In December of 2000, I went to the 6:30 meeting as I was in the habit of doing. About half way through the meeting, an old man who had once been my friend said something so insulting about me, something sexual, and really disgusting, I started crying. I noticed that a couple of the younger men he sponsored laughed at this disgusting thing. When they passed the basket at 7 a.m., I walked out. Instead of going to work, I went home because I could not stop crying. One person from the group called me to see if I was OK. I was not OK. I was so sad.
He had been my friend. He is maybe 25 years older than me - he is about 80 now. He got sober in 1973 - same as my sponsor - but a month later than her. He had always flirted with me, in an innocent way, but after his wife died in 1999, his attitude towards me turned really mean. I don't know why (and I don't really care either). I ignored him for a while. But when he said something right in the meeting and those men laughed, I thought to myself, "I have no use for a group that tolerates this kind of behavior, and I am out of here." And I was.
I could accept that he was a bitter old man. But I could not accept that the rest of the group just sat there and tolerated it.
So, I found another group. But I felt so hurt about this. It was a hard time in my life and feeling homeless in AA did not help.
Honestly, all I remember of that year is all the hours I worked, and then I went to school all day Saturday and Sunday every other weekend, and spent every other free minute working on homework.
On my Seventeenth birthday, I wrote in my birthday journal:
"This year, I truly know that God is doing for me what I cannot do for myself. I let ____ run me out of my home group. I am having problems with other people. I want to move back up north where I belong. It was so good to be there tonight. It is so good to be connected with the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous. I start my second and last year of graduate school tomorrow morning. I am so tired of this. Coupling my first year as director of medical records with going to graduate school has been close to suicidal. This has been a hard year. A good year, but hard. I hate to wish my life away, but I will be 50 on December 15 and I will graduate on December 16. Now that I am looking forward to."
And with good reason...