The other night I was checking some stuff on the internet and found an entire website devoted to claims of sexual abuse in our fellowship. And hundreds of comments from people who have suffered at our hands. Truly, I am not minimizing the hurt. I have been hurt myself. I understand.
But what I don't understand is the perpetuation of the myth that somehow an AA meeting ought to be a "safe place." We are a self-governed bunch of drunks! We are in various stages of recovery - and non-recovery.
Just like when you walk into a bar, you don't go home with any stranger or loan money to a derelict sitting in the corner - you use judgment. I understand that a newcomers judgment may not be great and that is why we should not carry on with this crap that AA is a "safe place."
I have been hurt by AA members. I want to say "Well, of course I did!" If you hang around anywhere for long enough, you will get hurt by somebody. If you hang around a bunch of alcoholics, I think the chances are better than average that you will experience some unseemly behavior.
I think this whole thing spun out of control when judges started sentencing people to AA. It is my OPINION that we should have never let this happen. When someone is sentenced to AA, it is logical for them to assume that AA is some form of governmental help. And therefore ought to be facilitated, ruled and perhaps licensed. But it isn't.
It is a bunch of drunks who have found a way to stay sober. We are not all sober. We are not all sane. You will hear some crazy stuff in AA meetings and you will be able to find people who want to use and abuse you.
If you are truly done drinking and really want help, you can find it. There are people in AA (like me) who are truly sober and trying to live by spiritual principles every single day of their lives. Are they perfect? No. But are they trying their hardest? Yes. Will they help you if you ask them? Yes.
But you really do have to use some judgment.
Good! I did write this in 10 minutes. And now I will go to work. A woman, sober by the Grace of God, living a sober and sane life. Me and hundreds of thousands of people just like me are sitting in your local AA meeting, willing to help. You just have to look and ask.