Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Mixed Bag...

YAY!!!!!   My guy is in the top 2 (of the American Idol competition).  I just find this guy so compelling.  I know he is cute, but he seems so humble and so nice... and so talented.  I have downloaded a few of his songs onto my iPod.  And I am sure I will download more... like both of the songs he sang last night.

Now for a serious note:  
I am writing this past my bedtime.  My judgment is probably not the best.  I could pay dearly for asking this question, but I am going to do it anyway.  

In the past week, I have learned of two AA members who have engaged in some seriously anti-social behavior and are talking about it.  Sober members of Alcoholics Anonymous.  One of them is sober only a couple of years, the other, over 2 decades.  

So what do we do?  When a young, strong, 200+ lb. man is pushing around (literally) an over 70 year old man who weighs 130 lbs. tops, and has just had surgery... do we just turn the other way and "live and let live"--- I don't think we should.  

Back in the day (I bet you get sick of hearing this from me) there was a core group of people who pretty much confronted people when their behavior was out of line.  They let them know about it.  In the past, I have confronted people talking about what I consider child abuse in AA meetings.  I don't think we condone illegal behavior in AA.  I don't think we should.  I think it makes us complicit in the behavior.  

Do we tolerate bullies because we are afraid of them?  Do we tolerate any kind of unacceptable behavior from a person who is sober so long that they have intimidated the rest?  

Is an AA club a place where an old man having a cup of coffee in the morning should be afraid for his life?  Where are the people who should have defended him?  Why didn't anyone call "911"?  And who can sit and listen to Mr. Sober spout his spirituality at the next meeting?  Not me.  

I really try not to judge people in AA - we are all people who have some serious flaws - and we are in various stages of recovery from them.  But there is some behavior so egregious that I think it can't just be overlooked.  We are supposed to be learning to be responsible people.

OK.  I am going to bed.  And tomorrow the world will look like a rosy place.  My sponsor will be on her way to visit me, and my mouth will be all better!  


Steve E. said...

Mary, I think a woman does not have any business stepping between two guys who disagree with each other in anger. But a woman might say to some other guys, "Hey can't ya DO something here?"

Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy you visits with your sponsor and houseguest this weekend. Maybe she will go to that club with you and straighten 'somebody' out? -grin!

I'm for PEACE, but often that comes at a price..........Later...

Gin said...

I'm with Steve. Is there any able bodied man there that could possibly step in and help?

Prayer Girl said...

Kris is cute. He does sing really well. I'm glad he's one of the top two. Having said that, I hope Adam wins. He's one of the best singers they've ever had - IMHO.

If I saw abuse going on in our AA club as you describe, I would have to do something about it.... either get some guys to step in or if the situation was too bad, I'd call 911.

Have a wonderful time with your guests.

Syd said...

There is a fellow in the AA program here who has been kicked out of a couple of AA meetings. He was asked to tone down his ridiculous behavior several times and when he didn't, then he was told to not come back. I don't think that anyone needs to accept unacceptable behavior. That's what Al-Anon has taught me. There are boundaries. It seems that the guy who shoved the older man has crossed the line. I would say something to the group rep., the chair, etc. and ask them to talk to the bully. And, yes, I would have said something at the time of the incident. The rooms are to be a safe place, at least in Al-Anon, and abuse isn't to be tolerated. Just my opinion.

dAAve said...

The law is the law. Fortunately, you don't have to enforce it nor do you need to endure illegal behaviour, especially not alone.

Scott W said...

AA meetings and meeting places must be a safe place for alcoholics. We have had to instigate a Code of Conduct at the Lambda Center here. We have had to call the police to have people removed and they must remain off the property until they petition the board to allow them back.

The Code of Conduct states: The Following Activities Are Not Allowed On Lambda Center Property: 2.Physically or verbally threatening or harassing any person in any way, including staring and stalking.

Bullying is not acceptable and should not be allowed anywhere by anyone.

Hope said...

I thought of you when I read that "your guy" was in the finale.

I feel sad for that old man. Life hands us so much that is inevitable as we age, the rooms should be a safe haven. How we are with the weakest of those says a lot. If the Sober guy has two decades and is a bully that is sad, too.

Ed G. said...

If no one (e.g. sponsor, group elder, etc.) is able to help the person control their behavior (not your job btw), the police should be called. The sooner the bully faces enough consequences, the sooner he can grow or take his act somewhere else.

Kim A. said...

I know from my experience with my mother who just passed her 10th year mark that her "bullying" didn't stop with sobriety. I won't confront a 67 y.o. woman who doesn't mind throwing things at me but I do what I have to in order to protect myself and my kids. Sometimes I am required to look out for those who might not be able to in the face of harm. This situation requires action, in my opinion, but from men who can match this guy pound for pound. I agree with you..and hope you have a fantastic time with your sponsor.


Mike Golch said...

Bullying is so wrong is so many ways.
Just because you are sober does not give you the right to stomp on some one's toes.

Jess Mistress of Mischief said...

Peace is good, prayer is great, an authority who has been tasked to care for these things is very important as well.

We have a gentleman who was behaving erratically in meetings, was asked nicely to observe the traditions, and when the behavior continued the police were contacted a restraining order was filed through an immediately called group conscience and the man is welcome to consider the consequence of his behavior with this group and try another group. Maybe (God willing) he will find a group that doesn't seem to agitate him so.

I'm praying that he be handled by the Highest Authority Possible for you right now.

AnyEdge said...

I guess I'm lucky never to have observed any behavior like this at a meeting. But I would not stand by while a bigger stronger man assaulted a smaller, frailer one. I feel that being of service sometimes means risking taking the punch rather than letting it land on someone weak.

aa girl 5862 said...

I think the behavior, or lack of, should be treated the same way it would be in any other public place.