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Is he enabling her?

Old 06-08-2013, 04:33 AM
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Is he enabling her?

Hi guys

Been a while since I posted, but then nothing really has changed in that SD's mum is now 8 weeks out of hospital and still drinking despite being told if she ever drinks again she will die! SD still doesn't want to speak to her or see her, and we've had no contact from mum whatsoever. She doesn't even text SD!!

I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but mum has a 'friend'. He's a nice chap, non-drinker, who is definitely in love with her. However, that is not reciprocated by mum. Anyhow, he's been keeping in touch with me, secretly (if mum found out she would 'abandon' him (his words)), and keeping me up to date with progress. Basically there is no progress, and he tells me she is now 'sipping' alcohol throughout the day which he (blindly) sees as 'progression'. I've tried pointing out that it's not. He did tell me that a few days ago she had admitted she would like to attend AA, but would not go alone and wants him to attend with her. She also wants to go to a different town where people don't know her, but because she is 'scared' of groups of people (rubbish, is she hell!) she cannot go in without him. I've told him AA meetings are closed to family and friends, and that family and friends can only attend Open meetings. He seems to think that, when the time comes for her to want to go, he can phone them up and they'll make an exception for her!! I've told him they won't, because they have to consider all the other group members, and she isn't going to be the only one who would like a supportive friend there - therefore they cannot make an exception for one without making it for everyone. He says without him she won't go, which of course is just another excuse.

However, I see this man as enabling her, totally. He dresses her, washes her, cleans her house, does her laundry, feeds her, gives her her daily meds, puts her to bed and massages her until she falls asleep, and gets her alcohol for her. He gives her money and pays her bills, and runs her around wherever she wants to go. He states that if he doesn't see her for a couple of days she doesn't eat or take her pills, and barely functions. I have broached the subject of enablement, and pointed out that whilst I know he has good intentions, his actions are actually detrimental to any kind of recovery because he is encouraging her to be pathetic and dependent on him. She does fall out with him regularly, because when he does try and get her to speak about her issues she gets angry and chucks him out. But, that doesn't help because then her alcoholic next-door-neighbour enables her!! She too will put her to bed and massage her until she sleeps, and of course feeds her copious amounts of alcohol. To be honest, the whole scenario of these two people treating SD's mum like she's some kind of baby makes me want to vomit!!! I've told him that she should be dressing herself, washing herself, feeding herself and taking her own pills, but he says she is too weak to be able to do anything.

This is enabling, right? I haven't got that wrong have I?

Its all a vicious circle that is affecting SD more and more each day. And it affects us too. There is a huge part of me that wishes she would hurry up and die, and I know that sounds awful and unkind, but is her being alive doing anyone any favours? No, it's just causing pain and hurt and misery, every single damned day. Her friend is just a sucker who dotes on her every whim and then allows her to treat him like sh*t - then goes back for more! He doesn't see it because he's in love with her (why? she looks like a skeleton with a puffy yellow face!).

Can't see anything changing anytime soon
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Old 06-08-2013, 04:42 AM
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Yes, it does sound like enabling.....

I had to learn the hard way, unfortunately, that I also have no control over my fellow enablers--just as I have no control over the alcoholics in my world. My own husband, before we were married, still would do things to enable his stepson, but he was trying to change. Sounds like her friend is not interested in changing or hearing about ways to change.

Sadly, it also does not sound as though your stepdaughter's mother is much interested in changing either--she has no reason to do so. You are right, it is a never ending cycle.

Please take good care of yourself in the middle of all this! Sending prayers for your SD, your husband and you, and for your SD's mom.
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Old 06-08-2013, 06:16 AM
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Thanks Hydrogirl. It's actually just dawned on me that we were probably enabling her too, by allowing her into our home so we could facilitate contact between her & SD. We did that last October because at the time she had been told she would die in a year if she didn't stop drinking & so we made the effort so as to ensure SD saw her. But, thinking back we were the ones who contacted her to come over, invited her to Parents evening at school etc., and accepted her into our home when she had been drinking. We gave her the wrong message - we should have made her do the running around, we should have made her make contact with SD without being prompted or invited to. We thought we were doing the right thing, and clearly we weren't. Since we, & SD have stepped back, she hasnt bothered, at all.

At least now we're not enabling her, which is something, but if she dies soon & SD hasn't seen her I know we will feel guilty. God I hate this, so so much.
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Old 06-08-2013, 06:21 AM
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Hi NikNox!

I am so glad to hear from you.
How are you doing?
Your family, your step daughter and your husband?
You know this, but I will say it anyway, nothing you can do for the drunk mum, and nothing your can tell the enabling boyfriend.
If this is causing you stress in any way shape or form, please go to AlAnon and remember we are powerless.
Powerless over alcohol.
It seems that drunk mum has chosen to die drinking, it is not a good way to die, my father died from cirrhosis.
I would consider it lucky step daughter has decided not to have any contact, in order to lessen the strain on her young life.
NikNox, the same goes for you.

Bring all that focus back to your lovely little family. Any energy wasted on an alcoholic deep in addiction is doubly sad to me. It not only causes you stress and strain but it will end badly anyway.

NikNox, you have been more than supportive of your step daughter, given her such a normal life that she figured out that her mom is toxic to her.
Do your own self that same favor, word about drunk mum is aggravating and upsetting to you, because you know there is a way out.
But, since she will not, can not choose that, you must let go.
Let go of any ideas of her changing, especially since she has found someone who, as described is crazy with codependency.

Let them do what they will. Live your life. It is good now. Leave the sick people to their illness.

I wish you peace and serenity NikNox, you are a wonderful woman who spent so much of herself helping her sick step daughter step into the light.
Please enjoy that and put the sick people out of your mind.

Do what you do best, take care of yourself first (so you are strong) then take care of your family.

I grew up as neglected (maybe not physically) as your step-daughter. I thank my HP every day for people like you who step up and say "this girl needs help and attention, I will do it".

No need to hold on to any more anger against the mum, what she does with the rest of her life is none of your business. Only in a way that would effect your daughter, and if your daughter has gone "no contact" I suggest the same for you.

Less anger and angst for you. I do understand why you feel as you do. It is time for you now. Do you.

Lovingly and respectfully your friend,

Beth
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Old 06-08-2013, 06:31 AM
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At least now we're not enabling her, which is something, but if she dies soon & SD hasn't seen her I know we will feel guilty. God I hate this, so so much.
I guess I was posting while you were! LOL
Think, who is the "we" you speak of?
I think all 3 of you, especially after that last post, have gone above and beyond what any person could do.

Yes, all of that, she could have done herself. She also let you know that nothing has changed for her, so now is the time for a shift in your thinking.
You cannot help those who cannot help themselves.
We are powerless.

I know I need more AlAnon, I have had a revelations weekend myself.
Awareness.
There is nothing I can do, and what I am doing is holding them back from their own life.
Sigh......

We are powerless alcohol and we are powerless over people.

Beth

(rowing in the same boat NikNox)
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Old 06-08-2013, 06:38 AM
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The biggest thing I have learned through my STBXAH....the A will find an enabler no matter how many wise up and leave or stop enabling. They seek them out and then set their alchy hooks in deep...The only thing you can do is focus on your actions and ensure that you are out of the enabling game. The rest is her property. You will drive yourself crazy thinking about how others are enabling her or trying to change someone else. I know, I did this to myself for a long time....
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Old 06-08-2013, 06:45 AM
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Thanks Beth,

Deep down I know that, and we have stepped away to a very large extent. We told SD's mum after she came out of hospital and started drinking again that we wanted no more to do with her. Her friend (he isn't her boyfriend per se, although he would like to be) keeps us 'in the loop' so to speak because SD still wants to know what's happening with her mum, but wants no contact. I understand that, she loves her mum but can't tolerate her, hates the alcoholism and said the other day 'I actually can't stand the woman, what she is, who she is and what she did to me, but I love her at the same time because she's my mum'. I find that incredibly hard to understand, but accept it. I think mum's friend talks to me because he knows I work in the medical profession and have knowledge and insight into things. I tell him how it is and although he does tend to make excuses for her, does accept what I say eventually. But, he won't change because he enjoys babying her. The other day he told me she was too weak to put on her bra properly and had left her breasts out of the bra, so he put them in it for her. Quite honestly I think that's totally bizarre and weird!! Their relationship is weird.

What I find most difficult is that as a parent of two boys, I consider myself SD's parent too, because I love her unconditionally and will do anything I can to protect her. I feel that by absorbing all the weirdness that comes from her mum's life, I can shield her from it to a certain extent. She asks me what's going on, and I tell her the truth - that her mum is still drinking and that her mum's friend is enabling her to do so. I keep the weirder stuff from her - it makes me feel sick and I'm an adult, so how would it make a 14 year old girl feel!!!

I think you're right though, Al-Anon would be good. We have Meetings here every Tuesday and we did go along once with SD because there's no Al-Ateen locally. I actually found it very beneficial just that one time, so I think I will go again.

This disease has many victims doesn't it!
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Old 06-08-2013, 06:53 AM
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My very best to you...yes Alanon would be good for you...has changed my life...but please remember you are not a victim...but are a caring and loving person...time for you to take care of yourself (even more)
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Old 06-08-2013, 07:39 AM
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My therapist has reminded me time after time that the best thing you can do for a child with an alcoholic or otherwise dysfunctional family is to provide a healthy haven.model healthy relationships and give her a place to feel safe and loved.

If your SD does not want to see her mom, I would honor that.
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Old 06-08-2013, 03:45 PM
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But, he won't change because he enjoys babying her. The other day he told me she was too weak to put on her bra properly and had left her breasts out of the bra, so he put them in it for her. Quite honestly I think that's totally bizarre and weird!! Their relationship is weird.
Okay, not only is that creepy with just the two of them there.
Cannot figure out a bra?
But then to share this with any female who will listen?
I think this guy is a wackadoodle, on the side of icky sicko.
Awful man. Weird yes.

Like some crazed Monty Python script, you know, when they act like middle aged women gossiping?
OH here Margaret you are drooping out of that one, try the skinny one?
Yeah, that one, give it a go, just right on up there!

sorry that is awful.

Beth
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Old 06-08-2013, 04:23 PM
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Tell me about it Beth! He's okay, ish, but there's definitely something missing. He dresses her, & puts her stockings on for her! If you're wondering why he shared this, its because we had heard through the grapevine that he had placed his fingers somewhere very intimate, twice, whilst she was asleep, which caused her to blow him out for a month. So, I asked him outright if it was true & he admitted it. Then he told me how she allowed him to be intimate with her, & he took it too far. She knows he is besotted with her so why would she allow him to be intimate & then get angry when he went too far! She's leading the poor sap on isn't she! Manipulating him. He's no oil painting so I can see why she isn't attracted to him, but she's as sick in allowing him intimacy she has no intention of reciprocating. She uses him for what he can give her, ie the things he does for her & the money he gives her. He bou her an iPhone 5, and whilst she wasnt speaking to him she sold it for 50! No need to guess what she wanted the money for!

It's the weirdest thing.
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Old 06-08-2013, 04:25 PM
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She was, apparently too weak to put the bra on properly!
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Old 06-09-2013, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by NikNox View Post
Tell me about it Beth! He's okay, ish, but there's definitely something missing. He dresses her, & puts her stockings on for her! If you're wondering why he shared this, its because we had heard through the grapevine that he had placed his fingers somewhere very intimate, twice, whilst she was asleep, which caused her to blow him out for a month. So, I asked him outright if it was true & he admitted it. Then he told me how she allowed him to be intimate with her, & he took it too far. She knows he is besotted with her so why would she allow him to be intimate & then get angry when he went too far! She's leading the poor sap on isn't she! Manipulating him. He's no oil painting so I can see why she isn't attracted to him, but she's as sick in allowing him intimacy she has no intention of reciprocating. She uses him for what he can give her, ie the things he does for her & the money he gives her. He bou her an iPhone 5, and whilst she wasnt speaking to him she sold it for 50! No need to guess what she wanted the money for!

It's the weirdest thing.
As Doctor Who famously says, "RUN -- Now!"

Usually I don't come out with specific advice, but with this one, "Run -- Now!"
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Old 06-10-2013, 01:10 AM
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Presumably you mean me? It isn't normal, not even for an alcoholic! So, I shall heed the words of the great Doctor!
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Old 06-10-2013, 07:29 AM
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NikNox being lighthearted....and I appreciate your honest posts...you will find the answers if not already...in several relationships with acquaintences who are using I just had to sever all ties and communications and have no contact close those chapters of my life...in reverse during my drinking/using I was told never to call again...today after a good while in sobriety my sister won't let me have her phone number and address...I'm a double winner with both AA/Alanon...I caused a lot of hurt and people hurt me...and one of the best things has been distance, seperation, and emotional and physical boundaries...
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Old 06-10-2013, 03:21 PM
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Thanks, you are right, & we have also cut ourselves off from mum as we can't cope with her either. But, we have to remain in touch with her friend to a certain extent because otherwise when something happens to mum, we need to know. Last time she went into hospital, we were the last to know, & SD was livid about that for a whole week. Even though mums friend tells me things I'd rather not know, information is key for SD.
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