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Setting boundaries can be tricky. It took me quite a while to be able to stick to my boundaries I set with my addict in recovery.  I had finally reached the point to set a huge boundary, it’s what in Buddhism is called “a ruthless compassionate” boundary.  My addict in recovery constantly called me day and night with demands of support, not for moral support, it always was for financial support.  She always sounded so urgent and demanding, not kind at all. Then one day in a meeting I heard a speaker say:  “What we permit and allow; we teach!” What an awakening that was. It was exactly what I needed to hear. I am not a door mat anymore.

For so many years, I have rescued, enabled and fixed everything for her. I never allowed or permitted her to experience living her own life, let her make her own mistakes, and then pay the consequences. She always could count on me. Finally my eyes were open wide, it was my own fault, I had permitted and allowed it for years, and what I permit/allow I have taught her.  Now it was time to UN-teach her.  I knew this wouldn’t happen over night, but I was a lot stronger now and had gained more patience in my recovery.

1.  From now on there will be no more financial support coming your way!
2. Call me only to chat or tell me how well you are doing, no more demands!

These were my boundaries.
I moved the telephone out of my bedroom; I needed my sleep and nothing could be that urgent that couldn’t be addressed in the morning.  I screened my calls during the days. A couple of times I slipped and was pulled right back into her chaos. Then it dawned on me, that when I pick up the phone I was breaking my own boundaries.  She continued to call, until I got consistent enough or strong enough to not pick up that darn phone. It has worked.

Now it’s been about 11 months since then, we are slowly communicating a little better.  I have been able to hold five to ten minutes of decent conversations with her; I have learned to listen well.  I have also learned to ask her if she wants to vent, then I will listen.  Unless, she asks for advice, I will keep quiet and I keep my opinions to myself.

I finally have my life back.  I stay out of my children’s business altogether.
My older daughter actually told me that she enjoys spending time with me now.  LIVE AND LET LIVE that is definitely my slogan.



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