parents 10 commandments to break enabling...

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Signorina, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    I just found this buried in my iPhone notes- and I saved it on my phone 401 days ago...11/4/2011. I know it has likely been reposted since then but I feel like finding it was not merely a coincidence...seems like the holidays are a catalyst for wanting our own family miracles...I know I am feeling stuck...and this is a good reminder that I am not in charge of fixing my difficult child...

    Parents "Ten Commandments" for Breaking the Enabling Cycle

    1. You shall take care of your own spiritual, mental, physical, emotional and financial health.
    2. You shall remember to express love and attention to your spouse and other family members and friends in addition to your troubled adult child.
    3. You shall not accept excuses.
    4. You shall understand that a clear definition of right and wrong is imperative for a disciplined society. There is no room for gray. Don't make excuses for what you believe.
    5. You shall make fact-based judgments without excuse, and feel okay doing so.
    6. You shall uphold standards of behavior that protect your morals, values and integrity.
    7. You shall give your adult child unconditional love and support without meddling and without money.
    8. You shall listen to music and read books that will focus your mind on your Higher Power.
    9. You shall celebrate life and love as often as possible, even in times of trouble.
    10. You shall consistently practice the six steps to SANITY:

    S = Stop enabling, stop blaming yourself, and stop the flow of money
    A = Assemble a support group
    N = Nip excuses in the bud
    I = Implement boundaries
    T = Trust your instincts
    Y = Yield everything to God.

    Adapted from Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Child Study Guide. Copyright © 2008 by Allison Bottke.
  2. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Thank you Sig, I needed that today!
  3. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    Nancy, I needed it tonite too. Long story longer (you know me!)

    husband and I tried another "come to Jesus" talk tonight with our difficult child and it amounted to a lot of talk- we basically asked difficult child to explain his short & long term plans and how we fit in... We tried to listen and not direct. And while he has goals of going to school and becoming a chemist, he still has no concrete, sensible plan for getting from point A to point B...just abstract plans and still convinced that he can conjure up straight As by sheer will...

    I am feeling defeated and honestly, I really want to take over his life and FIX it all...and finding these commandments is a good reminder that it is HE who is treading water and not us...even if feels futile. And while I can and should support his plans, I shouldn't facilitate the action needed to accomplish them. We did get the opportunity to state that HE needs to decide where we fit in his life/plans and that if he wants anything beyond our moral support, he needs to ask.

    He is just so stuck - still no forward progress. He came home last night with a VERY banged up/bruised face & a black eye from a snowboarding fall (he's working at a local hill) and it triggered a really uncomfortable uneasy feeling in me. How many times can this boy get hurt before it's one time too many and he becomes our toddler in perpetuity?

    He has been just ok, not great this month here.. A little out of touch with reality. He has been inconsiderate insofar as staying out too late or forgetting his key & ringing the bell at 2am or texting at 3am to state he won't be home- but not "overtly inconsiderate." typical teen-and he toes the line for sure. (He was a far more mature, considerate 17 yo!)

    He has shown no growth since May 2011. Not worse which is a blessing, I know. He is more agreeable recently for sure, but I am VERY wary. We all know that home is the last port in the storm. The understandable absence of maturity at age 18.5 is far less tolerable as he nears age 21. Two years of this! And no end in site. Total inertia. He can't or won't connect the dots between cause and effect. It REALLY bothers me. I know i need to let go. He still has his lease & plans to return to his apt in late Jan. I think that's a mistake. If he could succeed in college (or life) in that town, he would have found success there by now. I've told him so, and I need to find the will to realize that I need to hush now.

    I need to remember that my anxiety about his situation is MINE and that I need to let it go. He certainly is not losing sleep over it. I shouldn't either... So hard to realize that opportunity and life is starting to pass them by...and that they may only realize it after it's too late. But I can't make him see it. And I need to let go of any idea that its my job to show him ...
    Lasted edited by : Dec 10, 2012
  4. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    This is great!

    If it's not already in the Archives, perhaps it needs to be?
  5. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    This was so meaningful to me last night. I found myself being way too invested in difficult child's life again, worrying about how she was going to complete her community service or pay for the food items to the food bank required. Instead of trying to figure that out she was outpartying all day yesterday without a care in the world. I feel she is stuck too, not making any movement to be more responsible or do anything more with her life than menial jobs and collect whatever assistance she can. When the attorney asked her to sell herself so that she knew what to say to the judge all she could come up with was that she was a nice person. There seems to be nothing else going on in that head of hers and she doesn't seem to care that she will never achieve anything more than getting by day to day.

    But I needed a reality check and you gave it to me. It is not my problem, it is not my community service to complete. I can't keep worrying everytime she goes out that she will get into trouble and be in jail finally, as her second chances have run out. I found myself wanting to take over her life too because after all I could do a much better job with it. I would know how to fix things and get her back on track if she would just do what I say. I must think I'm pretty powerful.

    I am feeling better today, letting go a little more and allowing her to feel the consequences of her loife just a little more.

    Thanks for the check.

  6. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Guest

    That totally hit me for some reason today - thanks for that! I constantly wish I could take over difficult children life because I, too, think I could fix everything and have her on track...
  7. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    Oh me too... I could do a much better job fixing difficult children life than he is doing. LOL. But I have to remember it is not my life to live. One of the things often said in my parents alanon group is that "I am not my sons higher power"!!!!

  8. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    Ya, me too...Wish I could solve all of my young difficult child's problems/issues...have some control over it. And yet, Y'all are right that would be trying to be young difficult child's Higher Power. Sigh...I don't even know what his "Higher Power" is these days...but I guess that's none of my business either.

    So hard to love them and not have any control over their thinking, choices, life.

    Sig...I hear you on the "treading water". Wish they would all come ashore and be grounded! Know what they want and have a clear idea about how to get there. Wish we all had some guarantee's too.

    Guess we are the one's left to practice great faith, huh?