The other thing that’s happening in my little corner is some fear. This happens from time to time. Sometimes, someone acts dangerously at an AA meeting. I’ve seen this a few times. I have generally felt safe in the midst of that because it’s always been just one person, with plenty of other people to react if there’s a problem. It’s really rare, and I can count the times it’s happened to me on one hand out of many many meetings.
What’s going on now has happened a few times in my experience. There is someone who is attending local meetings who people are afraid of. This person has not acted dangerously, that I know about, but he has a past that frightens us. This in the context of AA meetings where people regularly say they have been in prison and for a long time, and somehow they don’t cause fear.
It’s very important for me to point out that AA meetings are not “safe” places. AA members are not “safe” people. People must use common sense and protect themselves and especially their children. Just like anywhere else, you can’t trust someone in AA until you’ve known them for a while. You just can’t.
There is now the question of what to do about our fear and how to treat this person as gently as possible and as well as possible while still protecting ourselves and our children. It’s difficult.
A few years ago someone was attending meetings and people were afraid because he acted generally aggressive in a vague way. I can think of at least one local attender who gives some people a creepy feeling with not much else to go on than that. And now this guy, with a definite past and a need on our part to share recovery with him while protecting ourselves. I hope we end up doing what’s best for everyone concerned, while of course I really don’t know right now what that is.