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Showing posts with label escape. Show all posts
Showing posts with label escape. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Cutting Off Escape Routes: Forcing Responsibility

As an outside observer and as a parent myself I noticed a few things about raising kids and frankly 'raising' aka dealing with adults too.  I've spoken before of people having comfort zones.  By this I meant they are comfortable doing thing a certain way regardless if it is necessarily the 'best way'.   For example, for some odd reason, I like eating most leftovers cold.  Not sure if it is not wanting to wait or deal with heating it up or what.  To my wife, it doesn't make sense, but it's what I feel comfortable with.  In any case, escape routes are a comfort zone issue.  Often find ways to avoid doing what we should or need to by locating an escape route.  That is to say a reason, excuse, or delay tactic to take the place of doing what we need to.

Here are a few examples of things we might want to avoid and create an 'escape routes' for.  That is to say, the things we do to try to doing what we don't want to such as:
  • Having to talk to family.
  • Having to go to work. 
  • Having to do homework.  
  • Having to go to sleep/stay awake.
  • Having to go to the store.

Below are a couple examples of an escape route and cutting it off:
  • If my daughter isn't awake already (on a school day), I will wake her up to get ready for the day.  She has said, "If you leave (my room)  I will get up and get ready."   That was her escape route, pressing me to leave at which time she could just plop her head down on the pillow. Anyway, my response to her is this: "If you stand up and get out of bed, I will leave.  After sending my wife in a couple of times to see if she's asleep or changing, and being told she's asleep, I confronted her on it and forced her to get out of bed when I was there.   She didn't like it and growled at first, but it was important for both of us she get up and ready so we both could be on time to where we needed to go.  Anyway, my forcing her to get up and stand up was cutting off her escape route of rolling back over and falling back asleep.  I was forcing on her the responsibility of getting ready for school.
  • A family intervention in which the family refuses to leave until their drug-addicted family member 'surrenders' to rehab.  By that point, they likely would have been pressing him or her to seek help, but being brushed off or promised that they will get it.

Before I finish this post on escape routes I did want to make a few observations:
  • From my observation, people usually don't take to well to having an escape route cut off.   It's not called an escape route because you want to stay in the circumstance or situation you are in or face what you need to.  It's an escape route because you are avoiding something you need to deal with.  Being forced to do so isn't exactly comfortable.  
  • The process of cutting off escape routes can be done so verbally and/or by actions.
    •  If a spouse or sibling is avoiding an uncomfortable conversation, for example, you can redirect the conversation back when they try to change subjects or you can logically cut through the verbal objects they throw in the way.
    • If your child refuses to do her homework and instead goes out with their friends, you can take away their keys and take away their ability to leave without doing their homework.
  • Sometimes it is not our place to cut off someone's escape route.
    • Just because we don't like what choices our adult kids are making doesn't automatically give us a right to interfere and force our will on them, especially if they are not dependent on us.
    • When someone has told us they need space or they don't want to be with us anymore, we can push for a discussion on it or to have them hear us out.   But, keeping them from leaving OR keeping tabs on them while it may be a way from keeping them from 'escaping', it is usually considered harassment or stalking, which is not okay.  It's okay to want to be heard out, but it's not okay to control others.
  • Sometimes we need the escape route, especially if we are in an abusive or toxic relationship.
    • Changing our phone number or address is an escape route from an abusive estranged partner.
    • Get a protection order can be an escape route from an abusive estranged partner.
    • This is especially true, when there are no children involved.  There is absolutely no reason in this case for our estranged partner to try to reach out to us.
  • Sometimes an 'escape route' may be a coping mechanism (or safety valve) that the other party needs until he or she can cope better.  For example, if a child loses a parent, he or she may not be ready to talk about it or openly grieve in front of others.   Sometimes, they just need quiet time to reflect on their loss and do what they need to cope--such as listen to music or just cry in private.  Forcing them to do so too quickly can at the least can breed resentment and at could cause unforeseen problems with the grieving process.

In summary, there are times when it is imperative to cut off 'escape routes' and force responsibility on our loved ones.  However, escape routes are sometimes in place for our benefit and the benefit of others and we should consider the purpose and circumstance of the escape route before mindlessly cutting it off.

Just some thoughts for the day after Christmas (2018).


Thursday, September 29, 2016

Anything But Ordinary: The need for faith, hope and healing.

Have you ever noticed that some people seemingly take great risks, step out on the edge, tend to gravitate towards the unhealthy or bounce around from controlling relationship to controlling relationship OR dramatic relationship to dramatic relationship.

Why do we do it?
  • Are we trying to outrun or 'escape' our problems?   
    • If I keep busy or seek the latest thrill or high, we won't have to face our issues.
  • Are we trying to medicate away our problems?
    • If I gamble, drink, sleep around and so on, perhaps I won't have whatever pain I have will be masked over.
  • Are we so used to drama that the mundane feels out of place?  The word familiar has the same root as family.  If we were raised and/or have always lived in a dysfunctional environment, we will not know how to react to 'normal' or  'healthy' relationships.  'Normal', healthy or 'wholesome' relationships could seem boring or stale.
  • Are we seeking approval?  Sometimes the attention we get from 'acting out' or 'being the life of the party' is better than a lack of attention.  That is if we are 'interesting enough' or 'fun enough' then people won't help but to be drawn to 'the party'.
  • Are we feeling hopeless or too damaged? 
    • If we feel like we have nothing left to lose, then it can free us up to engage in risky or dangerous behavior.  That is, if there doesn't feel like there will be much of--if any--of a tomorrow, what do we have to lose by living on the edge?
    • The problem lies when we wake up from the 'binge' or edgy behavior and realize in many cases that it has made things worse for us.

What forms does it take?
  • I've kind of touched up on it already but here are just a few.
    • Excessive drinking
    • Illegal or illicit drugs
    • Out-of-control gambling.
    • Acting out, sleeping around or porn addiction
    • Unsafe activities such as reckless stunts, reckless riding/driving, going to reckless places, reckless behavior with fireworks, etc.
    • Excessive thrill-seeking.  Sometimes, it isn't so much that a certain activity is bad per se, but if we do it excessively it can indicate a bigger problem.  Say sky-diving every weekened for example, could be considered excessive for an average person. 

  • It is okay to step out a little, go outside your comfort zone, take a chance from time to time.  The whole point of this blog is not to suggest otherwise.  Were it not for people taking chances or risks, life would be dull and we'd have likely not accomplished some of the great feats/advances that we have.
  • It isn't so much how much we live on the edge, but more so the motivation behind it.
    • Is it for a healthy reason such as helping others?  If so, we are less likely to flame out.
    • Is it for an unhealthy reason such as avoiding dealing with abuse, hurt, grief, pain, trauma, etc.   If so, we might find we need a higher and higher dose of living on the edge just to keep the avoidance up and we will be more likely to flame out or spiral out of control.
    • Living on the edge in a way 
  • Whatever your faith--for example, Christianity--it is in many ways necessary to be willing to not be 'ordinary'.  Mother Theresa was not Ordinary, she could have lived an easy life, but instead she sacrificed to help the poorest of the poor.  Sometimes our faith requires us to go against popular opinion or worldly views or behavior   In other words, going against the grain and not being 'ordinary'.