Thank you so much for this article, RecoveringEnabler. I will print it out and keep it close to me always, as a reminder of what I need to do. This is the only thing that will save my sanity, and my relationship with both my difficult child and my younger son.

It's time for a change.
 

DadInMinn

New Member
Like most profound thoughts, this list of truisms seem so apparent, so obvious. We know all of this already, don't we? But somehow, we either actually do not "know it" or we instinctively know it but forget to live it each day.
I'm going to lift a few choice selections, print them out on a sheet of paper, and post them where I can see them every day.
Thanks, recoveringenabler.
 

helpangel

Active Member
I copy and pasted the whole thing into a word document kept on desktop of my computer. Makes it easy to find or print portions of when needed.

Nancy
 

Woriedmom

Member
Recoveringinabler, thanks so much. I wouldn't of realized that I am most assuredly thinking irrationally. I'm so new at this...the main thing I keep telling myself is that "what will he do without me, I'm all he has". I feel this way because it's true.Help me somebody! other than Jesus who really is sufficient as the scriptures say... I think its that I'm feeling guilty in that who I married has affected his life in a major way... like he could've had a better replacement for from his real father who walked out of his life when my son was only 8 years old. My son never even got to say good-bye to his Dad...one morning he walked him to school and that was it he never saw his father again. I had to press charges against my ex when I learned he was sexually abusing his sister (she was 12 at the time) . I had all the counselors telling me I was a hero which I kept telling them "I'm no hero, just a mother" like what mother wouldn't believe when their own daughter tells her this. It's a silent epidemic unfortunately , and this was a sick man who after just a year and a half in jail was set free... like all the other pedifilles out here. I thank God my daughter who is now 24 years old is an overcomer. Jesus was her best friend through it all , she 's going to graduate from college in a year and I am proud of her. You would think she would've been the one to turn to drugs but it was my son and as I said I sometimes feel if I had chosen someone else to marry my son would've had a better example to look up to. My husband (his step-dad) is very strict...has never shown my son any love. No hugs or anything ...he himself used drugs in his past. He grew up being beaten by his own father etc. but he's a grown man. Am I to feel guilty from marrying a man who is mean? I also feel bad because my son has no other relatives, no one who really cares about him but me.

I probably need to be in a separate forum all together since there are additional issues here but they are connected because my son has knowledge of the abuse of his sister, he could be trying to deal with it himself. I had to tell him ( not in detail ) because he kept insisting he wanted me to get in contact with his real Dad so he could live with him. Both my kids did go to counseling but I do think because my son is older now he may need to go for further counseling. If he agrees to go...would the judge see it as him trying to get help..just as if he went to a recovery house? after all, it could be the underlying issue causing the drug abuse.
 
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Nomad

Well-Known Member
Those of you who are new here and just read that wonderful list basically outlining detachment, remember you just had your first introduction. For me, detaching took time, thought, great effort, counseling, prayer and personal strength.

Our difficult child (adopted as an infant) has bipolar disorder, but also had brain surgery for an aneurysm. Sometimes, it is / was hard for me to tease out everything...mental illness vs difficult child business vs possible brain damage vs immaturity. But, I was sure mixed in there were inappropriate behaviors, entitlement issues, un gratefulness, horrible choices, etc.

She moved out when she was 19. We were somewhat lenient until she turned 21. That gave her a little extra time. She is on disability, because she is ill and can't hold down a job. She has improved in teeny tiny increments, but at least she is going in the right direction.

We had several profoundly difficult years.

Today, She gets herself to the psychiatrist for her appointments via bus, she does her own food shopping and it is extremely rare for her to be rude to me or her father.

We help her very very little financially etc. Today, Her water heater broke and she came by the house and took a hot shower, had a little dinner and left and said "I love you mom," before she left. She does have mood swings,and was grouchy on the phone with me earlier. I do not tolerate that and got off swiftly. She apologized for being grouchy and
Said she would probably talk with the psychiatrist about her medications.

Things are NOT ideal, but by practicing detachment, they have improved. I pay for the phone and have turned it off for a week at a time when she has been rude. Now, she thinks twice before being rude on the phone. The phone is her yearly birthday present.

I have health problems and her very difficult behaviors...there have been many crazy things...major fights with people, an arrest, she moves every six weeks approximately, losing things, moves without taking her property, crazy rants....blah blah blah... Can be hard on me. Well, I don't let any of it concern me anymore. I wish to enjoy life as best as I can and worrying about it doesn't help her one bit.(re read that sentence)

She is an adult, and it is her life. Since she has some health concerns, I am willing to help her a little ...that's about it. If she is rude to us, that little bit of help goes away (unless she quickly apologizes and corrects her behavior).

It is what it is. Life moves on.
 
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Letitgo

New Member
For some reason this article has disappeared off of my posts so I've posted it in it's entirety here.

What is detachment?
Detachment is the:
* Ability to allow people, places or things the freedom to be themselves.
* Holding back from the need to rescue, save or fix another person from being sick, dysfunctional or irrational.
* Giving another person "the space" to be herself.
* Disengaging from an over-enmeshed or dependent relationship with people.
* Willingness to accept that you cannot change or control a person, place or thing.
* Developing and maintaining of a safe, emotional distance from someone whom you have previously given a lot of power to affect your emotional outlook on life.
* Establishing of emotional boundaries between you and those people you have become overly enmeshed or dependent with in order that all of you might be able to develop your own sense of autonomy and independence.
* Process by which you are free to feel your own feelings when you see another person falter and fail and not be led by guilt to feel responsible for their failure or faltering.
* Ability to maintain an emotional bond of love, concern and caring without the negative results of rescuing, enabling, fixing or controlling.
* Placing of all things in life into a healthy, rational perspective and recognizing that there is a need to back away from the uncontrollable and unchangeable realities of life.
* Ability to exercise emotional self-protection and prevention so as not to experience greater emotional devastation from having hung on beyond a reasonable and rational point.
* Ability to let people you love and care for accept personal responsibility for their own actions and to practice tough love and not give in when they come to you to bail them out when their actions lead to failure or trouble for them.
* Ability to allow people to be who they "really are" rather than who you "want them to be."
* Ability to avoid being hurt, abused, taken advantage of by people who in the past have been overly dependent or enmeshed with you.


What are the negative effects not detaching?
If you are unable to detach from people, places or things, then you:
* Will have people, places or things which become over-dependent on you.
* Run the risk of being manipulated to do things for people, at places or with things which you do not really want to do.
* Can become an obsessive "fix it" who needs to fix everything you perceive to be imperfect.
* Run the risk of performing tasks because of the intimidation you experience from people, places or things.
* Will most probably become powerless in the face of the demands of the people, places or things whom you have given the power to control you.
* Will be blind to the reality that the people, places or things which control you are the uncontrollables and unchangeables you need to let go of if you are to become a fully healthy, coping individual.
* Will be easily influenced by the perception of helplessness which these people, places or things project.
* Might become caught up with your idealistic need to make everything perfect for people, places or things important to you even if it means your own life becomes unhealthy.
* Run the risk of becoming out of control of yourself and experience greater low self-esteem as a result.
* Will most probably put off making a decision and following through on it, if you rationally recognize your relationship with a person, place or thing is unhealthy and the only recourse left is to get out of the relationship.
* Will be so driven by guilt and emotional dependence that the sickness in the relationship will worsen.
* Run the risk of losing your autonomy and independence and derive your value or worth solely from the unhealthy relationship you continue in with the unhealthy person, place or thing.


How is detachment a control issue?
Detachment is a control issue because:
* It is a way of de-powering the external "locus of control" issues in your life and a way to strengthen your internal "locus of control."
* If you are not able to detach emotionally or physically from a person, place or thing, then you are either profoundly under its control or it is under your control.
* The ability to "keep distance" emotionally or physically requires self-control and the inability to do so is a sign that you are "out of control."
* If you are not able to detach from another person, place or thing, you might be powerless over this behavior which is beyond your personal control.
* You might be mesmerized, brainwashed or psychically in a trance when you are in the presence of someone from whom you cannot detach.
* You might feel intimidated or coerced to stay deeply attached with someone for fear of great harm to yourself or that person if you don't remain so deeply involved.
* You might be an addicted caretaker, fixer or rescuer who cannot let go of a person, place or thing you believe cannot care for itself.
* You might be so manipulated by another's con, "helplessness," overdependency or "hooks" that you cannot leave them to solve their own problems.
* If you do not detach from people, places or things, you could be so busy trying to "control" them that you completely divert your attention from yourself and your own needs.
* By being "selfless" and "centered" on other people, you are really a controller trying to fix them to meet the image of your ideal for them.
* Although you will still have feelings for those persons, places and things from which you have become detached, you will have given them the freedom to become what they will be on their own merit, power, control and responsibility.
* It allows every person, place or thing with which you become involved to feel the sense of personal responsibility to become a unique, independent and autonomous being with no fear of retribution or rebuke if they don't please you by what they become.


What irrational thinking leads to an inability to detach?
* If you should stop being involved, what will they do without you?
* They need you and that is enough to justify your continued involvement.
* What if they commit suicide because of your detachment? You must stay involved to avoid this.
* You would feel so guilty if anything bad should happen to them after you reduced your involvement with them.
* They are absolutely dependent on you at this point and to back off now would be a crime.
* You need them as much as they need you.
* You can't control yourself because everyday you promise yourself "today is the day" you will detach your feelings but you feel driven to them and their needs.
* They have so many problems, they need you.
* Being detached seems so cold and aloof. You can't be that way when you love and care for a person. It's either 100 percent all the way or no way at all.
* If you should let go of this relationship too soon, the other might change to be like the fantasy or dream you want them to be.
* How can being detached from them help them? It seems like you should do more to help them.
* Detachment sounds so final. It sounds so distant and non-reachable. You could never allow yourself to have a relationship where there is so much emotional distance between you and others. It seems so unnatural.
* You never want anybody in a relationship to be emotionally detached from you so why would you think it a good thing to do for others?
* The family that plays together stays together. It's all for one and one for all. Never do anything without including the significant others in your life.
* If one hurts in the system, we all hurt. You do not have a good relationship with others unless you share in their pain, hurt, suffering, problems and troubles.
* When they are in "trouble," how can you ignore their "pleas" for help? It seems cruel and inhuman.
* When you see people in trouble, confused and hurting, you must always get involved and try to help them solve the problems.
* When you meet people who are "helpless," you must step in to give them assistance, advice, support and direction.
* You should never question the costs, be they material, emotional or physical, when another is in dire need of help.
* You would rather forgo all the pleasures of this world in order to assist others to be happy and successful.
* You can never "give too much" when it comes to providing emotional support, comforting and care of those whom you love and cherish.
* No matter how badly your loved ones hurt and abuse you, you must always be forgiving and continue to extend your hand in help and support.
* Tough love is a cruel, inhuman and anti-loving philosophy of dealing with the troubled people in our lives and you should instead love them more when they are in trouble since "love" is the answer to all problems.
 

clarabell1997

New Member
Need to find a way to tape this whole post into my minds eye, so it is on the forefront for me at all times. Maybe one point at a time...thank you.
 

Lostmom75

New Member
Hi I'm very new here but I am lost. Detachment is what I need to do but I don't know how and am so scared that I will lose my son. I'm just not sure where to begin but I'm so scared and worried.
 

ForeverSpring

Well-Known Member
Why not start a thread all your own? We can give you feedback on what we did and what has worked for us and you can decide if these things may work for you too.
 

recoveringenabler

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Welcome Lostmom, I'm off to work now so can't elaborate, but it would work best for you to begin your own thread. If you have adult children then try Parent Emeritus, you will then get more support.......I'm glad you're here........hang in there........
 

Estranged2015

New Member
For some reason this article has disappeared off of my posts so I've posted it in it's entirety here.

What is detachment?
Detachment is the:
* Ability to allow people, places or things the freedom to be themselves.
* Holding back from the need to rescue, save or fix another person from being sick, dysfunctional or irrational.
* Giving another person "the space" to be herself.
* Disengaging from an over-enmeshed or dependent relationship with people.
* Willingness to accept that you cannot change or control a person, place or thing.
* Developing and maintaining of a safe, emotional distance from someone whom you have previously given a lot of power to affect your emotional outlook on life.
* Establishing of emotional boundaries between you and those people you have become overly enmeshed or dependent with in order that all of you might be able to develop your own sense of autonomy and independence.
* Process by which you are free to feel your own feelings when you see another person falter and fail and not be led by guilt to feel responsible for their failure or faltering.
* Ability to maintain an emotional bond of love, concern and caring without the negative results of rescuing, enabling, fixing or controlling.
* Placing of all things in life into a healthy, rational perspective and recognizing that there is a need to back away from the uncontrollable and unchangeable realities of life.
* Ability to exercise emotional self-protection and prevention so as not to experience greater emotional devastation from having hung on beyond a reasonable and rational point.
* Ability to let people you love and care for accept personal responsibility for their own actions and to practice tough love and not give in when they come to you to bail them out when their actions lead to failure or trouble for them.
* Ability to allow people to be who they "really are" rather than who you "want them to be."
* Ability to avoid being hurt, abused, taken advantage of by people who in the past have been overly dependent or enmeshed with you.


What are the negative effects not detaching?
If you are unable to detach from people, places or things, then you:
* Will have people, places or things which become over-dependent on you.
* Run the risk of being manipulated to do things for people, at places or with things which you do not really want to do.
* Can become an obsessive "fix it" who needs to fix everything you perceive to be imperfect.
* Run the risk of performing tasks because of the intimidation you experience from people, places or things.
* Will most probably become powerless in the face of the demands of the people, places or things whom you have given the power to control you.
* Will be blind to the reality that the people, places or things which control you are the uncontrollables and unchangeables you need to let go of if you are to become a fully healthy, coping individual.
* Will be easily influenced by the perception of helplessness which these people, places or things project.
* Might become caught up with your idealistic need to make everything perfect for people, places or things important to you even if it means your own life becomes unhealthy.
* Run the risk of becoming out of control of yourself and experience greater low self-esteem as a result.
* Will most probably put off making a decision and following through on it, if you rationally recognize your relationship with a person, place or thing is unhealthy and the only recourse left is to get out of the relationship.
* Will be so driven by guilt and emotional dependence that the sickness in the relationship will worsen.
* Run the risk of losing your autonomy and independence and derive your value or worth solely from the unhealthy relationship you continue in with the unhealthy person, place or thing.


How is detachment a control issue?
Detachment is a control issue because:
* It is a way of de-powering the external "locus of control" issues in your life and a way to strengthen your internal "locus of control."
* If you are not able to detach emotionally or physically from a person, place or thing, then you are either profoundly under its control or it is under your control.
* The ability to "keep distance" emotionally or physically requires self-control and the inability to do so is a sign that you are "out of control."
* If you are not able to detach from another person, place or thing, you might be powerless over this behavior which is beyond your personal control.
* You might be mesmerized, brainwashed or psychically in a trance when you are in the presence of someone from whom you cannot detach.
* You might feel intimidated or coerced to stay deeply attached with someone for fear of great harm to yourself or that person if you don't remain so deeply involved.
* You might be an addicted caretaker, fixer or rescuer who cannot let go of a person, place or thing you believe cannot care for itself.
* You might be so manipulated by another's con, "helplessness," overdependency or "hooks" that you cannot leave them to solve their own problems.
* If you do not detach from people, places or things, you could be so busy trying to "control" them that you completely divert your attention from yourself and your own needs.
* By being "selfless" and "centered" on other people, you are really a controller trying to fix them to meet the image of your ideal for them.
* Although you will still have feelings for those persons, places and things from which you have become detached, you will have given them the freedom to become what they will be on their own merit, power, control and responsibility.
* It allows every person, place or thing with which you become involved to feel the sense of personal responsibility to become a unique, independent and autonomous being with no fear of retribution or rebuke if they don't please you by what they become.


What irrational thinking leads to an inability to detach?
* If you should stop being involved, what will they do without you?
* They need you and that is enough to justify your continued involvement.
* What if they commit suicide because of your detachment? You must stay involved to avoid this.
* You would feel so guilty if anything bad should happen to them after you reduced your involvement with them.
* They are absolutely dependent on you at this point and to back off now would be a crime.
* You need them as much as they need you.
* You can't control yourself because everyday you promise yourself "today is the day" you will detach your feelings but you feel driven to them and their needs.
* They have so many problems, they need you.
* Being detached seems so cold and aloof. You can't be that way when you love and care for a person. It's either 100 percent all the way or no way at all.
* If you should let go of this relationship too soon, the other might change to be like the fantasy or dream you want them to be.
* How can being detached from them help them? It seems like you should do more to help them.
* Detachment sounds so final. It sounds so distant and non-reachable. You could never allow yourself to have a relationship where there is so much emotional distance between you and others. It seems so unnatural.
* You never want anybody in a relationship to be emotionally detached from you so why would you think it a good thing to do for others?
* The family that plays together stays together. It's all for one and one for all. Never do anything without including the significant others in your life.
* If one hurts in the system, we all hurt. You do not have a good relationship with others unless you share in their pain, hurt, suffering, problems and troubles.
* When they are in "trouble," how can you ignore their "pleas" for help? It seems cruel and inhuman.
* When you see people in trouble, confused and hurting, you must always get involved and try to help them solve the problems.
* When you meet people who are "helpless," you must step in to give them assistance, advice, support and direction.
* You should never question the costs, be they material, emotional or physical, when another is in dire need of help.
* You would rather forgo all the pleasures of this world in order to assist others to be happy and successful.
* You can never "give too much" when it comes to providing emotional support, comforting and care of those whom you love and cherish.
* No matter how badly your loved ones hurt and abuse you, you must always be forgiving and continue to extend your hand in help and support.
* Tough love is a cruel, inhuman and anti-loving philosophy of dealing with the troubled people in our lives and you should instead love them more when they are in trouble since "love" is the answer to all problems.
Thank you for the link, recoveringenabler! I've finally seen this now, and want to read it over and over.
 

recoveringenabler

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Go up to the upper right hand corner of your screen and find Inbox, if you click on that there should be a private message dialogue box where I've started a private message with you. Within that box, you can put your info.
 

Stephers

New Member
Thank you, OMG, thank you. I needed this today. I am going to copy it to my phone so I can read it until this is flowing through me. So well put together. Self help and personal growth going down right here.
 

rebelson

Active Member
Omg, magsweet! What happened that he was bleeding?

Can you start a new thread perhaps & give more details? Under the Parent Emeritus section?

I think more ppl will see it. So glad you found CD:).
 
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