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Posted: March 5, 2019, 10:28 AM
hello - thanks for the input. I know all of what you are all saying. just as my son can not resist the urge to ask me for $$. I can not resist the urge to give. and say OK, I'm not doing this again. and we both keep doing it. I can see that there is only one choice for him. sober living. I know only he can make that choice and stick to it. In the meantime, I have to make decisions for me. example - if I walk down the street every day and someone punches me in the face every time I pass the same doorway, I need to change my route. I have control over me. I don't have control over whether my son stops by the house when I am home alone. his job is close by so he stops in. something he did all of 2017 - so this is not new. I see where its going. He has gotten his own phone line, off our account. and has rented a room (to be determined if that is true).
So - I have no reason to be optimistic that he will change this pattern of behavior unless he goes all in to sobriety and changes.
The thing that is really upsetting for me is that I am suffering the most. and lost my job. and have to go on interviews. and then starting a new job, again, with so much distraction. I don't want to live it anymore. my enabling is something that is against my values and it makes me feel like a liar and secret keeper. I do not like it and do not want to be that person anymore. so I need to figure out the bigger picture for myself. I hate to spend half my paycheck on an apartment... ugh..
PS - there is a sober living organization in the city my husband work in. I asked him to find out more information. NO, he does not want son near him. does not want his reputation at work to get tarnished. Somehow everyone else can avoid this, and wait for me to fix it.
I guess I have become conditioned to be the problem solver, fixer.
ok, gotta go, shower and pack my stuff before anyone comes home! Maybe I will have another interview today. after 4 hrs sleep, an interview would be perfect!
This post has been edited by NyToFlorida on March 5, 2019, 10:38 AM
Posted: March 5, 2019, 10:39 AM
A job interview after 4 hours of sleep would be awesome. you'll be so tired, you will seem the perfect calm canidate.
It's easier to have boundaries and not be the fixer if you actually have physical boundaries. I'm sure you noticed while you were away how much easier it was to say No.
I also find it funny that your husband thinks the people where he works don't know about his son. The world is a very small place.
Posted: March 5, 2019, 11:53 AM
Ny, take of yourself first. You can't even help your son if you wanted to if things get too bad for you. Stay strong. Along with rest work on fitness and use some of that frustration for motivation-don't over do it.
Your son is an adult and does not have to worry about the traditional suburban life 2.4 kids, house, picket fence, dog etc. Sadly survival and learning survival skills needed for the common daily tasks and issues are his priority. He sounds like he can survive at minimal levels which is good for now.
I understand the urge to give. I've seen parents give their children money for years thinking it was going towards a house, marriage etc. It went to recreational activities among other things. To top it off I found out when the parents passed the adult alkie child complained bitterly they were left very little inheritance. The parents had taken out 10s of thousands of unrepaid loans for their kid and spent their final decades paying that debt off.
Stay safe, stay sane
Posted: March 6, 2019, 12:42 AM
Yes NTF keep taking good care of yourself. You deserve it.
Posted: March 6, 2019, 6:36 PM
NY, so sorry to hear this. As others have said, please take good care of yourself. I know first hand the grief and sorrow that goes with this.
Posted: March 8, 2019, 7:10 AM
Hey, NY! Please know that what I am going to say is from a place of love AND from the place of longer term recovery!
I am also a parent, so I know how gut-wrenching a suffering child can be. I also was the beneficiary of some well done tough, but supportive love that was instrumental in my recovery.
You asked how you can get out of it and it is much easier than you think! First, stay out of his finances! Do not check his balance, pay his billsssssss, buy him ciggs(he is almost 30...time to let him fund his own lung cancer!) If he asks for money, the answer is nnnnnnno. You do not owe him an explaination. I learned in early recovery that "NO" is explaination and reason enough! I do not remember if the 300.00 is for rent. If it is, make up a lease that spells the exact day of month it is due and consequences if it isn't paid. When my family did this to me, it was due on the first of the month. If I did not pay (they would not ask...my responsibility to do it) then I had a five day grace period and that came with a 50 dollar late fee. If it was not paid then, my belongings would be on the porch and locks would be changed. I can't tell you how many times I was late and the day came where I tested them and came home to all my stuff outside and locks changed. I caused a scene and the police escorted me off the property!
It is insane that because of his addiction you are not keeping food in the house! Why should you suffer more than the active addict? If you do not want to feed him, put a clause in the lease that he is responsible for buying all his food and he is not to touch yours. I would tell him to keep his stuff in his room..he can even buy a small fridge.
When he comes to you saying he has no gas to get to work, tell him you are sure he will figure it out. Do not give him money! Will he lose his job? Maybe. You always bailing him out is only delaying his personal growth. Any time you do something for an addict they should be doing for themselves you stunt their growth and learning process. It's hard, but try to remember that everything you are doing for him, is really to make yourself feel better in some way. It may feel like you are giving up if you stop, but it is simply allowing him to lead his own life.
Do not let one more day go by where you base your happiness and life decisions on what he is doing. Teaching and loving our children as they are growing up is our job...so is letting them go!
Posted: March 9, 2019, 2:57 PM
Great post loleedee. It's so helpful to have your perspective. Were you ever homeless and how long were you in active addiction? If you don't mind sharing.
Posted: March 9, 2019, 7:43 PM
Hi Lollee, I know all of what you are saying. I was not able to put that in place while living in the same household. regarding suffering and emotional stuff - I have been living it for so long, I have come to terms with it. whether we do the most or the least, our son stays on his path. we could not live it any longer.
yes, to the financial stuff - I was trying to do what you said. I told him he had to give me 300 per paycheck to be allowed to live in our house for 2 weeks. pay me, have room for two weeks. dont pay me, leave for two weeks. after two paychecks, I realized it was not going to work. I became a money holder - irrational. I became tied to him and his actions because of it. not what I intended. I intended it to help him be responsible for paying something - and hoped that would catch on and grow bc he was saying he wanted to start paying is cred card and pay off a loan. (saying the right things but not following thru)
I am not paying his bills. I told him in Jan. I am no longer paying his $25 cred card - which I was doing bc I wanted to, until he was able to pay it again. I don't care if he does not pay it. he has been thru that before. It is not in my name. he got on his own phone account 2 weeks ago and has left our home and rented a room - as of mar 1st. this happened at the same time that I lost my job and left the house. we had been telling him for a month he had to leave and get off our phone account.
personal growth - yes - that is why I had to break the enabling cycle. before now, husband and I kept thinking if we show him the right way, he will follow. every month we thought he would 'get it' . also - in order to be present in our own lives, we had to ignore his life to a certain extent... ignoring bc one would rather put their energy into other family, friends, and things to do, instead of the addict is not enabling or denial. It is us trying to have the life w want in spite of what our son brings to the table. Unfortunately, this does not work well when everyone is living in the same house and every move or thought is filtered thru many scenarios....
I had to make it simple. I am the enabler, hurting the possibility of my son being in recovery, despite the fact that I have given him the most direction for recovery support and been in the trenches with him - he knows this - he practically called me his hero last summer when he was sober and wanted to get a tattoo to honor me. I told him to wait a year.
I have conditioned myself to be the fixer for many years. Even my job is a fixer type of job. If he stopped by and ask for gas, I can not say no. there is no emotional reason attached to that. I am not suffering from grief, I dont feel like I am giving up, it does not make me feel better, it makes me feel worse. it makes me feel sad for him.
the reason I have left my house - to encourage my son's personal growth. maybe this will set the switch that is needed. in the past he knows if he waits long enough, mom will be home and give the gas money.
It was too insane living at home. example - husband who wants to be on a diet, tells me not to buy food so son wont be so comfortable. I have lost 15 lbs - I need food - no I can not do that. It was making a conflict in my head. Telling me I am wrong to buy food, wrong to feed myself, bc someone else might eat the food. crazy.
If I did not want to get 'cornered' home alone - and be asked for gas money, I would have to leave for work an hour earlier than I needed to and come home late or stay in my room or leave the house when he came home - if he came home - always on edge, could not concentrate
Cigs - I smoke but have been trying to quit for a while. I can quit for a week or two at a time. I got down to two packs a week. I do not want to spend more than that. that is my budget. in feb. when son was running out of $ faster, I was buying a pack a day and splitting w him . after a few weeks of that - I was determined - If my budget is $20 per week, why am I spending $70 per week. $200 per month over my budget. This - and the other nickel and dimes (gas and food) are going to start impacting me financially.
conclusion - me and son can not be around each other. If he was not leaving - and it is easy for him to stop by the house on way to work. I needed to leave in order to save the rest of us.
Husband is also doing better - we arent talking about it constantly. all of us are accountable for ourselves. no 3 way drama. it is best that my son know I am not there to be the safety net. Maybe that was the hook - I know he depended on me. I did not want to let him down.
he has not contacted me in any way. I last saw him a week ago he said I 'disappeared' and he didnt know where I went. (he didn't ask) I said it is best for everyone - the family dynamic was getting too crazy for all of us.
maybe some day he will thank me for this. I dont think he is angry with me. he does want to be independent and we have given him the tools, guidance, support, directions. he had a good sober support system in place over the summer. I know he can navigate back to that if he chooses to. I had to get out of his way.
I have read and watched many recovery stories. the long term success is based on doing what you need to do and staying sober 100%. my son was not at this point. even when he was sober, it looked like he had reservations. he did not talk as though he was committed to long term recovery. when he relapsed we thought he would bounce back. he didnt.
From these stories I also see that relapses can go on and on for years. we have already spent years on this. it is time to stop.
I am not emotional over being away from my house. I have several places to go to. I was not functioning well at my house anyway. I do feel a little bad that the cats miss me.
for the past months or years, my actions were not my own. my actions were reactions to the actions of others. I do not want to be that puppet. I have been writing and venting and asking - how do I accomplish - my goals - while addiction is living in my house. I finally found the answer - I don't.
I feel empowered.
Posted: March 9, 2019, 8:32 PM
Good for you NTF!!! You've come a long way. Keep taking good care of yourself!!
Posted: March 9, 2019, 9:16 PM
Stay strong. It's so hard to see the forest for the trees. I'm glad you've been able to step back and get a clearer view.
Posted: March 9, 2019, 11:16 PM
NYTF, may 2019 be the year of YOU!
I read all the parenting books, we played together, they played with friends. I was there for them before and after school, they played hockey and soccer, we went on holidays. I thought I was doing it right.
Posted: March 10, 2019, 4:32 AM
NY....I just wanted to say that I think you are an incredibly strong woman! You may not see it, but I sure can! I also just wanted to clarify that when I mentioned personal growth and your son learning from his mistakes and that enabling an addict just allows the addict to continue doing what they want...I just wanted to stress that you are not responsible for his addiction. Even if you were the most enabling parent on the planet, the responsibility lies with the addict only!!!!
There is a ton of talk in the addiction field about enabling and I think what they fail to teach is that not enabling is really, first and foremost, self care and sanity for the addicts family!
Not enabling doesn't guarantee the addict will turn the corner and miraculously get sober! It may, like it did with me, open the addicts mind to the possibility of recovery. When my family completely stopped the addiction dance with me, I still tried to drag them back! Eventually, (a year and change) it hit me like a ton of bricks that I was the reason my life was in the toilet. It took me awhile to pick up the shovel and start digging my way out...and most days in the beginning felt like I was trying to dig with a teaspoon!!!
My family didn't actually stop enabling me to help me..They did it so they didn't wind up in a padded room dressed in a straight jacket!!! Even though I was still in active addiction and refused anything and everything that was suggested, I was observing all these changes in the people around me and, one day, it dawned on me that everyone, except me, was busy with living. I was observing others who were successful and it dawned on me that those people who were successful were living a very different life than I was. I was busy using and blaming the s*** show my life has become on everyone but myself.
I eventually decided that I wanted something different and that is where recovery began. I think before any addict can recover, they have to have that deep soul realization that they alone are responsible for the mess....and the clean-up!!!!
I hope my last post didn't come across as judgemental because it wasn't meant to be! This post for very long winded and off track, so I'm going to sum up quickly (I just heard the collective groan of the board saying well it's about time!!! Lol!
A person with addiction is STILL responsible for everything they do! Addiction can't be used as an excuse for bad behavior or as a scapegoat for not being responsible. Not enabling is to save yourself from the madness. Will not enabling help facilitate recovery? Maybe, maybe not. It will, however, provide an opportunity for the addict to watch and learn and, most importantly, it will save your sanity so that you do not become a hostage in someone else's crisis!
I am so sorry you are dealing with so much! Sending a huge cyber hug your way!!!! Always remember that you are stronger than you think!!!!
Posted: March 10, 2019, 10:17 AM
Really great post loleedee, thank you!
Posted: March 10, 2019, 1:31 PM
Hi Lollee, Thank you for your post. It is well received. I did feel a little 'beat up' by those who were still bashing me for enabling even after I left the scene. I definitely feel like the 'She Let Go' posting/poem.
I write as much as I do as an outlet for things on my mind and also for others to see and maybe something I say will help them in some way.
LOL - I am also unable to write the short, sweet, to the point posts of others! I try.
a quote I read many years ago... YOU DON'T KNOW HOW STRONG YOU ARE UNTIL STRONG IS ALL YOU'VE GOT.
Thank you for responding. Newcomers need to see your messages again. You help to reinforce that what we are doing is right. and thanks for clearing things up for the readers.
my son has enough 'seeds' to plant a garden. I hope he does.
the job he is working is labor job, small crew, low stress. decent pay for the type of work. the stress is in getting to work, and keeping the job while navigating his life style. work has always been a priority (to have $ for drugs) so hoping he is able to keep the job long enough to use his pay for better changes. he spoke of his boss being a kind of mentor. with us parents out of the way, maybe he will tap into that relationship to give him motivation.
my advice if he looses job. go to detox, and then to sober living.(coming home is no longer an option) his reason for not going to detox is that he would loose the job or have to explain time off to his boss. and time off would decrease his pay check. (which would have been OK if living at home, and truly wanting a sober life)
AHH the tangled webs one weaves!.
For the future,, he needs to live with his peers, not with his parents (our help is not helpful). a place he went to in FL in 2016 was a good program and has grown in the community. I feel confident that he has options. he just has to pick one.
This post has been edited by NyToFlorida on March 11, 2019, 9:32 AM
Posted: March 12, 2019, 11:21 AM
You woman are amazing and strong. I'm Returning .... I was originally posted as the Father of a then pregnant daughter(age 26) on suboxone to get thru her 2nd pregnancy. Last few months I've returned to this site for strength as I watched her slide back into her old routines.
The last two years daughter had just replaced pills with alcohol. No rehab or counseling was attempted. Fast forward we are fully back into the sh*t show of pills, along with her addict boyfriend.
SO the two kids, both under three, have a mom(my daughters) facing an addiction that is bigger and badder then ever.
Good news her enablers are stopping now.
Daughter Income tax of $8000 spent in ten days, was their final straw.
I'm working with ex-wife to get the kids removed.
By reading these post, and getting my ex-wife to read them have meant so much to us. It keeps us strong.
Learning lessons from you all, to save myself years of this cycle,plus thousands of dollars and to put our focus on helping her kids.
So thank you all, we all are in different stages of recovering from this trauma ourselves... No manual to this madness... so when we fall into an enabling act, just reboot and learn from each other.
Posted: March 12, 2019, 1:20 PM
JR - thank you for your post. It means a lot to me.
** tax return.... my son's was 1500. that was a wake up for us too. If Feb he started asking about it. we saw what was going to happen. same thing as previous years - gone in a week. He started saying he would pay off his cred card ($500 balance) Give me some to hold, pay his bills.... wink, wink, all the happy things a mom wants to hear!
we bought into it a little with our hopeful hearts! but really expected the usual.
his return $$ was direct deposit, but he had a $38 neg bal on his account that went into collections at the same time as the deposit was happening. in the past 6 months he did not care to clear it up. oh boy, now he was motivated. even took a day off work to go to the bank.
we also 'kicked him out' so he tells us he spent the 1500 plus the next pay check on sec,deposit and rent (1400) plus getting to work for two weeks. he is now out of money and has til Friday for next paycheck. stopped by our house last night - bc it is close to work, has no gas. I am not home and not helping and he has not called me.
btw - he put food in oven and fell asleep on couch. husband came home to burnt chicken. we are worried about him burning house down. husband may flip the breaker for the oven.
this is a real worry. if we are not home and he 'stops by'. husband is not buying food. pantry and fridge are very empty.
There comes that point when we cant do the dance any longer.
Posted: March 12, 2019, 1:40 PM
The tax return must be the Drug dealers biggest month.
My daughter said all the right things leading up to the money being deposited. The major enablers, were all due to collect recent loans they gave her. That didn't happen.
She took the kids and bought them clothes and got haircuts... then the crazy train arrived. Now, no gas, electric shut off notice, no food, no job, no money but several unbelievable stories ...
Unfortunately, for Children's Services to do anything, it's got to get worse. We had a case opened and they shut it after only two month, two years ago. I know they are swamped with this crisis.
I hope you have more and more better days ahead.
Posted: March 14, 2019, 6:54 AM
I am new to posting but wanted to give you encouragement. My daughter is currently incarcerated. It is your life. It was hard to tell my daughter that she can’t live here and she is hurt and is angry about it but I can now work on myself and getting back on track with my relationships with my husband and son.
Posted: March 14, 2019, 12:54 PM
LOLLEEDEE - thanks so much for posting. Your insight as someone who battled through addiction is invaluable. Thank you! You give me hope.
Posted: March 14, 2019, 1:43 PM
The insight and message you share helps so many of us.
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