This is a tragic story, yet all over the country this is occurring. This is one mans story.
It’s never easy to leave an organization you called a second home. To say goodbye to your friends and everything I knew is rather difficult. But on the 10th of July of this year, I made the bold statement of walking out the door and never looking back. The question is why?
Dispite what many will tell you about Alcoholics Anonymous, the organization in and of itself is in fact a philosophy religious in nature. As a matter of fact and public record, many courts across this country have indeed deemed it to be a religion in and of itself. While it has been a longstanding tradition and legal precedent to sentence those afflicted with alcoholism to Alcoholics Anonymous, many who do not fall within the DSM definition of Alcohol Dependency use the patented “I’m an alcoholic” defense to avoid harsher sentencing for crimes they comitt.
The man who raped me was one of those men.
(While I will not use his actual name in an effort to not give him any more attention, I will merely use the pronouns “he” “him” and “his” when discussing his crimes.)
In 2009, he was facing charges of agratived sexual battery. Facing a rather lengthy sentence, his lawyer summised that given the fact that he had been drunk while comitting this crime, he not only previously stated that he had not had issues with alcohol dependency in the past, he managed to avoid 5 years in jail by going along with the “I have a problem” and hence was sentenced to 3 years of probation, 3 years of mandated attendance at Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and 3500 hours of sexual addicition counseling.
When I sobered up in 2011, I had relocated to Washington DC in an effort to sober up. Having previously attended meetings in New York City, I was convinced that maybe a geographic wouldn’t be such a bad idea. After contacting the AA hotline in Washingston DC, I was directed to go to a meeting called Midtown, which was very similiar to the meeting I attended in New York. It was there that I met the man who, three weeks into my sobriety would alter the course of my life.
At first, he seemed rather harmless and quite the man about “AA campus”, who seemed to know everyone. And given that I was in desperate need of guidance, I found it helpful that he had relapsed often but was sure that he found vital and permanent sobriety in AA. But there were signs that something was rather off about him.
For instance, one time he exposed his genitals to me while urinating in a soda can. Considering I was from New York, at first it didn’t seem that bizarre. Looking back in hindsight, the fact that he informed me that he enjoyed getting punched in the head while engaging in unprotected sex should have been a big warning sign. But again, I gave him a pass after realizing that as I was told at Midtown, “Questioning your sponsor is a sure fire sign of wanting to relapse” and considering I wanted to stay sober, I did what was asked.
On November the 6th of 2011 would be the day that would change my life forever. I was completing what those in the AA program call a 4th step, which is a step geared towards allowing a person to see fault in his own behaviour towards others. Considering I didn’t have a place to stay that night, he allowed me to stay with him which I found a little odd but I went with him knowing that he had a roommate.
The following day, I woke up and discovered that I was not only bleeding but bleeding from anus which never happened before. While he did take me to the hospital, he started to tell me that if I told anyone what happened that no one would believe a white trash hooker like me.
Upon arriving at the hospital, I not only needed stitches to repair what he had done, I surpressed the anger that was emerging and began to deny the inevitable:
That this man who was supposed to be a safe person in AA had raped me.
After the hospital visit, things began to change very differently for the both of us. I became paranoid and scared (I would soon start shaking uncontrollably) and after two more months, finally broke free of this guy after he told me that if I told anyone what he did that he’d find me and slit my throat. He, until a few months ago, began an aggravated harassment campaign that eventually stopped after I went to the Federal Court building in Manhattan to a restraining order (he is currently incarcerated in a Federal prison for drug related charges hence the reason why I filed the restraining order in Federal Court)
Now you would find your thinking, well if he is in jail why not continue going to AA?
I did attend meetings after that but, considering what happened and what came after (3 years of panic attacks, shaking uncontrollably (which I don’t do today thank God) and 190 emails from him telling me that he is gonna slit my throat, kill me, and informimg me that I am a white trash faggot who will never have a loving family or friends)), I have discovered that I am not the only one who has suffered from this type of abuse but a mulitude of others as well.
For many many years, I prayed to have God remove my shaking and my panic attacks as I was told to do by a man who was my third and final sponsor) and after continuing to have suffered from them, on the 10th of July of this year, I not only walked away from AA but from that day forward, i haven’t experienced any panic attacks at all.
I left because I needed to finally learn how to live. When one spends nearly 4 years being traumized, I realized that the only thing AA taught me how to do well is to be an obident member of the flock.
I wanted more out of my life!
So today, I get to do just that, LIVE. Live without having to watch my back all the time but most importantly finally do what I couldn’t for years out of hiding a secret,