A young woman in recovery told me: I played my mother and grandmother against each other. For example, when I had a fight with one, I’d go to the other. It’s not nice to say, but I used them. I recognized the moment they were weak, and I saw clearly how I could use their love for me to my advantage. It was totally deliberate and this helped keep my addiction alive. I’m sorry for it now.

My reflection: Those in active addiction will do anything to keep using. If my son couldn’t get what he wanted from me, there were many others – family and non-family members – to whom he would go for help. His manipulations and stories were smart, creative, and effective.

Today’s Promise to consider: People suffering from addiction live a life of desperation and deceit. The user will do anything to prop up her addiction. As a result, manipulation of family and friends is common, and those who love addicts are frequently betrayed in the process. Today, I’ll open my eyes and recognize the behaviors. I’ll communicate honestly with those in my loved one’s circle and work with them to establish firm boundaries.

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Phil Colamarino
Phil Colamarino
2 years ago

Truer words were never spoken. When our child was in active addiction, there were countless arguments between my wife and I as we had different ways of dealing with the issue. She was connected, concerned, committed. I disconnected and withdrew support from the child as well as my wife. Absolutely no progress was made in the healing process until we got on the same page and eliminated his ability to use us against each other. Once the lies and deceit were no longer effective the healing process started for the whole family.
this also made recovery and treatment more effective.
God bless your efforts to spread a message of love and communication.

2 years ago

“Today I will open my eyes and recognize behaviors. I will communicate honestly with those in my loved ones circle and work with them to establish firm boundaries.” I appreciate that this begins with “today” as the process of recovery is one day at a time. Honest communication with and from those who love my son is empowering and healthy for me.

Ellen Richmond
Ellen Richmond
1 year ago

I am truly struggling with this even though my son is not in active addiction (he got drug-free by going to jail for 2 and a half years), his manipulative behaviors are still here. I am his home plan for his 5 year probation but am miserable living with him. I need to put myself first now for mental and physical reasons but he continues to try to make me feel guilty for this. I am standing strong so far but “tough love” has never worked with him in the past. When “forced” to, he has never stood strong. He has become weak to his addiction. Jail is what saved his physical life. Even though he is not using drugs now, his “street mentality” still prevails over family and relationships. He is better than when in active drug addiction and has made some improvements, however he drinks now which is causing problems. I know I need to allow him to fail and take my life back. I am so used to putting others before me!