If you have a grown addicted child, you probably already know how hard it is to break your connection with her. Even when everyone else is telling you that you shouldn’t put up with her actions or the way she treats you, you still can’t seem to cut ties. Why is that? Are you just a glutton for punishment? Are you weak in some way that nobody can quite understand?
The good news is that you are not weak because you can’t break the connection with your adult addicted child. You’re simply a parent, and those bonds go deep. This is also the reason why so many grown children battling addiction stay so physically close to their families. At the heart of things, they simply don’t want to lose the essential relationships they have had their whole lives.
Many parents will tell you that they can’t see not having a relationship with their grown child battling addiction, even if this is the way they will be for the rest of forever. Simply, the threat of losing their child and not having spent some potential good times is too great. So, they do the best they can to deal with the bad times.
Isn’t there a better way? Isn’t there a way to maintain the connection without allowing your grown addicted child to ruin your whole life? These tips might help:
- Set boundaries. You can still love your grown addicted child and be there for her, but you should make sure that she knows there are certain things that you simply won’t do for her. By now, you’re probably pretty open about her addiction. Let her know what you’re not willing to put up with and tell her that if she can’t respect the boundaries then she can avoid spending time.
- Make sure he knows where you stand with his addiction. Sometimes, the things left unspoken in a conversation are the most powerful. If your adult child knows where you stand with his addiction and he makes a comment about being broke what you don’t say can be the heaviest statement made.
- Support her emotionally, and walk with her when you can. Since your child is grown, it’s important to allow her to own her addiction. You’ve done what you can to insulate yourself from the effects, now be ready to offer her emotional support and walk with her on her journey when possible. Always make her see that she is living her life, and it is her addiction. This will keep her from asking for so much help.
While it may be nearly impossible to break the connection you have with your grown addicted child, it is possible to control the effects of his addiction on your life and enjoy as healthy a relationship with him as possible. Through good times and bad, you’re still the parent – and always will be. It’s just time to try something new.