You know the problem.
The scenario is that you (and your partner/spouse) are about to go on a holiday, weekend break or course. You may have set out already and be on your way. Or there’s a family event – a wedding, big birthday etc.
And then – the crisis happens.
Your son acts out and prevents you leaving because there’s a huge row which may escalate into physical violence. Or if he’s not living with you, he appears on the doorstep looking like a tramp and asking for money (and an argument ensues). Or you get a phone call and he demands you go and help him out of a crisis. Worse still, you discover your son has taken an overdose or has self-harmed.
And so that deadline by which you have to catch a train/plane, or drive up the motorway, passes. You have been diverted into dealing with your addict and thereby your own plans are destroyed.
Your addict has hi-jacked your plans by successfully diverting everyone’s attention onto him. You frantically send texts or make phone calls to cancel whatever you were going to attend. You cover up with white lies:”I’m so sorry – we all woke up with food poisoning / the dog’s missing / my husband’s Mum has had a fall and we have to rush over to the hospital”.
White lies come easily to families with addiction.
The same pattern can happen even if you managed to get away and do something for yourself or socialise. Your addict will ‘punish’ you by having an episode as soon as they find out you are away (or have been away). So you feel guilty. He has ‘hi-jacked’ your peace and well-being.
Why does this happen?
Because the addict needs to rule the roost in order that his addiction can survive.
If you go away for a break or to fulfil other obligations, the addict falls down your priority list. So he creates a crisis to keep you at his beck and call, to ensure that you continue to save him from the consequences of his addiction. He manipulates you to ride to his rescue and solve his problems. And that cunning, devious creature that is Addiction, has won the battle.
But together, if we stay strong, we can win the war.
Would you like to have a go at this? As ever with any of the possibilities I give you, this will be one day at a time. Sometimes it can be an hour or a minute at a time.
I’m going to hold your hand. See Hijacking – Part 2