October 18, 2011

Step Nine, Does it Apply to Victims?

Grateful for the time to share with ya'all today.  

Some needed rain came our way unexpectedly, and  I am enjoying reflective time that brought me indoors.   I'm  holding a sense of amazement that a program friend and I managed to fit in a walk on what we both  thought would be a completely sunny day.  Today holds the best of both worlds for me.   

It also holds the best of my Sister programs, Emotions Anonymous and Al-anon. 

I had the Grace to attend Alanon this afternoon, where the topic was Step Nine. Got some things cleared up. Removed some clouds of confusion. And sadness.

Step Nine. I  wondered whether I really needed to make formal amends, the very first time I heard about this step. But I did #9 anyways, hedging my bets. I figured  the amends were going to "work" by absolving guilt.   But I got things back-assward with my first amends. I picked the hardest one first-- my mom--thinking that with her the process would be a kind of forgiveness.  After all, I had nothing really to apologize for, but plenty to forgive.    Sharing my forgiveness with her, I was quite benevolent, which opened me up to quite a fuss and a litany of objections. Just what was I forgiving her for?  Whatever it was, she would do it again...right there on the phone! Ah the error in understanding.

I've encountered others in my EA world, who have had problems with the 9th step. What do you do when you are the  one used as a scapegoat in your family?

 We lost one of our face-to-face members because he was very clear that he did not have an amends to make to any of those people who hurt him. I did not know what to say to him at the time.  I did not feel it was right to talk him out of his feelings. Nor did I wish to preach any shoulds at him, or to dismiss him for being dishonest. I sadly watched him come up with "other" reasons to stop attending, like a new job that just "happened" to conflict with our meeting times.  

He said he loved our program, but he stopped before I got to share the rainbow with him.

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