The Test

Know beyond a shadow of a doubt that when you set a new boundary the TEST will come.  And only then will you know if you have truly set the boundary.  We can say things, and even write them but they only become truth in your life when act on it. I just had that opportunity, I had my test…

On February 27th I wrote a post on Upping the Ante, I drew a very firm line and just yesterday I had to apply it.  My son was forced out of the program he was attending; nearly 3 weeks in.  Not for using, but for breaking a rule none the less, a rule that cost him his placement right along with his bad attitude about the rule.  Following the rules and submitting to authority in the program is part and parcel of Recovery.

He called me on Monday to tell me his tale, and promised me he was on his way back to the hospital to start all over again. I didn’t hear from him yesterday so I assumed (I know terrible word) that he was in the wait for a bed.


He called by late afternoon asking to come home for a “meal and a shower then a ride to the hospital”.   I asked him why he hadn’t gone to the hospital like he said.

His response; “I wasn’t ready yet I had things to take care of”.

I reminded him of my vow.  (boundary I had set)

He yelled at me “Really mom, really you’re going to let me go hungry”.

My response: “No, I’m not letting you go hungry, you chose being hungry when you broke the rules and then chose to not to go immediately for help.  I suggest you go now to the hospital, I’m sure they will feed you while you wait for a bed.”

For those of you reading this:

Always remember to pause before you answer your addicted loved one.

Think:  is this manipulation?

If you can answer yes, then be sure you hold fast to the boundaries you have set.  Be sure that each boundary that you set will be tested.  If not right away, somewhere down the road.

Will you pass the test?

If you don’t… remember there will be another not too far off and you can be wiser the next time.  Each time you pass the test, you become stronger and you force them to take responsibility for their actions.

Praying we each pass our tests.

8 comments on “The Test

  1. I am also taking the “test” right now…and I am hoping that with all I have learned from you and others that I will “pass”…strength and peace to you…

  2. Lorna says:

    Wow..This article speaks to me. Thank you!

  3. Lee says:

    I thought of every one of you on this website today. The above story sounded so familiar. I remember my son saying, I’ll go to the hospital if you get me a drink first, then I’ll go. I wanted so badly for him to go to the hospital a few of the times that I bought him a nip so he’d go. As I said, I thought about you all today, tomorrow it will be 7 mos since my son passed away. My ex husband and I went and bought his headstone today,very sad day. Please, if you don’t want to end up like me use tough love sooner than I did. I used it at the end but before that I was an enabler. It hurts to use tough love, but hopefully your tough love will knock some sense and strength into your child and you won’t end up buying a headstone. At least if you do (God forbid) You won’t have to feel guilt about being an enabler.

    • susanjsilva says:


      Thank you for sharing your pain and loss with us. I can not imagine how your heart must feel, and the emotional struggle you must feel. Thank you for passing on your wisdom to us. I am so glad I came to the place where I saw enabling for what it was and every day, everyday I have to choose which direction I will take with my son. I have to ask my self “Is this enabling? Is this helping? or is this extending grace? (I’ll be writing about this last one very soon.) I weep with you today Lee, and for all the parents who have lost a child to this battle. May each of us still in it listen carefully to you and those who are holding the line.

      Sending you love today!

      • Lee says:

        Dear Susan,
        When I listen to how wise you are in handling your son I know that you and your family will win your battle. I loved the one about you telling him he made the choice to be hungry. When he said “Mom, really, you’re going to let me go hungry?” I read those words in MY Son’s voice. That sounds like exactly what my son had said to me a few times. When I told you that I would not give him a dime for food the last couple of years but I would go and buy him $150 worth of groceries so he and his roomate would not go hungry, it made me wonder if he didn’t bring some of the stuff back saying his mom bought stuff he can’t eat and that he would like a refund. OMG, he probably did that in some of his worst times.

      • susanjsilva says:

        Hindsight can be a great tool, and it can cause us grief. Lee I know you did all that you did for your son because you loved him. We all do, I’ve bought the bags of groceries. the sneakers, the new underwear. Several times. We are mothers first… parents of an addict second.
        Such a hard road we travel. One where we learn and absorb later then we should and quicker then we ever wished. And I know you know what I mean.
        Sending you love today.

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