Wednesday, October 03, 2007

2007-09-09 A Monday Night at AACA -- You Earn Quite a Lot

I scribbled the Moleskine base for this image a month ago at an Al Anon Adult Children of Alcoholics (AACA) meeting.

One of the women who shared told us about a male boss of hers who told her, 'You earn quite a lot... for a woman.'

That was in response to her asking for a raise.

I've actually been taking a break from AACA for the past month. I've been finding that the twelve steps not only don't work for me, but that they actively work against me.

I've been going for somewhere close to a year. And getting to know quite a lot of the personalities there. And my observation is that most people there are in a holding pattern. They're stuck in the misery of their current lives through a focus on the misery of their past hardships.

I don't see a hell of a lot of evidence of progress or growth. I don't see a hell of a lot of evidence that people are in therapy, that they're taking control of their own destinies. I see micro insights which seem to be snuffed out by the next session.

Naturally, these are my own observations, biased by my own particular worldview. I believe in the power of therapy, for instance. I don't believe in religion as an ordering force in my life.

At the same time, while I'm certain AACA is EXTREMELY valuable to many people, as it was for me at the beginning, I need to surround myself with growing people. Not people who seem to me to be holding themselves back. Cos I don't want to be held back by myself.

One of the things that typifies an adult child of abuse is that we tend to collude with other people's 'needs'. So, if a room of people 'needs' one to appear to be failing, an adult child of abuse tends to fulfill that need. Either by acting as if they are failing. Or by sabotaging themselves so that they ACTUALLY fail.

And while I'm certain that AACA people all WANT each other to succeed and flourish, there's an undercurrent created by the steps themselves that says, 'Thou shalt not succeed. It's not in the council approved literature.'

So I'm deeply ambivalent about it.

But I like the doodles.

This painting originated as a pen on paper sketch in my Moleskine. I scanned it, then coloured it in ArtRage 2.5 on my Toshiba Tecra M4 tablet pc.

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