18 Responses

  1. Doug O
    Doug O at |

    You are brave and wise and so so generous for sharing that beautifully — and truthfully — crafted reflection. Saying “no” to someone whose life is enmeshed with your own takes guts. Wow.
    With thanks,

  2. dan rempel
    dan rempel at |

    Thanks Colleen.
    I think we all wish, search, pray that we could do or be more.

  3. Laurie
    Laurie at |

    Oh, Colleen, I feel for you. I know how deep these things go, and the path that needs to be taken by the family and friends of someone in active addiction (whether they are using or not, emotional sobriety is the hard part that comes AFTER stopping the addiction).

    But the miracle can happen and I have met many people who had cut themselves off from everyone they loved and who loved them, and through some kind of grace found the way to lasting sobriety, to the profound gratitude of everyone around them who only ever expected the call that the loved one was dead.

    I don’t know how some people achieve sobriety, they are so far gone. And when they do it is a sobering thought to think of the wreckage of their past they must face and if possible, make amends for. So the other part of hoping for the miracle is the unconditional love that will bridge the way for the addict to move from self-destructive behaviour – for many, all they have ever known – to believing in themselves enough to take responsibility, accept the consequences, and choose to live clean each and every day regardless of whatever comes after sobriety is achieved.

    This society needs to come clean itself over the advertising of drugs like alcohol and prescription drugs and the failure to acknowledge the harm that can come from them; to offer help early in the cycle of addiction, without judgement, and through holistic treatment that enables the addict to come into unity in themselves.

    I pray that it happens for your sister, even though it may never change the dynamic or the history. I’m so proud to be your friend, to know that you raised your nephew rather than see him enter the foster care system and that it was incredibly challenging and the very definition of love in and of itself.

    I’m so glad you and your sister have each other and have found a way to love Rhonda and hold her in your hearts while maintaining your boundaries. XO

  4. Kelly
    Kelly at |

    My heart is heavy for you Colleen. You are strong, wise, kind and it is so evident that your love grows deep. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Gail
    Gail at |

    So so tough. My daughter. I love her and she is also extremely difficult. I am told she is an addict. I have not seen her for 8 years. She is apparently pregnant. Everything about her is tinged with the uncertainty true addicts spawn. Their stories, their incessant needs. Why not a pregnancy. She has done horrible things. But I sent her a message that I love her no matter what. She responded. Wanted money. I sent money. It was the right thing to do for reasons I cannot express readily. I hope that being pregnant has made her wary of drug use. I hope the happiness she says she has with her man (who supposedly was beating her last I heard) is real. Maybe I will see her again, maybe not. She is a little over half the age of your sister. Some things are too awful to look squarely at. You are doing well. It is so hard.

  6. Gwen Morrison
    Gwen Morrison at |

    Thanks for sharing this, Colleen. As you said, it’s unfortunate, but many of us have some version of this story blowing around. They say we are “strongest in the broken places,” and I’d like to think that is true because so many of us are a little cracked from events and people who have influenced us over the years. Sadly, those wounds are so deep and can so easily be ripped open again by yet another disappointment–or worse.

    I know that feeling you have – the wishing — oh, how I know. It’s so painful! I’m glad you are making peace with your decision to protect yourself, as tough as I know that is. Stay strong, sister!

  7. Elizabeth Rose
    Elizabeth Rose at |

    Beautifully written. Sometimes strong boundaries make all the sense in the world.

  8. Barb Williams
    Barb Williams at |

    Sad as it is…there seems to be one in every family. Thank you for sharing, and for choosing you, and for loving both of your sisters the best you can.


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