...is this still enabling?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by JPG, Jun 24, 2019.

  1. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    My daughter is always very sick. Or she was. But not really. She would just say so to get us to send her money for doctors back in the day before we put our foot down. Then we couldnt get her for two weeks until she wanted more money. When I would ask if she was feeling better she would act clueless at first before recovering and stammering that she is fine now. We think she just lied about being sick as back then we sent our checks directly to her (stupid us) before we started only sending checks directly to the doctor. We got less requests of course. In fact just one.

    Not saying your son is doing what Kay did, but its worth considering. We owe them love, nothing else. I think our kids know we love them no matter how they say we dont. I am not sure my daughter loves us at all though. I really cant see evidence of love from her.

    Hi to all from our cabin. Its been so nice being out of town in such peace. Treat yourself well. Take time off from your kids who wont grow up. A change in location can really help in my opinion.
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  2. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Good job!!
    I know how hard it is to tell them no especially when they are sick. Our motherly instincts tell us to "swoop in and take care of them"
    Over the many years I've been dealing with my son, I have come to understand that most of my son's being sick is related to his lifestyle choices. If we do not take care of our bodies we are more susceptible to getting sick. It breaks my heart that he lives this way but he's a 37 year old man and I have no control over his choices.
    My son always manages to find money for drugs and alcohol so it should be no different for anything else he needs money for.
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  3. LauraH

    LauraH Active Member

    Just my two cents. He took the initiative to go and get food for himself. Unless he uses your holding his perishables for him as an excuse to "hang out" in your home for hours (or even days) I would probably do just what you did. I got some flack when I paid my son's delinquent rent at his sober living home after vowing that I was done helping him financially. What was different that time as opposed to the times I refused to do anything? He was making huge strides in his recovery. His rent was delinquent because the only job offer he got didn't start until 3 or 4 weeks from the day he was technically hired. He's now working two jobs, keeping his rent current, paying his phone and credit card bill on time each month, and hasn't asked me for another dime.

    I don't know the situation between you and your son, but if he's being proactive and doing things to help himself, I think it's great to give him a hand now and then. Also look at it this way. Better for you to hold your son's perishables for him than to have them thrown away. I've struggled to feed my family in the past and grown to view wasting good food as an "unforgivable sin".
  4. ChickPea

    ChickPea Active Member

    Gosh, I'm so glad I'm reading these threads again. I need them.

    Your gut told you it was a little extra, and you posted here for affirmation? Smart cookie. My daughter was frantically getting things together yesterday because she is being evicted (even though it's not new news). But she lives on crisis. We said we'd bring her some boxes, so she made a plea for food because she was "hungry" - she wanted a sandwich. Instead of making it for her, I grabbed some ingredients, threw them in a bag, and took them with me. Lo and behold, when I got there and snuck a look in her fridge, she had ingredients to make a sandwich!!! She just wanted ME to make it. She seemed miffed that I brought the fixings and not the whole thing ready for her. I think she just wanted me to make it - hungry or not. :thumbsdown:
  5. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    This speaks volumes!! Good for you for seeing it for it was. I love the imagery of you looking in the fridge to see that she did indeed have fixings for a sandwich.
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  6. JayPee

    JayPee Sending good vibes...

    I’ve been delving into all my codependent no more books because for me the lines get muddled of what I should and shouldn’t do. I feel like I’ve “been bad” lately cuz I’ve brought my 30 yr. old homeless son snacks water toothbrushes etc. I feel like I’m rescuing again. I still can’t stop gassing his vehicle up every 4 days to the tune of about $300 a month. When I finally get a grip on myself he called me today asking for snacks cuz he was hungry. I said no and of course it started an argument. There’s no reason he can’t get work. He doesn’t consistently go to get food from food pantry and I get Frustrated with him. I start to second guess if I’m a bad mother. But this cycle has been going on for years even though the living in his car has been about 8 months or so. I get so confused and start to pull away from others and isolate myself. Ugh. This is exhausting.
  7. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    This is my opinion from my own experiences only. You cant be a bad mother anymore because your son is an adult who does not need a parent to care for him. I am not berating you. I did it myself and I could kick myself for it. I feel it crippled my daughter more than she would have been crippled had her father and I not paid for her life for 30 years.

    Our kids are able bodied adults. They have nobody but themselves to blame if they dont have money. Belatedly, my husband and I are no longer financially contributing to our daughter's life. I think we made a mistake paying Kay and Lee's bills. I gave them money for gas too. Heck, we bought them cars. I feel very foolish now. I can suggest not comparing yourself now to the parent you had to be when your son was ten.

    My husband and I are on vacation and have let it all out to one another about our daughter. One thing we discussed was that she is not a loving daughter. Is your son a good, loving son?

    Anyhow I hope you can figure it out.
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  8. JayPee

    JayPee Sending good vibes...

    Thanks BusyMember.

    He is intermittently nice but that’s only when I give him what he wants. When I get strong and resist enabling the “knives” come out as someone else put it. His pattern of not working has been a longstanding- decade long problem. I too have bought cars pd security deposits rent food etc. each time hoping this was the next piece to vault him into a successful life. But nothing changes. Excuses are plentiful as to why he can’t find a job. It’s exhausting. As a mom I remember what a very good boy he was. He was never in any trouble up until 18 yrs old he was a model son. He had a bad coming out of his homosexuality at that age and drugs ensued for a couple of yrs. To my knowledge he doesn’t use drugs anymore but would like to blame his alcoholic father and me for his inability to have a good life and the way he was ousted by his father during that time. Of course I have enough guilt to easily back his thinking which continues to cripple his confidence that he can handle his own life. You see I know my enabling is wrong but it also feels so wrong not to “help”. Wish I could get off the merry go round like I was able to do with my ex husband and his alcoholism. You see I know I have to be the change in the situation but with sons... it’s more difficult for me.
  9. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Yes, I have done the same. I have come to understand that no amount of money will ever solve my sons problems. My son also has many excuses as to why he can't work, or why he quits a job.

    This is just another excuse. My son also likes to blame me and my husband for how screwed up his life is. When my son tries to play that card with me, I tell him "I have zero control over your life, you are an adult and get to choose each day how you will live your life. If your life isn't what you want you have no one to blame but yourself".

    I don't know that your guilt is "crippling" his confidence as it's allowing him to continue to manipulate you.
    Your son, like so many others know how to use our emotions against us.

    JPG, there is no such thing as a perfect parent. We all have done the best we can. Did we make mistakes? Absolutely, but that by no means makes us bad parents. Our parenting can influence our children but there are so many other influences afforded to them by the culture we live in.
    Until your son makes the choice to stop blaming others for the state his life is in, nothing will change for him.

    There is a book based on a true story, it's called "A child called it" This child was severely abused by his mother and yet he grew up to be a kind and functioning adult. Google it. It will give you a different perspective.

    The bottom line, our adult children are just that, adults. It's up to them to choose how they will live their life. Please, please, please, work on letting go of that un-warranted guilt.

    What are you doing for you? Self care is so important. You deserve some peace and happiness. I want you to do something just for you every day.