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Paying for son's groceries / electric bill - are we enabling him?


scared
ma
Are we enabling our son?
I just talked with my sister. She said as long as I take my son groceries/food and his dad is paying his electric bill he has no reason to do any different. My question is are we "enabling" him without realizing we are. I take him food because I can't stand the thought that he may be hungry. What my sister said did make sense. Please give me your honest opinion. Thanks
     Replies...
Sfj Re: Are we enabling our son?
Not unless he is over eighteen years of age.

Anyone over eighteen is an adult and needs to assume responsibilities as a adult. That includes supporting himself.

Opinion: "Parents need to stop supporting children after age eighteen."

and BTW, nobody who does drugs of any sort will ever 'go hungry'
at least not to the extent that they are in danger of starving.
Tender
heartsKS
Re: Are we enabling our son?
My honest opinion, and I speak as a recovering addict. My parents enabled me for years. They paid my bills often, bought me groceries, bailed me out of many a mess. I never had any motivation to change at all as long as someone was tending my 'needs'.

It's the hardest thing to do, to think of your child going hungry, not having heat in the dead of winter, not having a place to lay his/her head. What's even harder to do is live for years and years with active addiction because no one is allowing the addict to suffer consequences of his/her using.

Tough love. I wish my parents understood the concept. I was the first one in many generations of alcoholics/addicts to break the chain, and it's been difficult. I love my parents dearly. Don't get me wrong. But now they enable my oldest because I am no longer the active addict in the family. She'll never hit a bottom as long as there's someone there to cushion the blow 

My opinion only.

Warmest of hugs to you, and continuing prayers to your son. (((((hugs)))))
Naiev
Newlywed
Re: Are we enabling our son?
My opinion...yes, you are enabling him.

If mom buys food and dad pays bills, all his money can go to dope.
scared
ma
Re: Are we enabling our son?
Thank you guys for your opinion. I really do appreciate your input. My son is 20 years old he will be 21 in November. He does need to stand on his on two feet and I think it is time I have a talk with his dad so we can begin to change our ways also. Looks like my son is not the only one who is going to have to change....Maybe if he does get a little hungry and has to light a candle to see where he is going at night when he is high it might make him think about what he is doing with his life. I WILL TRY ANYTHING AT THIS POINT.
flower
child
80744
Re: Are we enabling our son?
If your son is in active addiction and over 18 then yes it is enabling him..I know it sucks and i dread being in your possition, (my mom already is with my brother who is an alchoalic) but the fact is if he can buy a sack he should be able to buy his food and pay his bills. it also prolongs hitting bottom which alot of us have to do before we come to our senses. some may disagree with this next part but i think if he does decide to stop using then helping him turns from enablement to support becouse i know for a little while trying to get back on your feet is sooooo hard.. Good luck and God bless you both.
Naiev
Newlywed
Re: Are we enabling our son?
Well...scaredma....

Most tweakers PREFER candle light at night as opposed to lights...my hubby did anyway...cuts down on 'shadow people'.

Don't be surprised if he still spends all his money on dope and it doesn't seem to bother him.

But he'll never hit bottom if you and dad keep helping him.
forget
suzette
Re: Are we enabling our son?
you can look at it several ways...
....if you did'nt buy em groceries...they'd steal em.

my mom use to send me money...
...and she knew what was going on..
but she said, if she did'nt she thought I'd end up in jail.

YES.
...you are helping.

but if you help with "items" instead of cash.
....you at least know what your money is used for.

in the end, my mom said, no more money will be sent.

.....there's a bus ticket home whenever you are ready to use it..
........don't even ask me for it.

I came home.
scared
ma
Re: Are we enabling our son?
I did not know that they prefer candlelight. dah........That is why there are so many candles in his house. I just thought he liked candles.

As for the groceries when my son is using he does not eat at all. When he skips a couple of days he will eat anything in sight. He acts like he has not eaten in forever. I take groceries because I know that if he is not using he will be hungry. I am unsure of the definition of "tweaker" anyway, would you like to explain.
trish70 Re: Are we enabling our son?
I know this is a hard thing to do. My mom keeps enabling my 30yr sister and this hell has gone on for 2 yrs. My mom keeps doing the same thing over and over and getting the same if not worse results with my sis. I always suggest to her try something different. Stop bailing her out, let her go hungry, live on the the streets with no $ or car. It only lasts a few days and then my mom feels sorry then gives in...and the saga will go on till someone changes.

If what your doing now is not working...try something different. Maybe you will get different results???
scared
ma
Re: Are we enabling our son?
I thought that too. If he is hungry and has no groceries he might turn into a thief. I NEVER NEVER NEVER give him money and I haven't in a long time.
Lives
With
Wolves
Re: Are we enabling our son?
For a kid that is 20/21 years old - If your son is in recovery and NOT doing Meth than I think it is OK to help them get back on their feet and develop a plan in their life.

If, they are doing Meth and you are allowing it in your home and helping them by supporting them then that is enabling and you really are not doing them any good.

They have to learn to be responsible in life. If he doesn't have a job to earn his own money and pay the bills what can he do for you around your home. Make him do something to earn his keep. He will feel better about himself & you will feel better about him.
Naiev
Newlywed
Re: Are we enabling our son?
I'm not trying to be funny...I'm actually honest.

I think the only thing you should make sure he has is a toothbrush and toothpaste, maybe some shampoo and some soap.
scared
ma
Re: Are we enabling our son?
My son lives on his own home that was left to him by a grandparent. He lives about 500 ft from his dad. About 10 miles from me. I do take him toiletries and I know you weren't trying to be funny. He has no rent or no mortgage.
Terry
Ca
Re: Are we enabling our son?
I'm so glad you are asking this question. I to go through the same dilema.

From my nieve' outlook a tweeker is a meth user. Possibly up for days (depending on what part of the cycle/high they are on). Tweeking: reading everything in sight at the store and not buying a dam thing. They can't deceide even though they have been there for "hours." Or whatever they are doing they just can't seem to finish it.
eyes
open83
Re: Are we enabling our son?
this is a hard topic for me,i was enabled through my whole addiction....

in my honest opinion i think you are enabling him,and i know the majourity of the board says "if you enable him,what reason has he got to stop"..i guess thats true in some cases...

for me,i think if i wasnt being enabled throughout my addiction i wouldnt have had a reason to stop...as i said this is a hard topic for me...

i guess my final conclusion is this.."weather your enabling him or not,when he has had enough of the life hes living he will quit"

look at me..im 23 and done with my active using and i had major enabling...parents always payed my bills,payed my rent if i didnt have it...brought groceries...but all that aside,when i id had enough,id had enough simple as that...

i hope this makes more sense to you then it does to me,i just woke up...

with love and concern
scared
ma
Re: Are we enabling our son?

It makes alot of sense. I feel like, and I am sure I am speaking for his dad also. If he knows that he does have a support system and we will not abandon him that it will make him want to try and quit using. I just don't know. It is so confusing trying to decide what is right and wrong. Thank you for responding.

Sfj Re: Are we enabling our son?
Some of my opinions are very unpopular here, I know that, but you asked.

So, I'd like to suggest this:

Instead of helping him with his living situation, groceries and bills and utilities etc., why not try helping him to beat his addiction?

In other words, help him with his emotional and psychological problems instead of his material needs.

I'm married to my wife who is the mother of my children and believe me, I know how mothers are toward thier children. It's almost like nurturing is an innate part of being - and my youngest boys are 24 and 25, still at home.

But my wife thinks that making sure they have enough to eat is something important. I can't understand that type of thinking. My kids could easily buy and sell me out in a heartbeat. I get all their hand me down clothes, and yet my wife still thinks it is her job to feed them.

What is with that type of thinking?
Loraura Re: Are we enabling our son?
It's instinct, SFJ, and it starts at birth with the bonding that occurs while feeding an infant.
Lives
With
Wolves
Re: Are we enabling our son?
*****
ScaredMa – you said “I feel like, and I am sure I am speaking for his dad also. If he knows that he does have a support system and we will not abandon him that it will make him want to try and quit using. I just don't know. It is so confusing trying to decide what is right and wrong.”
*****
Yes, it is very hard and you don’t know what is right and which road to take. I do agree with what you said – I do think it is important for them to know that they have a support system. But, it is not OK for them to step all over you and use you when they don’t care. There is a fine line there. Are they in recovery and trying or are they manipulating, lying and hiding from you?

I have had to get really tough with my son and we have been at the “tough love” crossroads a couple of times. He knows that we DO have limits and we mean what we say. He also knows that we love him totally and will help him.

Many people believe that “tough love” works….and maybe it does for some. I don’t believe it is the only way and I personally have seen where “tough love” pushes someone further down to hell. My brother’s son died from Meth at 25. His brother has been on the street living the Meth life for 19 months now. Tough love isn’t working for them.

I would suggest having faith and trust that he can and will make it. “Treat a man as he is and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he can and should be and he will become as he can and should be”…….by Stephen Covey.
Cabird Re: Are we enabling our son?
We had one who was on meth. We enabled and then we didn't enable. We decided to let him hit bottom and when he hit he didn't know he was there. I don't think it makes a lot of difference what we do or don't do. They are going to do meth until THEY decide to quit. Ours decided to quit and he has been clean for several years now and wants no part of meth ever again. It was horrible what he put his family through and he doesn't remember a lot of it. He was too busy out looking for meth.
scared
ma
Re: Are we enabling our son?
Thanks everyone. Everyone of you has a point. I will have that nuturing instinct no matter what because I am his mama. Kelley is in denial. He keeps asking for help and then refuses to go to rehab. His dad said he was crying yesterday saying I have to have some help. His dad told him people were willing to help him and he did not want it. His dad said he went to use the phone and he asked him who was calling and he said"@@@@@" (the pill friend). His dad told him a pill was not going to fix the problem and my son told him he had to have something. His dad has not seen him since and I haven't even talked to my son since Sunday.
I believe he knows he needs help but he wants other people to do it for him. Kelley has got to get to the point that he wants to help himself.
His dad and I have made 2 trips to the hospital because he came asking for help. I spent a week, driving back and forth everyday, going to mental health with him because he was begging help.
When a counselor or anybody mentions rehab he does a total turn around, gets mad and says he can do it on his own.
I think Meth has just about totally fried his brain. I just pray that when we go to court in June that the judge will court order rehab. It may not work. But that is all I know that I have left to try.
If he finds out that I have talked with a judge he will hate me, but that is O.K.
I have said before I had rather visit him in rehab or prison than visit his grave and that is where he is headed.
It is pure torture watching what he is doing. His mind is in torment and I know it is, but he has got to stop the denial if he wants to change his life. I think the key word here is "want". He keeps saying he needs help he does not say he wants help.
He admits to doing meth, but only on the weekends he says and I don't believe that. When he is high he is fine. When he don't have it, he is begging for help and looking for his pill friend to give him something to help him. Is this totally insane or what? Can this type of attitude and behavior change? God Bless You All and Thank you so much for talking with me, I don't know what I would do without this site right now.
Cabird Re: Are we enabling our son?
I have been through what you are going through. I understand this all very well. I was there for years. Thank God mine is clean and has been for quite some time. There is hope for yours. It is hard to see that now but there is always hope. We love our children and it tears our hearts out to see them self destruct.
forget
suzette
Re: Are we enabling our son?
That is why there are so many candles in his house. I just thought he liked candles.

it might be they have alot of candles to smoke speed when they are outta lighters, their thumbs are hurting from flicking bics, or they don't want the lighter noises.


I am unsure of the definition of "tweaker" anyway, would you like to explain.

a tweaker is an active speed freak...
...someone who's done it enough that they act sketchy.
and obsessive compulsive, scattered ....yet in happy oblivion.

for example..
....re arranging a table all night, taking appliances apart, inventing useless but elaberate mechanical devices.


then as bob dylan would say...

"another evenings empire has returned into sand, vanished form my hand, left me blindly here to stand but still not sleeping"
purdy
good
girl
Re: Are we enabling our son?
I believe you are enabling him , but as long as you are not giving him money, Its not as bad. I know its hard Im a mother with the same problem. And I cannot turn my son away, knowing he is hungry, Even if he is an addict.
Penel0pe Re: Are we enabling our son?
Quote:
What would a tweaker be doing with groceries?
SFJ - LOL. Did Mama finish that room we talked about when we came to visit? I can see myself doing the same thing. My 20 year old is in a relationship with a "Man" who is lucky I am in recovery... I would do ANYTHING to get her out of there but she's not going to do it until she does it.

If I wasn't in recovery, he'd be duct taped to a tree way up in the high country, probably naked and probably black and blue. We'll leave it at that.
Quote:
....re arranging a table all night
Suz, I was once observed EXACTLY that by some friends who had to physically make me stop. I just couldn't get it "right." WTF did that crap do to our heads?

See also:

What is Enabling?

Loved ones of an addict, which one are you?

Am I enabling my son by letting him live at home?


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