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what to say now- detaching

Old 07-11-2010, 10:16 AM
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what to say now- detaching

After finding this list, I am getting a strength and resolve, to stop enabling my son. We have made a few small comments. he helped me to catch a mouse that my cat brought in to the house today, etc. he is up all night on computer, with friends or a game, and sleeps most of the day. I am guessing he is getting more frantic, for he is out of smokes, and no beer for a week. (no more bringing him a beer or two for saturday nights- even tho he really enjoyed it) He has to work at finding a job, and I have determined not to do more for him than he wants to do for his self. He will not be homeless as yet, unless he does something not allowed -taking money, or being drunk or drinking here.
but now, I dont know what to say to him. He is mostly acting very put out, and down, and makes little comments occasionally like "doesn't matter if I am sleeping " or "nothing to find out there anyway". so, I have stopped trying to fix things, or even to suggest things that may help. he can figure those things out.
I am guessing that he sees this, and figures "crap- she is not going to be trying to help me, and I am out of tobacco!"
So, what do you do when they say some self- pittying comment, or when they bait you? Today, for the first time in a while, I felt like cleaning my house. I had energy. I have not been using it all up, worrying and trying to figure out things for him.
Dont know where to go from here, but I am on the right road. Just think the ride is going to get really bumpy

thanks again, for this forum.
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Old 07-11-2010, 10:33 AM
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Yes, you are on the right road.

You said it best when you said: I have determined not to do more for him than he wants to do for his self

That statement is likely the golden rule for dealing with addicted personalities.

As for the self-pittying comments, yes - that is baiting. He is trying to engage you, trying to manipulate and trying to create drama. The best response is no response.

I believe some wise soul here at SR described it this way:

It is as if the individual is setting a filled suitcase of their baggage at your feet. Now you must choose how to respond to this baggage being put at your feet. The healthy choice is to step around the other person's baggage and let them find their own solution.
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Old 07-11-2010, 10:44 AM
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Well done Chicory! When my xah made statements like that I just did not say anything. I get entangled when I start to talk. My counselor at the time also suggested that I could come up with some 'canned' responses to some of the various baiting lines he'd repeatedly use. So in your case "Bummer." or "I have faith that you can figure that out." or "Yep, sounds like you have a problem." or some such thing. Something automatic and that can be said without sarcasm, pity, etc.

Hang tough! He'll likely pull out all the stops. I found that the slogans and one liners I read here really did help me keep my perspective and resolve during those times. I had some that were truely inspiring and some that kind of made me laugh - depending on what I needed at the time.
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Old 07-11-2010, 10:52 AM
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Yay Chicory!

Thumper and Pelican could not have said it better. Hang tough! Chances are, the more grief he tries to give you about not enabling him, the better job you are doing. He'll need to release that frustration somehow, and addicts/alcoholics never have a very good sense of logic, which is why his frustrations will probably be pointed at you, instead of at himself. Keep putting your foot down.

Great work! We're here if you need us!
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Old 07-11-2010, 11:17 AM
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He is mostly acting very put out, and down, and makes little comments occasionally like "doesn't matter if I am sleeping " or "nothing to find out there anyway". so, I have stopped trying to fix things, or even to suggest things that may help. he can figure those things out.
Yuck, yes, I remember living with two separate drug addicted alcoholics who did this. It gets old fast. So good for you for being able to see this. Honestly, I do speak to each of them perhaps once a year and they are both STILL doing this. It is their modus operandi and appears it will be for ever.

So, what do you do when they say some self- pittying comment, or when they bait you?
Nothing.
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Old 07-11-2010, 11:21 AM
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It used to drive my youngest daughter nuts when she'd try to bait me and I was going about my business at home, humming and not allowing her mood to affect me!

She'd whine, and I'd say cheerfully, "Gosh, that's too bad," and back to my business at hand I'd go.

Good for you for standing your ground and taking care of you, dear!
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Old 07-11-2010, 11:54 AM
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Hi Chicory! Hang in there! There is peace in detaching.

I thought this link might help you - lots of good info about detaching, enabling, setting boundaries, how to react to the A when he gets drunk, etc.:

How to Help an Alcoholic
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Old 07-11-2010, 01:41 PM
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Thanks for the comments and the link, Sandrawg.
I figured things were gonna get ugly. and so it begins.
He must have hit or thrown something in his room, and I went to see what it was. He mumbled "what do you care, your being hateful to me anyway". I said simply, "you are not going to do this here, or you will be out of here. I told him that I was 58 years old, and had either been worried or helping him for most of my adult life. that I was not going to do anything for him that he wont do for his self.
of course, he began to say things like, no one is helping. my frieinds wont return calls. his oldest friend wont return a call, requesting to do some work for him on his website. of course, his friend is wise to him- in that my son only does this for money for drink.
He went on to say that the discomfort in his face (sinus - undiagnosed problem) is driving him crazy, and i should not be angry about the 1 day that he drank to ease it. I said "you mean the three days that you were drunk, each day?" he minimizes every bad trait.
I found out what happened at the last psyc. appt! He said it in his anger, that she thought he was like some local scum, and seeking drugs! Well, I can tell you he was probably doing that, trying to get something for his "misery" of his sinus situation. So, I am guessing that her opinion is that he is dependent on medicating his misery. It is kind of a relief that he is not bipolar 2 and that means he is just as accountable as anyone else. of course, he would be even with bipolar 2, but we dont have to worry about medications that he may need to take and risk him drinking with them..
I looked him in the eye, and told him that he is being this way, cause he wants alcohol or meds to feel normal, and to medicate his self. He looked at me surprised, but of course denied it. said that a year ago, he was not dependent on it at all-A year ago, he was in the homeless shelter, with no money to spend on it. and a year ago, he was drinking so much no one wanted to take him in!
I figure it will only be a matter of time before I have to chase him out, for being angry, and trying to frighten me with his anger. he hit the car with his fist, and believe me, i was trying to just set the ground rules, calmly. it was making him mad. i told him that he can go to jail, live there, get arrested, and live on the streets, if that is all he wants for his life.

I did not buy him tobacco, (he rolls them, for it is cheaper- how thoughtful that he worries about my finances), and he is stressing , with no nicotine! I am torn, should i buy them, so he can at least be calmer? I know a lot of folks at AA burn them up, for they get pretty nervous , and need the calming effects. but he could just get on the bike i bought so he could look for a job, and pick up smokes off the ground, like he did 6 months ago. I am so angry about having to deal with this.
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Old 07-11-2010, 01:51 PM
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I personally do not give my AD anything but food and only on occasion and at my discretion. You are right that he he has the ability 2 work and get them for himself. You are 58! Time for him to at least take care of his own addictions.cigarettes included. That being said..it sounds to me like you are really holding your boundaries..good 4 u! Yes, its a bumpy ride, but each time you hold the line it gets a little easier. alanon really helped me ask the question "whose problem is it?" if its not mine, I don't worry about fixing it. I have ever so much more free time (not to mention serenity!) Hang in there.. you are doing awsome!!
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Old 07-11-2010, 02:03 PM
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Do not do for any person anything that they are capable of doing themselves. Being bipolar, having A.D.D., even being alcoholic, are no excuse.
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Old 07-11-2010, 03:26 PM
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Chicory,

You're doing so great! Keep it up!

I would definitely not buy him cigarettes. If he wants them badly enough he'll go out and get a job so he can get them himself. He's going to be cranky right now no matter what, because he's one step closer to having to face reality.

It will be rough for a little while, but it can and will get better.
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Old 07-11-2010, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by sandrawg View Post
Hi Chicory! Hang in there! There is peace in detaching.

I thought this link might help you - lots of good info about detaching, enabling, setting boundaries, how to react to the A when he gets drunk, etc.:

How to Help an Alcoholic
Great link! =)
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