How Do I Say No?
Posted: March 24, 2020, 8:45 PM

Posts: 10
Joined: March 6, 2018

My daughter has been an addict for many years. She has gone to probably 6 rehabs. She's OD'ed about 13 times and been on life support twice. I have begged, pleaded, cried, gotten angry and prayed to her for her to stop before it's to late. But she won't stop.

I am having an extremely difficult time telling her no...I dont have any money, no....I wont do this or that. She and her boyfriend are homeless. When she ask me for something, if I tell her no....all hell breaks lose. She becomes very emotionally and verbally abusive to me. She knows that if she just keeps on and on and on that I will eventually cave in and do whatever she wants me to do. I know I'm hurting her more than I'm helping her...I know this. But I cant handle how horrible she treats me when I dont do whatever she wants me to do. For example: yesterday I was at the grocery store and she texted me. Needless to say I walked out of the store with more things for her and her boyfriend than for me. I have put her in a hotel room a few times to get her off the streets even for just a short amount of time. I have bought her cigarettes. I live with my parents and she has used and abused them so much that they will not allow her to live here. So I'm stuck in the middle and it's a terrible place to be. She tells me that I should stand up to them and tell them to let her live here with us. Really!!! No, I'm not going to do that. So as today is coming to an end, tomorrow will be here soon enough and I know she will that i do this or that. I need someone who has been where I am to tell me what to do and how to tell her no. I have lost myself somewhere amongst all this madness! I've tried so hard to help her, to save her...but I'm failing at doing that. Does that make me a bad and horrible mother? When I dont do what she ask me to do...I'm all of a sudden the worst, most useless sorry excuse for a mother she's ever seen. She has told me this so much. But I always give in because when I dont do the things she wants me to do for her, I believe her when she says those things to me.
Posted: March 24, 2020, 11:12 PM

Posts: 1750
Joined: June 27, 2016

Hello terrified- sorry you are here, glad you are sharing.
My son is 30 yrs old. I was his #1 enabler. I did not like what I was doing but every week I believed he would turn this around. He’d manage his paycheck better. Just gas for a few days, just $20 until pay day... last year about this time, we had had enough. He was not mean to us. If he was it would have been easier to cut ties. I slowly really saw that we were keeping him addicted. He lived at our house, ate our food, worked every day, used our car. We thought if we made his life stress free, he wouldn’t use. We got to the point where our life revolved around his. The tough part - how to get him out! My husband was the angry one. When son ran out of gas dad would bring the gas can, yell at him the whole time. Son would just take it and then say, that why I’m so stressed. We just wanted him to get to work, save his pay check and stop using drugs. Finally we saw that was not going to happen the way we wanted it to.
I knew I had to stop handing out $20. something I could not do if he was standing in front of me. Devine intervention. I lost my job. I no longer had a reason to be at home. I left and stayed with various friends and relatives. His dad continued to tell him to get out. He did not try to contact me much. When he did, I did not answer. Sometimes I turned my phone off. I was out of the house for two months. He had moved out, wrecked our car, lost his job within a few weeks. Then he was homeless, then arrested, then a rehab, then a shelter, he has found programs that help homeless, low income, he is working for a recovery center, still living at a homeless hotel, public transportation, waiting to find a room to rent.

When I left home he had to talk to his dad for things. I had to break the cycle and not be available. I did not want to give, he did not want to take, but we were both
stuck in the cycle. I had to remove myself from the problem.
We did not bail him out of jail or deal with the lawyers or courts. He was angry at the beginning. It has taken him this much time to start feeling normal- he is feeling more content and less anxiety than he can remember. He still has a long way to go.

It has taken a solid year to feel like I am back to normal. It is hard. We still have pangs of wanting to swoop in and make his day more comfortable, but we can’t. He needs to do it at his own pace.

Conclusion - figure out a way to not be available and not enable. I know you do not believe you are the names your daughter calls you. You know you do not deserve to be treated badly by your child. She will never see or admit that she is wrong until she is clean for a year or more.

This post has been edited by NyToFlorida on March 24, 2020, 11:46 PM
Posted: March 24, 2020, 11:56 PM

Posts: 1750
Joined: June 27, 2016

Start by telling her you will hang up if she calls anyone names, and you will be done talking for her for the day. She is bullying you. Start let her know you have respect for yourself and you are not going to take it any more

Another mom, in past posts, suggested going to a counselor for abused women. Call a help line. I would not have thought of it but it makes sense, you are being abused, it has gone on for years, you can’t get out of it on your own, I think the counselor would have the training to understand the situation you are in.

See if you can find Alon-non or Nar-anon meetings to go to.

This post has been edited by NyToFlorida on March 24, 2020, 11:58 PM
Posted: March 25, 2020, 9:47 AM

Posts: 331
Joined: December 23, 2018

Hi Terrified - I agree with NY, she & I have discussed our kids many times. I finally had a meeting with my other 2 sons & their wives and separately with my teenaged grandkids about my addict son. We all agreed to stay in contact with each other via group text about every text, phone & in person contact with our son. He has been an addict for 25 years & crashed worse that we had ever seen before. My son also has mental health issues & we believe is bipolar & has anxiety disorder. We also told him we would not give him one penny any longer & the only "help" we could give him was to support him in rehab...

Finally after about a month of rages, suicidal threats, threatening us, his brothers & even his 17 y/o nephew, we were all done. We all sent him a message to not contact us & we blocked his number. He'd go get a new phone & number, start over & we'd do it again.... he finally got arrested for harassing his ex girlfriend, actually got arrested 4 times between April - June & was in jail for 30 days the last time. His attorney told him that if he violates one more time, this will be changed to a federal stalking offense (I don't know HOW, but the attorney told him that & he believed him)

After he was released from custody, he was drug free & texted and asked to talk (he was still blocked on everyone's phones). We forgave him 1st with major stipulations on what was expected to talk to him. He is now employed & is doing well. However we know any day could be the day he relapses again. His older brother & sister in law are talking with him again as well as his nieces & nephews. His younger brother still does not want to have a relationship with him again.

It is hard to say no to a child, but remember this is not the child you know. She is an addict - addicts lie, steal, manipulate, rage, threaten, curse & assault others because the drugs have complete control of their mind & body.

I'm sorry that you have joined us here but this is a great place for us lonely, scared & battered parents & partners. You can vent as much as you want & never have to worry about someone judging you & belittling you. You will receive helpful advice & knowledge from those of us struggling with addiction & how it just doesn't destroy the addict, but the families too.

Hang in there & come back here & keep talking to us
Posted: March 25, 2020, 9:40 PM

Posts: 209
Joined: November 10, 2019

What has helped me is to be very to the point, use as few words as possible, and say it in a serious tone. Also, what I say is not up for debate so she doesn't even try. Its taken a long time for me to be able to do this because for years I was a 'push over'....and she always 'won' and ultimately we all lost...

We teach people how to treat us and sadly your daughter has learned she can treat you like sh#t. Don't allow it anymore. Maybe tell her you have given your relationship and her behavior a lot of thought and if you want to speak with me here is what you (your daughter) is not going to do...X, Y and Z. If you don't follow these guidelines the conversation ends. Period. Be direct and seriously genuine. She'll learn what you will and won't tolerate. Its really setting healthy boundaries.
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