How do I help my mom?

Hi, I am looking for some advice from each view point here... addicts, friends/family of addicts, recovering addicts, non addicts, everyone. I'm sorry this story can get realy deep so here's a short version of my backstory to help: I am a grown woman with a husband and kids. We both work and now our life is balanced where we can save money and make way better decisions than we used to. We used to smoke weed everyday, he was the only one working, so things weren't perfect but they weren't terrible either.. anyways things happened and now we are far beyond that point in life anymore, sober, both working, like I said making better decisions. My mom has been an addict off and on for a while, and she was doing really really good for a bit until an old (boy)friend - also a harcore addict- came along then she lost her job and then her mom passed away and went even more down hill from there. I have not ever actually seen her use anything but I am seeing ALL the signs I saw before. I won't go into too much detail but the things, items, and actions I saw add up to this. I actually saw her come off the drugs and I wish to NEVER see that again! I want her off the drugs but to watch the pain and suffering from that... no thank you. It was scary I was only what 18 or 19 years old? Anyways.. so she was finally out on her own with her boyfriend and SEEMED to be doing OK until I found out recently that she's going to be evicted in a week, has no other place to go, and they're waiting on their taxes to move. The amount that they're behind leave me to believe its been a LOOONG time over due. Now I am in the position in life where I could possibly reach out and help with a little finances to get her started again, POSSIBLY... now my question for you all is... Do I help with money? If not, how do I help? She will deny deny deny the addiction no matter what so that's pointless & Ive heard her talk about my other family members who think she's addicted too. SHe has said that's why they don't talk to her too. so how can I help? Do I help? Do I let her hit bottom? I don't want to be like my grandmother in that sense.. she was the best kindest woman, but very old fashioned, denied the drugs even thought she lived with her, and handed my mom money whenever she asked... so what do I do??? I am at a loss I don't know if I should talk to my other family members about this or moms cousin and I are super close and tells me not to hand her a dime.

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  • hello and welcome. thanks for sharing. i'm sorry you are going through this and having to watch your mom suffer...i think dean has given some great advice though...  this way you can help her, but you're not continually enabling her.....

    but no matter what you decide, go with it and don't beat yourself about anything. your mom is ultimately responsible for her you know...

    you're a wonderful daughter and i hope your mom gets some help soon.
  • Thanks a lot guys! Being able to talk about it on here with people I don't know really helped. You guys all really had some good input and advice for me. I have began training to become a volunteer crisis counselor for crisis text line, this site kinda inspired me to wanna reach out to others and help them in a time of need in a way that I can. Keep spreading the love and support!! 
  • @familyofaddicts... Welcome to the community and thanks for sharing with us. I'm so sorry to hear about your mother's struggles. Kudos to you for wanting to help her.

    My opinion is this: If you want to help her with money to keep her from getting evicted this one time, do it. But don't give the money to your mom. Only help if you can make a payment directly to her landlord. I would also tell your mom that this is a one-time deal, and that you want her to seek help for her problem. After that, if she refuses to seek help, you should not help her financially anymore. 

    When we help our addicted loved ones out of difficult situations that are even partially a result of their addiction, we enable them; that is, we make it easier for them to stay in their rut. But by letting them suffer the natural consequences of their behavior, we allow them to see the negative aspects of their actions. It's tough to distance ourselves from a loved one, but sometimes it's the only way.

    Tell your mother that you'll support her in her recovery; that you'll help her do what's necessary to get her the help she needs. But also know that helping her with other things simply because you feel sorry for her can actually end up hurting her more than helping her.

    We're here to help and support you, my friend. You can come here anytime you feel the need. In the meantime, I will be keeping your mother in my thoughts and prayers.

    Peace and hugs to you. I'm glad you're here.
  • Hi there. Firstly, thank you for sharing your story. I can sense genuine concern for your mom and her well being which is completely understandable and honorable in many respects. 

    My advise to you today is that until such time as your mom recognizes that she has a problem, you will be unable to help her. Sad but true. Unfortunately, you will be in no position to force her to seek help or to reach out to family for assistance therefore, I would suggest that you let her know that you are there for her, day or night, should your mom need you. You need to be her pillar of strength as much as it hurts you to stand by and watch until such time as your mom reaches out to you for help. Most addicts reach a stage where the say "Enough!" and that is the stage where you will step in and take charge.
  • Thank you very much DeanD, I will pray for you and your family as well. I hope your son finds himself again. My brother in law is off and on that stuff too... a very smart and funny guy, just stuck on the stuff and can't stay off it. Its awesome that everyone here comes together. I am so glad I stumbled across this page. 
  • That's so awesome, @familyofaddicts! There is something wonderful about helping others. I wish you all the best with your volunteering! :)
  • Hi @familyofaddicts, that is so inspiring to hear! Sometimes it just takes a little perspective and you never know where in the world (literally) it will come from. You won't regret volunteering and helping others. And it's awesome of you to put your energy in that direction. Thanks again for sharing your situation here and trusting the various perspectives. May peace be with you and your family during this time!
  • Thank you for the friendly welcoming and the wise do you do that? Cut you ignore every attempt they try to contact me? Do II only say no to helping with money? She has only ONCE asked me for 100 some dollars in my whole life like a month ago. I said I couldn't but I probably could have. I just didn't see her cable bill as a necessity. Was that wrong? She wont actually ask either besides that one time, she will say things to give me the opportunity to offer it... but I don't have $6000 to prevent her eviction. Maybe I could help her get into a new apt... but should I? Or like you and everyone else says... let her consequences follow her? There is NO WAY IN HELL I could let them move in with me which I feel like she was hopeing Id say... I can't trust them alone here, and on top of that, her past has shown I will have to threaten to kick her out in order for them to find a place. It will be a very long stay. Theres no room in our apt. If it was just her, no cats, no boyfriend, then maybe Id give her a couple weeks... but man I just miss my mom you know? Now I feel bad that I have resentful bitter feelings towards her. My username says it..familyofaddicts, I have been through this before but it was diff, they cut ties with US. I am sorry for all this venting, I talk to my husband about it, but I guess I wanted some outside advice on this all.. I used to be so close with her, with another person in my life whos an addict and cut me off, I used to have my grandmom but she passed. Now I do have my husband and my best cousin in the whole world. I jsut want to make sure Im not being a jerk or whatever. I am one of those people who just wants to make everybody happy. I see my mom in a dark place and I don't know how to help make her happy? 
  • So don't mention it and just wait for her to bring up having an addiction and needing help? I have pretty much been pretending all this time that I don't suspect anything, The only time the word addiction or drugs come up is when she talks about the family betraying her during grandmoms death and how they all think shes on drugs. I think maybe she suspects I suspect since she barely talks to me anymore, unless its just the drug and depression has taken her down the path of hiding away. 
  • Is there a way of catching her out, or forcing her to admit? having absolute proof thrown at her might help her to at least admit to you that she is using....
    From there, it's still a long way to having her admit an addiction to herself..
    Maybe she is scared of feeling like she failed you?
  • Hmmm I don't know if I actually have any absolute proof... just that my brother tells me they're always sleeping and leaving the burner on the stove on and that they're always dropping their ciggs. I seen her room before she moved a few years back and all over the bed and floor were cigg burn marks, and once i had seen a bunch of those methadone bottles all over her room. I even seen a belt pulled all the way down to where an arm could fit... that may have been someone else tho. But still the fact that it was being done in her room. I dont know if any of that can be used as proof. I just know in her past shes passed out asleep from her pills causing her to drop her ciggs and spill her drinks in her lap on her bed and laptop. Once her boyfriend came around, she started to go down hill back to those same actions. Even her emotions like she can't seem to handle anything. I guess I will just wait and see what my aunt has to say and go from there.
  • I think she needs the evidence thrown under her nose in a way that she simply cannot deny it. Why is she leaving burns everywhere, why is she acting strange... maybe tell her that you're worried and that no matter what it is, she can tell you and you'll help.
    She might come clean, but I doubt it..... I think the only way to really get her to admit it to both you, and herself, is to provoke an emotional outburst where she breaks down. That's really a lousy way of doing things, it's how I got my aunt ot reallise that her little vodka problem was no secret to anyone, and to finally give in and stop trying to hide.

    this is one of these situations where only yime can tell, without intervention. 
  • Greetings. In your place I would not give her any money , ask her what she needs and buy it directly instead. You don't know what is going to do with the money. 

    You can talk about this with other family members, but be careful, only speak with relatives that are able to control themselves and not make a big fuss about it, to make sure They will not rush a confrontation with her,  cornering your mom with judgement and pressure thus making her react negatively and take refugee with drugs in response.

    Hope my suggestions helps.
  • Hi welcome to the community. First of congratulations on getting your life back on track. Being a responsible parent is harder than it seems. Does she have any means to pay you back? Does she have a job? Is she an addict as well? She also has to try to help herself even as you have helped her. Talk to her about it. Talk to your family and friends that can help as well.
  • Oh man! That's a really tough situation to be in @familyofaddicts. I agree with @DeanD 's suggestion. You should give the money directly to her landlord. And as much as possible, help her in kind, don't give her money. I know that she's your mom and you want to help her, but if you give her money, she might just spend them on whatever it is that she's using.
  • Yeah, thank you everyone. I really do hope something can be done before its too late. No she does not have a job and I really don't know if she could or would pay me back. The barely live by small paycheck to paycheck. I guess I will wait and see what happens, shes supposed to call me back soon since shes getting evicted this week or next week. So if my heart tells me to say something I will when the time is right. I guess I felt rushed. But you are right she has never lived out full consequences since my grandmother always graceously pulled her out. It is hard to watch your own parent fall apart when you always thought they were stronger than that. I mean that with all respect... 
  • @familyofaddicts... I would probably start by sitting down with your mom and having a heart-to-heart conversation with her about your concerns. Tell her you're worried about her health and well-being. And tell her how her behavior is affecting YOU. 

    If she refuses to help herself, it's probably best to detach from her. Detaching doesn't mean cutting off all ties or contact. It just means that you're stepping away from her problem. In her book Codependent No More, Melody Beattie writes:

    "Detaching does not mean we don't care. It means we learn to love, care, and be involved without going crazy."

    The bottom line is that you deserve to live a happy, healthy life, and you shouldn't be burdened by your mother's addiction. She's the one who has to decide to get help. In Al-Anon, they teach "You didn't cause it, you can't control it, and you can't cure it." As hard as that is to realize sometimes, it's most definitely true.

    Keeping good thoughts for you and your mother. I know this is hard. Remember that we're here for you.
  • Thank you very much. You know for a while we only emailed each other like once a month if that even. And I felt like I could be happy and I still am. I just got this last email about her being evicted and was thinking well damn what now? But I think I see what you're saying. Thank you, I just hope I can gather the courage to talk to her soon. Someone has to right?
  • @familyofaddicts... You are very welcome. It's not easy detaching from someone you love. My wife and I had to do it with our son in the midst of his heroin addiction. But sometimes it's the only thing that will help everyone. I, too, hope you can find the courage to talk to your mom. I think you will. I will continue to send you positive vibes and keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Remember: We're here for you.

  • @familyofaddicts... Thank you, my friend. I'm glad you stumbled across us, too. Nice to have you here. :)
  • OK so I have thought about it. I spoke with my aunt and my cousin. I shortly spoke with my brother. And I am going to do it. I have worked up an e-mail that I will pray over and go over before I send it. My cousin suggested it to help me guard my heart and so that I can get everything I want to across to her. Also so that it keeps her from feeling on the spot and she can think it over on her own time. I have suggested a place that would be good for her in the e-mail, I suggested I would take her there and that I already am aware of what the process is to getting set up so that if she needed any assistance I am here to help her. I wrote about how much I love, appreciate, and miss her. I wrote that twice actually... I wrote it in a a very loving way where I wasn't accusing her of anything and told her I would never judge her or look down on her and I would always see her as my mom and will always love her. I never said the word drugs and implied it I just stated that I don't know whats going on but I thought this place would help her get her life back on track and regain the strength she needs to take on life. I told her she can be happy and I want to see her happy again and that she doesn't have to be alone that I would stand by her. I really hope it goes through to her. I don't know when I am going to send it but she gets evicted tuesday and I was thinking of sending it Monday morning/night. I just hope she doesn't turn it down just because of the boyfriend... anyways I will update you when/if something happens :-) 
  • @familyofaddicts... I'm happy you've made the decision to send your mom an email. I think that's a good approach. She can read the email and digest it at her own pace. It's so easy to have an actual conversation about something like this get derailed. An email will give your mom something tangible that she can see and read over again if she wants or needs to.

    I am keeping you and your mother in my thoughts and prayers. I wish you nothing but the best. Be sure to let us know how it goes.

    Peace and hugs.
  • The best thing to do is avail her by not availing her. If your mom ask for mazuma verbally express no. If she requires something and you can afford it buy it for her. The most paramount thing is don't give her the mazuma. Verbalizing with her as much as you can about this is best.
  • LeonasSword, what is mauma?
  • I sent the e-mail Saturday morning. She had e-mailed me about how they don't know where they are going to go and asked if I had any ideas, so that's when I felt the perfect opportunity was. I even went as far as to send her a link to a place for her boyfriend so help him if she were to go. She did not respond to it but shortly after she texted me asking me not to mention their little dilema to the family. She never stated what it was about whether she meant the eviction or addiction. I went to drop something off to her later that day (it had been a couple years since I had actually seen her). She didn't mention the e-mail, but like my cousin said, I planted the seed, so, we'll see. I also found out the landlord missed the court hearing for the eviction so he has to go through the process again which bought them another month. I hope she uses that month wisely. 
  • @familyofaddicts... I'm glad to hear that you sent the email. And your cousin is right: you planted the seed, and that's a good thing. Sometimes when we do stuff like this and the other party doesn't mention it, I think it means that they are in the midst of processing it. And that's what you want to happen.

    Thanks for the update. I will continue to keep good thoughts and say prayers for your mother and you. Maybe getting that extra month is part of "the plan." I, too, hope your mom uses it wisely.

    Keep the faith, my friend. And remember that we're always here for you. :)
  • @familyofaddicts... How are things going? Give us an update if you have a chance. Thinking of you. :)
  • Hi, thanks for asking. I just came on to update. So after I sent the email, the next day she asked for money and after some time she sent an email response to mine. It was long she couldn't believe it and was asking if the rest of the family thinks this too. I got the impression she thought the family talked to me and she thought I tried to set up an intervention (which I didn't). Emotions were flying. I just responded in a basic loving way not responding to any comment or questions she made. I said I am sorry you are going through this I love you and I am here if you need to talk. That was it. She sent another one in r eguards to that asking if everyone thinks shes on drugs and how the family has betrayed her. I didn't respond at all. One part of me felt bad  that I opened this door and what if I was wrong? Its 100% that her boyfriend has been abusing the methadone, but maybe she is just irresponsible with money and lifes problems. A part of me felt frustrated that she denied everything... but I did what I felt like I had to do. I did it out of love. I did end up taking her a bunch of groceries the same day, I couldn't give her money though I was not going to do it. She actually went out the next week to apply for state help (FINALLY) so maybe I did something good. She has been saying she loves me more often too. On her birthday I brought some lunch to her place and just me and her chatted for a while a little like we used to which was nice. And some good news that she had been waiting on for months came in while I was there. I am telling you even though nothing else changed, their perspective certainly did! I am so happy that happened and so happy that she is finally taking some steps to help her self. I am going to continue to pray for her. Even though she had everything packed in boxes to go her bible was right there next to her too. I see good things happening. Gods working on her! I am still keeping my boundaries up and my heart guarded, but I am hopeful. 
  • @familyofaddicts... Thanks so much for your update. I'm glad to hear that things are improving. I'm so glad you did what you did. When you do what you think is right and you do it out of love, you just have to accept what happens. And now good things are happening. :)

    I hope things continue to get even better. I will keep you and your mom in my thoughts and prayers. Thanks again for the update. Let us know how things are going from time to time if you have a chance.

    Peace and hugs.
  • Hey, today she is officially homeless... she had to give her pets up to the shelter. She made a couple light jokes after crying out. I don't know what to do now. They were sleeping in a Uhaul truck last night and now they are out in the streets. When I spoke to her they didn't know where they were going to go. :-( I want to say come stay here but in my heart I know that's not the right thing now... plus I have no space at all in our apt. Its small and sad to say... I don't trust them alone here...
  • @familyofaddicts... I'm sorry to hear this. It's obviously a sad situation, but you're right: having them come and stay with you is not the solution. That would be like putting a Band-Aid on a bullet wound. Please remember that none of this is your fault. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. Perhaps this particular set of consequences will lead to some change.

    Sending you hugs of hope.
  • Thank you, yeah I hope so too. Shes pretty persistant in texting me her updates which is good Im glad I can know how shes doing.. but the way she says things gives me the impression shes waiting for me to offer something. All I do offer is advice but it's becoming too much for me she isn't listening to my advice even though she's asking for it. So I am just not going to respond anymore. 
  • @familyofaddicts... Probably a good idea. She may be trying to manipulate you. Hold your ground, my friend.
  • Hi! It's been a while! I found out she and her boyfriend did eventually end up moving to Virginia (we're from MD) with his ex and their kids. Weird.. She's texted me a few times. Once she accidentally called me and sounded happier. I have been just moving on the best I can. I hope she really is happy and doing well. Only time will tell. 
  • Thanks for the update @familyofaddicts. It sounds like you are dealing with things in a positive way and taking care of YOU. And I hope things continue to get better. Sending positive vibes your way!
  • @familyofaddicts... It sounds like you have detached from the situation nicely. I hope things continue to go well for everyone. Remember: YOU matter! 

    Sending you big hugs and lots of love and light. :)
  • Hi I'm back! I had no idea where to go so I came back here to you guys... your non judgmental caring support left an impression on me. I looked around for other places to go but this one stuck out.. I hate opening doors in my mind that I lock shut but I can't seem to lock this one. Its funny how you can do that with friends or strangers but I can't do it to my mom. I recently did to my "dad". I feel like I have dealt with him coming and going randomly as he pleased on his time ALL my life that I got sick of it. You are either IN or OUT of my life and thats that. Shes becoming the same now. Its hard to explain... I kept the door to communication open because shes my mom. She lives 4-5 hours away now and I almost never hear from her anymore-again. Except for a random text every couple months. Never have they said "Hey how are you?" though. I will try to make this short. So recently her boyfriends son added me on facebook and out of concern from not hearing from her I accepted the add. Well soon after that, he made a few indirect posts about situations happening over there about people drugged out on opioids. So mistakenly I asked "are you talking about who I think you are?" and he only responded with "I will not name names". So I decided to ignore it, I knew what it was and just didnt want to be involved. She soon texts me (all of this is on my much needed vacation) defending herself and then emails me her side of the story. Ended up being 20 minutes of confusing lies. I seriously just wish she would stop contacting me at this point! I dont want to be rude and am scared if something were to happen to her... God forbid. You know? She barely speaks to me and when she does shes complaining and says she will email me but never does. On the rare occasion that she does, she complains and when I respond I get nothing back. If I send something I get nothing back. For a short while things were cope-able, I wouldn't hear from her and if I did I didn't respond or I'd say something so extremely light there'd be no need to respond. I liked that because of the situation that I do NOT want to be involved in. I accidentally got myself involved and now all these feelings are rising again. My brother is still kinda in denial and I dont want to put an impression on his view of her, it could be his way of coping and he has so much hes dealing with lately. I feel like I am in a bubble thats full to max. I am up to my chin in a mess and I dont know where to begin. I have just been feeling so down and stressed lately.. this didn't help at all. Does anyone else feel like they just want to go run through the woods and scream until you cant scream anymore? I know shes my mom and it sounds selfish (which makes me feel worse) but I dont think I should respond to her email, or any one I get in the future. Unless it says "I'm coming home and going into a program, I'll call you soon". I dont want any more communication unless its positive. I feel like I have so much I am already trying to work on about myself that any time I put into her will be a waste. I needed to vent so bad I have not been able to really talk to anyone about this recent incident since it happened which was just last week. 

    I have my cousin to talk with but sometimes I want to talk to someone I don't know so out feelings on the person dont mingle. 
  • Oh and now after all this happened I dont know if I would believe her if she said she was happy. After that last email how could one be happy living like that? It sounds like everyone is doing pills in the same house with flea ridden animals and family drug fueds. Not only that.. shes living with her boyfriend and his WIFE and his kids. Apparently now my mom and her boyfriend are just friends.. yeah ok.
  • @familyofaddicts... It's good to hear from you again, although I wish it were under different circumstances. I'm so sorry you're still struggling with your mom's issues.

    Based on what you've shared with us, I see absolutely no reason why you shouldn't cut off communication with your mother. You have put up with a lot already, and you deserve to be rid of the stress and anxiety that your mother and her situation cause you. Sometimes, detaching is the only way to find any solace. 

    I don't think this would be in any way selfish, either. You have to remember that your life matters; in fact, it matters the most. If you're not happy--for whatever reason--it's okay to take steps to make yourself happy again. 

    I'm glad you felt comfortable coming back and sharing with us. We're here for you. If you need help, support, or just a place to vent, you can come here anytime.

    Sending you love, light, and hope. And big hugs, too.
  • Thank you for your hospitality, its always so welcoming and comforting. I think I may go with not responding anymore.. I will remain open for when/if things change but until then I wont answer texts or emails. Shouldn't be too hard with her living far away and barely communicating...I hope my non communication will speak for itself.. The rest of the family did and they're all living happy lives, I should be able to too. I just hope that it doesn't make her think I don't love her anymore. That would be very sad. I wouldn't want something to happen to her while I'm ignoring her and her die not knowing why. This is some confusing hard stuff to deal with! I can't believe I hide from these thoughts for so long without cracking. I couldn't imagine if it was one of my sons instead of my mom. I have said it as a teen and I know I'm barely 30 but I refuse to ever let myself turn out like that. When I had my wisdom teeth pulled a couple years ago I was terrified to take those pain pills... I don't want my kids fearing the same fears. My screen name is not random, it's true, my family has many addicts. Anyways.. thank you for your input, I am highly considering it. In fact, I am making the decision right now. I can't carry that weight anymore, its not mine to bare. Thank you a million times over!
  • @familyofaddicts. hey there! welcome back!  i agree with dean that sometimes detachment is the best answer...if YOU want peace of mind. unless you can have contact and be emotionally detached....(which is hard b/c it's mom)... i'd keep contact to a minimum. it's tough, but as you know, you're powerless over her life.

    many of us are in the same shoes when it comes to addicts in the family...i make it a practice to pray daily for them...and not let them manipulate me when they "need" something... 

    i hope the best for you!
  • Thank you, thats a great Idea. I think by now she has seen my boundaries of never giving money... which I didn't think would ever work. Have you guys ever tried those meetings for family members of addicts? If so would you reccomend them? 
  • Unfortunately, sometimes no message is the best message. Do what's best for YOU, @familyofaddicts

    As far as meetings go, I highly recommend Al-Anon, Nar-Anon, or SMART Recovery Family & Friends. There is also Families Anonymous, which I don't have any direct experience with. Al-Anon was a huge help to me and my wife when our son was in the throes of his addiction. (My wife will tell you that Al-Anon saved her life.) So, yes. Definitely look for a meeting in your area and check it out. There is a lot of help and comfort there.
  • @familyofaddicts i agree that a support group can help so much!!! helped me a lot! check them out and maybe you can start attending one in your community!
  • Thank you, I will be looking into these and see if this is the right step for us. I have not responded to that email and she recently emailed me again twice which I also have not responded to. So far it feels like not responding has been helping because I don't think about it as much. I guess time will tell as the silence becomes constant. Ive never reacted angrily towards her or silenced her out, ever in my life, and always tried to show my appreciation for her. I'm hoping she holds onto that as she notices, if she does. :)
  • @familyofaddicts, you're doing the right thing. There is nothing you can do for her, she has to do it for herself... If, one day, she's ready to get better, I'm sure she'll let you know... but till then, why should you have to be a spectator in her side show.
    If at any stage you do feel drawn to reply... keep it consise, and truthful. That you WANT to connect, but under positive circumstances only, and that until you see signs of her getting better, you'll need to step back to protect yourself and your family.

    She might have convinced herself that she's using because her family abandoned her, but the reality is that they abondoned her because of her using.

  • @familyofaddicts... It may be hard, but I agree with @zozzie that you're doing the right thing. You need to focus on YOU.

    Sending you big hugs.
  • @familyofaddicts hey you! just thinking of you and wondering how you're doing... 
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