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The crippling effects of enabling

Old 02-18-2009, 03:33 PM
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The crippling effects of enabling

My daughter and her non-addict boyfriend are planning a trip to Florida. He will pay for the flight and hotel, she pays this month's bills and brings the spending money. He promised to have $1100 for cutting down two trees, so she booked the trip. I told her to get trip insurance because I believed that he was lieing about the trees. Well today his step-mother calls me and lets me know that he has been begging for money from his mother and step-dad. Mother called step-mother and both think that Megan is a golddigger. That is so far from the truth since she has been working full time and bringing home the only steady paycheck. Boyfriend has been lieing to both Megan and his two sets of parents. Come to find out they have been giving him money for months. The work he says that he has been doing is all a lie. Then the step mother told me that his mother is declaring bankruptcy and selling her home because her children have basically spent her into the ground and she can't say no. My daughter's boyfriend is dsylexic and uses it as an excuse to be a lazy bum. I have been seeing the red flags for months but daughter makes excuses. It is just so pitiful to see a healthy, strong 25 year old man-boy having been enabled to the point where he can't read, can't write, can't get a job, etc. So for all you parents out there that think you are doing your children a favor (addict or non-addict) by bailing them out, paying their bills, etc., know that you are doing them a far worse disservice by helping. Hugs, Marle
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Old 02-18-2009, 04:49 PM
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((Marle)) I'm sorry Megan is having to learn, the hard way, that her bf is the one who is a "golddigger". Sorry, but I'm still laughing at his family thinking SHE is the one that is that way, as I know far better.

I was blessed to be raised by parents who instilled a work ethic into me. Yes, I was probably given a few more things than other kids, but other than the 2 years I was out using, I've worked since I was 16. It goes against every bone in my body, to NOT work for what I want. That hasn't stopped me, in the past, from enabling others, though.

You've reminded me, today, why it's the wrong thing to do...it only hurts the one who is enabled.

Hugs and prayers!

Amy
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Old 02-18-2009, 05:29 PM
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I recently dated one of these Mamas'-boy princes. He quit his job the week after we first went out "looking for something better." The whole month and a half we dated, he "job-searched." Several times, he'd run out of money and ask me for some, but thank goodness I knew better.

Once he even threatened to "go out and break the law" if he had to for money. His mother used to always crack under the pressure and give him money when he would say that. He was always trying to get me to be more involved with him, let him move in, etc, but I wouldn't go for it, as I was in recovery and starting to get a better sense of self-esteem. I began trying to figure out how to break it off without a lot of repercussions, as I've had a couple of stalkers in my past, and he was showing all the signs of it.

I have had a hard time getting him out of my life. He wasn't used to being told no and he made that clear. Once he said "I have a bad temper, and I will lose it if you do me wrong. I'm not responsible for what I might do. So you better be careful." Eventually, though, I gathered up all my nerve and told him to stop coming over to my house. He agreed, though it took several uncomfortable hours to let him talk his way to "closure."

When I left for work the next day, I was relieved to be out of it. I travelled to a convention that night. My adult daughter called from my home to tell me that this man had actually come back to my home, made himself a sandwich, and was hanging out in my bedroom! Talk about dope-fiend behavior! I then told him over the phone in no uncertain terms that if he did not leave I would have him arrested. I also explained that if he returned without an invitation, I would have him arrested. He left without incident, thankfully, he is on parole and didn't want to do 3 years for a violation like this.

I thought that would be the end of it, but it wasn't. He continued to call me and ask me out for dinner almost every other day or so. I couldn't understand this. I was never encouraging, never said maybe or yes, always "No, it's not a good idea." I never explained or allowed him to talk long, always cut him off politely and made it clear I wasn't going to go. This went on for about 2 months, until last week, when he asked me "Are you ever going to let me take you out for dinner? After all, I ate at your house many times and I just want to pay you back." I explained the best way to pay me back would be by letting me be alone. Hopefully, that will be the last time I hear from him, but I doubt it.

I'm not dating now, as my picker is obviously broken!

Anyway, I kinda got off topic, here. Thanks for letting me vent!


KJ
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Old 02-18-2009, 06:18 PM
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I refuse to feel sorry for either one of them. I really do understand the saying that my mom had, "You made your bed so now lie in it." The step-mom asked me if I thought Megan should be spending her money for vacation since she is planning on going to college in the fall. I just told her that it is her money and she can spend it anyway she wants. We don't help her pay her bills. The step-mom then said she did help the boyfriend pay bills so they have a right to tell him what to do with the money. I used to think that way too. But what I found is that it creates all kinds of resentments. It is just easier to say NO (of course we all know that we need to learn that lesson the hard way) Hugs, Marle
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Old 02-18-2009, 06:35 PM
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((Marle)) - isn't it amazing how things our mom's taught us, come back to us, years later. Just think...a few years from now, Megan will be saying "I really do understand what my mom always said about.....""

Hugs and prayers!

Amy
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Old 02-18-2009, 06:37 PM
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Hi Marle:

ALL I CAN SAY TO THAT IS AMEN!

I have a girlfriend who has a 26 year old son that is driving her crazy. He was a trained vet-tech, but hurt his back and so he quit. He has been out of work now for 18 months and cannot even collect unemployment.

To add insult to injury they bought him a home right before all this happened and now are paying for two households!

This friend has been around me for years and knows what I've been through! I have even said to her, "do you want to grow up to be like me?"

Poor thing, just can't say no to anything. Recently had his nose fixed 'cause he thinks that's the reason he can't get a job! HELLO??? Oh, he had a job a month ago, but quit after 2 days as he felt he wasn't getting paid enough.

So, what can you do. Everyone has to learn at their own pace. Took me years to get to this point!

Hugs, Devastated
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Old 02-18-2009, 06:42 PM
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Me thinks my daughter may be getting a taste of her own medicine. What goes around comes around.......Hugs, Marle
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Old 02-18-2009, 06:53 PM
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Geeze Marle, you're writing about my MIL. She'll never get the damage and disrespect that she did her son though. *I* on the other hand am doing a pretty good job at keeping firm boundaries and avoiding contact!
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Old 02-18-2009, 07:26 PM
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(((Marle)))

Now, THAT is something my mom always said..."what goes around, comes around"...darned if she wasn't right

I do think that some of what I'm going through with stepmom is "payback" for what I put dad and stepmom through with my addiction...just coming back around, huh?

Hugs and prayers!

Amy
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Old 02-18-2009, 08:32 PM
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My mom had so many sayings. The one I remember most of all was
"lie down with dogs, get up with fleas!" She was so funny! And so smart!
LOL

Hugs, Devastated
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Old 02-18-2009, 08:55 PM
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My Mom got mad when it rained and she wasn't ready for it! HELLLLOOOO we lived in Seattle!

You lucky folk with such wise Moms!
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Old 02-18-2009, 09:26 PM
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Marle - Hope Megan keeps her focus on her recovery and does not get drawn into his dysfunctional mess any more. Mom hugs to you!

Yep, enabling can be very bad, be it from a parent or a spouse. I was determined to NEVER enable my AH. Never. Not me. NOPE. I didn't bail him out of drug related problems, refused to call in sick for him, always made it clear if he went to jail NOT to call me.

Yet - I paid the bills, kept food in the kitchen, made excuses for him, took care of details.....

ENABLED.

Took me a long time to realize just how easy I made it for him to keep screwing up. He didn't have to worry because I was always there. At times I felt more like a "mom" to him than a wife. Now that's a depressing thought!
I'm a firm believer in the "you made your bed - now sleep in it" adage so now he's sleeping in it and he doesn't like it very much.

Hope those parents will come to understand that they are hurting more than they are helping. Part of a parent's job is to prepare their children for the world - for life. Letting them stand on their own two feet when they are able, not just when they want to.
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Old 02-19-2009, 06:59 AM
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Thanks for all the reminders again and again - I'm still struggling with saying "no", it doesn't seem easy at all. But reading the previous posts help to make it make more sense to me and I continue to try to work the Naranon program to the best of my ability.

Your experience and stories help me (and many others I'm sure) to realize I can do it if I just keep turning it over to my HP and trying to work my program - THANKS!
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Old 02-19-2009, 07:20 AM
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Good thing that there isn't a time factor in our program, cause I'm still working on "NO" and the fact that some things that I thought were helpful are in fact enabling of another sort. Maybe not enabling RAD to use, but certainly enabling her not to face facts of life regarding her marriage, etc.

Thanks for the reminder.

And I love the old sayings, I often use them myself....lie down with dogs.....
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Old 02-19-2009, 08:37 AM
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And for a different perspective.....what's up with this woman calling you?

It sounds like step mom might have her own agenda.
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Old 02-19-2009, 12:39 PM
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I agree Marle, full heartedly with not letting them have ANY money. After being stung and left high and dry a few times, both of the son's are on their own if they are not sober, and maintaining a program.

It'll be interesting to see why she tells you her trip is cancelled.



Hugs and hugs..........
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Old 02-19-2009, 01:05 PM
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Update: The boyfriend is selling his guns and hunting and fishing equipment to come up with his half for the trip. You see when his parents were paying all his bills and he was living at home, any money he made by guiding a fishing or hunting trip or selling wood or doing some roofing was spent on his hunting and fishing needs. He has multiple of everything-guns, lures, tree stands, etc. So he is selling off his excess and using the money to pay for the trip. I think that step-mom may just be a little like I used to be and likes to create some drama. The boyfriend is learning a lesson and suffering some consequences because his equipment was like gold to him. So my daughter will get her trip to Florida, the boyfriend will get to keep Megan and the parents will maybe stop the enabling. But as we all know, life is not that easy. Hugs, Marle

P.S. I would like to bottle what my daughter has that seems to make men go a little crazy over her. I could make a million
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Old 02-19-2009, 02:27 PM
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The lessons I learn as a parent to young boys.... is monumental! I hope to bottle up what I learn for when they are in adolescence and men.

I was with a client yesterday who told me her son had wanted to get married while he was in college and his folks were footing the tuition. They told him he could get married - but they would stop paying for college and that he and his bride could figure it out.

The following week - he was a single man because he said no to getting married.

Three months later she was married to another man.

The parents didn't intend on pre-meditative ramifications........ all they did was stick to THEIR boundaries....... and it all un-folded as it was meant to.

This story was about 25 years ago.

Marie....... you are doing so well!!

My sister, like your daughter - had men doing everything and anything for her too. But now she is nearly 50 and can't look after herself. Fortunately - your daughter DOES look after herself too! The boyfriend is just a bonus!
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Old 02-28-2009, 11:45 AM
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Hey Marle...truer words have never been spoken. The best thing to do for your kids is to teach them to stand on their own two feet and do for themselves. I guess your daughter will eventually wake up and get sick and tired of her lying, lazy, good for nothing bum of a boyfriend. As her mom, I am sure you know she can do better. The problem is today that most of the young guys in that age group have nothing going for them. Sounds like he is living off of your girl. Pray for her to see the light. Sooner rather than later. I was an enabling mom for a short while. Never again. Because when you know better, you do better. Hopefully his parents and step parents will go broke and stop giving him everything that he doesn't work for. And your daughter needs to do the same. If he doesn't get a job, hope and pray she gets away from him. When your in your 20's you just don't see men for what they really are. Thank You and God Bless You....Angel
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Old 02-28-2009, 01:08 PM
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only in a 40 year old man, who has been unemployed for at least six months now, with NO means of support, living in the midwest where ANY jobs are few and far between, with NO motivation to find a job
OMG. for a minute I thought you were talking about my couch dweller. It's a parallel universe. I love what my mom said to me about the situation the other day (yes I've told her.) She said, "don't worry, the right time will present itself for you to enforce a solution.) Thats all she needed to say. It let me know she supports me, she loves me and she trusts me to fix my problems when I am ready.



And she's right. Timing is everything.
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