Sponsor system in 'x' Anonymous. Can someone enlighten me?

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by SuZir, Aug 27, 2013.

  1. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    I do know some of you go to different 'x' Anonymous groups and some have mentioned they do have a Sponsor and many more have kids who go to Anonymous meetings and have Sponsors. My understanding on how that is supposed to work is very limited if not non-existent. And I didn't found their website too enlightening in this topic either.

    My kid is coerced to attend to Gamblers Anonymous meetings. He is required by his contract to go certain minimum, but his team's GM strongly prods him to go extra. And difficult child's agent strongly prods him to play nice at least until he has gained a strong footing sport wise. difficult child considers meetings to be slightly entertaining freak shows and plays along to please the GM.

    I'm bit baffled of things difficult child tells me. Okay, do remember that these are non-verified difficult child versions, but still.

    When he first went, he was very shortly after appointed a Sponsor (he didn't ask the guy as I have kind of understood is the normal practise, but the guy leading the meetings just appointed the Sponsor to difficult child.) difficult child found it bit odd that he was told he needs a Sponsor because first 90 days of being clean are often so tough. However difficult child had already been two years clean, when his first Sponsor was still active gambler and not even trying to stop. Of course people in the meeting don't consider that difficult child was clean before he started going to the meetings, because somehow being clean without meetings is not being really clean or something. Well, that of course doesn't really matter. difficult child has not been counting days before and is not interested to start now, so he could care less, what others think about when he began his recovery.

    Anyway, when difficult child had had this Sponsor a week, the Sponsor asked difficult child to loan him some money. difficult child told he has none to loan, which has made the sponsor angry and accusing difficult child of lying (difficult child may appear living much larger than his actual means. He has a nice leasing/sponsorship car and it somehow happened that this summer difficult child was being such a good boy and there was a good sale in outlet with nicer brands and they also had lots of stuff in extra long and somehow difficult child ended up shopping with mommy's dime there...) A bit later they were out at the coffee shop after the meeting and difficult child left for the rest room and left his phone to the table. Next day he noticed, that cash he keeps in his phone case had gone missing. He of course can't be sure that the sponsor took those, but other than that, only his flat mate and one team mate that was visiting them later that evening could have had an access, and difficult child really don't believe they would have taken his money. Also difficult child's phone's gambling blocking program had registered a warning about someone trying to access web casino from his phone. This sponsor's girlfriend had also later told to sponsor's sponsor that the sponsor has been gambling again at least a month. difficult child has not seen his first sponsor after that.

    Now the meeting leader (or dictator if you ask difficult child), has appointed himself to be difficult child's new Sponsor. difficult child thinks guy is total whack job but plans to play along. This new Sponsor demands difficult child also come with him to AA meetings even though difficult child has never had a drinking problem and is rather moderate drinker for his age. But according to him difficult child should stop drinking because with some drinking causes relapses to gambling (though difficult child has never gambled and drank same time) and because difficult child has addictive personality, also his drinking has to be a problem. difficult child is not enthusiastic to be seen in AA meetings, at least not anywhere near there he lives (of course his town doesn't even have AA meetings in English or any other language difficult child would speak, so meetings always require some driving.) difficult child's agent also thinks that difficult child needs rumours of drinking problem like an extra hole to his head so difficult child is trying to say no, but this new Sponsor is very persistent.

    To me all that sounds quite off and not how it is supposed to work at all. Of course we have to keep in mind, that as I said, this is all difficult child's words and I have no way to actually verify.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Well, I totally respect and have gratitude toward Twelve Steps Group. I don't know what they are like for a gambling problem because I don't know anyone who had one (that I knew of...lol). My own meetings didn't mandate any sponsors. They were mutually decided upon, if indeed somebody wanted to have one. It was not forced. Perhaps there are cultural differences in the meetings. Nobody was the leader of the group either. It was all run by anyone who was there.

    People who have addictive personalities are not cured just because they stop the addiction. I don't think 12 Step groups however are the only way to handle addictive tendencies. I just happen to love the nice philosophy of living one day at a time and being responsible for your own behavior and asking for help if you need it. I have never been at a meeting that threw a sponsor at you and told you this was what you had to do...so sort of scratching my head here, not understanding either. Wish I could help more.

    by the way, I've meant to tell you this. Your English skills are amazing. Most Americans can only speak English and that is in spite of having a huge hispanic community that it would be advantageous to be able to communicate with.
  3. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I haven't heard of mandated sponsors either. Usually around here, the individual requests a sponsor... and one or more volunteer, and they figure out between them what might work. Assigning sponsors goes against the basic philosophy of sponsorship.
  4. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Something like that was also my understanding and what I gathered from their websites. So something is definitely wonky. What that is could probably be anything about difficult child telling stories, his perspective being tilted or this particular meeting being somehow off. difficult child said that the other meeting (in different city) was very different and much more pleasant. Unfortunately there is total two meetings of theirs this fall, when difficult child is not having a game.

    And yeah, addictions can be sneaky even after stopping. For example difficult child who was nicely off from snus, when he was very low in money, started again this spring.
  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    What you are talking about is the reason I have never been overly fond of the anonymous groups.

    I have never been to AA or Alanon or any of those types but I went twice to Overeaters Anonymous and had terrible times at both. The first group was just weird. They had coffee, drinks and donuts ...lol. Then they wanted everyone to talk about all this stuff I just thought I would never tell strangers so I only went 2 or 3 times. The next group was here where I live and it was even weirder. I actually thought it would be great because I could use it as a place to make some friends and meet people in this town. However when we got in there and started talking about the issue I was told that we couldnt talk about dieting, anything to do with food, or anything to do with how our stresses lead us to overeat. I actually looked at the lady running the group and asked her what in the world we were supposed to talk about there considering the name of the group. Maybe we were going to learn to knit or something...lol
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    DONUTS?????? IN OE????? ROFL!!!!!!

    Sorry, but t hat's hilarious.

    All groups are NOT created equal!!
  7. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    difficult child complains that in this group they talk too much about gambling. That always during and after a meeting he has hard time trying to redirect his thoughts off gambling and not to get sucked back to letting his thoughts wallow in all things gambling. difficult child has been taught to school his thoughts so, that every time he starts to even think gambling, he redirects, because circling around the topic just makes urges worse and relapsing more likely.

    difficult child feels that in this group (the other one he likes better but as I said, when the season starts, it is not a possibility) they tell 'war stories' and those who have gambled, and lost, the most are considered the biggest experts and 'heroes' of the group.

    What I have found in my research, this seems to be a problem with 'x' Anonymous systems at times. Meeting groups are autonomous and if in some group there are one or few strong characters that start to lead the group to some direction, there is nothing that stops that. Newcomers, if they don't like the direction, change to other groups (if available) or stop coming, but nothing forces those strong willed individuals to look at the mirror and reconsider. I suspect that something like that may be going on in this group difficult child attends. difficult child just doesn't have much choice. While he lives close enough to few big cities and even one huge one, international (e.a. English speaking) GA groups are not that easy to find and difficult child doesn't speak the main language of his current country.
  8. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    Would it be possible for difficult child to bring up to his coach that he is more than willing to attend therapy for gambling but that due to his recent experiences with the Anonymous group he is uncomfortable continuing there? This way it doesn't look like he is trying to dodge the treatment but that he is aware of what is and is not productive for him?

    I mean honestly he has one sponsor who stole from him and tried to gamble online on his phone then got busted for gambling himself. The second sponsor is demanding he attend alcoholics anonymous simply because it is the sponsor's second addiction. Two strikes against them in such a short time is pretty bad. Plus he could have his therapist send a letter stating that he has been taught redirection and that attending constant meetings with untrained professionals is causing difficult child to have problems redirecting. The goal is to keep difficult child on the straight and narrow and to learn who and who not to associate with. in my humble opinion these people and their program are the opposite of what he needs and could actually cause a relapse.
  9. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I have no experience woth GA but I do have a lot with AA, NA and al-anon. Many peopel do not like the spiritual aspect of the 12 step programs and so they come up with lots of reasons why it's not good for them and they have a tendency to look at it through biased glasses and report things that may or may not be true.

    I have never heard of anyone being appointed a sponsor. Many people going thru AA or NA court appointed are required to follow the steps and get a sponsor, but it is always up to the individual to connect with someone they feel comfortable with. The meetings vary depending on what kind of group it is. Some are Big Book groups where each week a certain passage in the big book is read and discussed. Others are lead meetings where a recovering addict who has been clean/sober for at least a year shares his/her story. No one is ever forced to do this, it is always a voluntary thing and can be quite emotional and gratifying for everyone there. I have never walked out of one of those meetings dry eyed. Some meetings are discussion meetings where there is a specific topic and members are welcome to join in the discussion.

    They are always anonymous (even though I have been in meetings where I know people) but first names only are used and no one ever violates the anonymous spirit and talks about what anyone says in the meeting when they are outside. In fact if we meet someone in public that we attend meetings with we do not acknowledge them unless they are alone.

    There were some al-anon groups I did not connect with because of how they were run or their structure, but I have never been to a NA or AA meeting which was not extrememly helpful and accepting of everyone. However I also know of many people who are forced to go to the meetings and they do not participate and find a reason to stop going quickly. The hope is that maybe just one will hear something there that will cause them to want to come back, that they will connect with just one other person that they can call on for support, that they find a community that understands and does not judge them. But of course if your difficult child is not comfortable in this surrounding he is not going to be open to hear anything they say. That is why they say to go to many different meetings all over, so that you will find a group that you do connect with. If there are no others around him that will not be possible.

    I don't want to be negative but I don't think your difficult child is going to get anything out of this program because it is not the right fit for him.
  10. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    There is a built in loop hole for that in his contract. If either his team doctor or difficult child's psychiatrist (that is not affiliated with his current team in any way) consider GA meetings either detrimental, or not enough, for difficult child, the team is obliged to provide difficult child with more suitable care. Of course team is already obliged to provide players suitable health care by the CBA between the league and player union, but in negotiations difficult child took a pay cut to have his own psychiatrist to be a decision maker in this.

    Without that difficult child is not likely to get out of it. For the team GA is a no-cost option and shows 'they did everything possible to help difficult child' if things go south. Other options would cost them, some of them cost a lot. There is very high quality professional gambling treatment near difficult child, but it is public. Meaning you have to actually have a need for the treatment to get in. difficult child has graduated from similar program here at home and has not been in need for treatment in some time and is actually doing good. To get in to public treatment difficult child would need to lie about his situation. And I don't like that.

    Much more suitable option for difficult child in this point would be meeting your average, non specified talk therapist for supportive therapy to cover areas of difficult child life more broadly. But again, that would cost money to difficult child's team and there is also a point that difficult child's team GM is very enthusiast about AA himself.

    This is actually not so farfetched. While most gamblers are not alcoholics per se, drinking and gambling are often intervened and many have to stop drinking to get over their gambling addiction. Alcohol makes people more impulsive and with gamblers that leads to gambling. It really is common for gamblers to relapse when they drink, especially when they are early in recovery. difficult child is not your typical gambler, because he was so young when he gambled and also stopped so young. Many start young, but very few have such a quick and steep downward spiral difficult child had. What most gambler go through in ten years or more, difficult child went through in under ten months. And he was underage child living at home during that time, so he didn't have a chance or time to develop certain typical rituals many gamblers have.

    GA does have some different practises than other anonymous groups to my knowledge. They do concentrate more to practical problems (gamblers often have huge financial and legal issues) and they also have these 'pressure relief groups' that apparently can be very confrontational. Maybe that attitude spills more to regular groups too, don't know.

    I'm sure fast majority of group members do follow the rules and respect the anonymity. But there are no legal obligations. And it only needs one who doesn't. difficult child has his own trust issues, but aside of that difficult child's agent is very experienced, shrewd, seen it all and careful. (Yes, there is a reason we chose this particular agent to our sons.) And difficult child does listen to him, when it comes to decisions that may effect his career.

    difficult child does have very negative attitude towards twelve steps. He doesn't like the religiousness of it, neither does he like that it is not science based or have scientifically proven success. He cetrtainly isbn't keen to embrace it, so I don't even expect him to get much out of it. Or even less believe it would work for him. But the whole point is, that it doesn't need to actually work. If it doesn't damage him or hinder him, it is enough. If it is just waste of his time, it is a wonderful outcome. It satisfied his contract obligation and if he just looses few hours of tv watching time because of that; too bad, so sad.

    What I do worry about is, that he may get hurt by it. I did talk about this whole sponsor business and other concerns with him and his agent, but difficult child feels he can handle it for now. So it is wait and see.
  11. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    Suz, I mean this kindly. You need to detach.

    He is away and living on his own. He chose this team fully aware that GA was a requirement. You pointed out earlier that he had other options including other teams. It seems he has been struggling with his sport & life balance for a while.

    We all want to manage our difficult children lives. Boy would that make everything easier! But we can't. Your difficult child is in another country and yet he is coming to you with all of these details about his group . Like any mom, you are concerned and so he tells you more. And then you worry and then advocate on his behalf and worry more and then go into problem solving mode for him. And he's 20 years old. You seem to be more vested than he is. He vents it all to you and you take it all on for him. And that is never good. It's really easy to let that happen. We all do it. And it usually bites us in the end. In fact, he told you that he can handle it. SO LET HIM.

    I understand why you are concerned. I agree that these programs are not a good fit. I agree that other treatment or coping options could be better. But that wasn't your choice to make. He chose this team. He chose to play this sport. He has struggled with past teams and he chose this team because he wants to play for them and fully knowing that the 12 steps program is a requirement. Life has pros and cons. So do choices. Read the statements to detach. Be loving and supportive but disengage from it. If he complains or vents or gives you all the details - agree with him sympathetically. - but make it clear that this belongs to him. Shortly and sweetly."gosh I understand how you feel; how are you going to handle it?"
  12. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Sig: Balance between detaching and not is hard. It is especially hard, because with my difficult child there are aspects we are not planning to detach just now. And one of the things we are not detached from is his career planning. It is a big, bad world and sport business is cruel and certainly not between two equal entities making contracts. Absolutely no one leaves their young adult kids alone and open to all predators in those circles and expect a good outcome. And in the end detaching is just a way to deal with things that you can't change in a way that hurts you less. Our kid is difficult, but we are not ready to give up on him and not give him support other kids his age and his situation get from their parents and what we plan to give to our easy child. It would maybe hurt us less, but that is not good enough reason. With difficult child, there are lots of things I'm rather detached from. I do watch with interest though (he can be much more entertaining than any soap opera, when he puts his mind into it.) But then there are big things and those are a different matter.

    difficult child considers himself able to handle the situation. He is arrogant like kids often are. And they often have to pay for that arrogance. And let's face it, he didn't choose this team well knowing 12 steps program is a requirement. He chose it with contract to try 12 step program. And even took a pay cut to make sure, that person deciding about it being a fit or not is someone he can trust. difficult child wants to please his team in this point and may be over estimating his ability to handle adverse situation to do so. And you are right, not much I can do to it now. Or well. That is not entirely true. There are lots of things I can do, not by myself, but through other people. However for now, I choose to just watch, listen, give advice or two and plan for it, if I need to intervene. It would be awesome for difficult child if he could navigate through this on his own. If not... well, then someone has to intervene. And I rather intervene than pick up the pieces afterwards, even if it makes difficult child feel like less a man.

    While watching I can make sure, I have information and plan needed, if he needs it. That may not be detachment, but to be honest, detachment has never worked well for me (and I have had lots of practise in dealing with problematic people I can't change from very early on.) It just makes me wake at 3 a.m. and not being able to sleep. Having info and plans ready for different situations helps me to sleep through night and enjoy my life during the day.
  13. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    You know best for your son, I don't disagree.
    In your many posts from when he was debating about signing for this team, you indicated that he would play along w the GA meetings in order to play for this particular team. This is the result. You also thought he could simply attend the meetings without engaging and thus remain indifferent to the program. Perhaps that's still possible-go thru the motions.

    Like everything else, he should take from it what he needs and leave the rest.
  14. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Yes, his plan was to fake his way through meetings and do the bare minimum. I think he grossly underestimated his inability to say no and stand his ground in any productive way (outside the field that is.) And of course, if even half what he is telling me is true, there is something off in this group. And he really doesn't have a concrete reason to lie to me. He doesn't need to convince me that it is not a good fit. He also does know how he can get out of it. (Really simply complaining to his psychiatrist that it makes urges worse and he has difficult time redirecting his thoughts would be enough.)

    However I would not be surprised, if difficult child would be planning just trying to stand it till he is in so strong standing in team, that no one takes him to task if he simply stops going. Of course if he plans that, he is not counting that his agent would not like that at all, neither likely his sport psychiatric. You just doesn't give ammo like that (demonstrably breaking your contract) to your employer, if you can avoid it. Not even if they are not likely to use it at that point. It of course doesn't go other way around. Teams try to break contracts just as much as they can get away from. For example there just was one guy in one player strike in other team sport, because he was promised a three bed room apartment and was planning bringing his family over. He was still in hotel alone five weeks after coming to the country when he started his strike (it was of course announced as an injury by his team but sport reporters found out.) And in smaller things it is very typical. difficult child and his room mate were not only out of some furniture when they moved in; they still do not have all the cable channels they were promised to. And only last week they got a first one not dubbed in language neither of them understands. difficult child is lucky to have a room mate much better in standing up for himself. If it was up to difficult child, he would likely be deferred to just watching Netflix for whole season. (And yeah, I do hope difficult child watches and learns, how to take care of that kind of business.)

    But anyway I don't think difficult child took in count how difficult it is for him to stand up for himself and how much he will want to please his new coaches etc. Especially without any back-up close to him. Before he had us and in his last town he had a positional coach he is close to. Even though he didn't coach difficult child any more last season, he was still in the town and looked after difficult child. Now he is first time without anyone to turn to. And quite alone. Other than his room mate, only three guys from the team will speak English more than absolutely necessary and only one is willing to hang out with difficult child and room mate and translate what coaches say to them. That is tough they to learn to be more self-sufficient.

    Advocating even for your child can be tough and take everything you got. Most of us know that and have been so tired doing it that we have only wanted to give up, because it just is such an uphill battle. Advocating for yourself has to be even worse. Because not only are you having to battle those same battles parents endure when they advocate for their kids, you have to be also extremely self-aware and honest about yourself and admit painful things out loud. Admit weakness even though the answer will likely be anything but pleasant. Being a guy and pro athlete is not making it any easier. They are supposed to be tough guys. Eat nails and s*** bullets. Admitting weakness and anxiety and trying to get help for that is a huge thing in that world. So I'm not surprised difficult child is having huge issues with self advocating and will likely need help in that for some time more.
  15. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    The groups are very attuned to those who think they can fake their way through it. With due respect, he may damage himself by his deception but don't blame others on damaging him. It is his decision to try to fake his way through it.
  16. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Sorry, I don't really catch this? How would going to groups without buying the system damage him more than going totally in? If it is not a good fit, the more invested you are, more potential there is for a damage. If it is a good fit, then of course not getting invested limits the benefits you can get from it but hardly causes additional damage.

    Not faking it and going totally in would at least cause more concern for me, because that would mean forsaking the essence of all those things and tools that have worked well for difficult child over two and half years now and changing them to tools, that have not been tested on him - and to be honest don't seem to be working that well for others in the group. There are nine regulars (that difficult child knows) and only one of them has been clean longer than difficult child. Of course it is more than likely that those who have been clean that long don't feel like coming to groups any more, so likely those who have had success with the group are not visible for difficult child and he only meets those, who are new or still struggle.
  17. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I didn't mean any disrespect suzir and like I said I know nothing about GA. I am basing my comments on AA and NA. Those who go to AA and NA and are faking it usually don't stay very long, just long enough to fulfill their court requirements. They do not contribute or share and can negatively affect those around them that are struggling. If they do have a sponsor they are wasting their time when they could be helping someone else. You made the comment that you hoped it would not damage him more. I'm not sure what you mean by damage but if you mean he will relapse I dont think it's fair to blame the group that he faked his way through. If he acquired all those tools previosuly they must not be working either.

    I've been through this with my difficult child, pretending she bought in when all she really was doing was getting them off her back so she could do what she wanted in the end. I could have blamed the residential treatment center with introducing her to knew ways of hiding drugs and more drug contacts, but it isn't the program's fault, it was hers for not wanting to change.

    Like I said I know nothing about GA and it may be very different, but I don't see how the program can damage him either way.
  18. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    SuZir's difficult child isn't a classical style of addiction. He has received intensive help that is working... just needs to continue down that path a little longer.
    His new EMPLOYER made it a condition of contract that he attend GA. This same person believes that 12-step programs are the ONLY answer, and that you MUST find your help at this source and no other...
    And on top of that, the only GA group that fits with his schedule... is run rather differently than any of the xA groups I've been around.

    His tools are working. He doesn't need GA. But he "thought" he could push it to a back corner and just go on with what he was doing and that seems to be raising some issues. And being around newly-attempting-to-recover G addicts... is NOT being good for him.
  19. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    As I said I know nothing about GA so should not have commented. I'm shaking my head at an employer who would require this if his tools were working.

    Suzir you are free to disregard anything I said that does not pertain to your situation.
  20. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    It does make perfect sense to the mployer. Not only has the GM himself found help from AA and is a believer (which I understand perfectly, if something is a huge help for you, you are more inclined to believe it helps also other), but it does give them also a nice way to wash their hands. Because of difficult child's known issues, he is considered a risk (even if he never again gambled and would play 20 more years, they would still consider him 'risky' because of that, things like that so strong.) If something would happen with him, first thing sport reporters would ask from team management would be: "Did you know about the past issues and him being risky choice? What did you do to support him to prevent this?" With forcing difficult child to GA, they can claim that they did everything they could to help and support difficult child, but despite all their efforts blaah, blaah, blaah. And with no additional cost for them at all.

    How I worry GA could hurt difficult child? There are several things I worry about.

    First is a thing he told himself. All that talk about gambling makes him think about gambling more and to have more urges to gamble. Of course one can consider that a good way to test his coping mechanism, but usually it is against common wisdom to go to places that make you want to do things you shouldn't. Many recovering alcoholics don't like to go to bars for this reason. For difficult child, even though his addiction is gambling, it is little more precise. What hooks him is a component of high stakes or certain fast-based visual/sensory stimuli online poker has. difficult child can easily go to sport bar in casino (he has never gambled in casino, emotionally it doesn't connect for him to gambling) or even buy a lottery ticket or take part of team's raffle on something or even play poker with team mates for nickels to kill time during long bus trips. None of that connects to his gambling addiction for him. However he can't play certain computer games, because those do connect. He can play sport games, or video games with movie like atmosphere etc. But something as simple as zookeeper (fun little classic game there you move animals) then again hits him right to the same neurological tracks gambling did. And that he can't play at all, or he will have very hard time not taking next step towards the gambling.

    What I'm trying to say, it of course is not GA's fault if their way of handling things is triggering for difficult child. But it can make it a poor fit for difficult child. Especially when the tools difficult child does use, are, at least in letter, antonym to GA principles. When twelve steps teaches powerlessness over the addiction, difficult child has been taught that he has all the power and can control his thoughts and actions etc. Getting confused and middle of these two models would likely not be a great idea.

    Then there are other worries than relapsing.

    Let's start with the obvious. My difficult child is sheltered, upper middle class, younger than his years country pumping from one of the safest places in earth in most criteria. He isn't home now. This group is in the bigger city in driving distance from his current city. In area there lives lots of people, who have went through many historical upheavals even in their life time. There middle income is one third of ours. There many have learned to take care of themselves first. We then again have had a luxury to teach our kids trust, equality and all that. difficult child is smart, but he is not street smart. He is vulnerable and easy victim. And even with all his trust issues, he is down right gullible in other ways. Great example from this summer. He kept his bag in unlocked car next to one of our outbuilding (but not in our garden where at least our dogs would have warned if someone had gone in.) Okay, we keep our cars unlocked too and may leave something in them too. But not a bag with almost ten grand worth of stuff in it. Of course to difficult child's defence I have to say, it is difficult to sell stuff, but still. When husband mentioned to him, that he probably should bring the bag to house, he asked why, it smells and all that. That is how non-street smart he is. Easy prey.

    And even if the forget that this area is very different from our home, it is other gamblers who are reason for concern too. According some studies every third pathological gambler has also anti-social personality disorder, in some it is 'only' every fourth. Anyway that is sky high. So basically in every support group for gamblers, there are several who have ASPD or are psychopaths. That would be statiscally true even if you would think that ASPD people with gambling problems would be less likely to seek help. In non-professional, non-governered, autonomous groups, that sounds like a big risk factor for me. My difficult child is certainly not an angel, but he is far from being able to deal with that kind of people either. And let's face it, if things difficult child tells me are even close to objective truth this group sounds like it has gone bit awry. Especially this sponsor stuff. And that is why I asked. I of course have read GA (and AA9 webpages, but those are not so informative in these types of things.