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question about amends

Old 04-23-2007, 01:52 PM
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question about amends

friends,
one quick question. when the addict tells you everything he has stolen from you and the family what are you supposed to do? Expect repayment? Tell them it is in the past. move on? Give them time to formulate a repayment plan? In other words exactly how reaponsible should they be moneywise? I am at a loss here........forgive or hold them accountable? Just wondering........dixie
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Old 04-23-2007, 01:54 PM
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It was my understanding that they need to be accountable and make a living amends as well....

But I guess I would have to ask, what would you like to see happen and what would help you to forgive?
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Old 04-23-2007, 02:12 PM
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dixied - To me I think addicts should be held accountable for thier actions. Forgiving them is not making amends by them so by holding them accountable, to me, it reinforces what they did, the pain they caused and the price for thier fix. I dont know why you ask as I dont think I have ever heard of a addict making financial reperations to anyone. If you get money be happy that the A is trying otherwise, dont hold your breathe.
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Old 04-23-2007, 02:29 PM
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i probably did not phrase my previous question very well .....for example........ son pawned deceased grandmothers china. I paid and got it out as it was sentimental to husband and it meant sometnig to him. Therefore husband thinks son should repay that amount to us......hold him accountable. Does this make what I was asking clearer? my thanks......dixie p.s. and yes we can get $$$ back by withholding the proceeds from a trust fund that I oversee. my thanks again , dixie
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Old 04-23-2007, 02:31 PM
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IMHO....

I agree with your husband.
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Old 04-23-2007, 02:35 PM
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I think it is a good idea, but I would be less strict about the "time frame".

I think amends are best when the addict is in control of them. You might discuss with the addict if he even PLANNED on making amends, or if telling you and apologizing is what HE thought was enough.

Most addicts don't get to the amends stuff until quite a ways into program.... mainly, because for the amends to be meaningful, they have to do a lot of footwork first.

Does your husband just want the money? Or does he want it paid back with money the kid earns (and values) and after you son is in a place where the hurt of the theft can also be addressed?

Perhaps explaining that an amends is expected "at some time".... would work?

Just some thoughts...
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Old 04-23-2007, 05:33 PM
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Dixied, part of the making amends is just just "telling" but being ready to start making the physical restitution also. just "telling" is futile.

Having now been sober for many years I have been on both sides, making them and receiving them. Where needed I made financial restitution and in one case was able to find a replacement article of like and kind for something I had intentionally broken in an alcoholic rage. On the receiving end, there have been several times when I have had to ask 'what do you intend to do about it?'

So I have to ask you Dixied, what did or do you want from the amends?

J M H O

Love and hugs,
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Old 04-23-2007, 05:55 PM
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I think you've gotten very good thoughts thus far on this thread.
But, I'd like to add a perspective.

There is no way my son could possible repay what he's stolen from me. Oh, in many, many years, he *might* be able to repay the monetary aspect of it. But, it would take a very long time, considering he can only get a minimum wage job with his arrest and conviction record, and no college degree or even any technical training.

So, to *expect* that restitution from him would be futile.
I would be setting myself up for a resentment.
And I would also be setting him up for unlimited frustration.

Ya know, one of the reasons for WWII, is that the reparations that Germany was supposed to pay the world for WWI were unreasonably high. Germany could NEVER get out of debt; they would still be paying today! So, the people were angered, resentful and bitter. They willingly went after a scapegoat, and Hitler willingly gave them one.

My point in that little history lesson, ( ) is that the addict, unable to fulfill his/her obligation too, will become bitter, angered and resentful. That's a sure set up for a relapse, if you ask me.

Now, I do not know the extent of what he owes you. So, this moral may not be pertinant. But, for my son, it is somehting I have to keep in mind. I don't want repayment at that cost. What I really want is for my son to be clean, sober, and happy.

Just my rambling thoughts...

Shalom!
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Old 04-23-2007, 06:18 PM
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my son took irreplaceable items....(sigh...I shudder when I think of it...)
there is no way to repay with $$

I want my son to be clean healthy and sober (as teach said)
as long as I have that i'm willing and able to forget about the material possessions

part of my recovery was letting go and forgiving...
my son is now in recovery and I will not revisit the past

I always need to find ways to rationalize and on this one I simply look at it as if I was robbed by a stranger or lost it in a fire....in any case it's gone and I've moved on

I guess its a little different in your case...there is $ for repayment and you know the amount...

perhaps you could shelve this for the time being...as I recall your son is in very early recovery...

first things first
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Old 04-23-2007, 06:21 PM
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To me, part of becoming a responsible adult is to pay your debts...whether it be 5.00 a week for 10 years. It may never be paid in full, but, making the effort is a value that can be appreciated and will over time build that lacking element, self esteem. Pride in ones achievements.

I usually agree with Teach, but, in this case I do not...to me, it just another form of enabling.
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Old 04-23-2007, 08:10 PM
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i kind of agree with dolly, i think that if you want to be repaid, then maybe you should just let him know that you expect to be paid. i think that it would be a consequence of his action. maybe he'll learn from his mistake. sounds like an issue of principal. keeping him and you in my prayers.
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Old 04-23-2007, 08:15 PM
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to all who have offered their insight I do thank you so very much. Yes, he is in early recovery but I guess my dh is still so saddened by what my son did......you see, my son is his stepson and he became his dad when son was six years old. son is now 32......so you see he(dh) is extremely hurt by what son did. yes, there is money to repay this but it isn't money son earned........so where is the lesson to be learned? To be very honest my son has had a very easy life financially and I don't think he has ever valued much. But I guess that is looking back and I have to look forward, right? And the list goes on and on as to what he has taken from us and sold. It is just that the china held memories to my husband of times when as a young boy he remembers the family table being set with the china, special family times ,and then we had to go on Thanksgiving and get it from a pawn shop, one of the worst times I have ever experienced .........being sold was sort of a desecration. And to tell you the truth I am so humiliated by the things he sold when my husband treated my son as his own child. So I guess in a nutshell I am not only conflicted but caught between a rock and a hard place. I just think my son should take the responsibility at some point. It doesn't have to be immediately right after his rehab stay but at some point. Thanks for listening.................dixie
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Old 04-24-2007, 12:03 PM
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i do understand dixied, maybe try not to feel guilty for what your son had done, it is not a reflection on you. your son made the decisions and you had nothing to do with any of it. i do understand too how your husband feels. sorry that you feel caught in the middle. i'm glad the your son is doing better, and i pray that he continues, maybe in time, the two of them will be able to work this out.

my rah have step children and so do i, and i do understand how that would cause you to feel when their is sort of a problem with the 'steps'. hope i'm not being out of line here.
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Old 04-24-2007, 12:20 PM
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I really don't have any advice on this topic, but I just wanted to say that I think it is a great topic to discuss. so, thanks for the post Dixied!
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Old 04-24-2007, 01:34 PM
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IMHO...I think you should leave the thinking up to your son. Ask him....
Ask him what he wants to do about it. Let him come up with a solution to the problems he created and the money lost. At 32 he is certainly old enough to know what the responsible thing to do is.
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Old 04-24-2007, 03:47 PM
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thanks to cupicake for her post. I think that is just what I needed to hear. .let him begin to accept life on life's terms. I also want to say I am very nervous about the trip to get him on Thursday.... what in the world will we talk about on a six hour trip back home.... I know, one day at a time but I am still very nervous. thanks to all who have show me kindness and support.......dixie
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Old 04-24-2007, 06:03 PM
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I think like everything else we need to be realistic. Teach has a great point. I could not pay the massive amount of money I stole in active addiction and you better belive I have paid for it. Making amends is owning up to what I did where that is possible and will not cause further injury. Part of that owning up may well be returning money or goods or making amends by working it of.

If it was my daughter I would be much more concerned with supporting her in her recovery and dealing with my feelings in my recovery.

Kevin
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Old 04-24-2007, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by dixied View Post
thanks to cupicake for her post. I think that is just what I needed to hear. .let him begin to accept life on life's terms. I also want to say I am very nervous about the trip to get him on Thursday.... what in the world will we talk about on a six hour trip back home.... I know, one day at a time but I am still very nervous. thanks to all who have show me kindness and support.......dixie
Just wanted to say Good Luck on Thursday. It will be great~
Try not to worry about what to say for 6 hours, it will all
come naturally if you let it. He's probably nervous also,
You guys will do just fine or better than fine. ;-)
((((.....))))
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