Divorced With Children 

August 6, 2015

By Terence T. Gorski, Author, Trainer, and Consultant
GORSKI BOOKS: www.relapse.org

We usually get divorced to leave our Ex behind. We want them permanently out of our lives. We want to be free to get on with our own lives. 

If we are divorced with children, the problem is obvious — children are forever. They can never become the “ex-child” of either partner. So your Ex is never really your Ex. This is because your Ex is not and probably never will be your child’s Ex! Your children love and need your Ex just as much as they did before you were divorced.

This means that if you love your children and think things through, you come to realize that it is important to follow some rules: 

  1. Do not talk down about someone your children love — in this case your Ex. 
  2. Do not make you child feel bad for loving their own parent. 
  3. Above all, do not force your children to choose which parent to love and which to leave behind. Children who are alienated from one parent by the other are forced to leave  the alienated parent behind buried in a heap of unresolved emotion they can’t really understand. 
  4. Remember, it is your divorce. You made the decision, not your children. They did not choose this. Choose your kids well being first and let them do what all children must do — love both parents.

These are great rules — they even carry the ring of sobriety and responsibility. Unfortunately, we are fallible human beings. We strive in all things for progress knowing we can never achieve perfection. 

The rules are simple — put human fallibility makes them difficult to follow. Part of the difficulty is that we got divorced because we wanted or needed to leave our “ex” behind, or our “”Ex” wanted or needed to leave us behind. The goal of divorce, from the parents point of view, is to get their spouse permanently out their lives so they can get on with rebuilding of their own lives.

The problem here is obvious — children are forever. They can never become the “ex-children” of either partner. If we love our children, we will strive to never force them to make a choice between their parents unless their physical safety or life is at risk.

If we love our kids we deal with visitation schedules, shared holidays, staying silent when we want to scream at our “ex” in front them. We do it all for them, not for our Ex. 

What’s even worse is when “our children” are away from us “visiting” with our Ex we must deal with our fears. Ask almost any divorced parents and they will tell you the truth as they see it: “I am a better parent than my Ex and I have “serious concerns” about my Ex’s parenting style. 

So, at some point, we must deal with the reality that we are divorced from our Ex, yet our lives are forever connected to our Ex through our children. 

For the love of our children we try our best to make “joint parenting” as normal as possible for them. We do our best to rebuild our lives within limits — the primary limit being that children love and need both parents. Therefore, if we love our children, total disconnection from our Ex is usually not an option.

Divorced with children means we almost get free from the problems of our marriage — almost, but not quite. 

We try to follow the simple rules spelled out above. But being a fallible human being we at times fail miserably. Fortunately, most children forgive their parents because children tend to love their parents in spite of their human fallibility. 

GORSKI BOOKS: www.relapse.org 

Check out the book: Getting Love Right – Learning The Choices of Healthy Intimacy


A Sober and Responsible World

March 25, 2015

 
By Terence T. Gorski, Author (his books can be found on www.relapse.org and on Amazon

We all work together to build a sober and responsible world. This coin comes from Narcotics Anonymous (NA) in Bahrain. The coin reads: “Living clean, the journey continues.” 
Perhaps there is hope for a sober and peaceful world. 

This was sent to me by Gary Addictioncounselor on Facebook. 
You can learn more from the NA Asian Pacific page: http://www.apfna.org 


Lying and Second Chances

January 18, 2015

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By Terence T. Gorski
Author (The Books of Terence T. Gorski)

“For every good reason there is to lie, there is a better reason to tell the truth.” ~ Bo Bennett

When you catch someone telling a lie, should you give him or her a second chance? Or should you follow the advice of William Shakespeare: “Trust not him that hath once broken faith.”

This question, when approached thoughtfully, is more difficult to answer than it first appears.

When I ask people whether they should give a second chance to someone who tells them a lie, the answers I get range from “absolutely yes” to “absolutely no.”

Other people have developed rules for when to give a second chance and when to cut their losses by getting the person out of their life, or at least out of their box of sensitive secrets.

The answer to the question of what to do when you discover they are lying depends upon how we define the idea of telling lies and telling the truth. So let’s ask the tough questions that are not as easy to answer as they may seem.

What is a lie?

Here’s the dictionary definition: “a false statement made with deliberate intent to deceive; an intentional untruth; a falsehood.
Synonyms include prevarication and falsification. Antonyms include truth.

What is the truth?

The dictionary tells us that it is “the true actual state of a matter. That which is really happening or going on. Conformity with the facts or reality.” The the concept of the truth is further clarified as: “the real facts about something: the things that are true: the quality or state of being true: a statement or idea that is true or accepted as true; A statement that is supported by evidence.”

Wow! These are really circular definitions that essentially tell us “the truth is what is true!”

These definitions of truth beg a very important issue: the truth is rarely absolute and is usually relative to what is accepted as truth at the time and the “truth as we see it from our point of view.”

Most of the time to “tell the truth” means to “explain our best understanding given our point of view, the extent of our knowledge, and the currently best known and most widely accepted evidence.”

Honesty and lying are as much about the intent to deceive as it is about giving mistaken information.

If you make an honest mistake in solving a mathematical problem, it is usually not considered a lie. It is a mistake or unintentional error. It might be a lie if you deliberately falsify the answers for some secondary gain.

So, in my opinion, it would make sense to make the distinction between an honest mistake (I believe that what I am saying to be factual or true) and a lie (I know what is true and deliberately try to tell you something else).

I find that most people who tell one lie (i.e tell others that something is true when they know that it is not), tend to tell other lies as well. They use lies as an habitual tool to gain things of value in life or to deny some painful truths.

Sometimes the habitual liar can convince themselves that a lie is actually true. This can be a useful skill if you have to pass a lie detector test. Some people are skilled at catching people who are telling lies. This can be a useful skill to recognize and avoid getting hurt by con men and habitual liars.

Most actively addicted people tell lies about their alcohol and other drug use. They minimize how much they use and try to cover up the damage caused by their use.

Some addicts don’t actually lie, they just block out some aspects of reality so they are intentionally ignorant. This is called being sincerely deluded.

Must alcoholics, for example, never count the number of drinks they have or add up how much money they are spending on alcohol or drugs. They keep themselves willfully or intentionally ignorant in order to avoid facing the truth.

The truth is a continually evolving thing based upon our best understanding at the time. All we can really tell someone is our best understanding of the truth as Wevsee it at the current time and then explain why we believe it to be true (i.e. Present the evidence we have that makes us believe that it is true).

In the everyday world we operate on a common-sense definition of truth.

– I did or did not do this!
– I was or was not at a certain place at a specific time!
– This is what has happened in the past !
– This is what is happening now!
– This is what I believe will happen in the future!

Anyone who tells you they know exactly what will happen in the future is guessing or is sincerely deluded. No one can be certain about the future.

Many people have beliefs without evidence. They accept things are true without any real proof. Every culture teaches thousands of truths, both little and big, that people are supposed to accept as true.

So what should you do if you believe someone is lying to you?

The first step is to ask the question again and make sure you are understanding their answer. Many accusations of telling a lie are based in poor communication and misunderstanding.

Tell the other person very clearly that you don’t believe it is true and present your evidence. Tell them you are open to reconsider if they have better evidence. This gives the people their day in court. They get to describe the “truth as they see it from their point of view.”

Before jumping to conclusions it is helpful to detach, back up, observe, and investigate. The serious problem is not a single lie told in isolation to deal with a specific situation. The most serious problem is the person who uses deceit and dishonesty as a habitual way to cope with life.

If there is a pattern of lying, it is foolish to trust. Many people are habitual liars. In other words they are in the habit of twisting the truth to get what they want.

Trust must be earned. It must be built little by little, one step at a time. When building a relationship, it is best to self-disclose a little bit at a time. If the person responds by self-disclosing at the same level to you, go back a try again. If they continue self-disclose at the level that you are they are, they are probable trustworthy. If they don’t reciprocate, be wary and ask yourself if they are trying to hide something or to get you at a disadvantage by knowing more about you than you know about them.

If what you told them in confidence ends up on the grapevine, run the other way. People who gossip and tell you the secrets of others that were told to them in confidence will almost certainly do the same to you.

Recovery demands a policy of rigorous honesty this means:

– The willingness to look honestly at yourself and your past behavior;
– The intent to be honest by reporting the truth as you believe it to be while acknowledging that “I might be wrong.”
– To promptly admit mistakes and be willing to correct them;
– To look with a critical eye at what you believe and the evidence you have to support that belief; and
– To be willing to act in faith upon your best understanding of the truth until you find new and more compelling evidence that causes you to change your mind.

Rigorous honesty is a skill that needs to be learned and practiced. This is because, as fallible human beings we are prone to lie to ourselves and it others. It is also because the truth is hard to find.

LIVE SOBER – BE RESPONSIBLE -LIVE FREE

Don’t miss Terry Gorski’s books and workbooks on recognizing and managing denial.

Denial Management Counseling (DMC)

The Books of Terence T. Gorski


Black or White Thinking

January 14, 2015

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By Terence T. Gorski
Author (The Books of Terence T. Gorski)

Black and white thinking, also known as all-or-nothing thinking, is the failure to bring together both positive and negative qualities of the self, other people, and the world into a cohesive and realistic whole.

It is a common defense mechanism used by many people that allows them to lock onto one aspect of things while blocking out others. This can make the world appear more manageable and comprehensible.

In reality, apparent opposites often live together in the real real world. Here are some examples.

The world is both …
– Good and evil;
– Loving and cruel;
– Safe and dangerous;
– Understandable and incomprehensible.

In reality, it is all of these things and much more all at the same time. What we see depends upon where we look and what point of view we choose to take.

Never underestimate our ability to lock onto to some things and block out other things based upon our belief in the truth.

It provides great comfort to shrink the world into something small and manageable. This can work in times of great stability. During times of great and radical change it is important to be able to view reality as it is, not as we would like it to be.

Read more about how black and white thinking can hurt us and what we can do about it.

Learn more about Cognitive Restructuring for Addiction. This is practical workbook and guide making cognitive restructuring tools readily available to both therapists and recovering people.

The Books of Terence T. Gorski)


Recovery Consciousness

December 20, 2014

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By Terence T. Gorski,
Author

Recovery involves developing a new state of consciousness of yourself, other people, and the world around you. Most importantly, it involves developing a new consciousness of what you can do with the help of others. Recovery is possible. It is not always easy, but you can do it. This belief in your ability to recover is part of what I call RECOVERY CONSCIOUSNESS.

Gorski Books: www.relapse.org


CERTIFIED RELAPSE PREVENTION SPECIALISTS (CRPS)

September 2, 2014

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An Evidence-based Program and Practice

By Terence T. Gorski, author,

Find A CRPS Near You

Find a CRPS providing services in your area. Click Here. Most provide a minim of thee services on a fee for service bases:

1. RP Counseling and Therapy:

Direct RP services for recovering people and their families in developing and supervising relapse prevention plans. Some do this in individual sessions and others in groups.

2. Clinical Supervision/Case Consultation:

Clinical supervision in RP for professionals in the community working with relapse prone people. Again, some do this in individual supervision and some use group supervision.

3. Training and Presentations On Relapse Prevention and Related Area:

Many of our Professionals who have earned their CRPS do. Wide variety of training events for professionals and recovering people in the community.

I have found the members of the Association of Relapse Prevention Specialists to be dedicated and competent professionals with big hearts. They are just plain good and trustworthy people.

You can locate a certified Relapse Prevention Specialist near you by visiting the CENAPS Website: Certified Relapse Prevention Specialists (CRPS)

 

Supervision.http://www.cenaps.com/The_Cenaps_Corporation/Certified_Specialists.html Supervision.

The Relapse Prevention Certification school id conducted ever November in Fort Lauderdale FL
BECOME A CERTIFIED RELAPSE PREVENTION SPECIALIST (CRPS):

 

 


The Antidote For Addition

August 23, 2014

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By Terence T Gorski, http://www.relapse.org
gorski Gorski Books

There is an antidote for addiction and irresponsibility. The antidote is sobriety and responsibility:

Sobriety is the willingness ability to manage both the pleasant and unpleasant experiences of life without the need to use addictive drugs.

Responsibility is the willingness and ability to live a moral life that contributes to life, health, full vitality, and individual freedom.

Responsible People:
– They tell the truth (They don’t lie);
– They engage in honest exchanges of value (They don’t cheat);
– They value the right to their own property and respect the right of others to their property (They din’t steal); and
– They are willing to admit their mistakes and take responsibility for repairing the damage caused by their mistakes.

Building Sobriety and and Responsibility

Sobriety and responsibility develop as a result of working the 12-Steps and other programs of spiritual and psychological growth.

Additional Resources:

Moral Development In Recovery

Understanding the Twelve Steps
http://www.relapse.org/custom/cart/edit.asp?p=78651

Evaluate Your Level of 12-Step Completionhttp://www.relapse.org/custom/cart/edit.asp?p=78653:


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