A journey to embrace, explore, and honor the Freedom and Power inherent in active recovery.

No more shame...

No more shackles....

No more secrets.

The path--and the Power--are within. Be Free.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Equal Time

One of the biggest falsehoods of AA and other 12 Step groups is
the promotion of inclusion being a given in the groups.

Nawww, baby...let's get real, and address the pink elephant in
the room. No, not the kind we used to see when plastered (as
famously depicted in all those classic old cartoons!) I'm talking
about the hostile environment in 12 Step towards gays and lesbians.

Now, officially, AA states that all are welcome, but of course there
is no unity to AA since each group is run by the whims of whichever
alcoholic liar is most vocal and persuasive, or upon whatever local
trends hold most sway. Since homosexuality is still viewed by most
backwater bergs as an 'issue,' the groups tend to want to view it as
an 'outside issue' (which means it's something that has no place in
their meetings!) further shame and suppression for many who began
drinking in the first place to deal with conflict and shame over their
own sexuality. Brilliant.

Or you could get one of the many self-hating closeted queers in the
program as a sponsor or guide, teaching you to deny self and hide
and deny reality and become more fucked up and split in two.
That's always good for addictive personalities; living a lie. Ignoring
the self. Denial. Cutting off emotion and desire. Yeah, that always
works out swell.

Many who were drinking to avoid dealing with self are now dealing
with their desires (since becoming sober,) and acting on them with
people in the group, all the while not admitting what it means or
wanting to embrace it.

Given that the group is a magnet for the fundamentalist and religious
among us, you can also expect conflict and judgment and hatefulness
(expressed or subverted) as part of their indoctrination. That's what
you're looking for in a support group; admission to their midst on
the basis of covering up who you are. The great unspoken in our
society; if you deny self and pretend, we'll allow you to coexist.

Since every person's take on what you 'need to do' changes based
on whether they're at a meeting with an audience or dealing with
you one-on-one, you'll also get a myriad of schizoid people giving
mixed signals left and right. How someone is supposed to figure out
what they need to do when they're constantly having to question what
others are going to do/say/be next is beyond me.

But there's a high percentage of gays and lesbians in 12 Step,
partly because a higher percentage of the gay populace are addicts
due to the stresses of either living openly or living in the closet and
denying self. (Again; denying self is promoted as a virtue in AA--a
very bad idea for gays and lesbians. ) There are also plenty of people
who are gay and want no one else to know...they want only to fit in
and have a place to belong (yes, ironically enough, at the expense
of their support group knowing their authentic self.)

Quiet Homophobia is inherent in AA. It's the reason so many larger
(progressive) cities have separate gay and lesbian 12 Step groups;
they need a TRUE place where they can speak freely and recover
as whole people. Since 12 Steps are religious, and tend to draw out
'Christians' and zealots, the general air in a 'regular' meeting room is
known to be homophobic. (side note; Nobody wants to be 'tolerated.')

If one cannot be free to explore and discuss all aspects of their
person hood--especially a significant one that is at the core of many
debilitating issues of shame and suppression and sexual identity, and
possibly many years of avoidance drinking/drugging, then the environment
is not conducive to healing. Finding yet another place to have to hide self
is further destructive.

There are a host of people in AA who feel that getting dry is being well.
They are hidden predators who seek to seduce and exploit the burgeoning
sexuality of others in the program, which would be fine if the other side
of it weren't more of the same; lying, hiding, suppression, denial, self-hate
and shame after-the-fact. A whole new compounded element of hurting
self is created by this subculture of sexing ones self well.

More often than not--though apologists and ditto-heads will deny it with
their dying breath--AA and other 12 Steps are nothing more than a meat
market, and like most people trying to pretend to be more than they are,
when the floodgates open, they OPEN! It's a very incestuously creepy
swap-out with all the drama of clubbing, except there's a pretense that
none of it is going on!

My advice to gays and lesbians; accept yourselves, respect yourselves.
Don't settle for less.
And you can definitely do better than a bunch of self-hating, lying,
fraudulent, duplicitous con artists. Can you imagine a worse group of
people to 'help' you come to terms with yourself and your life? Discover
yourself and need no other. It's the best medicine.