Forgiveness… When to Forgive, why to forgive, how to forgive- What I learned… I DID NOT LEARN in Alcoholics Anonymous


One of the biggest false tales in AA is to forgive people who have harmed you. Sadly today this is so misconstrued. Bill and Bob were never talking about childhood abuse. But over the years this nonsense began to be spouted. When ever I heard this I always brought in a sane point of view but all too often on these anti AA forums I hear horror tales of sponsee’s telling woman and men “what was your part in it” or that “you need to forgive that asshole parents of yours”?

Fortunate for  me I got a good therapist in 1991 and did early child hood abuse work. Which Included the knowledge that I never needed to forgive my abuser. That part of healing from childhood abuse work did not include forgiving them. I was shocked. I was relieved. I cried. I cried alot. She told me I needed to just mourn all of it. I did.

I went to very few AA meetings during this time. I mothered my first son and began some real healing that I never did from AA bullshit steps.

One never has to forgive to heal from that. Many years later my abuser made many attempts to change their behavior and mend the old past. It took many years, but I found after other healing work I did , I forgave them in a certain way. But I would never forget what they did to me. AND that I could not trust them ever in certain things…probably ever…but that was realistic. ANd giving up hope that they would ever change was good too.  My therapist was not in AA …She now knows all about AA predators and told many because of my work.

Forgiveness is thrown around and  around in AA halls like a bag of balls, a bag of dirt and bag of crap…all wrapped up into one. They are soothsayers who are rather stupid. They think they can make up who GOD is …or is not….no one can do that.

They are an arrogant group…

Sometimes I hear people who are not even in AA talk AA forgiveness shit about , moving on…

AA and its writing community is entrenched in our culture …from  WRECK IT RALPH to FINDING NEMO to FLIGHT with Denzel washington.

We need more Gabrielle Glaser’s and hopefully Ilse’s and Stanton’s forth coming book will create another ripple in the pond of sugary Dr Drew/Dr Phil philosophy Bullshit to dismember the head of the AA beast in American Culture and Media.

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49 thoughts on “Forgiveness… When to Forgive, why to forgive, how to forgive- What I learned… I DID NOT LEARN in Alcoholics Anonymous

  1. I whole-heartedly agree with your perspective on AA and forgiveness Massive. When I review AA minions’ stance on “forgiveness” I see it as deeply hypocritical, judging of victims and serving of predators. After all, the fools that initially gravitated to the program were largely WASP males who were in positions of power over women, children and over minorities. Many of these individuals were guilty of abuse those less powerful than themselves.

    I believe that their misguided hubris and subsequent realization of how it contributed to their abusing innocent people is why they sought “forgiveness” for their many abuses as a way to free themselves from guilt which they surmised had contributed to their heinous sins and abuses of weaker people. They had harmed many. They may or may not have been sincerely “sorry” for their abusive, predatory acts, but they dearly desired absolution; even if they had to make of lists of their victims, say sorry and/or send money. Typical abuser machination.

    As a survivor of sexual molestation I have never believed that I owe “forgiveness” to the pigs that violated me as a child, a teen…or as I have realized in the past couple of years as a woman. When people haughtily and self-righteously try to force their views of “forgiveness” on me, I take it as further abuse.

    How dare anyone try to tell anyone else how to frame the abuse(s) suffered—especially sexual abuse during childhood? It is sick, predatory and abusive to try to guilt, shame, blame, coerce or cajole a survivor of any form of abuse to “forgive” against her (or his) will, instinct and/or conscious.

    I do not forgive my aunt for sticking her fingers in me when I was three years old. She instigated a pattern of disassociation and further sexual abuse that continued on in my life through childhood, into my teen years and into my marriage with a sick, twisted bastard who abused me, my children and I discovered last year—molested my daughter when she was 13.
    My ex AA sponsor advised me to, “Let go and let God!”

    (Really, blitch? I should have let go and clocked her stupid arse!)

    You know, there is a reason why people must sacrifice and study for years to earn degrees in psychology and counseling to learn and earn how to help survivors of psychological, physical and sexual abuse. That is meant to protect victims from further harm and foolishness such as asking her/him what their part was in their abuse and that they are missing the steps if they fail to forgive. The core rule that anyone in the helping field is told to adhere to is DO NO HARM. AA’s do not even consider this as they go around MALPRACTISING on vulnerable people–people who are often driven to suicide (and murder) due to AA non-sense.

    AA members hurt each other all the time in all kinds of ways. And so-called newcomers are nothing more than fresh meat on which they project their self-hatred, loathing and sickness. Notice how they seldom feel a sponsor (a person) owes it to a sponsee (a person) to ask for forgiveness for harming him or her. It’s ok to hurt a newcomer, a pigeon, a baby.

    They evidently think, “Shyt! They need to hit bottom anyway…I’m just giving them some tough love to save them from the institutions, jails and graveyard. And I need to give ‘em what I have!”

    AA is full of mental, physical, emotional, sexual, spiritual and energetic PERVERSION…and they are not sorry.

    Forgive them?

    • illbefree- OMG – I am so so sorry this happened to you! 🙁 Im really glad we met here and that you escaped the crazy ass stepper! You write that book girl!

      • Thank you Massive…

        I am so sorry that you had to suffer what you did too. I am sorry that any of us had to suffer any harm from these people. I will NEVER defend not one of them whether their guilt is due to wickedness or ignorance…

        Harm is harm. Sexual predation is heinous beyond what words can describe. It robs you of your Self-hood. You NEVER get to know who you would BE without that vile infection of Body, Soul and Mind.

        Fuck an AA predator. Amends or no amends. Apology or no apology.

        One good thing my ex sponsor said to me after I found out last year that my ex husband had molested my daughter when she was 13 was when I was trying to understand how he could do such a thing to a little girl that I had allowed him to “father” since she was 15 months old was…

        “Stop trying to understand him. To understand people like that, we have to become like them; to think like them. There is no point in trying to understand or make any sense of their actions…”

        She was right about that.

        That gave me some ability to stop racking my brain over what he had done. I can’t understand the likes of people like him. I can’t empathize or feel compassion for whatever he may suffer as a result of his own perverse choices. I no longer even try.

        If he ever said he was “sincerely sorry” for molesting my child; he could sincerely kiss my black ass!

        AA’s can make all the amends or so-called “apologies” that they want. If they cannot even understand the TRUE CONCEPT of forgiveness or apology making, their “sorrys’ mean absolutely NOTHING.

        I wish that all the individuals who sexually molested any woman, any child and me were locked in prisons with the rest of their ilk. Let them be violated and try to forgive IF they live.

        They’re SCUM!

        I do not commiserate or empathize with them in any way whether they are in AA or not. And intense AA indoctrination does render people incapable of true human empathy and the ability to be truly sincere because the are NOT dealing in Reality.

        How can one be “sorry” for anything if they are a brain washed zombie and an active victim of a phucking cult?

        They can’t.

        I don’t accept “apologies” from zombies.

    • I agree illbefree. The men that created AA were men with a lot of power over women and minorities. Add on they’re drinking and just imagine. It was the 30s after all. Dr Bob horribly abused one of his children and Wilson cheated on his wife who knows how many times… they abused their power and should have made amends, that just doing what’s right.

      I for instance have been through a lot of trauma and then I’m told I’m powerless….I never had the power that Dr Bob and Wilson had. Forgive the sexual predation, emotional, verbal and mental abuse I went through in AA, I don’t think so.

      Now I believe we can heal from it, but that’s with an experienced therapist and my therapist has always said take back ur power, what happened to you was wrong, end of story…

      • Right Suntime…

        “Now I believe we can heal from it, but that’s with an experienced therapist and my therapist has always said take back your power, what happened to you was wrong, end of story…”

        That is on the money there. The predators needed to find some humility, let go of their ego and relinquish power in order to find a way out of their addiction and affliction…or at least that is what they could come up with at the time.

        Abused and traumatized women, children and vulnerable adults simply do not have the same relationship by any means with hubris, ego and POWER. In fact, the great majority have the exact opposite to deal with.

        Therefore, to be coerced into accepting “POWERLESSNESS” is simply a further assault on the Body, Mind and Spirit of someone who has already been abused and traumatized.

        It’s not right. And it breaks my heart to know that there are so many, many people in need right now…tonight and they have found their way into AA like we did…and they are being drawn in…hugged, love-bombed and set up for all manner of potential physical, emotional, financial and/or sexual abuse…

        Right this minute…

        It breaks my heart…people looking for help and all they can get is some mess like AA?

        It’s a damned shame…


  2. I have heard over and over outside of AA that you forgive for your own benefit, so you can move on. That those bad feelings will eat you up. I always thought that was a self induced mind F&^%. Is that not deluding yourself to forgive for selfish purposes? Not forgiveness in the true sense of the word?

    I think people who forgive only to relieve an emotional burden, is not true forgiveness in reality. SO it does not have the desired effect anyway. They are only repressing their anger by stating the words but not really feeling it.

    • AntiD

      Your absolutely right. For many, forgiveness is just words and its insincere. Not only is it selfish to say you forgive without really meaning it but very condescending. IMO, no one, deep down has the ability to really forgive nor forget the unforgivable. Some things just are that. I think the best you can do is learn from it and not obsess over it.

      Ive observed who claim they forgive, when they really dont. There angry and they hold grudges. Now, I see that as a personality disorder; which has the symptoms of passive aggressive behavior. Therefor BS forgiveness is just not a good idea. Thats my analysis (:

        • Hey Sue, I agree. You have a way with words. Forgiving people because you feel forced or to just relieve ones self of anger seems insincere. It is kinda like the insincere apology.

          Some situations probably contain both.

          I tend to be pretty forgiving with a very sincere apology. It is amazing though how many people expect you to forgive when the person has not apologized or they are not deserving.

          When it comes to hurt feelings, sometimes the guilty party really is clueless how their behavior impacted someone else. But when it comes to egregious misdeeds against someone that is different.

          • Thank you, AntiD,

            I realize now, that my time in AA taught me some very important lessons the hard way;
            #1 I think forgiveness should be earned. #2 To stop questioning my sanity and never allow someone (or group think) to try and influence my thoughts with what “I believe” to be distorted thinking. #3 If you feel your a person with decent character; always defend it. #4 If you dont have a spiritual malady when you get to AA and your not careful; you could develop one in AA:

            “Negative feelings and emotions, remorse, guilt, shame, shattered self-esteem, self-doubt, even self-loathing; loneliness,
            alienation, apartness, isolation, depression and feelings of hopelessness, futility and a pervasive sense of
            meaninglessness of life”

            Personally, Im not saying that i did not have “some” of those symptoms when I got there. However, my time in AA only added to my issues. A commitment to leave that environment has made a huge difference.

            Ive said this before but I think its very important remember; #5 The consensus of opinion may be wrong and harmful to believe.

            Im sure i could think of something else. Im trying to accentuate the positive.

      • Great analysis Sue. If violated people are welcomed and invited to “forgive” as they choose rather than coerced, it would be much more compassionate and likely to lead to Peace and Healing. When people are FORCED, blamed and shamed into forgiving it feels HORRID and just adds to one’s sense of violation.

        When I am preached to about FORGIVENESS…it makes me really want to start SLAPPIN some mouths!

        AA asses don’t even know what true forgiveness is as they do not even forgive the abused for being hurt and unable to forgive as their own process allows.

        • illbfree,
          thats another thing..i was only a week or 2 into AA in 2001…when i started to do some of the forgivness sugestions!
          i was vomiting into a bowl as i was praying for the well being and all good things to come into the life of one person i really hated,my second x husband.
          on entering AA.though there were a few people from my PRE AA past i disliked or felt anger towards,he was the only one i truely hated…
          it is now 20013, i no longer have any feelings about or towards my second x husband.And never think about him.But who knows what i would do if he came back into my life and started to do things he has did in the past. i dont want to know or associate with him…besides AA tells us we did it …if they do anything wronge to us…if i spoke to my x husband and then he puched me in the face,accused me of things i wasnt doing,stalked me, played head games with me,judged me for being a weed smoker,tried to turn my family kids and friends against me,ruined any relationship i may have,stole my purse,had sex with or took up with any of my mates,slagged my personality and appearance off,or molested any of my grandchildren AA would tell me “You did it…you spoke to him ”
          i no longer think about him. i dont pray for him anymore.
          i dont care what happens to him,good or bad.
          i do not believe he was worthy of getting any apologies from me,he was not on my ammends list in AA. i did very little if anything wrong to him.But im sure they would have got round to putting him on ammends list at some point.
          but i was often told to pray for him his well being and to think how guilty he must feel,that even child molestors have rites,and the worse “You did it…you married him so you did it”..
          i made sincere heart felt apologies in my life time both PRE AA and while going to AA.But i also made insincere ammends…he would have been insincere ammends..
          about apologies…i have my own opinions around that..
          if i bumped into a person on the street and perhaps when accidentely bumping them maby brushing past them and knocking there arm..i would say sorry to them..thats just politness.but inside i wouldnt be full of pain guilt or remorse i wouldnt be haveing any if much feeling about it.
          there were x partners i had whom i apolgised to for things i did wrong to them, whom had also harmed me of those i made a sincere apolgie to…i ment it…i was going to AA at the time.
          but later while going to AAi had to go make ammends to him again…
          Not before not dureing…but after i did that..
          i felt overwhelming anger towards AA around me doing that.
          I dont knock those in AA who went and did matter if they did it sincerely or not..
          they were doing what they thought they had to do.
          They were doing what they were told to do and thought they had to do it or die.
          Or like myself ,with some ammends they did it for the person they made ammends to in the hope that it would help that person with any pain they had gave that person when they did them wrong.

          i made insincere ammends to the police,the police didnt make any apolgies to me for the way they treated me dureing a time of domestic violence..long story…
          and it dont matter i dont want an apolgie from them and i no longer bear them a grudge…
          it was a long time ago.

          • I understand Sally–I really do.

            I too, apologized sincerely to people while I was a member of AA. Basically, I am concentrating on sexual predators here as the focus of Massive’s post.

            However, I am also digging into what I see as a lack of ability to be sincere whilst one is the victim of a mind-numbing cult. Just as a stinking-drunk person’s apology must be taken with a grain of salt if given while he or she is drunk; mentally incapacitated.

            The person who is mentally incapacitated often FEELS quite sincere to him or herself, but his or her “apology” (amends, sorries, ect.) are often not received as sincere or impactful by those who receive them if they are aware that the person is in a mentally incapacitated state.

            Surely, without having the Mind of God, the Creator of the Universe, I nor no other human being can possibly look into one’s Heart, Mind and Soul and Know the true intent therein.

            As a matter of reasonable deduction we can only make evidence based deductions and form our own opinions based on our own knowledge, experiences and intuition.

            And you know what they say about “opinions” and “a-holes”… LOL

            I am of the opinion that someone who is actively in AA (any 12-step) indoctrination is suffering from diminished mental capacity because the entire process has infected and affected one’s mind so that words, feelings, perceptions, spirituality, everything is subject to the deconstruction and reconstruction of the brain washing and mind controlling system.

            I am of the opinion that many people in AA and NA who do “amends” are being from their perception “sincere”. Yes, they do mean what they say. That makes it all the more chilling to me.

            To me.

            I am not making any assessments on any one individual who may be reading my words sincerity or insincerity while she or he was or was not a member of AA. How can I?

            I am commenting in general terms as to the victims of sexual abuse and sexual predators in AA and other 12 step cults.

            I experienced some positive things while I was in AA too. I imagine some of those things are why I stayed for the time that I did. Still, when I brought up or so others bring up past sexual abuse, we were often attacked, blamed or at least ignored.

            When I read the AA bible it seems to be written from the perspective of a PREDATOR and not from one who has been victimized and disempowered.

            Any faithful student of that religious cult will never be taken seriously by me. I can ONLY speak for myself.

            If my ex came and sincerely apologized to me for abusing my children and me; and subsequently molesting my daughter, his most earnest apology would be utterly worthless to me because of the foul, deplorable monster I have experienced him being. He can’t conjure a sincere apology from his twisted mind, dark heart and wicked soul…no matter how “sincere” he may think he is being.

            That’s how I personally FEEL about any apologies from active AA or NA or any 12 step cult victim right now especially as it relates to sexual predation, rape, murder and harming vulnerable people.

            They do not even know what “sorry” means.

            I do not excuse or empathize with them at all.

            And I am unapologetic to any AA or NA member whoever reads my words, has molested, raped or murdered anyone and feels slighted by my opinion of his or her lack of sincerity.

            I don’t care anymore about how they feel than they care about how I feel.

            Thank you all! I think this has been a very in depth and lively discourse. As Massive says, we do not all have to agree as long as we are not touting 12 step BS.

            None of are here.

            I really dig that and appreciate the opportunity to hash these issues out as THINKING, real adults who reciprocally respect one another.

            Cool shyt.


    • Exactly! The forgiveness & the apologies in AA & NA are utterly insincere. Nothing is as it should be in there. They make up their own meanings to everything…twisting and perverting everything. They convolute language, relationships and community. Their stupidity is a liability to all they “touch” … often inappropriately.

      • IllBeFree,

        Common sense leads me to believe that the only healthy forgiveness; is when when you can determine that someones apology is sincere. Then its up to you if your willing to forgive or not.

        Of course many times neither party believes there wrong. The only thing left is agree to disagree and go your separate ways. Guess thats just life.

        I just had a thought. Would you say forgiveness is more common than apologies in AA? Hmmmmmmmmmmm Could that be the over inflated ego character defect? The disease of character is an endless dilemma.

        • I was thinking of that same question when I elaborated on my thoughts on this subject on my blog. PLEASE SEE:

          I do not think AA’s even understand “apology” really but they call it “making amends” so doing that absolves them of ever having to really apologize to anyone.

          Their entire step process makes them arrogant ass holes who actually feel like “miracles” among men who are not required to interact, communicate or apologize to mere mortals.

          When they do something wrong to someone they do not say, “I need to apologize or say I’m sorry.”

          They say, “I need to make an amends…”

          Twisted shyt…

  3. Forgiveness is one of the things pushed by the culty types in AA. In some circumstances it may be the best thing to do so that the victim can move on. However, this is not always the case and being told to forgive something that the victim considers unforgivable may cause intense stress and harm to that person and may well lead to a relapse. It is an example of dogma being pushed, instead of looking for a suitable solution for a victim. The most important thing is to try to move on from a situation that was bad and put it behind you. AA tends to keep people locked in the past, can increase fear and can be completely the wrong solution for many. While some may like the support of a group, others will not and can be caused great problems by over zealous sponsors and the like. AA and other 12 step groups tend to be full of quite sick people and is not a great place to stay longtime if your aim is to lead a normal life.

    • you dont need my name,
      “The most important thing is to try to move on from a situation that was bad and put it behind you. AA tends to keep people locked in the past, can increase fear and can be completely the wrong solution for many.”

      this is another thing they were doing to me. im sick of my past…
      my past is just that the past…i forgot how many times i had to go through my past.not only with AA,but also counsellors,2 abuse therapy groups.a pycologist,and friends.i like to remember the good times not the bad times..
      i have spoken and written enough about the bad stuff in my past.

  4. One does not need to forgive to move on in childhood abuse. One does the work, mourns the loss of what was taken form them ” their innocence, their boundaries etc”

    And gets empowered by setting new boundaries and standing up to the abuser or predator. and Telling them what they did was wrong and unforgivable…possibly …and this proves to be very empowering and life changing for the victim. AA pop psyche or lay peoples advice is often very very harmful. WHen it comes to child abuse , including sexual . Most lay people don’t have a fucking clue. Im glad I found a good PhD therapist who knew her stuff, was very loving, and helped me sooooo much. Her name was Dr Wendy Mc Cord. PhD. You can find her on the web….

    I also learned to feel my rage, my anger and my tears and sorrow…certainly not in AA and I did none of this healing in AA or around AA members. I had very little contact with AA, meeting and people during this time….and a few times went to meetings and find out what I discovered and what I found was that the Big Book was full of shit and Bill and Bob knew nothing about any of this.

    SO I guess I was deprogramming even back then.

  5. i disagree with some of what i have read in posts. and agree with other parts.
    i cant talk for every person who went to AA
    but to say that while i was attending AA i never made a sincere apology and never felt forgiveness towards some people who harmed me is not true for me.
    it is also true that i also made some insincere ammends to some.When i felt no remorse.
    and i have not one bit of guilt around haveing done that. and if that was selfish i really dont care.
    everyone can be selfish at times.
    i also got to a point where i felt no grudges against AA, that was after i left AA,,,
    but when i went to a meeting a few months back my anger towards them came back.
    i dont forgive AA for some of what they did to day i might.

    • Sally,

      I totally agree with you. There are some very sincere people in AA. In 30 plus yrs. I only met a few but i didnt get really involved in the steps and sponsorship. I rarely socialized with them; because i felt like an outcast and just didnt have a good time. The meetings were all I could handle.

      I went back many times over the years but never hung around long; so maybe I really dont know. From what I determined; If their committed to the cult (might be true belief, fear to leave or their waiting for the promises), they have a difficult time being really honest with you and maybe themselves. Still not sure. I had a difficult time finding close friends that i trusted in AA. If I had the courage to admit that, I knew they would say it was my issues.

      • sue,
        i was the same in and out of AA and i didnt socialise with them or have close friends..i was isolated..
        im all through with ammends…the ammends in AA is the steps..
        before i got into the steps but was going to AA i made apologies..i did mean that..i really did feel sorry for harms i had done. both pre aa and dureing it.I was a shoplifter many many years ago PRE AA i got to a point through pycology with a parole officer that took me to a place where i was cured of shoplifting..PRE AA i felt guilty and in the wrong for doing that..thats just one example..

        The ammends is a list that a sponsor helps you write out..she really tells you who and what for you owe ammends.
        there is a specific piece of wrieting no doubt available on the internet someplace..that is word for word what you have to say to the person you have to make ammends to..
        this was like a letter you memorise then go reapeat to the person..
        that intself is insincere…but i did it..
        i think a true apologie comes from the heart and in your own words not someone elses.
        and if a drinker or addict listend to this AA amends letter i would say they could also be sucked into AA itself..

  6. Yes… I agree. Some are “sorry” for making MISTAKES but AA sexual predators, which are the focus of my post; If anyone is a sexual predator and they did an “amends” they are not “SORRY” and their so called “apology” means less than NOTHING.

    Predators are the ones I am addressing and I stand by that.

    The “apologies” of predators are BULLSHIT. I do not believe them. I do not accept them. And I am not “sorry” for that.

    I am talking about SEXUAL PREDATORS.

    nuff said

    • i wouldnt trust the apolgie or ammends of a childmolestor or rapeist.
      and i wouldnt want them near me..i avoid one of my rapeists,i been raped twice.he lives 2 streets from me.hes not in AA.I dont break breath to him when i see him which isnt often thank god.

  7. Some interesting responses. Forgiveness can be a very powerful thing if done by somebody who is well centred and can put an incident behind them and bring it to closure by forgiving or looking at the offending person with pity. It pretty much impossible to offend or make a Buddhist monk angry because years of meditation has trained their mind to work that way. However back in the real world having any contact with an abuser or simply being told to forgive somebody without dealing with the underlying issue can cause real harm. It can end dragging up all kinds of feelings that a victim would rather forget and not disturb. It depends on the individual. Everyone is different and one size does not fit all. If you add in the fact that many who have gone through substance abuse,have varied psychological problems to deal with and it is easy to see that simply telling somebody to forgive another is a not always a practical solution and can hurt the victim more. It is much better to talk these things through with somebody who can take a step back and then offer some insight on the best approach from the situation, like a trained therapist and not some old drunk who spends every evening in a church basement quoting the big book.

  8. I do not “believe it” forgiveness as it has been presented to me, which is to shove down any negative feelings that result from trauma and don’t look at that or you are “unforgiving”.

    I prefer terms like “working through”. If each person really is responsible for what they do, then how is something someone else does my place to “forgive” anyway? The only thing I can do is work through things that have happened in life so that I can move on and have peace and not have to stay stuck in a bad emotional place. To me there is no forgiveness or non-forgiveness; there is just taking care of oneself and moving on in life.

    I always thought that AA forgiveness implied that I would have to invite someone who I had no desire to have contact with back into my life. There are some people in my past that I have learned from, wonderful lessons like the fact that I do not want people like them in my life at all. We all need to be permitted to have only people we want to associate with in our lives.

  9. i do not want some people i once knew who were not AA, back in my life.
    i parted company with them for good reasons.

    They were a big danger to me,my life my well being, and a danger to my family.They are not people i want to have friendships with,they are not people i could trust.i wouldnt enjoy there company,they could do me harm even if i just had an hour in there presence.i have nothing to say to them that i havent said already.i no longer know them as contact with them was broken years ago.

    i have no good or bad feelings towards them anymore,
    And i have felt anger ,then, empathy and understanding and pity for all but one of them.and even he i had understanding around some of it.
    i no longer feel anything about any of them.
    i am sat here thinking about those people right now because they have came to my attention,via the subject matter of the page.
    But i have no bad or good thoughts or any feelings about them.

    The only thought i get ocassionally around some people i once knew is..
    “Keep your distance from them,dont mix with them”

    And very ocassionally,i can have flashbacks,memories of abuse and i can have panic feelings ”

    Around AA i get the thought “Keep your distance from them….”
    and also at times i can have anger feelings,or good memories and good feelings.around some people i met in AA/NA and some things i did in that period of my life.”

    I did loads of forgiveness prayers and meditations.i did loads of counselling.
    a long time has passed.

    i have no idea what some people want from me around this stuff..
    abuse therapists,counsellors AA or even some friends.

    To me its all in the past,i dont spend my time thinking about people who abused me.i like to recall good times from my past ,focus on whats in front of me be it shopping,work,listening to a cd, haveing a conversation with a mate or walking in the countryside.and planning good things for my future.

  10. Dear Massive,
    This was a very touching post.
    I’m in SMART and don’t think they have it righ re: anger. I just have a hard time with “I chose to make myself angry”. It just doesn’t “speak to my condition”.
    Anyone else in SMART have that experience?

    • I don’t know about SMART, but they used to say that in AA a lot. You choose to be angry. You choose your feelings.
      I do not think it is healthy or factual.

      • I agree! Anger can be a powerful motivator for self care at times in my life. If I never “permit” myself to acknowledge the emotion of anger I can’t see situations I may need to get out of or change in my life. The emotion I get when I stuff my anger and pretend it isn’t there is oppressive guilt and shame; these feelings are very dangerous for me with my history of depression.

        • BCM- Ditto-
          Anger is a normal emotion that we need to express. AA is nuts telling people they are not allowed to get angry or else they will drink.

          • ANGER…

            One thing I do miss about deciding to have a beer or wine sometimes is… I also had to cut my time short at SMART. SMART was a good experience for me….I plan to study and research it further at some point.

            They have their literature available on line via the following link:

            The good thing about SMART is that even if someone in a meeting tells you something that does not work for you personally, you are encouraged to use your own ability to THINK and choose your own actions. Oh my! 😛

            AA’s bs on ANGER and all emotion should be dismissed…unless for whatever reason, it helps you in some way. To be or not to be ANGRY is not really the central question for me. The question is rather; “In what way will I choose to channel the Energy of Anger?” The action(s) we take when we are angry is what defines the Energy/Anger at any given time. To be angry is to be human.

            My ex sponsor used to say, “We are alcoholics! We cannot afford to be angry because anger will cause us to relapse!”

            But she turned out to be one of the angriest, ugliest, most hurtful people I have ever known. She stuffs it, denies it; she fakes it and she makes it…for a time. When her faux AA-inspired façade fades or cracks or explodes, however, her ANGER comes OUT like a destructive force from hell. SERIOUSLY! That is what happens when people habitually stuff ANGER and it reveals a lot about why AA’s are so potentially dangerous to deal with.

            So, I guess I did learn something about ANGER from my ex AA sponsor; I learned that I have been well to find ways to harmlessly channel my anger instead of STUFFING it all down.

            As far as people making comments in general in SMART, I found a few AA people go to these meetings. I noticed that some people at the meetings I attended would go to both SMART and AA to meet legal requirements, stay out of jail or get their license back. You can always spot those dang AA folk…that…that…that ATTITUDE that we all know is always emanating from them like swamp-stink.

            So, AA crazy stuff def comes out of peoples’ faces some times (but not often)…because SMART facilitators are trained and have regular meetings to ensure that they are facilitating the meetings as SMART Recovery outlines. I had a good relationship with the SMART Facilitator and she shared a lot about the program and how it works with me.
            The good thing is that you can review the SMART material for yourself and THINK…

            Big dif from ole AA, eh?

            Journaling is a good way to channel anger and expressive art work of some kind I have found.

          • Massive,
            yeh get angry and get even LOL
            snows started here winters in..
            do you remember my post from last winter was it january..
            the one when i near froze on the beach front but my wooly jumper saved my life LOL I was prepared to die to get away from them..
            i have came a long way since then,im glad to be free.
            I’m Still alive,im not dead yet…im one of AA’s walking out dead man walking..
            i will fight them on the beaches..LOL.. LOL

            • sally – I hope I can meet you some day in Scotland and break some bread together. My sons lineage is from there.

              Im happy you are okay and free !!!

              • Massive,
                hello. I live in England. however i am Scottish originally from Aberdeen,also lived in Dundee Tullibody,Sauchie,and Alloa.
                I moved To Yorkshire England in the mid 80’s.
                However Scotland would be a good place to meet you one day.
                I shall see you at the foot of Ben Nevis,thats a scottish mountain.
                But we Dont have to climb it…we already have .

  11. Smart is a support group with a good program however if you have been abused as child it will take a real therapist to help you heal.

  12. Why do so many “self-help” groups and books, and especially the cops and the “legal” system, continue to vilify the victims and protect the perpetrators? I’m sick of it!

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