Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Wendy23, Feb 27, 2014.

  1. Wendy23

    Wendy23 New Member


    I am new here and having a lot of trouble with enabling. I have a 23 year old son who is currently in a inpatient rehab. I do not believe he is 100% with the program. He asked that I file his income tax for him and is got back $715.00. He his upset with me because I will not help in get a car and he has asked that I send him his money so that he does not have to call or ask me for anything. I am afraid for him to have that much money because of his addiction. But it is his money. Do I send him the money and realize that I have no control over what he chooses to do with it? Or do I refuse to send it in order to not enable him to get in trouble? Would sending it be enabling or releasing control?
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there and I'm sorry you are walking on this journey. If he is a drug addict, you can almost guarantee that the car money will go to drugs. It is your choice whether to send it or not but I sure wouldn't send him any of YOUR money...ever. He is probably going to call and ask you for things anyway and many of us don't answer or set strong boundaries and refuse to give them stuff after it is clear that they are not trying to get their lives together.

    The more you share, the more we can help, but you have to do it your own way. Does he still live with you? Does he work? Pay rent? Pay for his toys? Is he currently homeless? Is he disrespectful? Has he been in jail? You don't have to answer. Just a few things that are helpful.

    "God grant me the serenity to accept t he things I can not change,
    the courage to change the things I can,
    "and the wisdom to know the difference."
  3. Wendy23

    Wendy23 New Member

    Midwest Mom, thank you for your response.

    He did live at home until November of last year. I found out he was addicted to herion and asked him to leave or go to rehab. He refused. He was verbally abusive to me and damaged my house and other property. In order to force him out of the house or into rehab ..I had him arrested for domestic violence. At his bond hearing both his sister and I ask the judge that rehab be made a condition of his bond. He agreed to rehab but I feel it is just doing what he has to in order to complete and get out. He did not pay rent ...spent his money on drugs.

    I agree with you...if I send the money, it will not go for car. Part of me feels like it is his money and I am not responsible for it. If he spends it on drugs and gets kicked out of rehab it is on him. Another part of me thinks I would be enabling him to make a bad decision with the money. Again, I am torn.

    I guess I realize what he will probably do with the money and I also realize that I can not control his choices. I will not send any of my money. Just not sure I should send his money, but it is his money.

    So many I should and let go and let God.
  4. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    Child once commented that any time she held onto money intended for her difficult child, or served as a conduit for holiday or birthday presents for loving relatives, it felt toxic for her. I totally got that..I used to get my son's SSI checks, meet with him to cash them, then parcel them out over the month, related to good behavior. He eventually stopped meeting me and the checks piled up uncashed (like $4000 worth!!). They sat there on my desk like mute poison. Eventually he figured out how to open a bank account and get them direct deposited (ha! and I think he can't take care of himself!). At which point I gave up, gave him all the checks, and I'm actually really glad I am not the doorway anymore.
    that being said..it is true that the money will go to drugs or something equally unappealing to you.

    We all understand your dilemma, and support whatever you decide.
  5. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    Ugh, a parent could go crazy thinking about this stuff. My son was in an inpatient rehab for several months, finally got to the point where he could get a job and asked us to bring his car. I remember when we dropped off the keys the counselor looked at us pointedly and said, "Most of these guys don't have cars." We didn't get it -- because he *needs* a car to get a job, right? So he got the car, got his first paycheck, and quit rehab and his job and took off in the car. I would say the only good that came out of it was we finally saw that nothing -- *NOTHING* -- we did to "help" him couldn't be somehow turned around to make things worse, so it was really the letting go point for us. There's really no *right* thing to do sometimes so you just have to do what feels best.
  6. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome Wendy. I'm glad you found us.

    How much was it to fix the damage to your home and property? You could pay yourself back for the damage HE did. Or not.

    I can also see how that money could feel toxic to you too.

    There is really no right or wrong in this issue..........it's all a matter of how it feels to you. My formula was something I heard in a codependency group I was in.........if it feels bad (often resentment)then it's likely enabling. If it feels good, it's likely loving kindness. Only you can decide where you stand on that one. He will likely blow the money on whatever, but in reality, it's his problem not yours.

    There is a good article on detachment at the bottom of my post here..............perhaps you might find some assistance for your issue in reading it, it's very good.

    Many if not most of our kids are extremely manipulative, so tread carefully while he is using or in rehab, it's more likely you are in relationship with the substance he is/was abusing, not him.

    He is a grown man. At 23 he can figure out how to get his own car................like working for it.

    Keep posting, it helps. We're here if you need us.
  7. Wendy23

    Wendy23 New Member

    Thank you all so much for all your responses.

    I have decided to give him the money...it is his...and I can not control what he does with it.

    I feel like a responsibilty has been lifted from me and it was not my responsibility in the first place.

    Thanks again!
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  8. Wendy23

    Wendy23 New Member

    I also have an another drug addicted son (age 32, different substance for other) and that it a whole other story. I will post will I have try so that the board group can thoroughly understand where I am. I have been reading posts for a long time and believe me just reading helps! I just got the courage to post yesterday.

    I just wanted to let everyone know that by posting, it not only helps you but it helps others that you do not even realize are reading!
  9. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time Staff Member

    Wendy, I am just getting to the board and reading your post. I am so glad you posted, and I have a similar story to yours with my 24.5 yo son.

    I think you did the best thing for you in giving him the money. I had the exact same situation in terms of having about $400 of money relatives had given me for him. With him homeless on the street, I was agonizing about that money. Finally I gave it to him.
    And I asked my family not to give me any more money for him. I suggested that they hold on to any gifts that would normally give him for a while.

    My parents did send a check for $100 for him for Christmas to me. As I bought a bus ticket for him that was $89, I felt okay about using that $100 for the bus ticket, instead of using my money for it.

    It's what we can live with.

    When he got out of jail a few weeks ago, I left a $20 bill in an envelope on my front porch along with a list of shelters, halfway houses, and a backpack with some clothes, gloves, a coat, hat, and a bottled water and some protein bars. The note said I love you. A couple of days later, I learned he had been turned away from the Salvation Army shelter here when he failed a drug test to enter. Did my $20 go for drugs?

    I could drive myself crazy with all of that, and I used to.

    Today, I just have to work to let it go. He is going to do whatever he is going to do. As long as drugs are his master, he will do whatever he has to do to get them. My $20 or steal or whatever he does. '

    Dealing with tangible things like money with our difficult children is a metaphor and good practice for the rest of it. What do we do about giving them food? A ride? Money? Deposits for a new place if they are talking the right talk? How do we know what the right thing is?

    Today, it's much more about doing the right thing for me. Today, I value myself as much as I value my son. I am getting to the place of acceptance. I am staying in detachment pretty well. It was detachment with mad, but now it is moving toward detachment with compassion. My heart is softening again, and I am glad about that.

    Wendy, this whole darn thing is such a day by day process. There is no clear answer, no absolutes. I think we have to do what brings us peace, serenity and contentment, and then try to do MORE of that.

    Please keep posting. There is so much support here. There is so much respect here. You can take what you like and leave the rest. There is no "should". I hope writing about your decisions, your hopes and your fears and your experiences will help you heal like it has helped me heal. The more I write about "best practices", the more I want to practice those best practices, and the more firm my foundation is for doing so.

    Blessings and peace and hope for you and your family---including your difficult child sons, today.
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  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I think you did the right thing. You won't have to hear for the foreseeable future that you have HIS money. He will find ways to buy drugs and get money even without it. This way the responsibility for it is his and his alone. I would make this the last money you give him. You'll be amazed at the ways he finds to get it, whether it's to sell drugs, panhandle, steal...nothing WE would do, nothing WE taught them, but they do find ways to get money. And when asked? It's our faults...lol. I mean, it's not funny, but typical. I mean...after all, getting a job isn't in their thought processes so many just do illegal things...and maybe it's best that we don't ask and don't know about everything, ya know? (((Hugs)))