Monday – Early Edition … “BULLY”
There are few things that piss me off. And I rarely get mad at anything, I do admit that I get upset over things, when I know I am powerless to change situations, or hope that my friends will rise to the call to love and serve unconditionally.
I am a Gay man. And I am a Gay man who lived through and survived AIDS to date.
I do not deal well with heterosexual men with ego’s. I can smell them at fifty paces. I have been discriminated against because of who I am and the disease I carry. I’ve been asked to leave certain meetings because I was gay/live with AIDS by not so sober people, I’ve been denied services because of this fact.
And in the end, there were times in my life when I have had to resort to becoming “A Cast Iron Bitch,” to get help and assistance because my life depended on it.
That is not a pretty place, but when necessary, has been quite useful and successful.
Based on my history, and what I have survived, when someone pushes the wrong button intentionally, that’s when I take action.
Several weeks ago, a good friend, walked into a meeting and announced to us all that he was spearheading a drive to kick a certain woman OUT of a certain meeting.
The Third Tradition states, “You can declare yourself in, nobody can kick you out.”
It is obvious that my friend disregards this reading.
After that meeting, several other friends came to me to ask my opinion about how they should vote in a group conscience meeting about this contentious issue. This push to deny access to meetings has been gaining strength over the past few months (again).
Recently, two women I know well, were kicked out of their home groups because of how they identify themselves in those meetings. The group voted, and they are both out the door.
I had several conversation about our issue with my friends who spoke out of fear because they don’t want to jeopardize a friendship and vote against the bully. They believe that if they vote against a certain friend, that that is akin to treason against a friend.
I shared my thoughts but left them to decide what they were going to do.
Because several people came to me to ask, I made the decision to approach the woman whom we were talking about. I am told I caused her pain by telling her the truth, that people were plotting and scheming behind her back, and without any defense and not knowing, I did not want her to walk into a meeting and get blindsided.
I defended a friend in unfriendly territory.
Was that my bad ?
She spoke to her roommate, who in turn, verbally assaulted the bully in open community, and when pressed, told the bully who had delivered the original message, Me. At the end of that meeting, the bully got in my face, fists in my face, screaming and yelling at me.
To Date, I’ve never seen another member get in my face with that kind of anger before, ever.
I took two weeks off to let the issue die. It didn’t …
I went back to that meeting last week, Friday.
I walked in, the bully was there, and I said not one word to him the entire meeting. He got in my face, originally, and I walked away, allowing him the last angry word. He in turn did not say one word to me either.
I did not respond. I walked away.
Sunday night, I was sitting out front of the Sunday meeting, and the bully showed up, and I was sitting and talking with a sponsee, and he walked right past us, in the door and down the stairs, once again, I said not one word to him. He said not one word to me again.
We read Tradition Nine.
And on his turn he let loose with his grievance to the entire meeting present.
The meeting ended and we had a business meeting. On the way home I spoke with my long time sober lady friend, who gave me some advice and told me what she thought of the situation. But she told me to speak to my sponsor in any case.
When I got home, I called my sponsor, who was at His home group on the West End.
We spoke at length.
He told me that I did not owe anyone an amend, that my only issue was that I meddled in somebody else’s business.
He knows the bully, well.
He told me to stop going to the Friday meeting until this issue works itself out and not to get involved any further. He also told me that our bully is violent and is prone to violence and bully tactics to get his way, based on past behavior.
He as much threatened to go out and drink again, if people did not say hello to him.
Hell will freeze over, before I say another word to him. He crossed that invisible line, that as a gay man and a sober man, I have in place to protect myself.
I am told that it is up to him to rectify the situation, not mine.
I do not take a bully in any situation, sober, gay, AIDS or any situation.
I’ve lived far too long to allow someone to disrespect me and get in my face.
I’ve handled worse situations, and I am well trained in ignoring people to their faces.
I’m a gay man.
I don’t like this at all. I don’t like it one bit.
But I am told this is a sober learning opportunity.
Mom and Dad placed that button very carefully.