The long and short of it is, I just kept coming back.
I started in SA as a young, widowed, single mom in June 2005. At that time there were 3 other women in my homegroup. Within a year, they were gone. My sponsor was one of them. She decided to go back out and try some more controlled lusting, my grand-sponsor moved, and the other woman quit coming because of health reasons. Thankfully, by this time, I had worked the steps and knew beyond a doubt that SA was where I needed to be if I wanted to continue living and be a healthy mom to raise my 4 young kids by myself.
At first, being the only woman was very intimidating, but I didn’t let that deter me, I couldn’t. My sickness had already destroyed 2 marriages. In addition, about 6 months after my sponsor and the other women quit coming to my homegroup I nearly committed suicide. I’m thankful that there was an old timer man I was able to call that night after my 4 year old son walked in as I was about to take a handful of pills and asked, “What ya doin mommy?” I sat in meetings for the next year – year and a half staring at the floor just so I could stay focused on the topic of the meeting, and not let my lustful mind wander. In doing this, I was able to focus on the shares, and not the men sharing them (what they were wearing, what they looked like, etc.). I was able to focus on how we were similar, instead of the obvious difference of being male or female. Slowly, over time, listening this way was rewarding because I started to relate to the shares of the men in my group. This helped me begin viewing them as humans instead of objects to be lusted after or “something to chase” to lust after me.
During my 3rd year, I stepped to do service as the Literature person. Then I found other ways to give service by arriving early and getting the materials out, chairing meetings occasionally, passing out chips, being the woman of contact for when women called the phone line. Whatever form of service I knew I could do without being too time consuming, and taking me awayr from my young kids and university studies, I did.
Over time, after about the 3rd year of just continuing to “come back” and doing small acts of service, the mood of the guys in my group changed. I could actually “feel” the change. I was finally welcomed when I would arrive at a meeting. Sometimes, I was asked after meetings about something I had shared. The men started asking to hear my perspective on a topic to gain different insight. Slowly, the men in my group changed from being “the men in my group” to being my “Brothers”. They became my biggest cheerleaders and advocates for seeking other service positions. They have willingly walked some very tough journeys with me. They have unanimously voted to scholarship me to international conventions, just so I could meet other women in SA. Many have expressed their thanks for my willingness to just “keep coming back” because they have learned much just from me being there through my experience, strength and hope when I share, as I have learned from them.
Over the years, other women have come and gone, but none ever stayed, primarily because of the uncomfortable feeling of being the only woman when I couldn’t attend. It has only been in the last year and a half that 2 other women have become part of my home-group, and stayed. Today, nearly 16 years later, I’m thankful that I just kept “coming back” because the men have told me that I have gained their respect, admiration, and their friendship simply because I willing to keep coming back.
I’ve been asked, “What can men do to support the women in their fellowships?” And I would relay to do what my brothers did, but don’t take so long. Welcome the women in, fight for them, walk with them, be their advocate because we need this program as much as they do.
With that, I will take another 24. Thank you, I’m Tencha, I’m a grateful recovering sexaholic.
Tencha S., Texas, USA