In that temporary recovery phase – where we recover from the total destruction of our hopes and dreams because our adult children have turned out to be narcissistic, volatile, angry, vindictive, bullying, abusive, losers – there’s a point at which we simply give up trying to straighten out their personalities, we stop trying to explain and educate, we stop trying to bribe them with one more kindness or gift in hopes they’ll finally appreciate and love us.
We say, “Enough! I’m done with that.”
I won’t let them torture my heart any more.
We still love them but now we admit we don’t like their personality. And we’re so exhausted because of the beatings and being jerked around, that we simply give up trying to rehabilitate them. Not our job anymore. Let them learn the hard way. Let the world teach them the price of being rotten jerks.
At that point we can heave a great sigh of relief that an incredible burden has been lifted from our shoulders. We’re done with all that. They’re adults and they’re on their own.
We’ve all had prior experience of letting go and moving on – no matter how painful at the moment.
Deep inside we all know how to do that. For example: We ripped off a Band-Aid; we took out a splinter and cleaned the wound; we had a pre-cancerous growth removed from the back of our arms. We grew up and stopped desperately wanting a toy or gadget or fashion item we thought we couldn’t live without; we stopped bearing the whole burden of reconciliation with friends who turned out to be false; we got divorced. And we found freedom and healing.
Deep inside we know how to do that. Now we stop making excuses about why this situation is different and we simply say, “Enough! I’m done with that.”
I’m done with:
- Worrying and obsessing about the perfect or right or acceptable thing to say or do.
- Putting out all the effort to be nice.
- Making their feelings the center of my life and never getting my feelings taken care of.
- Begging and bribing them, to throw me a crumb.
- Being satisfied with one semi-nice thing when there’s been a hundred stabbings and clubbing.
- Worrying what other people might think.
- Giving up on him/her.
Then we find we’re back in charge of the second most important set of decision in life: What do we pay attention to? What will we focus on?
Think of all the time and calories we wasted paying attention to them, long after it was necessary – thinking about them, worrying what to say and do, obsessing on every hidden meaning or interpretation, dreading the next manipulation or attack. What a waste of time and energy. Maybe good only if we want to make that our weight-loss program. But, really, not a good idea.
Then we gain freedom to focus on life again – on remembering what we used to love to do, what we did that gave us real pleasure and joy, on reconnecting with the sources that fill our emotional and spiritual gas tanks. We can step back and have lots of flexibility in how we deal with them, given that we’re not going to waste time obsessing on what’s the best or right or perfect thing to do that might bring them back.
That’s the start of the ascent out of the pit of hell and into the light of the rest of our wonderful lives. If anyone asks how we can be sure they’ll never change, we can laugh and joyously say that’s a silly and irrelevant question. Of course, there’s always hope, but the real question is what am I going to do right now to have a wonderful time? The reason to stop thinking about them (or to start thinking about them less and less) is that we want to. That’s more than enough reason. Simple and clear.
And we’ll respond to what those bullies do when we get there. We don’t have to worry about that distant future. “The chain of destiny should be grasped one link at a time.” Winston Churchill
And, of course, there are moments when we get our hopes up once again, and the only answer is, “Don’t get sucked into obsessing on hopes, have a fabulous time and we’ll see how long-term any changes are.”
Win the argument by not wasting time and energy on it; by detaching from it; by using the time and energy to create a fabulous life.
Of course, there are many complications depending on your situation. The best way to learn how to take power in your life and to be the person you want to be 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 create the life your spirit has always hungered for.
Since all tactics depend on the situation, call me at 1-877-8Bullies for expert counseling and coaching by phone or Skype.