In my last article, “Leaving toxic parents and enabling family,” I described Lucy’s abusive, bullying mother and enabling family.  When Lucy’s daughter was threatened, Lucy finally felt compelled to act.  Protecting her daughter was more important than protecting her mother from the consequences of her negativity, criticism and sarcasm.

Lucy had never been able to change her mother’s behavior because she’d always tried to educate her mother.
Lucy had hoped that if she only explained rationally, logically and appropriately enough, her mother would see what she was doing and become the mother Lucy had always wanted.  But the problem was not that Lucy’s mother was ignorant.  It really doesn’t matter whether Lucy’s mother recognized the harm she was doing or not; whether Lucy’s mother thought she was only trying to help Lucy and her daughter; whether Lucy’s mother was blind or misguided or uncaring or crazy.  The answers to those questions won’t help her.

The only thing that matters is that Lucy act to protect the wonderful future she’d created.  Against all attackers, Lucy must protect her children and the life she and her husband loved.

Lucy had the wrong goal: Change her mother’s attitudes so her mother would act nicer.
We have a word for arguing, debating and demanding change but not having real and effective consequences.  Those actions are called, “Begging.”  But Lucy’s mother had never changed when she was begged.

Lucy’s only hope of changing her mother’s behavior was to have strong consequences leading up to “Zero tolerance” and “No contact” if necessary.

If Lucy’s mother never changed, Lucy would still have achieved her real goal: Creating a wonderful environment, free from toxic polluters.

Lucy saw herself as a brave and strong immigrant, travelling to the wonderful future she wanted to create.
When Lucy saw herself as leaving the old country and its culture, and sailing off to her new land and chosen culture, she felt freed from a dark prison of old guilt and rules.  Now she was courageous and strong enough to persevere.  The future she wanted for her family was more important than the blood ties that had scarred her and were now wounding her daughter.  She hoped her mother and the rest of the family would change, but if they didn’t, they couldn’t get into the sacred space she was creating and protecting.

She was eager to be the steward of her new land; protecting and preserving it for the next generations.  She wanted to be a model for her children.

Now Lucy would have to find and create the family of her heart and spirit that she’d always thirsted for.
We often cling to the initial family of our bodies because we know that when we need help desperately, they’ll come no matter how difficult.  It’s scary to let go of that life preserver.

Lucy and her husband saw that they needed to make a new family; one of their choosing; one that would support their hearts and spirits.  And one that would be there when needed, no matter the difficulty.

But suppose Lucy’s values and priorities are wrong?
We never know how life will turn out.  Our only choice is how to live it.  Lucy chose to follow her heart and spirit.  Lucy chose to follow her joy.

The best way to learn how to begin creating a family of your heart and spirit is to hire Dr. Ben for personalized coaching and counseling so you can:

  1. Develop the strength, courage, will and determination to be and to act your best resolutely, diligently and effectively.
  2. Develop a plan and master the skills necessary to get toxic polluters out of your life so you have space for the wonderful people who will want to be with you.

Since all tactics depend on the situation, call me at 1-877-8Bullies for expert coaching by phone or Skype.

AuthorBen Leichtling