NEWCOMERS QUESTION & SHARE MEETING

Parental Alienation Anonymous   Newcomers Question and share Zoom Meeting 

 

Please follow the script as written.  Thank you! 

Duties:  Arrive 10 minutes early.  Assist secretary in admitting members into the room & lowering hands as people start to share (secretary will assign you as the co-host), call on those requesting to share/ask a question. 

Please take the time before the meeting to read the appropriate weeks topic and include these prompts as part of your share.   

1st week of the month:  What was it like in the weeks leading up to your 1st meeting

What was it like when you first started attending meetings?  What state of mind were/are you in? How do you feel about attending meetings now?  What did you like and what did you dislike in your first meetings? How is your life now? As a new comer when and where did you find the opportunity to share your story in a complete and detailed way?  

2nd week of the month: Focus on literature 

What were you like when you first started attending meetings? As a new comer was it frustrating to not be able to share your story in a more detailed manner on the meeting level? How do you feel about that now? When did you buy Paths to Recovery or when are you planning on buying Paths to Recovery?  Do you have any other Al-anon books you suggest and why? What has your experience with the PA-a literature being? What are some of your favorite parts of the literature?  

3rd week of the month: Focus on service 

What were you like when you first started attending meetings? As a new comer was it frustrating to not be able to share your story in a more detailed manner on the meeting level? What was your first service position & how did it feel? What motivated you to take a service commitment? Have you tried any service positions on the organizational level? What is service to you and how was service changed your perspective inside and outside of meetings?  

4th week of the month: Focusing on sponsorship 

What were you like when you first started attending meetings? What specific event got you to attend your first meeting? What did you think when you first heard about sponsorship? DO you have a sponsor and how did you get one? Was it hard to get a sponsor? Have you had more than one sponsor and why? Do you sponsor folks and what is that like?  

5th week of the month: The steps and how you understood them as a new comer 

What was it like when you first started attending meetings? As a new comer was it frustrating to not be able to share your story in a more detailed manner on the meeting level?  What did you think about the idea of steps when you first arrived? Did step 1 give you some perspective on your life and behavior in the early days? What is YOUR FAVORITE STEP AND WHY? 

Leader Script: at 4pm please start reading the script  

Welcome to the Newcomer’s meeting of Parental Alienation Anonymous.  We’re glad you’re here!  Please be sure you are muted to cut down on background noise.   

My name is ____________________ and I am the leader for this meeting.  I have been coming to meetings for xxxx months/years. I am an alienated  1-{mother, father, grandparent etc.} I have  2- {# kids/grandkids etc} with  3- {no contact for x months/years, minimal contact, etc.}   

We begin the meeting with the SERENITY PRAYER.  {Please post in the chat} If you are new to PA-A we start this meeting with a simple intention in order to help everyone take a moment to arrive and gather themselves. Each person gets to make their own decision if participating in the serenity prayer makes sense to them. Some people Replace God with higher power, nature, music or any other wording that is comfortable. 

Please unmute and chant along if you like.  

God [Higher Power, Universe, etc.], grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.  

PA-A Preamble:  {leader reads} 

Alienation is a family disease.  Living with the effects of someone else’s alienating behavior is too devastating for most people to bear without help.  In PA-A we kept ourselves busy seeking solutions for the alienator (for example, the child, parent, spouse, etc.).  When what we were trying to accomplish wasn’t succeeding, we told ourselves to work harder or to try something else.  We may have even told ourselves that it was our fault if we couldn’t convince the alienator to get help.  If we could only find the right words, at the right time, relayed in just the right tone of voice, then maybe we could get the alienator to see things our way.  Desperate to fulfill our dreams for a happy family life, we thought that devoting all our energy to the problem was the answer.  Little did we know we were actually contributing to the problem by trying to force solutions.   

PA-A is a fellowship that offers a program of recovery for the families and friends who are affected by alienation whether or not the alienator recognizes the existence of a problem or seeks help.  Members give and receive comfort and understanding through a mutual exchange of experience, strength, and hope.  Sharing of similar challenges binds individuals and groups together in a bond that is protected by a tradition of anonymity.  PA-A is not a religious organization or a counseling agency.  It is not a treatment center nor is it allied with any other organization offering such services.  PA-A does not express opinions on outside issues nor endorses outside enterprises.  No dues or fees are required.  Membership is voluntary, requiring only that one’s own life has been adversely affected by someone else’s alienating behavior.   

It is now time for the secretary’s report{Secretary will turn the meeting back over to the leader after announcements are complete}. 

Leader:   

This is a beginner’s meeting focusing on what it was like when we first arrived. We discuss what challenges we faced in our first meetings, and when we started seeing the benefits of attending meetings. We rotate the focus of the meetings weekly every month.

Week1- How many meetings should I attend a week? 

Week2- literature 

Week3- service 

Week4- sponsorship 

Week5- Step 1 “I am powerless over people and my life is unmanageable” 

This is a share or question meeting. You can choose to share on your experience or ask the leader and secretary a specific question or a series of questions under your allotted time is up if you choose. The leader might ask another member with longer term recovery to share their experience in answering the question as well. 

We use a timer in our meetings to be sure there is time for everyone to share.  Being a timer is a great way to be of service in the group.  Is there anyone that is new to meetings that would like to volunteer to time? The secretary will support you if needed.*** if no newcomer volunteers, announce if anyone else would like to time*** 

We allow 3 minutes to share or ask a question with 1 minute to wrap up, so a total of 4 minutes.  The timer will hold up one finger at the 3-minute mark.  If the timer is not acknowledged by the speaker, they will let you know verbally when there is 30 seconds remaining by saying 30 seconds.  The timer will announce “time” when a total of 4 minutes is up.  We use a timer so as many people get to share as possible. It is also a strategy to keep the meeting inclusive and safe for all. 

{Leader post the appropriate prompt for the week in the chat.  Spend 5-10 minutes sharing on your experience, strength and hope with this week’s topic.   

Leader: When your share is complete.  please read 

Please Raise your hand (virtual or wave in front of the camera) if you would like to share or ask a question to the leader.  

If you choose to share or ask a question, please keep your share/question on what is was like as a newcomer, the weekly topic, what’s happening in your life and what you are doing to take care of yourself.   Before each share, please qualify with your first name, and how along you have attended meetings. Who and how many people you are alienated from and how long it’s been.  We do this in order to create a safe and inclusive environment and to get to know each other. 

Please refrain from crosstalk.  This is defined as commenting on someone else’s share. We intentionally refrain from sharing or giving advice on another’s share. If you are moved by someone else’s share, feel free to contact them in the chat.  Not everyone will want to chat or connect one on one.   

The zoom link will be open 10 minutes before and after the meeting for questions and open discussion.  Please come early or stay late if you like.   

Who would like to share or ask a question?  {Allow open sharing, calling on each person in the order that they raised their hand.} 

{Leader: At about 40 minutes into the meeting, announce that you will take time to read the do’s and don’t’s of pa-a.} 

DO’S AND DONT’S OF PA-A.ORG (LEADER PLEASE READ 5 OF EACH THAT RESONATE WITH YOU)

DO: 

DO-FORGIVE 

DO-BE HUMBLE 

DO-TAKE IT EASY, TENSION IS HARMFUL 

DO-PLAY 

DO-FIND RECREATION AND HOBBIES 

DO-KEEP ON DOING YOUR BEST, EVEN WHEN YOU FAIL 

DO-LEARN THE FACTS ABOUT PARENTAL ALIENATION AND ESTRANGEMENT 

DO-ATTEND PA-A MEETINGS OFTEN 

DO-READ MEETING APPROVED LITEARTURE 

DO-PRAY & MEDITATE 

DO-GET A SPONSOR & WORK THE STEPS 

DO-BE OF SERVICE ON A MEETING LEVEL 

DO-REACH OUT TO OTHER MEMEBERS INBETWEEN MEETINGS 

DO-REACH OUT FOR PROFESSIONAL HELP WHEN NEEDED 

DON’T: 

DON’T-BE SELF-RIGHTEOUS 

DON’T-DOMINATE, NAG, SCOLD, OR COMPLAIN 

DON’T-LOSE YOUR TEMPER 

DON’T-TRY TO PUSH ANYONE BUT YOURSELF 

DON’T-KEEP BRINGING UP THE PAST 

DON’T-KEEP CHECKING UP ON THE ALIENATOR (EX PARTNER, CHILD, PARENT ETC.) 

DON’T-WALLOW IN SELF-PITY 

DON’T-MAKE THREATS YOU DON’T INTEND TO CARRY OUT 

DON’T-BE OVERPROTECTIVE 

DON’T-BE A DOORMAT 

(SOME INSERTS FROM: “ALCOHOLISM THE FAMILY DISEASE,” P-4) 

Add an additional prompt to the chat to enhance discussion, if necessary, on the applicable step or topic. 

At 1 hr & 10 minutes after the start of the meeting, READ Our time for sharing is complete.  If anyone didn’t get an opportunity to share or ask questions please stay after the meeting for questions and fellowship for ten minutes.   

Leader read PA-A Closing:    

Newcomers are encouraged to connect with other members for support in between meetings.  If you’d like a copy of our phone list or to be added, please message the secretary in the chat or sign on to PA-A.org and fill in the information form. 

Emails are sent weekly on Wednesday with a meeting schedule link as well as other pertinent information.   

A suggestion to the newcomer:  Please try 5 or 6 meetings before deciding if this program works for you.  It takes time to acclimate to the group, understand how the program works and to build consistency within the group.  Your safety and sense of belonging is important to us.  If difficult emotions arise, please reach out to us.  We are here to support you.  It took time to get to where you are now and will take time to begin to recovery from what you are going through. 

In closing, we would like to say that the opinions expressed here are strictly those of the person who gave them.  Take what you like and leave the rest.  The things you heard here were spoken in confidence and should be kept confidential.  Keep them within the walls of this room and the confines of your mind.  A few special words to those who haven’t been with us long…whatever your problems, there are those among us who have had them too.  If you try to keep an open mind you will find help.  You will come to realize that there is no situation too difficult to be bettered and no unhappiness too great to be lessened.  Talk to each other, reason things out with someone else but let there be no gossip or criticism of one another.  Instead, let the understanding, love and peace of the program grow in you one day at a time.   

We will now have a moment of silence for anyone out there struggling with the effects of parental alienation in their lives.  {5-10 seconds of silence}.   

To end the meeting, please join me in the serenity prayer.  Unmute and chant along if you like. {re-post prayer in the chat}. 

God {Higher Power}, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference. 

The meeting is now done.  Please unmute and stay for additional questions and fellowship.   

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