Year Dream Dreams Make Possible  - geralt / Pixabay
geralt / Pixabay


March 15, 2021 (parental alienation anonymous) had it’s 1st 12 step support group meeting. It was a Monday night and it was a step 1 meeting. Step 1 reads; “We admitted we were powerless over people/institutions/things and that our lives were unmanageable.”

Step 1 sums up why and how the group was formed and why it is flourishing. The first word of the 1st step is “WE”. “WE” connects every parent, grandparent and relative struggling with any form of alienation. “WE” signifies community, relation, belonging and understanding. “WE” is a welcoming home to a place where everyone understands our language and our stories of longing, loss, anger and hope.

“Powerless” in the first step is a surrender to how we are trying to manage other people lives, our lives and alienation. Most of us are desperate and have tried almost everything in our current toolbox to combat this disease of relationships. The admission of powerlessness is not an admission of helplessness or uselessness. It is a surrender to the idea that we cannot control anybody, any institution or any thing. It is acknowledging how much power we do have when we focus on ourselves and the power to work diligently in our own lives, to grow emotionally, intellectually and spiritually. In turning the focus on ourselves, we realize we can finally enter this space of self-agency and recovery. Recovery of creativity, of hope, of possibilities and the knowledge that we no longer need to manage the whole world.

We had four or five people at the 1st meeting that Monday night. It was scary, connecting and generated some curiosity for what might emerge next. We now have seven meetings a week with a variety of topics. We have a step 1, step 2 & step 3 meeting as well as an 11th step meeting that introduces meditation, a PA-A slogans meeting, a literature-based meeting that is hosted from Singapore, and a non-violent communication practice group (which is the first of seven foundational trainings). WE have cycled close to a 1000 people through meetings in the first year and have a robust community of members.

The music of is the growth we notice in others, how they talk, how they are able to transition slowly through their stories and start moving more and more into recovery. This takes coming to meetings consistently because it’s in the meetings that we slowly hear the message of recovery by witnessing other people change. We cannot see our own growth until we see someone else role model what growth can be. We recover a relationship with ourselves in order to show up fully in every relationship in our lives.

For our anniversary meeting we shall be reflecting back on the journey over the last year. For some folks this might be their 1st or second meeting, some have been here for weeks, months or a year. No matter the amount of time or amount of meetings, this is a celebration of perspective taking. There will be three questions to reflect on for the meeting. Please take a couple of minutes to reflect and possibly journal about these questions. We hope to see you at the meeting.

1-What was it like for you at your first meeting of PA-A? How were you feeling? Did you have a take away? Good or bad?

2-Have you had an a-ha moment in your PA-A journey? What was that moment when you saw a little hope or started to understand a little bit of your own behavior, or your family of origin history, or your coping mechanisms or maybe it was just remembering laughing for the first time in a long time.

3-What has changed in your life since you joined the 12 step fellowship of PA-A?

If you are new to our fellowship, have never attended a meeting or attended a couple meetings and decided it wasn’t for you, we invite you back to come and explore the 12 steps and share our journey of recovery. For clarification, a 12 step program is not for everyone, it takes a lot of work and dedication. No one voluntarily looks at their behavior, family or origin history and coping mechanisms and says ok I’m going to start working on this “giant pile of all my stuff”!

We all come here kicking and screaming looking desperately for community, understanding, grace, love and a way to get our loved ones back. The people that finally surrender to “not knowing” stay and rediscover a life worth living.


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