I am trying to sort out my experiences and thoughts to better understand how to move forward and not stay stuck in the past.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A Different Perspective

Life feels as though it is in a transition stage.  I have been going through some internal readjusting that in turn is effecting my 'outer world.' Though there are a lot of issues I want to write about, I just don't have that mental 'umph' yet.  I feel quiet and observant, but not motivated to 'move', yet.   After writing about egg shells, I stopped walking on them and talked with my daughter.  I expressed everything I was feeling, even the feeling of walking on egg shells.  It was done in love but spoken with determination. It was good to discuss this with her.  It feels so much healthier having it all out and everyone understanding what everyone is thinking/feeling. 

Something interesting happened at work, yesterday.  As I was leaving at the end of the day, two of the principals were in the office as I was checking out.  One mentioned to me about a meeting they had attended where addicts were talking about what parents should look for in their children if they suspected drug use.  My principal was talking about how manipulative their behaviors were as addicts (these are the persons with addiction talking to the audience describing their own behaviors while in active addiction).  Though I don't share my own experiences, I do share what I've learned.  Their concern was with a student that I have who's parents are in active addiction.  The are concerned about the manipulative behaviors the child is learning.  I agreed with how unhealthy it is.  What is concerning to me, though, runs a little deeper.  Adults who have participated in addiction and all the behaviors associated with active addiction, once they choose sobriety, have the appropriate behaviors to fall back on. Their behaviors prior to addiction.  They know right from wrong, etc.  Their foundation allows them to see how manipulative they were while in their addiction.  Once the choice to pursue sobriety is determined, they have a frame of reference for appropriate behaviors to return to.  Children who are growing up with parents in active addiction, though, don't have that same frame of reference.  The behaviors they have been learning by watching their parents (who are the foundation of the child's development) are behaviors of a person in addiction--the manipulation, lying, etc.  All of the negative behaviors.  Those children don't have a more healthy foundation of appropriate behavior reference.  Their behavior reference is the reference of behaviors of active addiction.  These children have no healthy, moral code to decipher or return to as they move through life.

{This has always been my concern.  A lot of times the adults feel sorry for how terrible the child's home life is and so they let them get away with a lot.  I agree, many times (and the situations are becoming more frequent) their home lives are terrible.  However, feeding into those manipulative behaviors isn't helping the child. It, I believe, hurts the child even more because it reinforces for them the idea that their manipulations does produce desired results.  I can't tell you how many times I have diplomatically tried to explain that they are not helping the child by giving in to them.  But, most of  the time people don't want to hear words that make them uncomfortable}. 

Anyway, when I told my principals that, they just stared at me.   I don't think they had viewed it from that perspective, before. 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Egg Shells

My computer problems are finally over. My son graciously bought me a new one--something about a mother board not functioning. I probably should know more about the computers I use, but sometimes it's like if I have to think of one more thing I might have my own mother board meltdown.  So, if he is content to help with that part of my life, I am content to let him. 

I get like that sometimes, that I have so much that I have to do or remember that just picking up a dog toy and throwing it back into the toy basket is just too much work, so I let it lay there. 

It is like that with this addiction issue.  We are having some good days and some bad.  It is getting like that dog toy, though.  I just don't want to talk about it, deal with it, or live with it anymore.  I am content to just walk past it and leave it.  I am not ready to kick her out, but I am beginning to whittle off more of my enabling, for lack of a better word.  I've written about it before, but I've reached the point where I don't really care what the reason was for buying alcohol, because at this point in the game, all of the reasons sound so lame.  She's upset with her dad.  So what?  Who hasn't been?  She's shy.  So what, who hasn't been at one time or another?  She feels guilty wasting her gifts.  So STOP drinking.  She doesn't have any friends.  So make some.  Blah, blah, blah is what it is all sounding like to me.  I don't mean to sound uncaring or insensitive.  People who are hurting is a serious issue.  Having said that, if I cut my finger, I would get a bandage so that it could heal.  I wouldn't pour poison all over it and take a nap thinking everything would be better when I woke up.

The one issue that still robs me of my freedom in this situation is the emotional issue.  What I just wrote up there, I haven't said bluntly to her.  I dance around the emotions.  I'm still walking on egg shells where the emotions are concerned.  I don't say what I really mean fearing that she will get upset or sad or mad and go drink.  Has my waking on egg shells ever prevented the drinking?  No.  But somewhere in my brain, I haven't yet been able to fully live the fact that I can't control some one's emotions let alone their actions.  All change comes from within and for me to still be walking on egg shells means that I am still in the grips of enabling even with all of the positive realizations and changes I have been able to make in my life.

Emotions are draining. I work with children who have emotional issues.  Trying to figure out why they do what they do is exhausting.  There have been days when I needed to go to the grocery store after work and I was so mentally exhausted that I actually tossed around the idea of just sitting in a corner and closing my eyes for a few minutes.  Now, I would never do it, but for a few seconds the idea sounded comforting.  So, I had to make some changes at work as to how I worked with those students.  Ironically, my experience with addiction and everything I've read and lived through has helped me distance myself from their emotions.  It has really been helpful. I can clarify their issues better and give them the tools to be more accountable, and it has been successful.  I don't walk on egg shells there.  I still do at home, though.  The final frontier. 

Well, that is the issue that I have been addressing, here.  I feel as though I've been rambling but it feels so good to write about it, I think I just needed to get it all out.