Director and Coordinator for Glenvista and Northcliff Groups.
15 Years ago I joined TOUGHLOVE®. Six weeks later I decided these people are crazy, they don’t love their children, I have a fantastic relationship with my kids and I was not prepared to jeopardize our wonderful relationship. Some months later I had to return with even bigger problems. My thoughts at that stage were if some people had success stories, then the program must work, whatever I was doing was not working and believe me I had tried everything. I did all the projects, helped with homework, “shame my children are tired, the school puts too much pressure”! I was the one who paid the fines and eventually paid the bail, “ My son cannot have a record”, or “the car is in my name”. I was working so hard on their recovery I had lost sight of who I was, my health had deteriorated, the light bulb switched on then for me.
I did not get the program at first, I was able to put down firm boundaries and conditions down in my home and for myself. I learnt that I could not change my loved ones, I had to change myself and take control of my home, it was unacceptable that they dictated what happens in my home and how my day was going to be. I have three children, two are a problem, my daughter has been clean for 13 years and is successful, self- sufficient, responsible, and is happy in her life, our relationship is great today.
My son however is still using and abusing substances, but this is not my problem now, he needs to make choices in his life and they no longer have to affect me. It has taken longer with my son as my husband and I have not been on the same page, the excuse has been the grandchildren. It has taken crisis after crisis to realize that we need to distance ourselves from him and no longer rescue and enable him.
Do I love my family? Without a doubt I do, but this time in a healthier way. I had to take a look at myself, clean my own door step and look at my own issues, insecurities and the way I deal with people. TOUGHLOVE® has not only worked with my daughter, my relationship with my husband has improved, and it has helped with working on committee’s and my work place. I co run the Northcliff group, and have opened a much needed group in the South – Glenvista, as I would like to give back what I received from TOUGHLOVE®.
You don’t have to do this alone, TOUGHLOVE® can help you gain back your power and confidence. We are a working group; we work in changing small things every week that make a difference in your life.