In a lunacy contest between AA and Al-Anon, I’m not sure which one would win. Below is a quote taken from the “Al-Anon Family Group” section of the 12-Step forum, Miracles in Progress:
I was over a friend’s house who is in the program and he showed me a birthday card from his daughter. She had written in the card that she will always be there for him. I felt sick to my stomach when I read that sentence. I wound up lying and saying that it was a nice card, then couldn’t figure out if I should have told him that it is emotional incest for his daughter to feel she has to emotionally take care of him or not saying anything at all. I am very confused about this. What is the healthy thing to do? I have been contemplating calling him and telling him the truth, but don’t know if it is my place to do so. Also, I don’t feel he is healthy for me to be friends with since this is very sick behavior. Does anyone have any experience with this?
I’m not sure which is nuttier: this question, or the follow-up responses where just one other person questioned this guy on how telling a person that they always be there for them qualifies as “emotional incest” and “sick behavior.”
Those of you reading this who may be unfamiliar with Al-Anon, should understand that this conversation is centred around the idea of co-dependency. It’s an “affliction” with no clinical foundation, and thrives in the rooms of Al-Anon. It seems that just about everyone who walks into a meeting turns out to be co-dependent.