What the HECK is wrong with me...

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by lovemysons, Jul 8, 2011.

  1. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    Well, apparently I need a SERIOUS lesson in not enabling, not be used, etc.
    I did a STUPID thing last night (Moderators yall are gonna have to revise my "wise warrior" status).

    Police were at the door at 1am this morning...WHY? Well, husband was talking to them and ready to press charges against young difficult child for "going through our mailbox".
    I realized the police were at the door so I came downstairs...husband was explaining the trouble young difficult child is into and that as far as he was concerned young difficult child needed to go to jail (apparently they had young difficult child and "friend" in squad car down the street).

    I asked what was going on and found out about young difficult child going through the mailbox. Well, guess who's fault it was? YEP, MINE.

    Young difficult child was on yahoo around 10pm last night and I thought it was daughter in law since that was the name being used. It was not daughter in law it was young difficult child. He told me he was "staying outside" I "LOL" and asked if they now have computers outside? He said no that he was at a friends right now. I told him that husband and I and easy child her girlfriend were leaving for Las Vegas tomorrow (I know another dumb thing to do) and told him I would "leave a pack of smokes in the bottom of my nightstand drawer" for him. Young difficult child asked if I would leave them in the mailbox instead.

    I didn't even think. I just "did". I walked right out to our mailbox and put a pack of cigarettes in there. THEN...came back into the house and walked upstairs to get my purse, walked downstairs to office to get tape, and walked to the mailbox and taped a 20 dollar bill to the pack of cigarettes.

    When am I gonna learn???
    Needless to say husband was LIVID with me. "Why won't you let young difficult child hit bottom?" "I am sick and tired of giving him money!"..."Why do you let him USE you and DISRESPECT you like this?!?!"....etc.

    You know it's not like young difficult child is in Afghanistan fighting for our country...Why am I giving him little "care packages". Sheesh!!!

    I feel like such a fool this morning.
    Please remind of why it hurts to ENABLE...apparently I have moments of great weakness and forget!

  2. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Had you figured out it was difficult child by the time the request for cigs came into the picture? I think I would have suspected it by that time. Especially when requested to leave them in the mailbox. And why tape a 20 to the pack?

    I know I also tend to lend a few bucks when I know it will never be seen again and I have to quit doing that. I also sometimes do things like see movies or small concerts that I know Cory would really enjoy and I will go ahead and buy the tickets for all of us to go because I know he cant afford the cost and write if off as a gift.

    I have basically learned with him that I dont give money that I expect to get back. Either it is a gift or I dont do it. If he actually returns it, thats a plus. I may call it a loan but I really dont expect it.
  3. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Don't beat yourself up. All of us have done similar things...mostly without a second thought. I think after two decades plus it's easy to "slip" when it seems like "simple" request. Store it away as a lesson and I doubt you'll be in the same position anytime soon. Hugs. DDD
  4. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    Young difficult child didn't ask me for the cigs...I just decided to leave him a pack. He did ask me to leave them in the mailbox.
    I taped a 20 to the cigs...why??? I don't know...food. I don't know...just being dumb I guess.

    Ohhhh...Ya husband was pretty upset with this gal that's for sure! I promised him this would NOT happen again. And that's the thing...Young difficult child didn't request this stuff from me, I just gave it to him. Not EVEN thinking at the time that I was still enabling...and therefore "Hurting" him, not loving him.

    Gosh, I get so confused sometimes.
  5. jbrain

    jbrain Member

    We all slip up at times! I do have a story though. difficult child 1 (she really is a easy child now, have to change her status) called me over a year ago from Chicago. She needed $50.00 to eat. The story didn't make much sense to me and I had been giving her small amounts of money here and there and decided I needed to stop. So, I told her "no" and hung up the phone with a very guilty, heavy heart. I told my other younger, dtr what happened and she said, "Mom, if you keep giving her money she will just keep asking." I realized she was right.

    Then, what happened is that because she and her boyfriend (who supposedly she was no longer with) were totally broke, they decided to go to Georgia to get help from his stepdad. And, that was the turning point in my difficult child's life. She met her boyfriend's stepsister who sized up the situation right away and helped her get rid of the boyfriend. She also helped her turn her whole life around and now my difficult child has truly become a easy child. If I had gone ahead and sent that $50.00 it would have kept her in the situation she was in, which was terrible. I am so glad I quit giving her money!

    Anyway, don't beat yourself up anymore over this and just try to remember it--let it be a lesson learned.

    Good luck
  6. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Wait a minute--

    How in the heck did husband spot your son going through the mailbox at 1 am???

    He must have been awfully darn loud...
  7. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Yeah - I was thinking like Daisy was - WHO sees their kid going through a mail box at 1:am - has time to call the cops, the cops actually SHOW UP, and APPREHEND the kids just a FEW houses down the road?

    OMG we had a young lady being pummelled to death by a guy out on our road and it took the police 45 minutes to get there.....you have a guy in your MAIL BOX at 1am and the police are ON THE SCENE in SECONDS? WOW - (starts slow clap)

    I smell fish......
  8. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    Thank you for your story. I really DO need to let young difficult child hit bottom. It hurts so badly to think of him homeless in the streets etc. He has always been "my little boy" if you Know what I mean?. I have had a soft spot for this one for long long time since he is the middle child. Oldest difficult child identifies with husband and is SO much like him. easy child of course is "perfect"...young difficult child is/has been just sort of lost in the family. I spent more time on young difficult child as a child because of this and he and I are more alike than my other two.

    husband did not catch young difficult child at our mailbox at 1am. I'm guessing the police were either already in the neighborhood or were called by a neighbor. Perhaps young difficult child and his friend were parked for awhile nearby our house after getting the cigs and money out of our mailbox...that' the only thing I can figure.
    But boy was husband ready to throw the book at young difficult child!

  9. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    LOL...No Fish Star, just not enough clarification from me I guess.
    by the way we do have some "overachieving" police in our town. My mother spent the night at our house once and she parked the wrong direction in front of our house...got a 100 dollar ticket.

  10. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Well, seriously? Don't beat yourself up. We've all done it.

    I mean heck when katie was still in mo I bought entire wardrobes for the 3 grands and sent them to her. Yes, it was for the grands, but red flags should've been going off left and right. if they were? I sure wasn't listening. Then when she was deciding to come here, I went out and did the same thing. Yeah, still for the grans cuz I knew she'd not bring their clothes with them.......but still, enabling is enabling.

    Katie strongly hinted at summer wardrobes. I told her a lot of what I bought last year was summer clothing (half and half because I didn't know when she'd finally show up) and lord knows those kids haven't grown at all in 3 yrs so it's not like they can't still wear them. She's hinting at school supplies and school clothes. She can keep right on hinting.

    While I initially did it for the grands, doing such things enable katie to continue her lifestyle. So, grands or not, I've stopped. Which makes me mad as I like to go out and pick up bargains ect for my grandkids. Spoiling is the fun part of being a Nana. ugh And no, it's not fair to the grands......but I've got to draw the line somewhere and it not my responsiblity to feed and clothe and buy school supplies for her kids. So from now on I'm sticking to xmas and bdays, the rest is up to their parents.

    in my opinion giving and addict cash is a huge NO NO, good intentions or not. The last thing on an addicts mind is food and shelter. I had to turn this into a mantra with bff so I wouldn't be tempted. She had 2 innocent boys who didn't deserve to go hungry because their mom didn't think food was as important as feeding her addicitons.......yet even if I gave her food, it let her use her cash for her addiction. When I saw her do that, it ended the food donations too.

    It's hard to just shut the mom thing off sometimes even when we know better.

  11. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    I think learning not to enable is a process. so think of this as one more step in your process of learning not to enable him. I don't think any of us learn this right off the bat, and even when we have learned it we all get our heartstrings pulled big time and our mother bear instincts to help our children are so strong....So think about what boundaries feel good to you and what doesn't. Think about those things you are willing to do for him and those that you are not. If it feels right to you to do it probably is, if you are feeling manipulated or there is some voice saying "wait a minute" then don't do it..... and there will be times like this when you don't think twice until it is pointed out to you the problem with it.I think it is a hard balance to find the place where you are willing to do some things and not others. It is probably easiest in some ways to refuse to do anything for them, but I know for me that feels too harsh, too rejecting, and I know my son needs to know if nothing else his mom still loves him.So my current stand is to help him when he is helping himself and not help in ways that will enable his bad behavior. So I would take him out to eat, or buy food, we may help him pay rent if he ever gets a place, we will help pay for school. I will pick him up from work now and then because then it gives me a chance to see him in person and I personally find that helpful to me. We took him to buy a bicycle. We will not buy him a car, we will not pay for car insurance or put him on our insurance, we will not give him cash period. I probably would not buy him cigarettes but I did stop for him to buy himself some the other day on the way somewhere. Its a balance and you need to figure out over time and experience what you will and not do for him. There is nothing wrong with you doing things for him as long as you are really clear that it feels good to you and is not helping him use drugs or do other bad behaviors.I have been thinking about how my difficult child is like driving a car... think I will put that in a different post.
  12. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Detachment takes SO much practice. Learning the difference between giving a gift and enabling takes practice as well. It's hard to stop the automatic giving that is just part of our "mom make-up." Lesson learned... don't be too hard on yourself. husband will get over it, and I'll bet you will learn to question yourself before any future potential hand-outs. And I'll bet difficult child won't be looking into mailboxes again anytime soon!
  13. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    OMG this is hard. Young difficult child just came by the house wanting MORE money. Begging me...got down on his knees held hands up to my belly and reminded me that I carried him for 9 months! Geez Louise!!! Sigh...he does play on my emotions.

    I stuck to my guns though and did not give in! Told him that I PROMISED husband that I would NOT give him anymore money. Also reminded him that we want him to go into rehab...as well as taking care of his family.
    So, One small victory for a mom's hurting heart.

    Thank you for sharing your own stories and how you are handling situations now and then re your difficult child's especially those difficult child's that are addicts. I have to continue to remind myself that I am hurting him by handing him money and that I am also creating a leach.
  14. Mrs.McNear51

    Mrs.McNear51 Member


    So sorry the saga continues. I've been guilty of giving SB cigs, but the money train stopped a year ago. You need food, lets go to the store and I'll buy you a few things. No more cash.

    I know how hard it is. SB slept in a friends truck in a Walmart parking lot for 2 months this spring. I offered NO help at all. She finally tired of that gig, so she reached out and is now living with her only decent friend. She also has a new job, one she likes and she seems to be moving in the right direction. I don't believe any of this would have happened, until I really, really disengaged. Believe me, the worry doesn't stop, but she has to do this on her own.

    Praying that J gets help soon....hang in there.


  15. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm sorry, but this image made me Laugh Oud Loud. Seriously? The boy should try out for summer stock :) Hooray for you for sticking to your guns!

    I can't remember if you attend Al-Anon meetings or the like, but I'd suggest looking around for one near you. I think using your promise to husband as an excuse works for now, but your difficult child is likely to play that angle in the future ("I won't tell him! It'll be our secret!") It's important that you work on getting to the point where can tell him that YOU are saying no, so that he'll get that you're a united front with husband. It takes practice, as I said before, and Al-Anon can help you immensely with getting there.

  16. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    Good for you for staying strong, they can totally play us, and then go laughing away saying "OMG, I'm such a good liar". I'm sorry, referencing Casey Anthony for a second, you can do this, stay strong. Heck, I still give my difficult child stuff, never money for beer, but "things", because I do want him to fel loved and I do love him.
  17. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Crazy...they do want to divide us from each other so they can manipulate and gain advantage. Cory is a master at that. He knows that he can probably wheedle a few bucks out of one of us if he plays the poor me card and he will try it. Isnt working so well anymore...lol. Now emergencies are different and we understand.

    I think we have just gotten into a whole different place with him since he moved out. I dont know if my posts show it but we have become so much more relaxed in our relationship with him. There is no more fighting or tension between us. He comes over and does what he can for us like mow parts of our lawn just because and we help him out where we can. I have been buying baby clothes like crazy on ebay. I know they wont have a whole lot of money for them so I want to do what I can. And yeah, I buy him a pack of cigs here and there.