Advice Again
Posted: October 1, 2018, 9:25 AM

Posts: 10
Joined: January 6, 2018

Off and on over the last several years I've sought advice for my daughter who is an addict. She is now 37yrs. old (we've been dealing with this since she was 18). After the proverbial "one more fresh start" and thousands of dollars spent on a non existent job, medical issues, transportation money to get to the job, we finally verified where all the money went. And, of course, it went down a black hole.
My question is: Is it enabling to provide a fixed amount of money for her rent and food? When she called and said she was on the street without a place to stay and hungry, is it wrong to provide just that kind of assistance?
Thanks for all your comments.
Posted: October 1, 2018, 9:35 AM

Posts: 26
Joined: March 28, 2018

Unfortunately the answer is yes... it is enabling. As long as she knows her roof over her head and food in her belly is taken care of she has absolutely no responsibilities and can use. And if you give her the money to pay for the roof and food instead of paying yourself, she will use that money to use and come beg for more.

I know it's hard to not help but it is enabling. :(

I battled my own addiction only to be buried by another's...
Posted: October 1, 2018, 10:31 AM

Posts: 384
Joined: October 25, 2016

I understand how hard it is to see them living on the street. My son is the same age as your daughter and is there now. You imagine all kinds of things and worry all the time. And feel guilty all the time. I can tell you there are more shelters available for women than men.

I tried just a little help and paid rent directly for a place for him to stay. Food was a bit more tricky. Did everything from gift cards to buying it myself. He would take in stray people that had no place to go. I was paying for a flop pad for everyone. He was taking for granted everything we were doing to help him ... not all his buddies. He might even have been charging them rent.

This went on for years with no improvement. It makes no difference unless they are trying to help themselves. He was living the life on our dime. They dangle that hope carrot and manipulate you for more money to keep them going. Maybe they really do have a new job or need bus money to look for one. Maybe they are finally getting things together and things are expensive after all.

Paying rent will put a bunch of money in that black hole really quick. Looking back I can see how much was spend. When it is a bit here and there you don’t fully realize the money you have spent for nothing to change ... or for things to get worse. When they feel comfortable and fed there is no incentive to do things for themselves. It can actually make things worse.

The problem with them being on the streets is how do they move up from there. My son has been on the street over a year now. I see no hope for my son unless he finds someone to help him. His friends won’t help. We have been fighting this battle since he was 14. I only know we can’t take him in or deal with it anymore. It would be the death of us. We finally have some peace in our lives even if my unsettled emotions get the better of me sometimes. My emotional state is improving the more I adjust to letting him go. Letting go is very hard ... almost like a death in the family. Especially when you have been fighting this demon so long. We became codependent and enablers over time so that had to stop. So he is adrift on his own and I worry.

I would say don’t help your daughter other than maybe referring her to shelters or services in your area.

This post has been edited by BugginMe on October 1, 2018, 10:50 AM

Posted: October 1, 2018, 10:37 AM

Posts: 29
Joined: August 13, 2018

This ^
Posted: October 1, 2018, 10:50 AM

Posts: 195
Joined: July 6, 2018

I also paid for everything and believed her lies. I also ended up paying for a flop house and a car that all The other addicts used. It wasnt til I stopped everything did something change. My 30 year old is in a.dual diagnosis rehab.3 of her fellow addicts are in treatment.
Did I cause that? No just as I didnt cause the addiction .But by enabling for so long, I wasnt helping. Will my daughter make it,I dont know but it is.her choice, it always was her choice
Posted: October 1, 2018, 4:56 PM

Posts: 10
Joined: January 6, 2018

Thank you for your replies. I hear what you're saying and see my husband and I in so many of the same situations. It never ceases to amaze me how so much of our lives are reflected in the posts.
I know we want a life for her more than she does at this time and for 20yrs. we keep thinking there has to be a bottom. Maybe this time?
We've decided to give her rent for 1 week, with the understanding that she go to a local shelter.
We've made it plain there will be no more Western Union sent after that.
Honestly, I just hope we can do it. I'm there, but my husband is not as strong.
Thanks again for listening.
Posted: October 1, 2018, 9:12 PM

Posts: 363
Joined: November 16, 2017

This walk we walk is tough for sure. It seems natural that a parent would want to help a child get back on their feet. It seems like a good/healthy thing to give money or support with the understanding that they do A, B, and C. The problem is addiction. It screws up this whole simple equation.

I see myself in all these posts, as well. My son has never appreciated anything we have done. Also, nothing and I mean nothing has helped one bit. I just had this conversation with my husband tonight. I went over all the things I have done since he was 10 years old. So frustrating that not one thing helped. And, still nothing helps.

It is very hard to understand this tragedy. I am with Bug now, in that I have to shut it all off. I cannot take any more. I still have my moments, but I have to let him go.

Giving money is a bottomless pit. It never ends and it never helps. I tried to give my son a place to stay and he never has even pocket change for rent. Yet, his room was full of empty cigarette packs, reeked of drugs. I went into his room one day alone and just sobbed at the mess/the substances/the disease/and I hate to say the glimmer of death. So sad. But, yes, giving and helping=enabling. As hard as it is. And, it is not fair to us. It is not respectful to us as human beings.

Hang in there. I know this is hard.
Posted: October 1, 2018, 10:40 PM

Posts: 384
Joined: October 25, 2016

Another thing I learned is to not be too quick to react when called with an immediate crisis. My son had lots of those. They were usually after I had said no to a random money request. They were towing his car, he had a flat tire, he had no food, etc. Help me mom! I finally figured out that some of these emergencies weren’t truly happening. He wanted the money for something else. Possibly to buy drugs or pay his dealer or go out with his girlfriend. These were things that he wanted me to pay for because he wasn’t working and emergency was an action word for me. I believed everything he said. Then he would turn around and ask for food or gas the very next day after taking his girlfriend out on the money we gave him. I never could understand why he would spend money frivolously when he had no food.

I know what you mean about the way they live. I have cried looking at the condition of my son’s place. I have been amazed that he sold furniture, air conditioners, bicycles etc. that we bought to make his life easier. Our money just gone. He didn’t even think about it. I have cleaned things up to make his life better. No telling what we were exposed to during those cleanings. Found and threw out drugs. Took care of pets so they wouldn’t die. More fresh starts and cars than I can count. Helping your kids should be black and white. Normal adults are generally not takers. These adult children are takers. I am not sure it is all caused by drugs. It might be a mental defenciency or mental illness that causes the drug use and the parent abuse. Logic is ineffective. More money is ineffective. Our love makes little difference.

Posted: October 3, 2018, 12:20 PM

Posts: 10
Joined: January 6, 2018

When I read your replies it hits home.
The part about they never have money, but cigarette butts are everywhere. The part about the disgusting way they live. I finally had to sell the house she and her boyfriend were living in. I can't even begin to describe the condition of the place and the dog they "took care of".
The part about "I have to have the money right now". I'm homeless, or starving, or I'll lose this job if I don't have a certain kind of phone......

It seems we all have the same stories. And, of course, you're right, nothing we do makes any difference. As parents who love our kids I think that's the hardest part. I know I think maybe just this one more time and that will be her bottom and that will make her change. How can it be that I love her so much and she loves me so little?
Posted: October 3, 2018, 7:41 PM

Posts: 363
Joined: November 16, 2017

I was thinking about this post most of the day. Something else happened today that took him another notch down. In the past, I would have tried so hard to prevent it-left work, begged, stressed, got yelled at, wasted hours. FOR NOTHING. Today, I just could not do it. I let it be. And, I had the same result as if I wasted my day on it.

I started thinking about it...When I really wanted to be on my own, I cut all my expenses. I asked for nothing and tried hard to make it on my own.

I decided that if my son really wanted help...for addiction or mental health or both, he would:

1. make his own appointments and show up for them.
2. take a loan out for rehab or ask to do extra work to save the money for rehab.
3. take the initiative to reach out to the people he knows in AA or find a way to get to a meeting.
4. go to a counselor.
5. give me the money he owes me for x, y and z.

My point is...he does not want it bad enough if he is not scrapping to get help. I AM the one who has been scrapping for help; begging for help; using all my abilities, time and contacts to get him help.

While I am doing this, he is mouthing off to me and to authority figures, wasting his money on alcohol, cigarettes, drugs and fast food. Not showing up for anything at all. Worrying about his addict friends and their parents/family. Waking me up in the middle of the night and then yelling at me if I tell him to be respectful. Showing up when I am not home and eating my food.

I think we all really need to think deeply about these scenarios. They DO NOT want it bad enough if they are not doing everything in their power to set it up, pay for it, and make all arrangements.

The really hard part for a parent is accepting that they may never want it. So, we jump into the dysfunction again and again-trying to save them. But, they really, really don't want to be saved or they would be doing the heavy lifting.
Posted: October 4, 2018, 12:46 AM

Posts: 1678
Joined: June 27, 2016

the hard part... ugh.... all of it.... thank you everyone for sharing and posting.
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