This week's guest, Carole Brown, is one of the writing colleagues who inspired me to try this whole idea of guest bloggers. It can be tough sharing your space with other voices, but Carole does so regularly and generously. I'm happy to return the favor.
Her adult daughters demand money from her. They sneak into her prescribed medicine and steal it. They’re hooked on drugs. They’re whiny and spoiled, beg her to lie for them. She hates all this; hates the life they’re living; hates the life that surrounds her and almost absorbs her at times.
She loves them and doesn’t want to hurt them, so many times she gives in. She cries and begs for help. Guilt dogs her steps. She’s unhappy and feels weak.
My friend, Sheila (phony name to protect her) has struggled with standing against these demands and yet be able to show her love for them at the same time. My husband and I have consistently counseled with her and encouraged her. Stand strong. Demand respect. Refuse to participate—even in sideline participation—in their morally and illegal actions.
Granted she doesn’t have a partner who stands loving and firm beside her against the evils in her family, but is that a justifiable excuse for her?
Obviously not, given her constant imploring for reassurance.
So we continue to instruct her: refuse to give the prescribed medicine to them. No more lies; be upfront with them—let them know you refuse to give them “bill” money. Tell them you expect them to get a job, provide for themselves, contribute to the household expenses, get help for their drug addictions. Don’t be a continual taxi service for their every whim. Will it hurt them to walk half a block to get a can of pop?
And most of all, love them. Encourage every good attempt they make. Pray for them. Be there with them when they make a positive decision. Be firm but loving.
Jesus said, “The greatest of these is love.” There is no attribute greater. No emotion greater. Let it shine from our eyes, in our moves, in our lives and actions. They’ll feel it and respond. Sometimes we’ll never see it. Buried deep within them, they’ll feel a stirring of “something” gentle and precious. Sometimes response will be slow in coming. Years, maybe. And other times we’ll see it automatically. A quick hug. A comment, “She’s the best mom.” A confidence shared.
And perchance, a miracle happens and they get clean and become upstanding citizens, well, the joy and peace and pride that overwhelm you are all the reward you need. To be able to say, “That’s my boy/girl,” is better than any birthday present in the world.
I know. I’ve been there.
Carole is a suspense writer who many times deals with issues such as abuse in her novels. She’s self-published several children’s books dealing with character traits. She and her agent are working hard on locating a home for her novels. Wife of a minister, together they’ve traveled nationally and internationally, but love their little spot of country in SE Ohio. They have two grown sons who they love and are proud to say of either, “There goes my son.”
Check out her site at: http://sunnebnkwrtr.blogspot.com/