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Meeting Issues

We all want to go to a meeting that allows us to be ourselves, feel safe, and be able to heal from the effects of growing up in a dysfunctional home. Sometimes issues may arise in meetings as they happen in real life. Some issues may be small while others may be quite disruptive. 

The following is a list of some issues that may occur and ideas for dealing with them.

People are dominating the time during the meeting:

  1. Set or agree on a time per share and ask a volunteer to be the timer.
  2. Decide in advance if multiple shares will be allowed if there is extra time, and how much time will be given for each. This is also sometimes referred to as double-dipping. If allowed, the same sharing guideline of no crosstalk should be in place.

I felt unsafe at a meeting:

There might be a problem with the meeting, or it might be that you had a strong reaction to an individual that triggered something from your past.

Here are some options:

  1. Talk to someone in the group about it. Don’t bottle it up. 
  2. If you don’t feel comfortable speaking to someone from the group, talk to your sponsor/fellow traveler if you have one, a counselor, or someone else you trust.
  3. Contact another local group or Intergroup for advice.
    1. You can find meetings here
    2. You can find Intergroups here
  4. Contact ACA World Services here or call 310-534-1815
  5. Find another meeting to go to.  

I’ve heard the term 13th Stepper. What does it mean?

13th Stepping happens when someone, usually a more experienced member of a 12-Step Program, attempts to manipulate a new member by taking advantage of them emotionally, financially, or sexually. Their goal is to gain some type of power over someone else. This behavior is always detrimental to both individuals in their recovery process. All sexes and genders can be a 13th Stepper. 

13th Stepping is also detrimental to an ACA Meeting. If the group is aware of the situation and doesn’t deal with it, this can threaten the well-being of the entire meeting. 

Speak up if you can. It is essential that you make sure you are safe. If you choose to leave the meeting, find another one. You and your recovery are worth it. And if your safety and finances are truly threatened, contact the authorities. 

Other Helpful Resources:

You can find some helpful tri-folds and other information on our website. Click here to access the following:  

  • Issues for Meetings
  • Conducting a Business Meeting
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