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4th Step Inventory

Adolescence 4th Step Inventory

Often an adolescent relies on the misguided sex information obtained from his peers. This can produce a number of severe problems (i.e. never outgrowing the desire to have sex with the opposite parent, brother, sister...sometimes the desire for sexual activities with the parent of the same sex.) Although these are unconscious desires, they bring on conscious guilts that have to be dealt with. Distortion may come when a person is too young emotionally to handle adult sex.

There is involvement because of peer pressure or the desire to please another. Not being in touch with adult feelings, pretenses set up which then leads to anger, disappointment, and guilt. These feelings, in turn, can have a tendency to prevent normal sexual and emotional growth. The guilt prevents the person from talking the feelings out with a mature adult, which may result in a need to repeat the same pattern over and over again.

1. Write down your experience concerning the above, both heterosexual and homosexual.

2. Some girls are taught that men are interested in sex only, and some boys are taught that they must be "the greatest of all time." These attitudes are destructive and damaging to the total person.

a. Have you experienced either of these attitudes?
b. Is there a pattern?
c. How has it affected you?

3. Did you have friends when you were an adolescent?

4. Did you consider friendly overtures a possible trick?

5. Did you have feelings of complete worthlessness?

6. What kind of friend were you?

7. What interest or lack of interest did you have in school?

8. How was your social life?

9. Did you participate in sports or creative activities such as music, art, etc.?

10. What were the reasons for your participation or non-participation in these activities?

11. Were you a trouble maker? If so, in what way?

a. Did you destroy property?
b. Did you resent leaders-either physical or mental?
c. Did what seemed to satisfy others provide no satisfaction for you?
d. Did you tend to drift, lack initiative, be short on persistence?
e. Did you feel passive discontent?
f. Did you resent not being the most handsome or beautiful person at school?

12. Did you feel you were a coward because you didn't want to fight?

a. Of did you like to fight?
b. Were you a bully?
c. If you are a boy, did you feel embarrassed because boys made fun of you or girls avoided you?
d. If you are a girl, did you feel embarrassed because girls made fun of you or boys avoided you?
e. Were you very sensitive to rebuff and almost automatically hostile?

13. Did you have a difficult time pleasing yourself?

a. Did it bother you if you made mistakes?
b. Were you overly concerned with every detail?

14. Some people feel inadequate as adults because they were at one time exposed to youngsters more developed at that time. Were you exposed to other children in gym class or the restrooms who were older than you and more developed physically?

a. How did you feel then?
b. How do you feel now?

15. Did you drift in and out of relationships?

16. Did you suffer intensely from insecurities and tend to keep people at a distance?

17. Did you feel that deep down you lacked an identity of your own?

18. Did you resent not being part of a crowd?

a. Or not being a leader?
b. Or not being "in"?

19. Were you shy or outgoing?

a. How are you now?

20. Does any particular type of person make you shy?

21. If you dropped out of school explain your feelings and reasons?

22. Anything happen to you in high school that was a continuing source of shame?

23. Did your parents compare you to other family members or friends?

a. Did you resent them for wanting you to be like someone else?

24. How did you get the attention of your family?

25. Did you have great longings for someone to care for you?

a. Did you make an effort to appear self-sufficient, independent of others, detached, aloof?
b. Did you pout, sulk, be a good child, have temper tantrums, act like a dummy?

26. Do you remember the kind of lies you told (if any)?

a. How did you feel when you got caught lying?

27. What was the most embarrassing incident of your adolescence?

a. Are there any others that you remember?

28. Did you have great difficulty in giving or receiving love and affection?

29. If sexual feeling were discounted and "put down" in your family, there is a strong possibility that you will feel guilty about them. We "catch" attitudes. A boy who's pushed to always do better, or is criticized no matter what he does, may find himself having trouble in his sexual performance as an adult. Or a girl who has been told that it is not-okay to feel sexy may grow up to dislike her own body and distrust her feelings. These attitudes create unnatural or uncomfortable sexual behavior.

a. Did you "catch" any of these attitudes?
b. Can you see such attitudes cropping up in your life now?
c. First sexual intercourse:
1. What were your feelings?
2. Did you feel guilty?
3. Did you feel disappointed?
4. Be as explicit about the feelings as you can.

30. List in detail any homosexual experience, masturbation fantasy, or other sexual activity that you remember from this time. Keep in mind that we are not concerned about "with whom" or "on what date" or "how often"...rather, we are concerned about how you felt about the experience.

31. Did you get someone pregnant?

a. Or become pregnant yourself?
b. What did you do and how did you feel about your actions?

32. Were you ashamed of your parents?

a. Were they too old, too fat, too sloppy, too drunk, etc.?
b. Too whatever?

33. Did you have the kind of clothes that other kids wore?

34. Did you give the spiritual side of life a fair hearing?

a. Did you choose to believe that your human intelligence is the last word?

35. Was there enough money for the things that you needed?

a. If not, were you resentful that there wasn't?
b. If there was, did you take it too much for granted?
c. Did you feel any brothers or sisters got more than you did?
d. Write out your feelings about money as an adolescent.
e. Did you tend to be impulsive?

36. Did you tend to dominate some or many aspects of your life?

37. Were you the kind of child you would want to have?

38. Were you a thief?

39. Were you ever double-promoted (skipped a grade)?

a. If so, did you have trouble catching-up emotionally?
b. Were you held back a grade?
c. How did you act?
d. How did you feel...did you feel uncomfortable because you were younger, older, than the other students?

40. Were you undependable as a friend, breaking off relationships without any explanation when someone or something who seemed better came along?

41. Did you pit one member of your family against another?

42. What was the best experience you had during this period of your life?

a. The worst?

We've covered a lot of ground on these questions. Now, is there anything that made you particularly uncomfortable when writing about it? Have you put down everything that you can remember now that bugged you then? Even the simplest, most nit-picking things are important if they trouble you. Put them down now.

Go on to the Adulthood Inventory.