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Old 09-02-2021, 09:21 AM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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On the topic of "giving up"...

I think "giving up" and "letting go" are two very different things.

It is commonly said around here, "Let go or be dragged". I was dragged for a very long time because I refused to "give up" on my AXH. I can't blame him for that. He SHOWED me over and over that no matter what he SAID things weren't going to change, no matter what I did or didn't do. I will carry those self induced scars the rest of my life. I sure do wish I had let go a lot sooner, both for myself and the sake of our children.

I know the pain of loving people with addictions. It's brutal. I wouldn't wish it on anyone, especially a parent. My mother is decades into loving my brother to death with her enabling. She hates but tolerates his choices and behaviors. She sets rules with empty threats as consequences. ( I can't call them boundaries because she does not enforce them.) He knows no matter what he does, she will always be there housing and protecting him from himself. Why should he change his ways, there is no motivation for him to do so. I don't talk to her about it anymore because she gets so very defensive. She has literally creamed at me, " HE IS MY CHILD!!!" in defense of her own actions. She uses dozens of excuses, including his mental illness, as a reason for why she MUST continue to dance this extremely dysfunctional dance with him. I could go on and on about the dynamics of their relationship, but I won't. It has snowballed over the years into something that looks and feels like complete insanity. I no longer speak about my brother with my mum. I know neither of them will ever change. I have completely stepped away from any relationship with my brother and my relationship with my mother is strained and stressful. Addiction really is a family disease, it does not just effect those who are consuming.

I am a mother myself, I understand how deeply we love and want to protect our children. It's primal. I don't blame my mum for wanting to care for her son. I just wish she could see that all her "helping" has caused so much irreversible damage. There is no dignity for either of them in this situation. He acts like a child because she treats him like one. He very much is a middle-aged "teenager". I've even heard her ask him repeatedly if he had, "finished his home work". In 2019 she came to visit me for one week, she called him twice a day to check up on him. She also had her friend go over to feed her cat because she didn't "trust he would do it on time". She will never understand how that strips him of his dignity, and honestly, it doesn't look very dignified on her either. But that isn't any of my business and I've washed my hands of it. I've come too far in my own recovery from codependence to get wrapped up in hers'.

Of course that is just my OWN family's messed up dynamic. I shared it here (again) to point out that sometimes helping someone escape the consequences of their poor choices can lead to a life long commitment of caring for an irresponsible adult. It has been miserable for all people involved. Resentments run almost as deep as the love does. My mum is 75, instead of enjoying her golden years, she is spending them caring for and stressing over a 47 year old man-child. She will never let go...she'll be dragged up until the end. Heartbreaking.

Lynn, I'm wishing for you strength and serenity as you navigate through this time with your son. I know this has to be beyond painful and frustrating. My kids are also in the 20s now, no one ever warned me that being a parent to young adults was going to be so much harder than parenting a toddlers. (Maybe that was on purpose...)

I hope you will continue to hang out with us, there is much wisdom and support to be had here.






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Old 09-02-2021, 10:27 AM
  # 22 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by SmallButMighty View Post
On the topic of "giving up"...

I think "giving up" and "letting go" are two very different things.
I so agree with this. It is discussed here sometimes, in the case of a romantic partner with alcoholism, how we are taught from a young age that relationships work "this" way, whether that is through tv or movies. We also have certain expectations based on experience (or lack of). When we are then put in to the world of alcoholism, all those norms fall by the wayside yet many will hang on to what "could be", to the alcoholics "potential" or because one is expected to be "loyal". Do you just leave behind your Husband or Wife because they have a problem?

Well as you also stated SBM, it affects everyone in the vicinity. It's not a normal relationship.

For children, we are taught that NO MATTER WHAT, we shall always be there for them, through thick and thin and then thick again. Again, No Matter What. But this isn't a movie and this isn't a normal situation and I don't think that it's healthy for the parent to continue to sacrifice, but it seems in society to almost be expected.

I don't mean just for addictions either. Sometimes a parent and child can have a parting of the ways for other reasons. Even though the child my now be a grown up adult, the "blame" will always fall to the parent.

Personally I think there is always enough blame to go around and it's useless. I also don't think that any parent is expected to sacrifice their happiness in life because their child is an addict. Whether an addict or dependent in some other way, when you let them cope on their own you give them the respect to say, you can do this and you also risk alienating them. I wonder sometimes if sacrifice comes from fear of losing a relationship.

Anyway, Lynn, please know this is not directed at you personally, just something I have been pondering.


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