Monday, April 06, 2009


Letting go and letting God.

Setting boundaries.

Detachment. This is the key to achieve peace in the midst of pain. Detachment from somebody else's problems is a key tenet in AA. It is written in their literature that "Detachment is neither kind nor unkind. It does not imply judgement or condemnation of the person or situation from which we are detaching. It is simply a means that allows us to separate ourselves from the adverse effects that another person's choices can have in our lives." (Thanks to Allison Bottke for this information, which can be found on page 131 of her book "Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children").

It's been a long three years, and the last year has been especially difficult. My husband and I decided last week that we needed to "detach" and let our oldest suffer the consequences of her choices. We couldn't force her to accept our help or our love anymore. She is on her own now. We love her unconditionally, and will be here should she ever need us or want us back in her life again. The choice is hers to make - and we will welcome her back with open arms. But we can't have her in our lives as long as her choices cause "collateral damage" to us in the form of manipulation, lies, disrespect, taking advantage of us, causing harm to herself and to others through her behaviors, and staying in a relationship which is harmful to herself on many levels - physically, emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually. This harm has caused damage to her self esteem and her self confidence and her ability to assess what is healthy and unhealthy in relationships. This harm has caused her to turn her back on her grandparents, her aunts and uncles and cousins, her family (we as her parents as well her sister), her values, and her faith. It has caused great pain in the lives of those who love her dearly. She has been poisoned against us by many people - people who do not know the whole story or who do not have her best interests at heart or who are selfish and want to control her, and people who don't understand what it's like to almost lose a child to a physical death, and then have to face losing that child yet again but this time to a spiritual and emotional death.

She knows she is loved. She has a good strong foundation to return to. She misses us and loves us. She needs us now more than ever. But she is afraid she is going to lose something which she never had to begin with - the love of the man with whom she desparately loves but who doesn't know how to love her in return in a healthy and selfless way. How can love exist between two people if it is based on fear of losing the other person, if it's based on threats of leaving the other person, if it's based on broken promises and lies, if it's based on degrading comments and rippng the soul out of the other person? How can love exist if there is no genuine respect, if there is no desire to place the other person's needs ahead of your own?

She needs to figure this stuff out on her own. She needs to recognize that she deserves to be loved the way in which God intended her to be loved. She needs to discern what God's will is for her life, and follow His path with her whole heart and soul. She has a choice - she can do that in a safe environment, or she can do it in an environment which is filled with fighting, fear, rage, and abuse.

She rejected the offer of our safe environment. It hurts us to imagine her there in her current environment - stressed out, afraid, angry, upset, threatened, manipulated, controlled, abused - and we can't protect her anymore. Her lupus could flare up at any given moment due to the stress and the condition she is in. We can only pray that she comes to her senses before it is too late. We miss her. Our arms ache for her embrace. When she came home for her birthday, she was so happy to see us. She gobbled up the attention and the love and the food - all with a big smile on her face and with lots of hugs and "I love you's" being said constantly. But, she is a different person when she is "under the influence" of the other environment. It's like she is a stranger. She lashes out at those whom she loves the most - her family and her God. We can love her unconditionally, but we can't accept the way she treats us, and we can't accept the way others are treating her.

So,we have detached. It kills us. But, God is there to help us through - to find the peace in the midst of the pain.

We're here, babe. Watching, waiting, praying for your return. You are still our beautiful daughter who is so precious to us. You deserve to be treated with gentleness and tenderness and respect and dignity. For that is how your father has always treated me - and I want the same for you. And that is how God wants it be for you, too. And so do Nana and Papa and Danielle and BJ and Janet and Grandma Sarah. . . you get the idea.

Someday, I hope to feel that familiar squish-the-life out of me hug of yours. I hope it is someday soon. I'm praying for you, for your health and your safety, and for your strength and determination to get back on the path you have wanted to be on for so long - getting a nursing degree, using your God-given talents rather than letting them go to waste, and making your own decisions based on what you've been taught rather than what others have tried to take away from you. You're a strong-willed young woman - so use that will wisely and for God's glory and for your well-being.

Take care, sweetie. I love you with my whole heart and soul - that will never, ever change. The offer still remains open - with all the "fringe benefits!" God bless you, and keep you safe in his graces.


At 11:49 PM, Blogger Jackie said...

My heart aches for you all....

At 11:57 PM, Blogger Curious Servant said...


Your life is so important to so many people.

I won't go into the parent stuff, or the God stuff, or "we're all fellow human beings" stuff...

But, we are amazing creatures, capable of great things if we are just gentle to our selves and our hearts.

Almost seven billion people on the planet, and no two are alike! We think differently, we feel differently, we act differently...

But, each and every one of us has potential greatness in ourselves, not in doing great things, shaping history or such... but in just being the best at who we each are...

Amazing scene I remember in a novel... a mysterious beggar tells a man shunned by society to: "Be True."

: )

Be True


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