The Waiting Room

No sooner had I posted Law #1 on Boundaries, when I received a call from Ms. Beloved who is dealing with a wayward adult child. On the younger side of adult, mind you, but an adult nevertheless.

Ms. Beloved's child has been challenging the laws of life it seems since about one year after her own recovery began. Ms. Beloved's years were riddled with anguish and devastating results due to alcoholism which don't need to be explained. Everyone who's walked, stumbled, rolled or crawled through this gateway has enough of their own results to grasp the situation here.

Now, Wayward One is trying to live life on her own terms which simply interprets to trying to hold her mother hostage with the results of her choices. I realize that some may not agree with my thinking, but I honestly believe that the hardest part of this huge circle involving addiction and alcoholism or any other deviant behavior is being the parent in such a situation. Our children become master manipulators by regurgitating the past all over us while trying to hand us a one way ticket on the train of guilt. Fortunately, Ms. Beloved has years of recovery behind her now and has kicked her practiced training into high gear to stand on the truth of the situation and not let emotions rule her. Difficult but possible.

At least 3 times over the past 12 months Ms. Beloved has extended the olive branch to her Wayward One, with healthy viable choices, only to find each time that Wayward One took what she needed for that moment, duped Ms. Beloved and walked away. After a time of silence, Wayward one calls Ms. Beloved in her hour of need and the worst case scenarios are envisioned all over again. Sadly, Wayward One is in that place again but assures her mother via Facebook Inbox that she'll "figure it out on her own as usual. And I know I have to take care of myself and I can do it on my own."

To Ms. Beloved, who shared with me, I replied: Hmmmm.....well, I guess it depends on what your "doing it on my own" encompasses. From her perspective she's been doing it even if it means wheedling from others, which is a thought process that a lot of young people (or street people) go through and think it's okay and right. So while she's been doing it on her own, she's doing it in a very hard way but in her mind it's been working out. And, of course, she's still seeing herself as a victim. They don't see the trail of debris behind them...or don't want to see it. I hope she sees it sooner than later. ugh. Praying for you and you so much.

To me, this is the most painful part of healthy boundaries. Seeing the situation as it is and letting our Wayward Ones sow what they've reaped. More often than not the growing pains don't have to be so painful if the Wayward Ones would step out of their victim clothing and ask for real guidance (not a rescue) and face life head on in the truth.

The waiting room is overflowing with Beloved's in anticipation of that revelation.


clean and crazy said...

there is so much strength and truth in your words. you are correct we addicts are egotistical and self centered. we have such a denial blanket on we fail to see any of our part and it is so much easier to be a victim in life then to be responsible for our own actions.
when that moment of enlightenment comes, it is a very powerful moment of desperation.
i pray for you and yours and i am grateful for your daughters time in recovery as well as yours so you may have faith and strength to set these very important boundaries.

Debby of Oxycontin and Opiate Addiction: A Mother's Story said...

I need to be reminded of this. My addict son uses the guilt card, or the "I love you, mom" card too often.
I'm slowly learning how to set my boundaries and to keep them.
Well written and very inspirational. Thank you.

Tall Kay said...

You have such a beautiful way with your words. My daughters love to play the victim card too. Thank God we have a solution and have learned to face the truth. The truth is we don't have to do this alone...we can't. I pray she realizes this sooner than later.

Gin said...

You are so right that this is the hardest part of parenting children while dealing with addiction or alcoholism. I constantly reinforce with my children that we are all responsible for our OWN actions and that regardless of what their father may or may not be doing it is not an excuse to act however they want.

Such a difficult situation.

Syd said...

I had to learn to let go and not have expectations of others that they were incapable of fulfilling. Great post.

Anonymous said...

The Wayward One is still angry with her Mom. Natural I suppose up to a point. As always Sis, you write lovingly crafted pieces that cause your readers to think and reflect. I thank you for your writing and encourage you to push yourself further with this gift.
The Piggy Bank Kid

Steve E. said...

I believe raising children is the hardest part of life, WITHOUT
having to deal with addictions of drugs, alcohol, etc.

God bless all you parents.


Jess Mistress of Mischief said...

Praying for them.

Madison said...

As parents we just seem to fall into these rescue patterns - whether our kids are addicted or not. Dr. Cloud's book, along with a chorus of advice, changed my way of thinking too. Great post.

Elizabeth Mahlou said...

It does not HAVE to be hard, but as you now, it seems that some folks can only learn the hard way.