I have about 25 years in the Al-Anon 12 Step Program. For 15 months I have not been to a public Al-Anon meeting. In the past I attended 3 or 4 meetings a week. At most Al-Anon meetings there is a phone list of the phone numbers of people who would welcome a call if I was having a tough time. In my files I probably have 15 or twenty phone lists giving me maybe a total of 200 people I can call if I need to.
When I went to my first meeting a couple of decades ago I was full of deep anger I did not even know I had. My entire 25 years of anger has been spent uncovering layer after layer of anger. My hidden anger was made up of all me secrets.
As a boy I was subjected to about any form of abuse A boy could be subjected to. The abuse was in angry long lasting spanking. I remember being terrified fear of getting killed. It also took the form of sexual abuse. Maybe the worst pain I had was my dad killing himself by shooting himself with my gun. I had torn down my ,22 rifle and hidden the parts of the gun in various places in our home. The bullets I hid in our car, I was afraid my dearly loved younger sister would find the gun and hurt herself. One evening my dad asked me where I kept my gun. I was so proud because my dad would see how responsibly I had behaved with the gun.
A couple of days later when I was away at my uncles wedding he put together the gun and committed suicide. At 82 I fully understand I was in no sense responsible for his death. At the age 15 I secretly felt It was my fault.
Over the passing years in program I handled all that pain through my Al-Anon program. That meant I talked about my pain in my sharing at the meetings, with my friends who also shared their pain with me. Gradually, bit by bit I rid myself of that anger. Now it is been many years since the last time a deeply buried painful memory broke the surface of my day and gave me harsh pain. The saying that expresses the freedom I now know is this. ” I own my own gut”.