Author: connie

How your parenting NOW can save your child from addiction

We as parents have the capacity to make a difference in our children and see them live a life free of addiction.  What I’m about to write it’s going to be hard to read.  Believe me, it was hard to write.  To bring freedom from shame, I am going to be very open about my failures as a parent.  Resilience in our children isn’t created through perfect parenting but in the repair after relational ruptures. When a child is born, the interaction between mother and infant literally forms their brain development.  This brain development at birth and even while in the mother’s womb is the key to determine whether this new baby will be vulnerable to addictive behaviors in the future.  It has been believed that addiction is the fault of the substance alone, but research has shown that the cause of addiction largely has to do with the experience in early childhood, states Dr. Felitti.  This isn’t to take genes out of the equation, or take away responsibility for the addict’s actions, but to reveal the power environment has on brain development which as we will see, plays a large role in addiction. The brain is developed through our experience.  Good experiences lead to a healthy brain.  The opposite delays brain development and increases coritsol.  Cortisol depletes ability to process emotions, a very important brain function in learning...

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The real issue of addiction is not the addiction. It’s this.

No one dreams of becoming an addict as a child.  No one woke up one morning saying to themselves, “I think I’m going to become an alcoholic today.”  So then why does it happen? I know for myself, it happened suddenly when my family was facing a crisis that I didn’t know how to handle.  It seemed all hope was lost.  I couldn’t face the pain, so each night after my family went to bed, I downed a large glass of whiskey to knock myself out.  I did this for a year.  I’ll never forget hearing a voice inside me say, “Would you like to deal with your addiction?”  Instantly I went into justifying why I didn’t have an addiction; “I’m a good person”, “I speak about resilience for a living, there’s no way I have an addiction”.  When I finally broke down, I found myself saying, “Ok maybe I am struggling with it, but I have a good reason! I’m helpless right now!”  Addiction can always be justified by the one struggling. But I did.  Lucky for me I chose to be brave to admit it, find support and haven’t had a problem since.  It surprised me that I could fall easily into addictions trap.  It was humbling to think that someone with education, a good upbringing and purpose could find myself there. But it’s easier than we...

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How to work with a child with difficult behaviour

I have two boys, both of which have ADHD.  My oldest son has anxiety/depression, asbergers, and has also been given a diagnosis of Oppositional Defiance Disorder, which I personally do not believe exists.  There are indeed children with a good dose of counterwill (Gordon Neufeld), but regarding ODD, what a horrible label to give a child.  What does that speak?  “You are oppositional, you are defiant, you have a disorder.” It’s interesting that if you put any child with ODD in a room by themselves they show no symptoms of it.  That’s because it’s an emotional, behavioral reaction to environment. For years we struggled with how to work with our oldest son.  Yelling matches, frustration, hurtful words, despair, battles for control, shame… these were experienced on the daily.  It was a desperate time.  I had no idea how to parent my son, and I know that my lack of knowledge and skill only spiralled my son further down into his mental torment.  It’s humbling to reflect back. Does this sound familiar to you?  I want to pass on some tangible, simple things I have learned that have changed my parenting.  I’m not perfect at this in the least, but I can say I’ve made significant gains. Here it is.  Plain, simple, and strait forward. 1.Realize that underneath a child’s behaviour (or anyone’s for that matter) is an underlying emotion...

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An ex-pastors conversation with her psychic-loving friend about peace

Thank you for joining me on my journey through advent.  I probably didn’t go in order.  I’ve always been a little unorthodox… I had a friend call me recently asking me to pray for him.  His psychic told him he was spiritually off centre.  This left him disturbed, as he felt he was doing ok; mediating every morning, chakra’s functioning, in fact, he felt like he was in a great space.  This brought much confusion.  I prayed for him and told him what so many in our world seem to need to hear: It is finished.  And you can’t finish it any more than it’s already finished. What’s finished?  Let me get to that in a moment, but first another story.  Over coffee another friend shares with me that no matter how much she does for God, she never feels good enough; never secure in her faith. She is scared to death of God’s judgment and being sent strait to hell for never getting this “Jesus thing” right.  I told her the exact same thing I told my energy-loving friend: It is finished.  And you can’t finish it any more than it’s already finished. Both my friends responded the same: there must be something I have to do in order to make myself right.  As I would call it, some hoop to jump through.  The ultimate test of faith...

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An broken woman’s issue with Joy – the ex-pastor’s advent series continues

Most of the time I feel more broken than I do whole, more pain than joy.  My problem isn’t with suffering, my problem is with happiness.  Happiness reminds me of all that is missing, and no matter how hard I try, it always seems to be just out of reach.  I’m talking about the brokenness that feels like the dark; fear, aching, hellish dark. How does joy fit into fear, aching, hellish dark?  When all you can think is, “I’m not enough for this”. I know how to avoid joy.  I’m an expert. Joy requires being known, and the last thing I want when I feel the depths of despair is to be seen, let alone known.  Because to be known requires revealing.  It takes admitting my deep rooted pain and no one wants to see that.  What do we do with pain?  We hide it, we medicate it, we attach to anything that can save us from it.  I’ll never forget the days my son in the pit of his depression was threatening to kill himself.  I drank myself to sleep every night for a year.  The temptation is to put the makeup on, pretend it’s not there, and for the love of God don’t admit weakness.  We form our gods out of our coping mechanisms. Yet to be known means your shame and guilt come into the...

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