After I was sexually assaulted by the man whose drinking brought me to Al-Anon, I spoke up about my experience at a meeting. A couple of respectful Al‑Anon members drew close to me in compassion. I was a newcomer to the program at the time, and it took courage to talk about the violence I had experienced, but I’m so grateful I did, for these Al‑Anon members met me in my pain and listened with love.
Over time, immersed in the light of my Higher Power’s care, I underwent a process of deep healing. Over the years of this healing process, I learned how important it is to trust my intuition when I sense the need for physical separation due to the real possibility of being harmed physically. As it says on page 12 of Courage to Change (B-16), “When I sense that a situation is dangerous to my physical, mental, or spiritual well-being, I can put extra distance between myself and the situation.”
The Al‑Anon program strongly encourages me to make my personal safety a top priority in my life. Talking things out with trusted Al‑Anon members about my safety has helped me learn how to make assessments of situations that may require me to protect myself. While my spiritual well-being may ask me to pray for the drinker who threatens me, I may need to take additional measures to ensure my physical safety.
It requires strength and courage to take such steps, but after all, I am worth it.
The Forum, August 2021
Feel free to reprint this article on your service arm website or newsletter, along with this credit line: Reprinted with permission of The Forum, Al‑Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc., Virginia Beach, VA.