|Walking Away From Wellness|
fueling a pattern of destructive behaviors.
- Individuals suffering from alcohol and drug dependency struggle chronically to meet both their psychological and physiological needs of the disease. Family members and loved ones, usually caught up in the cycle of codependency and enabling, also meet their needs through desperate attempts at rescuing, controlling, or managing the dependent individual and/or the ongoing damaging effects.
- In the areas of domestic violence and other forms of abuse, I worked with deeply injured victims of trauma. Without minimizing the abusive behaviors of the perpetrators but with an awareness into how the perpetrator's behaviors were driven by an insatiable need for power and control, countless victims were able to assuage responsibility or guilt on their part.Their understanding of their abuser's unmet needs was often times a turning point in their healing journey.
A number of years ago, a vibrant woman in her late forties came for counseling regarding her marriage. I will call her Cheryl. Suspecting that her husband of over 25 years might be having an affair, Cheryl was frantic and fearful. As I began taking her history, I also learned that even though Cheryl professed to have a close, loving family, she had a very strained relationship with her two adult children. As we worked together, I began to understand how Cheryl's rigid, authoritarian, emotionally absent upbringing created an extremely deep need in her to be loved and accepted. Unfortunately, in her efforts to fill her void, Cheryl was quite demanding and controlling of those she loved. With her unrealistic expectations and her constant interference into her adult children's lives, they distanced themselves from her. And without defending her husband's infidelity, he too turned his affections elsewhere to escape Cheryl's domineering nature. Although Cheryl worked hard on acknowledging her past wounds, she was not able to move beyond her need-driven behaviors and her family continued to detach themselves from her.
family members will challenge interference, defend their positions, and re-embrace their rules.
Unfortunately, as the occurrences of relapse or other patterns of behavior become more destructive and without appropriate interventions, any family's level of functioning - and its norms - become more and more unhealthy. And what was once a completely intolerable and an unacceptable way of living is now a New Normal from which to navigate the chaos and consequences within.
Although at first glance, a Network of Enabling might appear to be the same or similar to Norms, it is actually quite different and deserves attention. I think that many people remain stuck in their unhealthiness because it feels comfortable there. As I have discussed, their needs are being met and the norms of their family culture support their unhealthiness. And, as with most of us who want to feel accepted and valued for who we are, we gravitate towards people who will affirm us, and we place ourselves in situations and circumstances which will reinforce our behaviors. And so, when asking why some individuals don't choose wellness, it is important to understand...
|A Network of Enabling|
|Failure's Front Door|
|It Is Never Too Late!|
Self- Betrayal or Relapse with a compassionate step by step process for recovery!