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Got It!

July 6, 2010

You can’t buy it. You can’t win it. You can’t inherit it. Nope, you must work for it. Earn it. Deserve it. Only then can you receive someone’s respect. But the work doesn’t stop upon receipt. There is maintenance required. It must be cared for and tended to. It needs nourishment for growth. If left by the wayside and ignored, it will slowly shrivel up and die.

Sudden death of respect is also possible and quite common. Through inappropriate actions, choices and decisions, you can suddenly lose someone’s respect. It vanishes in mid-air. Gone with the wind. Often never to be earned again. This was the case in my parents’ respect for me. It died. I buried it. I grieved it. I accepted it. I never expected it back. The after-effects were now packed away deep within my baggage.

Not surprisingly, it was during my addictive years that my parents lost their respect for me. I had let them down. I had chosen a path they never would have imagined me to travel. I had become an addict. I lied to them. I stole from them. I put drugs before everything in my life, including a relationship with them. I was no longer their daughter. I was their liability. Not only had they lost respect for me but they had also lost hope.

Then I got clean. It took a few times in rehab and many relapses but I finally did it. I got my life back but I didn’t get their respect back. They were happy for me but they didn’t automatically believe it was going to last this time around. They were just waiting for the carpet to be pulled out from under their feet. Waiting for the storm to arrive. Waiting for the bubble to burst. But it didn’t.

After two years of waiting and watching, my parents have began to trust me again. They no longer doubt what I say or question my where abouts. They don’t hide their wallets or pain medicine. They have began to enjoy my company again. We engage in meaningful conversations and share quality time together. Dare I say it? Is it possible? I have re-earned their respect. I will value and appreciate it even more than before. I know its worth and I know how to maintain it. The lesson was not an easy one but one I will never forget. I didn’t buy it, win it or inherit it. I have worked hard for it. I’m not giving it up this time.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. July 6, 2010 7:05 pm

    Amazing,wonderful post.Take care.

  2. July 7, 2010 8:34 am

    This is wonderful in every way. I want to hug you!

  3. July 9, 2010 8:18 pm

    I am absolutely proud of you! One day at a time…. I have made it 20+ years and worked so very hard on the same issues as yourself. To normies, it is a “given”… but we have to work for it… It does and will pay off in the end. In the words of a wise fish named “Dori” – “Just keep swimming…. Just keep swimming”…

  4. peglud permalink
    July 12, 2010 3:33 am

    My daughter, Hayley, has now been clean and sober for ~ 63 days. It’s a beginning. She’s in an all women’s treatment center in California. I’m not sure when I’ll be able to fully trust her again. I am a bit suspicious by nature, but also doubt myself when it comes to trusting my own intuition. I like to think I give people the-benefit-of-the-doubt. There have been so many times when I couldn’t find something, and immediately jumped to wondering if Hayley had taken it. Then later, if I found the item, I’d feel horribly guilty and bad about myself. But Hayley’s 10 – 15 year history of carelessness, chaos, losing things, borrowing without asking and not returning, exaggeration, lying, etc. has set me up to be very wary. You said it took your parents about two years to begin to trust you? That sounds about right. Earning trust is actually a skill that needs to be patiently developed and practiced. It sounds as if you’ve been working hard and have rounded the corner. NOT having a friend and/or family member’s trust has to be one of the most painful wounds imaginable. Way to go – you and your family have begun healing.

    • July 12, 2010 9:21 pm

      It’s great that you are aware of this process and should not feel guilty for having suspicions. After all, you have had ample reason for a long time. I pray Hayley also understands it will take a while before her family can fully trust her again. For example, it’s easy to get discouraged when you know that you are “clean” but your family accuses you of “using”. I know this from experience. I pray Hayley hangs on and gains her family’s trust once more. God bless.

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