An almost universally overlooked aspect of the relationship of older parents to adult addicted children is that the financial support actually rewards the child for their self-destructive choices and behaviors while penalizing the parents, other children, and grandchildren. You can stay clear and not be sucked down in all of the usual “powerlessness” and “disease” model ad copy that only serves to perpetuate and justify addiction-based exploitation.
These choices can be unmade, but as long as you’re supporting them financially, protecting them from the consequences of their choices and behaviors, why would they change? Most of us go though our lives wishing someone else would change.The reality is, however, that we can’t change anyone but ourselves.Then add in the grandchildren, hostages held for ransom as your child essentially blackmails you into supporting their drug and/or alcohol abuse: “Give me the money or I will kill myself,” or “they will starve,” or “we’ll be on the streets,” is the implied or actual threat, yet the money does no good.As parents you capitulate even as you destroy your own fragile financial security.Finally, it’s good to get competent help in this process.
You need to know, regardless of the outcome, that you have done everything possible, given every opportunity, and explored every option.
It may not seem like much, but sometimes it’s enough.
When you change how you deal with your adult children they too are forced to change.
Start rewarding yourself and your family for achievements and accomplishments, not for destructive choices and habits and behaviors.
You may not be able to keep a son or daughter from destroying themselves, but you and the rest of your family don’t have to go with them.
These single Catholics reside around the country and are open to relationships that are local or long distance.