Thursday, February 2, 2006

Mothering the Parents

I am disturbed more and more each day that I interact and have heart-to-heart talks with college girls. When did America become predominately dysfunctional? It's no longer the rare statement to hear someone say that they have come from a family where a mother or father has substance abuse issues, physical abuses issues, or emotional and mental issues. Painfully, it is becoming more of the norm than we would like to imagine.

Just today I found out that one of the girls in our Christian organization here on campus had to skip her classes for the rest of the week in order to go home and try to put her family to right. Her mother and father separated this past November, and such then, her mother has had four male friends enter the picture. The mother also supposedly has chronic back pain and so is on perpetual pain medicine which she has misused over and over. There is an 11-year old boy in the house that has to choose to ignore the sloppiness and vulgarity of her mother's lifestyle these days in order to survive. My student friend is perplexed and burdened about what her role is in all this.

She has an older sister that has turned bitter about the mother's doings (it has happened before in the past ten years), but yet has become LIKE her mother. The younger sister, who still lives at home, has gone into her survival mode and just stays to herself. My student friend is the only one away from home, but ironically, seems to be the only one with any solid Christian perspective on what's going on.

I am burdened for her tonight about what she must be having to deal with there in her home. Something is sadly wrong when the mother must be mothered by a 22-year trying to make her own dreams and aspirations happen by getting a good education.

The father, who lives in the same town, is not much help. He has gradually over the years become an alcoholic. These four children have been hung out to dry by parents that have bought into the self-serving philosophy that life has been hard and so therefore they owe it to themselves to do what feels good to them, even it is to the detriment to the children entrusted to them many years ago.

Over and over I talk to students that are struggling with these harmful, draining co-dependent relationships gone awry! When parents have to be "mothered" by their children that are still practically children themselves, something is very wrong. But it is happening in a neighbor near you, rest assured!

What has happened to these parents who give not a thought to what they are doing to their children, the messages they send to them through their selfish, carnal lifestyles? Depravity, pure and simple.....and who will pick up the pieces from these fragmented and desperate families?