Aaron and Angela Talk Honesty – Final Part
Our final conversation
Our final conversation
“Often in a family system dynamic, denial not only protects the parents from the behavior of the child, but also from having to look at their own issues or childhood wounds.”
– Angela Carrillo, Founder & COO, Brass Tacks Recovery
My child is struggling with alcoholism or addiction, what can I do to help them stay honest?
Angela: The first step is for the parents to be honest with themselves, and understand that they are not the reason for the addiction; nor are they the solution to the addiction. More often than not, parents don’t want to get honest with themselves because they’re so afraid that they did something wrong – that they’re the reason their child is drinking or using drugs. Parents can support. Parents cannot cure. However, you can support your child by modeling and mirroring what honesty looks like.
How can I trust my child again?
Aaron: Trust is the easiest thing to lose, and the hardest thing to regain. I would advise parents to focus on their child’s consistency with their actions rather than their words. It can take years to repair the damage of manipulation and dishonesty. For me, my father began trusting me again when I had three years sober. It took three years of consistency in my actions for the broken pieces in our foundation of trust to be rebuilt.
If my child in recovery is dishonest again, does that mean they’ve relapsed?
Angela: It depends on what they’re being dishonest about. As dishonesty continues, the chances of relapse increases. All in all, I don’t believe a person can change without honesty. You can’t get a higher level of education if you aren’t honest with yourself that you may need it. You can’t go to the gym and work out if you’re not honest with yourself that you don’t like the way your pants fit. You can’t remain sober in recovery if you’re not honest with yourself about having no control over your addiction and how it’s affecting your life.
How do you think denial relates to honesty for parents?
Angela: Denial a coping mechanism. It is the inability to be honest. No parent or individual coping with alcoholism or addiction means to be in denial. From my own very painful experience, denying was the only thing I could do at the time because I did not want to accept the reality of my situation. Often in a family system dynamic, denial not only protects the parents from the behavior of the child, but also from having to look at their own issues or childhood wounds.
Aaron and Angela, do you have any additional thoughts on the principle of honesty for parents or individuals struggling with alcoholism or addiction?
Angela: Honesty is empowering because it frees the individual from pretending to be something that they’re not. I think it’s important to make mistakes and tell the truth about them. Honesty not a rigid goal to achieve. Honesty is not a tightrope, or something that has to be perfect. Honesty isn’t not making the mistake. Honesty is catching yourself in the mistake.
Aaron: For parents, we understand how frustrating it can be to realize that nothing you’re doing to help your child has been working. This is why the principle of honesty is critical for families, as well. In order to begin the recovery and healing process for your family, you have to get honest about how much you’ve been enabling your child, and whether it’s helping or contributing to the problem.
If you or someone you know is struggling with alcoholism or addiction, please call Brass Tacks Recovery at (888) 277-8225. We care.
CADC-II, IS, ICADC, CPC, NCAC-I | Founder & CEO
“Before focusing my professional skills and experience on families dealing with addiction recovery and treatment, I spent 15 years in the music industry managing and traveling with high profile clients such as Guns & Roses, Aly & AJ, Candlebox, Goldfinger, Van Halen, and Greenday. During this time my social use of alcohol and drugs gradually progressed and became a problem. Thankfully, my family intervened and we made the decision that I would enter a residential treatment program. As part of the intervention process, my family and I realized that their love for me resulted in behaviors that unknowingly created an unhealthy and enabling dynamic. At the request of my interventionist, my family sought professional support as well. Through this process they learned how their behaviors related to my challenges could positively and negatively affect our family system as a whole.”
Certified Professional Coach | Founder & COO
“I believe one of the most painful experiences a family member can have is watching a loved one struggle with alcoholism or addiction. The fear, worry, and concern the family faces during this time can be debilitating.
I bring to Brass Tacks Recovery a rare skill set, which combines personal experience and comprehension of both internal and external professional synergy. As a Certified Professional Coach with a background in the eating disorder and substance use fields, I bring trauma informed education and empathy to clients and families. I am a member of the board of directors of Women’s Association for Addiction Treatment (WAAT), and have held board positions within various chapters of the Los Angeles International Association of Eating Disorders (iaedpLA). In 2016 I graduated from Antioch University with a BA in psychology.”