This is Chris Rock from the play “Mother F####ker With A Hat” , where he plays an AA sponsor. I hear it’s a non pro AA play about 13 stepping. Now playing at The South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa. I will let you know what I think after I see it. It is set to play in Los Angeles soon, but it’s already sold out.
I have been thinking about this subject ever since blogger “illbefree” arrived here and began posting. So here is my story in a nutshell.
My first sponsor was a very good person by the time I met her. Her name was Mary. She was a big strong hawaiian woman who was the only person who confronted my 13 stepper asshole, way back in 1975. Yet, even she gave me bad advice a few times. Most of the time she loved me like her daughter. I was a teen. 🙂 There are many things she did that made me a better person. She surely made me laugh! But she made her mistakes too.
First off, one day we were sitting at CoCo’s on Kalakaua with Big Richard and Emile, my AA buddies who were both 20 years my senior. We were sipping on some hot Won Ton soup and coffee and it was a chilly balmy hawaiian evening after we went into Oahu Prison, where we went every Wed, bringing an AA meeting to convicted felons who were in there for life. I’m sure I said something stupid, because then Mary turned to me and
said … ” you are sick, sick, sick”. Now I was 19 and I snapped my head around and said ” What did you just say to me…..I didn’t join AA for people to call me names” …..Her face got very serious and she fell silent. Big Richard gave me that look ….like ..”WOW you got some balls kid”. So from then on, she treaded lightly.
…more of the bad stuff.
She told me to marry my 1st husband, that it was me that was too afraid. She was wrong. My instincts were right. So why didn’t I listen to them.
She told me that it was my fault when a korean mobster newcomer with 90 days ripped me off for $700. …all the money I had in the world. I should have know better. I wanted to punch her in the face…and I didn’t … but I had her on a pedastill. It was then she became human and was never again looked at as a saint. But I did have another older sponsor who at the same time told me to go after the guy and get my money back which I did. Her name was Zoe. Thank God for Zoe. She told me to be sure and not to go to too many meetings. That was NOT HEALTHY…”go to the movies, go dancing on Saturday night with young people” she said. Now I see how different AA was then. No one was telling me to go to 90 meetings or even to go everyday.
Here’s some of the good stuff…many times on op the trolls gave me shit for why I stayed so long, but I never felt safe to post it there.
She told me to pusue being a singer, play guitar and take acting.
She supported me in moving to California to pursue my dreams.
She loved me like her own daughter. I seriously needed a mothers love. I never quite bonded with mine, although things are better 30 years later:)
Her whole hawaiian family embraced me and Harry loved me like a daughter.
She kept trying to get me to go back to school. I was always too afraid until years later.
I know you know that I love to bash AA now, but I did have some good woman sponsors.
Maybe this is why I stayed so long. I even went to AL ANON for a few years but I picked a sponsor who was an atheist.
In the end when I was uncovering the crap about AA , one of my sponsors, actually suggested to me that I should sue AA. She also told me she never beleived in being powerless or even that she believed she was an alcoholic. She just wanted to quit drinking and she liked the ladies meetings. Again I was shocked. But this last AA sponsor was so kind and real and non AA like that I felt I needed to post about her. Although she was wrong with advice about my son I had the intuition to know that I didn’t believe in rehab for my kids. And I told her straight up, ” I don’t believe in rehab. Its bullshit” . She was very respectful of me and my opinion.
I I think most people need professional help and not AA sponsors ….yet we read that even judges ask this question in some of the stories we have published on the blogs. Can you imagine if the judges knew how nuts some of these sponsors are?
Now, recently we have a blogger here who has had hideous and bullying sponsors. I know illbefree has done losts of telling here, but I thought it was an important part of why so MANY people are leaving AA today….and that it is the cult and controlling aspect. The bully’s and the BS.
Now what kind of sponsor was I ?…I like to think I was different. A rebel with a cause. A woman who shared her own experience and really tried to stay away from giving advice. True or not, I hope that I helped more then I ever hurt… LOL I was a woman who had a lot of great therapy and read tons of self help books. A woman who did rage work and a woman who already thought alot of the literature was BS and outdated. I told sponsee’s about Fein Shui tips, meditations tips, therapy tips from my therapist, how body work was essential and exercise were so important to my sanity and happiness. Yet still if I look back I made a few mistakes too.:(
I once told a woman I couldn’t work with her because when she told me she didn’t believe in GOD. …I was at a loss for words. I knew nothing about other alternatives like Smart Recovery, Rational Recovery, Lifering, Women for Sobriety, Moderation, Hams Harm Reduction, or drink link moderation. I always looked at this as a spiritual program” OMG… looking back I am so embarrassed by this . Thats truly how naive I was. I feel good that I called these people and said Im sorry. And Not the AA way. I could really see how crazy stepper I was. It was hard to take. To see that perhaps I was in a cult for all those years. WOW!
So please illbefree and anyone else join in…. By the posts we see here and on other anti AA blogs. I am beginning to think more and more this is a huge problem in AA right now. Back in the 70’s and 80’s sponsors were much more laid back and not so “I’m in Charge”!
I see this is bigger or equal to the the sexual predation problem. What do you think?