Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by everywoman, Dec 18, 2013.

  1. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    I have been reading lately, and have no real reason to post. In fact, I know I haven't posted in a very long time, because, well, it often feels like we're beating a dead horse on this forum. We complain about kids (who are actually adults) who won't change/grow up/become responsible in one breath and then in the next breath we are asking what we can do to help them change/grow up/become responsible.

    Each time you help an adult through the act of enabling, you are crippling them a little more. We learn from the mistakes we make and the consequences we face from making them. If we never have to face the consequences for our choices, if we are never made to feel guilty, if we are never made to feel uncomfortable, if we never hurt, then we can not grow!!!

    There are times when our adult children need our help. A small loan because of an illness, a co-signer on a car. But that is not after making mistake after mistake and expecting us to run to their rescue, then belittling and becoming angry at us, blaming us, for their choices.

    It is hard to watch them suffer. It is hard to watch them hurt. But they will not become the person they can be if we continue to enable them..
  2. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    Too true and often so hard to follow through on.
  3. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member


    But until we can see it, that whole enabling thing is invisible.

    Nice to see you again. Er...yep. I'm still here.

    Slow learner.


  4. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    Hey Cedar---nice to see you. It took me a long time,a painful divorce, a broken heart, and a strong man who is my best friend to help me see that I couldn't help difficult child by continuing to bail him out of every situation he placed himself in. Four years ago I stopped all communication for 6 months except for an occasional "I love you" text, and we live in the same small town. I did not lay eyes on him during that 6 months. What happened? He grew up. All on his own. He straightened up his life, learned to solve his own dilemmas, became proud of himself, and slowly, we built a new relationship as a mother and an adult son. He has changed his life. He is now an avid hunter, gainfully employed, and attending school to work in wildlife management and forestry. He is thoughtful and caring--all attributes that were hidden by the drug use and drama he created in his life. He recently had some setbacks and has fallen behind on a truck I cosigned on. He called the other day and apologized. He doesn't
  5. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    That is perfect. Thank you for posting. So good to know. Another mom here had done something similar with her daughter. Now, the daughter seems to be maturing, as well. Recently, I did the same with difficult child son. While the actual doing of the thing was scary and difficult, within just a few days I felt so sure I had done exactly the right thing FOR ME. I hope difficult child son comes around just as your son and Recovering's daughter seem to have done. If he does not? Then I am fine. I feel so much better. We don't even see the heaviness of the burden we are dragging around until we kick it away from us.

    It was easy.

    husband wanted to send difficult child son a little $ for Christmas. I made out the card? But I drew a little picture of a frowning mom with sharp teeth on it, and signed it only from "Dad."


  6. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Cedar, it'll be interesting to see if your son keeps his word and sends the money back!!!
  7. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    Well, I just spoke too soon. Got a text from difficult child asking me to call his boss because he is depressed and has too much on him and can not go to work. I texted back that he is a grown man and must learn to fight through this stuff on his own. Ugh. Not easy, but...I will not be dragged in as an enabler.
  8. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Well I guess you could say it was a good thing he just didnt ditch the job all together. Looking for the upside here!

    I so agree with you on what you originally posted. One thing that is a little bit funny is that I think my father lived as long as he did because he was afraid to leave me on my own. Not that he bailed me out of anything but he was always there just watching and Im sure worrying like holy heck sometimes. There is a song that I love but cant listen to without crying. Its called You Can Let Go Now Daddy.

    One of the verses that I love is the words. You can let go now daddy, you can let go. I think Im ready to do this on my own.
    you should look the song up. Im convinced my dad knew I was ready to do this on my own.
  9. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    I think it must be just as hard, every time we have to say no. I hope your son does well.

    Recovering? This was different money. Christmas....
  10. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    As usual a difficult child will be a difficult child. I think he is a bit manic right now---typical holiday stuff> Today's text is about how his employee shorted him $100. I gave him the # to call in a complaint, and a copy of the Fair Labor Laws. If he wants my assistance with that, I will help. But I'm not sure its not just a ploy for money.

    He also dropped 2 of his 4 classes, so he has messed up his financial aid for next quarter.

    Not my problem, I am not funding his education at this point and if he wants to rack up student loan debt, it is his problem.
  11. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    Every woman,
    I don't know you from your past life on the forum, but I know your story as all of our stories. And I know that you did right here. No calling the boss. That infantilizes your manchild, and draws you in. He'll either call or not, show up or not, get fired or not. It is not yours to manage or control...I can see you know that. I know it too, which doesn't stop me from getting drawn in sometimes...the lines are so hazy sometimes when we are close up to the problem, so much clearer from a little distance...which is why the forum helps so much.
    Looking forward to getting to know you!
  12. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

  13. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    Re: your first post....sounds good to me.
    Sometimes husband and I get confused and wary when she does things that are potentially life threatening like sleep overnight in a park.
    However, what you posted seems to still hold true.
    Hard/sad stuff.
  14. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Hi :O)

    Just wanted you to know I reread this post. You are right on all counts. I see my own future in your need to respond just as honestly, just as harshly, to this son who seems to be slipping back. A good, strong response now may prevent the slide.

    Saying a prayer for all of us, tonight.

  15. Huff

    Huff Member

    Sometimes you have to beat the dead horse to get the saddle off. Posting always helps to some extent for me. I still am amazed that I am not alone in this journey anymore. I thank god for everyone who post here. I feel and hurt right alongside y'all but find comfort in being. Here take care