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Wednesday, October 19, 2011
This is where the rubber starts to meet the road. For too long we have drawn lines in the sand. Lines become easily erased with the passing of time as we start to let things slide. If we are going to go through the effort of Setting Rules and Implementing Boundaries they must be something we can live with and stand firm in.
Allison Bottke states in her book...
Implementing rules and boundaries is a major part of acquiring the strength we’re going to need on the journey.
Some “musts” in defining those rules and boundaries.
· We must have a clearly defined action plan before confronting our adult children.
· We must establish consequences and stick with them.
· We must present a unified front if we are married.
· We must not get involved in debate, discussion, or trying to help our adult children figure things out
· We must encourage our adult children to figure things out for themselves
· We must be willing to ask ourselves, “Who am I outside of this issue/child?”
· We must be willing to shift the focus off our adult children and onto our own lives.
This process is not for the faint of heart. It will take thought, time and understanding of what we have let happen in the past. And we will need strength to stand firm in this; as I have stated before once you begin this process you will be met with chaos from your adult child. They will not understand nor like these new boundaries and will fight against them. They will pull out every weapon of manipulation they can find to use against you.
The word Boundary implies “you can go this far and no further” like a fence or a wall. It is put in place for the protection of those on each side of it, and to uphold something of importance. Helping our addicted loved ones requires these boundaries to be put in place and for them to stay in place. Their growth and our sanity will depend on it.
Doing this in our family has been absolutely paramount. Before this our lives were filled with the constant chaos and upheaval that addiction brings. The unwarranted guilt that I carried because my son had gotten caught up in addiction made me feel like I had to do it all; fix his problems, pay his bills, find his way for him… the truth is; by doing those things I was robbing him of the much needed work he needed to do to own his place in the addiction process and too find the reasons to fight his way out.
I will promise you this won’t be easy, but it will eventually bring peace to your home and potentially new life to our addict.
Thursday, October 6, 2011
N – Nip Excuses in the Bud
For a couple of days now I have been attempting to write on this topic, first formulating it in my mind before it ever hits the keyboard. And amusingly enough I do believe God had me wait to write because He had some fresh material from which He would inspire me. (Who says God doesn’t have a sense of humor!)
Nipping excuses in the bud…
Meaning: Put a stop to something while it is still in its early development.
Origin: This phrase derives from the de-budding of plants
I believe we can get a pretty clear picture from these two statements just what is meant to take place when we Nip excuses. If we ‘nip’ off the buds of a plant, it does not flower, and if it doesn't flower, the seed inside the flower will not fall back to the ground and try to grow and bloom again. – A could be viscous cycle is stopped.
Allison Bottke states in her book on pg 117:
When we make the decision to resign from the role of enabler in our children’s dramas, the story line, as many of us know from experience can quickly turn to melodrama. Face it, many of our children have continued so long in their present situations because they’ve been good at manipulation. It’s difficult sometimes for us to accept this ugly fact. We want so much to believe them when they tell us what turns out to be a lie or a rather overdramatized truth. – Real healing begins when a parent stops believing the excuses and lies and insists on the truth.
Yesterday began as many days do, with a quick hi and how’s your day going from my son. By late in the day a second call came telling me he had just hung around all day, nothing major or earth shattering about his day. – It didn’t take long before the calls started coming in one right after another; insisting he needed me to do something for him immediately. His day’s story changed to suit his now impending emergency; in my spirit I knew this was going south fast and he would and could easily cycle out of control.
As he began his litany of excuses, I could feel myself getting sucked into the drama, the only way I could stop that was to hang up the phone. I know he wasn’t expecting that. But I believe it made a statement. I let some time pass before we spoke again, this time I had prepared myself, knew I had to stand firm and not except his excuses, half-truths and lies. I firmly believe this is an important step for us as the loved ones of an addict. Taking the time to STOP – collect our thoughts, our strength and if you believe in prayer, to pray; will be absolutely paramount to keeping ourselves on tract.
Later that evening when we spoke again, the conversation turned, he began to listen and the God given words that came from heart somehow stopped both of us. Atleast I know they stopped me. (I can only speak for myself and where I am at today) I have to be responsible for my excuses. I can easily slip right back to enabling him, and literally in the blink of an eye.
Keeping my Recovery right in front of me at all times is hard work. Remembering the SANITY principles, and listening to that still small voice in head when it says “Nip the excuses in the Bud” or Stop the enabling, or call someone you need support right now; is what helps me do that.
SANITY… its what we all need to get through this.