Adult Children, Info & Help

Moving from Client to Staff Member - Avoiding Codependency IssuesPremium Content

Recovery programs hire many program graduates and others who have overcome addictions or have grown up in troubled families. They can be excellent examples for mission clients and usually have special compassion and understanding for those who are still hurting. On the other hand, some are hindered in their efforts to minister to others because of their own codependency.

Here are a few common symptoms experienced by these "wounded warriors":

A. Inability to detach.

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Am I Codependent or being a Good Christian?Premium Content

On the surface, codependency messages sound like Christian teaching:

    "Codependents always put others first before taking care of themselves."
    (Aren't Christians to put others first?) .

    "Codependents give themselves away."
    (Shouldn't Christians do the same?).

"Codependents martyr themselves."
(Doesn't Christianity honor its martyrs?)

Those statements have a familiar ring, don't they? Then how can we distinguish between codependency, which is unhealthy to codependents and their dependents, and mature faith, which is healthy.

Codependency says:.

    I have little or no value.
    Other persons and situations have all the value.

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Lies Adult Children of Alcoholics BelievePremium Content

1. That I can control my emotions.
2. That I can control someone else's emotions or actions or thoughts.
3. That I deserve:

  • to get something good.
  • to get something bad.
  • to be punished for mistakes.
  • to be rewarded for perfection.
  • to be rewarded for good behavior, intentions, thoughts, feelings, whatever.

4. That I can "make" sense out of anything. ("Making" sense is not the same as "discovering" sense.)
5. That I am responsible for

  • for outcomes.
  • for other people's feelings, thoughts or actions.

6. That I am not responsible for my own actions - that it is all someone else's fault.

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Acceptance of Habitual, Unrepentant SinnersPremium Content

1 Corinthians 5:6-8 RSV
Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our paschal lamb, has been sacrificed. Let us, therefore, celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

Paul has been admonishing the Corinthian church for allowing (even welcoming) within their midst a man who is knowingly sinning . . . and continues to sin. This is a huge deal in our churches today because we embrace, even in our leadership, those who not only have sinned in the past, but who continue to embrace their sin in one way or another. We refuse to judge them based on the scripture in Matthew 7: Judge not, that you be not judged (v. 1, RSV). But I think the reason we refuse to judge is revealing. I think we refuse to judge, not out of some sense of obedience to God’s word, but because we don’t want anyone messing around in our lives. The old saying goes, "Birds of a feather flock together." We embrace sinners because we are sinners ourselves, but more than that: We don’t have to give up our own sin. By embracing the sin of others, we feel protected, justified.

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We need boundaries! We need fences!Premium Content

1 Peter 1:13-16 NRSV Therefore prepare your minds for action; discipline yourselves; set all your hope on the grace that Jesus Christ will bring you when He is revealed. Like obedient children, do not be conformed to the desires that you formerly had in ignorance. Instead, as He who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in all your conduct; for it is written, "You shall be holy, for I am holy."

We have dogs. Currently, we have one dog, but often we have more than one. People know that we rescue poodles, and we are often called to see if we will give a poodle a home. In the past two years, the "yard" that our dogs have enjoyed has changed considerably. First, it was the portable yard that we use for our RV. We bought two units and attached them together, so it was about 6x4 feet. Not very big, but for small dogs, large enough to walk around. Last year, when we moved into the trailer, the yard was considerably larger. There was room to run and play a bit, certainly lots of room to nose around and smell (which the dogs loved to do). In this house, the yard is huge in comparison to anything we've had previously. It's a big lot and the back yard goes from edge to edge. It's possible not to be able to see our little poodle just looking out the back door; the yard is that big.

One thing every yard had in common was some kind of a fence. The fence is both a protection from at least some of the predators getting in (though there are still those, like snakes, that can get in under the fence) and a protection from the dogs getting out of the yard and being at risk of being hit by cars or stolen by thieves.

The fence is a protection.

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Helping Children from Addicted & Dysfunctional FamiliesPremium Content

A. Understanding the Problems of Children from Addicted Families

In the US, twenty million children are experiencing physical, verbal and emotional abuse from parents who are addicted to alcohol and/or drugs. This is tragic when we consider that childhood is the foundation on which our entire lives are built. When a child's efforts to bond with an addicted parent are thwarted, the result is confusion and intense anxiety. In order to survive in a home devoid of healthy parental love, limits, and consistency, they must develop "survival skills" very early in life.

In a chaotic, dysfunctional family, the lack of external control through consistent loving discipline results in an inability to develop internal discipline and self control. They learn not to depend on their parents to meet their needs - instead, it is all up to themselves. And, because they can't trust their own parents, they become generally suspicious and mistrustful of all human beings. Yet, they are defenseless against the projection of blame and often feel responsible for parents' addiction. They become "little adults" that feel compelled to accept responsibilities well beyond their years.

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Emotions & Recovery: Grief Premium Content

A.Addicts are both victims and victimizers.
Anyone who is addicted to drugs and alcohol leaves behind them a trail of destruction. This could include everything from harm done to loved ones – both physically and emotionally, as well as violence and criminal activity of all sorts in which many become involved. On the other hand, we need to recognize that the majority of addicts have, themselves, grown up in painful, dysfunctional families. In homes where one or both of the adults are out of control because of addiction or other life-consuming problem, they we subjected to a daily diet of physical and emotional trauma.

Effective rescue mission recovery programs recognize the importance of helping addicts to repent of their sin and become responsible the wrong they have done. Steps 4 & 5 used with Steps 8 & 9 are practical guides for helping recovery addicts to gain a clear conscience and to take the extra step of restoring broken relationships and acknowledging to other the hurt they have caused them. This is dealing with the "victimizer."

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Emotions & Recovery – Self Awareness Premium Content

A. The importance of emotional self-awareness.
In a 1992 SRI Gallup study, commissioned by the Knox Area Rescue Ministry, six critical "life themes" were identified in the lives of people who recovered from homelessness. Among the most important was the "Self-Awareness " theme, which they described in this manner:

Persons who are high on the Self-Awareness theme are in touch with their own emotions. They can name the feelings that are surging through themselves... As they grow, they can discuss their emotions with other people and they will tend to express them to other people rather than keep them inside. Then, they can talk about how they feel about their own life and its hurts; they can say that and then ask for help in making the corrections. They can own the bad things that have happened to them in their life, and they can know the good feelings that they want to achieve.

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Forgiveness Workshop TranscriptPremium Content

Obie-HostIt is my great pleasure to introduce to you today Yvonne Ortega.She serves on the Board of Directors of Christians in Recovery and leads her own ministry which she will tell you about. Today she will be speaking on Forgiveness.

Every time Yvonne leads a workshop we are all greatly blessed by her insights. Let us open in prayer.....

Heavenly Father,
We pray for our workshop leader Yvonne today.Anoint her with the Holy Spirit. Give her Your words of wisdom to share with us --
words of healing. Open our ears, hearts and minds that we are teachable and also open to the Holy Spirit. In the name of Jesus we all pray. Amen.

Yvonne will speak for several minutes and then we will have a question and answer period where you will be able to ask questions. Yvonne, you now have the floor!

Yvonne Thank you.
What does it mean “to forgive”?
It means to give up feeling angry or wanting to punish, to show mercy, to pardon.

Countless adults have told me they can’t forgive themselves. One woman had an abortion and said, “I’m a murderer. I can’t go back to church.”

An alcoholic lost his wife, his children, his job, his car, and his home. His children refused to have anything to do with him. He said, “It’s all my fault for drinking like I did.”

A married woman got drunk and had sex with a male acquaintance. She was beside herself with shame and guilt.

A man fell asleep at the wheel and hit a guardrail. His daughter was thrown from the van and died. He was overwhelmed with grief and beat himself up repeatedly for the loss of his daughter.

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New Year's Resolutions

written January 1st but applicable to any new beginning

Today is traditionally a day of resolutions: I will eat more healthy. I will exercise more. I will spend more time with my family. To be honest, I’m just horrible with resolutions. Even if I make just one, I can do that one thing regularly... for a while... and then life comes crashing in and I find that my resolution (and all my good intentions) go right out the window. I just can’t handle looking at life over a long period of time. Too many things happen that make demands upon me... demands on my time, on my emotions, on my energy, on my focus.

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