Submitted by: Joan
The problem with my alcoholic is that she is my daughter and she has an 11 year old child. It is difficult to give her ultimatums that would affect her living with me without endangering the well being of my granddaughter. She has no place else to go. It is also hard to keep from giving her money for things because she is so devious and thinks of all kinds of ways to need things for the children, etc. and always asks at the last minute when I am leaving for work so I can’t go buy it myself. I know she uses the money to buy alcohol and cigarettes. She just got a job at a Hair Salon and I’m hoping she will keep it, but she is breaking me in the meantime. I am a 69 year old widow and would really like to retire someday.
JC: Joan, thanks for submitting your story. I asked a wise woman in Al-non about this type of situation once. She said that if we continue to enable the alcoholic that we are sending them to their grave. I was rather shocked at that statement, but at the same time understand the importance of the alcoholic hitting a bottom.
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Submitted by: Joan
Joan: STOP giving her money. Every time we get them out of trouble we just extend the problem. I learned the hard way. I finally walked away from a situation that would NEVER change because he wrote the script for the alcoholic relationship, not me. It hurts when you realize that they were only using you, but I had to accept the truth. Even in a long-term relationship (40 year marriage) or supporting your child for the sake of your grandchild, YOU are the person who is being used and taken advantage of. Being a co-dependent means that we are allowing them to write the script for your lives. Think of that. Allowing an illogical, self-centered, irresponsible to run our lives. We are only there to pick up the pieces and clean up the mess. What a waste. Free yourself from your own self-limiting beliefs about what it means to be a “good mother” or “good wife”. Those rules don’t apply when we are dealing with alcoholics/drug addicts. You are 69 years old and deserve a rest. I was 59 years old and broken down when I finally walked away a loser in the alcoholic’s game. They move on to find other people that they can absorb and use up. Save yourself.
Joan, is there anyone who can get custody of the 11 year old? I know you are older but are you willing? If not, how about an Aunt or Uncle, brother or sister, Sounds like the father may not be a good choice. Talk to the family on both sides, maybe someone is willing to raise her. Then consider taking her to court for custody and maybe the court forcing her to rehab to get her daughter back. CONSEQUENSES is what she needs and this may be a modivator to get her in the right direction–maybe not? Once you do this don’t enable her in any way you may have to tell her to get out of your home. Tough love may work. It’s hard but you have to for her and the young girl.
Joan, I would suggest attending at least three Alanon meetings. You will find there are many people going through what you are going through. I remember going to my first meeting very reluctantly. I was very upset that I had to attend any kind of meeting, when I didn’t have a problem. However, I was just tired of trying to stay one step ahead of the alcoholic. What I found was there are people out there going through what I was going through and a lot of support in helping me find the right answers for me. I hope you give Alanon a try.
Joan, DO NOT give her money! She is playing you. My deceased alcoholic girlfriend would try that with me. I was lucky enough to find this site. And then I caught on to her games. She always seemed to need gas money.She would do the same as your daughter. Except she would be going to work. Then ask me for money at the last moment. So I would follow her to the gas station and put a few dollars in. I pumped it to make sure thats where the money went. The first few times will be hard. But you will have to do it. And still be able to make sure your grandchild is safe. As much trouble as her death from alcohol and pills was to me I am still am grieving her death 8 months ago. Every day I wish I would have found this site sooner in our relationship. I learned so much here. But not soon enough. Hang tight. Stay on this site. You will learn a lot. And you will realize you are not alone with these types of problems. And do try a ALANON meeting. I wish you well.
I want to thank Julie for her blunt and concise statements. I just did walk out of a 40 year marriage and have been continually doubting myself about this action.But you helped me see that I saved myself finally from the selfish, illogical and irresponsible alcoholic that was controlling my life due to my codependent behavior and “good wife” beliefs. He moved on quickly to someone else and you made it so clear that he will consume and use her up too— I have been so jealous of her but now I feel pity and sorrow for her. I have wasted so many years cleaning up the mess and trying to be a better more perfect wife with a self centered egomaniac. I am breathing a sigh of relief…I am free to be me finally!!
Dear Wendy, It makes me happy to see us helping each other on this site. You sound happy and it takes awhile after leaving the A to get to that point and get the head knowledge you need to sort it all out. We good hearted people can get stuck in these relationships for sooooo long hoping, believing, loving, in vain! What a hard lesson for all of us. Much love and appreciation to all of my AF friends–we all help each other to enlightenmet and FREEDOM! I love you all so much! Pez
The only way to not enable, is to move out of the drinkers home and start a new life. Forget about them.
AA wants people to leave the drinker alone and let them be, but calls loving them and trying to help them, enabling.
You can’t follow AA’s definition of enabling and love them, because loving them means caring for what they do.
AA sees caring for their well being as enabling.
The only way to not enable is to walk away and not care if they die.
AA can turn the nondrinker into a schizophrenic.
Enable, don’t care, enable, don’t care……