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How Do I Get Someone to Social Services?
May 8, 2000
2:15 pm
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vositor
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Hazza,

I'm so glad things are working out for you and your fella together. Best wishes for overcoming over your illness.

All of what you say makes sense. You're right - we do have nearly the same story and I'm so grateful that you took the time to write it.

I surfed over to rational recovery < http://www.rational.org/recove.....amily.html> to skim the family section. It sure is an eye opener. I'm on my way back to read the rest of it.

May 9, 2000
2:45 am
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Hi Vositor,
I am glad you found the link helpful, I know I did when I read it the other day. I do not agree with everything they say, of course, but I think it is good to see different opinions on the subject, and this site provides an alternative thinking that is worth at least looking over.

I also understand that the bond between parent and child is even more heart wrenching than a romantic relationship. But I have seen wqhat you are describing going on in the past between my BF and his mother. But you do need to run the risk of rejection from your daughter if you are to break the cycle.

Just be clear to always tell her that the reason you are not helping her is because you love her. However much she may accuse you of the opposite, she will know deep down it is true and will have more respect for you.

Tell her the options that are open to her, such as welfare etc.

Tell her that she is NOT a victim.

No one is. My BF had a very tragic childhood and it would be easy to get into that frame of mind and think "poor him" and keep making allowances. But the fact is these people are NOT choldren anymore. They are adults. It may be grossly unfair that certain things happened to them in the past, but do they really think that 10 or 20 yrs of a bad childhood means that they must spend the next 50 yrs feeling bitter?
It is understandable that they may feel this way, but the only person who loses out with this mentality is themselves. Far better to be able to accept the past, even if you don't like it and realise that they are grown up now and can control their own future. Their past may be unhappy and that may not be their fault. But their future is not written yet and it is up to them to make it a happy one.

Maybe you could tell her that you will help her out to find councelling or help her go to social services. But there is no pont both of you being in such a destructive relationship. There is no more that you can do other than to apologise for anything you may have done wrong in the past but leave it there. You do not need to make reparations other than to provide her with loving emotional support.

And that means being firm about certain things (your boundaries)

tell her exactly what you will do and what you wont do. and leave it up to her.

YOu may well lose her for a while but that is the risk you have to take.

good luck with it, I know it is hard.
Peace
Hazza

May 10, 2000
2:25 pm
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Hello Hazza, janes, cici, heartfelt, everyone . . . I got caught in the power failure. I've been chomping at the bit to share this news.

The book "Codependent No More" arrived Monday, and I dug right into it. Because of the discussion here, I had a general idea of what the topic would involve. There are already some surprises, too - things I've noticed about myself that turn out to be a typical reaction to feeling trapped.

Hazza - I did it to a small extent. I wrote an email, stating that there's a load of real mail here. She should arrange to pick it up. Then I said "I'm reading 'Codependent No More' and I'm not no more." She just called as I started this message. She's picking up her mail.

One of the fabulous things that happened Monday and Tuesday was that I got engrossed in the book and spent the first concentrated hours in ages thinking about only one thing - what I was reading. It was like a mini vacation.

My boundaries are firm and as far as losing her goes, I think I already did that long ago. I just kept trying to hang on and she kept trying to get away. You're so right. There's no point in two of us going to ruin.

I'm not saying halleluya I'm healed - don't worry. I'm just so relieved to discover that I'm not really trapped, that there are things I can do to keep the unhappy part of my life from ruining the rest of it.

Now I hope this thread does go away. Eventually, I would like to tell her about this site. But I sure don't want her reading what I said because there's no mistaking who's talking and who I'm talking about!

Best regards to all of you.

May 10, 2000
7:41 pm
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In time....if and when she sees this...maybe she will be ready. As long as you did not lie about this there is no problem in her seeing the truth from your side in black and white.

Hurrah you are reading the book. It is sure a good one. I read and rearead it and hopefully some day all the lessons will sink in.

No you are not trapped. but isn't it a truly liberating feeling to find out you never were...

Hallelujah....Free at last free at last

Goodluck

Keep us posted and join in with us!!!

May 11, 2000
11:38 am
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Janes, the lying stopped - the years and years of pretending - when I talked about her in this quasi-public forum. I felt guilty of disloyalty. She has a strong fear of being "talked about."

Now I guess a rational person who didn't want to be talked about wouldn't do things that beg comment. And another rational person wouldn't take up the cause of keeping the secrets as a sacred trust.

She's doing her own lying. I worried for a while that the drinking had damaged her brain and then I worried that maybe I've got a touch of serious memory loss. But I think she's up against a wall and has to show good reason why strangers should take her in, why her mother won't. THe strangers don't know me or anything about me and they don't know I've paid out every cent I had to keep her afloat in this depravity. I don't have any interest in stepping in to protect the strangers, although it has crossed my mind.

I'm smiling. I can see what an idiot I am and there's another one to replace me! You're welcome, world.

May 11, 2000
9:07 pm
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Vositor...you are soing so well...at least on cyberpaper.

I find the hardest thing is sticking with my decision to remain positive and peaceful and not take back those few codependent responsibilities I have given up.

I truly admire you for the way you have seemed to grasp and hang onto the concepts that have been shared with you.

In the real world you must be a truly awesome woman. My admiration and honor to you.

You are not an idiot....never never. You were deep in denial but boy...when you get it you GET IT!!

Super super super

May 12, 2000
12:25 am
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Thank you, janes. I've got to rein myself in - now that I got it (like being hit with lightening) I've already had thoughts of blowing off a few other people, too. This is all brand new, don't forget, and it hasn't been tested.

I still will be back here reading through the discussions every day keeping track of all the productive results people have to report - like Hazza's, for instance.

Thank you again. and again.

May 12, 2000
3:36 am
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Hey there Vositor, I am so glad that you sound so healthy! if you read all this thread then you will see that your problems hasn't changed, but your attitude towards it has.

This is the only way that you can rescue your daughter, but letting her drown enough times until SHE wants to change. I knw that when she does, You will be there for her, but to help her, not to do it for her.

If you are worried about her reading this thread, then why not shange your name now. Then if she comes here in a few months or so, she is unlikey to go back and find this thread anyway, but she will not recognise you on any current threads.

But remember, she will only come here if she wants to! there is no harm in keeping this site to yoruself and for yourself right now.
Remember YOU are your no.1 priority!!!
Hugs Hazza

May 12, 2000
12:37 pm
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I'm glad you don't doubt my pain. I do. The One Who Knows seems to want to deal with past pain that went by without hurting

That, I think is where the FEAR, the phantom, comes in.

Some of you will probably say to make peace with the past and look forward. I desperately want to. Making peace means looking at stuff I have no desire to see, and feeling stuff that I dread. Any experience with this? Healing of the memories, whatever you call it. Would love some testimonials--particularly if it was successful.

May 13, 2000
8:48 am
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Esperience with dealing the pain of the past? Of of my greatest strengths as a codependent is denial. Everything is great..everything is rosy...... is, was and always will be. That's why so much of our focus is outward, on others. Ever so slowly I have been looking at the past...sort of as an observer, trying to see it with a less jaundiced eye.

Childhood? My mom was SOOOOOO controlling! I always saw it but made excuses for her. No more. My father (whom I really admire) never stopped her during her tirades against us girls. I resent him not helping us.

Me? My young adult life was FULL of mistakes. Now, when I see my daughter in behaviors I don't approve of I look back at my own behaviors and call them what they relly were...substance abuse, promiscuity, whoring around. I didn't start doing this in a week.

We are seeking to protect ourselves...a misbegotten idea because without the truth we cannot truly heal.

Our child like parts want to keep those nurturing people as nurturers...not see them for the flawed adults they were (are). Childhood is supposed to be idyllic...for many it is not and it is hard to admit that childhood might have been horrific. It is hard to accept that the ones we "love" may have caused or allowed us to have great pain when we were just children.

To deal with the past and let it go, forgive others and our selves takes lots of time. Learning that the past can't really hurt us any longer can be difficult as well.

But it is old baggage that we need not move to the new "us".

Vositer...maybe some counseling time with a competent therapist would help.

We codependents don't like counseling either..."we can do it ourselves...we don't need help...we are strong and can carry the weight of the world." Point is...we don't NEED too. We can ask for help and recieve it with no strings attached. AND WE ARE NO LESS FOR ACCEPTING HELP.

The pain is real...dealing with it is a process. a long one, an important one.

You have made great gains in a short amount of time. Give yourself the gift of time to read, study, accept, learn and grow.

Dealing with all of this is a process that you can do at your own pace. The Beattie book is sooooo good. I found an old one that I "borrowed " from our family "clinical psych" by one of the pioneers in codep. "Lost in the Shuffle" by Robert Subbie. A substance abuse sounselor he found himself having to admit he was also and alcoholic...His book has helped me lots too. If you can find it he writes as well as Beattie and touches on a few issues that she doesn't hit quite so hard.

Just type "codependncy into your search engine and the list is endless.

Take your time....make the changes stick.

and remember...you are allowed to feel bad. and sad. and angry. etc.

Keep us posted!

May 14, 2000
1:27 pm
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THat second from last message - I was vositor at the time, but I didn't write that message.What happened?

May 14, 2000
10:20 pm
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vositor,

Which message wasn't yours? Is it the one that starts:

"I'm glad you don't doubt my pain. I do. The One Who Knows seems to want to deal with past pain
that went by without hurting"

If so, I'll remove it.

Our server glitched when we had some trouble with the CD ROM, and we had to re-start the system. When this happens, variables get jumbled, and if people are in the middle of typing a response, and we are re-booting, when the system comes back up, the postings can appear from other nicknames, and even on wrong threads...let us know if you know of incorrect postings like this.

Let me know for sure that's the post which wasn't yours.

SC

May 15, 2000
12:11 am
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SC,

Yes, that's the message.

Only the final sentence is mine.

What I wanted was to hear about other people's experiences, like Hazza's, about what happened with the "problem" person after the enabler stopped enabling.

Thanks. (I've changed my screen name.)

May 15, 2000
2:55 am
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HI Vositor,
YOua sked what heppened after I stopped enabling?
well I cant ever say for certain, that it the problem! YOu always have in the back of your mind what if they do it again. But so far, things have improved amazingly.

When I made it clear that it was me OR the drink drugs no work etc. He did change. It was not easy, but he gave up drink straight away and to my knowlegde has not drunk since. But he did understand in himself that there was a problem there, and that is a crucial part that you have no control over. You can only choose to take yourself away from the pain, you cannot stop the person causing the pain unless they want to.
We still have probems all the time with his anger, but it is getting much better, and I just wont tolerate anger anymore, I leave the room, or I tell him outright that it isn't acceptable. He is now working and paying the way for both of us while I recover. This I appreciate becuase i got so ill trying to rescue us both all the time, that I feel I am still recovering myself. I have started my own business, but at the moment it doesn't make enough to support me, so he is doing all that while my business grows and I recover, in other words he is taking his turn for a while.

SOmethings change instantly, but mainly this is attitudes. about what you will take and what you wont. But in practice it takes a lot of time for both people to re learn how they relate and to break old habits.

Yo will always find times when you slip back into enabling and they will always slip back into their old ways, it takes a lot of hard work to re train yourself, and that is where you should put your energy.
try to focus on your own behaviour and make sure you are not part of the circle, focus on that more that just focusing on results, that is the only thing you can control, you own self.
The rest may or not fall into place, but if it doesn't then at least you know you truly did your best not to be part of the problem, that it all you can do,
Peace
Hazza

May 15, 2000
11:37 pm
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Good, Hazza. I have to keep encouraging stories in mind to prevent worrying that my daughter won't smarten up in time.

I'm working so hard at stopping the enabler thoughts that I'm practically talking to myself. What a shame this work doesn't burn calories!

All good things to you, Hazza. Thank you.

(So much for the change in screen name! It didn't take.)

May 16, 2000
3:04 am
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Hi Vositor,

To put it bluntly, you need to be at a stage where you have so much crap from this person, that you have basically given up trying to save them.
it is no good changing tactics, if deep down you are still desperate for them to change there ways, because that will still shine through when you relate with them, they will know you are not serious.

You really need to be at the point where the only issue is you. You have had enough hurt etc and you have decided that even losing them would be less painful than watching them destroy themselves.

You make the decision to take yourself away from the whole situation, either physically or emotionally or both.

it takes a while to get to this mind set, but sooner or later you do realise that if someone wants to jump off a cliff there is nothing you can do, especially if you keep pulling that person back but they keep returning to the cliff each time your back is turned.

it is really sad that you have to distance yourself in that way, but sometimes you do.

the thing is, this is not actually a method for saving someone, although that does happen sometimes.
This is a method by which you learn to release yourself from the painof watching that person detroy themselves. if you are still hoping ( as we all do!) that this will cure the other person, then this in itself becomes another co-dep route.

when you look at your life you may find that you have spent so much time on your daughter to no avail. you may decide that all that energy could be spent better with people who appriciate you. all the time we spend on the person with the problems, we take away time from ourselves, the rest of our family and friends.

when you have difficulty with stopping the enabling, do not use the idea that this will "cure" your daughter as motivation, because frankly, it may not, if she decides it is easier to find someone else to enable her rather than cure herself.
instead, when you need focus, think about yourself and all the pain you have had to endure, isn't it enough? you have done your very best to make amends to her for any wrongs you have done her, you know that and she knows that, neither of you can change the past and only adults realise that basic fact. Think too of how you may have neglected others in your life due to her? maybe you thought they were doing okay and your daughter needed you more? well maybe now you should spend your time a bit more with them and doing things YOU want to do. use that as your motivation if you can.

I knopw I am telling you to be very cold hearted in a way, but without meaning to be morbid, the chances are your children will outlive you, if they stay dependent on you too long, it would be so much harder for them once you are not here.

Much better to cut the apron strings now. That way you will at least be able to watch from afar as she makes her own way and her own mistakes. you will at least have the chance that she will sort herself out and you can move to a new relationship with her.

But PLEASE realise that this is a by product of you stopping enabling, some people never sort themselves out, some people do. The only thing that is certain is that when someone is constantly enabled then they seldom have any reason to sort out their own life, so if you continue to do that then there is little hope.
peace
Hazza

May 16, 2000
7:42 am
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Several years ago, one of my brothers decided to drop out of site. Prior to that, he had gone from family member to family member burning them up with trying to help him. He was drinking heavily, doing drugs, and stealing to support his habits. Nine years went by, during which time I watched my mom go up and down in her emotions. Every birthday, Mother's Day, Christmas she would become a different person. One of her favorite things to say was, "What did I do so wrong that he would just disappear?" Then she would get angry at him for doing this to her. After about 5 years of this, she finally turned her back to the situation. No longer did she mention his name, nor were any of us allowed to in her presence. One day, out of the blue, after nin years of silence, my brother called me. He had tracked me down and was reaching out. He had spent a couple of years trying to run form himself, then admitted he had a problem and admitted himself into a hospital. He was diagnosed with manic depression. After several adjustments with medication, and a longterm therapy program, he felt he could reenter the family circle which he had held partly responsible.

Today he lives in the mountains, he still drinks, but he is taking care of himself as best he can, and when everything gets to be too much he goes back to the hospital and checks in. As he said, he had to come to terms with a lot of things from his childhood, both in and out of the family. He took the necessary steps to grow up and seek help. He lives his life the way it works for him, at this point in time. Mom isn't real thrilled with conversations they have had, but she is happy to have a relationship with him again. Each of us has our own journey. From a distance it may appear that the journey others are on is self distructive, but if that is their journey, no one can derail them. Send prayers up to have her watched over, Let go Let God. It will save you many a sleepless night. Keep the love light shining in your heart, and let peace take over.

May 17, 2000
2:47 am
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Hazza and Spirit,

I can do it.

The disappeared kid is/was my worst nightmare. Self-aggrandizing, in my case, since I thought that without me she couldn't survive.

She has a job now, by the way. She called to wish me happy mother's day and told me about the job, that she hates it, but she needs money to live. It would take a thousand books to explain all the reactions that comment used to get. This time I said I was happy for her and dropped the subject. I dropped it emotionally - I didn't feel anything. I said thanks for calling and ended the conversation nicely.

Ten minutes later she called again and said she'd like to bring over a little something. I said fine. Three hours later she called and said she'd have to make it another time. How about tomorrow. Well, I'm accustomed to her making plans with me and either not showing up or calling to change. This time, again, it didn't make any difference to me.

I said we were busy "tomorrow." We had things to do and I didn't feel the need to sit around all day waiting for her to show up or stand me up. The ironic thing is that she apparently DID show up, but I didn't hear her at the door. Or perhaps, she didn't ring the bell. There were flowers and a card on the front porch when my husband came home.

I don't "feel terrible" that I was here and missed seeing her. I'm not frantic thinking her feelings are hurt because she thinks I was home and deliberately avoiding her.

I'm not feeling much of anything.

May 17, 2000
6:11 am
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Okay...good job ...now stop equating Nothing with Peace. At least when you were frantic that was a FILLING emotion, time filling, mind filling, life filling.

What a horror to think that if you control yourself about her your life will be empty.

Not So not so...

It isn't that you are feeling nothing you are feeling just right. A person we love should not inspire those ulcer making floods of negetive emitions and the "ohmygodihavegottodoSOMETHING" REACTION.

And in what seems to be an empty space can go care, concern, honest love, truly helping emotions for her and even others too.

You are a miracle baby....just a few doses and you are onyour way to health...and showing your daughter the way too.

It'll be tough. But you are doing it.

How strong you are!

May 17, 2000
6:34 am
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Janes, is so right.
At the moment the empty feeling you have is normal, you have removed all these behaviours and have yet to replace them with something.

replace them with happiness, enjoy you, your family and even enjoy the fact that your daughter has made an effort.

remember that you can still have a relationship with her, just make sure it is the right one. like you are doing.

praise her attempts to work and sort herself out, just don't get into that mind set that you are in anyway in control of what she does, so don't worry about her keeping the job or losing it, just tell her you are glad she is working.

what other family do you have? what hobbies do you enjoy? find ways to fill the space where all that negative behaviour used to take up your time, you will see how quickly things can turn around in regards to your own emotional happiness. that is all you are in control of.

when you feel stronger you may wish to discuss the changes you are making with family members too, you could find thatthis mindset change makes the dynamics happier all around you. there is much to be positive about, so don't worry about feeling empty right now, you are just numb for a while and then things get healthy and happy because yo are living YOUR life not trying to live everyones life!
Peace
Haz

May 18, 2000
2:53 am
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You know, Janes and Hazza? I'll bet this is what peace feels like. Space. (Lot's of it!)

Besides the book, I spend at least an hour here every day reading other discussions and then come back to reread this one.

May 18, 2000
4:25 am
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Hi Vositor,
Youa re very right, whether you realise it or not, the reading of books and this site, is YOU doing something for YOU, that inself is good therapy and it means you are now realising that YOU deserve some time for yourself and that your needs are important too.

hugs to you, you are sounding so much calmer, it can really be a weight off your shoulders when you let go of trying to hold everyone together can't it? The funny thing is, once you do that you realise that all your previous efforts were useless anyway, because you were never in control of anyone else anyway, it was just a huge emotional effort for nothing. accepting that you can't control everything, sounds scary but it is reality.
Peace
Hazza

May 18, 2000
6:05 pm
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Hugs back.

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