by Lisa A. Romano
Its not easy to love someone who is choosing to hurt themselves. When the one we love is using alcohol, heroin or other forms of chemicals to escape the emotional and physical consequences of reality it is not difficult to identify what needs to get addressed. In the case of drug and or alcohol addiction it is obvious that dependency is the issue. In these cases, the family of the addicted has a place to turn. There are innumerable support groups for family members who are dealing with chemical dependent loved ones.
But what happens when the one we love is addicted to a toxic relationship?
Where do we turn, the loved ones of the family member who is losing their Self to a manipulating other?
In this case, its not so easy to let go.
In my case, I have discovered that the same rules must apply.
Loving family members who consistently involve themselves with dysfunctional others--is very similar to loving someone who is drug addicted. No matter how hard you try to save them-they end up back in the same relationship you tried to rescue them from--or one very like it.
Letting go is never easy. But it has helped me to realize that unless I can let go of the one I love--the one I love will never be able to let go of the dysfunctional other.
Sometimes the greatest lesson we can teach--is by treating the one we love--the way they need to learn how to treat toxic others.
If I cannot exert a boundary that protects me from feeling like I am drowning emotionally--then how can I expect the ones I love to be able to set boundaries with others who are draining them?
Forever learning about recovery, namaste to you all...Lisa