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Moved back home - can't get back out

spukeesanspukeesan Registered User
edited January 2007 in Help / Advice Forum
I haven't been around in a while, but H/A is where I always used to go to get some level-headed opinions on heavy problems, and I'm hoping the resource is still wide open.

A little backstory: I'm 23, and an only child from a single parent. Some of you might remember my thread last April about moving back home to help my mom out of a financial mess. I'd promised myself from the day I moved out at 18 that I'd never move back, so I was pretty apprehensive, but I figured family is important so I went through with it.

Frankly, it's been hell. Since moving here my social life has fallen to shit and my financial situation hasn't done much better. I'm working full-time as a web developer at the local paper, and pay all of the bills except the mortgage and car. I also put $600 into savings every month in anticipation of a move to Seattle.

The major problem is that my mom has a gambling addiction. I just gave her $300 from my savings to cover the mortgage becuase she went to Laughlin for the weekend. Something similar has happened every month since I moved here - the denominations vary, but it's rather telling that my savings account has not once seen over $700 in the 6 months that I've been keeping it.

I've done what I can think of to curb her habit: I hold on to her debit card so that she has to get cash from the bank when she wants to spend; I took over the bills so that she could focus on getting out of debt; I buy half the food and gas becuase it's only fair. I brought these things to her attention today before I gave her the check becuase I need to know that she understands that every time I give her money I get that much further from Seattle. Her response was to give me a guilt trip about how I don't trust her, and how I should be there for her becuase she helped me out in college. It was pretty disheartening...

I cannot keep supporting her, but without the money for a move I'm at a loss as to what to do. She's not willing to change - she's made that pretty damn clear - and unfortunately my circle of reliable friends isn't exactly... there. Honestly I've never felt more trapped. I flat-out refuse to give her anymore money, but when the car's back up for reposession, or the house... shit... I don't see where I really have a choice.

Sorry if I went off on a tangent - I'm sure you can imagine how this is weighing on me. Any advice, similar stories, etc... are incredibly appreciated. More than anything I just want to get out and get back on with my LIFE.

spukeesan on

Posts

  • supabeastsupabeast Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    She's not willing to change...

    So stop enabling her. You're living there, taking care of her, and giving her money. What motivation does your mom have to stop gambling and get her shit together? Do yourself and your mom a favor; move out and stop giving her anything. Get into whatever crappy apartment you can afford, or just pack up the car, drive to Seattle, and do whatever it takes to scrape by there. But don't bring yourself down trying to help someone who doesn't want to be helped; worry about yourself and let your mother hit bottom. Maybe she'll crawl back up on her own, if she can't, that's just too bad for her.

    Her response was to give me a guilt trip about how I don't trust her, and how I should be there for her becuase she helped me out in college...I flat-out refuse to give her anymore money, but when the car's back up for reposession, or the house... shit... I don't see where I really have a choice.

    Don't let her use guilt against you; you don't owe your mother anything anything. Don't let some foolish sense of duty hold you back and make you responsible for someone else. You're lucky to be a free man in a world where freedom is rare thing; don't squander it by wasting your life helping others. Selfishness is a virtue, duty is a lie, and greed is good. People who claim otherwise are the enemies of freedom, don't fall under their spell.

    When you move, get all new bank accounts and have all of your credit cards reissued in new numbers. Start getting monthly checks run on your personal credit. If your mom's problem gets worse, she might try ripping you off or taking out loans in your name. Because she's your mother and you're young, that will be very easy for her to do. CYA.

  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    supabeast wrote:
    Don't let her use guilt against you; you don't owe your mother anything anything. Don't let some foolish sense of duty hold you back and make you responsible for someone else. You're lucky to be a free man in a world where freedom is rare thing; don't squander it by wasting your life helping others. Selfishness is a virtue, duty is a lie, and greed is good. People who claim otherwise are the enemies of freedom, don't fall under their spell.
    This explains so much about you: you've read too much Ayn Rand.

    In any case, to the OP: yeah, you need to stop enabling her. Tell her if she doesn't start going to Gamblers Anonymous or something similar, you're just going to stop paying for things altogether, and move out, because you are just letting her be there and drain you.

  • Uncle LongUncle Long Registered User
    edited January 2007
    Thanatos wrote:
    supabeast wrote:
    Don't let her use guilt against you; you don't owe your mother anything anything. Don't let some foolish sense of duty hold you back and make you responsible for someone else. You're lucky to be a free man in a world where freedom is rare thing; don't squander it by wasting your life helping others. Selfishness is a virtue, duty is a lie, and greed is good. People who claim otherwise are the enemies of freedom, don't fall under their spell.
    This explains so much about you: you've read too much Ayn Rand.

    In any case, to the OP: yeah, you need to stop enabling her. Tell her if she doesn't start going to Gamblers Anonymous or something similar, you're just going to stop paying for things altogether, and move out, because you are just letting her be there and drain you.

    I have to agree with this. If money is what she responds to then you have to be sure that you're holding the purse strings and using it to get her help whether she likes it or not. Carrot on a stick.

    If this doesn't work then I think there isn't a whole lot you can do other than having a full scale life intervention.

    I, by nature am a libertarian and tend to agree with cutting loose people who are a drag on your life; but I also understand that this can be very difficult with a mother. But, sometimes it needs to be done; though I would look at it as a last resort (cutting her off completely that is).

  • ApolloTreatingYouApolloTreatingYou __BANNED USERS
    edited January 2007
    Honestly man, I would just move out. You arn't that far from the money needed to move. I just moved into a killer place in Clearwater FL for about 1100 dallors. And it's kinda expensive to live here. So, just save a few more hundred dollars and move out.

    You don't need this. It's her choice to be this way, not your responsibility.

    And plus, you WON'T change here. People don't change, it's a fact.

    no you cannot have a sig that size. especially with compression that crappy.
  • Blake TBlake T Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    You need to reverse the tough love thing.

    You do need to tell her you don't owe her anything (you do but if she feels that she can depend on you she will). As much as she supported you, you went to college to improve yourself, by gambling she is being detrimental to herself. Ask her if you had a drug habbit would she pay for your drugs? It's the same thing.

    Give her a month to turn her life around. (ie no more gambling etc) Or you are out. You are now the parent in this relationship. It's your job to establish boundries for her and make sure she keeps to them.

  • Liquid HellzLiquid Hellz Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    And plus, you WON'T change her. People don't change, it's a fact.

    Sometimes learned the hard way but always true.

    I would recommend doing whatever you can to become independent from her financially again she is just circling the drain and going to end up taking you down into it with her. Gambling addiction is a very serious problem and if at all possible you should look into getting her some help, whether its a support group or a psychologist. If she is willing to accept it that is.

    What I do for a living:
    Home Inspection and Wind Mitigation
    http://www.FairWindInspections.com/
  • spukeesanspukeesan Registered User
    edited January 2007
    Blaket wrote:
    Give her a month to turn her life around. (ie no more gambling etc) Or you are out. You are now the parent in this relationship. It's your job to establish boundries for her and make sure she keeps to them.

    Truth is I'd rather just get out now - no ultimatum. I would like a little more money than I've got right now though. The end of February would probably be possible if I'm really careful. You're right that keeping a tight fist on the cash is going to be necessary... I'm pretty susceptible to the guilt trip, and I have no choice but to work on that.

    That's really the killer, becuase I honestly wouldn't mind helping her if she would actively make an attempt to help herself. I guess I was pretty foolish moving back here in the first place - I'll agree with everyone who's replied and said you can't change people.

  • WylderWylder Registered User
    edited January 2007
    No actual experience with this, but:

    http://www.gamblersanonymous.org/

    No sig for you!
  • EggyToastEggyToast Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    There's really not many options here, and none of them are really pretty.

    You could keep supporting her bad habits, applying slightly stronger pressure in hopes that she sees the light and realizes that you were right all along.
    Pro: you both end up stronger together with a solid relationship
    Con: could take forever, not guaranteed to work

    You could force her to go seek counseling/tell the place she goes that she has a serious problem and is not allowed there/other drastic measure that essentially cuts her off from what she likes doing
    Pro: Fast, could "fix" mom for the long term
    Con: She could hate you for a long time, stuff like that can be expensive and you'd be paying the bills

    You could simply cut her off and save all of your money -- all of it. Pay for half the food, but make her pay the regular bills. Say that you're not helping with any bills while she still goes gambling. Say that if she's still gambling at the beginning of March, you're leaving and you're not sending any money back. No service providers are going to start banging at the door after a month or two of missed payments -- it takes months before they start sending final notices.
    Pro: Fast, you save money and get out of the situation
    Con: You leave your mom, who will likely resent you, and she may be forced into unfortunately situations (such as bankruptcy)

    Granted there are nuances for each path and they can blend into each other (you can do one and then change it to another one, although that's generally "waffley" and leads to a lack of resolution for your particular problem, as waffling on situations like this tends towards not changing). Really, the best solution depends on you, and how you feel about your mom. We can't say how she would react, or how her emotional state usually is. We don't have to live with her, and deal with the phone calls. I mean, on first blush I would say withhold all money from her and simply save it all (be a mooch on her for a change) and use your savings to Skedaddle to Seattle. But if it were my mom, I would probably force her into counseling.

    || Flickr — || PSN: EggyToast
  • khainkhain Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    spukeesan wrote:
    Blaket wrote:
    Give her a month to turn her life around. (ie no more gambling etc) Or you are out. You are now the parent in this relationship. It's your job to establish boundries for her and make sure she keeps to them.

    Truth is I'd rather just get out now - no ultimatum. I would like a little more money than I've got right now though. The end of February would probably be possible if I'm really careful. You're right that keeping a tight fist on the cash is going to be necessary... I'm pretty susceptible to the guilt trip, and I have no choice but to work on that.

    That's really the killer, becuase I honestly wouldn't mind helping her if she would actively make an attempt to help herself. I guess I was pretty foolish moving back here in the first place - I'll agree with everyone who's replied and said you can't change people.


    Just move out, set a date and either choose to tell her or don't but move out on that date. Go to Seattle, or get a apartment somewhere near wher you work, but just get out. She's not going to change if you keep feeding her money.

    If you actually want to help her, tell her that your willing to take over all her finances to help her get back on her feet and get out of gambling. If you control her paycheck then she essentially can't gamble because she won't have money to do ti with.
    And plus, you WON'T change here. People don't change, it's a fact.

    I'm sorry, but this just isn't true. People change their life styles all the time. They don't change them if they don't have a reason too though and thats what appears to be happening in this case.

  • Blake TBlake T Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    khain wrote:
    And plus, you WON'T change here. People don't change, it's a fact.

    I'm sorry, but this just isn't true. People change their life styles all the time. They don't change them if they don't have a reason too though and thats what appears to be happening in this case.

    I was going to post the same thing. If she has you paying bills she wont change. As people don't want to change, but if they aren't given any more options they will.

  • spukeesanspukeesan Registered User
    edited January 2007
    Wylder wrote:
    No actual experience with this, but:

    http://www.gamblersanonymous.org/

    Y'know, I'd been meaning to get in touch with them to find out if they offer any advice. After seeing your post I sent them an email.

    I also found out that the local meetings take place at the hospital where my mom works - that's pretty damn convenient

  • X5X5 Registered User
    edited January 2007
    Honestly man, I would just move out. You arn't that far from the money needed to move. I just moved into a killer place in Clearwater FL for about 1100 dallors. And it's kinda expensive to live here. So, just save a few more hundred dollars and move out.

    You don't need this. It's her choice to be this way, not your responsibility.

    And plus, you WON'T change here. People don't change, it's a fact.

    Bolded portion is just plain wrong. People change all the time, for the better, and sometimes for the worse.

    However, @OP, it shouldn't be your burden to facilitate that change. Move on with and better your own life, since she only wants to ruins hers at this time.

    TheX5.png
  • spukeesanspukeesan Registered User
    edited January 2007
    Mods can lock this thread - The advice recieved has done a fantastic job of helping me sort out my own feelings.

    After dealing with the silent treatment all day today I've decided it's time to move out. It's going to take about a month to get the funds together, and I'll be going on a lot less than I'd hoped, but at the moment it's more important to be somewhere else right now.

    Thanks all.

This discussion has been closed.