Author Topic: Is it possible to reform a moocher? : Confrontation! Delusions Revealed!  (Read 13038 times)

pbkmaine

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
« Reply #50 on: July 20, 2016, 09:11:06 AM »
Do NOT continue to encourage him to move to Mexico. If he asks, tell him you do not think it will work. You do not need this.

Captain FIRE

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
« Reply #51 on: July 20, 2016, 09:18:16 AM »
In regards to what to say to him instead when he claims she's all about the money: "Did you know Mom's having some issues with her bills due to the added expense of having you in the house?  Didn't you agree to pay for your [cell phone/insurance/expenses]?  I bet if you paid her as you agreed before she asked for it, she wouldn't bring up the money again.  Have you tried that?  You have to give back and support your community."  This uses his language/terminology a bit in talking to him.

OP, I dated a narcissist for several years.  If you want to know more, PM. 

LadyStache in Baja

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
« Reply #52 on: July 20, 2016, 10:56:33 AM »
spork yes indeed.  marijuana user, heavily.  for a decade now :(

Captain Fire, yes I agree, it's time to stop enabling him by skirting around the issues.  I've been reluctant to play hardball because I know he'll just shut down and he barely responds to texts as it is.  But yeah, it's not doing him any good to pretend that what he's doing isn't crazy. 

"I bet if you paid her as you agreed on time, she wouldn't ever bring it up again". 

So in talking to my mom last night, encouraging her to make him pay his expenses, she said, yes, I was thinking I'd charge him $100/month in rent.  Eye roll!  So I said Mom!!!  That is making it too easy for him.  He'll continue to do what he does.  Minimum $300 (what my sister pays for her place she shares with a roommate). 

I think it's slowly sinking in.  She's going to read some books.  I got her to see that he's being a toddler and she must treat him like one.  In other words, you don't reason and try to convince a toddler when they have a tantrum.  You don't think to yourself, oh maybe he's right.  You do what you as the parent know is best, and when they scream and rage you say, "I can see you're upset.  I know it's hard.  This is the way it is". 

I almost think I should show her this thread so she could get some outside perspective.

LeRainDrop

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
« Reply #53 on: July 20, 2016, 12:08:09 PM »
OP, from everything you've posted in this thread, you, your mom, and your brother are SOOOOOO much like me, my mom, and my middle brother were.  We've gotten mostly out of the woods in the last few years, but it was a VERY long time of exactly what you describe.  I wonder if your mom is also a people pleaser.  My mom would have these same conversations with me about her concerns with my brother, ask for empathy and my advice, say that I'm right and she sees understands clearly, commit to following my advice, then not following my advice because she gets blow-back from my volatile brother, rinse and repeat.  It was a big pattern for her to want the sympathy but then lack the resolve to follow through, which got really frustrating for me over time.  (And it got worse from there before getting better.)  I'm still reminding myself, not my circus, not my monkeys.

LadyStache in Baja

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
« Reply #54 on: July 20, 2016, 12:52:39 PM »
LeRain Drop

Yes, I'm beginning to see why enabling and people-pleasing is a problem.  It's something I've literally done with everyone my whole life.  I often feel waves of anxiety rush through my heart and gut at random times.  Since I've been reading Boundaries, and following through with them, I've actually felt that a lot less.

I've been holding limits with my toddler children (so much easier when I think to myself, "better they learn now they the world doesn't revolve around them than turn out like my brother").  In a way I'm thankful he's like this so I can learn to not be a people-pleaser.

I've been holding limits with my employees at work.

I've been doing what I want at home rather than what I think my husband wants (oddly, he's not manipulative or unhealthy and has very calm boundaries). 

My mom just sent me an email on her lunch break with a link to bdpfamily.com and the message "I see things so differently now.  Don't you?"  I think that's encouraging.  I will keep an eye out for not giving sympathy if she doesn't want to do the hard work of change.  I could see myself giving sympathy when she does the hard work and empathizing, yes it's hard that he's mad at you.  But I also don't want to be resentful when she doesn't take my advice.

It's tricky to know where the line is between being supportive for her and enabling and getting enmeshed with her are.  I just started Codependent No More, so hopefully that will give me some insight into how to support without getting wrapped up in it. 

Already the fact that I've spent so much time on this thread indicates I'm wrapped up in it.  But in a way, it IS my issue, in that their struggle is illuminating my own issues.

I'm glad to hear that it did get better for you.  What's your brother like now?

MarciaB

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
« Reply #55 on: July 20, 2016, 06:09:52 PM »

  So has to pay mom those bills, and mom always has to ask for the money, which is awkward.  And then has the gall to say thing like, "It's all about the money.  Here you go, a whole day's pay.  You could make that in a couple of hours". 

He has a major anger problem.  Anytime anyone talks to him, it blows up into a huge argument. 


Trying to make Mom feel guilty and blowing up are forms of emotional manipulation.  He wants to avoid the subject of him paying his own way, and making it uncomfortable for anyone to raise that subject helps meet that goal.  When my son was a teenager he was a master of these behaviors.

It's a super effective strategy, especially when aimed at women (who tend to be more conflict avoidant and just want everyone to get along). And because it works for him 100% of the time he keeps using it.

Spork

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
« Reply #56 on: July 20, 2016, 08:08:31 PM »

  So has to pay mom those bills, and mom always has to ask for the money, which is awkward.  And then has the gall to say thing like, "It's all about the money.  Here you go, a whole day's pay.  You could make that in a couple of hours". 

He has a major anger problem.  Anytime anyone talks to him, it blows up into a huge argument. 


Trying to make Mom feel guilty and blowing up are forms of emotional manipulation.  He wants to avoid the subject of him paying his own way, and making it uncomfortable for anyone to raise that subject helps meet that goal.  When my son was a teenager he was a master of these behaviors.

It's a super effective strategy, especially when aimed at women (who tend to be more conflict avoidant and just want everyone to get along). And because it works for him 100% of the time he keeps using it.

Just an FYI:  When the moocher is a woman, it also works wonderfully on fathers. 

FLBiker

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
« Reply #57 on: July 22, 2016, 12:31:47 PM »
My experience: people can change, but only if any when they want to and are willing to do the work.  It sometimes helps if those around them stop enabling them, but that's about all you can do.

LadyStache in Baja

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? Update! Breakthrough!
« Reply #58 on: July 29, 2016, 12:22:07 PM »
Update:

So the situation with my brother remains the same.  He still hasn't decided if he's coming to Mexico.  He still is "working on" the application for the dream job back home.  (working on?  it takes max an hour to put an application together).

However my own life has turned around.  Since hearing from you guys about how my mom is enabling, and how I in turn am enabling her and him, I read some books and did some thinking.  I get it!  I get boundaries now!  Here's an anecdote to illustrate:

About a month ago, pre-codependent study, one of my son's teachers asked me for a $1500 peso loan.  She was really desperate, she didn't want her mom or any of the other teachers to find out, she blah blah blah.  She promised to pay it back by July 18th, because she would be receiving her share of a 'cundina' (a cundina is when a group of people get together and agree to pay a certain amount to each other each week.  So week #1, everyone pays person 1 $200 pesos.  Then week #2 everyone pays their 200 pesos to person 2.  And so on.  It's a great way for people who suck at money to "save" money so they can afford some big purchase they otherwise wouldn't be able to.  Every week you pay $200 pesos, but then one of those weeks you get $200 pesos from everyone).

She also mentioned an upcoming summer course starting July 20th she was going to be running with two other teachers from school.  I knew I'd probably need to do the summer course, as childcare during no-school months.  So I figured if she doesn't pay me back, I'd just do the summer course and not pay for it.

So yeah, July 18th rolls around and she calls me with a crazy emergency "kid! dentist! cavities! ahhh!"  She promise promise promised to pay me back in a week.  (By the way, between when I gave her the loan and July 20th, she shows up with new braces and a super fancy bejeweled manicure.  Not cool).

Summer course has started and of course they want their tuition upfront.  I tell the teacher in charge of collecting that I'll pay the full tuition in one week.  I don't give any explanation.  She was ok with it.

{Now I begin and finish Codependent No More, and hear from all of you guys about "enabling" and what it is, and why it's not a good thing.}

Ok, so the day before her NEW due date to pay me back, she calls me with yet another excuse.  But this time she really really really promises for sure definitely to pay me back in one more week.  She begs me to please not tell the other teachers because "they'd be really upset with her".  Um, and me?  I tell her I'll think about it for one day.  She calls me back and begs some more, and since I'm just starting to use this magic word "no", I kind of don't say yes or no, just a very weak "ok".

But that evening I call up the teacher in charge of collecting and tell her the whole story.  I tell her to please take my payment out of mooch-teacher's share of the course.  She was ok with that.  But also told me that Egads!   She had just today loaned mooch-teacher $1000 pesos.  WTF? 

So yay me!  I learned that mooch-teacher's problem is NOT my problem.  And my huge breakthrough mantra: "Just because I CAN help someone, doesn't mean I HAVE to". 

Repeat after me, enablers and codependents:  "Just because I CAN help someone, doesn't mean I HAVE to". 

LeRainDrop

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? Update! Breakthrough!
« Reply #59 on: July 29, 2016, 12:37:12 PM »
Repeat after me, enablers and codependents:  "Just because I CAN help someone, doesn't mean I HAVE to".

Proud of you, LadyStache!  You're rockin' it!

arebelspy

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? Update! Breakthrough!
« Reply #60 on: July 29, 2016, 12:46:58 PM »
I tell her to please take my payment out of mooch-teacher's share of the course.

Hah, awesome!

Well played.

Make sure you tell mooch-teacher it's taken care of, via your kid's summer tuition. 

Seems like she just didn't want you to tell people not out of embarrassment, but so she could hit them up for money, too.  Well done extricating yourself from that.
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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
« Reply #61 on: July 29, 2016, 01:48:24 PM »
I used to work (at a public service, subsistence wage position) with a young woman reminds me a lot of your brother. She was all into hippy culture and we literally called her Hippy Erin.

Well, it did not take long to realize that under the surface she was a manipulative moocher. She never paid her fair share of groceries, gas or anything else. When someone protested it was all about building our community and trust and blah, blah...

Last I heard, Hippy Erin had defaulted on her $28,000 student loans, so she effectively mooched off of every tax payer in the United States.

Josiecat

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
« Reply #62 on: July 29, 2016, 04:05:14 PM »
WOW!  I'm so proud of you.  Good job. 

Alchemilla

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
« Reply #63 on: July 30, 2016, 01:28:14 AM »
Your brother is my brother. His story of elder abuse culminated in my parents downsizing their home so they could BUY HIM A HOUSE!

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? : uhoh, it got worse
« Reply #64 on: August 01, 2016, 01:46:50 PM »
Raindrop, remember when you said it got worse before it got better?

Brother just got a DUI.  Has to pay a $3000 fine, and mom is planning on "loaning" it.  I told her all the reasons why she shouldn't, but who knows what she'll actually do.  She doesn't want him to go to jail.  I said that's just what he needs (assuming it's a couple of days).

This is the opportunity to shake things up.  I said if you must loan him the money, make sure some strings are attached: he has to move out and get off her cell and insurance plans.  Or he has to go to rehab.

She was like "just this once and that's it".  So we'll see...

arebelspy

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? : uhoh, it got worse
« Reply #65 on: August 01, 2016, 01:52:36 PM »
Brother should no longer have a car.

Yikes.
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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? : uhoh, it got worse
« Reply #66 on: August 01, 2016, 02:01:00 PM »
Yes I'm pretty sure you automatically get your license suspended for a year.  So here's hoping mom doesn't get roped into giving rides to work!!!  He could absolutely bike, but whether he will or not....

Edited to add:  Not only is the whole situation his fault, but the fact he doesn't have the money saved up to pay the fine right away is also his fault.  I tried explaining this to mom, but ....

Our younger sister btw has enough saved up to pay the fine 3 x and still have some left over.  His life, his choices!

LeRainDrop

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? : uhoh, it got worse
« Reply #67 on: August 01, 2016, 02:19:12 PM »
Oh no!!!  Well, this is a great opportunity for your mom to set boundaries!  Alas, it's not sounding like she's so resolute about it.  Your brother is a grown man and should have to deal with the consequences of his own choices/actions, even if that's a little time in jail and paying the fine.  Something tells me this "loan" from mom to him is going to go about as well as my mom's last $5k-ish loan to my brother, which is to say, still unpaid about 2 years later and only "planning to talk about a repayment plan" sometime in the future.  I hope she leaves it to him to arrange for his own transportation to work, whether that's a ride from a friend or riding his bike, but not a mom-chauffeur!  Good luck, LadyStache, and keep your distance from their deal!

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? : uhoh, it got worse
« Reply #68 on: August 01, 2016, 02:28:15 PM »
Raindrop, remember when you said it got worse before it got better?

Brother just got a DUI.  Has to pay a $3000 fine, and mom is planning on "loaning" it.  I told her all the reasons why she shouldn't, but who knows what she'll actually do.  She doesn't want him to go to jail.  I said that's just what he needs (assuming it's a couple of days).

This is the opportunity to shake things up.  I said if you must loan him the money, make sure some strings are attached: he has to move out and get off her cell and insurance plans.  Or he has to go to rehab.

She was like "just this once and that's it".  So we'll see...

Again... this is exactly my sister (but she's nearing 60).  She's only had one DUI but had multiple drinking related car accidents where she walked away from them and returned sober to fess up and pay for damages.  There have also been many, many accidents where she was on foot and managed to hurt herself into hospitalization by falling.

See if you can order the video tape of the arrest.  Show it to mom.  Maybe that will change her mind.  Sis's video was mind blowing.  She was > 3x the legal limit.

If nothing else, convince Mom that this is not a loan -- because it isn't.  She should admit she is giving him money to support his habits, because that is exactly what she is doing.

Dear lord, there is no reason to pay his fines. 

arebelspy

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? : uhoh, it got worse
« Reply #69 on: August 01, 2016, 02:40:35 PM »
The video is a great idea! 

She should admit she is giving him money to support his habits

This, exactly.
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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? : uhoh, it got worse
« Reply #70 on: August 01, 2016, 06:05:45 PM »
This thread scares me so much. I am 25, and my sister, who is 27, is this same way. She has had a suite of mental issues over the years that I'm pretty sure boil down to narcissism. I do NOT say this to downplay the seriousness of mental health, I just really think it is the case with her. She just finished some random "certification" course (~1 year) after taking ~8 years to get her B.A. degree and now is blaming the economy for the fact that she can't find a job. My mom has been supporting her 100% for years. She always is getting her hair done, nails, spray tans, new clothes and shoes, you name it. Guarantee she spends more of my mom's money than I spend of my own money. I am so scared that she will never get out of it.

I've noticed a lot of people say to use the excuse of mom not being able to afford it. My question is -- why should this matter? My mom can definitely afford to support my sister, but the way I see it that is irrelevant -- sister needs to support herself for the sake of being an adult and a human who contributes to society. It is actually unfortunate that my mom is so well-off (in this situation) and my sister uses it as emotional manipulation, for example telling my mom how her friend's wealthy parents "cut off" her friend (28 years old!!) and how could they abandon her like that when they have money bla bla. My mom says the last thing she wants is for sister to feel abandoned (particularly with past mental health issues).

Other sister, 29, has been supporting herself for 8+ years, and half-sister, 35 (different mom, our father is very poor), paid her own way through college and graduate school working two part time jobs the entire time and is now financially secure and raising a family of her own.. Sounds like a similar situation to a lot of families here.. one sibling just missed the boat somehow....

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? : uhoh, it got worse
« Reply #71 on: August 01, 2016, 06:19:41 PM »
People think they are helping but really they are just hurting their kids by not allowing them to grow up. Sometimes some tough love is needed. It is one thing if someone is hurt and needs help, etc but your brother is just using your Mom but she doesn't want to see it. However, it is really hard to do tough love with your adult child but it must be done or nothing will ever change.  So glad that you learned how to say "no."   It isn't easy sometimes. Hugs:))

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? : uhoh, it got worse
« Reply #72 on: August 01, 2016, 07:45:31 PM »
Sorry to hear that kitkat.  Couldn't agree more cassie

oh guys.  she's blind. 

She says "we can't coddle him.  time for tough love"

But just today she:
--paid $700+ to get his car out of the impound
(and "he better only drive it to work"
"um, mom, if they have his license, I'm pretty sure he can't drive at all, even to work"
"oh, i don't know.  I better find out"
"yeah, he better find out")


--called the lawyer
(after asking brother who his friends had used in the past.  Brother knew right away who the best guy was.  Um, time to get some new friends?)

After lawyer answers, mom says, "oh, I'm just calling because he's at work"
Lawyer: "Oh I get it.  I would help my children too".  Good line, lawyer.  Well played.

Saving grace is that lawyer goes on to ask if Brother has a drug problem.  Mom says yes.  Lawyer says we have to get him some help. 

So as we're talking, mom mentions how she's gotta tell Brother to call him, go see the lawyer.  Um, shouldn't that be like his #1 priority right now?  Why do you have to nag him to do it?!

So here she is, doing all this work to "help" brother. Not able to see that she's rescuing him from his own bad choices.  I see it so clearly from reading that Codependent book.  Of course I also see that I'm getting too emotionally involved, and that its not my job to help my mom see the light. 

Here's hoping that lawyer talks some sense into him!

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? : uhoh, it got worse
« Reply #73 on: August 01, 2016, 07:51:38 PM »
Here's hoping that lawyer talks some sense into him!

Hah.  If he tries, he'll be labeled a jerk who's out of touch and just doesn't get it.

It's sad that your mom is thinking her enabling is helping, which it's actually doing the opposite.  She's genuinely trying to do the right thing.  =/
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Josiecat

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? : uhoh, it got worse
« Reply #74 on: August 01, 2016, 08:29:20 PM »
Please stay out of it.  If your mother wants to enable him then she can do so, but this is not your problem.

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? : uhoh, it got worse
« Reply #75 on: August 02, 2016, 02:53:14 AM »
look for a book called 'money talks' by gail vaz oxlade.  Shes a canadian financial writer who has done so much for helping families get out of debt and get real about their money.  The book goes through a lot of the difficult money talking scenarios and gives ideas on how to start conversations and possible actions to take.

You cant fix him.  You can draw a line in the sand and not let him over step and affect your boundaries.  If your mom chooses to do that as well you can hapily support her in it.  Its not going to be easy.  But it will never end if you dont. 

And yes the comments about narcisism sounds accurate. 

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? : uhoh, it got worse
« Reply #76 on: August 02, 2016, 04:11:45 AM »
Yikes, I hope you're able to stand firm and detach as much as possible from the situation.

If personality disorders are ringing lots of bells with your brother, you might find Out of the FOG helpful. FOG = fear, obligation, guilt

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? : uhoh, it got worse
« Reply #77 on: August 02, 2016, 05:23:33 AM »
Sounds Like an enablement issue.....the pussification of our society is incredible.
Exactly my thoughts.

Always figured if I had a kid like that I would find them a cheap apartment, pay their rent for six months, make sure they had a vehicle and six months of paid insurance, throw a few bucks in their bank account then tell them ...... here you go, sink or swim, you are not moving back home.

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? : uhoh, it got worse
« Reply #78 on: August 02, 2016, 07:37:52 AM »
This thread now falls into the "highly entertaining categories"

Hopefully he gets bailed out for the DUI, maybe next time he will kill someone while driving intoxicated......what's mommy going to do then? Arrange conjugal visits so son is happy in the pen?

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? : uhoh, it got worse
« Reply #79 on: August 02, 2016, 07:46:22 AM »
I'm so sorry the situation with your brother has escalated.  I think you are doing everything right, in setting boundaries, however it sounds like it is going to take your mother much longer to set her boundaries. 

One thing you might consider (someone else pointed it out, but I cannot find the post) is to limit the amount of drama you allow your mother to vent to you.  She may be using your sympathetic ear to help offload some of stress she is feeling onto you just by talking about it often.


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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? : uhoh, it got worse
« Reply #80 on: August 02, 2016, 08:35:01 AM »
This is exactly like my ex's brother. Eventually he got enough dui's that he had to spend a night in jail, and they took his license away. It may be that your mom will never stop enabling him, but eventually the justice system will intervene. As you know, it can take years to learn and establish healthy boundaries. The most important thing is to help yourself.

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? : uhoh, it got worse
« Reply #81 on: August 02, 2016, 09:05:07 AM »
Back to the potential Mexico move.

"Brother dear, here is how it will be if you move to Mexico.   You can get your own job here.  I will do nothing but send you job leads.  Nothing more.  Everything else required to get the job is your responsibility."

"You will not move in with me.  Ever.  Not even for one night."

"I will not loan you money.  Ever."

"I will not bail you out of a Mexican jail.  Ever.    I will not even tell our mother that you are in jail.   You can work on the chain gang until you can pay your own fines.   Or volunteer to be someone's "girl" for spending money if you prefer that."

"Oh, you are offended?  I am offended that you are a 26 year old child who is unwilling to grow up and make your own way in the world.  I am offended that you are mooching off of our mother and anyone else who is fool enough to fall for your guff."

"Call me after you actually grow up and can pay your own way in life."

I expect that you wont' have a visit and won't be required to spend any effort commiserating with him in the future.

But then people tell me that I have no tact...

Sometimes that's a curse, but in situations like this, it's a blessing.    We haven't had to put up with my wife's mooching sister for 30 years because she made her position on the matter perfectly clear.

So, think about it.   30 years of never having to deal with this person again, or wallowing in their misery for that same period of time...

RedmondStash

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? : uhoh, it got worse
« Reply #82 on: August 02, 2016, 09:48:47 AM »
OP, this is rough going, and it looks like you're making some progress. Family can be so hard.

I have a suggestion for you: Think about what *you* need. Not about your brother or your mom, but you. How can you best take care of yourself in this situation, which you seem to be still pretty enmeshed in? How can you preserve your own sanity? And what obstacles (like guilt and habit) stand in your way?

And also -- tough love here -- this has sort of become an ongoing drama in this thread, and it's starting to seem like we're enabling you. I know this stuff is hard, and support is crucial, but maybe find a therapist? I say this not to be cruel, but because I think it's genuinely in your best interest to reduce your involvement in your brother/mom drama, even in this thread. The more you post about it, the more alive it stays in your mind, and the less room there is for the rest of your life.

This situation seems to consume a lot of your mental energy. I suspect what you really need is some space from it, to get your life back in balance. Think about other things. Take a vacation from this. Refuse to discuss your brother with your mom, and vice versa. Maybe even stop taking their calls for a couple of days. Tell them you just need some time.

One of the best gifts you can give your mom is a demonstration of what boundaries look like. Modeling appropriate behavior is key, both for you and for her.

You can do it.

LadyStache in Baja

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? : uhoh, it got worse
« Reply #83 on: August 02, 2016, 10:06:57 AM »
RedmondStash you are 100% right.  This thread is (to quote my codependent no more book) a perfect example of "excited misery".

My husband is an excellent example of healthy boundaries.  He has an enabling mom and two moochy brothers.  Another good brother is always complaining and trying to "fix" the situation to protect mom.  DH has never meddled, because "its not his problem".  But good brother was always trying to enlist support to confront mooching brothers.  DH finally told him, "I don't want to hear anymore about this!  I'm fed up.  I have my own shit to take care of.  They're stupid and you can't fix stupid."

Right now I should be working on some urgent things, but I'm typing this shit right here.  I just sent my mom an email.  This is my version of what you just said to me:

"You say its time for tough love but....

When you call the lawyer (instead of letting him do it), that's enabling.
You'll say, "But he won't do it if I don't enable him!"

I know.  And he won't start taking responsibility for anything if he knows somewhere in his subconscious mind that it always works out. 
The reason it always works out is because you pick up the pieces, but I swear, he doesn't realize all you do.  He really thinks he's doing it.  It's a delusion that will not stop until you stop picking up the pieces.

Remember the boys' passports?  How I missed the 90 day period to send in [DH]'s ID?  If you had nagged me and reminded me of the deadline, I would have done it on time.  But would I have learned to be more responsible?  No.

Did having to lose $300 worth of passports wake me up?  Yes. 
Every time you swoop in to "help", it's enabling.  Enabling him to continue to think that he's fine, that he has it together.  (He doesn't.  You do).

This is not an emergency.  There is life after a DUI.  You don't need to rescue him anymore.  If he were looking at life in jail, yes, I'd do everything to stop it.  He's not.  The consequences are tough but they're not insurmountable. 

The most important thing for YOU to do now, and always, it to take care of YOU.  By talking to an expert.  Please make that appointment with a therapist today.  **hugs** and love!"


So I guess my boundary will be that I don't want to hear any more about it unless she's gone to a therapist. 

I'll also have to stop proposing solutions. 

You ask what I need.  What I need right now is to get this time-sensitive project done asap.  Which means I have to not be distracted by other people's problems! 

"This situation seems to consume a lot of your mental energy. I suspect what you really need is some space from it, to get your life back in balance. Think about other things. Take a vacation from this. Refuse to discuss your brother with your mom, and vice versa. Maybe even stop taking their calls for a couple of days. Tell them you just need some time."  This right here.

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? : Confrontation! Delusions Revealed!
« Reply #84 on: August 03, 2016, 11:03:25 AM »
For purely entertainment purposes:

(I resolve to be unattached to any and all outcomes, even those I disagree with).

Mom confronted brother through a hand-written letter that she left on the table before they both left for work (because we hate confrontation lol).

After work, Brother seemed fine, happy, until Mom requested money that she had spotted him so he didn't have to go to the atm, in other words, money he does have.

Opened all the cans of worms.  Lots of anger.

Delusions on full display:

--parents only want to help if that means paying for college, other life goals not supported (Reality: parents bought him a car, funded a vacation to Scotland with gf, spotted him a bit for rent if he's short, he's got a nice cell phone because he's a part of her cell plan, paid for a EMT certification course that he completed but doesn't use, and have offered to pay for other types of certification courses)

--gf broke up with him because mom insulted her and refused to help get them a house (Reality: wtf, where to begin?!  Mom actively likes and had a good relationship with gf.  The house thing....what?  Good thing they didn't get a house since they broke up!?)

--mom's too conservative and is a trump lover (Reality: neither here nor there)

--mom's too close-minded to even research the benefits of pot (Reality: yeah....  Like all medicines, dosage is important).

--he's going to move out, and it's mom's fault he's in this position (Reality: nope.  This is really the crux of it.  He's an adult who has made choices.)

--he'll have to ask people for money to be able to pay her back (Reality: no!!!  Get more work!)

Poor guy.  He just doesn't see it.  I truly believe he's not intentionally manipulative, he just doesn't get it.  Hopefully now that mom is setting up some boundaries he'll be able to see the truth over time.  I don't expect this to be quick, but at least it's started.

« Last Edit: August 03, 2016, 11:10:33 AM by LadyStache in Baja »

Miss Piggy

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? : uhoh, it got worse
« Reply #85 on: August 03, 2016, 11:08:38 AM »
--he's going to move out anyway, and it's mom's fault he's in this position

When? 

(And I hope Mom's reaction was something similar to "Buh-bye.")

MrsDinero

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? : Confrontation! Delusions Revealed!
« Reply #86 on: August 03, 2016, 12:03:47 PM »
+1 for your mom!  I hope she sticks to her boundaries and doesn't relent in the face of his anger.

LeRainDrop

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? : Confrontation! Delusions Revealed!
« Reply #87 on: August 03, 2016, 12:20:37 PM »
+1 for your mom!  I hope she sticks to her boundaries and doesn't relent in the face of his anger.

+2  And I hope he doesn't start with manipulative threats, like, "If you don't pay for X, Y, and Z, I'm going to be homeless.  I guess you're okay with that.  And with me living on the streets and having to steal from people.  And I'll probably get really sick and depressed, etc.  But as long as you're okay with that..."

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? : Confrontation! Delusions Revealed!
« Reply #88 on: August 03, 2016, 12:37:17 PM »
+1 for your mom!  I hope she sticks to her boundaries and doesn't relent in the face of his anger.

+2  And I hope he doesn't start with manipulative threats, like, "If you don't pay for X, Y, and Z, I'm going to be homeless.  I guess you're okay with that.  And with me living on the streets and having to steal from people.  And I'll probably get really sick and depressed, etc.  But as long as you're okay with that..."

This all sounds like my older brother and my Mom. The above are all things he has done. He has even made suicide threats that mysteriously resolve when EMS/police are called.... My mother is in her 70's my brother is 50. She has said things like she would rather die than have anything happen to (older brother) and that if she doesn't do all these things for him he will be homeless, end up in jail, etc. That's where this will end up if your Mom doesn't put a stop to it ASAP. A whole life of living with an incapable child who will still be resentful and blame her for anything she doesn't do for him. Not much of a life.

little_brown_dog

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? : Confrontation! Delusions Revealed!
« Reply #89 on: August 03, 2016, 01:24:41 PM »
Good for your mom! Actually, an insane and delusional response was probably the best thing he could have done for her. If he had been sheepish and compliant, she might have doubted herself and fallen back into enabler-think ("maybe I was too hard on him" "I must have misunderstood him" "He is such a good son, really"). But hopefully his outward craziness and inability to acknowledge reality was jarring for her and made her realize that she is doing the right thing.

arebelspy

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? : Confrontation! Delusions Revealed!
« Reply #90 on: August 03, 2016, 03:05:47 PM »
Hope she reads some of the codependency books as soon as he moves out so she can see clearly how it's been, once apart from the situation a bit, and keep strong to not let it fall back into old patterns.

Good luck to your mom (and your brother, I feel for him as well--but I believe this is what's best for him, ultimately)!
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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? : Confrontation! Delusions Revealed!
« Reply #91 on: August 03, 2016, 03:08:26 PM »
I hope your mom develops a spine sooner rather than later.  She's not doing him any favors - I have a 50 year old brother in a similar situation to yours!  Over the decades, my parents have paid his rent, child support, and legal fees.  His daughter just turned 18 - they literally paid his court-ordered child support for the last 16 years "because we don't want him to go to jail" and "we want to help {ex-wife and daughter}".  (I'm good with the second reason, but not the first!).  He's been in jail, in rehab, etc. etc. and they've always paid for that.  Once a year or so my dad will say "that's it, he's cut off" but then he finds out my mom is giving him $$ anyway!  She says, "I couldn't stand for him to be homeless."  She doesn't realize that she CREATED this problem decades ago by not requiring him to be a man.

Here's the worst part of my family's situation:  My parents' will divides their estate between my other sibling and me, which they say is fair, because of the hundreds of thousands of dollars they've given him over the years.  I agree, BUT: They haven't told him!  I've begged them to tell him, "Son, we've given you your share of our estate over the last 30 years, so when we die, it's your siblings' turn and they get everything."  But they won't do it because they are chicken.

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? : Confrontation! Delusions Revealed!
« Reply #92 on: August 03, 2016, 03:10:40 PM »
...

This all sounds like my older brother and my Mom. The above are all things he has done. He has even made suicide threats that mysteriously resolve when EMS/police are called.... My mother is in her 70's my brother is 50. She has said things like she would rather die than have anything happen to (older brother) and that if she doesn't do all these things for him he will be homeless, end up in jail, etc. That's where this will end up if your Mom doesn't put a stop to it ASAP. A whole life of living with an incapable child who will still be resentful and blame her for anything she doesn't do for him. Not much of a life.

Umm, are you my sibling?  I just posted and somehow hadn't seen your post - We have the same mom & brother!

arebelspy

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? : Confrontation! Delusions Revealed!
« Reply #93 on: August 03, 2016, 03:48:31 PM »
Here's the worst part of my family's situation:  My parents' will divides their estate between my other sibling and me, which they say is fair, because of the hundreds of thousands of dollars they've given him over the years.  I agree, BUT: They haven't told him!  I've begged them to tell him, "Son, we've given you your share of our estate over the last 30 years, so when we die, it's your siblings' turn and they get everything."  But they won't do it because they are chicken.

Of course they don't have the backbone for that.  You should be glad they aren't telling him, or he'll argue/fight/guilt them into getting his "share."

Wait for the contested will though.  Make sure it's pretty iron clad.  :)
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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? : Confrontation! Delusions Revealed!
« Reply #94 on: August 03, 2016, 04:12:46 PM »
...

This all sounds like my older brother and my Mom. The above are all things he has done. He has even made suicide threats that mysteriously resolve when EMS/police are called.... My mother is in her 70's my brother is 50. She has said things like she would rather die than have anything happen to (older brother) and that if she doesn't do all these things for him he will be homeless, end up in jail, etc. That's where this will end up if your Mom doesn't put a stop to it ASAP. A whole life of living with an incapable child who will still be resentful and blame her for anything she doesn't do for him. Not much of a life.

Umm, are you my sibling?  I just posted and somehow hadn't seen your post - We have the same mom & brother!

For real? Kinda cool if you are related and come to this site independently of each other.

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? : Confrontation! Delusions Revealed!
« Reply #95 on: August 03, 2016, 04:13:59 PM »
...

This all sounds like my older brother and my Mom. The above are all things he has done. He has even made suicide threats that mysteriously resolve when EMS/police are called.... My mother is in her 70's my brother is 50. She has said things like she would rather die than have anything happen to (older brother) and that if she doesn't do all these things for him he will be homeless, end up in jail, etc. That's where this will end up if your Mom doesn't put a stop to it ASAP. A whole life of living with an incapable child who will still be resentful and blame her for anything she doesn't do for him. Not much of a life.

Umm, are you my sibling?  I just posted and somehow hadn't seen your post - We have the same mom & brother!

For real? Kinda cool if you are related and come to this site independently of each other.

I don't think it was literal.  :)
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ohsnap

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? : Confrontation! Delusions Revealed!
« Reply #96 on: August 03, 2016, 04:20:42 PM »
...

I don't think it was literal.  :)

Well I was pretty shocked at the similarities, but I guess I shouldn't have been.  Moochers have been around forever, so no surprise that 2 folks on this board happen to have a 50yo moocher brother and a 70+ mom who just couldn't stand it if he was homeless, boohoo!  (Oh, and I'm about 99% sure my sibling wouldn't have a posting name of "partgypsy" haha)

LeRainDrop

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? : Confrontation! Delusions Revealed!
« Reply #97 on: August 03, 2016, 04:29:22 PM »
Prediction:  When brother realizes this tactic is not working, he will switch to another.  My best guess is he apologizes to your mom and tries to sweeten his way back in to her financial umbrella.  "I didn't mean it.  I love you.  I really need your help, mom.  I can't do this without you!"

Best news:  You are not going to let yourself get dragged into the drama!  And you are also not going to fake-commiserate with your brother, a la, "yeah, mom can be so unfair."

mozar

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? : Confrontation! Delusions Revealed!
« Reply #98 on: August 03, 2016, 06:31:18 PM »
For a different way to think about homelessness. If your mom keeps helping he may end up homeless when she's gone, but if she puts up boundaries now, he might be able to figure out how to stand up on his two feet.

FIREby35

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Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? : Confrontation! Delusions Revealed!
« Reply #99 on: August 03, 2016, 07:21:14 PM »
As a defense lawyer (who is often paid by family members, actually, almost always paid by family members): I've seen it 100 times.

Good luck.