How to Stop My Mom from Enabling

Old 05-11-2013, 08:07 PM
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How to Stop My Mom from Enabling

Hi all,

I'm new to the forums. This Thursday I found my 18 year old brother in his bedroom overdosed on heroin. He was blue/gray and I was told had it taken five minutes longer for an ambulance to get there, he would have died.

My mother is well-meaning but is always trying to rescue him. He's in a psych program right now and my mother has told him he cannot come home once it's over and must go to rehab (if not an army-based program we are working to get him into). In the past, he has signed himself out of rehab before only to find his way home and my mother eventually allowed him to stay.

I don't know how to get my mom to realize the consequences of her babying him without yelling, screaming, or breaking down in front of her. If anyone has any suggestions, I would truly appreciate it.
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Old 05-12-2013, 04:24 AM
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Hi Amanda

I am the mama of an addict and I too enabled my son for many years, always thinking that if I just loved him enough, if I gave him a safe place to live and start over again, if I was there to supervise his choices...that maybe he would be able to stay clean.

It was a huge mistake, all I did was bring his addiction into my home, my place of peace became a war zone and I had given myself a front row seat to his addiction and that's the worse seat in the house.

Please tell your mama that the most loving thing we can do is to let go, and let our children find their own way. We can cheer them on and encourage them, but we cannot do for them what they should and can do for themselves.

I will keep your brother in my prayers, that he may find a better path and stay on it. And I will pray for you and your mama too, it is heart breaking to watch someone we love destroy their lives with drugs.

Hugs
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Old 05-12-2013, 11:05 AM
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Thank you very much, Ann. That helps a lot.

Amanda
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Old 05-12-2013, 01:07 PM
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What helped me most, Amanda, was to go to meetings and learn to live my life in a healthier way. CoDA was my home group, but Al-anon and Nar-anon are two similar fellowships that many here have found life saving.

Maybe encourage your mom and others in your family to go to a few meetings and see if it doesn't help. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

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Old 05-13-2013, 12:24 PM
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What a horrible experience for you - I'm so sorry!

The thing to remember is that just as your mother can't "save" your brother, you can't "save" your mother, either. She has her own journey and needs to set her own boundaries so she can live with whatever comes.

Just like it may take a number of attempts at rehab for an addict to embrace recovery, it can take a long time for loving parents of addicts to find their way.

I urge you to focus on what you need to find your own serenity, rather than worrying about how your mother should manage your brother to try to force him into recovery. If you feel that you can't live in a house with an active addict, then find another place to live if she chooses to let him come home again, for example.

ALAnon would be very helpful for you, I think.
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Old 05-13-2013, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by amanda39 View Post
Hi all,

I'm new to the forums. This Thursday I found my 18 year old brother in his bedroom overdosed on heroin. He was blue/gray and I was told had it taken five minutes longer for an ambulance to get there, he would have died.

My mother is well-meaning but is always trying to rescue him. He's in a psych program right now and my mother has told him he cannot come home once it's over and must go to rehab (if not an army-based program we are working to get him into). In the past, he has signed himself out of rehab before only to find his way home and my mother eventually allowed him to stay.

I don't know how to get my mom to realize the consequences of her babying him without yelling, screaming, or breaking down in front of her. If anyone has any suggestions, I would truly appreciate it.
Hi, Amanda...

You have to allow your mother the space and the opportunity to come around on her own. It's not dissimilar to allowing the addict the dignity to make their own mistakes. The only things we have control over in this life are our own behavior and choices.

Worry about you.

ZoSo
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Old 05-13-2013, 08:17 PM
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I have cried and begged and pleaded and cried and not spoken to and shamed and blamed my exes mother for being the enabler ever since D left rehab. Her in laws, husband, and other son have done the same.

there is nothing any of us can do. :,(
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Old 05-13-2013, 10:00 PM
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There's a saying....get between an addict and their drug of choice...and you become the enemy.

The same can be said for the enabling/codependent. Get between them and the addict....and you become the enemy.

I'll share with you what my dear daughter did (her brother, my son, is the addict--I was the enabler/codependent). My daughter detached from her brother first. She stepped away. She couldn't stand his behavior and she held strong boundaries. As she detached from her brother, I began to try to manipulate and guilt her into staying in the "dance". She wanted off the dance floor.

Next....she began detaching from me. It was simply too difficult for her to watch what was going on with my enabling and her brother's addiction. She needed to protect/save herself.

I am so grateful to my daughter for taking care of herself and beginning to detach from me. She modeled healthy behavior. She was never mean about it. She did it in a quiet but firm way. She made me realize that I didn't want to lose my healthy relationships (her) in trade for an unhealthy relationship (her brother). And she did it for herself. She didn't do it with the intent to change me......but that was the result.

My daughter's a smart cookie.

My best suggestion for you....take care of you. Model healthy behavior. Don't try to force an outcome.... and don't get between your Mom and her addicted child. And if you need to detach from both of them in order to save yourself.....that's ok.....take care of you.

gentle hugs
ke
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Old 05-15-2013, 05:29 AM
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Can't stand it!!

Hi! I'm new here. Let me explain a little background. My brother is an addict. Pretty much of anything he can get his hands on. He was caught huffing gas when he was 12 and it went downhill from there. Instead of getting him help, when he got in trouble (DUI, his first robbery, etc.), my parents would get him out of trouble. He is now 34. He has been in long term, inpatient rehab three times. He has been in jail three times for a total of approximately four years. He is a con man, a thief, and a liar of the worst sort. And I am finished with him.

My mother continues to be blinded. He has stolen EVERYTHING she has and sold it. He even loaded up all the cattle and sold them. He has wrecked every vehicle she has ever had. She is on disability and takes pain medication, which he steals at least every other month. She has custody of his kids because his ex wife is as bad as he is.

She and I fight regularly over this. She continues to be a doormat and won't sand up for herself. He is back at her house right now because he didn't pay his rent and his utilities were shut off.

I finally told her that if he was at her house, then my eight year old daughter wouldn't be. She called me a stubborn, selfish, cynical bitch. But at what point do you say ENOUGH??? Why can't she understand that I don't want my daughter in that environment? Why can't she understand that i'm tired of being mad on her behalf?

Am I wrong???
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Old 05-15-2013, 08:21 AM
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Am I wrong???
The short answer.....no.

As the codependent (see my post above) I did very similar things that your mother is doing (although I never called my dear darter names, I did use manipulative tactics like Guilt and Manipulation) to keep her in the dance of addiction. This is why they call it a family disease.

Take care of you. Take care of your child. And don't fall for the manipulative tactics of your mother or your brother.....they are both addicts in a way......just on different ends of the scale.

Welcome to SR.....I hope you find support here that helps you deal with the addict(s) in your life.

gentle hugs
ke
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Old 05-17-2013, 02:38 PM
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Kindeyes,

That gives me a lot of hope. Thank you. My brother is coming home today for what is only supposed to be the weekend. I plan on staying home for now. Should things get out of control, or should he be here past Monday, I will have to leave and detach myself from my mother, too. I already have barely a relationship with my brother. I am really scared, because I know had I left the house earlier my brother would be dead right now. But I'm truly out of options and I know I can't live my life peeking into my brother's room every five minutes, making sure he's alive.
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Old 05-17-2013, 02:55 PM
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Thanks so much. I feel really guilty that I'm keeping my daughter from her but her wellbeing comes first. It makes,me sad.
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