Enabling

Homepage Forums Advice Enabling

This topic contains 27 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Bellen 5 months, 3 weeks ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 28 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #6129

    Bellen
    Participant

    So yeah. I’ve taken in my drug addict sister. Most people including my therapist are telling me to be really careful…and warning me against enabling…

    Enabling…

    As if something I could possibly do could or would make her worse than she already is? This woman has been through hell. What’s a roof and some food going to do to make her situation worse? What’s giving her a ride to get services and the help she DESPERATELY needs going to do to make her worse off? She is a drug addict and has been running the streets because she hasn’t had the help she needs, not the other way around!

    Honestly I’m getting angry about this. That when people REALLY need help there’s so few who are willing to stick their neck out and take a little risk at the hope that a person might (gulp) actually make some progress!

    She has layers upon layers of trauma to work through. Just like I did. But I’m still standing. And I definitely didn’t do it alone. So fuck the haters! Call me an enabler if you want. You’re just jealous because you can’t even fathom being able to help someone who is so desperate. You’re scared. Admit it. You’re AFRAID…that they might take something from you that’s important. Whether it be material, or internally. Fuck that. Fear is the oppressor of action.

    #6131

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    I know this is obvious, but she needs to get off drugs ASAP.

    #6132

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    I’ve come to the conclusion that “helping in response to need” is the primary and most fundamental ethical principle.  This belongs to the entire kingdoms of mammals and birds.  For humans, cooperation – working together towards a common goal – is also fundamental.  This basically comes with “fair sharing” and some means of enforcement.

    #6133

    Bellen
    Participant

    She is off drugs. She’s been sober for a while

    #6134

    Bellen
    Participant

    And she’s determined to stay that way.

    #6135

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    That’s good.  There are different kinds of enabling, and maybe you can help enable her to stay on the right path.  On the other hand, that’s impossible if someone’s not already on that side.

    #6138

    Unseen
    Participant

    I’ve often heard that addicts won’t have the strength to get off drugs till they hit rock bottom. False?

    #6139

    Noel
    Participant

    No that’s not false Unseen it’s actually true. Different bottoms for different people I guess.

    Helping someone to work their program is how we addicts allow our brains to release dopamine these days. Someone once told me, “you want to help yourself? Then help someone else”.

    hope it all works out. For both of you.

    #6140

    Matt
    Participant

    What’s a roof and some food going to do to make her situation worse?

    I’m going to answer this in the abstract, rather than specifically about your sister… Several things: First, it’s going to mean that instead of buying food and shelter, the addict gets those for free and has more money left over to buy drugs. Second, easy access to a house full of someone else’s possessions will be a temptation to steal from to get more money for drugs. Third, living with someone who has money (even someone struggling), will be a temptation to borrow from them with little/no intention of paying back.

     

    That when people REALLY need help there’s so few who are willing to stick their neck out and take a little risk at the hope that a person might (gulp) actually make some progress!

    It’s not a little risk… it’s a big risk, with big consequences… Someone I know’s mortgage is MANY thousands of (Australian) dollars behind where it should be because they bailed out their son with his dealers… and he’s still doing it!

     

    What people mean by “be careful not to be an enabler” is just to be careful not to allow yourself to be taken advantage of. If something goes missing from your home, don’t let it slide. If an addict asks to borrow money to buy something they need, buy them thing they need instead of giving them cash. Basically just maintain a controlled environment in order to support the addict to get clean and get their life back on track.

     

    It sounds like your sister may be past the worst of this kind of behaviour, if she’s sober and determined to stay that way. Just stay on the look out for suspect behaviour (frequent short outings, anti-social behaviour, etc), and talk to her about them.

    #6142

    Diane
    Participant

    I just wrote a damn novella about my daughters’ half-brother, of whom I am not the mother. He’s a heroin addict. He’s got the whole sorry mess going on – homelessness, infections in injection sites, a baby, girlfriend on methodone, multiple arrests, etc., etc.

    I don’t have an answer, really. I just lost my compassion when it negatively affected my kids. Last winter I picked him up in Boston when he got discharged from the hospital. He had developed septicemia from an infected injection site. We tried to find a shelter but he wouldn’t go. We dropped him off at a sad corner on a bitterly cold night, knowing he would be sleeping outside.  Apparently he’s doing better now. Would I take him in? I doubt it. Would I take his baby if it needed to be done? Absolutely. (Baby’s mother takes good care of him even though she lives in a shelter and has to go to methodone clinic every day.)

    I have difficulty not judging him because of all the damage he’s done, and because I had a substance misuse problem myself a long time ago.  He will not change until he has a re-alignment of his fundamental understanding of how he fits into the universe. That’s basically what has to happen. That’s the point I got to before I stopped.

    I applaud your kindness to your sister, especially since she is working on changing her life.  Please don’t let her take you down with her if she goes off the rails. It’s brutal to say but at some point one’s own survival instinct should take over.

    #6143

    _Robert_
    Participant

    I tried that for a long time. At some point I decided not to go down with all that bullshit….They are always sober. Right. Worse part is they don’t even remember what pawn shop they hocked your 1972 fender bass guitar at.

    #6144

    Strega
    Moderator

    Sounds like you’ve made the decision already. I see that you do consider it a risk.  I understand you are hopeful it will be a success.  Have you decided what to do if this doesn’t work?  Would you throw her in the street again?  What is your fallback plan in case it doesn’t go well?

    #6146

    Bellen
    Participant

    My sister is JUST like me… in so many ways…I have watched her growth over the last 2 years. We’ve been through thick and thin together.

    Noel’s right. We have to hit bottom and she hit it hard. Now she’s been trying to climb up but there was nothing for her in NM. It may as well be a 3rd world county.

    She is meeting with the same professionals I’ve been working with for years. Tomorrow I’m taking her to meet one on one with my housing advocate at the local domestic violence agency. We have a plan of execution to her get the services she needs…

    I’m not doing this alone.

    Shes also not staying longer than 14 consecutive days because it is against my housing agreement. She will likely get some sort of transitional housing and hopefully eventually section 8 or other housing, and disability. She’s willing to sign me as her legal conservator (aka her adult guardian). She’s also agreeing for me to adopt her youngest daughter.

    I am miles ahead of all the potential problems that could arise. She knows not to mistake my kindness for weakness…

    If things don’t work out? Things WILL work out. I believe in her.

     

    #6155

    Strega
    Moderator

    Belle, when I put my seatbelt on in the car, it isn’t because I’m expecting to hurtle through the windscreen.  I’m asking what your disaster recovery plan is.  It’s much better to work out how you’d manage an unexpected disaster if you’ve contemplated it when no disaster is looming.  I’m all for hope and belief in others, but not at the expense of any kind of safety net plan.

    #6156

    Bellen
    Participant

    What sort of plan would you suggest? I guess I just know I’m already 1000 steps ahead of her lol…

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 28 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.