This is part of a journal entry that I wrote four years ago: My son wants to come home for the summer and he says he’s clean. What do I do? The mom part says, “Be there for him. Trust him. Believe him. Open the door and allow him to come home.” The other part, the logical part, says, “He’s lying and he’ll just come home and get high. He’ll have too much time on his hands and trouble with follow. It always has.” Two extremes! What do I do?
My personal reflection on the passage above, offering my thoughts today: Addiction often threw me into extremes, and I swung between yes and no, give and take, punishments and gifts. These extremes didn’t help my son because my mixed messages led to added confusion and lack of boundaries. He needed boundaries that he could count on to keep him safe. As things spiraled out of control, my behavior became increasingly chaotic. I felt exhausted and I felt desperate. In turn I flipped between acting with kindness and dolling out punishments. I needed to protect myself and work toward stability.
Today’s promise to consider, for all of us who love addicts: I am not a puppet for addiction’s sake. I will seek help from experts and from those in Al-Anon. I need boundaries to keep myself safe – for my son, my family and myself.206