An Open Letter to My Three Step-Sons, The Truth Hurts.

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posted on Feb, 1 2013 @ 12:25 PM
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Originally posted by Deetermined
reply to post by Evil_Santa
 


Help me to understand where you're coming from because you appear to be all over the place.

From your posts, you've obviously had your own addiction problems that you blame on your parents for not being there for you?

The OP was there for his stepkids and then you want to turn around and accuse him of being a "rescuer", therefore making him a narcissist?

Is there anything you won't blame on a parent or step parent?

What exactly are your parents' issues that keep you away from them to this day?


The first two years of a child's life are critical times for a child to learn about the structures of relationships, both in how-to have relationships with others, as well as how-to have a relationship with themselves. Individuals who do not learn standard relationship models fall into a category as having attachment disorders. That is what I think is the direct cause of these individuals issues given the nature of having a drug addicted father, and a workaholic mother.

My mother is a narcissist, and borderline personality disordered individual who has the emotional capacity of a 10 year old. Here's an example, at 7 years old my appendices ruptured 20 hours before I went into surgery because she didn't believe my stomach hurt and that I just wanted to skip school. Ergo - it was more important for her to make me go to school to look like a good mother, then it was to listen to her son and take him to the Doctors. As recently as last summer she choose to keep her mother's ash spreading memorial service information from me, even though i live 4 hours from the site it was held at. She did had the balls to contact me afterward to apologize for not coming to see me when she was in the state though. Half of her family is abusive narcissists, but I wanted to go to my grandma's memorial service, because it wasn't until she was on her death-bed with cancer that she apologized to me for how she raised my mother.

My father has a co-dependant personality and was wrapped up in trying to fix my mom for most of my childhood, neglecting my sister and myself, then when my parents got divorced, he shacked up with a woman who has a history of marrying alcoholics, in an attempt to rescue her. His parenting (which seems to mimic that of the OPs) was to try and just "put me on the right path, and hope that works" by sending me off to college, and like the OP's oldest son, I wasted the college money on drugs/liquor and everything else but an education -- even though going to school was the last thing on my mind at the time.

I actually have finally started to build a relationship with my father in the recent years, and as recently as a month ago he apologized to me for not being there for me on an emotional level during my childhood/early adult years.

My whole point is that you can't try to fix someone by thinking that you know what's going to be best for that individual's life and push them down that path. When you're dealing with people with issues you're going to meet extreme resistance, and you'll find better results by trying to understand them, and help them to understand themselves.

Yes it is hypocritical of me to say to get them neurofeedback with the information in the above paragraph, however neurofeedback isn't a talk-based therapy, or has anything to do with working with an individuals personality. It's entirely based on the theory that you can retrain how the brain regulates itself through conditioning, which then trickles-down into the person's behavior and choices they make.




posted on Feb, 1 2013 @ 12:35 PM
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Originally posted by openyourmind1262
People make choices in life. These three have made these choice's own their own, no help from us. All by their little selves. Those who blame their parents for their life's problems are the real damn cowards in the world. We arent the catalyst to their drug addcition.

You wouldn't have been the catalyst to their successes either then, they would have made them on their own with no help from you, all by their little selves.

So what were you doing around them?
edit on 1-2-2013 by ErgoTheConclusion because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 1 2013 @ 12:37 PM
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Originally posted by openyourmind1262
reply to post by Evil_Santa
 


The easy out for all who get invloved in the fringe acts of society , like drug abuse, alcohol abuse, are their parents. It's the first ones they blame for their problems. My father was a alcoholic for most of my life, I don't drink, go figure. People make choices in life. These three have made these choice's own their own, no help from us. All by their little selves. Those who blame their parents for their life's problems are the real damn cowards in the world. We arent the catalyst to their drug addcition.

Sounds like you put your parents thru pure hell, how proud they must be of you now. Does any guilt as to how you did your parents ever creep into your mind? If not it damn well should.


Don't you dare try to make me feel guilty for my past. I have spent years holding that guilt inside, have finally learned how-to let go of it in healthy ways, and look towards the future of making responsible choices.

I'm sorry if what I'm saying to you hurts, but you put your life out here on the internet for others to comment on, and as someone who has been in a similar situation that all three of your sons are in, you need to hear the other side of the story.

Likewise don't you dare think that everyone shares the same genetics as yourself. Everyone has a different genetic code that governs how their experiences in life lead to the development of their personality later on in life.

Here's an example. PTSD is a condition that about 40% of the population is born with the genetic markets that can trigger the condition. Those markers either come out, or are repressed depending on the amount of stress that individual faces during their childhood. More stress = more likelihood for a traumatic event triggering PTSD later in life.

So, mother choose to have children with someone who has genetic markers for addictive behaviors. Looks like the children got the bad gene lottery and all have those genetic markers as well. I know what kind of genetic markets for behavioral issues any children that I might have will have to deal with, and have already taken the responsibility upon myself to be properly educated in how-to best avoid triggering those mental illness in my offspring.

My parent's made the choice to have children, and make the choices to neglect their children, so yes my development is partially their fault. Did I state that the actions i took in making their lives hell is all their fault? No - but there is shared responsibility in their raising me, in addition to my own choices.

Oh and yes, my father is incredibly proud of me, in 10 years going from an addict, to today being a productive member of society in the IT industry.
edit on 1-2-2013 by Evil_Santa because: (no reason given)
edit on 1-2-2013 by Evil_Santa because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 1 2013 @ 12:38 PM
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reply to post by openyourmind1262
 

I actually congratulate you. You said it like it is for you, when obviously there's no other way to get your points across to them.

Blame all around has to be shared by all of you....but still...you voiced your feelings when they would not other than by their actions. For them? Their actions speak volumes.

Good for you.



posted on Feb, 1 2013 @ 12:41 PM
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reply to post by Evil_Santa
 




My whole point is that you can't try to fix someone by thinking that you know what's going to be best for that individual's life and push them down that path. When you're dealing with people with issues you're going to meet extreme resistance, and you'll find better results by trying to understand them, and help them to understand themselves.


How do you help someone that doesn't want to help themselves first? How do you even begin to "understand" them in order to help them understand themselves?

What made you decide to get help?


Yes it is hypocritical of me to say to get them neurofeedback with the information in the above paragraph, however neurofeedback isn't a talk-based therapy, or has anything to do with working with an individuals personality. It's entirely based on the theory that you can retrain how the brain regulates itself through conditioning, which then trickles-down into the person's behavior and choices they make.


It appears as though neurofeedback has been proven highly effective for ADHD and epilepsy. It looks like research is still being done on how effective it is on addictions and mental health.



posted on Feb, 1 2013 @ 12:49 PM
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Originally posted by Deetermined
How do you help someone that doesn't want to help themselves first? How do you even begin to "understand" them in order to help them understand themselves?

By stopping trying to help them and just be a listener to whatever they are feeling and don't judge it but trust that their feelings are real regardless of whether they are misguided.

You have no idea how many family conflicts would disappear immediately if one person would stop trying to "fix" someone else and just *listen* to them without constantly looking for an opportunity to make themselves feel better by helping... or defending themselves.

If you (especially a parent who should know better by now) truly are healthy and they truly are sick, then stop caring whether they are being "awful" to you. It's emotional vomit. Wipe it off, and help them heal or leave them be. If you emotionally vomit back then you too are sick and you are just vomiting all over each other and spreading germs around with no clean up. Proving how "good" you are by looking at them disappointed as you wipe vomit off their mouth doesn't help anyone heal (akin to "giving you help" while exuding an air of disappointment).

If a person is a screw up, recognize that you wouldn't want someone ELSE to come along and start trying to fix you because they have decided you are a screw up based on their criteria of "who you should be". If they actually care, you want them to talk about why you choose to continue to "screw up" and understand it rather than seek every way to make you change.

People are much more interested in seeking solutions with someone that looks at them with genuine intent to work *with* them rather than spend all the time expressing disappointment, telling them who they should be more like, etc. But once a conflict has gone on for so long people spend all the time waiting for the *other* person to stop looking down on them before they will do it in return.
edit on 1-2-2013 by ErgoTheConclusion because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 1 2013 @ 12:51 PM
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Originally posted by Deetermined
reply to post by Evil_Santa
 


How do you help someone that doesn't want to help themselves first? How do you even begin to "understand" them in order to help them understand themselves?

What made you decide to get help?



You really listen to them. You dig into what they're saying and look for the reasons behind what they're saying. You look at their actions and talk to them about what feelings governed those actions, with total empathy. You don't tell them how to feel/act/be, because they're already shattered individuals and need to be helped to find who they are, not told who they are.

What drove me to want to get help? It's been an ongoing process for the last 15 years of my life, psychotherapy, numerous different drug therapies and even a stay in in-patient treatment all failed. I also had the blessing at the age of 14 (15 years ago) to have a very understanding, and caring relative who intervened in my life by bringing me into her home, and showing me how healthy relationships operate. Since then I have desired to have those same relationships in my life.



It appears as though neurofeedback has been proven highly effective for ADHD and epilepsy. It looks like research is still being done on how effective it is on addictions and mental health.


I've spent 6 years researching neurofeedback, and can point you towards studies done on a number of personality disorders, attachment disorders, autism spectrum disorders, and other issues that it has shown extremely positive results with.

www.isnr.org is a good place to start.

Here's one on Anti-Social Personality Disorder (The disorder that sociopaths/psychopaths fall into in the DSM) that has a 90% success rate of improving psychopathic personality traits by 50%, or better, over 90 days of therapy.

www.braintreatmentchicago.com...
edit on 1-2-2013 by Evil_Santa because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 1 2013 @ 12:53 PM
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Originally posted by ErgoTheConclusion

Originally posted by Deetermined
How do you help someone that doesn't want to help themselves first? How do you even begin to "understand" them in order to help them understand themselves?

By stopping trying to help them and just be a listener to whatever they are feeling and don't judge it but trust that their feelings are real regardless of whether they are misguided.

You have no idea how many family conflicts would disappear immediately if one person would stop trying to "fix" someone else and just *listen* to without constantly looking for an opportunity to make themselves feel better by helping them or defending themselves.

If a person is a screw up, recognize that you wouldn't want someone ELSE to come along and start trying to fix you because they have decided you are a screw up based on their criteria of "who you should be". If they actually care, you want them to talk about why you choose to continue to "screw up" and understand it rather than seek every way to make you change.

People are much more interested in seeking solutions with someone that looks at them with genuine intent to work *with* them rather than spend all the time expressing disappointment, telling them who they should be more like, etc. But once a conflict has gone on for so long people spend all the time waiting for the *other* person to stop looking down on them before they will do it in return.
edit on 1-2-2013 by ErgoTheConclusion because: (no reason given)


QFT.

Second line.



posted on Feb, 1 2013 @ 12:56 PM
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reply to post by ErgoTheConclusion
 


To some degree, doesn't "just listening" help them to feel more justified in what they are doing?

If you don't condemn their actions, why would they ever want to change it?



posted on Feb, 1 2013 @ 12:57 PM
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reply to post by GmoS719
 


you are whats wrong with people these days. people choose there own path, but you want to defend meth heads. did there parents buy them drugs and force it into there system. like i said you are whats wrong with the world. pass the buck right its never anyone's fault its always someone else s.



posted on Feb, 1 2013 @ 12:58 PM
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Originally posted by Deetermined
reply to post by ErgoTheConclusion
 


To some degree, doesn't "just listening" help them to feel more justified in what they are doing?

If you don't condemn their actions, why would they ever want to change it?





As I stated above, unless they're total psychopaths, they already feel guilty for their actions. Why kick a person that's already down? Especially when their feelings of guilt are contributing to their impulsive behaviors, at that point you're just compounding the issue without helping.

Edit: On my way out to help that female relative with her daily tasks. Bone mice in her knees are tearing up the cartilage, so I'm the designated stair climber to help her get all her chores done, some boxes packed, and then accompanying her to a lecture at the local college. I will check this thread and respond to any questions/responses later tonight though, so feel free to ask anything.
edit on 1-2-2013 by Evil_Santa because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 1 2013 @ 01:04 PM
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reply to post by openyourmind1262
 


How many times did these three stepsons have to hear what a piece of crud the only father they had was?

There's a predictable pattern here...
edit on 2/1/2013 by chasingbrahman because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 1 2013 @ 01:05 PM
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Originally posted by Deetermined
To some degree, doesn't "just listening" help them to feel more justified in what they are doing?

If you don't condemn their actions, why would they ever want to change it?

No not even close. But it does require practice because it is a skill.

Being a listener does not mean you aren't honest with them about how you are affected and your honest attitudes. Otherwise you just continue the Enabler/Blame cycle.

It means not going to them with the agenda of fixing them or changing them or expressing how awful THEY are making it for YOU. Not going to them with the agenda that they must agree with you at the end or they have let you down. It means recognizing *they* are sick (possibly), and any sick person can't be treated like a healthy person. How well does it work if you have the flu and someone comes to you and just starts demanding you get up and run the marathon your mother was really looking forward to?

It means looking at the other person and admitting: Am I willing to help even if it never works out? If so, then do so and accept it was your choice to help. If not, then stay out of their way and let them actually make their own choices.

Often when a person stops fixing/defending and actually hears what the person is trying to say through their chaos, their own part pops out and real progress can start to be done. Because when two people are actually sick, but only one person thinks they are and the other thinks they aren't, the one who thinks they aren't is going to constantly (on accident) keep infecting the other no matter what they try to do, and will blame the one who already *knows* they are sick for all the sickness going around. Even though it's they who aren't doing anything about their own sickness.

Especially when one of them has a more "socially acceptable" disease.
edit on 1-2-2013 by ErgoTheConclusion because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 1 2013 @ 01:09 PM
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Originally posted by Evil_Santa

As I stated above, unless they're total psychopaths, they already feel guilty for their actions.


In all honesty, I think there might be a lot of psychopaths out there then because I certainly haven't witnessed much guilt coming from most of those who suffer from addictions. I have seen a lot of lying, finger pointing and denial though.



posted on Feb, 1 2013 @ 01:15 PM
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Originally posted by Deetermined

Originally posted by Evil_Santa
As I stated above, unless they're total psychopaths, they already feel guilty for their actions.

In all honesty, I think there might be a lot of psychopaths out there then because I certainly haven't witnessed much guilt coming from most of those who suffer from addictions. I have seen a lot of lying, finger pointing and denial though.

People become very good at hiding their guilt. The lying, finger pointing, and denial are all signs of guilt. And more importantly for those around them, signs that they feel they are forever being attacked by those around them. Which is usually true but passive aggressively and it's very hard for a person that is "bad" to bring to light passive aggressive behavior against them without being attacked more strongly.

When do YOU lie or finger point or deny? Surely you aren't going to suggest it's *never* happened? And it's almost always going to be because of guilt on *some* level otherwise you would just tell the truth or not feel the need to deny/blame.

We see other people behave in ways we would prefer they didn't, but we aren't honest with ourselves about when we do it ourselves and what we are thinking, and then work with them on that level. We just tell each other to not do what we do ourselves (to different degrees of course but the activity going on inside is the same).

But because people don't see the guilt, and aren't willing to try to spend enough time not judging/being hurt by the other person, they just assume it's not there even though their own behavior would show it's almost certainly there and they hide it themselves when it suits them too.

Look at the other person and see yourself, not an alien. Because they are never ever ever doing anything you yourself haven't/won't eventually do in some manner. Even taking of a life from another living creature.
edit on 1-2-2013 by ErgoTheConclusion because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 1 2013 @ 01:30 PM
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reply to post by ErgoTheConclusion
 


I'm pretty sure that when/if someone gets to the point where they are stealing from their own family to keep their drug/alcohol addiction going, that there isn't any guilt involved. It may or may not come later.



posted on Feb, 1 2013 @ 01:34 PM
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Originally posted by GmoS719

Originally posted by AwakeinNM

Originally posted by GmoS719
How dare you condemn someone because of a drug addiction?
Doesn't it tell you something that they are ALL addicts?
I bet your wife (the mother) had a lot to do with it, she was a drug abuser after all.
Children can't raise themselves you know.
You say you tried to be the father they never had?
This is real fatherly of you and is a testament to how hard you tried.
edit on 1-2-2013 by GmoS719 because: (no reason given)


Narc-Anon is for family members of addicts, not addicts. I have zero drug addicts in my family and still know this.


And AA is for family members of addicts? Wrong.
I know because someone close to me attends Narcotics anonymous.


He's correct, you're wrong. Narc-anon is for people who have people close to them that are addicts.



posted on Feb, 1 2013 @ 01:38 PM
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reply to post by Deetermined
 

You would be misled in that conclusion.

I'm pretty sure you don't feel any guilt about telling white lies. See how that works?



posted on Feb, 1 2013 @ 01:41 PM
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reply to post by ErgoTheConclusion
 


So, what exactly is going through one's mind at the time that they are stealing from their family?



posted on Feb, 1 2013 @ 01:46 PM
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reply to post by Deetermined
 

In order to understand this you have to remove your "healthy" bias and remember YOUR state of mind when YOU have done things you knew you probably shouldn't (even if it was more "innocent" than stealing from your family).

Let me ask another question: What would you have to feel in order for you to resort to stealing from your family?

"I don't have any other choice." Or if they are still on the upper end... "I'll pay them back later."

That is not all, but it is by far the majority and in particular where it starts. Then rather than the real underlying issue being dealt with when they are caught, they are dealt with for "stealing" when that isn't the actual problem and just amplifies the whole situation which can often lead into a retaliation/punishment cycle for both parties.

So much of our social issues are due to people refusing to look at another in a bad situation and see themselves and ask "What would it take for me to get there?" and "What would I honestly want people to do for me/what would actually help if I ever got there myself?" Asking "How have I contributed" before having it flung in your face is the pipe dream we'll all someday ask.


Having the belief "I would never do that" is the first sure sign you either will eventually, or are doing something else affecting those around you negatively that you are totally blind to. Where if the people around you told you how they really feel would likely be painful in what they haven't been speaking up about relative to the high self impression being believed.

Think about all the most positive people you know... most supportive caring and loving. How many of them have an attitude of "That would never be me." or "I would never let myself get that far." Usually they are the ones MOST aware of just how easily they can fall off the ledge if the right circumstances pop up as well as the ways they could be hurting others without even realizing it because they've seen it happen enough to recognize nobody is immune. Not even those we generally all agree on are pretty awesome people. Someone out there is slighted or put off by them.
edit on 1-2-2013 by ErgoTheConclusion because: (no reason given)





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