I am writing everyone tonight to see what you think about 12 step meetings. After the experience I had tonight, I am feeling very frustrated and in need of condolence.
I have been attending an online program (stepchat.com) for a while now and decided to share a concern tonight that was very close to my heart, and apparently the administrator/moderator of the room/site did not like the controversial topic i brought up and blocked my IP address. I can now no longer assess the site and am restricted in all areas.
This is what I shared tonight in the chat:
I am genuinely concerned about those who are actively being
abused who attend al-anon (for support) and are just taught to
"detach;" that the qualifier has a 'disease' that they can't
control. This does not provide much hope
for the individual (‘victim’ at this point) who is being abused, NOR is it demonstrating
to the victim that that the qualifier should be held RESPONSIBLE for his/her actions
(behavior); rather, it would seem as though it is providing a justification instead.
Obviously if we have had to “detach” to begin with then it is implied that something is wrong. Detachment, by general characterization is a
means at gaining perspective. It is a tool used to help us step back and see
our situation more clearly. I think
that it can be dangerous however if not explained properly. I feel like, in this case, it can be used as
an excuse for inaction, which can pose a serious threat to the victim themselves.
Lets say that I’m in an abusive relationship with Eric who’s
an alcoholic. I go to al-anon and am
taught to “detach;” moreover, that Eric has a disease that he cannot control. (This is impounded into al-anoner’s minds
again and again: “Alcoholism is a
disease,” etc etc; we must ‘forgive’ the alcoholic, etc). Basically al-anon has taught me that Eric is
not responsible for his disease (actions
included) and that my best bet/solution would be to just “detach.” Since al-anon cannot provide SOLUTIONS (offer help0, no one would legitimately be able to help this
desperate individual who rightfully deserves help. The individual would not be advised to seek
further help (ie: outside al-anon) since solution-offering is denied (It is
against rule # ___).
So what happens is that the victim keeps coming back to al-anon
for support, in search of safety and understanding; however, they are not getting
the true help that they need. Al-anon
themselves would be acting as an enabler for this individual by avoiding the
real issue. In al-anon we are taught not
to be in denial and ways of undoing this, etc, yet by not offering proper
advice to an individual when necessary, we are going against our very own best
judgment and putting an individual in harm.
Argument could be made over whether or not an organization (al-anon
itself and its creators) could be responsible for endangering an individual once
the individual enters its premise.
If anything, the victim is being mislead and harmed through
going to al-anon. I am proposing that
the dynamics of abuse be taught in these meetings and an awareness surrounding
the issue be created.
I think it's funny how I bring this up, openly and honestly, and I am kicked out of a chat forum! These groups are supposed to be supportive... I was under the impression that we are allowed to share our feelings. Why was I kicked out just because I brought up a legit concern about the meeting itself?