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Old 11-20-2005, 10:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
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how do you hold someone accountable?

Hi. I am new around here. I joined because of my past, having grown up in a severely abusive alcoholic home, and the realization, (finally) that I am co-dependent, and an enabler.
Currently, I am trying to get my own life together and learn how to change my own behaviors, and yet I have a dilemma as to how to best handle a situation I have with a dear friend whom I love. (meth and pot addict)
He has gone through a recovery program, through which I stood by him and encouraged him, and continued to rescue him at every turn. He seemed to genuinely care for me, but now I think I only saw what I wanted to see and feel used and yet know that I allowed myself to be used.
I did so many things for him, was there for him, and have been for 3 years. I wound up loaning him a lot of money to pay his rent, money which I really couldn't afford to loan. As things have turned out, he has stopped contacting me altogether, even as a friend, when I used to be the first person he turned to. I think he may be using again, if he ever really stopped. He does owe me quite a lot of money and I only wanted him to face me with that, and begin to make some payments now that he is, I think, working again. I have tried to contact him, and told him we'd work it out, but he will not contact me. I know the best thing for me would be to get over him, walk away and let him go completely. It hurts so much to believe that he didn't really care about me all the while he seemed so sincere.
On the other hand, I do need the money he owes me and want to in some way hold him accountable without going into anything in the way of court or suing him.
I am hurt and angry and at a loss as to how to handle this. Any thoughts?
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Old 11-21-2005, 12:59 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Welcome toosweet...
So glad you found this site, it is the greatest. Read lots of the posts and stickey's at the top. One needs to learn all they can about addicts, so as not to repeat trying to help. Seems helping never usually works.

Best thing to do on loaning money to an A is to forget ever seeing it again. Chaulk it up to a bad bet and you lost. Another hard lesson in life.
In life it is always best to never loan money. The resentment and anger eats us up if it is never repaid.
Forgive yourself.
Keep coming back it helps to write it out where we all understand. Most of us have been there, done that. I am sorry this happened to you or to anyone really, but sadly it happens. Keep working on you, and do forgive yourself.
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Old 11-21-2005, 03:33 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Welcome to SR toosweet. I agree w/ Clancy. Unless you have a promissory note you will be hard pressed to hold an addict accountable based on his own scruples. It's not such a hard lesson if you learned about yourself and your own rescuing behavior. Learn as to not repeat it again.
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Old 11-21-2005, 04:35 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toosweet
he seemed so sincere
Alcoholics are manipulators and very charming while doing it. He will be back...when he needs something. You taught him that you will help him.

Welcome to SR!! Make yourself at home!
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Old 11-21-2005, 11:03 AM   #5 (permalink)
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It took me a long time in Alanon to be able to take care of myself. I wasn't able to say yes when I meant yes, and no when I meant know. I also had to learn to trust my gut, and find some guidance so I didn't end up in crappy situations near as often.

Hindsight is 20/20. I can't change the past. I can't expect to be a different person overnight, either. All I can do is be willing to try something different; Alanon meetings, a sponsor, working the 12 steps, getting support. It does work, though not as fast as most of us would like. Keep coming back. Hugs, Magic
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Old 11-21-2005, 12:46 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Tahnk you all for responding and for welcoming me. I am trying to find an al-anon group in my area which I can attend. I guess the money thing has been eating away at me on two levels. First, I am a single mom and Christmas is coming and one son's birthday as well. I have been angry knowing that the money I loaned him should be going towards those things, for my children, as well as to my own bills. I am as angry with myself as I am with him. I left him a note letting him know that my electric bill was past due and that whatever he could pay me back would be fine. Nothing. Not a word. But, as I'm sure you all know, it isn't just the money. It is the slap in the face coming from someone who I thought cared for me. It hurts. I guess I thought that if he would make at least an effort to pay me back, I wouldn't feel that he had never cared for me at all and I'd feel less like a fool. I have never seen this side to him. He has always been so sweet and kind hearted, and particularly gentle toward me. I've known him three years and have seen him in crisis after crisis and I've always known he was responsible for all of them, but kept thinking when things got bad enough, he'd face his addiction and get help. He did get help, albeit only because he lost his baby and wanted to comply with the court's mandate that he get into treatment and maintain a home and work. He went to every treatment session, showed me what they had worked on, wrote things down, seemed so dilligent. I believed that he was going to stay clean. I don't know for certain that he is using again, but the signs are all there. The sad, terrible truth is and I am ashamed to admit it, I would be even more hurt if I thought he wasn't using again right now because I wouldn't want to think he could be so hurtful when he's not under the influence.
I feel pathetic thinking that way, or even being so hung up on him. I wish I could just stop thinking about him altogether but that hasn't happened and so now I am trying to get help for myself. I realize I am codependent, that he isn't the first one I've tried to save, and that I have to face my own issues.
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Old 11-21-2005, 01:43 PM   #7 (permalink)
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It all hurts really bad, I know. However we have a saying, "This too shall pass" and most of it does.
Al-Anon will help with the feelings. Try at least 6 meetings and try different groups so you get a good feel and fit. HUGS
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Old 11-21-2005, 02:37 PM   #8 (permalink)
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toosweet - welcome to SR.

I understand all too well about the money thing. My ex owes me over $35,000. I too thought that I would just write it off as a "codie tax". Until I thought "Hell no! I earned that money fair and square. I may have been naive to lend it to him, but why should he get away with not paying me back?" So I asked him for it back. That was a year ago. He told me he would pay me when he got some money. Nothing came. Then I found out he went away to Jamaica with a woman he met on-line. Then I found out he'd bought her lots of jewellry over there. Then I found out they got engaged and were planning a wedding. Then I realised that, in effect, I was paying for all of this stuff.

So I have served papers on him. He is still wriggling like a maggot on a hook and trying to manipulate me by saying that he doesn't have any money to pay the rent and that he "can't live on fresh air." Well, I'm sorry. He should've thought about that when he was spending my repayments. I have stripped all the emotion out of the situation and am now simply dealing with the facts. He owes me money and hasn't paid. I want the money back. End of story.

I am afraid that many alcoholics (and addicts) have no scruples when they are using. They will go to any lengths to get their needs met, even if it means screwing over innocent people. So we have to toughen up and stand up for ourselves if we don't want to let them walk all over us. Many of us thought that our partners were wonderful when they were sober, until we realised that they were that way for a reason - manipulation.

You have a tough road ahead, but you are not on your own.
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Old 11-21-2005, 04:09 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thank you, Minnie. I have some of the same thoughts that you do. I know he has a stripper and her little boy living with him. I imagine him spending money on her as well, which somehow makes me feel worse than if I thought he was just using it for drugs and cigarettes. I know that is selfish of me. I understood when he really couldn't pay me back but I think he is working steadily now, at least he was a few weeks ago, and know that the stripper is still living there with him, so get angry every time I think about struggling to pay my own electric bill or worrying about buying the kids Christmas and one son's birthday gifts. I know it is my own fault I loaned him the money, but I guess now I just feel hurt and angry and it is so hard to let go of. I had loaned him money in the past, small amounts and he always made a big point of repaying me, until lately. I hope you do get your money back. I don't know that I will, but really I do pray for him and as angry as I am, still want him to recover. I won't rescue him anymore and I still want him one day to hold himself accountable.


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Old 11-22-2005, 10:15 AM   #10 (permalink)
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If he is a real alcoholic or addict, not using won't make everything ok. In most cases, it makes them worse. For someone with alcoholism, it's damned if they do, damned if they don't. Unless they are seeking recovery and real change, they aren't usually very successful in life, with or without drinking.

What I had to decide was if I was going to recover from the effects of alcoholism, or let it take me down, too. Once I made that decision, it took some time, but things got a lot better for me. No one can predict the future. But we can get help for how to deal with today. Hugs, Magic
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Old 11-22-2005, 10:27 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I am really sorry you have lent him money, unfortunatley I don't think you will get it back. Learn this lesson and walk away. Be very leary about lending money to anyone, even friends and family. I would quit contacting him and if he contacts you again, ignore him and move on. He is no friend of yours. He only wants stuff from you that will benefit him. You say you need the money back and I'm sure he could care less that have financial needs.
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