Fed up Mom who enables my 20 yr old son

by Felicia Smith
(Slidell, La United States)

Hi my name is Felicia. I'm so tired of the drama from one day to the next with my 20 year old son. The enabling started when he was little. I was a single parent raising him and trying to be the mother and father in his life. I always felt the need to over compensate with him, so he would not feel bad about not having his real father in his life.

Now he is 20 years old, he has been evicted from his apartment, lies constantly, lives in a dream world, owes everyone in the world money including myself and his grandmother, sold everything he has ever owned, and to top it off has a baby on the way. Wow!!! I feel sorry for my grand baby! He needs a child like he needs a hole in his head. He can not take care of himself much less a baby. He can not manage his finances; he lives for today without ever thinking about his future. He is selfish and self centered. He is all about himself!

When he was living at home, my husband and I put him out from steeling from us on several occasions. We finally convinced him to join the Army National Guard; so he could have some kind of hope to make a future for himself. He was gone for 6 months and that was the best time in my life. I did not have to worry about where he was and if he was getting into trouble. When I knew he was returning home, I was sick to my stomach knowing after boot camp and training were over I would have to deal with him once again. I had this hope when he returned from the military; he would have learned some valuable life lessons that would make him an honest man. That did not prove true and yet again I was disappointed.

I have felt so much guilt for his behavior and actions. I always wonder where I went wrong as his parent. I know he has it in him to be a good man. I love him so much but, sometimes I can?t stand to look at him, because he has a choice to do better, but doesn?t. Is this wrong? Will he ever grow up?

Thank you for letting me vent. It's nice to know I'm not alone.

Sincerely,
Felicia Smith

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May 09, 2015
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hard work teen
by: Anonymous

Help needed:

I have a 19 year old teen causing a nightmare at home. we go from one drama to the next: not saying where she is, not coming home, pregnancy, failing college: rude behaviour to a bedroom that requires injections to enter....... basically shes living her life the way she wants and damn anyone that gets in the way! The problem is she lives at home.... (with me) her dad doensnt live with us so not interested..... my new husband tries but not connected.

I've tried everything, extra support & love. Cutting money (she works so that didnt matter) reading the riot act........... literally nothing works. I feel awful for admitting this but i want her to move out and start her own life, I am done with early morning calls for help, money & assistance. how on earth can i start getting this right?


Jul 07, 2014
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my sympathies
by: Anonymous

The interesting part of your story was that it didn't say a word about what your son does with money. Can you not admit here he spends money on drugs? Enable if you want. It will make you angry, broke, ashamed, embarrassed and disappointed...more negative thoughts of yourself than if you start saying, "I'm done."

My 35yo son began drugs at 15, dropped high school in 10th grade. He's been to rehab enough times to rehearse it all to you. He's been in jail enough to read the entire Bible and know it better than me. He would work off and on while living on the street. I saw him walking one day and he had me drive to where he was staying. He was so proud he had it great in a lean to cardboard box in back of a papa johns and a dumpster where they put unclaimed pizzas each night! God has spared his life so many times he is like a cat...fell asleep at the wheel and hit head on with his (my) car flipping and none of 4 people wearing seatbelts in 2005, he recuperated from surgery with me and had six weeks off a job he loved. He refused to go back and would do nothing but sit around--I Thor trauma from his wreck, trapped 1-1/2 hrs, dark, alone, bleeding internally; heart attack (cheeto sized blood clot inside his heart) in 2008, and a stroke in 2012. He was not doing crack at any of those times. He began that drug in 1998 and quit in 2008 when he had enough. He and girlfriend lived with me to quit and they did. She worked. Grandson born in 2009 (TUBES COME UNTIED). They moved to beach in 2010 and are on their own.

Jan 13, 2014
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My Sympathies
by: Anonymous

My son is 22 and smokes weed in our garage, flunked out of college, and quit a job because he felt it was beneath him. I want to kick him out but my husband enables his childlike irresponsibility and cant kick him out. Help!!!!

Feb 28, 2012
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Letting go
by: Anonymous

I have a 28 year old son who has been injecting drugs for 10 years
He had always worked but never had money and thus always getting money from me. To meet him you wouldnt know he was on drugs (as I was very niave for years)He has always lived with me, we left his voilent father years ago. I tried hard to get him to go to rehab but he says its not for him, he tried to overdose last year over an older woman who also had a drug problem. HE has recently left home and has been staying at different places and yes on the street and not working he had been calling me for money and I had to say no as he was with another drug dependent older woman. He did not lie to me about not paying for petrol, his motor blowing up in his ute as I still paid for the petrol as it was not like him to do things like this.
I ache inside as I have 2 daughters married and children and only wanted the best for my son, I feel part of his problem is me as I have bailed him out over the years and he therefore no responsibility. He is back at work I dont know where he is living I am scared he will try and overdose again it is very hard to let go.

Dec 31, 2011
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addicted son
by: Anonymous

I know how you feel about your 20 year old son. I have a son almost 21 years old who graduated from high school with a 4.0 and recieved 3 scholorships was a bright, kind, smart, and goodlooking model/actor. He started college and got in with the wrong crowd. He started drinking and smoking pot. He lost three scholorships, blew through 20,000.00 and can not hold a job. He refuses help and denies he has issues. I am begging him to get help before he lands up in jail. He is a master at lying and I do not know what to do. He has no money and now lost his scholorships. I may have to kick him out if he will not get help.

Nov 27, 2011
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Mother Enabler
by: Anonymous

My wife is an enabler, her son, my step son of 25 years od age still can't function on his own without consistency financial help from his mother. What help can you provide us to help with this problem?

Oct 27, 2011
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Life is a good teacher, IF...
by: Don Carter

Life is a good teacher, IF... you can stay out of the way and let life take over. He is still very young at 20 and most of us stumble our way through it learn lessons the hard way. Can you remember having to learn something for yourself rather than taking wise advice from parents?

Now, about overdoing it? If that is something you trained him to expect, then he needs some retraining. He knows your buttons and will push them all trying to get you to return to enabling behaviors. Your job will be to address what it is in YOU that gets hooked on helping.

If you find you are unable to stay out of the way, it is time to reach out for professional help. Check in here and keep sharing, there are others who can share with you how they let go.

Blessings,
Don

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