When I joined AAP in 1971 I don’t remember groups being “closed.” People wandered in and out, committing for one meeting…or not…and taking heat upon leaving, or working your way in.
That seems to have lasted quite a while until groups started getting “ named”: The Washington group, The Atlanta mafia, The Huggers, The Sluggers, and others. Strangely, I was in a “sluggers” group, a character assignation I would never have associated with the me I knew.
Through the years my sense of self changed, I grew in so many ways, personally and professionally. I owned my power, learned to express anger, and forged deep, forever, family feelings that in many cases are the deepest, strongest bonds in my life. I met and married my husband, Alex, in that family group. We decided to stay in the group as a couple after we married and thereby subjected our marital relationship to receive feedback and stretching in interactions with group perceptions.
Our group has morphed into an all women’s group as we are in our 70’s.
We were initially a male dominated group, but we lost our men, mostly to death, and have visited and revisited the issue of where we go from here.