Will I ever stop enabling?

Friday, October 23, 2009

I feel ashamed. Tonight I gave Ryan money to go to the movie with his girlfriend. The thing is I really didn't think it thru when he asked. He said "I still have a paycheck coming from (the place he was working before he went to rehab) I will give you the whole thing, I would like to take Jessica to a movie".

I didn't think it thru; I justified it to myself by saying that he’s been doing so good since he got home. He hasn't asked me for anything. This isn't supposed to be fun. He needs to learn how to take care of himself. I will probably not even see that paycheck he has coming.

I feel really bad, but I would feel really bad if I didn't give it to him. I look at him and feel so guilty, so sorry. I don't know. In my head I know not to give him money, but the first time he asks I just hand it over. I know it was wrong I feel absolutely horrible now. How many times have I been told myself do not give him money. I have been told, read, heard not to give him money. It seems I can't let him grow up, feel the responsibility of taking care of himself.
When I first started this blog, I had thought that Debby and my stories were alike. In a lot of ways they are. Ryan is a lot like "B". He doesn't understand responsibility, taking care of himself, how to manage money, getting a job. All he would ever think about was, playing golf, partying, hanging out with his friends.

Ryan is very sweet. He would probably laugh if he heard me call him sweet. He has never ever talked to me in a mad voice. He has a very even temper. I know sometimes he is frustrated but he has never said a swear word to me or raised his voice. He is a very good liar though. He does not communicate very well; he very rarely lets me know how he is feeling or what he is thinking. What he does do that drives me absolutely crazy is when I find out he does something and tell him about it he says OK in this voice that makes me feel like I don't have a clue what I am talking about. That I am accusing him of something that he would never ever do. He says it Ooohkaaay.

I am on May 16th, 2008 of reading Debby's blog. She is so much stronger than I am when it comes to enabling. I wish I had her strength. She can tell "B" no, when he asks for money. She has faith where I don't know where my faith is.

I felt so positive this morning. I had a plan to get better.
I am going to pray tonight. Pray for Ryan to find his way, pray for him to beat the diseases he has. Pray for me to have the strength to tell him no, pray for me to have faith, to feel better about myself. Pray for every mother that has an addict child.


Debby of Oxycontin and Opiate Addiction: A Mother's Story October 23, 2009 at 10:14 PM  

Please don't beat yourself up! I've given B money, when I should not have. I have learned to go at it this way, when B tells me he has a paycheck coming and he just wants to have a little fun-- I tell my son "it will be worth the wait, sweetie". "If you have to borrow the money, then you can't afford it. I'm sorry, but no".

Or, I would give my son a way to earn it! I'd ask him what he would do in exchange for it. He had to do the chore-- like washing and vacuuming my car. Still, I never gave him cash.

But, I had to practice that and I don't want you to beat yourself up. Forgive yourself.

I prayed for you this morning and on my blog today. Email me privately, anytime. You are in my heart.

Sleep well. Keep your list your wrote close to you. One step at a time. You are sharing your feelings so well, here. It gives us a chance to understand and relate with you. I totally relate with you.

God loves you.


Debby of Oxycontin and Opiate Addiction: A Mother's Story October 23, 2009 at 10:17 PM  

I see that you don't have an email. If you want to email me privately it's:

I will honor your privacy. I'd like to share some things with you, in private.


Madison October 24, 2009 at 3:59 AM  

Keep the faith. Changing for you and for your son is a process. The children who are the sweetest, most charming and likable are fantastic at keeping the illness fed.

Cheri October 24, 2009 at 12:17 PM  

Oh, Lynn,

Debby and Madison are both so right. The changing is a process. Learning how not to enable is like learning how to live all over again. You can do it, and you will. It just takes time. If you make a mistake, get back up, dust yourself off, and jump back on the "I will not enable my son" wagon. Please don't beat yourself up.

And I have to agree also that those kids who are the sweetest and most charming are the hardest to not enable. They know how to work us, how to push just the right buttons.

You are in a relationship dance with your son, and you guys have always done the same dance. You, however, are introducing a new dance, new steps. Ryan will naturally try to go back and do the familiar dance. As long as you insist on the new dance, even if you accidentally slip into the old one occasionally, eventually Ryan will have to adjust his own dance steps to match yours.

The beauty is that he has an active relationship with you; that's the first step. Be encouraged. Of our two sons that used, the oldest cut ties with us for years. We are still in the process of trying to rebuild that relationship. The younger son didn't want to damage our relationship like his older brother did, and that has been a positive element to his recovery.

Be encouraged,

Barbara(aka Layla) October 24, 2009 at 5:41 PM  

Hi Lynn,

Please don't be so hard on yourself, just learn and move forward. I understand because I gave my son money too. Keep reading Debby's blog and know that we care and are here for you. I'm still learning as I go and am scared to death of my son coming home in a few months and having to be STRONG again (its so easy when they are in jail, ha, that sounds ironic!)

Mom of Opiate Addict October 24, 2009 at 9:13 PM  

Go easy on yourself, it is o.k. It took us our whole lives to become the enablers that we are, it isn't going to just go away, it will take time. You will struggle and make mistakes, we are only human and mothers on top of it. Our nature is to nurture, we just happen to take it to a whole other level. Just the fact that you are being aware is such a big step in your recovery from codependency. Give yourself credit and take it slow, one day at a time. It is hard to be strong all the time when you have an addict trying to manipulate you. Also, try to trust yourself, that has been a struggle for me, but when I do, I am able to let go of the mistakes I may make much easier. You are doing better than you think.

Her Big Sad November 1, 2009 at 4:25 PM  

They've all said it for me, above! I make the same mistakes.....I try so hard not to enable, and I think I'm getting better, but it's a new way of looking at parenting! You're doing great!

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