Al-Anon Family Group

The material presented here is not Al-Anon Conference Approved Literature. It is a method to exchange information, ideas, feelings, problems and solutions on a personal level.

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Post Info TOPIC: I had to leave


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Posts: 10
I had to leave

In an Alanon Group is this acceptable? Calling you out in front of everyone in a public restaurant and other group members. Than making you apologize just because you left abruptly because you didnt want to argue or fight because you were above all humilated. They say she isnt talking to us like that but our sickness. How is that so when I have been verbally and mentally abused my entire life. Saying she is talking in general but what a coincidence that she is talking about subjects that you have shared in the past. That it wasnt to hurt me but her tone and face showed disdain. That I take everything as a insult and that I should stop playing the victim. She did it again at literature study meeting. I managed to stay calm. Despite the fact I knew she was talking about me she even confirmed it in front of everyone. I left. They made the bad guy for not putting up with this. Is it me or someone with a harsh tone is trying to exert dominance over someone. Im basically one year and half new. Not counting the fact the group had to close because of covid. My sponsor telling her things about me even though she denies it. But what a coincidence shes calling me out verbatim. How does she know certain things about me that only my sponsor knows. Supposedly anonymity doesnt exist within group members. I am devasted. Hurt. Confused. They said they loved me. I thought I was their friend. Despite her saying that we arent in group to make friends. Even though ny sponsor said that is where we learn to be friends. But they refused to acknowledge who is in the wrong here. Double standards, hypocrisy, self righteousness. They got mad because of the way I reacted. But how was I suppose to react when it took everything I had to share the week before that I feel small igsinificant and she basically took parts and pieces and made a knife to stab me in the heart in the most sarcastic way. I feel like I was just a project. I was never a friend. But they can get together and be friends. I didnt have the courage to call her out. Its suppose to be a safe place. Im tired of fighting. But God forbid I did what she did to me. They stood there and did nothing.


~*Service Worker*~

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Posts: 777

Hi flower, welcome back

It sounds like you have some strong feelings and concerns involving others in your group. You mentioned that you have been involved in Alanon for a year and a half, so the good news is that you know right where to turn to guide you through difficult situations. The same guidance Alanon gives us for dealing with alcohol can be applied in all of our affairs.

Just as with situations involving alcoholism, I don't know what actually happened in your situation with your group. Even if I did, Alanon suggests that I avoid thinking that I know what someone else should do in any situation, and certainly not to give advice on what I think should be done or pass judgement on actions of others.

In Alanon I am guided to focus not on the actions of others, on thinking that I know why others act in certain ways, but instead look at my own actions and determine what lessons I can learn or changes I can make to align with Alanon principles and find peace.

When it comes to anonymity, Alanon is very clear on the importance at a personal and group level, as seen by Tradition 12: "Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our Traditions, ever reminding us to place principles above personalities".

In my time in Alanon across different groups and even states, I have learned that Alanoners are not perfect, not all hold to every suggestion, principle or Tradition, but overall are very aware of, and practice to the best of their ability, this Tradition.

On an individual level, however, and since there does not exist perfection among those of us who walk this earth, I must accept the fact that I may have to use the guidance and principles I am learning in Alanon to navigate my feelings and reactions to other Alanon members. As the program suggests, Alanoners are often just as ill as alcoholics when arriving to the program...we are all at various places in our recovery journey...we all need the grace of our higher power and forgiveness of others where we ourselves fall short.

I am very grateful for Alanon's guidance in my own life in the topic areas of expectations of others, how my assumptions of the thoughts of others can best be avoided, and how my serenity involves keeping the focus on the changes I can make. When I keep the focus on my thoughts and actions, the serenity and peace I find is a spiritual blessing unlike anything I was able to find on my own.

This is a quiet time in the group as many are on holiday, glad you stopped in and look forward to hearing how you are able to use program principles in finding peace with your current challenges. Good to have you, keep coming back



"...when we try to control others, we lose the ability to manage our own lives."  - Paths to Recovery 

Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 330

I am sorry that you are experiencing such a difficult time with your f2f group and

Paul has really given you the best interpretation of how Al-Anon should guide all

of us in this type of situation. Definitely, please come back and let us know how

you are doing.


"Forgiveness doesn't excuse bad behavior, but it

does prevent bad behavior from destroying your heart". ~ unknown


Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 171

Thanks for your share flower. I'm sorry for what you're going through emotionally. The amount of time someone has in Alanon doesn't really matter as much as their interest in working an honest program. I think many of us have had the experience you described with someone who we felt we could trust. Not everyone has experienced a breach of trust with their Alanon sponsor but I have. My sponsor was in Alanon more than thirty years at the time. She gossiped about me to another member who had been in the program about that long. I am not new to the program. I'd been around awhile. I privately confronted my sponsor that another member had outed her by telling me information that I had shared in confidence with only my sponsor. She apologized but despite forgiving her, I never fully regained the trust needed to continue our sponsor/sponsee relationship. I found myself sharing more personal things with others I felt I could trust. Within a year, I told her I felt we should end the sponsor/sponsee relationship.

It's not uncommon to change sponsors. We all grow and change, progress differently. I felt my sponsor and I had hit a wall. Aside from the gossip, our sponsor/sponsee relationship was beginning to feel a bit like an old stagnant marriage where it was familiar but without vitality. When I began sponsoring others, I began to see how lackluster our sponsor/sponsee relationship was.

My sponsor expressed anger when I told her I didn't want her to sponsor me any longer. She accused me of ending the sponsor/sponsee relationship because she had gossiped about me. In part, that was true but I did try to wait awhile and see if trust could be restored. I spent a lot of time inventorying myself and my part that led me to choosing to end the relationship. Despite apologizing for gossiping about me to another meeting member, I noticed that my sponsor continued to gossip about family and friends as a part of her shares in our meeting place telling very personal details about them. In these meeting shares more than once I heard her jokingly say that although she was sharing these things, she never repeated things about others in the program. Does that make gossiping to a room filled with local people about your family and friends ok? Well if it walks like a duck and it talks like a duck.... It became obvious to me that when she gossiped about me, it wasn't an isolated incident. She had a penchant for gossip. Such a shortcoming doesn't make for a very good sponsor in my humble opinion.

Also, my personal experience has been that some Alanon meetings in general are healthier and more recovery focused than others. There's an Alanon reading in one of our daily readers about this topic. It explain how as a meeting grew more and more unhealthy and members felt unsafe sharing, membership dwindled and then the meeting closed. Thankfully, we can choose to find another meeting when birds of an unhealthy feather flock together. To me, it's a sign of an unhealthy meeting when people go for fellowship/coffee directly after and can't seem to hold onto the Alanon principles from the meeting such as anonymity concerning what has been shared and comments about others in the program. Such behaviors don't inspire much trust for newcomers to Alanon. It's natural to wonder what will be said about you when you when you aren't present for step away to the restroom. It's not a good feeling.

I wish you the best in working through your feelings honestly concerning all of this and hope you'll keep coming back to read and share here. You're not alone. Wherever you are at in your program, it's where you are at. I wish I had learned sooner rather than later to honor all of my feelings as valid and accept them. Instead I pushed myself to grow quicker than I was ready when I was new and minimized my feelings. I gave authority to those who had many years in recovery without knowing what healthy recovery looked like. My greatest lesson now is I trust and don't second guess myself when something doesn't feel right. I don't have to understand the why or how immediately just trust my feelings and do what helps me feel safe. From a place of emotional or physical safety, I can work through it with my higher power and/or another person whom I trust.

Keep coming back. It works and you're worth it. ((hugs))) TT



Surround yourself with people and elements that support your destiny, not just your history.

~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 1331


In program I learned that I had choices and I took that for certain.  Learning to think before I did or didn't do a thing was my responsibility to myself and also others.  I cannot and do not determine what and how another person can and should act.  People also choose what and how they are to act while I choose my responses if any at all.  I love knowing I have choices and understanding I also have principles of behavior.  I do not have to react rather choosing my response to any person and situation.  My sponsor taught me, think and act as the steps and program taught.

Keep coming back we are not of perfection rather choosing progress on a daily basis.   

Thanks for your share.  winkconfuseaww 

Jerry F
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