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loves —

When I was young I used to think about how fucked up my parents were.  I hated them.  I mean hated them.  They were so beyond ridiculous…..I was certain I was justified in hating them.  They sent me off to live in wilderness camps for behavior that I would still today call teenage bullshit or experimenting  Sure, I was a handful and I had a lot going on,  but their strict rules and inability to tolerate any teenage deviance infuriated me my and became the focus of all my anger and rage…I began my journey to show them……a path to deviate from all things good and all things constructive.  .

I swore if I ever had kids I would understand.  I would do different.  I would be a better parent.  I would somehow know what to do.

Here it is I’m 40 years old with a 19 year old who is so confused ….. and guess what I have no idea what to do.  I have a few ideas about what not to do but, 4 real, I have no idea. I believe in harm reduction but damn it’s hard to practice with the people you love.

I know  that I cannot make anyone do anything…..I believe in allowing others to find their own way……harm reduction as opposed to tough love, acceptance as opposed to force…….it is the path I believe in, but damn that old tough love stuff has been so ingrained, I find myself saying the sorts of things my mother and father said without meaning too and thinking I need to act, I must stop this…..I must maker her……

I think it is easier to practice tough love….Do what I want or don’t come around.  Sure, then I don’t have to weigh each and every decision, I don’t have to witness just how difficult life can get.  No wonder tough love is so damn popular!   It is hard to watch other people make the same exact mistakes you have made and sometimes even dumber mistakes than I ever made but I try and remember that I am the result of all my experiences and I am not such a bad gal!

Wow, letting go of control, allowing other people the room and the space to grow and learn, that is the real challenge.  Watching, loving, accepting, even the stuff we hate, because the truth is I can hate every decision she makes and still lover her more than anything! More than I can hardly stand!

I do not have the power to save her, or to ruin her, I only have the power to love her.  Love is what I have to give and I will give it ….Oh dear sweet child, know I love you.  I pray you can one day see a glimpse of the woman I see when I look at you.  You are no failure, you are human.

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