EP 59 What To Do BEFORE You Set A Boundary

Living While Loving Your Child Through Addiction
Living While Loving Your Child Through Addiction
EP 59 What To Do BEFORE You Set A Boundary

Heather shares 3 steps that will set the tone for how you and your child experience the boundaries you set. These steps will also make it easier for you to uphold the boundaries after you set them.

This episode is a prequal to episode #10 about how to set boundaries. It’s what you need to do BEFORE you set a boundary.

The 3 steps are:

1. Like your reason for setting the boundary

2. Decide ahead of time what you think about the boundary

3. Know your yes


Episodes to Listen to next:

1. Episode #11 Boundaries

2. Episode #27 Approaching Addiction With Love

3. Episode #21 How To Create Relationships That Serve You

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This transcript has not been formatted or edited.


I’m Heather after many wasted years, trying outdated, approaches to my daughter’s addiction, that felt wrong to me harmed.

Our relationship and didn’t help my daughter.

I finally found an effective evidence-based approach.


That repair my relationship with her helped me.

Create my own peace of mind and made me an ally in my daughter’s recovery.

I teach you a loving and compassionate approach to help you encourage change.

Create connection addiction impacts the entire family system.


Family recovery is the answer.


So this week, I want to talk about what you do before you set boundaries and episode number ten, I talked about why we need boundaries, what boundaries are and what they aren’t, how to set a boundary, some watch outs when you’re setting boundaries and my experience with them.


So make sure that you listen to episode number ten next.

This episode is like Prequel to that episode.

So it’s what you need to do before you set the boundary before you set any boundaries, I want you to do three things.


Number one is like your reason for setting the boundary.

Number two, is decide ahead of time.

What you think about the boundary?

And number three is no your yeses.


That’s knnow know your yeses.

Has these three steps seem simple but simple is really effective when life gets complicated and you know how complicated things get when you’re dealing with your child’s addiction.


These three steps will have a major impact on how you and your child, both experienced the boundaries you set and it will make it easier for you to keep the boundaries after you set them as well.

Step number one, like your reason for setting the boundary when you judge yourself for setting the boundary or you judge the boundary that you set or you think something has gone wrong because setting the boundary feels awful.


Of course it does then it’s really hard to hold the boundary.

And that’s a lot on top of what you’re already going through with your child’s addiction.

So we need to make sure that we make this as easy as possible for you, when you’re judging the boundary, it’s because you’re thinking of all the things that are bad about it.


Instead, I want you to try asking yourself what is right about the boundary so you can like your reasons for setting it.

Tell my clients all the time.

If you don’t like your choices in a situation then like your reasons for the options that you choose.


Here’s an example of how you do this with a boundary, so if your boundary is, if you’re abusing substances, I won’t give you any money.

The judgments of this boundary might be that you’re worried.


Your child is going to be mad at you.

Or thinking it’s hard to say, no.

Maybe you’re worrying about what they will do without money or what they will do to get the money and those are all valid concerns and it could be get very easy to get stuck in the mud, waiting through them over and over again.


But do you like your reason for not giving your child money?

The boundary example I gave you is one that I had with my daughter, my boundary was if you’re abusing substances, I will not give you any money.


One of the reasons I was able to keep that boundary most of the time was because of my reason for it, I liked my reason.

I told her that if I gave her the money and she overdosed I would never be able to live with myself.


Even though I had all the judgments I mentioned a few minutes ago, my reason for setting the boundary outweighed all of my judgments it came from a place of love.

So I want you to write down why you like your reason.


So when you struggle to keep your boundary, are you going through a hard time with it?

You can read your reason and remind yourself.

Why you like that reason why you set that boundary step, number two, decide of headed time.


What you think about the boundary?

I want you to be really intentional with how you think about it in this goes Way, Beyond liking your reasons, think of it, like, cleaning up your thoughts.


The same way you would clean your house except for this is deep cleaning this isn’t just going around and picking up a few things.

This is like wash the floors day because you have 6,000 thoughts per day and most of them are autopilot thoughts.


This is a big reason that people I work with have a hard time with boundaries just because you did the work to like your reasons doesn’t mean you’re going to automatically have good thoughts about it.

So when you’re beating yourself up for setting the boundary or thinking you set it too late or thinking you did it wrong or you think it will push your child the way maybe.


You feel mean you’re going to make yourself feel awful about it again, which is just going to make it hard to keep the boundary because nobody wants to feel awful and you already going through enough.

So let’s make this easier on you one way to Decide ahead of time.


What you’re thinking about the boundary is questioning, the thoughts that are coming up about the boundary questions.

Turn off the autopilot, part of your brain and turn on the thinking and reasoning part of your brain.


That means questioning, your thoughts leads to higher quality.

Thoughts is the thought that you’re thinking really true?

Another way that you can question your thoughts is to ask yourself the opposite question.


So for example if your thought is this boundary is going to push my child away.


That is it really going to push them away if you get stuck there?

And you’re not able to think through that all the way then ask yourself the opposite question, how could this boundary make us closer?


That’s a really high quality question.

A couple of other questions to ask yourself.

What value will my child get out of this boundary?

How is the boundary good for my child even if it’s hard for them?

Can I make this a more loving or effective boundary or is this sufficient as it is right now?


Why am I judging the boundary?

Why am I judging myself?

What need can I meet for myself right now?

That would make me feel more comforted and safe.

How is the boundary good for me?


Even if it’s hard for me.

Do I have a belief about boundaries that makes them hard to set or keep has someone in my life misused or abused boundaries.

Pick a couple of those questions that resonate with you and right?


Write down your answers to explore them goes so much deeper, exploring it.

If you write it down, pick some key, thoughts that you want to keep and write those down with the reasons that you want.

Wrote down earlier the reasons for liking your boundary, because when things get hard and emotional and your brain shuts down, you can go back and look at those notes, help yourself, get centered and reassure yourself.


Step number three.

No your net yeses.

Again that’s knnow know your yeses.

I call it the yes for every no because it feels good to you and you get to build connection with your child.


So every time you say no you have a yes to go along with it.

When I said no to Helena, I like to follow it up with something.

I was willing to do because That felt good to me, the two hardest boundaries for me to keep with her were no money and that she couldn’t live with me if she was abusing substances, those were both very hard.


So if she called, and asked me for money, then I would say no, my yes, that I followed up with would often depend on her reason for asking, but if she needed something, I would usually just offer to buy it for her and bring it to her.


So eventually it got To the point that she only asked me for money when she was really desperate.

Because she knew that I would say no.

And she also trusted that I would get her what she needed.


So she just asked me for what she needed instead, and I would get it for her.

He’s usually just some basic necessity, it was never anything expensive, but during the times that she was really desperate and didn’t have money to buy heroin and she knew She was going to get sick, she would call and ask for money and I would say no, but then again I would offer it up with a yes, which was usually food, but she usually wasn’t interested in the time.


But she’d say like, let’s make plans tomorrow because she needed to get focused on what she needed money.

For my answer about coming, staying at the house was usually, you can’t stay here if you’re abusing substances, but you can come over while you look for a place to stay.


Or I will give you a Ride somewhere.

So again it was a no followed by a yes.

And that yes goes a long way towards creating connection and creating positive experiences even in an uncomfortable situation.


Like when you’re uploading a boundary let’s it felt really good to me to get to say.


I mean, going through a Lana’s addiction was so challenging and it was a really painful experience some time.


And I had to look for opportunities to create good experiences for myself and good experiences for her too, and that’s not easy.


And the, yes, is that I’ve been talking about gave me a lot of Joy makes me emotional, just thinking about it.

Like, I got to be a mom.

I got to do something for my daughter.

She got to feel loved and cared for.

It was always a win-win.


And I just I feel emotional talking about it because I never expected her time on this Earth to be cut.

So short, I didn’t get enough time with her but I’m so grateful that I’m made the most out of the time that I had that.

I figured out ways to connect with her ways to get to feel good in the crappiest situation and ways to be able to just show her how much I I loved her.


Takes so much creativity.

But this knowing what you’re willing to give an offering that every time you say no is one of those things that really goes a long way.

And before I close this episode, I want to say something about my boundary that whole Anna couldn’t live with me if she was abusing substances because that’s not a black and white one size, fits all boundary and I don’t want anybody to hear the This episode and then beat themselves up because their child is living at home and they think that they shouldn’t because that’s just not true.


I don’t just because it was right for me, doesn’t mean that it’s right for you.

It doesn’t mean that you’re doing anything wrong.

I only made that boundary after Helena chose to move out, just before she turned 18.

I was not ready for her to move out, but I also knew that I mean, we’re talking just a couple of weeks before.


Was turning 18 and I couldn’t make her stay.

Like, I had been fighting her moving out for a long time and it was really just part of me letting go of things that I could not control like a couple of more weeks at home was just not going to make a difference and it went a long way in our relationship when I said okay just you can move out for these next couple of weeks before you turn 18.


Just stay in touch with me.

I need to know where you are, and she had also started using heroin around that time, but I didn’t know it yet.

So, once she moved out, I didn’t let her move back in, because things were really bad before she left, but then, when she started using heroin, it got a lot worse.


I let her come back for a night or two, a couple of times, but once I caught her smoking heroin in her bedroom, we were All new territory and I had a stepdaughter that was four years younger than her, and their bedrooms were close to each other.

There’s no way that I could have holy Hannah in her room smoking heroin.


And with the chance that her stepsister could be exposed to it, I just couldn’t put her in that situation.

But before Helena ever moved out, we did a lot to protect ourselves and to mitigate the risks of what was happening in our lives.


But we just nobody felt Safe.

She was still breaking into everybody’s room.

She was picking the locks stealing things that she could sell stealing money.

She was selling drugs in front of our house.

One time I walked outside and there was like four vehicles out there just lined up in front of my house she would leave the house and leave the front door wide open.


Are we could be getting calls.

We had we had all of our dogs, microchipped and they were like running the streets busy.

Oklahoma city streets sometimes.

She would like start cooking and pass out.

We had a gas stove, it was just a lot of chaos, a lot of safety issues.


And that’s the reasons that I didn’t, let her come back and I’m going into all of those details so that you can understand what I was experiencing because I can just imagine somebody hearing this in judging themselves.

If things had an escalated to that degree when she moved out, I would have allowed her to come back with some boundaries but once she was physically dependent on heroin, it wasn’t possible.


So if your child is still at home, don’t judge yourself based on my decision just because that was my boundary, doesn’t mean it should or has to be yours.

You know what’s best for yourself and your child and for your family if you need help.


Working through boundaries or anything else.

Sign up for a call with me, we’ll talk through it.

The answers that you’re looking for are probably much closer than you think they are.

You just need to talk through it with someone who understands in won’t judge you.


So if you want to sign up, there’s a link in the show notes to sign up for a call with me.

I will talk to you next week.


Thank you for listening to this episode.

If you want to learn more about my work, go to Heather.


Ross coaching.com if you want to help other parents who are struggling with a child’s addiction, you can do it two different ways.

First, you can share the podcast with them directly or you can share it on your social media second.

You can leave a review, talk to you next week.