Enabling must stop .....I know

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Krl, Mar 5, 2014.

  1. Krl

    Krl New Member

    I am a very scared sad mom! I lost my youngest son who was 21 at the time to a drug overdose. He was turned on to drugs by his older brother. My older son has been on off drugs and alcohol for the past 10 years. He always starts something but never seem to complete it because of drugs or alcohol. I have been paying for his rent etc....on the notion that THIS IS THE LAST Time I will help financially. I am so scared that if I don't help him he will end up like his brother and then I will lose 2 sons.. My son is 27 and has a pending dui charge... What should I do...
  2. flnurse1976

    flnurse1976 New Member

    Whats going on with his DUI? Speaking from experience I would not bail him out of any legal trouble. Sometimes jail is this best thing for someone who can not stop on their own and can be a wake up call. I am a recovering addict, I was always bailed out n had help till one time I violated probation. In my town if you violate you have no bond and have to do jail time. Jail was the best thing for me in my opinion.Sorry about your loss of your son. My mom always enabled me during my drug addiction till she stopped, i resorted to illegal activity which I hit rock bottom=jail time and have been sober since. I know it is hard to say no and you dont want him to end up like his brother. Just offering you my personal experiences :)
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  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Are you in therapy? After the horrible trauma of losing your other son, I understand your fear. Of course, you can't save your 27 year old son by paying for him. Did he go to college or tech school? Does he work? Why is he so dependent on you? Most adults his age are out on their own and want it that way. Something doesn't add up...but, again, since you went through such a bad experience, I get your fear for him. Making him unable to care for himself, however, will not keep HIM alive or make him capable. I truly think the best thing you can do right now is focus on your own life and that means getting into serious therapy, maybe even group therapy too. Whatever you are most comfortable doing. This seems to be possibly more about your fears for him than him maybe????

    Your son needs to want to get his life together or he won't. One day you won't be here to care for him. And you need to take good care of yourself while you ARE here and learn how to live again.Have you ever joined a grief group or a parets of suicide group to be with others who have gone through the horror that you did? We can give suggestions, but if we did not go through it, we can not in my opinion fairly understand your pain and the steps you must take to go through it.

    Disclaimer: Anything I say is only my own opinion. Take what you like and leave the rest.
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2014
  4. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I understand your fear, also. My difficult child overdosed on heroin on our living room couch but my husband found her in the nick of time and did chest compressions until the EMT's could get there and administer Narcan which brought her back around.

    We were so scared that we did an intervention and sent her to one of the best treatment programs in the country using our retirement savings. She did well for a while but has relapsed recently.

    We have now cut off all financial support which is very scary. However, she overdosed while she was still living with us and relapsed while we were still helping her financially so that is not the answer either. At this point, she is going to have to figure things out for herself and we realize that there is a very real risk of death. But that risk of death is there while she is using whether she lives with us or we support her or if she is on her own. At least this way, we are taking back our lives and our finances and starting to look forward toward retirement.

    I also have found that cutting off contact has helped me avoid the emotional roller coaster that we were on. If she goes to rehab or sober living, we will help her. In the meantime, I pray she finds her own way.

  5. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time Staff Member

    I hear your deep fear. Fear is the most crippling and paralyzing of emotions---along with deep grief---in our lives with our difficult children, I believe.

    And you have both fear and grief that you are operating out of, because of the loss of your precious son. I am so sorry for your loss.

    It's so hard to stop, and I understand why you have done the things you have done. I believe most of us would do the same thing, and we have, even without the loss of a child.

    You sound like you are close to being done but are afraid to be done. As you near that point, and start stopping doing the same things you have always done, hoping for that change, but never seeing it, you will likely become even more afraid and sad.

    Your son will not like the new you and the new boundaries. You will not like them either, because it is so uncomfortable and lonely to do something so completely different. Enabling is awful, that life, but it is familiar. Saying no and learning how to live in loving detachment, is also awful for a long time and it is very strange, and counter-cultural. Most people don't understand it.

    So there is a lot of push-back, from ourselves and from other people. It takes a lot of hard work, support and using daily tools to have a chance on consistent change.

    But it's worth it. On the other side of enabling is a better way of life, one that has peace, serenity, deep relief and contentment. At first those periods are brief, but they get longer and longer the more we work. And then one day, we cross the center line and the periods of good things become much longer than the periods of bad things.

    Start on the road. You don't have to change everything overnight. Just start by changing one thing and living with that for a time. Then move to another thing. Reclaim your life. You deserve as much as your children.

    We care here, and we understand. Keep coming back.
  6. Krl, i join the others to say how terribly sorry i am for the loss of your son. The fear you feel is understandable and so common among us mothers of difficult children. Like the others have encouraged you setting boundaries is probably the only thing that will help your son from himself. Unfortunately, it is so hard to do and a very long road. But it starts with a single step. Posting here will help you immensely so keep on writing.
  7. Krl

    Krl New Member

    I thank you all for your kind words!! I have felt so alone in my enabling world. None of my friends have gone through any thing with their kids like I have. They are all very understanding but they really just don't understand ! My son called me today for some money.. Said he had no food .. I felt so pulled but I just really couldn't trust if money would go to food or alcohol.. And honestly I am not wanting a drunk phone call in the wee hours of the morning with him saying what a mess he is and his life is ruined ...and then the pitty party begins!
  8. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    I only have very gentle hugs for your hurting mommy heart.