September 29, 2005

Drug Addiction: Shattered Dreams, Wasted Lives, Pt 5

The Tragedy Of The Enabling Parent

I have received a mountain of email asking me to write more on one particular issue in the life of the drug addict and his or her family.

The issue is that of strife in the family due to one parent taking on the role of the enabler while the other family members have stopped enabling. This is a very bad place to be. The addict will ensnare the enabling parent by insisting on his "help" no matter what the cost to the rest of the family or your bank account. You should know that if an addict can get his way, he will not care how it will complicate your life, marriage, or your relationship with your other children. Many addicts play one parent against the other in order to get their way. This is something you must realize and take steps to stop if it is already wreaking havoc in your life.

The Enabling Parent causes strife and grief in the lives of many

The main theme of most of the mail I've received on this subject is as follows:

"I have a brother who is addicted to drugs, me and my mother have told my dad that he must stop enabling my brother's behavior. We have told him the dangers, etc.. but he refuses to stop enabling him because he says my brother would not have anyone else to help him and that he will not turn his back on his son". He pays his bills, gives him money and bails him out of jail every time.
Can you please help me, my dad just won't listen?

The father, the enabling parent in this situation, along with other family members are the only ones who are truly ABLE to do something since the addict himself will not.

Here we have the mother and sister of the addict who have already realized that enabling is not helping the addict. The dad on the other hand is still caught in the web of enabling.

What can the distraught family members do who struggle to get through to the enabling dad?

The truth is always the best and it is no exception in this case. They must make sure they have faced the enabling dad with that truth. They must tell him how his behavior is ultimately pushing the addict on into deeper addiction by taking care of the addicted son's needs and worsening it by giving him the money or resources to get more drugs. They must tell the enabling dad that he is putting up a barrier that prevents his addicted son from facing consequences that we ALL must face as a result of our wrongdoing in this life. They must tell him that taking care of every need his addicted son has is getting in God's way and blocking his son from hitting rock bottom. The enabling dad is guilty of hurting his addicted son, yet he believes he's helping him.

What can the father do if he wants to do right by his addicted son?
Stop pushing the addicted son toward deeper addiction by giving him money, paying his bills, etc.

Who is the enabling dad hurting in this saga?

The answer is not only his addicted son, read on:

1. He is hurting his addicted son by enabling him to continue his life of addiction.

2. He is hurting his daughter by coddling and enabling the addict brother. The father is showing his daughter who is not addicted, that's it's ok to do wrong and not ever suffer consequences. He's showing the daughter that anything her brother wants, he gets. He is showing his daughter that he is a pushover and is naive and gullible in the extreme and is worthy of being used, abused and manipulated.

3. He is hurting his wife. Many fights and much strife has abided in the households of those who have addicted children. In this situation, the wife sees what is going on and has stopped enabling her addicted son while the dad continues bending over backwards in order to supply everything his addicted son desires.

The very focus of this family is geared toward the addicted child.

4. The enabling dad is hurting himself. We all have opinions and views of our family members, our views are based upon what they believe, do and say. In this situation, the father who is enabling is viewed poorly by his addicted son, even though he provides the son everything and denies him nothing. Make no mistake, the addict son views the enabling dad as weak and someone worthy to be conned and manipulated. The daughter sees her father in the same light. The wife views her husband the same as the daughter does. Yes, in this situation, the only one thinking he is doing his addicted son a great service is the enabling dad.

Addicts Look For Anyone To Use

While an addict has anyone taking care of the responsibilities that he himself should be taking care of, he will NEVER get better. Why would he? He has the best of both worlds. He does not have to work and he does not have to be RESPONSIBLE for anything he needs to live this life. He has already learned how to WORK his family over to such a great extent that he has no need to put forth an ounce of effort to take care of himself!

Why else should the enabling father say NO to his drug addict son?

Bad behavior such as: lying, stealing and manipulating is not something that we should allow from our family members. Just because we love them and they are family does NOT give them the right to use, abuse, and manipulate us.

God himself and Jesus Christ our Savior does not want this for us. For us to by lied to, manipulated or used by a family member is not God's will for our lives!

In fact, our family members should be the very ones who can be counted on to treat us with respect, loyalty, love and honesty.

Most parents do not want to face the truth that their addicted child is blatantly using them and conning them. Even though they may have a sense this is what's going on, they choose to believe otherwise.

Why does the enabling parent keep this up?

At the heart of enabling, there is a feeling that just one more time of helping the addict will make all the difference... What does this mean? The enabling parent feels that THIS TIME things will be different. "If I just help them out this one LAST time".

I have known addicts who are so accustomed to having their enabling parent tell them, "This is the last time I help you", that their response is a muffled "Yeah Right". The response is as if to say, "I know you don't mean a word of it. You'll ALWAYS do what I want you to do, your actions so far have shown it.... so get off my back"!

When an enabling parent gives out warnings such as the one above, this is like a joke to the drug addicted child. A running joke that is, because by this time the enabling parent's "warnings" have went on for years. Children LEARN from experience what they can get by with, and a drug addicted person is like a cunning, manipulative child who learns from watching his enabling parent give into his every whim. The enabling parent simply must come to this realization.

Why does the enabling parent believe their addicted child and continue enabling them?

The parent does this because they have been lied to all along by their addicted child. An addict will say to their enabling parent that they:

1. are currently looking for rehabs

2. have a good lead on a great job

3. things are definitely looking up for them and they are SO glad that their mom or dad has not given up on them like everyone else has!

These words are intended to play on the sympathy of the enabling parent.

This is just stringing the enabling parent along and the addicted child knows what the parent wants to hear, so that is what he tells him or her.

September 9, 2005

The Protective Hand of God

We in America have taken the protective hand of God for granted. How many potential hurricanes have been diverted from their path at precisely the right time so as to not intrude near our shores?
The Story of Job and the Great Destroying Wind

In the book of Job, God said, "Behold, all is in your (Satan's) hands. Satan left from the presence of God and the great wind ensued. This happened because Satan told God that the only reason Job is faithful to him is because of God's hedge of protection upon Job.

Read carefully:

9 Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, Doth Job fear God for naught?

10 Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.

11 But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.

12 And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy (satan's) power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the Lord

At that moment God lifted that hedge of protection from Job.

Afterward, the great wind caused the death of Job's children:

19 And, behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, and they are dead; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.

Even though Job lost everything he had and later, even his own body suffered, still he kept his faith and did not charge God foolishly for the things he suffered.

Losing Everything

I can hardly imagine what it would be like to lose everything. The only sure thing I do know is that if I suffered the loss of all things, I would still have God with me. That is a small consolation for some, but it is the biggest consolation I can think of for me.

We in America believe that if we don't have a well paying job, luxurious home or other earthly needs met, our life is over. Surely our life consists of more than these things. Many early Christians were nomads, wandering around with only the clothes on their backs and no big dreams and goals to sustain them. They wandered around preaching and teaching and helping their fellow man. Their chief objective and desire was telling all of the Good News of Christ. How far this description is from our preachers and teachers of today. The wealthy preachers of today cannot be satisfied with four walls and a roof. They build their mansions and have three cars packed in a garage that's the size of many people's homes.

A Question of Repentance

We in America think we have seen the worst of disasters in Katrina. But if we choose to harden our necks and remain unrepentant towards God, there are future things we may witness that could make Katrina look tame.

We as a nation have decided to toss God out of our personal lives, courts, schools and even a majority of our churches on a grand scale.

We have enjoyed God's protective hand and been at ease in the land of freedom for far too long. It is entirely possible that his hand of protection has been lifted from us. God will not stay where he is not welcome nor even acknowledged.

After 9-11, there was a grand opportunity for all of us in America to repent of our sins and welcome God back into our hearts and lives. Now that this hurricane has caused death and destruction, we again have opportunity to repent.

Those in the Christian Church who call God by name and profess to know him must repent of their greed and gluttony and desire for earthly things. Money and other possessions have been idols in our hearts for far too long.

All of us in America must recognize the Iraq invasion for what it is, an unjust war, and repent of it

Our military must leave Iraq and our Administration must make restitution for the wrongs that have been done there.

Any deceit and misinformation that has been allowed to grow and fester in our Administration must be dealt with and repented of.

The sin of pride, greed and haughtiness by those in America must be repented of and must cease.

Judgment upon the earth Isaiah 4

4 The earth mourneth and fadeth away, the world languisheth and fadeth away, the haughty people of the earth do languish.

11 There is a crying for wine in the streets; all joy is darkened, the mirth of the land is gone.

12 In the city is left desolation, and the gate is smitten with destruction.

I believe that America, and not any isolated city or state will be humbled and brought low from God Almighty. Last week we witnessed the destruction of New Orleans and Mississippi, next week it could very well be the west coast in peril and lamentations. I am well aware of the sin and depravity that Mardi Gras has hosted for many years, make no mistake, God is not pleased by it, but I happen to believe that the entire nation will be judged and no area on the map will be safe from his wrath if we do not repent.

When a horrible calamity such as hurricane Katrina strikes, many in our nation ask "Why has God allowed this"?

Why would these people who turn their backs to God continuously choose to bring up his name now? Many of these people do not bring up his name in thanksgiving for all the good he brings to their lives. They never acknowledge his existence, yet they hold him accountable for destruction and suffering when it strikes. This way of thinking is misguided and foolish.

Those affected by this destructive hurricane looked to the government for help and were disappointed.

As I type this, it is being announced that Michael Brown has been removed from overseeing the Katrina Hurricane disaster. What a debacle that was. Where is the accountability for who put him in charge in the first place, President Bush?

Many were angry and felt betrayed by their elected officials and Federal Government because of their slow response to the tremendous needs of the people. The Federal Government knew how bad this hurricane would be. These situations are monitored and everyone from the President to the head of FEMA are alerted and kept well informed. There was just no way they "didn't know" of the possible horrific outcome Katrina could leave in it's path.

America's Decay

America is the nation that repeatedly calls the name of God and claims to know him better than any other. Yet many of these who call him "Lord" have his name on their lips, but he is far from their hearts.

People have replaced God with every useless idol imaginable. Here in America, many think more of their favorite automobile or sport than they do of their creator God.

America is currently engaged in bombings and killings of innocent Iraqi citizens and has been since 2003. We in America have not spoken out about this travesty as we should have. We have remained silent on this issue. Many could care less since we are not the ones getting bombed or invaded. We are lazy and complacent. Yet who cares to open their hearts and eyes to these facts? Who cries out to God and repents for these sins? While we remain comfortable and at ease, gazing at our big screen televisions, our nation is falling apart at it's seams. Our nation is slowly decaying and crumbling before our eyes and we do not even recognize it.

Hope for America

This is a time of trial for us as Americans. I believe that there are many God fearing people in America who are drawing nearer to God an he is doing likewise. There is nothing like a tragedy of this magnitude to show us where our treasures truly lie. Are your treasures invested in heaven or are they invested in this earth where dust can corrupt them and they can be taken away at a moments notice? Nothing in this life is permanent. Dear souls, everything that this life consists of is temporary. Tomorrow I could be both homeless and penniless. But even so, I would not be Godless. For no one can take away from me who I am, not to mention the God I love and serve.