Well, I've got a house full of family women for the weekend, partner with breast cancer getting tired from radiation everyday, mother inlaw with dementia, wild and fun family friend up from North Carolina..everywhere scattered, bedrooms, couch..I'm up early and tip toeing around as they were all up late last night laughing and having fun. I myself hit a meeting and took the long way home on my antique FJ1200. My big Jap. I always had the Harleys too but the Japanese superbike technology is just better? Yikes! I'm an old guy really, 50's. But there is something about a stock 27 year old motorcycle with 130 horsepower that still rocks me..I like old stuff. It's like my antique submariner, people think having a Rolex is an ego thing. I can't really deny this? They don't realize though, that for those of us who wear one? We share a kind of bond. The watch gives me super powers right? There isn't anything close for me, certainly no decoder ring.. I used to sleep where ever I fell down, now I wear a Rolex. Eh, it did take about 20 years to get it but hey, who's counting? Oh, and I haven't found it necessary to dump it for dope.
So it's a new day and I'm up first naturally. I found a safe place out back at the picnic table. When I ran power out here I never thought it would be to plug in my laptop, cool. I just wanted light for the grill. The sun is coming up and it's peaceful, seagulls yacking. I did my Step 11 upon awakening on my knees, I'm pretty focused, grateful for another day of sobriety ahead. Eventually these gals will all get up and I'll take them out to breakfast. Simmy's in Fairhaven probably. Small place, kinda tight seating but Great light fluffy pancakes and real orange juice, not too much, a good breakfast, not a pig out.. Plus the "girl food" like fresh fruit and yogert, banana nut bread. What a sexist right? lol.. I'm grateful I can do that, I can be a man today, what I believe a man should be, I can buy everyone breakfast, I work for my money. I want to share the benefits of a good days work with others. It's a Step 12 thing to me. There was many a day that I woke up alone and broke, just wishing for the end. Obsessed with things I can't have, not caring enough about myself to take care of myself..That's gone for today, I get a daily reprieve. So anyway, I may as well write for a while here on Addictionland, they haven't thrown me off yet. Big Book 12 Steps are a different animal and well? not for everyone that's for sure. Just me, the Big Book 12 Steps have saved my life today, maybe it will be that way with you. So, where am I here? I guess I left off finishing up my fears so now I'm on the last part of my Big Book 4th Step, sex. Now about sex. Big Book page 68.
Still have my place where I can be quiet and write. My pen and new notebook, Book opened to Step 3 prayer to remind myself what I'm doing here. Remember I need courage and strength from the Higher Power if I'm going to be honest with myself. So on my knees I pray to pick up the pen and put it to the paper, write down and face the things in myself that are blocking me from the sunlight of the Spiritual Path suggested in the Big Book.. Again I go back through my life and make a list like I did with fears and resentments in the first and second parts of my inventory. . This list is of my sex conduct, people I had sex with. Immediately I am reminded of a couple of instances around sex in my past that horrify me yet I have never been able to make them go away. The best I can do on my own is keep them secret. But the problem remains, I can't keep the secret from myself. I ask for help and just add them to my list. I am afraid of what my Sponsor will think if he finds out how selfish I have been but whatever, he mentioned a few things to me that actually seem worse than my horror shows so I'll keep writing. I'm not alone or unique. Like it says, we all have sex problems we'd hardly be human if we didn't, what can we do about them? I can see how this crap does block me, man it has some power. Guilt and shame, remorse, impending doom, betrayal, fear. It marks me like I've been emotionally tattooed for life in a few minutes.. memory's, tunnel vision. Sexual abuse. Expected to make adult decisions at 10 years old.
So anyway, I make my list. It's a long list, hundreds. This isn't because I am some kind of smooth operator or popular, handsome and fun. No, this is because I have such low self esteem I would do just about anything with anyone who showed me attention, who liked me. Drunk or sober, if I had an opportunity to share some of your self esteem I would. This led to blameless wives and children. My trail of broken family's. The horror of my alcoholic lifestyle. I did just about anything I wanted with no thought of the consequence. Cheat on my wife and be angry and completely lost as my wife leaves me? Worse still she takes me with her. I revolve my life around another person and betray their trust so they leave me but I still revolve my life around them even though they're gone? My Sponsor said I was addicted to people and I guess here in my sex relations I will really see my true selfishness. I'm afraid I am a very sick boy. Adult child stuff sure, co-dependent stuff yes. It seems like it's everyone else's fault and I can usually get some mileage out of that thinking but not anymore. I am here to see myself, to take responsibility for my conduct, I have to change or else risk drinking again or worse continuing to harm others with my emotionally stunted conduct. That will probably lead to the rope.
So I take the first name on my list and answer the nine questions on page 69:
1 ex-wife Susie
SELFISH: I expected her to revolve her life around me. Save me, fix me, make me look normal like what I thought a husband should be. I assumed if I did what she did or followed her family I'd be alright. I thought I could copy others coping skills, I thought maturity was just a decision to be made. I expected sex whenever I wanted. I assumed she wanted sex all the time too. Having sex means we love eachother like other couples, she must have sex to prove her love for me..
DISHONEST: Couldn't admit I had no idea what I was doing in our relationship, no coping skills as a married teenager at all. I acted like my father, my role model who dominated others with fear for his respect. It certainly worked with me? I was afraid of him and spent my life searching for his approval so I thought if I acted like him then others would act like me. I would dominate them and they would worship me...I was him, an adult , but by criticizing others I was unable to be accountable, I couldn't be him. I couldn't look at myself, I could only blame others.. I had no identity. Never admitted I had a drinking problem. I was so drunk still, I wet the bed after she went to work the morning of the first sleepover.
INCONSIDERATE: I continually put the blame of my failings on her or her family. Someone connected to her as long as it wasn't me. Never saved any money for bills and always lived week to week. Traded her car she bought in college for a nicer truck for me without thinking about how she would get around with the baby.. Pressured her to borrow money from anyone who had any in her family.
WHOM DID WE HURT? I hurt her by never living up to the person I made her believe I was. I hurt her family when they thought I was the man for their daughter. I hurt myself by believing this time would be different just because of the different faces but not able to change myself, still relying on someone else to save me from myself. I hurt my baby daughter by not providing security, safety.
JEALOUSY: Talked about old girlfriends but she couldn't even mention friends from the past nevermind boyfriends. Anything that meant she was happier then than now with me was a threat. Was such a control freak I acted as I could do anything I wanted. I tried to demand respect by appearing aloof like I was secure while I created insecurity in her, this gave me power. Later I would have insecure breakdowns thinking she was cheating on me. I had absolutely no self worth and relied on my manipulations of her to provide it. She would have to prove her love for me.
SUSPICION: Would leave her hanging in half truths, wondering what I was up to in my insecure attempts to control her. Keep her thinking about me and how important I am to her.
BITTERNESS: I blamed others, broke promises, expected her to feed my self pity, care for me unconditionally. Poor me. Eventually she had enough and was done with me. She saw me for who I really was. She was angry, I could no longer manipulate my way around her needs. I lost control.
WHERE WERE WE AT FAULT: I hated myself and would not admit I needed help. I relied on her to help me by doing what I thought would save me. I was extremely self centered and selfish. Obsessed with anyone I was emotionally involved with. I had no control over my own emotions only my imagination, what I did to arrange others.
WHAT SHOULD WE HAVE DONE INSTEAD? Followed up on suggested counseling. Gone to church with other siblings instead of scoff, they seemed to have some direction. Not married until I had something to offer like emotional security. Something to offer as a partner. I know today the Spiritual Path shows me a way of courage. I can see others and myself and am not afraid. I trust my partner today, I am not afraid of being vulnerable. I am willing to be honest, to care enough about myself to help myself and others, not just steal emotional security for my own selfish arrangements. I take care of myself so others will benefit. I can be humble in the face of my own fears.
It says we got this all down on paper and looked at it. I wrote this and answered the questions for many people. Was I selfish? OH yeah! I was always trying to get my needs met, make me feel good about myself at another's expense. So self centered I would place myself in situations I didn't belong for fear of my partner being happy or emotionally secure without me. I needed to be the best thing to ever happen to her. I selfishly controlled everything from what we did to what she thought. Even what she thought about her life before she even knew me. I had an opinion and judgement on every detail..I selfishly had to control everything. She was my Higher Power., she was here to make my life worth living, stable, normal. I made her life as miserable as my own. My own misery was the norm so I never saw how much of a negative effect I had on her until after it was over. I pray she is happy with her husband she remarried. I've never met him but have heard he is a responsible guy. She deserves to have some peace in her life and I pray she has found it. To this day I have never said a negative word around our daughter about her mother. I pray to be only supportive, unselfish. My own judgements are between myself and my God today. Most of the time I simply pray to have them removed as they are only arrangements that serve myself. Selfish back biting, gossip and criticism, I use others frailties for a quick self esteem boost, make myself look ,feel better about myself when I'm afraid to be humble. I know this today. I can change today. I can care enough about myself to take care of myself thereby being supportive of others. This I have seen, this I have learned, the solution for me is in the Big Book 12 Steps. The suggested program of action laid out in masterly detail in the Big Book.
Bottom of 69. Shape a sane and sound Ideal?
My Sponsor suggested I write this out so I prayed about it and again picked up the pen. An ideal was something I was willing to grow toward. Well? naturally I first thought about how I was interested in a particular type of woman now. Maybe in the program? Maybe living by Spiritual principles? A woman who is into the 12 Steps? Then it hit me. It's not about them, It's about me and what I can offer. What I bring to the table in a relationship, sexual or otherwise. My history was full of relationships where I never gave them the slightest thought, they were validated through me first. This was now over. I would think of others and how I may meet their needs. I would now be willing to give of myself without expectation. This would not just happen overnight. I must be willing to work at it each day. I decided to incorporate this willingness into my daily meditation. Upon awakening each day in my Step 11 I would ask to be shown the way of healthy judgement in all my thoughts and actions. I pray to be of service to those around me especially who look to me for safety, for emotional security.
Page 71. I made my 3rd Step decision. I have made an inventory of my grosser handicaps. I have made a good beginning. I have swallowed and digested some big chunks of truth about myself. I have finished my Big Book Step 4 for now. Life is good sober, worth living.
Ok, I can hear some rustling around in the house. People are getting up now finally. It must be time for breakfast. Be good to yourself today that others may benefit.