Get Help Now - Call 24/7 888-401-1241 100% Confidential
Who Answers?

By Susan B.

Early in my recovery, my sponsor cautioned me that sometimes the biggest threat to my sobriety could come from inside the Fellowship itself. Soon after, I experienced this firsthand.

A man returned to the rooms from a relapse and singled me out. He was angry and spoke at me threateningly, daring me not to read the book, go to meetings, get a sponsor and a Higher Power – all the things that he didn’t do. A gentleman with time reminded all in attendance of Tradition 3, which states that “The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking.” 

As a newcomer with less than 30 days, I was comforted by that. Thus was my introduction to the importance of the Traditions, which became so important in the foundation of my recovery. 

Deeper Wounds

In my Fellowship of choice, we like to say, “We don’t kick our wounded”. On the surface, we all come into the rooms of recovery ravaged by the toll taken on us by drugs and alcohol. However, there are sometimes deeper wounds that have nothing to do with drugs and alcohol. These experiences may be why we turned to drugs and alcohol to ease our pain in the first place.

It can be easy to minimize someone’s life scars with a flippant attitude of “Wow, he/she has issues!”  Yes, many of us do!  These things take time and a tremendous amount of work to acknowledge and come to terms with. The 12 Steps can open the door to understanding and acceptance but can only go so far in the deep healing of childhood trauma, neglect, mental, emotional, or physical abuse, complex PTSD, and the like. Hence, many of us have come to learn that we are, indeed, as sick as our secrets.

It Takes Courage

Sadly, narcissists and those who perpetrate TAR are among our wounded in the rooms of recovery. We all need to be mindful of that.

The recovery community at large is beginning to understand this. In some cases, outside help is needed to recover from the effects of Toxic Abusive Relationships (TAR), even in recovery. 

It takes enormous courage to talk about some of the things that made us who we are. The upside of this is that, by shining a light of truth in the telling of our stories, we can heal and help others to do so too


TAR Network™ is a 501(c)(3) charity dedicated to bringing worldwide awareness and treatment to those whose emotional reality has been distorted by narcissistic abuse. The mission of TAR Network is to support men, women, the LGBTQ+ community, tweens & teens, families, parents who are alienated from their children, workers, and caregivers going through or emerging from TAR. With subject matter experts, affiliates, organizations with supportive resources, and our individual donor community our programs will help you out of the fog and into the light. TAR Network is currently developing several innovative projects: TAR Tales – a safe place to share your truth TAR Centers – a safe place to get vital CPTSD treatment TAR Anon – a safe and nonjudgmental worldwide support network. There is strength in numbers. We’ve all suffered from trauma and abuse at the hands of someone close. Please join us in this worldwide effort toward recovery.

Write A Comment


Who Answers?

Calls to the general helpline will be answered by a paid advertiser of one of our treatment partners.