My regular meeting has been compromised, any thoughts?

Old 12-26-2010, 12:15 AM
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My regular meeting has been compromised, any thoughts?

I've been eagerly attending my regular weekly Al Anon meeting all this year. A few months in I realised that one of the other members (I'll call her B) worked with my Mother. Of course I didnt say anything to B, it didnt seem appropriate. My Mum however realised the connection and asked me about her. I said that I knew B but it wasnt appropriate to discuss the meeting and I'd appreciate if she didnt say anything to her.

Now my Mum and I get along pretty well, she helps me out with my kids whenever I ask. But she has her quirks. Especially when it comes to me.

For one thing, my Mum has this way of pointing out what she thinks I suck at and backing it up with someone's elses opinion. Just so I get the message that I'm not doing whatever well enough, and that everyone else knows and agrees. She especially loves to do this with people who would be otherwise in my corner. She even tried it one time when she came along to my counsellor, who incidently shot her down in my counsellor for that!

So, the other day when I picked up my kids from my Mum's work, she walked out with B from my meeting!
As you can expect, B was rather surprised. She thought she was coming out to meet a colleagues daughter and found me. B was fine & we had a chuckle about what a small world it is.

I spent Xmas day with my Mum and my kids. As we're chatting she mentions B and says to me "oh when I was talking to B, she said to me isn't it amazing just how closed off scooter is?". As if they'd been chatting about my lacking spiritual progress and are in agreement about how poorly I am achieving personal growth.

Thing is, I don't know B as anything other than another fellowship member but after listening to her spill her soul for the last 12 months, I'm pretty sure she wouldn't have said anything like that. But I have no idea what my Mum said to her to instigate a discussion about me. And now I feel uncomfortable about going to my meeting.

I think I need to find a polite way to ask her not to indulge my mother's curiosity, but who's to say she'll respect that - either intentionally or by accident.

What really craps me off is that I respect B, she's fantastic to listen to and talk with at meetings. But now I don't feel that she's safe to speak to, or in front of. I'm really pissed at my Mum for doing this. In fact, I even re-worked step one last night just to remind myself that I can't control the situation. But I feel I'm left in a position where I need to protect myself, and I'm not quite sure how to handle it.

I'd appreciate any suggestions...
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Old 12-26-2010, 01:15 AM
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You might be able to approach it as acknowledging with B that your mom can be rather curious and by reassuring B that you'll respect her confidentiality in all conversations with your mom. You could then ask her just the way you stated it, to please not indulge your mother's curiosity.
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Old 12-26-2010, 04:39 AM
  # 3 (permalink)  
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Scooter77, Frankly, I wouldn't believe your Mother! It sounds like your Mother should start attending some Al-Anon meetings, herself! However, it does sound like Person B is a frequent member of Al-Anon and is working her own steps for her recovery. She could be wondering about her own safety and security in speaking in front of you.

Al-Anon is based upon Twelve Traditions. The Twelve Step is "Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our Traditions, ever reminding us to place principles above personalities." The cornerstone of Al-Anon is personal anonymity!

If I was you, I would invite Person B out for coffee and just have a heart-to-heart talk with her. Your Mother needs to understand that what happens at an Al-Anon meeting stays at the Al-Anon meeting!

It's like the TV commercials for Los Vegas......

Love and Peace,
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Old 12-26-2010, 05:48 AM
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Maybe a great way to open the conversation is to instead turn the tables... next meeting make a point to assure B that you absolutely respect the confidentiality of your meetings and you would never discuss B with your mother... her response to that will be very telling, and I suspect she is just as worried about this issue as you are.

Your instinct is probably correct that she does not breach meeting confidentiality.

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Old 12-26-2010, 06:09 AM
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I dont think B told your mother anything. Just my opinion, especially after what you said about your counselor shooting her down in flames.
she is using her connection to B to get to you.
dont believe the hype.
talk to B at a meeting.
I agree with CLMI.

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Old 12-26-2010, 11:21 AM
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same planet...different world
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As someone who taught art to kids (off and on)

I've got another perspective I'd like to share with you.

Some mothers can't handle it that their daughter
has something
that she can't get in on.

Now ...
you're going to these meetings
and maybe they're making a change in you
and your mom sees that.

SO she tries to wheedle herself into it somehow.

and if she can't do that -
she diminishes the separate experience.

Remember that we're codies
because of what we learned beginning with our first breath.

And our first relationships.

I doubt anything was said.
Maybe MANIPULATED out of this other woman
and repeated after getting a negative twist...

but it's achieved its intended purpose either way

you've lost a bit of trust.

Now think .. who would want you NOT to trust your members?

Like I say -

I've seen this before.

Just another perspective is all.
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Old 12-26-2010, 06:15 PM
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In my meeting I have a young person who had several really horrible experiences with my AD and her boyfriend. I was a little worried about talking about my daughter in front of this person, but I approached her and said..I hope you know I will never tell my daughter anything that happens in here, I'm sure you wouldn't either.It wasn't accusing her, just kind of an acknowledgement about keeping confidentiality.We are now friends and I have kept everything totally confidential and I beleive she has too.
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Old 12-26-2010, 07:23 PM
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I was horrified at my first Alanon meeting, to come face to face with my Parish Priest. I had visions of him giving me a hard time in Confession for starters, and could not be comfortable thru that meeting.
He, bless him, came over and introduced himself with his Christian name, and whispered for me to not worry about him being there, just believe I needed to be there and so did he.

I heard him tell of his past as an A and son of A parents, and these stories were not what 99% of parishioners or fellow priests had known anything about.
I never breathed a word about Alanon or him, and no-one heard about me.

I reckon your mum is a bit shirty at not being in on your Alanon act, and has used the other member to get to you. I doubt anything has been divulged at all, and that mummy is playing her games.

Do as has been suggested, and let this other lass know that you do not speak about Alanon to anyone, least of all your mum....because she has no problem gossiping about anything.
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Old 12-26-2010, 07:40 PM
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May I say...that your Mom sounds like a wee bit of a trouble maker.
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Old 12-27-2010, 05:03 PM
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^^^ gosh, I remember the day that my mom was a gossip and a trouble maker...but with help from AL ANON and my AUNT who introduced her to AL ANON...20 years +, I love my mom now....and all the changes that happened! talk about inventory!!
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Old 12-27-2010, 05:09 PM
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How did your mother know that B was in your meeting in the first place?
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Old 12-27-2010, 09:45 PM
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Thanks for all your replies, you've all confirmed what I was thinking and I feel more confident in approaching B after reading all your thoughts.
I plan to approach B at my next meeting to assure her that i wont breach her confidentiality in any way and find a friendly way to ask her not to indulge my Mum's curiosity (for want of a better word!)

Thanks also for perspectives on my Mum, I tend to agree with the comments here. I just need to work my program and not buy into her meddling.

PS Learntolive - My Mum & B work in the same area, I don't think B kept it secret that she was going to Al Anon meetings. Mum looked after my kids while I was at a meeting, she put time and place together and realised we were likely to be at the same meeting. When she asked me if I knew B, I said I assumed it was the same person but specifically asked her not to say anything as it wasnt appropriate.
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