Sunday, January 2, 2011


I've worked hard at finding some emotional detachment from my addicted child. I was able to find a measure of that difficult to find substance (detachment, that is) this past year but I struggled with what it brought. I found myself cold towards my child, unable and not wanting to be close. I wanted physical detachment as well, keeping lots of distance both geographically and emotionally from the child. It doesn't make for a relationship. It makes up for a big zero in relationships and created conflict in my family. Deep down, I loved this child, but fear, anger, and resentment have created this wall that I seemed to be unable to break down.

Recently, I was sitting with a group of men at a meeting and we were talking about resentments. Someone brought up a passage:

He said, in effect: "If you have a resentment you want to be free of, if you will pray for the person or the thing that you sent, you will be free. If you will ask in prayer for everything you want for yourself to be given to hem, you will be free. Ask for their health, their prosperity, their happiness and you will be free. Even when you don't really want it for them and your prayers are only words and you don't mean it, go ahead and do it anyway. Do it everyday for two weeks, and you will find you have come to mean it and to want it for them, and you will realize that where you used to feel bitterness and resentment and hatred, you now feel compassionate understanding and love. (Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, p552)

I decided to try this towards my child. I had always prayed that God's will be done and went no further. I added the prayer listed above and am happy to report that my attitude did change. It is much easier to love, to have compassion and understanding, to be detached and to care at the same time. The relationship is not perfect, but much better.

I hope that our new year is full of growth and opportunity. That recovery brings us maturity and renewed compassion for others. This hope gives me both excitement and fear. Fear because, for me, it's been the painful episodes of life that bring growth and opportunity. Excitement because those painful episodes bring growth and opportunity. One thing for sure, the new year will not be boring or safe.

I heard this at a meeting the other day, loved it:

"If your standing with one foot on yesterday and the other on tomorrow, your pissing on today."


Annette said...

I hear you. I used to be really mad at my daughter. She had hurt me, embarrassed me, scared me endless times, and I was livid. By seeing her misery and pain, her shame, her fear, that was lying not to deeply buried underneath her angry exterior, I found compassion. It must have been a God thing. lol Because I am not one of those people who is oozing forth sweetness and forgiveness. I also pray for her...but I mostly pray for her safety. I am going to try what you suggested here. Great are not alone.

Grace-WorkinProgress said...

Distance is the way I protect myself from having my hopes dashed once again. I don't want to be disappointed again. I feel like a fool. But the truth is I do want the best for the people I love and it is hard to watch them suffer so I turn off my emotions. I can't know what lessons they must learn to get where they are going. I can't help but want more for them than they want for themselves. To me this is love.