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Old 09-14-2008, 12:58 AM   #1
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A little DC Wisdom....please!?!

I've got a problem-dilemma is probably a better word.

We have a family member who has fallen on hard times....again. I know that her problems are without a doubt self-inflicted, but once again, she needs "help" in the form of a place to stay, until she can get "back on her feet"

Normally, I wouldn't even give it a second thought-I was raised to believe that you don't turn your back on family. However, we've reached out to her before, and its always ended badly. Shes addicted to RX pain medication, and a few other illegal drugs as well. Her previous stays with us have always resulted in her stealing from us-and I mean multiple thousands of dollars. Shes been arrested, but always recieved a minor wrist slap and released with minimal reprecussion (this is the main reason I loathe liberal politics, but DC is not the time or place for that debate!!) So, in a nutshell, at 28 years of age, has really never had to be accountable for anything shes ever done.

This young lady is chemically (and alchohol) dependant, a master manipulator, and from what I can tell, has no conscience whatsoever. We have raised her child since he was 18 months old (he's now almost 8 years old) and everytime shes lived with us, her moving out was only a result of her being led away in handcuffs. She is an absolute train wreck of a person, and while help has been available to her she has always refused it-with extreme prejudice.

I realize that from the outside looking in, the answer is obvious to most, but no matter how I approach it, to me, she is family-and I've been raised to believe you don't turn your back on your family.

I'm driving myself crazy going back and forth on this one-my stomach hurts and I'm sure its got to be an ulcer. So I thought I'd turn to you all-I'm hoping a fresh perspective will help.

I'll thank everybody, in advance, for their thoughts, opinions and advice.


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Old 09-14-2008, 01:13 AM   #2
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This is just my opinion, so take it for what it's worth.

She is family, so of course you can't turn your back on her. But this does not mean you should let her into your home. You should not. Take her to a motel and pay for a couple nights (it will be cheaper than what she would steal from you, and would be less stress). Then, if you are able, drive her to Social Services. They can help her. If you cannot, because of work, etc., give her the addresses and phone numbers she needs to contact them. They have the means to help her. Do not enable her, and do not let her cause problems in the family. Let her know that this is the last financial aid she will be getting from you. She needs to know that you mean it. She will continue to use you, and anyone else who allows it, as long as you let her.

I will pray for you and her in this situation. Let us know how things turn out.


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Old 09-14-2008, 01:37 AM   #3
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I concur with Barbara, you have not been able to trust her in the past and there is no sign of change. Pay for somewhere for her to stay for a little while, keep encouraging her to seek help -. It is a "tough love" job. You also need to keep in mind what seeing her do this does to her child. You can be ther for her without having her in your house.

Will pray for you.
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Old 09-14-2008, 02:16 AM   #4
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Family, friend, a person off the street, you can only do so much. You first and most important responsibility is your immediate family and that little child your parenting..The advice of the others needs to be heeded and protecting your family comes first..You cannot help someone who is not asking for help..All you can do is offer some assistance and show them resourses for them to help themselves when they wake up and realize that is all there is, the get off your duff and help yourself..You have my prayers that things will work out for all of you..Just don't enable this person make her work for things.
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Old 09-14-2008, 02:33 AM   #5
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I am really and truly touched, by your responses, so from the bottom of my heart, I thank you. And the text of my original thread is just the tip of the iceberg.

The reason I didn't post all of her sordid behavior, is that its embarrasing to me. I feel like I've been made a fool of, and by virtue of the fact that shes gotten away with it in the past, I know that in her mind she feels she can do it again.

I hate to come off as "needy"-but if anyone would like to discuss this in depth, please PM me. I am always thrilled to hear from any of you, and I truly respect your opinions and advice
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Old 09-14-2008, 05:10 AM   #6
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Wow - been there, done that with my x-DW's Uncle, cousin and brother!

It sounds like she needs to be in a rehab program ... this will keep her off the streets and help her get her act together - without costing you any more.

You may not be able to FORCE her into rehab - but if you refuse to let her into your home and make rehab the only other option other than living on the street ...

It's hard to do ...
"It ain't what you don't know that gets you in trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." - Mark Twain
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Old 09-14-2008, 05:55 AM   #7
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Smoke King - I have lived the nightmare that you describe. We had a family member who, with the exception fo the child you are raising, followed exactly the same track.

By taking them into your home you are enabling the behavior. simply stated, they continue doing it because it works. I stood in th eliving room and watch DW tell her son "I refuse to watch you kill yourself." You cannot help this person, they have to help themselves.

there are programs and a medication "Maltraxin" (SP) that can help them. they must go, they must work at it. They can succeed, but, they must want to. Also you have the 8 year old to consider. What is all of this doing to him? I know it is hard. there is more to our situation, as I am sure there is more to yours. In our case finally, ther treatment worked, because the person wanted it to and worked at it. This is the only way.

Hope this helps.

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Old 09-14-2008, 09:55 AM   #8
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I agree do not let her into your home you already know what is going to happen, yet another replay on the past. I believe in helping family however I also believe that just because someone IS family does NOT mean you need to put up with all the problems they cause you and bail them out yet once again. Sometimes you just have to distance yourself from toxic relatives for good. If she turns down outside help it's because she doesn't want it. Why should she when family keeps enabling her? I doubt she appreciates your efforts to help anyway except to prey on you and yours to get what she wants/needs at the moment to only continue her lifestyle. The stealing alone would make me lock my door. If only for the sake of the little boy keep her away.
Offer to give her info on places to go for help like Social Services etc and this may sound cruel but she can go live in a homeless shelter. It's called tough love. I strongly believe that just because someone is blood does not mean you are obligated to put up with or constantly bail them out of another mess they created. Just as I believe no one should continue to take any abuse in any form from a family member just because they are related to you. You cannot help those who wont help themselves.
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Old 09-14-2008, 10:03 AM   #9
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I havent had to really deal with problems like this but both extended sides of my family cause problems.

Its a tough situation becuase you want to help becuase you are a good person but at some point she needs to realize that she needs help.

What about saying you will help her but she has to go to rehab for the 30 days and then take care of her obligations while she is gone and then take it one step at a time after that.

good luck
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Old 09-14-2008, 10:25 AM   #10
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These people have good advice. You are not turning your back on her by not letting her stay with her. Enabling her to continue in bad habits is not helping her at all. Giving her tools to overcome her problems would be the kind thing to do, even if it seems harsh and she doesn't agree with you that it's the best thing.


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