To Connect Because you Want To But Would Be Advised Otherwise, Set Your Rules

A Nuclear family, Image by FredCamina

Image via Wikipedia

When we want to take what is good and leave the rest, to keep the best and let the otherwise character pathology pass us by, to make good memories with someone who torches the ground and air they breath, splits families and catastrophizes the little and ignores the big personal flaws – when we actually turn around and say with a fully informed consent, “I want us in each others lives,” make rules.

1.  Take care of “Me” (bio-psycho-social)

2.  Have walk-away power

3.  Nothing violates what you say is impermeable; such as you and your spouse, your nuclear family, your home

4.  Consistency combined with as blind a vision as you can bare

5.  Take nothing personal

6.  Pick your fights carefully

7.  Let them save face

8.  Set them up for success in your relationship

Each one of these generally takes hard work.  Some of it will be natural and easy.  A lot of it will be hard.

Setting boundaries for the other person helps them control their chaos and they’ll feel safer with themselves.  The boundaries, when clear for a person with character pathology, helps them trust themselves more and subsequently us more.

Again, if these things seem exhausting and insurmountable efforts, it might mean that medically – emotionally and behaviorally …–>  Go back to #1.  Take care of “Me.”

Self-Care Tip – To connect because you want to even when you’d be advised otherwise, set your rules.

Free to Be Accountable

dosomething.org

Self-Care Tip #97 – Protect your privilege to be accountable and your freedom of choice.  Be a friend to yourself.

Number Four on Bella’s List:

“The day has been ruined!” Bella said.  Her eyes sparkled and flashed as she spoke of her injury.  Bella was not so pleased with her labor’s reward.  She was not so satisfied with being accountable for her children‘s behaviors.

Are parents accountable for their children’s behaviors?  That can be a question at the level of the law and a question of cultural moral values.  From a psychiatrists stand-point, is there a medical interplay?

A subspecialty in psychiatry is called consultation liaison, which is psychiatry for the medically ill and usually hospital based.  In this setting we often get asked is a patient has decision-making capacity.  I spoke about it briefly in the post, “Choose, Gladly, Using Resources.”  This is difference from competency, which is determined by the court. Decision-making capacity is a medical assessment of the patients ability to:

1.  understand:

  • their illness,
  • it’s consequences,
  • it’s relationship to their values

2.  manipulate their options,

 

3.  and communicate their decisions.

Can kids do that?  Medically it depends on their developmental level.  The court however has its own forum on that – I won’t try to go there as psychiatry isn’t law.

Another area in psychiatry where we decide that someone does not have the freedom to choose and we hold someone else accountable for them (called a “5150“) is when they are:

  • not able to provide for themselves food, shelter, clothing
  • a danger to themselves
  • danger to others

Are kids able to do these things?  From a medical perspective, it depends on their developmental level.  Deciding what we want for ourselves and for our children is a privilege for those who are able.  It is also a privilege for us who want it.  Freedom is not free, as they say.

Please watch City Councilman Joel Burns tell us about bullying and how we need to be accountable to each other: “It Gets Better.”  Completely amazing testimony and speech.  Cuts out all the b.s.

Question:  What do you think about our accountability to our children and to our community?