I Knew Better:
As a mother in recovery, I knew not to rescue her. I didn’t listen to my own advice and found an apt that would be ready in three weeks. I kept saying I wouldn’t sign the lease if she didn’t have a job, but I was weak and signed the lease anyway. I bought stuff for her apt and even gave up a few of my own weekends to help her decorate it. I was in fantasy mode and didn’t want to face the elephant in the room.
I kept paying all the bills until my Higher Power helped me see the truth in my accountant’s eyes. He said, “You can’t keep this up. This girl is an adult and has to take responsibility for herself.” I knew all this and was actually relieved to hear the truth spoken out loud.
Now I get to Pay:
Not only is the lease in my name so are the Internet and power. I am on the hook for all of it. If she goes down I will take a hard hit to my credit score as well as the embarrassment of being black-listed so she or I can’t get rent another apt.
What were the Signs:
My head was spinning looking for solutions and my stomach were churning with worry. I was a wreck and I felt all the familiar signs.
- Catastrophic Thinking
- Loss of my Serenity
What had started out as a generous act was now an anchor around my neck that was threatening to drown me financially and emotionally. I knew I needed help and after getting over my embarrassment I made some phone calls.
How Al-Anon Helps:
After speaking with two wise women from Al-Anon I was reminded of the truth.
- I was not responsible for my 19 year old daughter
- She was an adult and had chosen not to find work
- My Higher Power was able to help me detach even if I felt I couldn’t
- My serenity was more important than even my daughter’s happiness
Without these two wise souls reminding me of what was and was not my responsibility I would not have been able to let Madison go.
My prayers changed:
- I switched from praying Madison would find a job to praying I would me be brave enough to allow what ever was going to happen to happen
- I prayed to stay out of Madison’s Affairs and mind my own business by not even asking what was happening
- I begged my Higher Power to help me to detach from her
- I stopped praying for Madison to find a job because it was kicking into my need to control…even trying to control the situation through prayer
What to Do:
I honestly do not know what the right answer is for Madison. I know she must figure that out for herself. My job is to figure out what I need to do to keep my own peace. Thinking back I always felt dirty paying all of Madison’s bills. It never felt right. Letting her know I wouldn’t be giving her rent or utility money was hard, but I felt clean for the first time in a long time.
What is Next:
I honestly have no idea. Madison is panicking. She is trying so hard to find a job now that she is facing being homeless again. I know this is the right thing to do for me and not just because of the money, but because I feel peaceful again. It is truly the hardest thing to detach from our children especially when they are hurting. With out the Al-Anon program I would have continued to rescue her until I was bankrupt. If Madison doesn’t find a job with the next day or two I will be forced to call the leasing office and ask what my options are in breaking the lease. So let me be a warning to parents everywhere. Ask three people in recovery before signing anything for your child and then don’t do it!
A Reach Out Recovery Exclusive By Madeline Schloop: