Thursday, March 11, 2010

Creating Boundaries

The first rule for boundaries is that the family members must not set any boundary that they don't fully agree on. Do not act unilaterally. The second rule is that no boundary should be communicated to the addicted family member until it has been discussed with with the family and all are willing to implement it. Work with each other to find a boundary you can agree on. You may have to start small. The third rule for boundaries is they must be designed to increase the well being of the family not to manipulate or punish the addicted family member. It is very important, if not absolutely necessary for the family members, such as the parents of an addict, to get support from some group in which they can discuss their situation and talk over their options.

2 comments:

Bobby said...

Boundaries are harder for the parents of an addict to figure out than for any other cross-section of the population. This is because they are told to participate in their child's recovery, which can often mean invading their privacy, and then they are told to respect the addict's boundaries. It is often hard to know where the line is drawn. Thank you for addressing a confusing issue. I'm sure it will be helpful to many parents of recovering addicts.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry that I didn't find this blog sooner. Our son has been addicted to drugs for the last 4 years. We have spent many tens of thousands of dollars trying to help him. He was doing well and recently relapsed again. In order to protect my sanity, I asked him for a "divorce." It was the only word I could think of that fit the situation at that time. I needed a break from the constant onslaught of bad news and drama. Now that a month has gone by I'm wondering if this is not a form of manipulation on my part to try to get him to do the right thing. I don't know how to tell. I can only say that I have not slept this well or had as many pleasant days as I've had since I made the request. What is the difference between manipulation and protecting oneself?