My Family - I can't seem to stop enabling them

@linda345 (2661)
Canada
December 10, 2006 1:29pm CST
I have a very mixed up family. My oldest daughter is a 20 year old single mom. My 19 year old son is a drug addict and an acholic. My 15 year old is in foster care because we both decided it would be for the best. She also has tried to commit sucide 3 times since easter. I can't seem to say no to them. Every time they ask for money I seem to hand it over even though I can't afford it. My husband is really mad about that. The older two say they are going to pay us back and they never do. I babysit alot for my daughter because I feel like I owe her something. They all treat me like crap. I have bipolar. I wasn't dianosed until 5 years ago and I spent most of their childhood as a single mother. I know my illness effected them. I feel like have to make it up to them. Some days I know this was the deck of cards I was dealt in life and I did the best I could but others it is really hard to remember that.
4 people like this
40 responses
@mansha (6301)
• India
10 Dec 06
Thats a terrible life.It seems unreal,I think you need help in a big way.What is your hubby like,where is he in the scenario.Dear go to some therapist and get hold of your life.This is no way to live and let live.Firstly get some help for yourself and take your daughter to some counsellor for help and enroll your son too in a rehab programme.With these conditions I think you need to give your granddaughter also in foster care.This is not a fit atmosphere to raise kids.Better start taking steps to help your daughter and son.Remember long journey starts with a single step at a time.
@linda345 (2661)
• Canada
11 Dec 06
My daughter and granddaughter do not live with me. My husband is my rock. I see a phsychist(sp???) for my bipolar and therapy for me. Myself and my daughter in foster care will be starting a program to try and integrate her back into the home. I would just like to try and get my life back to normal. I am on disability and want to get back to work. I am never going too until this is straighted out. Thanks for the words of wisdom. Oh, my son refuses to go in rehab. I have offered to pay. There is a really good one here where I live that you live there for a year.
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Dec 06
I am glad that you are getting help,Life can be so difficult sometimes but you need to to pray and talk to god so that he can help you so the path you need to be on. Only through god can we be whole
1 person likes this
@Foxxee (3653)
• United States
10 Dec 06
Why is your 15 year old in Foster Care? You stated you both decided it would be for the best, right? How is that for the best? You can't just give up on being a parent. Even if the child acts out in ways you have explained. I don't care what my kids do, I would never put them in Foster Care and I didn't think you could just put a child in Foster Care, just cause you were tired of your child at that time.
1 person likes this
@linda345 (2661)
• Canada
11 Dec 06
I didn't really just put her in foster care. We were working with 2 different agencies for her alone. She was starting to act out to the point of being a danger to herself. We tossed around her going to a foster home for a few months just to give her and me some space. This would let her work on her issues with out me to bother her. The decision was left up to her. She comes home on the weekends. I take her horse back riding and pay for her lessons still. That is her passion in life and I would never take that away from her know matter how much trouble we were having.
1 person likes this
@lucy02 (5017)
• United States
11 Dec 06
That makes sense. People sometimes have a negative view of foster care but it can be a blessing when a parent has a problem that they are working on. Sometimes its better for them to be in a more stable environment. You did the very best you could do. Being bipolar is not something you can help. You sound like a very loving mom.
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Mar 07
I also suffer from bipolar and had a mixed up childhood. I learned to be an enabler myself. It's not an easy thing to stop doing because it's almost like part of your DNA. I didn't even relize that I did it until my husband and I were in counseling. And the dr. told me that I'm a marter. That hurt, but the more I got to thinking about it he was right. So it's not an easy road but if you keep trying and working on you it will benefit all the relationships you have. I wish you the best of luck and remember in order to love someone else you have to be able to love your self first.
1 person likes this
@linda345 (2661)
• Canada
7 Mar 07
I sometimes think bipolar and being an enabler go together.
@gabs8513 (48715)
• United Kingdom
6 Mar 07
Linda I am so sorry to read this I have already made a Picture out of some of your Discussions. I have 2 Children and they are great Children. I do not know why your Children are like that, but do not blame yourself, you did not ask for the Illness when I blame myself for not being able to work both my Son and my Daughter always say to me Did you ask to be Ill no. So stop blaming yourself and thinking you owe them, you don't, if anything they owe you. They owe you for carrying on and bringing them up to the best that can. And I think it is time they start appreciating you. This is only advise Love, but the more you give them, the more they will take and treat you like crap. I do hope that things have got a bit better
1 person likes this
@linda345 (2661)
• Canada
7 Mar 07
I am glad your kids understand you. I wish mine could understand bipolar more.
@vmoore709 (1102)
• United States
10 Dec 06
You don't owe them anything. If you really want to help them, have your son put in a hospital for rehab. Help your daughter find a daycare that is affordable and a job that will support her and her child. Hopefully you can keep a relationship with your other son. Things may not have been easy, but you do the best you can. Keep you chin up and eventually it will get better. Just believe in yourself.
1 person likes this
@linda345 (2661)
• Canada
11 Dec 06
Thanks for the words of wisdom. My son refuses to go to rehab.
• United States
10 Dec 06
as being a parent myself a mother usally wont say no.I know for me i will do whatever i can for my kids and i will stand by them no matter what even if they are wrong.i do not believe you own your kids anything you had a illness you were unaware of but you raised your kids and gave them what you could that is what matters.so dont keep thinking you owe them something because you dont.and you need to put a stop at them treating you like crap because its not right talk to them.
@linda345 (2661)
• Canada
11 Dec 06
Thanks for the advice. I try my best for the kids but I am going to take alot of the advice I got in these postings today.
• United States
10 Dec 06
Only you can stop the cycle.You have to let them accept responsibility for themselves.People have to learn to take the bad and turn it into whatever they want it to be.Quit enabling them.Your husband has a right to be mad.It sounds like he cares about you and wants you to be happy.You must stop the madness.
1 person likes this
@linda345 (2661)
• Canada
11 Dec 06
You are right. I am the only one who can stop the cycle. I have to learn that no is a word I can say.
• United States
31 Jan 07
You are very hard on yourself dear. You are who you are. They must accept you as you are. You feel guilty, and you are trying to buy love by not saying no, and they know this. Please try to do the right thing. How does your husband feel about all this? God bless you dear, you will be in my prayers.
1 person likes this
@darr195 (110)
• United States
11 Dec 06
I have a similar situation. I feel I have enabled my daughter and now feel I should use honesty and tough love. Her so called friends aren't showing love or honesty to her if all they want her to do is party with them. I'm hoping in time she'll see the difference and get out of that lifestyle and when she looks around for friends I'll be there waiting.
@jsnapp (137)
• United States
11 Dec 06
I don't even know how to respond to this one. Wow, sounds like some big problems. I would say counseling is a must for the whole family. You need to get your life in order first and then worry about your children.
1 person likes this
@doniker (493)
• United States
10 Dec 06
you sound like a very weak insecure person and your children can read this, that's why they walk all over you. Until you get the strength to disipline them, this tragic situation will continue.
@Lushlie (572)
• United States
11 Dec 06
This website was not created to put people down. Didn't your mom ever teach you that if you don't have anything nice to say then don't say anything at all?
• United States
11 Dec 06
Doniker,YOU sound like a very weak & insecure LITTLE man, and like your trying to compensate (with sorry non-advice) for lacking elsewhere. She's asking for help & all you can do is critize.
@drumm1n (500)
• India
11 Dec 06
that is terrible! i think you should write your story in to oprah! ive seen many shows where she helps families like yours get on the right track im sure yyou could give it a shot!
@linda345 (2661)
• Canada
12 Dec 06
Actually one of my friends said she wrote Dr. Phil about me and my family.
@pinkypop (664)
• Philippines
11 Dec 06
Broken Home - Broken Home
I pity you for having kids like that. Hope you don't mind me asking...where is your husband? coz you haven't mentioned him. You know just pray hard to God and seek His guidance and help for all the problems that you are encountering. My prayers are with you. goodluck and GodBless
@linda345 (2661)
• Canada
11 Dec 06
My husband is here with me. He is not the childrens father but has tried his best. He is my rock. Any time I have been admitted to hosipital with my illness he visits me every day even though he works 9 hours a day and has 1.5 commute.
@mbs730 (2152)
• Canada
11 Dec 06
I am so sorry to hear this, we all have our problems! Is there anyone you can talk to for help??
@linda345 (2661)
• Canada
11 Dec 06
I do see a physastist(I have to learn how to spell that word).
@sunita64 (6473)
• India
10 Dec 06
My dear friend you have led a miserable time. I would like to suggest one thing, daily for 15 minutes sit in a peaceful place and make a mental picture of your family in a way you want, keep repeating that picture of happy family every day in your mind and wait for the results. Thinking creates, as you think so the things come your way so make a positive picture of things around you and you will see the change.
@linda345 (2661)
• Canada
11 Dec 06
I did a group therapy course last summer that did something like this. Thank you for the wonderful reminder. I think this is a great idea.
@Sunset50 (1397)
• United States
10 Dec 06
Maybe things haven't turned out the way you liked, but you have begin to face the disability that you have, and that is the most positive thing you can do. You don't have to make it up to them and you can show your love by letting them learn life the hard way, on their own. They are adults now. You did right with your youngest girl. To admit that there is a problem that you need help to handle is the greatest test of motherhood and shows how much you love your children. If I could reach you, I would give you a big hug right now. Don't put yourself down, let your husband help and say no to the kids. Maybe that is what he was sent into your life for in the first place.
@linda345 (2661)
• Canada
11 Dec 06
It is very hard to accept my disability. I have to face the fact that I am going to have to take pills the rest of my life. Thanks for offering a hug if you could reach me cause I could use one. I am trying to be more in tune with my husband and stop handing out money or being walked all over. Thanks for making me feel better. I will try to follow your advice.
• United States
10 Dec 06
You need to get yourself the help you need first before you can even start helping them with their problems. Work on yourself first!! Go talk to someone or go to a therapist to help you out. Stop giving the kids money. Tell them that you can't afford it when they ask
@linda345 (2661)
• Canada
11 Dec 06
I see a psychist(sp??). I am also going to be contacting another agency to get myself a social worker just for me. I think that is the advice everyone is giving me today.
• United States
11 Dec 06
You need to get to a therapist immediately. You sre in a state of crisis and you are not only affecting yourself but others as well. To continue on the path you are on right now would most certain lead to further distress in your life. Call your local mental health clinic to see if they have a therapist for you. Be true to yourself and the rest will follow
• United States
11 Dec 06
Tell them no!! They will get mad at you but you have to take care of yourself first.
@faheem75 (57)
• India
11 Dec 06
u r rreally in a bad condition....may god ave mercy on u...just try to do all d god deeds n it will all be fine..