Why Do Some Members Defensively Whitewash Alcoholics Anonymous?

Why Whitewash anything for that matter?

Definition of Whitewash:  To ignore any imperfection, shortcoming, or flaw.  To view a person, place, or thing, as flawless.

Addicts are not bad people trying to get good.  They are sick people trying to get well first and foremost.

In my interactions with various Facebook recovery groups I have noticed a pattern that emerges often in threads.  With diligence members cannot accept one tither of negative information in, about, or around their program of A.A.  And God forbid I make a remark about one of our founding fathers being wrong, making a mistake, or acting out in character defects.  Oh hell no!  The members scream from their hot keyboards as they spit and fume while rambling out their reaction to a perceived insult.

If in recovery you have grown past this mentality I commend you.  It’s far from easy to do so.  It takes excruciating, skin peeling, personal alchemy to come from being a defensive, low self worth human to a self confident, I am what God intended me to be, accepting, imperfect human.

So what then?  Everyone knows addicts are the kings of manipulations and ego puffing.  We all know that we are well versed in dishonest efforts made to get what we think we need.  Fending off the dreaded drug withdrawal we would go to many extreme measures to get money and drugs.

And oh what egos we have!  Why is it our egos are so fricking large?  Because the ego picks up where the broken heart leaves off.  Our hearts are broken because we have been taught that we are lesser people.  We were taught we were inferior children by some adult and we believed it.  Shame hurts so we must bury it.  We lack self esteem so for emotional survival sake our ego kicks in to save us from annihilation and suicide.

Does this mean we have not wronged others along the way?  No.  Am I negating a need for a fourth step. No this is another topic. I say we were told we were bad way before we wronged our first victim.  I say that usually and firstly we were victims and don’t usually know it.

We push ahead!  We know where to get our perks by god!  So the young and beautiful women and men dance forward using their looks as their tool of self worth.  Sex, sex, and more sex for control and manipulation.  Pressing on we twist our relationships into co dependent interactions where the one who convinces us we are beautiful wins the prize.  We are often attracted to the sickest person in a room of 1,000 addicts.  And if we don’t somehow stop the pattern then the older we get the blinder we get.  When our beauty fades our denial must grow stronger, we can’t take the implications emotionally so we deny, deny, deny.  And it’s not our fault.  We were simply never taught emotional skills that work.  Blessed are those who know their own value and limitations.  AND WE ARE OF VALUE!  God don’t make junk my friend.

But onward in the fight!  We hit the fairy tale phase of a relationship and we demand that it never ends.  And if it does by god it’s THEIR fault!  So we go from a whitewashed fairy tale (found my soul mate) relationship into a deep dungeon of legal and binding restraining orders and assault and battery charges that put the dys in the function.  We experience brutal breakups.  Rejection and abandonment are our poison.  Why?  Because they scream at us this:  “You are worthless, ugly, you don’t matter, your not worth loving!”  This is our plight.  This is our history.  But don’t tell an addict this, he will deny it all the way to the courthouse.

Addicts have one thing vastly in common.  They believe that the world and everyone in it is better than them.  They believe they are bad and wrong no matter what they do.  That is what is in their heart because that’s what they were taught as children (which they likely don’t remember).  They/we also believe we have an audience who we must impress.  If we impress the audience THEN AND ONLY THEN we will be GOOD PEOPLE who are loved, if only for a minute.

When you start the day with an audience and the world revolves around your belly button you take on some serious burdens to keep up appearances.  After all the world is watching.  Right?  We must look good to the world.  We must not EVER let them know who and what we really are. (bad & wrong lower class humans).

So given all that we enter the program of AA to recover from alcohol and drugs.  There is one PRIMARY reason to numb ourselves emotionally.  That one reason is so we don’t feel ashamed.  We are so ashamed because we are LESSER THAN and wrong.  Going through life with this fear dominating our actions you’re damn right we get dysfunctional.

Our false self esteem attaches us to any person place or thing we side with and any program we are in.  So we must white-wash these people and programs because is they are not perfect to our audience it is a direct reflection on us and not in a good way.  IF AA ISN’T REGARDED AS PERFECT THEN IT’S AN INSULT TO US because we have wrapped up our false and only self worth into it.

Say Bill W. missed a few things in his writings OMG!  No that’s an insult to me.

Say that people take advantage of other people in AA.  Oh no!  That’s an insult to me personally.  All AA’s are perfect right?

They whitewash AA because their reputation and ego depends on it.

Solution:  Grow real self worth by working hard at step 12 and the rest.  AA has a splendid platform for building new self worth by step 12 (if we work the rest of the steps diligently).  And oh ya, if you don’t get a good therapist as well your chances of realizing core issues like the one’s I have mentioned could be slim.

 

Author: Lori E.

I love to write. I hope recoveryfarmhouse makes somebodies day a little brighter.