered in this politically correct world of people constantly jockeying for position. Always seeking validation. Purpose. Fighting the good fight for those less fortunate. People meeting the needs of people. Caregivers all. Good for them. Hats off to them and their perseverance. It is an everchanging never ending struggle.
THE HAND OF AA WELCOMES YOU.
Some of us have been terribly damaged and need extensive support surrounding our emotional condition. The alcohol has shown itself as a symptom of underlying causes. I drink to excess for a reason. It's not for the taste it's the effect. In short? Alcohol can and does shut me down. Shut off my head like a switch. I needed alcohol. Alcohol was my friend until it quit and stopped working. Leaving me alone again with my unresolved issues, my causes and conditions. So now what?
I'm AA Big Book. My experience centers around the Big Book 12 Steps of AA as they are laid out in masterly detail, a shot of CODA, and two drops of ACOA. I share primarily my opinion and experience but realize there is much more recovery available beyond my realm. I am open to it all. I am always learning something new as I remain willing to grow in understanding and effectiveness.
This writing is more of an awareness than anything. An attempt to share my hope.. What it all looks like from the other side of the raging river. Recovery for me certainly didn't happen over night but after a few bumps in the path I settled into the inner peace offered through my daily spiritual reprieve. I'm willing to live Big Book Steps 10, 11 and 12 as I wrap up 9. Take a good honest look in the mirror each day avoiding morbid reflection. It doesn't fit me anymore.. It comes? I pray for direction and it is gone.
I'm going back to the end of my amends list. There was a name missing and I could feel it. Something was missing, something was needed to carry on. It was my own name. I never saw myself worthy of amends. I was always nothing without people to worship for my self worth. Things were different now that I could feel. I was ready to move on now. I needed to forgive myself. Make amends to myself. Let myself go and feel the freedom from bondage. Drop everything. I no longer had anything to hold on to, nothing to steal from me that I wouldn't willingly give away. I was not afraid anymore. When I can feel the freedom? I can really love.
CRYING FOR YOUR INNER CHILD, SWEATING SELF-PITY, SOAP AND HOT WATER, WILL NOT WASH THE SECRETS AWAY.
Here's the skinny on that. For those of us who have been sexually abused by family or friends of the family or others unknown. Many of us young and yet to develop any real emotional coping skills, we were emotionally and physically hijacked by adults. Unfortunately many of these sick deviates were trusted by our parents or mentors. Some held in high regard by many. Forcing us into secrecy with or without the threat of exposer from the abuser..Sadly in our new world of indecision, choices between right and wrong ,we chose to keep quiet on our own for fear of choosing unwisely as everyone effected our choice differently...
Anyway who could we tell.. Who would believe us when we really didn't even understand what happened. What would we even be talking about? We were afraid to mention it nevermind explain anything! To who by the way, my mother? I'm going to tell my mother some relative that she's friends with was all over me in bed while she left me to stay at his house for the week? Who threatened to tell my father untrue stories about me if I didn't come over in his bed at night? Knowing I was afraid of my father and assured, convinced he would listen to him and his lies over me I was blackmailed. I did what he wanted? I'm going to tell my mother that? I'm supposed to do that? I had become overwhelmed almost immediately by a completely new feeling, SHAME. Shame shut me down completely. I couldn't find a way to talk about it. I couldn't even mention any words involved with sex. What would I even call my stuff? A penis? Pecker? Thing? Forget any play by play explanation. Detail? Shame had me shut down, blindfolded, gagged, and tied down tight. From now on? Everything was in my head. From that moment on I could never seem to get out of myself, past the self imposed prison walls of shame.
There was wrong, sure. Wrong was bad. Then there was this? We couldn't even mention it. It was whatever comes after wrong. The worst of the worst. This is where I was. This is where I belonged. I was left emotionally stunted. All stop. I would never mature.
Many justify it or deny it by telling themselves it's just what adults did. This was sex. We wanted to be adults. Being an adult was special. If I was an adult my father would like me. Kids in school would be my friends. Girls would like me. But is this what I'm supposed to do with girls? It was so wrong, so bad it made me shake with fear. I could never be like this with girls. Girls would never want to be bad. I was real bad. Girls would never like me now. I wasn't good enough for girls. Soon I found I wasn't good enough for anybody.
BAD GIRLS LIKE ME, WE AVOID INTAMICY AND KEEP MOVING.
So..I'm curious about my abuse stuff and reviewing the many names on my 4th Step sex conduct list and come to the abusers. Immediately I am back in time. Man do they have power over me. The shame dominates me still. I'm not even sure why I put the names there? I don't know what to do. Sober or drunk this stuff still holds me in shame. I can't go on with it obviously. I notice the trains of circumstance in my life that began there with the abuse. I make others pay for how I feel about myself being abused. I suffer in extreme self centeredness as the forever victim in my mind. I am intolerant of sex and people who want it or don't want it or it's the wrong kind. Over and over I meet someone and we have sex and more sex and then I crash and burn never really knowing who the person was or why I was the way I was no matter how long we were together.
Now many years later sex is still troublesome. I attempt to become emotionally involved yet cannot take the risk. Shame is present. I may be alcohol free but emotionally I am still in my own prison wandering the AA halls. Suckering people into breaking me out for a time so I can live on their emotional security for a while until it's gone.. I cannot have a relationship with anyone. I am rotting on the inside and can only repair surface rust on the outside, new paint. A nice stage presentation I think everybody wants..
I am alone in a crowd, anywhere really. My extreme selfishness demands acceptance. I manipulate my acceptance from others as I myself have nothing to offer for it. I am feeding on myself. My delusion. Eating my own face. I live on my own daily diet of guilt and shame..Sober.
I NEED TO KNOW WHATS WRONG WITH ME.
So I pray for courage and strength, I go deep and look around. I hit my knees in surrender. I pray for direction and understanding. I go directly to 4 years old as usual, I look around. It's a trip for another day. Sex is there sure but I'm following the train to see where it leads right now. I move on to 7, 8, and am shaken up by my visual memories, sex is here also but I'm not stopping here. I keep going and stop dead at 11 years old. I am there at the end. When whatever glimmer of hope I did hang onto was taken. Where I offered it up as blackmail payment. Where I gave my abuser my life..
In the bed on the opposite side of the room. It's late at night, I am oddly nervous and cannot sleep. I've been dumped there and my parents took time away to find a new place to live. I was told to absolutely not get into any trouble. They're trusting me. BEHAVE. Do not under any condition upset my father, he has lots of business problems. I can not screw up now! I'm feeling completely alone.
So like it is happening right now the memory jumps to the guy twice or more my age. He has me alone and is arousing me and himself. I feel it's very wrong yet I want to be an adult. He is an adult. This is what adults do? I am involved in something I had heard of but never seen. I don't want to do this. I said NO a few times but didn't run. I become mechanical as if caught in a trap. I have no emotion. I look at myself, I see what I did. That makes it all my fault in my mind. As I see myself I begin to cry. I am watching myself die.
As the spirit leaves my body I begin to feel the emptiness as if I have been caught. I did this. This is wrong and I did this. This must remain a secret. As I continue day by day I keep my secret but everyone seems to know. They look at me different, act different. I think it's them but it's really me. My spirit is gone away. I'm living in self centered fear now. I'm not coming back to any semblance of emotional security. I am a worthless nothing. I am what I would be if my father knew or my mother knew. I am what they would think of me as if they saw the whole thing. I am ashamed.
MY FAVORITE TEAR STAINED SHIRT.
Yes we were marked first then emotionally robbed, mugged, our souls hijacked.. Manipulated. Set up like bowling pins and conned with all the imagined adult pleasures made to appear real. We were beautiful, exceptional, special, we were perfect to the touch. Like TV stars. We felt popular, we were the chosen. We were smart and likable. I know I was always moving so had no real friends yet right now I was handsome, I had no pimpled face, no chaotic home life. I had never felt as loved or as important as I did when I surrendered to my abuser. But the feelings weren't mine. I was already dead and gone.They were the abusers feelings overcoming me, overwhelming me with their selfishness. They were making me feel and they were doing their best to get their needs met. I was the canvas and they were the painter going by the numbers. This was nothing original or new to mankind. I was an emotionally immature kid and was used and abused by an adult who at their age should be accountable. But they weren't. They were some kind of sick I had no way of understanding nevermind coping with. I was blindsided. Hit hard. And they got me, they got me good. Stripped me down to the frame.
So yes, I was there. It's hard to deny my spiritual sickness although on a different plane, sickness still. I was simply an toy, an empty spiritless shell filled with others need for enjoyment. I may as well have been made of plastic. A hollow injection mold of an 11 year old boy. I know the truth now. I see it and have looked at it from all angles. At 4 years I was beaten badly, permanently traumatized. Blamed for an adult's sexual unresolved issues. I would never recover.
6 to 8 years? I was floundering and losing ground hoping to get my emotional needs met by feeding my self centered fear. I was unable to grow. I could not establish any coping skills whatsoever.
Their was strength in fear, power in being bad. By 11 years old I had been running into the darkness for my entire childhood. It was over. I was over. I died that night as a boy in a mans bed. I continued on fully engulfed in self centered fear now. My Spirit was completely gone. I had only people now. What they think and do. I would believe I knew what they were thinking and act on it. I was wrong a lot. I failed miserably as my courage and strength came from others. I myself had nothing. I couldn't care enough about myself to help myself. I worshipped them all. Everybody was something I wasn't. They would save me, fix me.
Many offered their kindness as long as they could but it was never enough. I stole every last drop of their emotional security. Many were lucky to get away when they did.
"Like me so I can like myself " isn't a very good pitch. I keep my feelings buried. Nobody including myself knows the nature of my being. I have no self worth. I can't even care enough about myself to help myself. When the Big Book mentioned hopelessness? I was like a cat to a can opener.
CAN I BE REBORN? IS THERE REALLY LIFE AFTER DEATH?
Yes it's sad, of course it's sad. We're something, maybe not much but we are something. When it was over we were nothing. They gave to us and when they left they took it with them. We have been used. So we continue on trying to act like they do. They are the power now. We keep the secret, hide the shame, our special secret is safe as if it never happened. Keeping it a secret gives us purpose. It can be neither good or bad at times but it always takes all the space in our minds. When the memories come? There is no room for anything else. We are consumed with it. We live? We die..over and over. In the end we are still here, still alive waiting for what's next.
I NOLONGER ABUSE MYSELF SO I CAN FEEL.
We move on with life following people, waiting for them, anybody to give us back. Return our missing spirit. Our missing pieces. Somebody give me back to me. Fix me. Make me whole, happy. Give me a spirit, validate me. Oh yeah, Alcohol pacifies for a time. Alcohol is God. But when alcohol fails and we land in AA? It's the people problem that needs to be addressed. The 12 Steps. And not to be the bearer of bad news but the 12 Steps lead directly back to me. It's up to me now. I have been shown willingness. I have been offered courage and strength by way of a spiritual power greater then myself. I have had the ability to go back and see myself, face my demons with the God of my understanding and returned a better man for it. A free man. A spiritual man. I do "not regret the past or wish to shut the door on it". It is me. I use all of me good and bad to serve the suffering man like myself. I need every bit of me to offer myself as a power of example. This is my purpose and I am grateful for it. My reason for living.
Is AA really just a home for misfit toys? Maybe. I don't have a problem with it.
IT'S NOT ALL HATS AND HORNS.
Some have died alone, burning in their own private secrets. I feel for them. I have been close and chose to continue on living in shame and fear. They could not or would not let go. Some cannot stand the inner pain. They choke on their guilt, they remain mortified in memories. I have had tunnel vision for weeks at a time filled only with my sexual abuse. It's rough seeing yourself over and over like that.. We are not bad people. Me? I fell for it. Fear overcame me and I fell for it. I cannot pay for this the rest of my life? I payed with everything I had at the time. I have nothing to pay. I need to stop payment. I have been offered a spirit. I can have purpose. I can have a reason for living. I can leave my abuser behind, They nolonger own my shell. I found my spirit and am filling myself with it.
THE BROKEN SON RISES TO BRIGHTEN EACH NEW DAY.
Well? The train of circumstance kept rolling. I'm not going to lie. The sexual abuse controlled me for years into my life. It lurked in trees and under rocks, sometimes in plain sight. It kept me running, on edge. afraid and overcome with shame. Always convinced I was a bad person for what I believed others would think of me. I was bound in shame. Sexual abuse was an unresolved issue that could not me built on. A huge crack in my foundation with a seemingly unrepairable leak. I could not be a husband or father or employee, boyfriend or friend. I couldn't be intimate or just a part of a relationship. I needed them too much and was always afraid I wouldn't get my needs met. I had to use people to have my emotional needs met. Any suggestion or guidance offered would leak right out. Nothing could become of me until I was willing to fix my foundation. So I did. I basically went back into my past with a spiritual repair kit. Kooky yes. But true. I really feel that way.
The stronger I got the more I became accountable. I'm a better man. Then? I am better than that! I am what I believe a man should be today. I don't have sympathetic feelings for my abuser. I don't want to see him or understand his plight, no need for me to help him or anything. I'm not a missionary. I really want nothing to do with the guy. I don't resent or hate him. It's as if his power has been removed from my life. His power is gone and he is just there to be used by me now. Funny really...Laughable sometimes. Without the power he is small enough to fit in my memories without crashing boundary's and destroying any other thought surrounding it.
My experience may help another and when were talking sexual abuse? There he is, there we are in full color. I am no longer afraid of myself. For the right reasons there is plenty of discussion complete with pictures and diagrams. I throw him out there and laugh at myself for doing it. I still can't believe sometimes how the spiritual realm of life was my missing puzzle piece. I can give myself, my experience, my memories, all of it away because tomorrow when I open my eyes first thing and surrender myself to my God? When I am spiritually awakened? The willingness returns and once again I am gifted with freedom from self. I will give what I get. Me! I'll give it all away again. It really is a great way to live. I have no reason to lie about it.
Give of yourself that others may benefit. Offer your heart, understand with a patient ear. Be a power of example and not an example of power, avoid the selfish need for security by worshipping people. Keep learning to give. Offer your coat, a sandwich.."Give freely of what you find and join us". We will meet up with you in the fellowship of the spirit.