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Old 06-13-2019, 02:16 PM   #1 (permalink)
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What is shaming?


So we are told not to shame the alcoholic...
Is telling them that we owe $4500 in deductibles from the IOP's he attended shaming? If he quit or followed through we would have owed it either way. The quitting part really upsets me. Did complete a 28 day rehab but never completes the IOP's then relapses.. repeat.

He asked for help last weekend for travel expenses to see a concert. I just ignored the text. Now I feel I should have said "We don't have any extra money.. still paying on the $4500 deductible from the IOP's".
Is that shaming?
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Old 06-13-2019, 02:32 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by hummingbird358 View Post
Is that shaming?
This is just my opinion but yes (in it's truest form).

"to cause to feel shame"

It's about intent. I see that statement as an attempt to make him feel shame for asking for the concert money.

Now, of course it's up to you if you want him to feel shame. Will he? Does someone who asks for money to get to a concert when he could be paying back some of the $4500.00 feel shame about it?

I'm thinking not. It seems like this may be another attempt to control the uncontrollable hummingbird?
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Old 06-13-2019, 02:41 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I don't think it's about shame really. I think it's about you learning when to say no. So if he quits IOP...then relapses...rinse and repeat...why do you continue to pay?

Instead of shaming anyone (especially yourself), I think just learning that no is a complete sentence and using it...often...is the wisest choice.

If you are looking at the situation, I think that to make someone aware that the deductible cost $4500 is something that should happen, but adding it into other conversations is useless.

Boundaries my friend, boundaries.....
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Old 06-13-2019, 05:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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He knew how much the deductible was/is and when he quit I made sure I told him..."Well now I owe all this money and you quit. Just like you quit last year.." He said to me "I don't care. I am an adult and can make my own decisions." It was at that point I told him I was done and will no longer help in anyway.
However, I had signed the paperwork from the treatment that I was responsible for the payment. That won't happen again. He either goes to in network or pays it himself. I will no longer sign any paperwork from a treatment center.
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Old 06-13-2019, 05:53 PM   #5 (permalink)
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If he quit or followed through we would have owed it either way.

you incurred this debt that you were going to owe regardless of the outcome. that he bailed on rehab does not change that FACT. of course you had expectations that this expense MIGHT help him on his way.

here's the thing about "helping" or assisting someone else's recovery is that it might not take AT THE TIME.....however (and this goes for members sharing at AA meetings too) the seed MAY have been planted. and that seed MIGHT take 3 months or 3 years to germinate. we just don't know. we are not responsible for the results.

in your last post you were upset that he was not contacting or responding to you. is this you way of getting back at him? trying to throw out a fresh worm on the line and get a bite? we should always check our own motives...........
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Old 06-13-2019, 06:27 PM   #6 (permalink)
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hummingbird....we all have different styles....My way, with this kind of request, would be short and to the point. "No, I am not going to enable you".
If he wanted to debate and argue with you about it....I would say "This is not negotiable". "Sorry".
If he pushed on and threw a tantrum....I would simply say, "Call me later, when you are in a better mood...goodbye".

He sounds at about 14yrs. old, in terms of his assuming adult responsibilities....so, I think you may have to respond to him the way a parent presents boundaries for a 14yr.old. It is not mean to do so...it is being a good parent, in my opinion. He is going to need to mature and grow up, emotionally....

Here is an underlying principle----the young adult struggles with the developmental task of independence/dependence....Nature is pushing them in the direction of wanting independence...yet, they are still dependent in some ways....inside, they hate still feeling dependent....so they transfer that "hate" onto the parent......At the same time they are asking you for stuff---they resent you for being there to give it. You remind them of their dependence.
There is generally conflict between the parent and the young adult, at this stage.....If all goes as Nature intended...both parent and child stumble and grow through it all...…
but, if something(s) interfere with this developmental stage...some people stay stuck in it.....

Remind yourself....
No enabling
No JADING for you
No false Guilt!
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Old 06-14-2019, 02:05 AM   #7 (permalink)
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If it were me I would say in a fairly neutral voice that I was still paying off the IOP (only when he asks for money). I don't blame you for being bitter but sometime less is more.
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Old 06-14-2019, 05:21 AM   #8 (permalink)
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You knew what the bill would be. It hasn't changed, just because it didn't work.

You can *try* and shame him, and succeed, and you'll be petty. You can try and fail, and get into an argument with him.

The problem I see is offering an explanation where none is needed. That rarely ends well. "No" is a complete sentence.
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Old 06-14-2019, 08:48 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I think you want your son to recognize YOUR feelings, acknowledge that he’s hurt you, disappointed you again and put you in a financial hole. His ask for money to attend a concert stirred up resentments, brought right to the surface a reminder that he’s not concerned about your feelings or your financial situation.

When we push, prod, guilt, threaten, manipulate and coerce a loved one into rehab/programs and choose to back up our plan of attack on their addiction using our finances, we take a tremendous risk and are never emotional prepared for their counter attack. The counter attack is leaving rehab early, not following through with recommendations after they are discharged, etc.

When I listen to family/friends of A’s who are holding onto resentments and share their story, that story always involves every single thing the A has ever did or said that caused hurt. Years and years later that resentment comes out as if the A just did those things yesterday not 5, 10 or 20 years ago. Resentment eats you alive and will always hurt you more than the person you resent.

You made choices out of love, things did not go as you had planned or hoped for, gotta let it go and learn from it.
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Old 06-14-2019, 09:36 AM   #10 (permalink)
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This is an interesting question. If the Q doesn’t get reminded of the damage, is that protecting him from the consequences of his addiction?

I would think it’s one thing to continually bring it up, But given these circumstances, where he was asking for money to attend what probably would have been a drunk fest, isn’t it fair to say, “we are paying off the rehab bill right now”?

And the OP is allowed to be angry, no?
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Old 06-14-2019, 09:57 AM   #11 (permalink)
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It might be shaming, but then again you are stating the facts. If it's shaming, then I'm guilty of it. We are in debt for thousands of dollars in medical bills.....an emergency trip to the hospital for an alcohol induced seizure, an out-of-network hospital stay in ICU due to alcohol and all the bells and whistles that went with that, a week-long medical detox in a facility, and outpatient rehab that he relapsed during and dropped out of.... the bills are literally sitting in front of me. So when he talks about buying a new house (something we REALLY want) or putting in a pool (something I've wanted my whole life since I was a little girl) I can't help but bring up the fact that none of it will be possible until we get our debt paid down.

I've also thrown it in his face in anger. Not proud about that, but it was in the heat of the moment when we were arguing.

I personally don't think you were shaming....a concert is a frivolous thing, not a "need".
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Old 06-14-2019, 11:51 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I know this is hard, first hand. And I marvel at how some of us, me included (stomach hurting, heart pounding) are so sensitive to the feelings of the very people who have shown complete disregard for ours. I know it's a disease, but I quite frankly, have had it with looking for the positive in my alcoholic son, and making excuses and excusing behavior that I would never accept in anyone else. Trying to build him up whenever possible.
My son has ignored me from the day I said, "the more you drink, the nastier you are". And I keep trying to shine a light in that hole he has climbed into, knowing that he is hurting, that he has a disease, but what about me? I have feelings too...so do you hummingbird, so do we all.
I have to take care of me, this is only life I've got, and I refuse to be miserable. I am done worrying about his feelings. I am ready to consider mine first.
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Old 06-14-2019, 11:57 AM   #13 (permalink)
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This is an interesting question. If the Q doesn’t get reminded of the damage, is that protecting him from the consequences of his addiction?

I would think it’s one thing to continually bring it up, But given these circumstances, where he was asking for money to attend what probably would have been a drunk fest, isn’t it fair to say, “we are paying off the rehab bill right now”?

And the OP is allowed to be angry, no?
Yes I think the OP has a right to be angry that she is being asked for yet more money. And I am sure that she let her son know at the time he decided NOT to follow through with the suggested/planned treatment that she was going to be losing a lot of money. He knows what he did, he knows she is out all of that money, not sure continuing to remind him of that fact will do anything more than cause further distance and resentments.

I think the smarter and wiser thing is to simple just say no. Really no explanation is needed allow actions to speak louder then repeated words.
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Old 06-14-2019, 02:47 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Hummingbird...I too want to make sure I am not negating your right to be A.N.G.R.Y about all of this! I would be livid and would have a very hard time not letting him know it. I also know beneath anger is hurt, anxiety, fears, all sorts of other emotions that you have every right to feel and be heard on.

I know in my experience it has been more helpful to express those actual emotions in a controlled environment when I am calm. That is just me though. Once I realized it did not good to do so, I simply...stopped.

Big hugs friend. Big huge hugs.
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Old 06-14-2019, 04:48 PM   #15 (permalink)
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To be honest, I'm not sure letting him know you're disappointed is wrong...just a waste of time.

By the time I was living in my own apartment, my entertainment budget was a "velma" problem, not a "Mom and Dad" problem.

I was a good daughter, and called my Mom every Saturday morning.
I remember buying our first house. My mother asked how we were fixed for appliances, I got a little excited: were Mom and dad going to gift us with a fridge or a washer? I said, well, we've been saving up, I think we're okay.

Then she said, "Because if you need to, you could sign a promissory note to your Dad and I."

That was so like Mom and Dad. I miss them....
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Old 06-14-2019, 05:00 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Oh I too agree that it would annoy anyone. You probably want to shame him in to getting his crap together - I get that too!

The thing is, it's just not going to work. Someone who is calling you up for money to go to a concert, when there is an outstanding bill of $4500.00 will be totally unfazed by your comment - at least that's my take on it.

But! I'm not worried about him, his concern is the concert. You are $4500.00 in debt and carrying around a lot of resentment.

My point was, figuring out a way to let that go, for you, not for him. He will never pay you back you know. If by some miracle he does - it will be years down the road, so that's a fruitless resentment. Resentment only hurts you.

It happened. You spent a lot of money on rehab for nothing. He is your Son though and you wanted to try to help him and in some ways which you may not even be able to see, perhaps you did. Next step is to let him get on with his life, make his own decisions and no more financial support from you. Treat him as you normally would without all this other stuff going on. Continue to say no.

He won't change his treatment of you until you change your treatment of him.
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Old 06-15-2019, 05:22 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Thanks everyone for your thoughts. He made contact this week by sending just a pic of a cat which was fine. I did ask him about his next vivitrol shot and he replied that he stopped getting them which made my stomach flip. So he said when he got it in april that they hit a nerve causing his leg to hurt for a few weeks... so when it came time to get it in May he chose not to get it.... I had no clue. So he is 2 months now without the shot. Only had it in April... I suggested maybe he look into something else that may help with cravings. He does have naltrexone pills but he didn't say if he takes them. Not my problem - right! So I know this was wrong to do and I need to let go but I did it... I reached out to someone that is in contact with my son out there and he told me that he did drink near the end of May and is not longer seeing his sponsor... So all I can do is pray that he got back on track again. That explains why he didn't send me the 60 days sober pic.. he sent me one at 30 days so I was waiting for the 60 day one and it never came. I know he doesn't have to send me that but it is something he was doing before when he was in recovery and I guess I was looking for it again. I understand now why.

So, if anything I have learned from this is exactly what all of you have said to me... telling him something from home shouldn't be something I fear because it may lead him to drink.... I didn't tell him anything and he drank.

As for him always telling me that he has no money ....Like..why doesn't he look at his arms filled with tattoos and figure out how much that cost!
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Old 06-15-2019, 09:42 AM   #18 (permalink)
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As for him always telling me that he has no money ....Like..why doesn't he look at his arms filled with tattoos and figure out how much that cost!
Why would he? In his life I'm guessing he has always relied on you and your Husband to top up funds?

That becomes a way of life. He's not you. I'm guessing if you borrowed 20 dollars from a family member because you forgot your wallet you would be dashing home to get it right away and get them their money.

That's not him.

He spends his money on what he wants then flies by the seat of his pants to top up his cash flow, whether that's you or other people or gambling or whatever his thing is.

That's a way of life, a mindset, not a one off thing.

The only way to help him with this is to stop giving him the money. That is the actual solution.
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