A dad wrote to me, Fixing a child’s problems very seldom if ever works. Life is not really different from addiction. If a child never suffers consequences he/she never learns how to make better decisions. If we remove the consequence, we encourage the negative behavior because there is no negative effect to their action.
My response: This dad’s words ring true in a clear and direct way. He expands the idea of enabling out of addiction and into life. I think he’s correct. We all learn from the natural consequences of our actions.
Today’s Promise to consider: Helping a child grow into a mature adult requires him to face the logical and natural results of his actions. Whether I am dealing with an addiction or not, I will love my child and stay close emotionally. I will support his good choices and allow him to confront the consequences of the negative experiences.
This post and photo makes me heart glad. So much love. Yesterday, I talked to my son in jail. All he wanted to do was make sure we were seeing his son. This disease makes for hard times but suffering the consequences until the healing happens is is the path to healing.
I always thought I was strong in my own recovery.
My relationship with my sponsor was strong and I valued his wisdom immensely.
The phone rings, a tearful voice explains his wallet was stolen. He is not allowed back to the homeless shelter for thirty days due to a rule violation. His tooth is rotting, he is in great pain, he feels like he is dying.
I am prepared for my “recovery” response and then the tears swell up in my eyes and I forget every single aspect of the 12 steps and my sponsor’s wisdom.
I rescue. And one rescue leads to another and another…..
Today is different. My son knows he is loved and supported when he accepts recovery. I do not rescue.
I have grieved the loss of my son of my dreams and I am in full acceptance of the reality of the disease of addiction.
However, I am still a work in progress! 🙂
In prayer for all our children.
So very hard. So very necessary to work our program hard every day
I admire your courage and tenacity. It’s so difficult to work your/our own programs. But, when we get that phone call, it’s difficult to stay on track. It’s so easy to break out that wallet and give them money to help them. But, we all know what they would do with the money. You did the right thing by not rescuing him. When the pain gets bad enough, he will get that tooth fixed, pulled, etc.
Stay strong, Pat.
I let my son experience consequences but it was never easy. I, like Pat, cried my eyes out when I allowed him to feel the pain of his own consequences.
I will pray today for all the mothers and fathers who work their programs every day. I will pray they continue to have the strength to keep working something so difficult to do.
I am so grateful for all your comments AND THIS COMMUNITY. EVERY DAY I WAKE UP, I THINK OF MY SON WAKING UP IN JAIL.
I breathe deeply until I can let it in.
The words here make me feel not as alone. Like PAT, I accept, but I know I am still grieving this dsease is part of our lives. Yes it is tragic and sad , but my Suffering is optional– today I will go in search of joy. Barbara, it is good to read your words again.
We are not alone and we suffer together. The word ‘suffering’ is accurate, but I wish there were a better word – less prolonged and torturous. Joy, I’m sure it is hard to breathe, and I’m sorry. Barbara, it is good to read your words again – wise and comforting. Pat, you grieve and we know that grief. Maybe the key is in Pat and Jane’s words: “I’m still a work in progress”…”as we work our program everyday.” I join you all in continuing this journey to find peace and serenity, one day at a time.
With prayers and in hope,
I just LOVE the photo this week! Precious!
Thanks, Barbara. It’s wonderful to have you back. Love to you and yours.
The father of my two adult drug addicted sons, and ex-husband, passed away very unexpectedly in his sleep a few days ago. He had been their enabler and crutch for the past 7 years. Now that he is gone, they have both become crazed at the thought of him not being there. First thing they tried to do was sell off any valuables in the house for drug money. My daugther and I were able to remover most of it before this occurred – which compounded their fury. The home is a rental and must be vacated by Aug. 10th. They refuse to cooperate, have no money, no transportation and no driver’s licenses. A sorry state. They also became enraged when they discovered that I am the sole beneficiary of their father’s estate. So, we have decided to let them be for now, and let them face the landlord when the rent comes due.
This has to be the epitome of how harmful being an enabler can become. We are all grieving, and adding this to the mix is quite overwhelming.