Monday, May 18, 2009

Monday Morning

I am going to head out of here for a run - just as soon as I post this.  I am excited that my pain is gone, and it appears that I am in good health again.  Yesterday it was sad that it was the day of the Colfax Marathon - the first half marathon I ever ran, two years ago.  I couldn't run a half marathon right now if you paid me to.  There is one I want to do in September, and I am going to get ready to do it!  Do you hear me?  I have a triathlon in August, which I really look forward to as well.

So, Pammie's post today reminded me of a conversation that happened over the weekend.  Comparisons are odious. Really, they are.  A woman I would normally describe as "someone who has really struggled" or something like that - was incensed that a man was allowed to attend "her" meeting.  And she was going to leave the meeting because of it.  Why was she so sickened by this man?  Well, he is a pedophile.  

Since when did our traditions state that we are here for all alcoholics - except for those who have problems we find particularly distasteful?  And my second thought was - well, crap, this woman is a former prostitute heroin addict shoplifting check writer, etc.  Somehow no one asks her if she is going to turn a trick in the meeting.  And I would never think of that except that I find it appalling that she feels justified to want this man thrown out of AA.

I saw this happen once before in another group.  A young woman was bringing her daughter to meetings and the man in question had behaved inappropriately with the child - and he was promptly banned from that meeting.  You know what I said about it?  The man BELONGED at that meeting and the child didn't.  Really.  

An AA meeting is NOT supposed to be a safe place for a child.  It is supposed to be a safe place for an alcoholic - no matter what other problems he or she may have.  If his or her problems are affecting the group, then it is an issue.  But we do not look at the criminal record of the person.  If they are alcoholic, they belong - until they prove otherwise.  

And when you start hurling stones at another, I think you pretty much better be "without sin."  I know I am not, and I don't know anyone else who is.  

We have traditions for a reason, and they are time -tested and very very effective.  

14 comments:

Pam said...

Last night I said the "F" word twice while I was sharing. At the end of the meeting I stood up and discovered that 3 little children were sitting on the back row with their Dad. I felt horrible. He gave me a dirty look, and then I gave him the stink eye.
Afterwards I told him I was sorry for using profanity in front of his kids because that is NOT how I speak in front of children. I just had NO IDEA they were in the room........and they should not have been.
I agree with you.
Oh good grief, you will now get comments saying "if I had not been allowed to bring my children, I would not have gotten sober."

Scott W said...

I want to feel safe in meetings.

Trailboss said...

I'm so glad you are feeling better Mary. Making plans is great, not that I'm surprised. You amaze me with your need to run. I have never been a runner. Rider yes. hehe Have a fantastic Monday.

Mary Christine said...

I agree Pammie. And people who put conditions on how they could or couldn't get sober have no idea that they are powerless, and only a power greater than themselves could have restored them to sanity. Wife or no wife, job or no job....

Scott W said...

LOL!!! I love the stink eye!

Ed G. said...

Glad your health is returning to support your plans...
My observation is that we are in the same place in AA today as our forefolks were: if we start making rules on who can attend and how they can act, eventually, none of us will be able to be here.
While I don't like/accept some behaviors in meetings (e.g., your former post about bullying) and I certainly have not felt "safe" in every meeting I've been to, I can look back and see the hand of God working on me, a group, and maybe the whole fellowship by learning something special by the members who show up.
That said, every AA group I've pa participated in has, at some point, had the conversation about getting a "better class of drunk" in the meeting... ;-)

dAAve said...

It's a gorgeous day in Houston.

Gin said...

Wow, this is a tough one. I definately would never bring one of my children to my Ala-non meetings. These are meetings for adults for a reason.

AnyEdge said...

I agree...here in St. Louis there is a listing of meetings that have child care. there is a couple who bring their 3 y/o to my saturday morning meeting sometimes: a poorly ventilated smoking meeting. It makes me uncomfortable. But I also don't think I should really be saying anything. It doesn't hurt me.

Kim A. said...

There is a women's open A.A. meeting I attend on occasion that states children are welcome as long as they are quiet and bring something to entertain themselves. That is one solution for one group. I know that I am not better or worse than anyone and if I start pointing the finger..karma will sure point 3 back at me. Keeps me humble.

namaste

Steve E. said...

Mary, I really dislike being almost always in agreement with anyone. But I find myself unable to raise argument with your blogs.

I can 'see' the fear in some people's eyes at that meeting, when they want to "stone the bad guy".

This said it all for me, "Let whoever is without sin throw the first boulder."

Never thought before about AA meetings not being a safe place for children. Well, neither is the home a safe place for children. All I have to do is read some of the "other" blogs.

Steve E. said...

I have felt very safe in every AA meeting I've ever attended, probably more than 10,000. However, I never ever have sat with my back toward the door -grin!

If I have already commented (don't remember!) you can 'reject' this one Pammie. Thanks--I'm gonna have to write lists...

Steve E. said...

Attention! All you Peeps:

See what happens after age 70?? Jus' sayin'

steveroni just hit a triple.....

Syd said...

MC, I would say that there are lots of problems that I don't know about in meetings: domestic abuse, felons, etc. That is a safe place for me and for anyone who attends as long as their behavior doesn't destroy the unity of the group.