Sunday, November 13, 2005

Harsh or Real?

I re-read my last post and the first part of it sounded kind of harsh. I suppose, yeah. I found out SK had called a couple of people from our Church and panhandled money from them after I had given her enough for the week last Sunday. She ran out of their money too and was hinting around about needing more because a check from her brother hadn't arrived, allegedly.

Here is where alms and reality and "wise as serpents, harmless as doves" etc. kicks in. Now, I've taken in crack whores, hired heroin addicts, drunks...my best friend was a heroin addict and alchoholic who died of an overdose. I'm no stranger to giving without judgment, turning the other cheek, giving my cloak, etc. How do you keep your spiritual integrity and also set boundaries and teach people in deep denial and the abyss of narcissism that the world doesn't revolve around their wants? I don't know. William Glasser (Reality Therapy) said it is cruel and unusual to allow people to live in illusions and unrealistic expectations of how the world really functions. It is really merciful and healing to teach people, even though it is painful in the short run, how reality works. We do it with our kids, why not adults who are in arrested development?

Anyway, yeah, I've learned to be harsh out of compassion and mercy I guess you could say.
Or at least that is the goal. So, I picked SK up for Church again this morning and took her home to the Shelter this afternoon. No cash, no cigarettes, just food and people who care about her. She went home happier than when I picked her up.

3 comments:

Mimi said...

Glory to God she's going to church. I'm sorry she's struggling. My prayers.

Catrin said...

Thank God she is going to church, and while it can be very challenging to know how to help someone in her situation - she has to find a new way of dealing with herself, and the world if she wants to stay out of prison. That's a hard journey, and you, your family and SK are all in my prayers.

Grace said...

I don't have anywhere near your amount of experience with addicted people, but what experience I've had concurs with what you've said. Try to be the good guy -- or, worse, think you're "teaching them a lesson" with your goodness and niceness -- and you'll end up doing worse by them, the ones you love and yourself. Be a rock who doesn't cut them a break or treat them like an invalid and everyone may think you're a jerk, but they stand a slight chance of making it from hapless manipulator to human being.