Step 4: Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
Reading: 1.) Alcoholics Anonymous Ch. 5, pg. 63, last paragraph.
2.) Step 4 in OA 12×12.
3.) Alcoholics Anonymous Ch. 6 up to page 75, second line.
Step 4 Inventory.
There were three Step 4 versions we could choose from, and I picked to do the four-column version outlined on pg. 64-71 of the AA Big Book.
So for this entry, I’ll be focusing on my resentments. Because this is a blog, I can’t really do a four-column layout so I’ll just list things out.
The following Step 4 gets very in depth, personal, and ugly. My defects of character are very present, so please leave your judgements at the door.
1.) Resentment: The boys (my husband’s kids). Why I am angry: If the boys didn’t exist, I wouldn’t have to deal with my husband’s ex-wife. If the boys didn’t exist, we wouldn’t have to pay 1,000.00 a month in child support. They aren’t my own children. Because of them I may not be able to have my own children. They don’t clean up their messes. They are ungrateful. They are loud and sometimes obnoxious. This affects my: My own happiness. My personal relations with the boys and my husband. My self-esteem (I feel guilty/like a bad step-mom). My ambitions (I would have liked to have a “normal” marriage — one without an ex-wife and kids included). My part is: I knew going into the relationship that there was baggage. Most of my resentment towards the boys has actually nothing to do with how they behave and more to do with my own selfish needs and desires (wanting my husband all to myself, wanting my own child, want, want, want). I also fail to turn things over (having/not having my own children, the child support, the normal kid behaviors like being loud and obnoxious). I ignore them and pretend like they aren’t here when they visit. It’s also not their fault that we have to pay child support nor is it their fault I can’t have children.
2.) Resentment: The oldest step-son. Why I am angry: He’s gross (doesn’t wash hands often enough, eats with his fingers, doesn’t use a napkin despite repeated attempts to get him to do so). He’s manipulative. He “tells” on me, over-exaggerating the role I play at home (telling the mother I treat them poorly or that I ignore them or that I don’t do any house chores). He eaves-drops, he lies, he is immature. He’s a smart-ass and he’s ungrateful. I hate that I have to always choose my words carefully around him, and that I can’t talk to my husband openly about a lot of things in front of him, because he will either blow things out of proportion, twist my words around, or tell his mother in order to gain brownie points with her (for example, if he knew I lost my job, he would tell the mother so the mother would praise him for gossip). This affects my: self-esteem (I feel guilty/like a bad step-mom), personal relations with him which affects my personal relations with my husband, my own personal happiness. My part is: My step-son was young but old enough to see the ugliness of his parents divorce and the side-effects that occurred because of it. Due to this rough childhood, he’s had a lot of emotional issues including bed wetting, getting bullied at school, being overly-sensitive, angry, and resentful, particularly towards me and his parents. Instead of encouraging him and showing him love that his real mom possibly does not give him to the extent she should, I DO ignore him and treat him poorly. I never praise him for the good things he does. He’s a product of his environment yet I fail to take that into consideration and put too many expectations on him. He’s just a kid.
3.) Resentment: My husband. Why I am angry: I’m angry because he cannot get me pregnant due to his vasectomy. This affects my: personal and sex relations with him, my ambitions of being a mother, and my self-esteem (I sometimes worry what others will think if I’m not able to have kids). It also affects my happiness. My part is: I knew going into the relationship that he had a vasectomy. I also knew that if we reversed it, our odds were still low of conceiving. I fail to turn it over to my Higher Power. I fail to remember that my husband had his vasectomy before he knew me and that he’s not doing this on purpose. I’m also being selfish and self-seeking as sometimes I only want a baby so I know what it’s like to have one, so I can focus on my own kid vs. HIS kids, so we can share something that doesn’t INCLUDE his other kids, and so I can get back at his ex for rubbing it in my face that I would never be able to carry his children.
4.) Resentment: His ex-wife. Why I am angry: Because she was able to have his kids, and I am not. This affects my: self-esteem (I feel inferior to her), my ambitions at being a mother, my personal relationship with my step-kids and my husband, and my happiness. My part is: failing to turn this over to my higher power. She didn’t do anything wrong as I’m really just jealous.
5.) Resentment: Being unemployed. Why I am angry: Because I hate having to look for jobs, I hate our financial situation always suffering because of my unemployment, I hate the pressure of looking/finding/securing a job. This affects my: self-esteem (feel like a loser), my ambitions of finding work I enjoy, my happiness, and my personal relations with my husband. My part is: I don’t look for jobs as hard as I could, I make excuses for myself, I fail to turn my unemployment over to my Higher Power. I also put the pressure on myself because time and time again my husband has supported me and made me aware that he isn’t putting pressure on me.