Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Those little complications

The shadow of drug and alcohol addiction seem to complicate things even when I am not directly involved.  Yesterday, the complication came up out of the blue.

My wife and I invited a fellow I sponsor and his mom and dad to come over for Christmas dinner. Recently, he told me that his older brother had re-entered the country and was coming to live with them.  The brother had left the US to return to Mexico because he was wanted for drug use and had stolen money from the young man I sponsor.  J, who I sponsor, was concerned about his return and what that would mean in terms of family dynamics.

Anyway, yesterday, J asked if the brother could come here for Christmas dinner too.  I had anticipated this question which is why I had only invited J, and his Mom and Dad.  So I said that I was sorry, but I wasn't comfortable having the brother here, whom I had not met.  My wife wasn't comfortable having him either.  He is not in a recovery program in the US, although he has told J that he has been clean for 3 years while in Mexico.

So now it appears that J's mother won't be coming and probably his father either, because the brother is not invited.  I am okay with this.  My wife was not happy last night because she did not think that J should have asked about the brother and is now hoping that none of them comes here.  Sigh....I explained that J doesn't understand a lot about social etiquette here in the US.  And that he seemed okay with the boundary, wanting to still come over here for Christmas dinner.

I understand my wife's anxiety because we have invited people into our house who have stolen from us.  I feel comfortable with the decision to reiterate that J, his mom and dad are welcome. And perhaps in the future after we meet the brother, he will be included.  For now, it's a little complication that I am not allowing to mess with our Christmas.  I am okay with just C. and me on Christmas.

Personal boundaries are about keeping my serenity.  In this case, a boundary is about feeling safe with someone coming into our home.  Christmas is a time of good will.  I feel good will.  And I wish a holiday of peace and joy for all of you.


  1. Ah- sticky social situations.
    We handle them the best we can.

  2. Although you do not know me, (i am a non-blogger/follower through Mary Moon) i will say this; you are right in what you are doing.i come from a place close to you and your wife.Peace to You and Your wife for Christmas and the New Year to come. ( i never use a capital i as i believe i am not that important.Just a "me" thing..

  3. oops i am Mary from T-town Al..

  4. I have learned a lot from you, Syd, by reading your blog and I want to say thank you. I do believe this is one your best posts....as simple as it is.

  5. personal boundaries do keep you safe...and from unwanted complications that could be even worse than twigging someones feelings....

  6. Syd, these kinds of complications are not easy but boundaries ensure harmony and relative safety. Once or twice I have found invited guests at my front door drunk and have sent them away because I won't let active alcoholics into my home space if they are drunk. 'Unmanageable' is what addiction does best.

  7. Thank you for kind wishes Syd.

    Our Christmas will be me and the dog from1:30pm on, the wife will be at the assisted living facility working. The newest grandson will be alone with his momma because one of our sons will be in China for business, all of my neighbors will leave me absolutely alone due to a racial incident in which the police responded, but I talked them out of taking the loudmouth teenager to jail but the neighbors know, I have the right phone numbers so no sweat there.

    In the past week the B&E folks have been shopping throughout the area, so i wouldn't let the stranger in my home either. Practicing drunks and junkies still don't get it, no one owes them anything. And may you wife find her peace if J's moms and pops don't show *shrug* more for you.

    But all that mess aside. you and C from myheart to yours i would you have the best day, one that fits the best of imaginings of your truly wonderful spirit.

  8. I understand your hesitation Syd. I had a Christmas Open House for years for AA members (noone excluded) until two years in a row when someone took meds from my bathroon. Never found out who it was but it ruined it for all the rest. Really sad. I love my AA friends but caution is always needed. I hope you had a wonderful day regardless.

  9. I am learning from your boundary...This year I did not invite my dear friend and her practicing alcoholic husband over they will be alone...His drinking has gotten worse.
    I felt like taking care of my serenity and setting a boundary for myself and loved one. Last year he broke a dish which I made them replace. She did purchase a new dish but the incident helped me remember I dont want to go through that again.

  10. Charlene Harris's vampire series of books reinforce a lot of universal truths such as loyalty and fairness and honor. And there is a steadfast rule that a vampire cannot enter without the householder's permission. One must choose wisely.
    Have a safe and wonderful New Year and I will do the same!

  11. What good boundaries you set. Such a good role model for all of us.
    Happy New Year, Sid.


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