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They probably know. Hard to hide the elephant in the living room. I have made amends early on that later had to be adjusted cause quit frankly, they were lame. Through the pealing of the onion God showed me where it was needed, and a deeper healing and freedom was experienced by all concerned. When God is at work, more then just me is affected in a positive way.
Since it cost a lot to win, and even more to loose, you and me gotta spend some time just wondering what to choose.
Thanks Bill...I'll be waiting on your BBack so that I can compare it to my own experiences. My amends to my children...now adults in their 40's are on going and include my grand and great-grand children. I don't drink therefore I am different. My children and grand-children know my story (short version) so they know "what it was like for me"; they know I am a lifetime member of the program of AA and therefore know what then happened and they get to have me in the now a full member of the family and different that how it use to be. I don't force myself on them or my sobriety and I am always there for them and always with what I have learned from the fellowship without even having to mention it. The relationships are what they are for today and not all of it is a result of my drinking addiction. They also have their "programs" by habit and by choice and I've learned here and in the program that it's all acceptable to HP, to me and to my sobriety.
Standing by and listening.
Hey Bill! I remember when my 1st wife(married in '65) took our children out of state to Texas(78/79?). I was so buried in child support and really in bad shape. I actaully lived with the kids for a couple years(active) while my wife and her boyfriend got straightened out , they got married and decided to move away.They then had the kids names changed to her husbands name instead of my last name.I felt I had lost the last of them.Though I stayed in phone contact thru the years,sent $$$ on holidays etc ,I didnt get to make face to face amends until a year and a half ago when I flew out to Texas ,with my son from my 3rd marriage (25),who by grace of God is in recovery from heroin addiction after 7 long years of devastation. My children are 45 and 44 and I hadnt seen them since they were like 11 and 12. All those years of guilt,pain sorrow,self flagellation etc.When I finally approached both of them when I flew to Texas I was amazed at the interaction and cried like a baby. Both kids had said, "Dad,you were very sick,you tried your best ,we always loved you and we knew you loved us.The name change dont mean anything you are our father and we are your children always.We live in a prison of our own making in our minds and until we learn to release and communicate our feelings we create even more pain in our hearts.I try and stay closer now then ever,had to do heavy 9th step work with 1st wife,her husband(that went over like lead ballon!!) but it made no difference it needed to be done.I didnt mean to write a diatribe here but I can identify with the pain and the situations,though not quite the same but still close to both our hearts..The God of each of our understandings(my children,their children etc) have allowed us all to heal.I have 4 beautiful grandchildren from those kids and though I am also more remote then I would like to be from them our hearts are joined even though we are miles apart.Get with your Higher Power,share with your sponsor and know in your heart that sometimes the only amends we can make is living our lives in a God centered,spiritual manner working a day at a time,in the principles to move forward and like our primary purpose states"to be of maximum service to God and help others! Hopefully our pain shared ,is pain lessened! I truly wish you peace!
bikerbill wrote:Do they know or need to know tge level of financial support I've provided?
Do they know or need to know tge level of financial support I've provided?
My ESH is that I need to ask myself that who am I trying to help by informing them of the level of my financial aid??
Maybe I am just trying to make myself look good? (Pride) I don't know your answer and I don't need to. Give it some thought and answer it for yourself.
"What other people think of you is none of your business."
Bill, I don't talk to my mother any more, last time I spoke to her I told her I would never speak to her again
If she wrote me a letter....apologizing for harms done, I know for me forgiveness would start settling in my heart, if she said "look at everything I have done for you", or "look at the money I gave you" I would view it as more manipulation, if she wrote how she did the best she could that would resonate with me, that information could even be included if it was pertinant
When I did my 9th step with my father I was about your kids age I started well but it devolved into "well if you would have been a competent father I would have never done those things, we argued back and forth until he finally told me the story of his life, complete and unabridged, how my mother got pregnant with my sister, how young they were, how they married and had me, and how proud he was of me and how much he loved me...he just plainly and honestly told me the story of his life...and there was nothing left to argue about...I might not agreed with his decisions but viewed in context they weren't personal wrongs done to me but the story of a man doing the best he could ...
my relationship with my father slowly got better over the years after that until we had a conversation where he was on his knees, crying, saying he never imagined he would ever be having this conversation with anyone ever, much less his own son, we were on the phone but he was literally on his knees and started crying, and he was saying "I'm so sorry, I wish I would have known then what I know know, I would have done it differently"
My father does NOT cry, I don't remember what the conversation was about even, it was just a deep one between friends that couldn't be closer, so he is apologizing to me, saying he wished he would have done it differently, and I WAS COMFORTING HIM, I was saying "aww dad, it COULDN"T have been different, this happened and that happened" ...when he was saying it I didn't even notice he was saying the things I had wanted him to say MY ENTIRE life...it took me 3 days to realize it, because I didn't need it any more, then of course I turned into a hot mess, but that's another story for another time
My point is, my experience with 9th steps is they work, maybe not how thought they would, or how we want them to, but they set up strange series of events that change our lives
If my mother wrote me a long letter, not just apologizing for wrongs done in a transparent effort to manipulate me for an emotional response, but telling me how much she loved me, and maybe almost in a "what it was like, what happened, and what it's like now" format with the same honesty we show at an AA meeting it would fracture the ice around my heart, now I don't know what I would do, as in I wouldn't run off and be friends with her in her little lala land, but at the very least she would get forgiveness from me for harms done
it's not the change that's painful, it's the resistance to change that is painful
Aloha Bill...My kids know today and the information is on going as I remain in recovery. I don't apologize for stuff again that I did before the last apology. I did the very best I could with what the program gave me and I trust that. My amends is that I no longer live like I use to ...think, act, react, feel and the like as before. I am different and who I have become in recovery is very acceptable to my value systems and to my higher power and so far my entire community. The amends has been made and continues to be lived.
Like Mike it is important that they get to do their part...whatever part that is. They get (like me) to make choices about their actions and lives based upon their value systems, wants and needs. With Dr. Paul's suggestion on page 449 of the 3rd edition of the Big Book I practice acceptance of it all and I am okay with the turn out for today.
My eldest son and I have a better relationship than in the past where he was telling himself to stay away from this scarey man and I later on was divorcing him out of my life because his drinking and using had reached near terminal stages as mine had.
Today he and the rest of the siblings and I have the same Father who we turn to for direction...We have different names for this Father...I often call mine HP or Akua and they more often call Him God of their religion and it all is acceptable. One day at a time recovery progresses and we all get to cross over the bridge. I no longer have the inclination to blow this bridge up.
Pain is a teacher...stay at your desk.
bikerbill wrote:I was told early on when making amends, do it once and do it right. Now the but. After nearly 5 years, now the but.It's been suggested that my amends to my adult children need a little bit of a coda.The initial amends are ok. The ongoing amends are to stay out of their lives but apparently I should explain that part of the ongoing amends includes staying sober such that I don't repeat previous behavior.Well I don't know. Do my adult children know I'm an alkie that doesn't drink no more? Do they need to know? Do they know or need to know tge level of financial support I've provided?I'll discuss this further with my sponsor later but would like some feedback from you guys.
I was told early on when making amends, do it once and do it right. Now the but. After nearly 5 years, now the but.It's been suggested that my amends to my adult children need a little bit of a coda.The initial amends are ok. The ongoing amends are to stay out of their lives but apparently I should explain that part of the ongoing amends includes staying sober such that I don't repeat previous behavior.Well I don't know. Do my adult children know I'm an alkie that doesn't drink no more? Do they need to know? Do they know or need to know tge level of financial support I've provided?I'll discuss this further with my sponsor later but would like some feedback from you guys.
I'd make the amends anyway, regardless of the outcome. The point here is to "make an amends" not to worry over how it's received. Some of my family members did not accept my amends for various "other" reasons - unbeknownst to myself. The reason I made the amends was to move on with my life not theirs. I need to feel forgiven for the mistakes I made while drinking and making an amends helped me do that. The only time I didn't make an amends was for various other reasons, some of which are included in step 9; like to those people who could be injured or others I lost contact with. Otherwise, I did and I suggest anyone who hasn't -just yet, would do the same.
The main reason why we clean house is to begin the process of moving on with our lives, far beyond the pages of our active alcoholism and those we have hurt. Step 12 sums up the experience this way: "Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps". The spiritual antidote they are referring to has the capacity to break the chains of hopelessness and despair and can enlighten us with God's purpose for our lives, as the prospect of lasting sobriety becomes more of a reality and not just an illusion. This was my epiphany, as I reached that threshold to my newness of life. Making the amends is an integral part of the "recovery process" which was the springboard to my "spiritual awakening" and can be yours too -one step at a time.