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what are some subtle forms of enabling

Old 03-12-2009, 06:31 AM
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what are some subtle forms of enabling

At a family/friend meeting a couple of weeks ago, a recovering addict told us that when our addicted loved one becomes homeless and we let them store their stuff at our place, we are enabling them because their addict logic tells them that they really are not homeless, that where their "stuff" is is where they hang their hat and is their home, and that where their stuff is they have an ownership stake in. In my case, AS has his stuff in my basement, and now he just shows up unannounced, would just walk in if the door were unlocked, and proceeds to the basement with nary an explanation and goes through his stuff. He might take some out, he might not. Now, i've put a time limit of this stuff being here and i will enforce it. But i've already enabled him by allowing it here in the first place - the opportunity has already been missed for him to experience the consequences of becoming homeless, and I regret having contributed to his denial. But i've learned...

A poster last week said, "When you give an alcoholic a ride, you extend their drinking." That's a pretty small thing compared to the "biggies."

Okay - so we all know the biggies of enabling - letting them stay rent-free, paying their fines, bailing them out of jail, etc.etc.etc.

What are some of the more subtler ways of enabling that you have come across? I ask this for my own education...
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Old 03-12-2009, 07:04 AM
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I went on a 12 step yesterday, where the alcoholic lives with their 86 year old mother. Her mother is on tablets to help her sleep. She had given them to they alcoholic the night before because alcoholic said they could not sleep. 86 had no pills left, and suffered a long restless night. alcoholic passed out eventually with alcohol.she hoooked on drugs and alcohol.

She collects doctors certs, ring appointments to cancel for alcoholic. listens to her sad stories...Cleans up after her....I really wish she would stop because its just delaying alcoholic getting help.
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Old 03-12-2009, 08:19 AM
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In my case the enabling was more emotional. My AS is 16 so its not like i can just throw him out on the street. Mine is more making him accountable for his actions and enforcing house rules. but bigger than that is not allowing him to use me as his excuse anymore - not accepting that his problems are mine or the reason he uses is because of me. Everyone is different so I think that enabling can take on different forms - if what you do keeps them from feeling the true consequences of their actions then its enabling.
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