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By | May 14, 2012 127 Comments

Do not marry a murderer

William Balfour, 31, of Chicago, was found guilty last week of murdering Darnell Donerson, Jason Hudson and Julian King. They were the mother, brother and nephew of singer and actress Jennifer Hudson.

In my opinion, this case was a tragedy, but a preventable tragedy. Julia Hudson, Jennifer’s older sister, brought Balfour into the family when she married him. If she hadn’t married this man, it obviously wouldn’t have happened.

Jennifer Hudson was the first witness in the murder trial. She testified that the entire family was against Julia’s relationship with Balfour. “None of us wanted her to marry him. We did not like how he treated her,” she stated in court.

Julia secretly married William Balfour anyway in December 2006.

Who is William Balfour?

William Balfour is one of those people who was dealt a bad hand in life, and made it worse.

It seems that his family history includes sociopathy. His father was convicted of murder and sentenced to 30 years. His maternal grandmother went to prison for manslaughter. His mother was physically abusive to Balfour and his older brother.

Balfour himself had an extensive juvenile record, ran away from shelters and relatives’ homes, dropped out of school in ninth grade and joined a gang. At age 17, he stole a car with the owner clinging to the hood and crashed it into a telephone pole. He was convicted of attempted murder.

Read Hudson murder suspect led grim life before slayings, on RedEyeChicago.com.

Hook up

When William Balfour got out of prison in 2006, he hooked up with Julia Hudson, whom he knew from elementary school.

I can imagine how that seduction went:

“Julia, baby, you are so fine ”¦ if I was with a woman like you, I could turn my life around ”¦ you know I never had a chance ”¦ my dad was locked up as long as I can remember ”¦ my mom used to beat me and my brother ”¦ she actually gave us up, said she didn’t want us around any more ”¦ mothers are supposed to love you, but my mother never showed me any love ”¦ you’re a woman who knows how to love, I can just tell ”¦ yeah, I used to be wild, but I did my time, and now I’m ready for a new life ”¦  with you at my side, I’ll be a new man ”¦ I know I can do it ”¦ c’mon, baby, I really want to make something of myself ”¦ but I can’t do it without you ”¦ you know I love you, and you love me ”¦ there’s no reason for us to wait ”¦ “

I’m sure Balfour laid it on thick. He probably anticipated that if he hooked up with Julia Hudson, he’d be on the gravy train, because Julia’s sister was an actress ”¦ a movie star ”¦ a celebrity ”¦ and rich.

When Julia Hudson no longer wanted Balfour around, my guess is that not only was he outraged to lose control of her, but he was also outraged to lose the gravy train.

Reasons

Yes, William Balfour never had a chance in life. I recognize that he came from the mean streets of Chicago, as did Julia Hudson. She could have felt sorry for him. But she didn’t have to marry him.

Many Lovefraud readers have accepted as romantic partners people with serious life issues—including arrests, convictions, addictions and other problems. Why did they do it? Here are some of the reasons I’ve heard:

  • Everyone deserves a second chance.
  • I felt sorry for him (her).
  • I believed I could change him (her).
  • I just knew there was a good person inside him (her).
  • I believe in the power of love.
  • I’m a Christian, and I believe people can repent.
  • He (she) needed me.
  • He (she) just needed unconditional love.
The relationships were disastrous. No how much unconditional love was provided, it was overwhelmed by manipulation, deceit and exploitation.

Disqualifications for marriage

The purpose of marriage is a life partnership, in which both spouses support each other. Marriage is not social work. Therefore, if you are searching for a spouse, I recommend eliminating anyone with the following characteristics or history:

  1. Conviction for murder or attempted murder
  2. History of domestic violence
  3. Conviction for fraud, theft or property crimes
  4. Drug dealing or manufacturing
  5. No apparent income or means of financial support
  6. Pathological lying
  7. Failure to support children
  8. Controlling behavior
  9. Outbursts of rage
  10. Suffered abuse as a child, combined with any of the above.

Do not delude yourself into thinking that your relationship will be different, your love is special, you can change the person. Yes, sometimes people can turn themselves around. But do you want to bet your life on this person, and the lives of your family and friends?

UPDATE:

Newlywed, still in wedding dress, found stabbed to death in tub, on ChicagoTribune.com.


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Ox Drover

Donna A GREAT AND USEFUL ARTICLE.

“Marriage is not social work!” What an [email protected] WOW! that is sure the truth!

I would personally add to your lists of disqualifications for a RELATIONSHIP/Marriage would be 1. dishonesty, 2) any past felony charge serious enough to go to prison (statistically that would give them a PCL-R of on average 22, but still a 25% chance of being a P) (3) Any significant use of alcohol, and ANY drug use

Unconditional love as I think I’ve shown is pretty much reserved for God’s love for us and our love for our infants. You may love your baby no matter what the defects it is born with, but to continue to “love” UN-conditionally an adult/child who is seriously trying to hurt or kill you would require you to stand there and not flinch.

The best indicator of future behavior is past behavior.

While human beings can change, few of us really do, without understanding ourselves and putting a great deal of commitment into that change. It’s just like stopping smoking or stopping booze or any other addiction, we fall back into the “same old pattern” pretty quickly.

Truthspeak

Donna, what a superb article – and, a very, very tragic end.

Your reasons for why I allowed the first exspath were spot-on….simply 100% Truthful and honest.

Deal-breakers – YES…..any of those issues are good enough reason to not even give a second glance! The only other thing that I would add to that list would be: “Need for pity.”

PITY is one of the main reasons that I gathered up the first exspath. He was broken, sad, lost, and had SUCH a wretched childhood. Surely, he “deserved” a chance to realize his true potential! And, I was going to “Be The One” to HELP him! His love for me and himself would be the driving force behind a desire to realize his true potential and become a great human being!

Well…..he did become great! He became a great abuser on every level, and a cunning manipulator. So, with me….he really DID realize his true potential, didn’t he?

Goal accomplished!

G1S

I would add non-recovering addicts-any type.

My S mother was not happy that I broke up with my alcoholic fiancé.

Incredulous, I sputtered back, “But he’s an alcoholic. You want me married to a drunk?”

Her answer? “So what? At least you’d be married.”

If the person is in recovery, go cautiously and do not go with someone who is new to recovery (less than 7 or 8 years.) It takes a very long to change a lifetime of conditioning.

And even then, you need to be cautious. There are those who are “talking the talk, not walking the walk.”

If you decide to take in a recovery addict, make sure that you are in the counterpart recovery program for people who live with such addicts.

Addictions are a two-person disease. You’re going to need help.

You don’t want your life torn apart or dominated by gambling, drinking, drugging, compulsive spending, sex, or what have you.

Ox Drover

G1S Even the recovering addicts can still be “dry drunks” (psychopaths) so in my book every recovering addict until I get to know them over a period of YEARS in many situations would be suspect. So your advice above I think is GREAT!

G1S

Thanks for noticing that it takes YEARS for somebody to change an active addiction.

It’s infuriating to read how somebody has been three months in a recovery program and the courts think the person has the problem under control. That’s barely having walked through the door.

Addictions cannot be cured although there are always those who claim they can-for a price and with their program! 😉

And because the addiction is there whether addict is actively indulging in it or not, the partner is going to need help.

Why? Because while the addict gets addicted to the substance of choice, the partner gets addicted to the addict. If you live with it, you are affected by it.

If the partner grew up in a home where addictions were present, then the partner is already prediposed to finding a partner with an addiction.

Statistics are that if a child has one alcoholic parent, the chances are about 75% that the child will marry an alcoholic or become one. If both parents are alcoholics (substitute the addiction of choice,) then the probability that the child will become the same type of addict or marry one skyrockets to 95%.

BTW, I wouldn’t equate a dry drunk with a psychopath. They are not interchangeable. It is very possible for somebody to have an addiction and a conscience.

witsend

Oxy,
Dry drunk actually is not used to describe a person but a condition. Dry drunk syndrome is actually a thinking pattern so to speak.

Generally AA uses the term to describe one of two conditions.

Alchohol is just a symptom of the disease. So if you remove the alcohol you still have to deal with the underlying factors of the disease. For those in a 12 step pragram that involves “working a program” to maintain sobriety. Embracing the steps, working them and paying it forward to help other struggling alcoholics. Kind of sums it up. Lossing the stinking thinking is key.

For those that loose the alcohol/or other substance but never address the underlying factors of the disease this condition would be refered to as a dry drunk. Not true “sobriety”.

Or when a person who has been working a program all of a sudden starts to revert back to the “stinking thinking” and stops working the program, this often happens right before a relapse. This period of time is often called dry drunk. The alcohol hasn’t been swallowed as of yet, but the “recovery” process is now non existant…And stinkin thinkin leads back to the bottle.

The big book describes this condition for the alcoholic feeling “restless, irritable, and discontented.”

Soon to follow is often Complacency. A huge red flag for a person in recovery.

My husband had a period of dry drunk syndrome a few months before he went “back out”.

Ox Drover

G1S I hired a woman once who was an LPN and she was in AA and very strong in AA but married to a guy she met in AA for several years. He fell off the wagon and she was very upset about this and did not want anyone to know this. Then he had a bad wreck and got arrested (he was drunk) and she became very hostile to me because I knew. she did everything an employee can do to stab me in the back, talking behind my back to my new boss who didn’t know me, etc. etc. I realize in retrospect that she love bombed me to get the job and had some big bad “issues” herself which i didn’t see until the claws and fangs came out. The job was in a very political situation and I was extremely busy taking care of patients and so didn’t realize what she had done with the back stabbing until it was far gone.

G1S “a dry drunk” (my opinion of the term) is one that is not drinking but still acts like a drunk, bullying and overbearing, sneaking, lying etc. in other words, a person high in P traits that exercises these traits DRY as well as he did when he was DRUNK. I’ve heard people from AA use this term as I have described it so that was where I picked itup.

G1S

Witsend described it as it is viewed in AA and Al-Anon.

Alcoholism is a disease of the body, mind, and spirit. Take away the physical ingestion of the booze and you’ve worked on the body part. Don’t address the mind and the spirit and the alcoholism is still present, but without the booze hence “dry drunk.”

There is nothing that says that P cannot be an alcoholic.

It’s quite possible that you heard dry drunk described as you heard it in AA, but I’d bet that nobody used the term “psychopath.”

There are a lot of similarities, which is why I think Al-Anon would be helpful for many people with Ps in their lives, but again, Al-Anon is limited to alcoholism. It does not address psychopathy. Neither does AA.

As for somebody who is “very strong in AA,” what exactly does that mean? According to whom? Her?

Trust me, there are plenty of AA Nazis and Al-Anon Nazis who think that they are very strong in both programs, but the fact that they have self-appointed themselves to oversee the others means they have a lot to learn. There are also many who talk a good talk, but ain’t walking the walk at all.

For somebody just walking in, as I’ve gotten the impression that’s about all you’ve ever done, you couldn’t have picked up on these nuances or subtleties. You would need many years in the program to understand and pick up on these sorts of things.

Control issues are rampant in many 12-Step groups. Control is a big part of the disease.

In my humble opinion, many times control issues are amplified because there is such a concentration of triggering personalities that bring out the worst and weakest in others.

kathy0707

I take offense at equating someone with an addiction to a psychopath. I can see how someone who has never had an addiction (and I include nicotine as an addiction) might fall into the trap of thinking that an alcoholic, etc is a psychopath. The two are not the same.

As someone who was tossed into the rooms of AA many, many years ago, I can honestly say your chances might be higher of running into a P in one of those rooms. However, there are MANY who deal with addictions who do not lie, cheat, steal, etc. They are trapped in a pattern of behavior (I don’t buy into the disease paradigm) just like someone who does retail therapy to deal with their emotions. Would you say a compulsive shopper is a psychopath?

At any rate, it’s BECAUSE OF programs like AA that not more advances are made in terms of SCIENCE and helping those with addictions. Addiction is a brain disease. AA and other programs like it would say it’s a spiritual disease.

G1S

Kathy0707,

Witsend and I just said that. The terms are not interchangeable.

“There are a lot of similarities, which is why I think Al-Anon would be helpful for many people with Ps in their lives, but again, Al-Anon is limited to alcoholism. It does not address psychopathy. Neither does AA.”

If you were familiar with Oxy’s postings elsewhere, she doesn’t know a lot about the AA or Al-Anon programs.

We’re all learning here. There is a lot of crossover with behaviors applying to many areas. One or even a number of behaviors does not mean two things are identical. They can certainly have the same behaviors present.

AA and other programs like it say that it is a spiritual disease because AA and other programs like it are spiritual programs.

It sort of like walking in McDonald’s and being upset, because one is a vegetarian, that McDonald’s is serving meat. A spiritual program is going to provide a spiritual bent.

If somebody disagrees with that or is uncomfortable with the spiritual concepts of a 12-Step organization, nobody is forcing them to attend.

I know of no studies that have ever done, let alone proven, that 12-Step programs are the reason more science isn’t being used to study addictions.

Nicotine is an addiction. Who ever said that it isn’t? There are organizations that pattern themselves after AA to stop nicotine addiction.

kathy0707

I agree with you G1S on your McDonald’s analogy. However, I also maintain that if it were NOT for programs like AA (and truthfully, AA is still really the only game in town – the courts send one there, a Dr. sends one there, etc), other programs could take off that do not demonize someone for having an addiction.

As to not forcing someone to attend AA, just where is someone supposed to go for support if AA is the only thing available?

In many cities now, thankfully, those with addiction issues (and these may be actual substance issues or behavioral issues) can find groups like SMART and LifeRing. Still, we are a long ways off from groups like this even making a dent in terms of providing support.

As a result of my experience in AA, I will agree with you about the control thing. I also think at least half of those who attend these meetings have underlying DSM IV Dx’s that go untreated. I met a guy online who was and is an SPath. He just also happened to be a member of AA.

kathy0707

I’d also like to add that I don’t think one can put a timeline on certain things. As to not marrying someone who has dealt with an addiction, there are those who may be more mentally healthy at one year of abstention that those who haven’t picked up “whatever” for 20 years. I’ve seen enough people in AA and other programs to know this is the truth. In fact, the healthy ones will typically use AA for a period of time and then just move on with their lives.

Oh, and to address your comments about not knowing of any studies that indicate that the presence of AA rules and prevents (or slows down) the growth of other groups? I know of no studies either. I just know that in my 35 years of “knowing” what is out there and “knowing” where the the courts send people along with Drs, therapist, and shrinks, the suggestion has never been made to seek out one of these alternative groups – with the exception of the SF Bay Area – where now Kaiser will offer one the choice to either attend AA or LifeRing.

witsend

Oxy,
Basically that about describes a dry drunk.
A person who is no longer drinking but still has all the same issues. (not addressing the underlying problem)

There are SO many “characters” at AA meetings it is unbelievable. Control freaks, personality disordered, court ordered people that DON’T want to be there but need a signature for the judge, the brain dead, dry drunks, well the list I am sure could be added to….

But there are also many wonderful recovering people sharing their experience, strength, and hope.

I started going to the morning “open” AA meetings in my area because I found these meeting to have somewhat less of the “riff raff” than the night open AA meetings.

I would venture to say that a P going to AA wouldn’t ever actually attain “sobriety” because they wouldn’t work the program. So a “sober” P (who wasn’t drinking anymore) wouldn’t look any different than a drinking P.
So dry drunk would fit!

Your LP friend sounds like she “missed a whole lot” when she attended those AA meetings…Lol sounds to me like she needed to attend Al Anon meetings as well. (enabler)

Truthspeak

With regard to support groups and spaths, I have been involved with 12-Step programs for about 35 years. I’ve seen them all. The seriously-minded members who intended to get a grasp on their addictions, and the dyed-in-the-wool sociopaths who used meetings as their perfect trolling grounds, and everything in between.

I don’t think that “science” will ever be able to move hand-in-hand with ANY support groups simply because the meetings that I attended were based upon personal responsibility and accountability, RATHER than medication and surgery. That’s not to say that I didn’t meet a great number of people who were taking medications, but the greater majority of members wanted to manage their addictions, themselves.

I believe that the people who kept “slipping” had many other issues aside from their addictions, and I’m not talking about the people who made an error in judgment and fell off of the proverbial wagon. I’m talking about the scant few who routinely would “slip” and go on benders and return crying about how “it just happened” – most of those people didn’t even meet the criteria of being “addicted.” A former family member actually talked herself into believing that she was alcoholic out of a desperate need to be validated – AA members were recognized and celebrated their milestones, and she hated Alanon because she didn’t receive the attention that she felt she was due. In hindsight, she fits the profile of a malignant narcissist, at the very least, and actually wrote me a note about 3 years ago to say that she was sorry that she had been “unkind” to me during my childhood. Maybe, she’s trying to atone for something, but “unkind” would hardly have been the word I would have used to describe the things that she did to me when I was most vulnerable.

Having said that, whatever works for someone that DOES NOT cause harm to themselves or others is fine by me. If it’s a spiritual program that has someone speaking ancient Hebrew to a sweet potato carved in the form of Edward G. Robinson, I don’t care as long as it gets that person through the day and on their paths of healing and recovery.

What I love about the “programs” is that they talk about accountability and responsibility. A lot of the people who “fit the profile” would switch their “home groups” whenever their masks began to slip.

And……when we look at this in a “big picture” type of frame, this site could be considered such a program, though there aren’t recognized “Steps,” per se. But, if there were….
Step 1: We admitted that we had involved ourselves with a sociopath and that our lives had become a living hell.
Step 2: Made the decision to sever our toxic relationship.
Step 3: Admitted to someone who “gets it” that we had been in a dire situation and needed help.
Step 4: Recognized that we are a part of a Greater Universe.
Step 5: Agreed to maintain NO CONTACT for the remainder of our lives
Step 6: Made amends to all people that we had harmed, directly or indirectly, as a result of our sociopathic entanglements whenever possible except when to do so would injure them or others.
Step 7: Recognized our frailties, vulnerabilities, and boundary failures and made efforts to repair and forgive ourselves for our mistakes.
Step 8: Engaged in open, frank, and truthful discussions about our experiences and how we were affected, and how our issues affected others.
Step 9: Made every human effort to educate ourselves and others about the healing processes of sociopathic entanglements/
Step 10: Allowed ourselves to experience the grieving process in a healthy, productive way.
Step 11: Remained accountable for our own actions and decisions.
Step 12: Continued to maintain our boundaries, NO CONTACT, and support and encouragement for ourselves, and for others.

So…………..there………….. 😉

Truthspeak

And, I’d like to say this for myself: there are MANY topics of discussion that come up that I find uncomfortable. I really, REALLY need to be aware of what my triggers are so that I don’t go batshit if someone mentions sexual intimacy.

clair

Fantastic post, Donna! Thank you so much.

I see 2 very important issues you address here:
1. We minimize the Red Flags that appear. Why do we minimize the Red Flags? Because we rationalize them. Why do we rationalize the red flags? Because (imo) we were raised in an atmosphere of gas lighting and brain washing/mind control and were conditioned not to trust our gut.

2. “Marriage is not social work.” This is huge: We should not feel/believe we can “fix” our significant other.

Interesting discussion about dry drunks & P characteristics of alcoholics. I know very little about AA, but I have read a good amount of literature regarding “Adult Children” and one reoccurring theme is that the “Adult Children” theory evolved because therapists noticed that “Adult Children” had almost identical issues to those of the children of alcoholics. So, it was as if “Adult Children” were raised in alcoholic families, sans the alcohol. Thus, I agree with Oxy in that alcoholics and Ps share many of the same characteristics.

Imo, it all gets down to addiction: Whereas the alcoholic is addicted to alcohol, the dysfunctional person/P or N is addicted to some other destructive behavior. So, to me, it’s tomato/tomatoe.

One thing I have learned here at Love Fraud is that whatever drives the dysfunctional person (be they alcoholic, drug addict, P or N, etc) is almost irrelevant because what ever their demons, they are DESTRUCTIVE and we should avoid them at all costs. I myself had a conundrum as to whether someone was a P or an N and many posters here helped me see that the label is irrelevant: Whatever they are and however I label them is irrelevant because, bottom line: They are TOXIC.

We didn’t cause their problems, we can’t fix them and so, we should leave them to Gd & get them OUT of our lives.

G1S

I think a lot of AAs would benefit from Al-Anon because

1.) they go around taking care of others (keeping them sober) which perpetuates their control issues and is sometimes used not to address their own behaviors & issues
2.) many of them came from alcoholic homes and needed Al-Anon/Alateen long before they needed AA, and
3.) focusing on one’s drinking can be used as an excuse not to focus on oneself.

Al-Anon is the only 12-Step program that doesn’t have a secondary focus, meaning the only thing that it deals with is me, myself, and I. No booze, spending, drugs, sex, nicotine, spending, or what have you. It’s all about what do I know about me and what am I doing about it?

Loved your 12 Steps, Truthy, and this:

“Having said that, whatever works for someone that DOES NOT cause harm to themselves or others is fine by me. If it’s a spiritual program that has someone speaking ancient Hebrew to a sweet potato carved in the form of Edward G. Robinson, I don’t care as long as it gets that person through the day and on their paths of healing and recovery.”

AA is not the only game in town. There are a lot of rehabs and other programs offered by mental health facilities to help addicts.

Funny, true story – about a year and a half ago, a medical clinic in my town that touted that it could help people with addictions WITHOUT needing a 12-Step program found its head MD (guy who ran this program) driving through the front glass window of a liquor store one night, drunk, because he thought it was open and he needed another drink.

I was amused, anyway.

clair

Great post, Truthspeak.

Hope I didn’t trigger or offend anyone with my post. If I did, I apologize. I just wanted to raise the issue of alcoholic families and “Adult Children” and how that connects to Ps & Ns.

clair

This discussion made me think of something else: I’m very wary of groups. As Truthspeak mentioned the morning meetings, evening meetings, home meetings: We join these groups to help ourselves, but we may find out that the leaders and members of these groups are in fact toxic themselves. An extreme example would be a cult. So, again, always listening to my gut and if a group’s tone doesn’t feel ‘right’ to me, I’m gone.

Clair,
I think your post was excellent.
Spath behavior is very much like addiction behavior. The lies, the controlling, the need for supply…
And of course, the enablers. us.

G1S

Al-Anon uses “Adult Children” as opposed to ACOA or “Adult Children of Alcoholics” because Al-Anon takes the focus off the alcoholics and puts it on us.

Adult Children in Al-Anon all came from alcoholic homes.

Al-Anon strongly supports Adult Children and has developed literature (pamplets, books, and 20 questions) specifically for them.

A huge handicap that Adult Children have is that many have no point of reference to “restore them to sanity.” Many of them have never known sanity.

witsend

G1S,
Raising my hand here….Being an aduld child of…

Truthspeak

Completely OFF topic, here, but this is a true story about one of the meetings that I attended:

Alanon man was revered for his “wisdom and insight” during meetings. He had a very tumultuous relationship with his AA wife, and he had a number of issues with regard to the aftermath of when she began to seek sobriety.

During one meeting, this man stood up and spoke about his inner pain. He was talking about what he was feeling for having abused his wife when she was drinking. All of the women in the meeting were “in awe” of Ken’s frankness and his personal accountability. They were SMITTEN by him and HAD been for years. Ken broke down in tears….the women were moved to tears with him. “Isn’t that so honest?” they went back and forth.

We all met after the meeting at a local place to drink copious amounts of coffee, snack on some cheap food, and talk about our personal progress. The subject of Ken’s open inventory came up, and everyone was so enthralled.

Less than a week later, Ken had committed suicide. Rather than “HEAR” what he was saying, everyone just ignored his cries for help.

So, the point of this whole sad story is that there are countless ways and means to seek recovery. But, what it all boils down to is that each individual is responsible for their own recovery, and that includes those of us who’re trying to pull ourselves out of the cesspool of sociopathy. The “whats,” “why’s,” and “wherefor’s” don’t matter any more than a fart in a windstorm. What matters is that we survive, recover, and emerge.

And, I’m fighting tooth and frigging nail for that.

I love you guys…… 🙂

clair

Thanks, Skylar.

This is exactly my point:
“Spath behavior is very much like addiction behavior. The lies, the controlling, the need for supply”
And of course, the enablers. us. ”

And, I add “Co-Dependence” (ie: enabling), which really helped me see the truth.

“A huge handicap that Adult Children have is that many have no point of reference to “restore them to sanity.” Many of them have never known sanity. ”

Oh yeah!! Reminds of the book entitled “An Adult Child’s Guide to What’s ‘Normal'” by John C. Friel Ph.D. and Linda D. Friel.

That’s a mind trip in and of itself: realizing that, perhaps, I was never exposed to “What’s Normal”; the thought of which had put me into an intense anxiety attack. But, I suppose many of us here also experienced the same.

G1S

I have that book-

“An Adult Child’s Guide to What’s ’Normal’” by John C. Friel Ph.D. and Linda D. Friel.

Right back at you, Witty!

Truth, did he share that at an AA or Al-Anon meeting?

Where was his sponsor?

I know. You said that we are all responsible. Not sure I would have heard a cry for help in what you shared with us just now.

Truthspeak

Adult child of an alcoholic, right here…..and, there really is no frame of reference with regard to “normal.”

ACOA = healing or recognizing the damaged “inner child.”

Like I said, I don’t care if it’s sweet potatoes! Whatever leads us to our own healing paths without harming ourselves and/or others is fine by me! 😀

clair

“But, what it all boils down to is that each individual is responsible for their own recovery, and that includes those of us who’re trying to pull ourselves out of the cesspool of sociopathy. The “whats,” “why’s,” and “wherefor’s” don’t matter any more than a fart in a windstorm. What matters is that we survive, recover, and emerge.

And, I’m fighting tooth and frigging nail for that.”

Incredible story, Truthspeak & now I see how very appropriate you’re name is: Truthspeak

So, Ken was crying out, trying to be heard, but all seemed deaf? Very sad. We never know what truly lies deep, deep in someone’s heart.

Sending love to you, Truthspeak.

G1S

It’s important to remember that Al-Anon and AA are SELF HELP organizations.

They are not therapy. They are not led by mental health professionals.

They have their limits.

They cannot identify or deal with a potential suicide. The best that they can do is tell the person to get professional help or call 911 if it is a real emergency, just like any other regular person off the street.

I’ve witnessed people coming into the rooms who were very disturbed, sent there by their therapists because, from the way they explained it, their therapists thought they’d get better help there.

If a professional trained therapist cannot handle a client, don’t push that person off to a group even less capable of offering any help. That triggers some people and scares away some people who could be legitimately helped.

AA and Al-Anon are not dumping grounds for frustrated or angry therapists.

That is totally inappropriate.

Judges have no business sending people there either.

Truthspeak

Clair, thanks for the love – and, it’s back to you, too.

Ken was despairing and was begging for help without using the words, “I need some help, here!” Rather than hear his inventory as a plea for help, all of the women were swooning. It was the strangest behavior I’d ever witnessed at a meeting, and it had been escalating for a year or two – women gravitated to him because he was attractive, well-spoken, and was one of about four men who were involved in Alanon at that time. They flirted with him, and it was unseemly.

Once it was all said and done, there was a great gnashing of teeth and wailing over HOW Ken could have done that when he was so loved by his fellow members. I quietly said, “Didn’t any of you HEAR what he was saying, or were you too interested in flirting with him to notice?” Needless to say, whenever a new male appeared at subsequent meetings, everyone remained VERY low-key with the exception of a very few.

I chose my LF ID name because it’s my intention to speak truthfully after this most recent experience. Had I spoken truthfully during this second marriage, I might have ended it a WHOLE lot sooner, but I allowed my fears (inner child) to determine my courses of action and decisions.

Thanks, again……

Truthspeak

G1S, Ken was in Alanon, and his sponsor was a female who obviously had “an agenda” with Ken, even though his wife was recovering in the room next door.

It’s a very, very difficult thing for people to leave their egos at the door, I think. I want, with desperation, to remain open to the truth, EVEN if it makes me uncomfortable or creates triggers for me. Like I said, I’m responsible for my own recovery whether it’s recovery from addiction to sweet potatoes or an addiction to a sociopath.

Truthspeak

G1S, we seem to posting over one another! LMAO!!!

Indeed, these programs are Self-Help. And, even a layperson could have put the pieces together and seen that Ken was spiraling out of control. Instead of seeing the TRUTH about Ken’s situation, these gals chose to interpret it as something that fed their own egos. The former family member was one of them.

And, NO……going to meetings MUST be a personal decision and choice and NOT a mandate from a therapist or Judge.

clair

“I quietly said, “Didn’t any of you HEAR what he was saying, or were you too interested in flirting with him to notice?” ”

There ya go again, speakin’ the truth!

Your story reminds me of what I posted above about groups. This group was not good for Ken; he didn’t feel safe/didn’t know how to ask for what he needed. Maybe he didn’t know what he needed. Sounds like too much ego in the group: The ladies’ egos & perhaps Ken’s ego, everyone with their own agenda & own mask, except you and perhaps you felt out voted or over whelmed by the group’s dynamic? Maybe Ken also felt over whelmed by the group’s dynamic?

RIP, Ken.

witsend

Truthspeak,

My husband who attended AA and was sober about 2 1/2 years as I mentioned above went into a dry drunk for about maybe 2 months before he went back out. During his dry drunk period naturally one of the things he cut back on was meetings….He talked to his AA buddies and his sponser on the phone and also went to an occasional meeting so as not to raise any red flags, saying he was busy at work. (his job didn’t have overtime) But never reached out. If anything he was very good at letting everyone think he was fine…Just “busy” with work.

However I immediately saw tons of red flags….I spoke of this often at my AlAnon meetings…Fearing it was a matter of time before he drank again. I reached out often and was given much support….
I also approached my husband and shared my concerns. He told me to work my own program and stay out of his. NOT his normal “sober” response…..Another red flag…We often talked program at home and his new found complacency was my biggest fear.

Anyways….Long story short. During this time one of the young men that we knew well from the program tragically died.
My husband who was a a good articulate speaker was asked to speak at his service. He spoke, and although I didn’t attend the service because I didn’t have a babysitter…

I can’t tell you how many people from the program told me later that what he said at this young mans funeral was the most moving, intense speech that had ever heard. Many were brought to tears…He spoke of the program and talked the talk, how blessed he was to be sober today….blah blah blah…

That same day my husband came home after the funeral and left me and the kids addmiting that he wanted to drink. He said he was going to go stay at his parents for a couple of days (they were out of town) He said he needed to go because he needed time to work it out. BOTH of us knew the reason he was going to his parents, was to drink and didn’t want to do it in front of the kids. He did drink that day as I spoke to him later that evening on the phone and could tell by his voice.
ONE WEEK to the day later he commited suicide. Never saw THOSE red FLAGS.

So I saw the red flags….that he was going to drink again. But was absolutely clueless even in hindsite to any red flags of suicidal thoughts….

As much as my husband had a huge suport group ALL around him, his family, his AA people….He never reached out.

That same young mans family that he spoke at his funeral attended my husbands funeral. They couldn’t say enough about the words my husband spoke a week earlier.

Ox Drover

Wow, I leave the board for a few hours and look what happens, a ga-zillion posts. G1S and Witty, thanks for the explanation for Dry drunk…I was using it more for a person who pretends to be working the program, but in fact they are a FAKE AA member, they may not be drinking, but they are still abusive to others, i.e. high in P traits sober or drunk.

Okay, that addressed I will go back and read the rest of the posts.

clair

OMG (((witsend))). I am so sorry to hear this. I think we can never truly know what’s in a person’s heart or mind. No man is an island, yet we are each our own little islands.

“As much as my husband had a huge suport group ALL around him, his family, his AA people”.He never reached out. ”

It sounds like your husband felt as if he was voiceless. Despite all the support and what he said, he was not able to ask for help. So sad.

Witsend, you must have incredible strength.

(((witsend)))

Ox Drover

Psychopaths can ALSO have other problems, including alcohol or drug addiction, bi-polar, ADHD. All three of these things are VERY COMMON in psychopaths and if you treat the other problems or addictions they are still left mean as a snake.

Which came first? the chicken or the egg? the addiction or the psychopathy? They are BOTH “brain abnormalities”

You CAN get someone who is addicted to a substance (whatever that substance is) to quit it. I quit nicotine. I’m a nicotine addict, maybe it is genetic predisposition, or maybe it is being exposed to it. I’m not “cured” I still want it from time to time, but I have CONTROLLED it. One day at a time.

Years ago I went to a NA meeting and I was a bit put off because they were talking about when they wanted a cigarette they would TAKE A XANAX–trading a nicotine addiction for a drug addiction didn’t seem too helpful to me. The people didn’t seem to think I was working with them by saying that wasn’t a healthy way to quit smoking. I always was a “kill joy” just ask my kids. Don’t drink or do drugs. don’t drive without a license. Don’t steal. Don’t kill. I never let them have any fun! LOL

witsend

Clair,
I think that this is one of the things that is so difficult about suicide. When you really KNOW someone well….Suicide can take even that away from you….

I am ok…This was 15 years ago. My kids were young so I needed to be emotionally available to them so I sought out help in ALL forms. Therapy, suicide survivor support groups, read about every book printed on suicide at the time….

A couple years after, I even spoke at local schools for awhile when in my own quest for information I was dismayed to find how many young people commit suicide every year.

To this day though when I learn that someone has lost a loved one by suicide I feel for them profoundly….Even if I don’t know them.

It’s a hard row to hoe….And many people don’t go go out and seek help. I don’t know how they do it?

kathy0707

Wow Truthspeak,

What can I say? I am sorry your husband ended his life that way and for any suffering you’ve gone through as a result.

I don’t want to offend anyone here, as I have the impression that most are in favor or 12 step programs. Hey, if they work for you that is great. I just know that for many they don’t.

I hope someday we arrive at a place where there are enough resources out there for every flavor of addiction, mental illness, etc.

At least we’ve advanced in many ways and I think of depression when I say this. They used to do the blood-letting thing a few hundred years ago and now we actually have drugs that can help.

witsend

Oxy,
that is a very common thing for an addict to want to replace one addiction for another.
This is not working a program or being “sober” by the way.

Many addicts will try and convince themselves that because they are giving up their “drug of choice” they can’t possibly becaome addicted to _____. (the replacement drug, behavior what have you)
When of course just the opposite is true.

What you experienced at the NA meeting is “stinkin thinkin” at its finest. LOL…
But truth is that is the disease “talking” to the addict.

kathy0707

Witsend,

One of the addictions you speak of would be an addiction to meetings. I mentioned in another thread that gentleman/former friend of mine that popped SOMA like jellybeans. Well, he used to be an AA guru. He had 24 years of sobriety in AA. This is why one cannot set any sort of timeline. If a person wants to write off anyone who has had an addiction as a marriage partner, to each his own.

I personally long for the day when better treatment methods or more resources are available. That goes for an addict, an SPath, whatever.

clair

Regarding my addictions, when I feel that I want something I know I shouldn’t have, I ask myself “What is this wanting? What is the emptiness I’m trying to fill?” and then I sit with that for a while. I’m not always able to answer, but it helps me to stay conscious of what I’m doing and feeling.

Ox Drover

Witty,

A problem I had with SOME AA groups though was I had a patient who was depressed and I think his alcoholic behavior was an attempt at self medication for depression but I sent him to AA and he agreed to go willingly…I also put him on an antidepressant for the depression which I think was life long, and when he gets to AA they tell him that if he takes the MEDICATION I PRESCRIBED he is not “working the program” but substituting one drug for another. This group was so ANTI MEDICATION for mental health issues that I think if he had had pneumonia they would have wanted him to quit his antibiotic.

He stopped the AA took the medication for the depression and with talk and support from me, he quit the drinking as he got the depression under control. the last I knew of him he was doing okay.

I have attended in-house AA meetings at the inpatient psych units where I worked and of course they do NOT have that opinion about psych medications, so this may vary from place to place and who is running the show.

I see why AA works and I also see why for some folks they don’t agree with the way it works, or with the “higher power” and spiritual aspect of it.

I do believe that humans have a spiritual aspect just as we have a physical and an emotional aspect. I do think that as long as our intellectual aspect is intact we have control over our behavior and that includes our addictions, but we must EXERCISE that control.

My oldest son is severely ADHD but I never let him use that as an EXCUSE for why he did this or that, or for any bad behavior.

I had an ADHD patient who threw a chair at his teacher. His mother called and she said “Well what can you expect? He’s ADHD” I said calmly “I expect him to NOT throw chairs at teachers just because he is pissed.” Addictions or other conditions are not excuses unless you are totally OUT OF TOUCH WITH REALITY.

witsend

Kathy,

Yep that is true. The AA meeting addict….
We had many “long suffering” wives that would come through the Al Anon doors crying that their husbands went from being out every night drinking to gone every night at meetings….

90 meetings in 90 days is suggested for newbies.

So for most the 7 days a week meeting doesn’t last for 24 years as with the AA guru…
However an hour a day meeting is better than out drinking all night. Especially if the person is really working at getting sober.

Kind of like someone who is Dx with cancer or any other illness and has to undergo treatment that has all kinds of bad side effects. You got to weigh the good and the bad, yes?
Nothings perfect.

Once an alcoholic always an alcoholic. It never goes away no matter how many meeting you attend. It IS a disease.

kathy0707

Thank you Oxy for helping that person. It is true (although not as much these days) that people were (or are) talked out of taking psychotropics meds by their AA sponsors or others in the program, only to commit suicide in some cases.

I came across this link I’ll share. As early as 1964 a Dr. was saying that AA was hampering the medical community’s ability to address this problem. In fact, he even said it’s “retarded scientific research.”

http://ww1.prweb.com/prfiles/2004/05/30/130243/Arthur_Cain_article.doc

kathy0707

Witsend,

We’ll have to agree to disagree. I could point you to links that would tell you it’s NOT a disease, but I won’t.

The 90 meetings in 90 days is a product of the AA machine over time. Nowhere was that written in the BB. I have nothing against the “core program” as it was intended to be. It’s the machine that has come after I take issue with.

I am adamantly AGAINST 12 step programs, as I believe they only serve to hinder a natural evolution towards real progress helping those with addictions recover.

witsend

Oxy,
An addict should try to stay away from narcotic drugs if at all possible because naturally they are very addicting. At BEST they should inform their doctors that they are a recovering addict.

However I have known some recovering addicts who have have taken anti-d medication for a period of time and not thrown out of the AA halls….

On the other hand I have also known many who abuse xanax and many others…..Given for anxiety. Or pain meds. I had a friend (I met through the program) who actually kicked her crack habit but was so addicted to her pain meds that she just didn’t get it….If I took half of the pain meds that she did in one day I would be dead. Her tolerance level was unbelievable. When she became suicidal and made several attempts (this is AFTER my husband recently suicided) I couldn’t take it anymore. I had to let her go. I couldn’t just keeep going to her house never knowing if she would be dead or alive. This was a VERY difficult thing for me to do. I just couldn’t do it anymore.

I think AA is like any other program. It isn’t perfect. The people who go there aren’t perfect.

The tools that AA offers can work for some and not for others. One of the AA sayings is “take what you LIKE and leave the rest.”

Above ALL an addict has to really WANT it! (sobriety) It ain’t easy.
We live in an imperfect world for sure. sigh….

witsend

Kathy,
Yep we can do that agree to disagree. Not a debate I want to take on. LOL

clair

“I had to let her go. I couldn’t just keeep going to her house never knowing if she would be dead or alive. This was a VERY difficult thing for me to do. I just couldn’t do it anymore.”

I hear you. Yes, very difficult to do, but soooo healthy for you.

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