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Excellent post! There are a lot of alcoholics and other substance abusers in my family. Many of them are dealing with trauma and/or mental illness in addition to the addiction. Addressing the addiction without addressing the trauma and/or mental illness is a recipe for relapse. While I think support groups can be helpful, this points out a major issue with a sponsor/sponsee relationship. Someone is given an authority of sorts with no correlating responsibility or accountability. I've been to a number of AlAnon meetings (the group for families). Personally I found people used platitudes like "put a little gratitude in your attitude" or "when you point a finger, there are 3 pointing back at you." As the child of 2 alcoholics, one of whom also likely has Narcissistic Personality Disorder, I was never free to express my anger or sadness over my family situation. While anger and sadness can cause one to get "stuck", expressing them in a healthy and constructive way is part of what I've needed to heal. The platitudes were such a turnoff, I didn't stay long enough to get a sponsor.
Thank you so much for sharing your insights on scapegoating. I have found your series of posts on the issue very helpful. I'm integrating the information as a sort of emotional checklist for myself. Thanks again. is now following The Typepad Team
Jan 31, 2010