Love, healing and respect

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by AmericanGirl, Nov 11, 2012.

  1. AmericanGirl

    AmericanGirl Guest

    We ALL (not just our difficult children) deserve miracles.

    And while we pray diligently for our difficult children, it doesn't benefit them for us to go down with them. In fact, I believe it hurts them.

    First, if and when they decide to change their lives, the better we are (physically, emotionally, mentally, etc.) the more we can help them.

    Second, when I was watching Rehab with Dr. Drew last week, a mother started sobbing. Her son didn't get more aware of the damage his choices did -- he got less aware. He mentally numbed out and physically left.

    I know we all ache inside for what our kids have done to themselves, to us and to other loved ones. But, until that moment, I never really got what showing our pain did to them. In early recovery, it is likely more than they can bare. Couple that with their intense desire not to feel their emotions and difficult children are likely to chose anything over watching our pain.

    Now, I'm not saying we should fake it or hide consequences from them forever. I'm saying I believe exposing them to the intense damage they have done should be an evolutionary process. They know a lot of the story. In fact, they may even be more aware of the pain they caused us as we don't know the full extent of their actions.

    I'm healing my pain myself. By journaling - by attending meetings - by praying and mediating - by talking to a lot of wonderful fellow survivors along the way. I don't hold difficult child responsible for healing me. He has enough on his plate to heal himself.

    Paradoxically, difficult child seems upset, even hurt, when he sees me go on with my life these days. He makes comments like, "A lot of things have changed around here," (meaning the house) and talks about my "well-scheduled" life. I believe he sees my changes and they unnerve him. That wasn't my intention. I'm just living my life. He is welcome in it but - only if he displays appropriate behavior.

    His father (my ex-husband) always made me feel like he would never, ever leave me - no matter what I did. While devotion is an admirable thing - blindness isn't. I believe we all need boundaries on our behavior - both self-imposed and imposed by others. I lost respect for him.

    So, it is reasonable to think that my son would lose respect for me if I was there for him no matter his choices. It's a teachable moment for him, to see that no matter the depth of love for someone else, that the love you have for yourself means certain behaviors aren't acceptable.

    I wish all of you must love, healing and respect.

    Comes the Dawn

    Author: Veronica A. Shoffstall
    After a while you learn the subtle difference
    Between holding a hand and chaining a soul,
    And you learn that love doesn't mean leaning
    And company doesn't mean security,
    And you begin to learn that kisses aren't contracts
    And presents aren't promises,
    And you begin to accept your defeats
    With your head up and your eyes open
    With the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child,
    And you learn to build all your roads on today,
    Because tomorrow's ground is too uncertain for plans,
    And futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.
    After a while you learn
    That even sunshine burns if you get too much.
    So you plant your own garden and decorate your own soul,
    Instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.
    And you learn that you really can endure...
    That you really are strong,
    And you really do have worth.
    And you learn and learn...
    With every goodbye you learn.
  2. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    Extraordinary post, AG.
  3. Tiredof33

    Tiredof33 Active Member

    I have gone through the stages and I bounce back and forward trying to reach acceptance. I love my son unconditionally and I can completely accept the fact that it is his life and him alone can change it. I am thankful for all I have in my life - but it is still painful to have my son spew nasty comments blaming me for his life style. I have finally reached a point where I will not give money to him under any circumstances - that includes birthday and Christmas - if he spends them alone that is his choice.

    I thought the same about respect when he last attacked me by e-mail - I am your mother and I not only want respect, I demand it - if you can not show me that respect do not contact me. I would not allow any one else to say and treat me the way he does. It may be a long time before I hear from my selfish, hateful brat - and I know it is the drugs and alcohol - but I refuse to be treated as he has treated me.

    This is another good poem in my opinion:

    One day you finally knew
    what you had to do, and
    though the voices around you
    kept shouting
    their bad advice
    though the whole house
    began to tremble
    and you felt the old
    at your ankles.
    "Mend my life!"
    each voice cried.
    But you didn't
    You knew what you had to do,
    though the wind pried
    with its stiff
    at the very foundations,
    though their melancholy
    It was already late
    enough, and a wild night,
    and the road
    full of fallen
    branches and stones.
    But little by little,
    as you left
    their voices behind,
    the stars began to burn
    through the sheets of
    and there was a new voice
    which you slowly
    recognized as your
    that kept you company
    as you strode deeper and deeper
    into the
    determined to do
    the only thing you could do --
    determined to
    the only life you could save.
    ~ Mary Oliver ~

  4. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    So true. Well said.
  5. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    What a valuable thread. Thank you. DDD
  6. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    I so agree with you and I know those poems and love them both!! I feel it is ok and reasonable for my son to know I will love him no matter what, but I also agree that I need to have boundaries and do not need to accept or take abusive behavior from him. There have been times when he has gotten abusive to me over the phone and I have calmly told him I am hanging up... or if he was in person I would walk away. It always worked best when I stayed calm and didnt react, but also didnt stay and just accept his bad behavior... and boy that would frustrate him too! LOL.

    We are at a place where when we do ahve contact he is respectful to me... but we dont have all that much contact. That makes me sad and worried because I dont know what is happening and I am at that spot right now when I worry about what has happened to him.

    And yet I too need to keep on living... it also doesnt do him any good for him to think or feel the rest of us have put our lives on hold... or for that matter that somehow he has ruined our lives. I think he is living with a lot of guilt of things that have happened... and I think it eats at him. I dont think it is helpful to him to pile on any more of the guilty because in the end he has to find a way to do what is right for him, whatever that is. And I need to continue to do what is right for me.

    I do think you have come a long way since I first met you on this board... as have all of us. It is an inspiration to me.

  7. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Guest

    AG, this post really spoke to me!!! Thank you for reminding me that it is not difficult child's job to make my life better, or heal me. She has enough to do on herself. Only I can better myself.

    My difficult child makes those same comments when she comes over. How the house has changed, the decorating, etc. I tell her that life just goes on, no matter what...