Enabling coming to a quick halt

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by newstart, Sep 28, 2018.

  1. newstart

    newstart Active Member

    Thank you Tanya for posting that article on enabling. When I look back I can see that by helping my daughter I was not helping her at all. I thought it was helping but in reality it calmed my nerves and kept her stuck. I always remember 'Do on to others how you would like to be done' but that does not work with the mind set of my daughter.
    My daughter recently read a book that has made a positive change in her. I do not know the name of the book. I have noticed that when she is complaining she catches herself and tries to make it positive. She used to go on and on about how horrible her periods are, how broke she is, how awful her boyfriend is etc etc and now when she goes into a negative ramble she stops in the middle and moves it to something positive.
    On Oct.1 she had better pay all her bills to us or else she is moving out. NO more waiting another month, helping her with anything, or trying to work something out with her, we are done with that and there is NO going back. Our days of enabling are done. I must admit that my husband was done a long time ago, he had the strength to do it, I was not that strong at the time because we all know it takes mega strength to just sit back and watch them fall. I believe I have the strength now...It is sink or swim for her and if I see her falter I may have to get out of town because it is very hard for me to watch.

    A while back my husband and I took our daughter to our financial adviser to help her set up some funds and invest for her future. My daughter asked the adviser about our financial situation and the adviser told her 'You do not ever have to worry about them' This made me mad, first of all it was none of my daughters business, and it was after that she decided to open her expensive spa thinking that mom and dad would just cover it. I do not think the adviser thought she was doing any harm, she probably thought this was a concerned daughter for her parents future.. We will be having a meeting with our adviser and will be discussing this. Most people that do not have troubled kids have no idea the mind set of a child that truly does not care about the out come of their parents.
    They may act like they do and because you love them so much you want them to care but just look at the tone and actions, it speaks volumes.

    The weird thing is that my daughter calls me everyday. With her disorder, I think she cares sometimes, sometimes not, it is always off and on but she has to know what I am doing all the time. When my daughter went to college overseas she did the same thing everyday even from the other side of the world.. I feel this is unfair because I do not know most of the stuff that is going on in her life, it is a big secret, but I share my life with her. When she calls I do not listen to words anymore, I just listen to tone and put the pieces together like a detective.

    I recently won an award, my daughter posted that on her Facebook. This is huge, she never posts anything about me, I was surprised and shocked that she would do that and even though it was a nice thing to do, I wondered why she did it....Everything she does I have to examine and examine again because she has done me so very wrong in the past.

    Does she sense that I am about to let the entire reins out of my hands? As in the past when I get too excited about her getting on the right path and I think she is finally moving forward, something stupid happens and it all goes back to square one. I can always hope and pray that this time it sticks.. Please God help her move forward to make good wholesome decisions so we can enjoy this stage of our lives to the fullest. This prayer goes to all of you that want nothing more than for your children to be good contributing humans.
     
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  2. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    That was highly inappropriate for that adviser to do. I have no right whatsoever to my parents financial information any more than my son has to mine. Definitely talk to them about how that affected you. They don't necessarily need details about your private life but they should know better and that is an unethical thing to do.

    Never stop hoping, but hope cautiously. Take anything your difficult child does with a grain of salt, good or bad. Remember, one instance of acting out of character for the better doesn't indicate change. True change takes time, LOTS of time! And usually, that time is measured in years. Take consolation in the small positives she's doing, but don't let it lull you into complacency. She may actually be on the road to becoming a better person or it may be a setup. Only time will tell. Refer back to how long true change takes to occur. In the mean time, take care of yourself and enjoy YOUR life! It may be hard to remember sometimes, but your daughter IS an adult and is fully capable of taking care of herself. And yes, it does tend to be easier for us men to detach from our adult difficult children. Its the fathers job to train, prepare, then set them on their course. This has a definitive beginning and ending. The mothers job is to nurture and by the very nature of this job, it NEVER ends which tends to make it much more difficult sometimes for women to let go.

    Remember, even when she is on the right path, to be cautious about helping as it can quickly turn back into enabling and sent them back down the wrong road. Be generous in your support but a bit stingy with your help, that way it will be more appreciated when received. Good luck! Here's to cautiously hoping your daughter is finally on the right path.
     
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  3. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Even my precious kind loving kids dont always tell me a lot about what is going on with them. I know this is because they dont want me to worry. But our grown kids slso want to have privacy. If there is a problem they are more apt to tell me in detail, but more for comfort than to ask for financial help. That they dont do although at times we have surprised them with stuff.

    I would never have my kids sit in on financial stuff. Nor do we need to know their finances. They are adults.

    I am glad your daughter is trying to monitor her behavior. Hopefully she is sincere and will sustain. Dont set yourself up for a broken heart. Guard yourself and dont believe she has changed a lot so quickly and without help. Or you could be in for a huge broken heart and none of us want that for you.

    I dont live in the same state as two of my kids. You can certainly move for peace of mind.

    Love and light,!
     
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  4. newstart

    newstart Active Member

    SWOT, My daughter did not sit in with her dad and me at our financial meeting, she met privately and then came out to tell us that she asked and what she was told. I do not want to know all the details of my daughters business but it would be nice to hear the truth and a little bit of what is going on. My daughter wants to know all my business, where I am and what I do on a regular basis, I try to get distance and I have but it would be nice if we had a healthy honest back and forth exchange about everyday stuff. Right now it is a bunch of political BS that just wastes time and energy and she is the expert on what is going on and she has inside information only she knows. In all this I just listen for tone to see if she is ok or not. I would be happy with just a basic conversation like what I have with a neighbor or friend I have not seen for a long time and honesty would be wonderful.


    Jabberwockey, Yes, it was unprofessional for my adviser to tell my daughter what she did. I can tell you write from experience, 'Never stop hoping, but hope cautiously.' I know from my past experience that I always have one eye open for personal protection. Even though my husband seems tough on the outside, our daughter is very painful for him.. We are bereaved parents so things will be a bit different for us. I always ask him to teach me how to be strong like he is, to be able to walk away. He said it may look strong but he worries about her. Even though he acts like it is not that hard, it is very hard on him, he loves and cares for her deeply, he is just so sick of her constant 'not living right'. There have been times we both were going to quietly move and not leave a forwarding address or phone number for our daughter, this has been seriously considered. I wonder if things continue to be ugly if we would have the strength to do that..?
     
  5. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    Its not necessarily strength so much as bottling it up. Yeah, my wife and I talked about moving without leaving forwarding info several times! We never did though.
     
  6. Smithmom

    Smithmom Active Member

    Remember that being strong, not enabling, is what you are doing for her. Imagine when she learned to ride a bike. Holding the bike up from behind is only helpful for so long. Then its preventing the child from learning and ultimately causing them to be unbalanced. So rescuing her is preventing her from developing skills to pick herself up. Businesses fail. People move on. Moving on and not wallowing in failure is a skill.

    As a former financial professional I see this differently. I'm sitting with a daughter who asks about her parents. I'm obviously not going to discuss one client with another. To say none of your business is rude and unprofessional. What can I say? I stop the discussion by inferring, though I don't really believe it, that she's asking out of concern. So I say you don't need to worry about them. Its not a suggestion of anything about another client. Its a non answer response to a daughter. After all, she knows I am a consultant to people with money, not a bankruptcy attorney.
     
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  7. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    The only thing I know about my mother's finances is that my sister and I are on some of her accounts, and that my sister is her executress.

    That was discussed several years ago and I asked my mother to put my sister in that position as I suck at math and paperwork, plus I live out of state.

    I also assume I am/was beneficiary on one or more accounts/policies as my mother has asked for my social security number a few times.

    That said, I doubt there's more than enough to provide for a funeral. I do remember,when I was in my early teens, my parents showing me the household budget, but there was never enough for investments, etc., in my family.

    As regarding my mother's net worth, I haven't the foggiest. I'm just assuming not much. Like me, she was widowed young, and like me, she lost her shirt. I would assume any investments the family had at that time went for bills, just as happened to me.

    I just hope she has enough,w pension/SSDI to live out the remainder of her life fairly comfortably. (Our idea of comfortable probably isn't the same as many here.)
     
  8. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    Well said! I will stick by what I said though. If my fathers bank started talking to me about some of his business, very possible as I'm a Jr and sound a lot like him, I would have to cut them off and tell them that this was inappropriate. Then again, I'm a responsible adult and that would probably be the response of most responsible adults.

    Hell, I don't even know my OWN net worth!
     
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  9. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I love this.
    I agree here, too.

    He or she did not disclose information, if viewed this way. Just putting up a boundary in a discrete and well-mannered way.
     
  10. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    To a normal person, yes. But to our difficult children that could easily be interpreted as "Mom and Dad have TON'S of money! They can spare a bunch to me!" I personally believe that a polite "That's something you should discuss with them" would have been more appropriate.
     
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  11. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    I dont see any reason for our kids to know our net worth, unless we are dying and one of of them is in charge of our money. Why do they need to know before then?

    My daughter Princess was told by someone in the financial community that her Dad, my ex, really has a lot of money. He said that it is hard to impress him but her dad has money. I thought that was very inappropriate.

    My daughter has no idea how much he is worth though. He doesnt discuss it...ever. Nor do I feel this is wrong of him. It was wrong of whoever spoke to her about his money to say anything.
     
  12. Smithmom

    Smithmom Active Member

    Sorry if I was confusing. Its never appropriate, professional, ethical or in any way acceptable for a financial professional to talk to anyone about anything but that person's issues. Not acceptable to say who is or is not a client much less any info about them. No different than doctor or attorney. Period. I submit its just a matter of interpretation as to what "you don't have to worry" means. Could mean they came to talk about bankruptcy today but that doesn't affect you. I submit that asking a financial professional to anticipate what your child will or will not take from that sentence is beyond his / her skill set. Maybe "talk to them" is a better answer. Maybe saying that would cause concern for a son or daughter. I submit no perfect answer but professional did nothing wrong. My feeling.
     
  13. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Smithsmom, in no way was I criticizing what you said. In my daughters case case this info was offered to her and she hadnt even asked. I dont remember the circumstance.
     
  14. Smithmom

    Smithmom Active Member

    Also context. What I thought I read was that this child was referred by parent's to help child with child's investments and financial matters. Ie child had his/ her own money. As financial person I would not assume that child was "difficult", poor, on bad terms with parents.

    SOT totally unacceptable. Grounds for dismissal. Whether relative or not same rules apply. Don't recall if its grounds to lose license. Certainly grounds for professional review board complaint.
     
  15. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Smithsmom, I totally understand. But yes I believe this info should only be given out at all if the client agrees first. Some adult kids sadly will do bad things with that knowledge. Not most. But some.
     
  16. Smithmom

    Smithmom Active Member

    Fyi: consent is a funny thing. Very easy to have misunderstandings about what info should or should not be released. Std procedure would be to have all parties in the room at the same time.

    Sorry.. I meant dismissal from firm employing consultant.
     
  17. newstart

    newstart Active Member

    Tomorrow is Oct 1 and today my daughter came over with the FULL amount that she owes us for the month. For now I feel relief because I did not want to sell the home she lives in or deal with renters. It is the first time she has made her rent and other money she owes us in over a year. I think she sensed that this was the final warning, that there would be no more covering her or helping her with any financial problems. She told me that her boyfriend does not live with her, she has a roommate now and I know the boyfriend is there most of the time since her neighbors tell me. My daughter is working 2 jobs so she could support her boyfriend and herself. I have no idea why a highly educated woman would want to take care of a 43 year old man like he was a baby. All of that does not matter now since she made her bills so as long as she looks healthy, happy and is paying her bills I have no business in her business and I truly do not want to be in her business. It was during a time when she was doing ok that I got suckered into putting my name on things to help her but I have learned my lesson and just because she is doing well for the time being, I still will not put my name on anything with her's. With my daughter's disorder she is ok for a while and then it comes crashing down. I sometimes relax when things are good and now I try to relax when things are bad because she lives on that constant roller coaster ride. Today I worked on my patience while she talked non stop about politics. She is the expert, she has the deepest inside information to what is happening and it keeps her paranoid. Today I worked on just enjoying her presence, she cannot talk to me without lying at least 10 times. I worked on my patience with that, today I just let it fly, I do believe she is not capable of talking without lying, it is second nature. I am kind to her, I let her know that I have missed her, hugged and kissed her and watched her drive off. She looked different driving off, her face looked different. She took a bath and had clean hair and clothes on. I get tired of looking at her not bathed. She has showers at her home plus the gyms she goes to has many, there is no excuse for her to not shower regularly. She sensed that we were ready to take drastic messures had she not paid her bills. Very soon my name will be off all that is connected to her.
     
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  18. Smithmom

    Smithmom Active Member

    One day at a time. Glad you had a good one, as good as it gets. Treasure it.
     
  19. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Im glad she is better for now. You dont ever need to solve her money issues again.

    With my having an autistic son, I was always focused on how he could take care of himsrlf after I am gone. This was always in the back of my mind with him. So I made sure he depended on others too. There is not always us. With the types of adults who bring us hete, if we leave them a lot of money chances are they will blow it. They need to be used to having to deal alone without us. Even autistic adults and those who self sabatoge will be alone usually for decades. My daughter will help my son, but she will also have her own family!

    On boyfriend. Your daughter does not want to be alone probably and her boyfriend may not be good enough for her in your eyes but she needs him. He doesnt expect her to be stable or consistent or independent. He has low expectations to keep him there. Higher functioning men would likely not put up with it. She is not well even with a college education. I would let it go. She wants a partner and is comfortable that he wont leave her. You cant force her to take the risk of aloneness. If she even possibly may have borderline traits, being alone is their biggest terror.Trust me, I would feel like you, yet I think I may get why this works for her. An independent man with a good job who never asked Mom for money wont understand her and probably wont like her dependency.

    Her hygiene is frustrating for sure but out of your hands. She is approaching middle age. You cant make her do these things. Must not matter to her. At least she has her own business and she is her own boss. No one else to please. This is a good thing for her.

    I am glad she is in a better place for now. Be on guard .be consistent with how you treat her. Treat her the same way regarding your money no matter what. She needs to learn to live without you even if that is twenty yeats from now. She needs to know she must grow up and maybe get mental health help. If not... She has to learn how to live the hard way, like so many here. It will happen if she stagnates. One day.

    Much love snd ligjt!
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2018
  20. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    I wasn't confused and understand what you meant. Bear in mind that I've spend 8+ hours a day, 5+ days a week for the last 26 years on a job dealing with "clients" who take great joy in trying to twist your words to suit them. It's made me a bit particular on wording. FYI, in case you didn't know this already, I work in Corrections. I understand that they have NO way of knowing whether a child is a difficult child or not. Hell, even if they understand the concept. The fact of the matter is that entirely too much of our society spends entirely too much time looking for that loophole in the wording. This is why I feel that professions like this need to be extra careful. Yes, I also feel its unfortunate that they have to do this.