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Val123's avatar

Have you ever known someone who entered the 12 step program for alcoholism, but they conviently skip a step or two?

Asked by Val123 (12586 points ) November 2nd, 2009

Like they don’t ever get around to asking you for forgiveness for all of the horrible, trashy nasty things they did and said to you when they’d been drinking.

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27 Answers

Samurai's avatar

If you relapse, you have to restart the steps most likely, but I’m pretty sure your allowed to skip certain ones if you do. If its your first time its considered absolute that you do all the steps.

loser's avatar

It sounds like you’ve been hurt by an alcoholic who has joined AA. You might want to consider a group like AlAnon for help with dealing with your hurt feelings. Things that were said or done to you by someone who was drunk may not even be remembered so you may never be asked for forgiveness.

trailsillustrated's avatar

nah they’ve forgotten all that stuff. so you have to, also

fundevogel's avatar

I couldn’t get past #2 which requires that I belive in some sort of “Power” that could magically “restore my sanity”. Twelve steps is definitely not aimed at atheists or agnostics. Fortunately there are other programs that don’t include the spiritual submission the 12 step programs do.

I’m don’t think that asking everyone for forgiveness is all its cracked up to be either. Sure, apologize and talk about it with people that really matter, but no need to go hunting for someone that doesn’t want to have anything to do with you. That’s just disrespectful of their feelings.

And they shouldn’t just apologize to complete a step anyway, that’s insincere.

JasonsMom08's avatar

This was the plot of a Seinfeld episode! George was mad at some guy who was going through recovery because he never got his apology for stretching out his sweater. LOL

Val123's avatar

@Samurai and @loser It was my sister, and it’s been years and years and years since she went through AA. She hurt herself and my Mom more than anyone, but she did some crappy things to me too. I can really blow it off. My only point is, what does it say about a person who brags about being in AA, and everything involved, but they never bother to apologize to anyone for the things they did? That is one of the most important steps, from what I understand.

@trailsillustrated Don’t assume that this is currently happening. It was just prompted by one of the questions. The issue in my situation was a loooong time ago. She’s done even worse things to me since went through AA, but while she was in AA she talked about it all the time (as in “See how great I am,) and constantly talked about the steps…. I don’t think about it, except to wonder how she could justify not completing that step. I never expected an apology, but it makes me curious. Is she still making BS excuses?

Val123's avatar

@JasonsMom08 Ok! That’s petty. the things she did to me, and to others in the family was substantially more serious than that. And, as I said, knowing my sister I never expected an apology, and don’t really care that I didn’t get one But NO ONE got an apology! I don’t get it.

trailsillustrated's avatar

it might help them stop the drinking but it might not change their personality, who they are. and who she is may be someone that doesn’t always think about other people. my sister is an alchoholic too, she’s done some horrendous things to me- but were still good friends- you have to adjust your expectations

Likeradar's avatar

@Val123 Do you think your sister remembers the things she did to you? This might be a terrible idea, but what about taking her out for lunch or coffee and in a completely friendly, nonaccusatory way, talking to her about how she hurt you?

avvooooooo's avatar

Sure. People who aren’t serious about getting better do it all the time.

Val123's avatar

@trailsillustrated That’s the best answer yet. It just seemed hypocritical to us. During and after the program that’s all she talked about was the 12 steps and how great it was and how great she was and how we all sucked, and how we’re all drunks (although I didn’t drink at the time!) and yadda yadda! Left us all scratching our heads. But you nailed it. It didn’t change her personality, and even worse, she never really changed her behavior.
@avvooooooooo Another really good observation. That explains it too!

@Likeradar Well, yeah. I mean, when you wake up in your sister’s house next to some guy you brought home, and your sister asks you not to do that again out of consideration for her small children, and you do it again the next night (only you remember to bring an alarm clock that time!) when you wake up again, you can have a pretty good idea that maybe you did something wrong.
And anyway, no, it’s water long gone under the bridge. It didn’t really bother me then that she never apologized (pissed me off at the time when she brought the guy home that second night, but she left that next day) and it doesn’t bother me now. Just seems hypocritical. Also, no going to lunch. She lives in 2000 miles from here, where she and Mom moved when she was only 16. I was19 so we lost a lot. We aren’t at all close. In fact, I haven’t spoken to her in two years, since my Mom died. I called her the next morning to see how she was, and her first and only reaction was to scream at me about how she was going to sue me for $4000 that I had borrowed from Mom and hadn’t been able to pay back! It was sickening! I haven’t spoken to her since. Have no desire to.

I only asked the question because two questions popped up yesterday that made me think of this. One was about the 12 step program, and a completely unrelated one about forgiveness. Just thought I’d throw this out. It’s really nothing terribly personal for me, and it’s not an ongoing issue. It’s never BEEN an issue, really. Just thought I’d ask.

trailsillustrated's avatar

my sister is lucky I didn’t break her neck, I didn’t speak to her for a long time, and my other sister will never speak to her again, but , if you manage your expectations, then you can deal with them in a way that works for both of you. I think alot of these people will never apologise, your sister sounds like a ‘dry drunk’ -

Val123's avatar

@trailsillustrated Uh huh! Exactly. She was no different afterward than she was before. In many ways she was worse! She got so arrogant and self righteous, you know!?
I’m glad you were able to work things out for you and your sister. I would give anything to be able to work things out with my sisters. We were just a dysfunctional family. We wound up getting all split up when we were relatively young, and I don’t think they feel that family bond the way most brothers and sisters do.

trailsillustrated's avatar

even though my sister claims not to drink, she is still very wierd ( I don’t know how she’ll ever get a job), her conversation is all about her, her, her- gets old- I spend limited amounts of time with her, talk on the phone- ( when she calls you say hello, the first thing she says is, ohhhmyyyygod, then rambles on and on, never a how are you doing? I’m like, whatever, when I’m bored I say I gotta go.

Val123's avatar

@trailsillustrated I think we have the same sister! EXACTLY that. And if you tried to sneak in a word about yourself, she’d just roll over it with an, “Oh.” and get right back on herself. About how great she is. About all of the wisdom and insight she’s gaining. It’s like she’s on an acid trip or something,and she’s seeing and understanding things no one else ever possibly could!

I wonder what causes such behavior? It does make it difficult to function in society…

trailsillustrated's avatar

my other sister and my husband too are convinced its some sort of a narccistic personality thing. she is incredibly socially inept, and everyone notices it but her. It used to make me furious, as she was always the first one to rat me out, tell everyone stuff I didn’t want out there, etc. etc. Now it’s just kind of sad, she’s 50, no job, and still carrying on like this. we are close because I want to be. I am close to everyone in my family, because its important to me, she hasn’t got any friends, if anything happened to her I’d be devastated. I feel like she needs someone, so .. I listen to her. I loan her money- she never pays it back- but I keep a distance, too.

Val123's avatar

Exactly. She’d blurt out things to the family that I’d told her in private. What was she like as a kid? My sister was just the sweetest thing (except for the time when we lived in Florida and she pushed me off the dock. I grabbed one of the pier posts and cut my legs all up on barnacles! Which was stupid because I could swim! She was, like, 3 at the time!) Other than that, she’d do anything for her older sisters. She started losing it in 6th grade when I heard she’d been caught smoking on the playground. The WORST thing was my folks wouldn’t do anything about it. My Dad usually ignored things for the most part, leaving all of the disciplinary stuff to Mom. Well, Mom got to the point where she was so pissed off at my Dad it was like, “Well, I’m not going to do anything either, and see how you like that!” I used to get so frustrated over that. She also got the worst of the marriage blowing up, since she was the youngest. But….all that aside, there is something…there’s something else there, and I don’t know what it is.
My sister is 47. A few years ago she got her degree from the Seminary. Yes. The Seminary! She’s a woman of GOD!!! Which gives her even more reason to be righteous.

trailsillustrated's avatar

wow the seminary? you know, I really think its a narcisstic personality disorder. I dont know how it develops-maybe the drinking- but yeah- when she was young she was drop-dead beautiful, got away with alot and dated alot, lots of drugs and alcohol at a young age, just never seemed to snap out of the me me me thing. really wierd.

Val123's avatar

Exactly the same. Drugs and sex at 13. Even her stoner friends were worried about how many drugs she took! Yeah, she just never snapped out of it….

trailsillustrated's avatar

so don’t expect her to! but in the big picture, you might want to say hi to her once in a while, it’s really sad for family to be totally estranged..

Val123's avatar

I don’t expect her too. I don’t expect anything from her! I wish I felt that I could call her, but she just…it just can’t happen. I’ve called in the past, and within seconds she’s ranting and screaming about…stuff. Stuff that doesn’t even have anything to do with me! I mean, she’s screaming at the top of her lungs! It’s too stressful.
It is very sad.

trailsillustrated's avatar

it is sad I’m sorry for you and her, but , things may change in future- doubt it but they might- scary I hope she hasn’t any tender souls at her mercy!

Val123's avatar

No! She doesn’t! Thank heavens! There was a point where she was talking about having a baby, and we all hit our knees! I can’t even begin to imagine…does your sister have kids?

trailsillustrated's avatar

yes and her daughter got pregnant when she was 17, blah blah and all the stuff that goes with that. I try to help grrr….my sister said to me, you wait’ll this happens to your daughter! (13 years old) ..I just try to help, can’t do much but give her money for x-mas and birthdays (the daughter)..

Val123's avatar

Oh, that’s so sad…..That was another trait my sister had too. It wasn’t just her. Everyone was like her, we were just in denial and she was enlightened. In other words, your sister wants to believe that fact that her 17 year getting pregnant wasn’t largly due to the way she raised her, but it’s what happens to ALL 17 year olds.

trailsillustrated's avatar

‘kids these days’- we both lost custody for the same reason, but she is sort of stuck in her same old behaviour- ( I know she drinks in secret, I can tell when she calls me), she has always treated her daughter more like a friend than a kid, telling her all her problems, etc. I didn’t get a chance to do that, but wouldn’t have anyway, I think her poor daughter has been lonely for so long, feeling like she has to prop up her mum.

avvooooooo's avatar

@Val123 Want me to smack her? I can get a good swing goin’... :D

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