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- January 25, 2017 at 3:52 pm #3745156
Going though the 4th step work, this has come up. I have been somewhat stuck on the 4th step in a few ways, but this in particular has me asking questions.
As a young child I was molested by a much older child. This fact I think has affected my struggles with the RIDs (restless, irritable and discontent) and while the event had nothing whatsoever to do with my selfishness, guilt and shame at the time, it has contributed to unhappiness (RID) as an adult.
I can trace later emotionally abusive relationships back to the complex emotions brought on by those childhood events, which have since contributed to drinking problems and “character defects.”
I have also just realized, the steps don’t really take into account such abuses, taunting/bullying or crimes done to us, generally.
It seems things like this are ‘anti-humiliation’. Does this belong in the 4th step? If not then where else in the program?
ThanksJanuary 25, 2017 at 4:20 pm #4852938
It obviously concerns you since you are asking. Why not put it down, discuss it when you do Step 5, then let it go? Do the best you can, now, and go forward.January 25, 2017 at 6:21 pm #4852941
Ah, ya see Pale, I think they DO take that very stuff into account.
and bear in mind, a resentment is a feeling that we continue to re-feel nothing more, nothing less
P65 & 66 for example: (my paraphrase and my underlines)
(after writing the first 3 columns of the 4th step) When we were finished we considered it carefully. The first thing apparent was that this world and its people were often quite wrong. (ie. the person who molested you). To conclude that others were wrong was as far as mot of us ever got. The usual outcome was that we stayed sore. ….. It’s plain that a life which includes deep resentment leads only to futility and unhappiness. (ie: it has contributed to unhappiness (RID) as an adult.) To the precise extent that we permit these, do we squander the hours that might have been worthwhile. …. If we were to live, we had to be free of anger. …We turned back to the list, for it held the key to the future. We were prepared to look at it from an entirely different angle. We began to see that the world and it’s people really dominated us. In that state, the wrong-doing of others, fancied or real, had power to actually kill. How could we escape? …these resentments must be mastered but how?
….from there, I’ll leave it to you to read from “This was our course…..” and on. The tough part is being willing TO look at those things from a different angle. If we’re willing to try but can’t seem to find a way to do that, we’re instructed to ask God to help us show them the same tolerance, pity, and patience that we would cheerfully grand a sick friend. A little further on we’re told that if we’re still having “issues” we as God to show us how to take a kindly and tolerant view of them.
Certainly, the toughest part is “putting out of our minds the wrongs others had done, we resolutely looked for our own mistakes.” As a little child you may not HAVE made any mistakes to put yourself into that predicament. As an adult though, we’re all guilty of re-playing those old events from out past…..over and over…..and getting “sicker” as a result. Emmet Fox would call that “granting safe harbor to destructive thoughts,” the BB would call is living in a resentment……same deal.
If you’re like me, especially when I think I’ve got my hands on a justified resentment, I don’t let go easily…… it consumes me and my thinking……and before long, my actions display my internal sickness…… I get more and more upset and depressed. Part of the insanity spoken about in step 2 is my old belief that it was OK to not take action…to think I didn’t have to do my part to stop that destructive thinking. I always held my breath or just tried to wait for it to go away on it’s own. Sometimes it would…..but a lot of times it stuck around. And there I was…..living in it……wallowing in it……beating my own self up with my constant thoughts about some event in the past that I had no power to change anymore. To add insult to injury, once I realized what I was doing, I’d get down on myself for being down…..then I’d get down on myself for getting down on myself for being down….then I’d…heh, you get the picture. It’s a nasty snowball rolling downhill, gathering speed and mass as it goes.
……so yeah…..absolutely goes in a 4th step. 🙂 Remember, the drinking is just a symptom of much deeper emotional, mental and spiritual damage. The more I write and the less I think about what I don’t “need” to write about, the more productive my 4th steps have been.
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