At a time later than now I’ll draft up an article along the lines of “Stephen Assaf: A cost analysis of one asshat”, and for now I’ll simply state that the parasite – Stephen Assaf – was vice president of DBSA Albuquerque a couple years before I arrived and his alleged embezzlement of DBSA Albuuerque funds nearly destroyed our chapter. I will also share that due to his aggressive and bullying nature he drove off many peer members who approached the board stating explicitly they would not return if Stephen was still attending. In fact, I also almost didn’t return to group because of his behavior, and I was president of our chapter at the time.

Yesterday a “new” peer attended our Monday group. I say “new” because this peer ten years ago attended a DBSA Albuquerque support group, and they attended only once. Why?

“There was this guy in charge with this woman. His name is Steve. He lured you in by being the door greeter. Then he was aggressive, controlling, and a bully. He made everyone feel bad, insulted people for having an opinion, and interrupted all the time. I was scolded in front of everyone for talking to a woman before group. He was a bully. I didn’t go back and I really needed a support group.”

Fine. I ‘ll talk some about Stephen Assaf’s history in DBSA Albuquerque and the ramifications of having someone like him in a peer support setting. Here are a few components of a cost analysis in retaining a bully and allowing him access to fragile peers in true need of peer support.

Stephen Assaf returned to DBSA Albuquerque in 2011 (with 2008 treasurer Scott), and from what my friend in the DA’s office told me, this was right after the statute of limitations expired on the alleged embezzlement perpetrated by the 2008 chapter board. When he returned, we immediately lost several members who were around when the chapter was nearly destroyed. On their way out, Dave said, “As long as he and Scott are here, I’m not.”

There is much more to say about Stephen because he is the best person in the world who says the smartest things ever and is beloved by all. For now, I have this observation.

If someone like Stephen was there the first night I went to group, I wouldn’t have come back and I’d be dead now.

You see, I gave myself a choice on October 14, 2010, that I would try a peer support group that night or I would kill myself. And I gave myself that same choice over and over. Each week for a month I said “I’ll go to group tonight. I don’t think I want to die just yet.” Living from week to week, much like waiting for the next installment in the Disney’s Star Wars Cinematic Universe that comes out every week (Star Wars burn out, baby baby), only each time I attended group I came away enriched and not horribly disappointed. C’mon. “Solo: A Star Wars Story.” Sure, “The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones” pooped on Harrison Ford’s classic character, as did “The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”, where Harrison Ford pooped on himself . . . what was my point? Oh, yes, the Solo prequel flick was very disappointing (thanks for nothing, Ron Howard). Attending DBSA support groups was the opposite of pooping on Harrison Ford. Not that I fantasize about pooping on Harrison Ford or know empirically what it is like to poop on Harrison Ford. It’s a metaphor only.

This is how I see it. A support group cannot be sacrificed for one person who is a stinking wad of poop on the iconic fedora of Indiana Jones. The fedora must be cherished and treated with the respect of the peer community. Stephen did not understand this or if he did he wouldn’t treat the group and the peers in attendance with kindness. I have to imagine how many new peers Stephen drove away, and in a worst way possible I have to imagine if anyone went home and decided to die instead of return to the safety of our peer support group. If it could have happened to me it could have happened to others. This is the nature of peer support. If safety is threatened, peers turn away from a promising communal service that can give purpose and reason to their lives.

Stephan Asshat ultimately was invited to seek peer support elsewhere. As thus was born a splinter support group of individuals dedicated to squeezing buttnuggets on Harrison Ford. They have strange interests and goals. I hope their splinter group does not reflect this. I can’t imagine a large number of peers interested in such a hobby. Except for the core group . . . Scott the Emotional Vampire, Christina the Delusional Photographer, Sonya the Woman Who Hit on My Girlfriend Right in Front of Me at Group (to where Duckee wouldn’t come to group any longer. Thanks for nothing, Sonya), Luke the Man Who Worked on His Anger Issues by Kicking Every Post in the Group Venue, Bill the Powerless Puppet, and Stephen the Poopermeister.

In any case, our “new” member gave himself the choice of going to group once and then the choice of not coming any longer because of Stephen and Glo’s behavior. It took a decade for him to come back to DBSA. Perhaps we should have posted to the chapter site, “Attention All Peers: Stephen Assaf was Voted Off the Island. It is Safe for You Once Again.” Our new member is very happy with the group he attended. He is kind and generous of himself. I can see why Stephen would attack him. Poopyface people don’t value genuine kindness. It makes them uncomfortable and itchy.

I’m going to keep going for a bit. This is what my sister Sarah has to deal with daily.

As long as we’re chatting about Stephen Asshat (autocorrect keeps wanting to change his surname to “Assaf”), I’m going to clear the air on something. Stephen fabricated a tale that I put the board up to voting him off the island, and that as president I bullied everyone into going along with me. Not so. I approached Stephen at group with our vice president and stated:

“I don’t like you Stephen, and you are a bully. I am choosing not to talk with you any longer. If you have any DBSA business, I am instructing you to take your business to another board member. Also, I am recusing myself from any business matters related to you and your behavior. Because I don’t want to come to group because of you makes this a conflict of interest. Respect my wishes.”

Guess what? He didn’t respect my wishes. He demanded to be vice president. With great poetic justice, his abuse of me the very next week is the final incident the board used to vote him off the island.

Again, I was not there for the vote for I recused myself. The board voted to remove him in my absence, telling me after the deed was already completed.

And he knows this.

And it’s sadly validating a new member spoke EXACTLY to the reasons the board considered in voting Stephen Assaf to seek peer support elsewhere. I loathe that Stephen was every bit the bully two years before my arrival as he was one year after my arrival. We implemented new policies to manage disruptive members. Thanks for nothing, Stephen.

Well, I vomited out more than I intended. I still plan on writing a detailed history of Poopermeister, including information given to me by Jeremy and Cheyenne. One thing shared is Stephen enjoys petting puppies very hard with a hammer. That – I hope – sounds farfetched.