Master is in the midst of His court-ordered rehab and "recovery" program. Each week, He attends a continuing care group -- phase two of the intensive outpatient rehabilitation program that meets on Tuesday mornings. He is required, as a condition of that program to attend two AA meetings each week -- one on Thursday evening and one on Saturday afternoon. In addition, He chooses to meet with His therapist on a weekly schedule.
He goes to continuing care and to AA, and He really does work to participate fully and consciously in the goings on -- even though there remains a very great part of the whole business that is entirely contrary to His belief system and His intellectual understanding of the world and universe. He has learned that He does not need to try to battle with others about their acceptance of all that AA religiosity and cliched mumbo jumbo, but He often feels oppressed and beleaguered by the pervasive "god" based responses He gets to whatever He expresses. If He struggles, if He is sad or depressed, if He is confused or frustrated, if He is scared -- the forever and only answer seems to be to "pray and turn it all over to god." He comes home from meetings and from group feeling worse than He was when He left home; and they make it clear to Him that His feeling that way is His fault because, in their view, He isn't "doing it right."
I want to be supportive and I want to help Him through these days and weeks and months, and I am frustrated that the resources which we are required to use to navigate all of this are so completely unresponsive to the FACT that their view of life doesn't work for Him, or for us. He comes home and He seems so sad and so wounded and so hurt by it all, and I just want to grab them all and shake them.
Tonight, as I lay in bed with Him snuggled in beside me, reviewing the last couple of weeks and all of the times He's been disappointed and rejected by groups that are supposed to be "helping" Him, I found myself formulating a vision of what I wish could happen the very next time someone lays that "pray and turn it all over to god" voodoo on Him. I wish it could all go something like this...
AA groupie -- All you have to do, for whatever obstacle or worry or pain you are experiencing, is pray everyday and turn it all over to god.
Master -- I don't pray.
AA groupie -- GASP! What?!?!? How can you say you don't pray?
Master -- I don't pray because I don't believe in your god.
AA groupie -- but you have to turn your life over to your higher power.
Master -- My higher power is the Great Blue Heron totem and the spirits of the Mohican people from whom I am descended at the very root of my being. I have learned who I am, and I intend to learn to follow their ways.
AA groupie -- How can they help you learn to be a good old drunk? How will they help you when you relapse? I think you are just fooling yourself into believing you are something better than the rest of us -- but you will regret that thinking. You are nothing but a drunk and that is all you will ever be.
Master -- No. I am not a drunk. I am sober. I have chosen to be sober, and I intend to remain sober. I am not a drunk. I am a man, and I am in full possession of my faculties. I am healthy and strong and good. I made mistakes, but I have learned and I will live my life in keeping with the strength and majesty and wonder and beauty of the Native spirits who speak to me across the centuries and the powerful totem of the Great Blue Heron. I do not begrudge any one of you the path that you have chosen, and I wish you well, but I will follow my path to my own life and the reclamation of my sanity and my power.
I doubt that conversation will happen that way. It probably isn't prudent for Him to do that with these narrow minded and sometimes vindictive and nasty folks. He is in a position where He has to play their game for the next number of months. Still, I wish I could hand Him that script -- or one very like it -- that would give Him back His voice and His vision and His life. The words they are teaching Him are destructive and untrue. I want to give Him back His best and truest self. Sadly, I am only one woman. Sadly, I am labeled as a "normal" by those AA groupies. I don't talk the talk and I won't walk the walk, and they would declare that I am a codependent mess. I've worked really hard to see the world the way they see it; to translate their weird religion into something I can use. It doesn't work, and it is destroying the Man I love and serve. I am done. I will tell Him the story that I believe from now on, and I will not echo their nonsense any longer. If that is wrong in His view, then perhaps He will tell me that. Until that happens, my voice will be heard around here.