Putting home group member out

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Frankie
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Re: Putting home group member out

Post by Frankie »

Thank you for sharing this Kirbo,
I have been praying for your group members. I can not nor will not tell you what I think I might have done, I don't know. Each time I've checked the tread I have gone back and forth with which way I thought might be best. (Thank God I'm not in charge.) :D I've seen this happen here a few times and have always been grateful that each group has used The Groups Conscience. It really makes us look at our Traditions and try to apply them.

As far as I know, have learn from our literature, and have experienced, the Group Conscience is the answer.

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matt z
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Re: Putting home group member out

Post by matt z »

i was attempting to respond to this. Then i read what i had to say. Allow me to insert my agenda into anything and i corrupt it. needless to say, i deleted my post. i can't pretend that i even know how to deal with this, other than prayer. Let me know how this turns out and hopefully no one gets hurt in the process. Good luck friend.
I always wanted to write something clever and cute, but then i realized that neither one have done much for me.

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Layne
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Re: Putting home group member out

Post by Layne »

i was attempting to respond to this. Then i read what i had to say... needless to say, i deleted my post.
This gave me a great chuckle at myself, boy do I resemble that! Many times I wish that life was like being online where you have the luxury of editing.

Just got another good laugh as my above statement is a prime example of self-will run riot alcoholic thinking. "Each person is like an actor who wants to run the whole show; is forever trying to arrange the lights, the ballet, the scenery..."

Guess I will keep coming back and working the program because there is still work to do!

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matt z
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Re: Putting home group member out

Post by matt z »

exactamundo, my sponsor has to remind me to take a pause before i say anything that is opinion oriented. Yes, Thank God for editing. :D
I always wanted to write something clever and cute, but then i realized that neither one have done much for me.

KevinJ
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Re: Putting home group member out

Post by KevinJ »

This has been a problem in the past within my home group and others in the area. We have had several members that either ended up in self-exile or were banned from the group. While this is always unfortunate, we have to remember that AA is a problem for people who want it, not for those who need it. I'll just relate the most recent example.

We'll call him "Guy" although obviously that is not even close to his real name. Anyway, Guy came to our group about 2 years ago. I was at the meeting when he first came in, and he was, like most of us, a wreck. He cried throughout the meeting and afterward myself, along with some of the other men in the group, spoke to him. We told him he was always welcome, that he should think about getting a sponsor. We all gave him our numbers, told him to call us whenever he had a problem or felt like taking a drink. Essentially, we treated him as we treat all newcomers - with respect. For the first week, he did great. He came to 2 meetings a day, called us everyday, and started to work with a sponsor. After that first week, however, he couldn't stay sober. No judgment here, my story includes at least a dozen relapses. It was after that first week that the first signs of trouble appeared. After a meeting that Wednesday, he followed one of the women to their car, and asked for a ride. The woman told him to hope in, and asked him for directions. After about 10 minutes, they wound up at a strip club. Guy asked the woman to come in with him. She said no. Guy then proceeded to attempt to haul her out of the car. He grabbed her hair, and forced her out. She managed to get away from him, back in her car, and back home. After that, she called a couple of the men and told us about it. We got together and talked to the woman.

After speaking with her, and getting her consent, we spoke with Guy on the phone (conference call). We told him that this sort of behavior was absolutely inappropriate, that he was lucky the woman didn't want to charge him with assault, and that if he did it again we would have to hold a group conscience on whether or not to ban him from the club house. He seemed to take it very well, apologized profusely, etc. The next time he was at a meeting, he looked very ashamed and apologized to the woman, saying that it was his old behaviors coming back and that he was truly sorry and ashamed of the way he acted. It seemed like he had learned from this incident, and was sincere in his apology, so we took no further action at the time.

Cut to two weeks after the first incident. I'm at a noon meeting. As the bell is wrung, Guy sort of shuffles in. His eyes are bloodshot and he reeks of booze. He basically collapsed into his seat. When the time came to open the discussion, Guy immediately raised his hand. Instead of waiting to be recognized by the chair, he started yelling, and when I say yelling, I mean YELLING - as loud as he could. He told us that we were all fools, that the women were all whores - whores who wouldn't sleep with him. At that point, he seemed to forget what he was saying, and just started screaming - a sort of blood-curdling scream you hear when someone is frightened for his life. As he screamed, he lurched out of his seat, knocked down the podium, tried to grab a woman's breast (he was stumbling towards the back door) and then picked up the coffee pot and smashed it into the wall. Then he disappeared. We attempted to follow him in hopes we could reason with him, but he was running.

At that point, we were all HIGHLY disturbed. The woman he had assaulted was stating that she was most certainly going to press charges (for the record I felt she was totally justified). We held a group conscience, right then and there. The suggestion was put forward that we A. call the police immediately and B. ban him from the building. This was seconded - and then a unanimous vote to ban him. While the home group generally has a "three strikes" rule in situations like this, we felt that we could not put the members at risk with someone like this. The podium now has a sign on it, showing Guy's face - it says to immediately call the police if you see him, but not to attempt to approach him or speak to him. In some ways, I felt bad that things went this way. Guy showed promise at times, and I don't know whether we did the right thing. However, we must abide by the conscience of the group. Guy had to be held accountable for his actions and when something like sexual assault is concerned, there is no excuse - NONE.

Anyway, I hope this helps. Each group is different and I'm sure there are others out there that would disagree with what we did. It's simply my experience.

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leejosepho
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Re: Putting home group member out

Post by leejosepho »

Tough situation there, Kevin, and I have never experienced one quite that bad except while working in a detox and holding people down while a nurse administers a calming injection or some police officers help us with a straightjacket.

I once had some members protect me from the physical threats being made by an irate, hung-over addict/alcoholic I had tried to quiet a bit while chairing a meeting where he was being disruptive, and I think we should all be grateful when our fellows intervene. Having someone puke on our shoes is one thing, but outright assault is quite another.
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"We A.A.s do not *stay* away from drinking [one day at a
time] -- we *grow* away from drinking [one day at a time]."
("Lois Remembers", page 168, quoting Bill, emphasis added)
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