HONESTY: FACING REALITY

A dad wrote to me: I never realized honesty was going to be so painful; however, it’s worth it. 

Honesty, for me, means facing reality.  I, like you, took great pride in being the very best parent I could be. When, drug abuse raised its terrible, ugly and disgusting head, my immediate reaction was to hide, avoid and dismiss the fact that this could happen to our family. I went through phases: First shock, then despair, followed by embarrassment. I asked myself, “How could this happen to my family?” I thought addiction could only happen in dysfunctional families, not mine. My marriage, like yours, ended in divorce and this added to my self-blame. Keep in mind, the whole time I was doing my very best, I still took the blame. Finally, honesty arrived and I began to start living again. Honesty began the process of healing my family.  It was just so painful getting to honesty.

My thought: This dad arrived at a place of healing by embracing honesty and facing reality. Dr. MacAfee says, “When people meet on the common ground of truth, difficult though it is, healing happens.” The Big Book of AA says, “Sobriety can only be found in rigorous honesty.”

Today’s Promise to consider: Facing reality can be excruciating, but I’ll try. It’s the only path that leads to healing. I won’t blame myself or anyone else. Even the ugliest of situations are made better with honesty and faith.

 

 

 

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Jane
Jane
10 years ago

Wow this is what I needed to hear today since last nite my son got very honest with us that he feels no love or kindness from us anymore. It’s true. We really detached with more anger lately then anything. It’s been a long haul of 10 years doing this chaos. My promise is to detach and keep boundaries but to show more kindness and love. Love transcends all. Stay close and love. That is the essence of Libby’ s message right? Stop the enabling but love. I’ll try harder this week
Love
Jane

Barbara
Barbara
10 years ago

My dear sweet Jane, your words are so honest and real. You are facing reality with honesty. Your promise is so difficult. It’s so difficult for a mother to detach herself from her child when addiction raises its ugly head. It’s also very difficult to set boundaries and keep them.

My son said to me once, “I feel like you hate me”. I told him that I hated the things he did, but I loved him so much in my heart and that was unconditional. I even struggled with that word “unconditional”. I thought I loved my son unconditionally. But, when he got into trouble and began using, and I set boundaries, was my love conditional then?

Anger can also be an honest reality. It just needs to be quelled as, anger can kill your spirit.

Addiction is so complicated. We do the very best we can and keep learning through groups like this one.

It took many years for me to become a realist. And, it was difficult. But, facing reality with honesty was healing for me in so many ways.

Dear Libby, I hope your speaking engagement went well this week. You and Jeff are doing God’s work and I think you’re both amazing! I have so much respect for you both.

Love to all of you. And, thank you.

Libby
Libby
10 years ago

Dear Jane and Barbara,

You are both so correct. Boundaries are necessary to keep us safe (us and our addicted loved one), yet they are difficult to set. Where do we draw the line and when? How do we talk about it? What do we do with our raw feelings of rage, betrayal and fear that are quick to appear with addiction. There are no easy answers. Getting to honesty is critical and is the goal, but it takes time, hard work and patience. Through it all, we need to be compassionate with ourselves.

The speaking engagements were great. We spoke to 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th graders and then the parents. The kids responded really well. We didn’t lecture them or tell them what to do. We told our story in an honest way and they made the connections. Our prayer was that we touched at least one child.

My love to you!

L

Jane
Jane
10 years ago

Barbara
I can relate to every word you wrote. Yes it is all so complex and hard. Hard to set boundaries, hard to stay consistent with keeping them, hard to not hate, hard to detach with love when you are filled with negative emotions. My son has also said I make him feel like a burden. He is a burden in reality. Life is not easy with him. He also has said like your son Barbara that he thinks we hate him. Like you, I hate what the disease has turned him into, and I hate what it has cost our family.. I feel very torn at times. Torn because he is like a bird with broken wings struggling to fly and he keeps hitting the cement, and his mother can’t help much anymore

Love you all on this blog..thank you for the friendship and support
Libby I am sure you and Jeff made a very compelling presentation with those kids. Hopefully they absorbed like sponges

Jane

Libby
Libby
10 years ago

Addiction is so counterintuitive. Jeff told me that “addicts loath themselves.” I wonder if our sons say hurtful things to us because they know they are causing such pain in the family. As Jeff says, “I tried to keep you out of the chaos. I loved you and wanted to keep you safe, but I knew that I wasn’t ready to stop using drugs.”

As parents, we can’t ‘fix’ our children. We can love them and hate the addiction. We can pray for them and wait for them to ‘come home.’ When the consequences of Jeff’s addiction became overwhelming for him, he made a choice. I thank the Lord every day that Jeff chose health and I pray that he chooses again today. It’s one day at a time. I remain humble.

Love to you all.

Jane
Jane
10 years ago

For all the mothers on this blog who may be struggling today with mothers day as a trigger you are in my prayers. I also ask you to read the poem by the poet Kahlil Gibran – the prophet, —-Of Children. It may help

Jane
Jane
10 years ago

On Children
 Kahlil Gibran

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.

You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

Acceptance is what I work on today
God Bless
Love
Jane

Barbara
Barbara
10 years ago

Dear Jane, thank you so much for posting the poem. Very powerful!

Acceptance is very difficult, as I also continue to work on it every single day.

Love,
Barbara

Libby
Libby
10 years ago

Jane, This poem is powerful, “Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.”

We can love them, but they have to fly. Love to you.

L