• Hazelden Renewal Center

Perilous Self-Deception: When we have a distorted view of how much others care for us

John Driggs

Many of us fool ourselves into believing that other people care about us more than they really do. Or else we don’t grasp just how much some people have to offer us and push away real love. Too many of us are in a no-man’s land of self-deception when it comes to getting close to others. Some of us admit that we just don’t “get” relationships; others of us feel we are experts on relationships. Actually neither is true. Many of us have inaccurate ideas on how people feel about us but only later on know when we are truly … Continue reading

Forgiving Yourself When Your Children Suffer

John Driggs

Imperfect as we are, parents today deserve all the credit in the world for raising children in challenging times. Many of us fret over how we’re doing as parents. Examining our part in our children’s pain can be the most painful thing we do in life. Seeing our kids suffer today due to our own failings is often more than most of us can bear. We can hardly stand to think about such topics. It’s especially hurtful when our children are aloof from or conflicted with us today due to the wrongs we have done them in years past. Often … Continue reading

Duped in Love: When your spouse mysteriously turns into someone you don’t know

John Driggs

“The heart already knows what the mind has yet to perceive” — Antoine de Saint-Exupery Life is hard enough when we and our partners go through life changes. We change careers. We are faced by major health challenges. We age and cannot do what we used to do. All of these normal life stresses pale in comparison to learning that our beloved life mate of so many years is really not the person we thought he or she was. Discovering a secret life in a spouse, facing relationship-threatening changes or simply watching our partner become a mysterious remote stranger is … Continue reading

When Married Couples Drift Apart

John Driggs

My best friend Nancy was recently blindsided by a big hit that is changing her life forever. I really feel for her. Her husband Stewart, who has been unemployed for the past five years, announced out of the blue that he is filing for a divorce. I was shocked and saddened beyond belief by her news. I mean, here is a wife supporting the household with a successful law practice, extremely grateful that her husband has chosen to be the primary caretaker of their two children. Stewart has always been nuts about the kids and she thought they had a … Continue reading

In a World Without Empathy

world without empathy

Imagine living in a world where no one is capable of understanding anybody else’s feelings. In such a world, someone could grasp how you feel only if he or she had exactly the same experiences you’ve had. If they hadn’t had those experiences they would have no idea what you are talking about. Consequently, you’d likely feel all alone in your solitary circumstances. Of course then you would have no way to feel loved since the experience of true love is about someone else accepting us as we really are and not for how we match up to their expectations. … Continue reading

Letter to the Editor

Dear Reader, I can well appreciate your response to my article on parents who are abandoned by their children. Certainly people who were abused in childhood ought not be judged or pressured to reunite with their parents unless they are internally lead to do so. Some abused people actually may lessen their damage by trying to reconnect with parents. My intention in the article was to specifically address parents who were not abusive to their children who nevetherless get rejected today by their adult children. The example at the start illustrates this intent. Although I tried I could have been … Continue reading

Is it Healthy to Live Only for Yourself?  

John Driggs

In all of our lives there certainly are those times when it is very healthy to live only for ourselves. If we are just about to give birth to a child, if our recovery in a hospital from a lifethreatening illness like alcoholism is at stake, or if we are powerless over another family member’s out of control behaviors, it’s rather wise and necessary to focus only on ourselves and our well being. Detachment with love has an essential place in our lives. However, what if we are just going about the business of living and only want to focus … Continue reading

Unspeakable: When Our Adult Children Want Nothing to Do With Us

You know, e v e r y holiday and birthday is like a dagger in my back. Sometimes I just lie on my bed and cry my eyes out. I adopted Maria when she was two-years-old as I couldn’t have children of my own and had no husband. Her mom died of a drug overdose. She was the cutest little girl and loved following me around. I became her everything. Every time I left the room without her she would scream for attention. It took a long time for her to be a relaxed, regular child. She was quite popular … Continue reading