"The most painful step in any healing process is often the first one. You must face the ugly truth that you're in a destructive relationship and that you are the one who has allowed it to continue."
Allison Bottke, Setting Boundaries With Your Adult Children, pg. 105
As a counselor, I know that the healing process is never a static one. At times, it seems like a client will take a few steps forward, and slide backwards for a period of time. I guess I never expected the same thing to happen to me. I thought I was well along the way in terms of restoring SANITY into my life, and progressing well into the healing process. Until "IT" happened again, I found I had to set some new boundaries with my adult daughter recently. Pretty firm and intense ones, at that. Boundaries which could NOT be crossed because if they were, then I would be condoning the destructive behaviors she has been participating and accepting the emotionally and verbally abusive relationship she continues to stay in. IT HAPPENED AGAIN! She agreed to the boundaries, and then went on to break each and every one of them.
Words can't describe the utter anguish, disappointment, anger, and sadness I felt. But, of course, I don't have to explain those feelings to any of you-because all of you have been there too.
Two things are different this time around, however. The first thing is that it FINALLY dawned on me how destructive this relationship has been to me. It's affected me on many levels--physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Nobody has ever treated me the way in which she has treated me--I wouldn't allow it, to begin with--and yet I've allowed it to continue with her! I had to draw the line in the sand and show her that I deserved respect, and that I wasn't going to allow this destruction to continue. The second thing that's different is that the stakes are much, much higher. I had to give her an ultimatum. Choose us or choose your drug (her addiction to her abusive relationship). If she chose us, then she could no longer have ANY contact with him because she is such a different person around him (just like a drug addict is different when they are drugged), and we can't tolerate her when she's like that because she is so sick (she lies, she manipulates, she is lazy, she is irresponsible, she is disrespectful, etc). Well, after give us false hope for 4 days while living with us again and stringing us along with promises of going to college and getter her credit back in order and going back to church, she decided to go back to him. As it stands now, we will no longer have any contact with her until she decides she wants to get better and until she apologizes.
Today has not been a good day for me. I have felt very angry towards her--for all the havoc she has wreaked on our lives, for all the promises she has made and broken, for all the lies and manipulations and ingratitude. But worse yet, I have felt very angry at God and abandoned by Him. I know that the devil delights in breaking up families, and it feels like that is exactly what he has done to us. I am feeling so drained, so exhausted, so overwhelmed. And I am so sad that my daughter is no longer with us. She actively made the decision to reject us and our love, and that hurts so much.
I'm afraid of this distance that I feel from not only my daughter, but from God as well. I know the saying "Let go and let God," but my quivering soul is afraid of what the outcome might be. But, as Allison points out on page 146 in her book, "True healing begins when we make the head-heart connection that we MUST "leg go and let God"...
So, her I am again--at a new stage of the healing process. And tonight, I will begin a new journey of bridging that distance which I placed between God and me. I will surrender to His will, surrender to His love, surrender to His mercy, surrender to His peace and comfort. Tomorrow is a new day, and I will face it with strength and determination to not give up the battle, to continue to pray for His will to be done, and to patiently wait while God works his magic in my life as well as in my daughter's life. Please keep us in your prayers.
Dear Val~ You and your family ARE in our prayers.
We "rise before dawn and cry for help; I have put my hope in your word. My eyes stay open through the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promises." (Psalm 119: 146-148).
"The Lord delights [...] in those who put their hope in his unfailing love." (Psalm 147:11). "There IS hope for your future, declares the LORD. Your children will return to their own land."
HOPE in our LORD, is never in vain. And though we may tire and grow weary, our hope in the LORD "will renew [our] strength. [We] will soar on wings like eagles; [we] will run and not grow weary, [we] will walk and not be faint." (Isaiah 40: 31)
"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." Hebrews 11:1
Standing in the gap with you...Your Partner in SANITY!!!