Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

New here and sponsee issue

Posted by on Jun. 20, 2007 at 10:52 AM
  • 6 Replies
  • 311 Total Views
Hello all,



I am new here. My sobriety date is 4-11-02 and for that I am extremely grateful. Happily married and mommy to 1 little beautiful girl.



I am posting because I am having problems with a sponsee and I just need to vent, and if anyone has any feedback that would be great.

So about my sponsee, I am not sure that she is truly done drinking, I am not even sure that she is honest with me when she says she has not drank over the last 10 days. We have been working together for about a month and she has relapsed 1 time.



She is a lesbian and I am getting a vibe that her feelings for me might be getting unhealthy. Last night she called me, I am not totally convinced she was sober, but she claimed that she was, and she was very distraught. She said that she was feeling very lost and upset about a counseling session she had earlier in the day. At one point in the conversation I said, “I feel like you are very lonely and you are looking for a friend. Friendship is a part of sponsorship, but my primary purpose is to help you get sober and work the steps. I think you need to reach out to more people in AA and expand your friend base.”





She said I was very harsh and proceeded to flip out on me. I tried to talk her through these feelings, to get her to look at her emotions, words and behavior, (her part). She seemed to calm down, but then proceeded to hang up on me and turn off her phone. DRAMA!!! AHHHH. I did pretty good not getting too far sucked into it. I was able to pray, get peaceful again, and fall asleep (this was a late call) shortly afterward.



So I have spoken with my sponsor and, if she ever calls me again, what we have come up with is that:

1. I need to make sure that my boundaries are very clear.

2. Maybe, depending on how she responds when I clarify my boundaries, I should suggest that she work with a male sponsor, I have an old-timer that I may introduce her to.



I am praying/meditating my ass off about this and I would go to a meeting but I am home with a sick baby today.

My part in this situation is I am being overly sensitive. I am taking this personally. I am needing emotional reassurance because I am insecure about how I handled our conversation last night. I am uncomfortable setting healthy boundaries. I prayed before we spoke as I knew this call was coming, but I am still worried that I made a mistake. Should I even consider continuing to sponsor this woman?



Thanks for letting me vent and I am totally open to feedback and constructive criticism!

by on Jun. 20, 2007 at 10:52 AM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-6):
Danine
by Group Owner on Jun. 20, 2007 at 1:34 PM
First of all welcome to the group. I am glad you are here and I hope your baby is feeling better and you as well.

First of all it has been my experience that when someone is acting the way that you descibed they are drinking and they are not going to admit it if they really don't want help and if she isn't it doesn' matter is she has 10 seconds, 10 minutes, 10 days or 10 years the behavoir is not approitate. Your only job as a sponser is to take her through the steps later if friendship developments you get double the blessing. I would definaletly set some boundrairies and also look at the idea of a male sponser or another gay person that can relate to her more you have no idea how to relate to the gay environment and do you really need the extra stress of dealing with that she needs to have someone to relate to and so do you it is a two way street. It is like the old saying the men stick with the men and the women stick with the women. Not to be mean but because when we are sharing personal and moving things with another human being it is natural to build  a relationship with that person and finding that person attractive as well makes for a dilema you know how we are we found the one person who knows us and loves us anyway this is true love, etc...we can really run with those feelings.
One time I was sponsering an elder lady that I had no way to relate to and had a hard time connecting for many reasons but mainly because I think she wanted to point out our differneces rather than focus on her recovery. I tried to relate and keep sharing with her and really wanting this to work but I ended doing more work then her and finally my sponser said to me is this what I did for you? Is this how we worked the steps? I had to think about it and say "no" she said you had to make the effort you had to share and then I related myself if needed. My job was to teach you the steps the way they were taught to me and that is all and today she is my best friend. My sponser laughed at me when I was struggling with this and asked me what program I was passing it because it sure wasn't the one that was given to me and I really had no right to pass on my version just because I really really want to help this person she didn't need me she needed someone else and I am glad for that insight today. I can not help everyone and thank God for that but when I help myself and one person benefits from me being me than I am doing the next right thing without making any effort to get there.
I hope this makes sense. I kind of got off on a tangent. I am glad you are here and I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers and I look forward to getting to know you.
Love ya,
Danine
Kittyblanton
by Member on Jun. 20, 2007 at 2:43 PM
Hey welcome to the group! Sponsees can definitely take your serenty if you let them. It took me a long time to stop allowing that to happen. One of the things that helped me was to remember the nature of the disease. You can look at behavior and tell if they are serious or not. If their not there is nothing that you can do but let them know you are ther when they are ready.I finally got to where when my sponsees came to me with some kind of drama I would have them pull out their BIG Book and read what it says about the situation. It made me learn the book and it was something they could not argue with. This girl sounds like she is a handful. It is possible to sponsor a gay person. I have. I just kept in my mind that this was another alcoholic that I ma carrying the message to. If I needed to I would remind them of that. If a person really wants to get sober they'll do the work. I also remind them i am nota counselor. She may have gotten drunk after your conversation and she ws going to anyway, she just did it where she can blame someone else. You know thats how we work right? I guess what I am saying is this do what you can to carry the message. It does not matter how much you want her to get sober, she has to want it and when she is ready she will go to "any Lengths" to get it. Don't beat yourself up. REmember GOd's in charge!!!
Irishbutterfly
by on Jun. 20, 2007 at 5:43 PM
I think you have awesome boundaries set and a firm grip on what a sponsor is supposed to be.  She may be upset now, but later may understand.  Remember she is still sick.  All too often it is very easy to get sucked into the drama and you sound like you understand this very well.  Don't doubt yourself.  You remind me just from this little bit of a lady in our area who almost every woman looks up too.  Keep that balance. 
jerrrm
by on Jun. 20, 2007 at 9:59 PM
Quoting Danine:

Not to be mean but because when we are sharing personal and moving things with another human being it is natural to build  a relationship with that person and finding that person attractive as well makes for a dilema you know how we are we found the one person who knows us and loves us anyway this is true love, etc...

jerrrm
by on Jun. 20, 2007 at 10:01 PM
This is such a good point for this situation. There is NO WAY that I could have been appropriate with a male sponsor that I thought was attractive. It would have totally kept me from working the steps and being totally honest I was able to get to a meeting tonight, my DH watched the baby so I could go, and I am MUCH more centered now. My sponsee has a gay, male, acquaintance in our group. He seems to have great sobriety and I am going to suggest to her that I think it would be wise if she asked him, or found someone like him, to be her sponsor. I will be her temporary sponsor for the next two weeks while she seeks out the person to work the steps with her. She called back today. We are getting together tomorrow and we will have this conversation face to face at our club. I have learned so much from this experience. It seems like a lot of things have come up in my life lately where I am having to set healthy boundaries. I am really getting the opportunity to grow in this area. I heard someone say the other day that loving yourself is an active process. That has really hit home for me and setting healthy boundaries is a way that I can love myself. I have always been non-confrontational with people that are close to me, and it has caused me a lot of resentment. Really it was me, driven by fear of rejection, that did not say no when I needed to, and me that did not put boundaries in place. I am not saying that I should not sponsor people because it might make me uncomfortable, newcomers are very sick, and that can be uncomfortable. I just need to learn who I can work with, and who I can’t, and be willing to be honest with them and myself about the reality of the situation. I guess that is one of the reasons they say “to thine own self be true. Thank you ladies so much, you ALL really helped me get through the day.
Danine
by Group Owner on Jun. 21, 2007 at 12:54 PM
Isn't ir wonderful how boundaries work and how much we learn and grow from the most uncomfortable situtions. It really sucks at the time but in the long run it so worth it and I have also heard that setting boundaries is a way of saying you love yourself- you have to love and care about yourself enough to set them and stick to them and that is a lot of caring on our part. I bet you have made termindous growth through this- sounds like it already.
Have a great day.
Love ya,
Danine
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)