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Al-Anon meeting (anyone been to one before?) and unsure about telling family members I'm attending

DistractionDistraction Posts: 211 The Mix convert
Hi

Once lockdown is over I'm thinking of going to an Al-Anon meeting 

I'd heard of them once before a couple years ago and again recently, I was so angry that I didn't get much support when I was younger, I didn't know about child line until I was an older teen and had already left my mothers at that point, dealing with an alcholic mother as kid with no support kept me in a dark place. 

I have mixed feelings about going, I don't really want anyone to know about it until I go to the first one to see if it's a good idea or not but I don't want to upset my step mum, I know she'd like to know and support me but she might tell someone else, she'll think it's harmless and it is but I feel quite venerable and would feel happy enough knowing I'm doing this for me and no one else knows about it, it makes me feel safe sort to speak, like no one knows my business but it might be nice to have someone know about it, I'm not sure. 

The other thing is while I'm sitting there, I'll be thinking about how it's going and what I'm going to say to my step mum after it but if she didn't know I could just go with a clear mind. However if I go again I'll have to tell her I've already been once and I want her to feel like I trust her with stuff like this and I want to be able to trust her. I just don't want to think about anything other than going to the meeting and worrying about my step mum.

I was also wondering if anyone on here has been to one and what it's like, I've had a look at the website but some first hand experience would be nice to hear  :)   

Thanks!

Comments

  • coc0maccoc0mac Posts: 367 Rampant Poster
    Hi @Distraction,

    It's great to hear that you are considering joining an al-anonymous group. This shows strength and courage and is a great step towards getting the support you deserve, so well done :smile::heart:

    I can hear you are worried about telling your step-mum before the first one, but you also feel like if you didn't then you would just be distracted by this during the meeting. I think your reasons for not wanting to tell her to begin with are very reasonable. I am just wondering, how do you think she might react if you did go to one without telling her, but then when you do feel comfortable to share this with her you explain your reasons for not telling her straight away?

    I'm sorry that I can't offer any first hand experience, but it was a great idea to post this on the boards as there may be somebody else who can for sure :smile: Regardless, we are all here for you! :heart:
  • DistractionDistraction Posts: 211 The Mix convert
    edited May 5
    Hi @coc0mac

    Thank you for the reply and support,

    I don't know if the full name of the meetings are al-anonymous, that sounds a bit like alcoholic anonymous, I was thinking of al-anon, meetings of family and friends of an alcholic (sorry if that is what you meant)

    To be honest I'm also worried I might chicken out, if I don't tell anyone, there's no expectations, I can have some reassurance that if I change my mind I can just go home, I'm a bit reluctant to go but think I should try it 

    I know my step mum would be a little upset and the right thing to do would be to tell her, maybe I don't want to admit to someone else that I think I need some help and support from people who have been through something like me, I don't want to say it out loud and I don't want to have to tell her 

    I feel insecure about it all, I want to be ok and I don't want to tell my step mum that I don't think I am and this might help

    It would be hard to tell her because everything should be ok, I haven't spoken to my mother in years and I should be over it and me and my step mum talked through some stuff before and she's all the support I should need and I really don't want anyone else to know yet.   
  • Han93Han93 EnglandPosts: 245 The Mix convert
    Hey @Distraction

    I personally think that it's a really great idea. It sounds like you have a great relationship with your step-mum which is lovely but I also totally get that you need to talk to people who understand your experiences and have similar ones themselves. 

    I think the way you have explained this to us is great so maybe if you explained it to your step-mum like this she would understand? You could even show her this post if you find it hard to say. 

    You wouldn't be going behind her back if you told her about it after the meeting or whenever you're ready - sometimes as part of your recovery you have to put yourself first. We are all here for you in the mean time <3

    It would be hard to tell her because everything should be ok, I haven't spoken to my mother in years and I should be over it 
    I think it's really important to not beat yourself up like this. It takes an awfully long time to get over the kind of experiences you had to deal with as a child and that's totally normal.

  • DistractionDistraction Posts: 211 The Mix convert
    @Han93

    Thank you, for all of that <3

    I keep changing my mind on telling her or not, think I'll wait until lockdown is over and see when the meetings starts up again, then take it from there 

    this support is so lovely x 
  • JamJarJamJar Posts: 166 Super Moderator
    Hey @Distraction

    Would just like to echo what @Han93 and @coc0mac has already said. Sounds like you have a mature, healthy relationship with your step mum :) 

    Also really good to hear that you're considering why you want to go to these sessions and what your intention is. It is help yourself of course but it is also ultimately to help your step mum and so it makes sense that her feelings should be considered when making this decision. 

    Have you heard about "setting the intention" of a conversation before? This might be a useful concept to help begin a conversation with your step mum :) if you're interested by this, check out this article which explains more: 
    https://groupworksdeck.org/patterns/Setting_Intention

    Stay safe and hope your bank hol weekend is relaxing ✌️
  • DistractionDistraction Posts: 211 The Mix convert
    Thank you @JamJar,

    I'll have a look at that site, it might even help in other situations :) 

    hope the same for you  <3

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