Archives for July, 2012
Many of us struggle with what to do when a loved one is in trouble in some way. Some of us believe that we need to mind our own business: it is not my place to say anything! Others interpret detachment to be license to disregard the responsibility for loving another person. Still others rush into every problem to “fix...
The people with whom we are the most intimate with in our lives are usually the most common targets for our negative mood swings, which are a hallmark feature of an addictive illness. Our loved ones become the key focal points for our targeting system because they are the most revealing mirrors in our lives. When the mirrors tell you the truth about what you have become, you must either face that truth and get help, or break the mirror! We like to call the struggle of breaking that mirror of close partners who reflect our truth to us as “Eliminating the Witnesses.” This pattern of eliminating the witnesses occurs most when we are attempting to maintain a particular image, especially when we are not doing so well in our recovery. Eliminating the witnesses is dangerous ,however. It is an integral part of the fatal process of making relapse okay. The behaviors associated with eliminating the witnesses will be aimed at helping to obscure from the recovering addict’s perception that he or she is in any danger. If the input of the recovering addict’s loved one might cause him or her to experience an honest self-appraisal, the loved one will need to “be eliminated”!
When we are children, we are, in effect, attending “Marriage College.” Our professors are the adults we grow up around – our parents, adult friends, and extended family members. The lessons we learn are related to how to behave in a marriage, or more often than not, how not to behave. If our education is a negative one, we swear we will never be like that, and we often blame our role models for what they have taught us. What we must understand, though, is that they never realized they were “teaching” anything; they were simply living their lives the way they themselves had been taught. Rather than living that same life and blaming them for it, it would be better for us to study where they went wrong and learn how to get it right.