Last night, difficult child posted the following on FB. "I hate the holidays! It reminds me of the fact I don't have any family and I'll just be alone for them again." <--- HUH?!?!? He got responses of people inviting him to have T'gving with them, etc. All these people, of course, have never met me. I posted, "Why don't we go to Disney World?" He deleted it. One of my closest friends posted, "difficult child, your mother loves you very, very much. She is always thrilled to spend time with you...etc., etc." difficult child removed the entire post. It made me really think a lot about why he would post that - so I started writing out my feelings. I sent a longer version of what I've added (below) to my sponsor. He sent me a lot of great helpful ideas and said it helped him think through his own feelings about his addict. So, I'm sharing it here in case it helps anyone else and/or anyone has thoughts. ----------------------------- Today's insight - If I changed my reaction to difficult child's jabs from hurt to anger, I would be more peaceful. When I hurt, I try to fix things. When I'm angry, I put boundaries in place. I need more boundaries. How do I stop being hurt? Detach. I cannot fix him. His addiction/disease/whatever belongs to him alone. When he was young, I remember creating a consequence for him that I termed, "kicking it out of play." Whenever I set a boundary that he refused to follow, the item in question would disappear. For example, when he refused to stop throwing food waste in his garbage can in his bedroom (and thus attracting ants), I simply got rid of the garbage can. Problem solved. Now, I should kick myself out of play. I believe he is discharging his anger on me. If I'm not available, hopefully he will end up processing his anger in an appropriate way. Whether he does or not, I'm in a better place. This is HIS LIFE - HIS PATH - not mine. While it breaks my heart to see him where he is, I did nothing (either by act and/or failure to act) to create this situation. His choices are not my fault nor my responsibility. Intellectually, I understand addiction is a disease, it doesn't excuse him from all his behaviors. Last I heard, abusers didn't suffer from a disease. It is becoming clearer to me that his behavior towards me is, at times, abusive. I must now take control of my relationship with difficult child. I've allowed him too much control over my decisions and emotions. He often says things to me which I know are attempts to control me. He throws up his chances of relapse and then tries to tie that to my choices in some fashion. I understand that I am allowing my fears of his addiction and the possible consequences to make decisions for me. Fears won't ever keep him safe. Fears will only hurt me. ----------------- I ended with a list of the things I will do, such as drawing specific boundaries for difficult child, etc. The last item was this: 8. Make a list of positive things I can do whenever I feel hurt, angry and/or afraid. Here is part of my sponsor's reply: You should have a list of things or even poker chips with fun things written on them, one side should be call me or ###, the other should be something you enjoy. You get the idea, call someone who loves you and thinks you hung the moon, as well as getting a cookie. Nothing can withstand good friends and a cookie. Remember no decisions should be made in anger, I feel that a cool off period should be utilized whenever he contacts you. We both know that his basic needs are taken care of at the sober house, they are the people that handle this type of addiction daily. We are too damaged to help the addict and help ourselves at the same time. It is too many balls for us to juggle at once. Please take care of yourself and help him as you feel comfortable. But help him for your peace of mind, not for his comfort. React for your comfort, not his. I cannot stress this enough. ---------------------------- Personally, I think his advise was dead-on right. We talked a long time tonight about writing out my feelings. I actually went and bought red pens to use in an attempt to process my anger at difficult child. (Makes me think of Taylor's Swift's new song, "Red"...lol) Just wondering if anyone else has thought about their anger at their difficult child versus their hurt and fear.