I'm experiencing an agitating experience with someone in program.
I have decided that I want to start working with kids again, it brings me great value and self esteem.
The program I wish to participate in has someone that I have a brief history with in Alanon. In that program, we developed a fellowship and friendship. I was very candid, honest, and vulnerable with him. And then things got sexually tense (I wasn't understanding what was going on; I certainly was not attracted to him, so I started wondering if he was attracted to me). I withdrew from the fellowship and stopped going to the meetings he was going to.
More than a year later, my sponsor encouraged me to talk to him about it, since it had been bothering me the entire year. I called him and told him about my confusions and asked him questions about what happened. He took offense, and got angry at me. that was a few months ago.
A few nights ago, I stepped up to do my first part in starting my volunteer work. This person is one of the people that runs the program. He questioned my integrity, attacked my program, and was condescending towards me as I was trying to explain to him.
I'm being reminded that even people who are seeking recovery, and even people who look like stellar examples of recovery on the outside, still carry within them judgments, and can act out when they are feeling uncomfortable.
it sucks that he is standing directly in my way to my volunteer desires. I hope that I'm still offered an opportunity to show them my value.
Loc: Pacific North West
I also have an alanon program. (2 yrs +). I was ostracized by an individual who took offense at my sexuality. The Group is the officially designated power in all the Anonymous programs. If you are having problems with this one person interjecting themselves as a gatekeeper, get the rest of the group involved.
In my situation, I wanted to leave, and thought everyone was just fine with me going away and never coming back. I found out through a group conscience that they invited him to apologize and when he didn't they asked him to leave and return when he found himself able to do so.
I wish you luck dealing with your feelings surrounding this person and suggest you discuss it further with your sponsor.
I had a similar experience once in AA. A fellow set himself up as judge of my status and declared that I was not an alcoholic in a group meeting. I thought: Great...even the fucking alcoholics don't want me! But I talked with my sponsor about it and he told me no one is appointed to be the "AA police", so I let it go.
But what a bummer that the same guy is standing in your way. Consider going over his head? Or, there may be some other similar programs in your area that you could choose instead.
If you can't move a mountain, go around it.
"Suffering was the only thing that made me feel I was alive, Thought thats just what it cost to survive in this world, ...now I haven't got time for the pain... " -Carly Simon now 67!
Nice to have you posting again Magellan. I'm going to second G on the group conscience. Though I haven't seen it used much, it's a very effective tool. My best meetings have been those that not only cover the Steps, but dip into the Traditions as well.
As I was told early on by my sponsor and as I've passed on to my sponsees, too, there are enough meetings around major cities that you should be able to find those in which you're comfortable.
For Al-Anon, the only requirement for membership is that someone in your life is affected by alcoholism. Period. I'll also add - you've likely heard it - some of us are sicker than others! ;-)
Gawd, I've never gotten quite this programmy on MS, but I'll share one more story about principles over personalities. Once, just before a meeting started, a couple girls were examining the local list of meetings and one commented to the other, "Oh, that one's the fag meeting." Those of you who know me can imagine my reaction inside.
When the meeting started, the chair asked if there were any concerns before they tackled the topic. So, without identifying the girls (or even that they were girls), I shared my story and how it upset me, made me feel I wasn't welcomed, etc. Nor did I feel I could otherwise participate that evening.
The two girls' tears pretty much nailed themselves and, yeah, I felt some satisfaction. Nor did I feel comfortable returning to the meeting (honestly, because I didn't want to face them or have to accept an apology - man, there's a 4th step issue - if any was forthcoming). But, it was one helluva lesson I doubt they forgot.
What I'm suggesting is that you might go back to that meeting and, without identifying the person, share your story and how it made you feel. You might even preface it by citing principles over personalities. In the same vein, you might not even want to specify that it was someone in that particular meeting. It takes courage to spill the beans. But, if you do, it will be off your shoulders. I can almost guarantee you'll find support you never expected. And sticking to "principles over personalities" or anonymity will keep the focus on your program, instead of gossip. ("Who was it?" "It doesn't matter.")
If Mr. Perfect Program happens to be there, he'll then have to listen to whatever comments are made by other members. But you've taken the high road by keeping personality out of the discussion.
Oh, and if it doesn't work out - you and I have been to meetings that are Really Bad; this might be one of 'em - you can always find other meetings. You're not responsible for "fixing" that meeting.
Hilarious vid, btw, Still.
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