4th Step quandry. Molestated as a child… | 12 Step Meetings and Anonymous Groups - Part 2

4th Step quandry. Molestated as a child…

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    It’s part of your story, you consider it important, so you write it down without making a novelette of the occurance. Just the facts and omit any justification or rationalization.

    Sounds like it’s been in the past a handy excuse for your adult difficulties. I had a lot of the same stuff without being molested by another child.



    @PaleMale 2843406 wrote:

    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.

    These character defects are what the 4th Step is about. How do we become relieved of these defects of character not necessarily how did they occur in the first place.

    I too was molested as a child but by my own father. He is still living and I am sure still molesting children since he molested all 3 of my other sisters. The statute of limitations had long since passed by the time I got sober and was able to confront these issues.

    What my 4th Step taught me was that I do not have to forgive and condone what he has done but I do have to let go of the resentments I have that keep me powerless, shameful, and miserable. I had to put an end to his control over me. To do that I had to accept that he is a human being with faults, does that minimize the damage he has done? No of course not but what it does is helps me realize he is a sick person, just like someone with a communicable disease such as AIDS. He has a choice on whether to spread that disease or to respect others enough to stop the spread of the disease. He unfortunately will not stop. I can not control what choices he makes in life only whether I choose to let that disease kill me, keep me in pain and misery.

    Today I choose to let the disease go, I can not change how it affects my life today but I can change how I react to it. When those feelings of shame arise I have to remember that I have nothing to feel shameful for, I am standing up and not allowing the disease to control my life, there is no shame in that. I could not control or stop what happened to me when I was a child and someone in authority took advantage of the situation but I can stop and control how I let it affect me today by letting go of the anger and resentments, guilt and shame. I do this by adding the offender to my 4th Step inventory. Regardless of what was done to me I am responsible for how I deal with it. I can continue to live in shame/fear/resentment or work the Steps around the problem and be live free from the bondage that these things bring with them. Because of my 4th Step I am able to realize when those feelings hit that I am allowing him to control me once again, take a minute to realize he is sick, and change my view to that of sympathy for his illness. Who knows what his life would have been like if it was not ruled by his disease. That is not to say I condone what was done as I do not.

    Today I do not have contact with him. I have minimal contact with my mother because she made the choice to stay with him in spite of everything being brought to light. The disease has torn my family apart. My brother moved out of the country and has lived a half a world away for over ten years now. My oldest sister and I did not speak for years and only now are developing a relationship. My other older sister and I do not speak the same goes for my youngest sister. I don’t even know where she lives or have contact info for her.

    What I am saying is list him in your 4th Step inventory. Write out what character defects come to light related to the situation. Then work on changing those defects of character. Basically not changing that which you can not change, i.e. the events, but rather learning to change the way you react to them.

    I am by no means perfect and have good and bad days with this as I believe things like this change our core being and have an effect on the rest of our lives but we can choose to make that a negative or positive by how we choose to deal with the pain.



    Wow. I am SO glad I stumbled accross this thread.

    I was not molested but my daughters were by their father after he took them at a very young age with the help of his family and joined a chruch that I later found out to have cult characteristics (and more recently I found to be considered a cult by those who study religious cults).

    Really long story short, I have lived with the resentment, guilt and shame from this for almost 3 decades. While my daughters have recovered from this atrotiousness in their lives, I have not. It’s so bad sometimes that I have a hard time even looking at pictures of my daughters that were taken at the ages that they were molested/abused. I tend to see in those pictures hurt and scared little girls behind the beautiful smiles. I get shaky and emotional just typing this. I think even more than growing up with an alcoholic dad and having extreme feelings of abandonment, what happened to my babies is at the root of a lot – if not most – of why I’m so screwed up and needed to change the way I feel with drugs and alcohol. The feelings are unbearable.

    It’s my turn to get well.

    I was wondering how this horrendous event fits into the fourth step which I’m writing now. This thread helps me see the purpose of it in a new light.

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