Powerlessness Most Dangerous Form of Parental Denial

Parents often find themselves reacting in response to one crisis after another.

Reacting to each crisis as it arises, without any kind of a recovery plan, is not effective and only results in emotional exhaustion.

“Parents often come to feel powerless.  The myth of powerlessness is the most dangerous form of denial of all.”

Exhausted, confused, sad, angry, hurting and grieving parents of addicts often come to feel powerless.  The myth of powerlessness is the most dangerous form of denial of all.

It’s no wonder that many parents come to feel powerless.  Addiction is complex and challenging.  On top of that, parents are often told by those they turn to for support or expert advice that they are in fact powerless.

To make matters worse, any thing a parent does to support their loved one will be criticized by somebody as “enabling.”

No wonder so many parents conclude that they have no choice but to “detach” and watch in horror as their child suffers the often devastating consequences of their addiction.

So-called enabling is not the cause of addiction, or the reason addiction continues.  It’s not worthy of the star billing it seems to get from so many.  It’s a side show at best.

The focus on enabling is destructive because it distracts from where the real focus needs to be.  And it contributes to parents’ sense of helplessness as parents are taught to think that their well-intentioned efforts have only perpetuated the addiction.

Parents often come to fear that any action in support of their child might just be an extension of their so-called enabling.

Most the time, parents haven’t done anything particularly “wrong”  including “enabling.”  Neither have their kids.

Addiction happens.  And it happens for complex reasons.  Parents aren’t to blame, and neither are their kids who never wanted to be addicted and would stop if they could.

Parents need to hear that they don’t have to stop loving or believing in their child, walk away, or wash their hands of the whole situation in order to have healthy boundaries.

Parents must understand that they can BOTH establish healthy boundaries AND actively support their loved one in establishing the conditions of safety, stability and opportunity necessary to build a lasting recovery.

Parents must understand that they can BOTH establish healthy boundaries AND actively support their loved one in establishing the conditions of safety, stability and opportunity necessary to build a lasting recovery.

Parent’s don’t have the absolute power to stop addiction.  But parents are far from powerless.  The truth is somewhere in the middle.  Parents who choose to do so can play an important role in limiting drug-related harm and promoting early and sustained recovery.

Parents are not powerless.  Parents do have opportunities to influence the course of their child’s addiction and recovery.

The myth of parental powerlessness is the most dangerous form of denial of all.

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