by Sandy Swenson
March 9, 2020

Sometimes my child acts like a jerk. And sometimes, so do I. We say things to each other that aren’t very nice.

Sometimes I act like a jerk because I’m feeling cranky or tired. Or just plain mean. But sometimes I act that way because I’m simply reacting (or overreacting) to a poke or a prod—to some unpleasant and unexpected provocation. A knee-jerk response, much like what happens when I’m bonked on the knee with a rubber mallet. A reflex.

Sometimes I’m ashamed of how I’ve responded, of the things I’ve said—some jumbled up spew of every worry and resentment swirling around in my heart and mind. But I can control myself. I can plan ahead so I don’t do any more damage to what is already so damaged. I can be proactive, not reactive, and rehearse the right way to reply (and how to recognize when it’s best not to reply at all). It is possible to practice the art of not being a jerk—and of not being jerked around.

Be careful not to do something permanently stupid because you are temporarily angry, stressed, scared, tired, or hungry.” ~Karen Salmansohn

 Quoted from the app ‘Readings for Moms of Addicts’ available in the App Store or Google Play. (c) Sandra Swenson.

Dandelion STRONG

“We may often feel fragile, but we are strong. And we are many.
We have the power to overpower the destruction that addiction spreads.”


Sandra Swenson is the author of The Joey Song: A Mother’s Story of Her Son’s Addiction (Central Recovery Press 2014), Tending Dandelions: Honest Meditations for Mothers with Addicted Children (Hazelden 2017), the Readings for Moms of Addicts app (Hazelden 2018), and her blog.

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