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Letting Go of a parenting role. . .

Old 10-06-2009, 05:28 AM
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Letting Go of a parenting role. . .

Nar-Anon – Sharing Experience Strength & Hope

October 6

Joy of Living

I have wondered if a mother bear mourns as she chases her cubs up a tree on her last day as a provider for them. After loving them, fighting for their survival, and teaching them survival skills, their mother has disappeared and they are left on their own. I had to acknowledge that my days of instruction had ended when the addict was a young teen, but I am not sure that I had taught him all he needs to survive in the world.

I mourned for the loss of my parenting role as the addict and I each moved in our directions. Nar-Anon has taught me the importance of my Higher Power in the process of letting go of my parenting job. I left the addict on the streets and when I heard from him or saw him, I congratulated him on the baby steps he took toward his survival. As he went in and out of recovery, I maintained my distance, looking to the mother bear’s brevity.

Perhaps the mother bear mourns like me. Her animal instinct protects her from suffering as she walks away from her cubs. As she continues her own survival, however, she must have no thoughts of taking care of her mature cubs any longer. To do so would put her life in jeopardy.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: I now take care of my own needs and myself. As I do so, the addict can learn silently as he is ready. He has been given my example and the example of others who his Higher Power has sent into his life. I hope his self-respect is coming from his accomplishments of independent daily living. I know that my serenity is coming from my own joy of living.

“Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live; it is asking others to live as one wishes to live. And unselfishness is letting other people’s lives alone, not interfering with them. Selfishness always aims at uniformity of type. Unselfishness recognizes infinite variety of type as a delightful thing, accepts it, acquiesces in it, enjoys it.”~ Oscar Wilde
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Old 10-06-2009, 05:32 AM
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This was a great reading for me - not only in dealing with the addicts in my life - but also in dealing with ALL of my adult children.

It is so difficult for me to LET GO of my children.

I still struggle with wanting to be their MOM.

Not always out of a controlling issue - sometimes out of a protecting nature - but they are adults - I must let them BE adults.

This causes me to have grief and some hurt emotions that I must deal with and process thru journaling, venting and maybe a good old fashion crying with a healthy recovery friend. That's ok - I need to feel what I feel.

Then I can let it go and go on with living my life and let my adult children live theirs.

It's the healthy, loving thing to do.

Not the easy thing, but the HEALTHY thing.

Wishing each of you a day filled with Serenity, Joy and Love,
Rita
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Old 10-06-2009, 06:18 AM
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This is totally OT but if you are the person in the photo with the pink streamers you don't look old enough to have any children much less adult children

Nice post. I have teenagers and am still guiding them but also am transitioning to watching them make their own decisions and face the consequences of those decisions.

Although I must say I still do a lot of their laundry! Ha!
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Old 10-06-2009, 06:29 AM
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Perhaps the mother bear mourns like me. Her animal instinct protects her from suffering as she walks away from her cubs. As she continues her own survival, however, she must have no thoughts of taking care of her mature cubs any longer. To do so would put her life in jeopardy.
And I might add....would put their lives in jeopardy too.

Wonderful post, Japic, and I know how hard it is to let go of the need to protect....because that's what our role was for so many years, that's what mothers do.

Pheww, yup, I needed this reminder.

Hugs
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Old 10-06-2009, 07:22 AM
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gowest - thanks for the compliement - yes that is me in the photo -

I am a mother and grandmother to 5 daughters and 8 1/2 grandchildren!! (# 9 is due in January - yippee)

yes, some are my step-daughters, but my oldest birth daughter is 27 yrs old and just attended her 10 yr class reunion - that will make you feel OLD - ha ha ha - and no I didn't have her when I was 2 - - that's usually the next comment I get!

allowing teenagers to do their own laundry can be scary - for the washer and dryer!
lol

Ann, yes this mother bear is always ready to bring out the BIG CLAWS to defend my cubbies - no matter if they are 2 or 32 -

exactly why I posted it - so I could type it and re read it several times to myself!!
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Old 10-06-2009, 08:14 AM
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I asked my mom a while back if when she looks at me she still sees her little girl. Even though i'm 44 she said yes that's all she sees is her baby. but they've had to learn to stay at a distance. I think when they are young we are actors in their lives and when they get older we are spectators. As spectators we can either applaud the performance or walk out.
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Old 10-06-2009, 09:41 AM
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Wow, what a powerful reading!

I'm still going through the grieving process with my youngest daughter off and on. It's hard.

As far as being old, my oldest daughter is 31, so I think I have a few years on you, Japic!
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Old 10-06-2009, 10:09 AM
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I was given an assignment by my therapist yesterday: when did I make the transition from trying to protect to trying to control? I'm still working my way through it but I know it predates my daughter's arrival into this world. I remember saying this to her one time: if you won't get control of yourself, I will do it for you.

I was already a pro at the control freak thing and it had nothing to do with trying to protect her. The more I think about it, it had everything to do with trying to protect myself from pain.
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Old 10-06-2009, 10:13 AM
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Oh, how I needed this today.

My 19-yr-old ASon has been in a sober house since Aug 20 and has yet to find a job -- probably because I pay his rent, car insurance and give him money for food and gas. this was my way of supporting his recovery and he is making do with that quite nicely obviously. He has learned how to shop wisely for groceries, shop at the resale for clothes, and found a free clinic when he was sick with a bad cold. He makes his daily meetings and does a little bit of community service (but not enough). So he is taking tiny baby steps, but it's time for me to cut back on his 'allowance' and I'm going to have a hard time doing that.

Somebody give me a mantra that works! LOL
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Old 10-07-2009, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Chino View Post
I remember saying this to her one time: if you won't get control of yourself, I will do it for you.
Chino...have you been reading my parenting handbook? LOL

One of the most difficult things for me was realizing that her addiction and her actions were things I couldn't control or change. And how the heck do you protect someone from themself? The only thing I can control and change is me. She has to change and control herself.
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Old 10-07-2009, 11:18 AM
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I still shake my head at my arrogance. I remember my son telling me I'd have better luck if I chained her to something and brought her food and water. We'll not talk about where my mind went with that thought LOL!
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Old 10-07-2009, 12:37 PM
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I didn't have any chains...so I threatened to Duct tape her to her bed if she went out the window one more time!

The crazy part is that while they are teens you are morally and financially responsible for them and their actions, which means it is your responsibility to "control" them. I once had a police officer threatened ME with arrest for child abandonment if I didn't come pick her up at the police station. I politely gave her my address and told her that she could come arrest me after she dropped my daughter off at Juvenile Hall.
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Old 10-07-2009, 03:52 PM
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Rita,

I forwarded this to my mom and dad, my sister and my grown daughter with 2 young children.
My daughter responded "Sounds idealistic to me...meanwhile back to the real world"

I have not been enabling her, (for years now) in fact, things have been a little strained since our family get-together a month ago and I did not do according to her expectations regarding the grandkids.
I just thought it a neat share..esp as it refers to a mother bear which my daughter and I had used in talking about raising children when she was pregnant.
But, on second thought, her in-laws do alot for her family...too much so...

I REALLY love the quote by Oscar Wilde.
I guess that is the part I needed to share for my sake.

I am NOT going to ask my daughter what she meant by that comment.
Let it go, Tena, let it go!
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