First of all, I was to angry. I was mad as holy hell. So my nicely cutting off contact was me forcing a calm, loving voice through gritted teeth while seething inside. How could *she have done this* to us?!
When we detached, she didn't hit bottom as we had been taught she would. We waited and waited, for several years, and she only got worse, until eventually we were concerned for her life. We were walking this fine line between not wanting to "enable" but also being terrified that we were going to get "the call" any minute.
Eventually my heart began to change in regards to this detachment process. I began to look at who I try to model my life after....the teachings of Jesus and I saw a compassionate man who accepted broken people in their brokenness. He met them and He protected them from the judgements of their peers. He stood with them and when they were ready and willing to surrender their wills to Him, He was there and He walked with them and showed them how to be the person that they had been created to be.
I knew I didn't want to go back to my days of obsession, my fear driven actions, my endless tears....but I couldn't totally let my girl go either. If she was diagnosed with any other disease, I would have been encouraged to support her and stay by her side....if addiction truly is a disease as we all say it is, why was I encouraged to let her flounder by herself and resort to all sorts of awfulness just in order to survive? In the hopes that her suffering would make her miserable enough that she would seek change.
I began to think in terms of "unconditional acceptance" of her as my child. Not of her choices, not of anything, other than the fact that she was, she is, still my child. Acceptance, kindness, didn't mean condoning. Contact, any act of friendship, was not enabling. It was relationship with a person I care about. I realized that anything I gave (emotionally or tangibly) had to be given with no strings attached. No expectations...no manipulative attempts at "making her get better." Whatever I gave was a free gift with nothing tied to the other end.
As I began to put these new thoughts into action, I began to realize that I felt better. I could detach emotionally, I had grown enough through the years of working my Alanon program and changing my own poor fear driven behaviors, that my own happiness and well being was no longer tied to how well she was doing or not doing. I could accept her as she came to me, and she accepted me as I was, with my limits in place, with my boundaries, and today, though it is far from perfect, we are able to share in each other's lives. It is a beautifully broken imperfect piece of art work in the making. Two broken women who share what they can with each other.
I have come to believe that connection vs. estrangement, in my situation, is what is right for us. It's how we have to do this part of our journey. This is just my story, what is working for us and in no way am I saying that anyone else needs to do it this way. For my circumstances, this works and dare I say, it is what I feel "called" to carry out.
Bless us all today.....
PS: Someone, an old blogger friend, had shared this article with me....which is what prompted this post, although I seem to talk about this a lot! Lol