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Son off meth two years, am I enabling or helping him now?


longtall
sally
Son off meth two years, am I enabling or helping him now?
I discovered this site two years ago when my son (34) came home and told me he was addicted to meth. He stayed home and got clean.

He then got enrolled in a 2 year tech program. I have supported him financially along with grants that pay his tuition. I have also sent him weekly allowances because he was not able to manage his money at that time. And he did not want a large sum of money at one time. It has not always been easy but he has made good grades and is in his last semester in school. When he came home he had lost everything car, furniture, drivers license, and his ability to make good decisions.

My question to you is he will be getting a large loan for this semester of school and he wants to give me the check so I can manage his money. I feel that at some point he has to take responsibility and manage his life. Should I continue to manage his financial responsibilities or is it time for him to do this? I am concerned that I will continue to enable him to not take responsibility of his life if I continue to "help" him.

I have read this column and respect your advice so have decided to ask your opinion. Thanks.
     Replies...
BentBut
Not
Broken1
Re: Son off meth two years, am I enabling or helping him now? 
If he has fears....do this:
Hold his money as long as he's willing to sit with you and learn how to manage his money wisely. Teach him for a few months. Then let him while you are there. Let him learn at his pace. JMO.

Remember, I'm the one who's gonna tell my Mom-who is clueless about meth completely-if I have the urge/fear/unease.. etc to use or do something not wise.

Welcome to KCI. I don't see you enabling at all....just loving him and helping him. Thanks "Mom". Keep open communication with him and sounds like ya'll will be fine.

Kell
happy
Re: Son off meth two years, am I enabling or helping him now? 
I think it sounds like helping.
Why? Because when you get clean a lot of things are a struggle. The fact that he doesn't want a large sum of money in his control is really a good sign, I think. That money might be a trigger or temptation to him. He'd rather know it's safe. Really, I think that he is probably doing a ton of stuff, and re-learning how to do every little thing in your life sober can be exhausting.

How long has he been clean? Just dealing with the day-to-day emotions, tasks, and expectations in life can be pretty daunting when you first get clean. All I did for a fairly long time was go to work, sleep, and eat.

It's 8 years after I quit meth (and almost 3 off "everything else") and I can still get overwhelmed when I get too stressed. Let me say this, though. I am a homemaker. I take care of our house, our son, and do the bills, balance the checkbook, and a lot of other things. So, I'm doing a lot more than I used to.

I agree with Dee about helping him to learn. Gradually. Tell him you'd like to show him what you're doing to manage the money. Then don't rush it. Don't pressure him to take over right away. Show him stuff. Notice what he's understanding and point it out. Help him get some confidence underneath him. That helps me a ton!!

Now, if it's too much for you, you need to be honest with him. Put a schedule down for an amount of time you need to transfer the duties over to him, or have him figure out someone else to help him.

These are just my thoughts. Someone else may see it totally differently. That's a good thing about this board, though. You can get lots of input and decide what works for you!! (I love that about it here!)

I have gotten a lot of help from my mom since I had my son. I keep very busy, but she gives me breaks, and helps out with stuff. It's incredible. I'm really grateful for the stuff she does. She lets me know when she's tired, too. So we're learning to communicate again, which is nice.

Ignor
amus
Re: Son off meth two years, am I enabling or helping him now? 
I think you're helping.
He's not using, and it sounds like he's doing his best.
But as said by Kellhappy, that might be a burden for you.

Don't feel bad if it's a burden you don't want to carry, you have your own finances to deal with, after all.

But if it's a burden, maybe you could check into different bank accounts. My bank will allow me to set a limit on my withdrawals. I can ask them to only allow me to take out $100 cash a week, or $20 a month.

If that option's not available, and you're OK with handling his expenses, I say go for it. Maybe set a timetable with him when he can start to take over, and have a plan B if he feels he can't trust himself.
Talk to him about the many options out there.

But as to your original question, no, I don't think you're enabling.

Loraura Re: Son off meth two years, am I enabling or helping him now? 
Quote:
My question to you is he will be getting a large loan for this semester of school and he wants to give me the check so I can manage his money. I feel that at some point he has to take responsibility and manage his life.

I think that asking someone to help him with an area that he KNOWS he has difficulty in, IS taking responsibility!!
I think that you would be helping him help himself.
He is trying to lower the risk of relapsing. He knows having a large sum of money is a trigger for him.

So much
guilt
Re: Son off meth two years, am I enabling or helping him now? 
Teach him what to do with the money and then let it be left with him. If you continue to manage and control things for him, he will always be dependent on you and then has you to blame if something doesn't go as he expects. Help him learn, but let the responsibility lie on him.. I think if you do as he has asked, you will be enabling him. I'm so glad to hear that he's doing well. Is he continuing to get support for his past meth addiction? Meth is crazy and can call anyone back at anytime if you don't have the support to resist. What has he done to help himself not to relapse??
Hugs to you and God Bless.

longtall
sally
Re: Son off meth two years, am I enabling or helping him now? 
No, he is not continuing to get support other than family. His 2 brothers who have never used but have been willing to be there to help. I feel the total change in his life-going back to school and moving has helped him stay clean.

I am all to aware of the relapse rate even years later and it does scare me. But through this board I have learned that I can't control him. He does seem to be doing well. He has learned that alcohol and marijuana both can cause relapses because they cause bad decision making. He told me this.

I think going back to school and getting this certificate has helped his self-esteem tremendously. He was always smart in school but just somehow ended up going down the wrong path.

Seems to me I need to stay active in his finances and make my number one priority teaching him how to manage his money. So I will keep the money and show him how to manage it and give him a date when I expect him to manage it on his own.

Thank everyone who gave advice. You are all truly angels in my eyes.

BentBut
Not
Broken1
Re: Son off meth two years, am I enabling or helping him now? 
"Mom" Sally-
Thank You......for loving him even though I know he broke your heart. Thank You for learning about drugs. Thank You for knowing how to communicate with your son. Thank You for seeing good things he's accomplishing. Thank You for your patience in teaching him where he feels weak.

That's not enabling-that is genuine, pure love for your child. I'm willing to say he'll be saying "Thank You Mom," for a lot more than I can even think of right now.

I'm praying I'm going to earn back that communication, heal my Mom's heart, and never break it again.
Meth: my best "teacher" of much.

I know when I've got more recovery I'm going to do some teaching too. That much I owe my corner of the world and God.

Hugs, Love, and Grateful for your post (and life),

See also:

What is Enabling?

Supporting vs. Enabling - need advice

Enabling Methamphetamine Users - Question about my son


Back to Crystal Meth & Methamphetamine Questions, Answers & Advice


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