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.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Looks Can Be Deceiving...

Business-as-usual; couldn't care less.
Silence and invisibility does not equal consent and acceptance.

Mine is not a lone voice against the evil and abuses prevalent
within the 12 Step circles, and the self-protection of their
anonymity and autonomy that ensures they will keep known
abuses quiet in order to keep what little reputation that remains
from being besmirched.

*Most who have been abused within the Programs will
never attend another meeting. The heart and spirit of what
was supposed to be a helpful and spiritual venture has been
ruined, transformed into a dark experience, with meetings
just a painful reminder of what happened.

*Of those who do continue to attend, they are so completely
embarrassed, humiliated, and self-conscious that they tend
to carry the burden alone, not wanting anyone to know and
further the hurt (in their eyes.) Seeing the perpetrator continue
to abuse newcomers--and yet be held in highest regard by
the group despite the obviousness of their brokenness--
further runs down the hurt person's spirit.

*There are those that, disillusioned, go back to drinking and
drugging, knowing now that this was simply one more falsehood
and unreliable situation. One more group of people who don't
care about their welfare. One last last-chance that failed.
Or maybe just a new hurt and betrayal so deep that their old
standby of chemically medicating seems the only solution still.

These folks know that no one in group would likely believe their
word against the 12 Step 'Super Star' that did them wrong, so
why bother. The world works a very particular way, and some
people tend to get away with everything. Suppressing and trying to
ignore what happened isn't healthy or generally reliable, but it's a
valid choice to these folks.

*Further, there are many who do feel they are alone
with what happened to them, and isolated/fearful/alone is
a bad place for the average addicted person to be. It makes one feel
out on a ledge, and quite separated from the pack. The loyalty to
A.A./N.A. (amongst 'True Believers') is fanatical and frightening,
and the idea of going up against a juggernaut, a behemoth like a
world-wide organization is too much. Especially when your gumption
and spirit are drained and your doubt and discomfort are high.

*Many, especially those who have previously been abused or
targeted, blame themselves. Prior victims give off a signal that
sets them up as ripe for the picking in the first place, and predators
spot that like sharks drawn to blood in the water. The repetitiveness
of abuse makes some survivors feel like they have no people skills,
like things will never change, and like there must be something
flawed within them to keep making this happen.

(While of course nothing could be further from the truth; the
sociopaths who get high off of manipulating and hurting others are
the ones who are in the wrong.)

*There are those who become depressive and despairing over
the turn of events, and begin a psychological and emotional tailspin.
They may not even relate their condition to the events, if they are in
denial. Often times, predators are so incredibly devastating and
charming that they can keep a target confused and self-flagellating
without ever realizing the extent of what was done to them.

* And, of course, there are those who reach their wit's end, finding
suicide the only option. At the end of my dreadful experience with
A.A. psychos, in the midst of deep clinical depression, my tormentor
e-mailed me notes attempting to push me over the edge, promoting
suicide as a legitimate and useful option for me.

So, don't get it twisted. Just because you don't see and hear major
throngs of protesters walking the streets outside of a meeting, it
doesn't mean there aren't problems aplenty.

Of course, you have to be open to seeing them, willing to look for them,
and honest about finding them. And 12 Step groups are pretty big on
blind adherence and self-protection. 'Acceptable losses' and all that.

Only they aren't acceptable, are they?