Old 04-03-2002, 03:22 AM
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Post Detachment

This is something I posted on the Nar-Anon board awhile back. I thought I'd share it over here too.

(I've read quite a few postings this week that brought the subject of detachment to mind. I just wanted to share some thoughts.)

I left my best friend, my heart, my soul behind 4 months ago. I left him because I couldn’t stand to see him slipping away from me, sliding right back into his old personality and his old addictions. I left because I couldn’t take the verbal and emotional abuse that I got in return for the love I gave to him. I left because I could already feel myself slipping down that hill with him, and I knew it would kill me.

I’ve felt guilty and ashamed for not being strong enough to stick it out, for running for cover at the first sign of trouble. When I’d read the stories on these message boards, I’d think about how easy I had it in comparison. He was ONLY smoking pot at the time. I had ONLY given him $300—he hadn’t stolen any precious heirlooms or jewelry. He hadn’t used the rent money to buy drugs. He had ONLY verbally abused me—he wasn’t flaunting other women in my face or physically beating me. I felt like I’d wimped out on him, that if I’d really loved him, I wouldn’t have walked out on him just because he was sick. After all, I was sick too.

As time has passed, I’ve discovered that detachment is different from desertion. Detachment allows me to focus on me and what is within my control. It’s allowed me to be at peace with my decision to leave.

Here are a couple of writings from the Al-Anon program I found inspirational:

Courage to Change Al-Anon book, May 23:

“Detachment. At first it may sound cold and rejecting, not loving at all. But I have come to believe that detachment is actually a wonderful gift: I am allowing my loved ones the privilege and opportunity of being themselves.

I do not wish to interfere with anyone’s opportunities to discover joy and self-confidence that can accompany personal achievements. If I am constantly intervening to protect them from painful experiences, I also do them a great disservice. Mark Twain said, ‘A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.’

I find it painful to watch another person suffer or head down a road I believe leads to pain. Many of my attempts to rescue others have been prompted by my desire to avoid this pain. Today I am learning to experience my own fear, grief, and anguish. This helps me to be willing to trust the same growth process in others, because I know first-hand about the gifts it can bring.

Today’s Reminder: Sometimes it is more loving to allow someone else to experience the natural consequences of their actions, even when it is painful for both of us. In the long run, both of us benefit. Today I will put love first in my life.

‘All I have to do is keep my hands off and my heart on.’ -- ...In All Our Affairs”

From the Al-Anon DETACHMENT Pamphlet

“.....Individuals are not responsible for another person’s disease or recovery from it.

We let go of our obsession with another’s behavior and begin to lead happier and more manageable lives, lives with dignity and rights; lives guided by a Power greater than ourselves.

In Al-Anon we learn:

 Not to suffer because of the actions or reactions of other people
 Not to allow ourselves to be used or abused by others in the interest of another’s recovery
 Not to do for others what they could do for themselves
 Not to manipulate situations so others will eat, go to bed, get up, pay bills, not drink [not use]
 Not to cover up for anyone’s mistakes or misdeeds
 Not to create a crisis
 Not to prevent a crisis if it is in the natural course of events.

Detachment is neither kind nor unkind. It does not imply judgment or condemnation of the person or situation from which we are detaching. It is simply a means that allows us to separate ourselves from the adverse effects that another person’s addiction can have upon our lives.

Detachment helps families look at their situations realistically and objectively, thereby making intelligent decisions possible."

Peace & Prayers
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Old 04-03-2002, 03:50 AM
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Thanks (((((Heels)))))!
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Old 04-03-2002, 05:40 AM
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Morning Glory
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Thanks Heels,
That was helpful

Old 06-09-2002, 10:36 AM
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Morning Glory
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Bringing to the top
Old 06-09-2002, 10:46 AM
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a work in progress
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Thanks for bringing this back to the top MG. I've had a lot of questions about detachment. I have it in a little more perspective now.
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Old 06-09-2002, 01:10 PM
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i love this - i have the official version pinned to my bulletin board in my office - it is the fuirst thing you see when you look up at my wal....
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Old 08-08-2002, 11:12 PM
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Old 08-09-2002, 05:35 AM
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Thanks for finding this and bringing it back up MG. What a terrific post!!!
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Old 08-09-2002, 11:57 AM
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I love this, maybe we can keep this at
the top!

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Old 08-09-2002, 04:28 PM
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Okay Josie - I think that is a good idea. I will Sticky this to the top.
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Old 09-30-2002, 12:42 PM
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Thanks for keeping it at the top.

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Old 10-30-2002, 12:09 PM
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Thank you so much for sharing that!!!
These message boards get better everyday, I cant stop reading what everyone post!!
Thank you
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Old 11-22-2002, 07:23 PM
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That says it all.
Now if i could only get it through my thick head.

Davids mom
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Old 11-23-2002, 04:01 PM
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I had to smile at the "only" list. He only, he only. I just realized my A doesn't even have to do his own rationalizing. I do it for him!
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Old 11-28-2002, 05:50 AM
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Thank you Heels. I needed to hear this on this Thanksgiving day.
I havn't spent Thanksgiving with my daughter for 5 years. She makes promises to show up, I make plans and preparation for a nice family dinner and she calls and starts her verbal abuse, just to get me upset. She then uses that as an excuse not to come to dinner.
I am no longer hurt with these actions of her's. It has turned to anger.
Today I will enjoy Thanksgiving without her. My grandson and his girlfriend will be here and I look forward to sharing the day with them as well as my husband.
I have stopped trying to figure out why my daughter cannot celebrate just 1 holiday with me. I have stoped blaming myself but I do have to admit, I will still miss her at the dinner table.
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Old 11-29-2002, 03:22 AM
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I think most of us mothers hang in as long as we do and keep trying is because of the guilt we feel. Once we let go of the guilt we can then start blaming the person who is truly at fault for their actions.
How do you let go of the guilt? Who knows? but is seems to come to all of us in time.
The truly hard part is remembering that we are not at fault or responsible for their actions.
I just wish I could remember it 100% of the time.

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Old 11-30-2002, 03:01 PM
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I am relatively new to the Al-Anon program and am trying to work the first step. It has been so hard because of the anger and hatred that I have towards my qualifier, who is my mother. I have started to talk to her and treat her in a
way that I would never treat anyone else. She has always made me feel so bad about myself and is so competitive with me. It is so hard to let go of the past and realise that I am powerless over alcohol and am powerless over her, or anyone else's behavior. Can anyone give me some advice on how I can start to let go of this anger and get to a point where I can realise I wil never have no control over what alcohol does to members of my family. Thank you.
Old 11-30-2002, 07:56 PM
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ABBKY---my heart goes out to you, because I have lived much of what you appear to be going through. Though my mother was never a drinker, she was a very domineering woman during my youth---and it was a hellish nightmare living in her home. I used to take long walks as a very young child just to get away from her. I used to ask God why all this was happening to me---and I think, even as a little girl---that He began to give me strength inside. Nothing was ever good enough for my mother, and every day I lived in fear of what she would do next. Every one in the home feared her---but, for some yet unknown reason---she seemed to dislike me the worst, It has hurt all of my lifetime that I didn't have the kind of Mom that all kids want---and I always tried to gain her approval. Nothing worked---and it would throw me into a deeper sadness, because I felt that there was something wrong with me. As an adult, I still feel the pain of her rejection----but there is nothing I can really do now, because she is suffering from Alzheimers Disease. It truly saddens me that we could never have a good relationship---and I know now that it will never happen now due to her deteriorating condition. I'm not sure how old you are---but please don't let your whole life go by trying to figure out the "whys" of things. Even if there WAS an answer, it can't take away the fact that things happen. Just begin to love yourself---love yourself enough to take care of you!! Come back to the board often---and let us work through these things together. God bless!!!
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Old 12-29-2002, 05:35 AM
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i took me a wile to find this thread ..i just want to bring it to the fore front for others
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Old 01-21-2003, 07:36 PM
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