Enabling Problem

by Sharon
(Tennessee)



I don't know the difference between helping and enabling.

I get caught off guard all the time. How can I be a good supportive parent, willing to help my son get straight, get a job, get some training etc. without falling for his manipulation and lies? He has (last time) come to me, saying he has hit bottom and he can't take it any more. He said he wants help, a life, his family, a job, a home, a wife and children.

I let him move back in and he slept for 2 days. I woke him up and told him it was time to get up, get dressed and start a plan. He got up and left!!!

He begs me to help, then gets angry and finally just takes off and goes to stores, etc. and steals and does what he wants.

I love him. Please help me. How do I know the difference between helping and enabling and how do I stop?


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Hi Sharon,

You must remind yourself that being a good supportive parent has nothing to do with giving help. Help has to be warranted. So if someone can’t do something for themselves, (ex. a small child) you can help. However, in the case of your son, he has to be accountable. Your son needs to get back on track, but he has to be the one to do it, otherwise you’re enabling. Addicts will lie and manipulate to get what they want and that’s why you have to stand firm and not be manipulated.

Tell him you love him and you’ll be there for him, but first he must work on his issues. Tell him to go to AA, NA or other 12 step programs, get a sponsor and when you see he's turning himself around, you'll help him if necessary.

It’s because you love him that you have to stand firm. Only the addict can do anything about their addiction so give him no other option but to get help.

This is very hard for any parent to do, but if you go to Al-Anon meetings, the members will be supportive and help you stay strong.

All the best

Bev


Click here to post comments

Return to Addiction Questions - Addiction Answers.

signupbanner2

For powerful Self-help & PERSONAL GROWTH Tips

Click to Sign-In

______________

For Recent articles

SIGN-IN

6 Bullet-proof Ways to Unmuddle Your Life

Key Reminders When You Say You're Not Good Enough!

Why Forgive ~ When you have every reason not to

Simple Steps to Rid Yourself of Toxic People




Testimonials

Bev Helped Me

Your humor, understanding & insight into my problems helped me beyond my wildest dreams
~ Luella J. NYC

I'm So Grateful

Now I can see how my dysfunctional family members won't change, but the way I handle them certainly has. So Grateful.
~ Steve W. Tokyo

Thank You

Thank you for being there, for guiding us in the right direction and helping us understand and renew a relationship with our daughter. No words can express our gratitude.
~ J.C San Antonio

What A Difference!

You have made a huge difference in my life. I can't thank you enough.
~J.B. Vancouver,B.C

I'm Speechless

I don't seem to find the words that would do justice to all that you have helped me deal with.
~P.L. Sydney, Au

Have a question? Here's where you ask.

Change your thinking and untangle your life!!

Test your dysfunctional thinking