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Thursday, September 29, 2016
A Tribute to Sex Addicts who were Abused as Children
72% of sex addicts were physically abused as children; 81% were sexually abused as children; and 97%, emotionally abused as children

My mommy group was talking about Stranger Danger and how to protect our little ones.  And it reminded me of my hubby's journey.  It is so sad that this happens and continues to happen.  Having so many inconsistent babysitters in our house, I feel it is a difficult thing to protect someone from.  Hubby was abused by someone from church who offered to help after his mom died.  Sad!


Someone suggested we add another slogan to those we use in Al-Anon: Listen and learn. My first reaction was: "No! Not everybody at an Al-Anon meeting says something that is helpful. What about those who advise: "Throw the bum out!" Doesn't that negate everything we're supposed to hear in Al-Anon?" But wait! What I learn from the negative comments can be useful in opening my mind to my own wrong thinking. When someone gives advice, I can say to myself: "But we're not supposed to advise in Al-Anon." If someone expresses hostility and resentment for what the alcoholic does, it can teach me to avoid those very things in myself.
Today's Reminder
Listen and learn is sound doctrine, if we use it well. We don't make significant progress in our thinking if we're only listening to ourselves talk.
"It is the disease of not listening . . . that I am troubled with." (William Shakespeare)
"I pray that I may learn from listening -- whether or not I agree with what I hear."

Some alcoholics become abusive, especially when they drink. How do we handle violence? What can we do about it?
Al-Anon doesn't give specific advice about relationships -- we don't advocate ending them or continuing to build them. Those decisions are best left to each individual to make when he or she feels ready. We do, however, emphasize our personal responsibility to take care of ourselves. If we know that physical danger is a part of our reality, we can admit it and take steps to protect ourselves, at least temporarily. We may arrange for a safe place to go at any hour if we need it. It may be wise to keep money and car keys in easy access. Perhaps we'll also seek counseling or speak with the police about our options.
No one has the right to physically abuse anyone else under any circumstances. We can inventory our own behavior to see if we are contributing to the problem by provoking someone who is drunk, and we can work to change that behavior. But we do not cause another to be violent or abusive.
Today's Reminder
I don't have the power to change another person. If I am dealing with violence, I must be the one who changes. I'll start by being honest about what is going on.
"There is hope, there is help, and I have an inalienable right to human dignity." . . . In All Our Affairs

Passage 3
Even after coming to Al-Anon for a while, I harbored some secret thoughts and feelings I thought were far too personal to share with the group. However, other members suggested that saying those difficult words out loud would help me recover. One night I shared my confusion over how to heal these parts of my life.
Soon after, my home group held a meeting on sponsorship. Several longtime members spoke about their experiences. From these individuals I learned sponsors are Al-Anon members who work with another member on a one-to-one basis to explain the program's tools and encourage their use. Sponsors respond to the needs of the sponsee in a loving and constructive manner. They listen to the situations presented by the sponsee, and if they have lived through similar experiences, they share how the Al-Anon principles helped them cope. Even if they have not gone through something similar, they can help the sponsee apply the Steps to the problem. I also heard that receiving a sponsor's support during a difficult situation can magnify whatever help the group has offered.
This meeting on sponsorship was helpful to me. I didn't feel as confused afterwards, and I even gained the courage to ask someone to be my sponsor. Now I understand more about how such a relationship works, and my sponsor has become yet another recovery tool for me. Her patient listening helps fill in the gaps when sharing at meetings is not quite sufficient for my needs. Together, meetings and sponsorship help me express myself to the fullest.
Thought for the Day
We honor ourselves when we ask an Al-Anon member to be a sponsor and to walk beside us on our path to recovery.
"Certainly, pent-up resentments need release, and sponsors can be extremely helpful in working on those areas and putting them into perspective. How Al-Anon Works for Families & Friends of Alcoholics, p. 114



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