I knew at that moment that neither he nor any man would ever lay a harmful hand on me again. I had only been in Al‑Anon for three months and already my sense of self-worth had grown so much. The unconditional love I received from members in my meetings—the acceptance and the warm smiling faces—all fostered feelings of higher self-esteem. Even in their infant stage, these feelings were enough to give me the strength to leave him. My Sponsor explained that the alcoholic had grown up witnessing his father beat his mother and repeated that behavior with me.

I was in Al‑Anon only three months when I made the self-loving decision to leave him. I don’t know whether or not he got sober. What I do know is that 30 years since the last time I was struck, no one has ever hit me again. I still attend Al‑Anon and freely give what the program so freely gave to me. I believe to this day that Al‑Anon saved my life.

Carolyn C., Florida

The Forum, August 2017