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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: LadyStache in Baja on July 18, 2016, 07:11:59 PM

Title: Is it possible to reform a moocher? : Confrontation! Delusions Revealed!
Post by: LadyStache in Baja on July 18, 2016, 07:11:59 PM
I have a brother that lives at home **rent and utility-free**with mom.  He's 26.  Works about 20 hours a week.  Is still on mom's cell phone plan and car insurance.  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". 

Wants the world to be a hippie utopia, where everyone just shares and helps each other.  But doesn't see that in this case, mom is doing all the helping and brother is just mooching.

Doesn't seem to like being poor, and hasn't occurred to him to cut extras, but doesn't seem to want to work more because "I just want to help my community and this community isn't ready for my ideas yet".  In other words, none of the jobs are good enough.  Btw, he has his associates.  Mom has offered multiple times to pay for his bachelors and that offer is still open.

Heaven forbid mom talk about other cool jobs available that would be fun and would pay (a lot) more.  Because then you're judging him and you think he's a failure and it's not all about money.  It's about living in the moment and I'm not going to sell my soul to some job all day. 

Which is like, ok fine, if and when you can pay your bills, or get rid of all your bills, without mooching on those who have made other choices in life. 

But here's the thing.  I know it's about choices.  You know it's about choices.  My brother doesn't get that he has chosen his low-paying job.  He doesn't want to take responsibility for his life, he wants the rest of the world to be enlightened like he is.   

He has a major anger problem.  Anytime anyone talks to him, it blows up into a huge argument.  I think it's probably rooted in low self-worth.  I think he's not happy.  But he doesn't seem to think there's a problem.  Or he just needs more time to figure it out.  But I think he needs to be an adult and try to figure it out at the same time.  I'm worried he'll never learn.

So I know it's probably impossible to change someone's mindset.  But any advice for getting him to see that what's he's doing isn't "sharing", it's **mooching**?

I've told my mom to get him off her phone plan and car insurance plan.  Any other advice for her?
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
Post by: MsPeacock on July 18, 2016, 07:16:09 PM
It sounds like a problem your mom has to solve. If she wants him off her cell phone plan she can accomplish it in about 5 minutes. If/when she is ready, you can support her. IMHO you should stay out of it otherwise, as hard as that is to do, because it sounds like your involvement leads to frustration on everyone's part. Your mom has made a choice to tolerate and support your brother....
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
Post by: ender on July 18, 2016, 07:17:03 PM
Is it possible? Yes.

If he does get reformed, are you the person who is going to cause this? Probably not.
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
Post by: LeRainDrop on July 18, 2016, 07:24:39 PM
This scenario is not at all uncommon, at least in my experience, among upper-middle class families, especially boys.  One of my brothers was exactly like this.  The summer before he turned 30, he was in his 3rd or 4th stint of living at home with my parents and not having any job for over a year.  My parents ended up having a lot of things crash down on them all at once, resulting in joblessness, selling the family home, and divorce.  His gravy train (mostly) ended, and he started out on his path to supporting himself.  I think it's been about 4 years now, and he is making ends meet on his own and looking to his future with his girlfriend.  He still puts in the least effort possible to cover his needs/wants and has the mentality that mom and dad should always be there for him financially, but at least, for now, he is doing much better than before.  Essentially, what it takes is for the financial enablers to decide to put on the brakes and hold firm.  This is something for your mom to decide when she's ready, sadly, not for you to control, as painful as that can seem.
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
Post by: Lagom on July 18, 2016, 07:32:02 PM
Agree with LeRainDrop. Every time I've seen a moocher "reform," it's always been because they were forced to when whoever was enabling them finally cut them off. Unpleasant for everyone, but the surest way to make it happen. Thankfully I have not had to deal with this in my family, but I have seen it several times with my friends and in-laws families.
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
Post by: arebelspy on July 18, 2016, 07:37:22 PM
Yes, but in this case it will be painful.  It'll start with drawing clear lines/boundaries, and enforcing them.  That obviously won't endear you to him, especially given the described personality.
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
Post by: pbkmaine on July 18, 2016, 07:51:05 PM
My oldest friend's brother lives with his Mom and stepdad. He's 57. They are in their mid 80s. He's not taking care of them. It goes on forever if you let it.
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
Post by: SwordGuy on July 18, 2016, 08:14:40 PM
It is not possible to reform someone else who is a moocher.

That is something only the moocher can do.

You can, however, stop enabling the moocher to mooch.  If enough people do this, the moocher might choose to change.  Or not. 

Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
Post by: LadyStache in Baja on July 18, 2016, 08:14:58 PM
It's not so much me wanting to reform him, it's me wanting to help my mom reform him.  It really bugs her and she worries about him all the time, to me.  After our chat tonight, she says she's going to cut him off her plans.  I hope she follows through.  It's really hard for her because, let's face it, she's an enabler and doesn't want to upset him!  I say better upset him now than in 40 years when he's a total deadbeat. 
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
Post by: LadyStache in Baja on July 18, 2016, 08:17:09 PM
Yes SwordGuy, you're absolutely right.  It's about boundaries.  He doesn't have any ownership of what is his.  And my poor mom is not exercising her boundaries.

The thing is, he talks a lot of philosophy.  I wish there were a way to come at it from his hippie commune perspective that would show him how he's not living communally because he's not contributing.  But maybe it's better to just stop talking and stop enabling.  He'll be upset, he won't understand (now), but after a few years of supporting himself maybe he'll get it.
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
Post by: Lagom on July 18, 2016, 08:24:34 PM
Yes SwordGuy, you're absolutely right.  It's about boundaries.  He doesn't have any ownership of what is his.  And my poor mom is not exercising her boundaries.

The thing is, he talks a lot of philosophy.  I wish there were a way to come at it from his hippie commune perspective that would show him how he's not living communally because he's not contributing.  But maybe it's better to just stop talking and stop enabling.  He'll be upset, he won't understand (now), but after a few years of supporting himself maybe he'll get it.

Or maybe he'll be embittered towards the family forever. Unfortunately that's a risk you have to take. Either way, both he and your mom will be better off.
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
Post by: 2Birds1Stone on July 19, 2016, 06:16:41 AM
Sounds Like an enablement issue.....the pussification of our society is incredible.

50 years ago, if you were a 26 year old living on mom and dad's dime you where likely mentally disabled or a complete deadbeat.

At 26 years old most men were married with families and responsibilities. Your mom needs to cut him off the cellphone and car insurance first. Then start charging close to market rent, especially if he doesn't do 50% of the chores and housework.......after that he should find a roommate or two and learn how to live on his own.

Tough love is the best course of action in situations like this.
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
Post by: plog on July 19, 2016, 06:49:39 AM
Quote
It's not so much me wanting to reform him, it's me wanting to help my mom reform him.

Sounds like you guys are enablers through and through.  Your mom enables your brother, you enable your mother's enabling.

My advice for you is to be done with it.  Tell your mom you no longer want to hear details of your brother's mooching.  You are no longer sympathetic to her for what she is allowing your brother to do.  Tell her you were on her side, but because she has allowed this to continue now has culpability in the situation.
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
Post by: tomatops on July 19, 2016, 06:57:04 AM
My oldest friend's brother lives with his Mom and stepdad. He's 57. They are in their mid 80s. He's not taking care of them. It goes on forever if you let it.

I second this. My uncle is in his late 50s and my grandpa is close to 90. Uncle hasn't worked since he was in his late 30s.

He definitely still takes more than he gives.
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
Post by: DirtDiva on July 19, 2016, 06:57:31 AM

  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.
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
Post by: justajane on July 19, 2016, 07:12:25 AM
We have a close family member who keeps getting bailed out by other family members for entirely preventable reasons -- that is, if he actually didn't spend so much and make dumbass financial choices. When will he stop getting bailed out? When the family members who enable him stop writing the checks. But I don't see it as my responsibility to convince them to stop.
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
Post by: Miss Piggy on July 19, 2016, 07:14:00 AM
"I just want to help my community and this community isn't ready for my ideas yet". 

Anybody else think of Kanye West when you read this?
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
Post by: MrsDinero on July 19, 2016, 07:18:53 AM
It is not possible to reform someone else.  True change will have to come from within each person. 

However there are some things that can be done the first one is for your mom to show some tough love and stick to it.  You should also talk to her about protecting her assets for her future and any future emergencies.

What can you do?  Nothing.
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
Post by: DeltaBond on July 19, 2016, 07:20:45 AM
Quote
It's not so much me wanting to reform him, it's me wanting to help my mom reform him.

Sounds like you guys are enablers through and through.  Your mom enables your brother, you enable your mother's enabling.

My advice for you is to be done with it.  Tell your mom you no longer want to hear details of your brother's mooching.  You are no longer sympathetic to her for what she is allowing your brother to do.  Tell her you were on her side, but because she has allowed this to continue now has culpability in the situation.

+1
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
Post by: LadyStache in Baja on July 19, 2016, 07:37:56 AM
Quote
It's not so much me wanting to reform him, it's me wanting to help my mom reform him.

Sounds like you guys are enablers through and through.  Your mom enables your brother, you enable your mother's enabling.

My advice for you is to be done with it.  Tell your mom you no longer want to hear details of your brother's mooching.  You are no longer sympathetic to her for what she is allowing your brother to do.  Tell her you were on her side, but because she has allowed this to continue now has culpability in the situation.

+1

Ha ha!  Yes I get that.  Even as I was writing that sentence I got it.  I'm reading Boundaries right now, and next on my list is Codependent No More.  I think it's going to help in my own parenting and marriage and friendships and relationships with my family. 

So yes, this is our issue.  My sister has this issue as well with her own relationships. 

Not my circus not my monkeys not my circus not my monkeys not my circus not my monkeys not my....
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
Post by: mjones1234 on July 19, 2016, 07:50:39 AM
Until your Mom tightens the reigns, nothing will change. I've seen dozens of examples like this and the person will mooch as long as the gravy train is flowing.
Sadly, I've seen it result in threats of violence when a parent tries to pull back. Especially, if the person has an anger management issue. So, it can be tricky to
cut the cord on someone who is feeding on this addiction. It would be good to have a candid conversation with your Mom to make sure she's not being threatened
in some way. If this is a possibility, it would be good to pull some family members together and confront him head on. If she's totally okay with it, and just
wants her "little" boy to stick around forever, there will be little you can do.
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
Post by: SunshineAZ on July 19, 2016, 08:05:23 AM
Sadly, you have just, almost perfectly, described my 43 year old brother.  In his life he has probably spent less than 4 years total living somewhere other than my parent's house.  I wish I knew what to tell you.  I have been telling my mom to give him some tough love for over 20 years, but she just won't do it.  My mom is an enabler too, much like my grandmother who enabled my alcoholic grandfather.  They both died many years ago, or I am sure my brother would be mooching off my grandmother too. 

I deal with it by just staying away from my family (I live in AZ, they are in CA) and changing the subject when she complains about him.  I already told her that I will not be supporting him when she is gone.  The amount of money he has siphoned off of my parents makes me sad and angry.

Following this thread for hopefully some good ideas or good news. :)
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
Post by: ketchup on July 19, 2016, 08:08:38 AM
I know someone like this.  She's always been a moocher.  It's not her parents' doing (her older sister is a saint).  She "moved out" for the first time about 4.5 years ago, and has since been kicked out of at least six living situations, and moved back in with her parents at least four times (most recently about six months ago, and she's still there).  Her living expenses have always been hilariously low (0 when living at home) , yet she's always blowing all her money on stupid shit and finding herself in shitloads of Stupid Debt no matter what.

She lived with my GF and I for about two weeks years ago before we couldn't stand it anymore.  She'd whine about having no money while drinking $60 of alcohol and not applying for jobs, watch Netflix and eat all our food (we seriously had to start hiding it), manipulate my GF into paying for things, sit on the couch she didn't pay for and complain about how uncomfortable it is, use (and fuck up) our computers without asking, "borrow" things without asking (and return them damaged), etc.

She's one of the most resistant-to-change, resistant-to-help people I've ever met that's needed the most change and help.  She also has issues related to depression and alcoholism, and she's falling apart physically (she's ~25 but doesn't take care of herself at all, so her legs and knees are giving out on her like she's 75).  She's not a pleasant person.

She likes to make big goals with no plan to follow through on them, then play the self-loathing game when things don't magically work out for her.  She's chronically unemployed (stays at a job for a few months at a time), and has an on-and-off freelance gig that she's pretty good at, but she has no sense of responsibility or professionalism and often ends up screwing her clients out of work they've paid for.

I don't know what the solution for someone like this is, but it's well above my pay-grade.
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
Post by: little_brown_dog on July 19, 2016, 08:10:47 AM
No, there is no way to help “fix” a person like this. It appears as though your brother might be a narcissist. You know, those glorious people who believe everything is about them, and who are convinced they are great contributors to the world despite all evidence to the contrary. He sounds like someone who could really use a formal evaluation from a professional. His complete lack of appreciation for your mother, her financial support, etc is not normal. It is also very odd when people claim that the world isn't ready for them and their awesomeness yet. It is one thing to have big ideas, another to be delusional about how important you are.

From mayo clinic:

"DSM-5 criteria for narcissistic personality disorder include these features:

Having an exaggerated sense of self-importance
Expecting to be recognized as superior even without achievements that warrant it
Exaggerating your achievements and talents
Being preoccupied with fantasies about success, power, brilliance, beauty or the perfect mate
Believing that you are superior and can only be understood by or associate with equally special people
Requiring constant admiration
Having a sense of entitlement
Expecting special favors and unquestioning compliance with your expectations
Taking advantage of others to get what you want
Having an inability or unwillingness to recognize the needs and feelings of others
Being envious of others and believing others envy you
Behaving in an arrogant or haughty manner
Although some features of narcissistic personality disorder may seem like having confidence, it's not the same. Narcissistic personality disorder crosses the border of healthy confidence into thinking so highly of yourself that you put yourself on a pedestal and value yourself more than you value others."

Some narcissists are extremely successful, high flying, hyper independent people. Others are like your brother – moochers. It can be hard to tell the difference between a narcissist and someone who just has really low self esteem and who has adopted a bit of denial because of it. But it sounds like this is really a deep seeded issue as it really spans across his finances, career outlook, and relationships.

What your mom can do is cut him off or demand more from him. Kick him out, demand rent, make him pay for his own utilities, set a time limit on how long he can live there, etc. This probably will not adjust his self image and attitude if he does have an actual personality problem, but it will at least give your mom more control and she won't be a doormat. Narcissists only respond to firm strong boundaries. If you are overly generous with them, they won't think "Oh wow, how nice of them, I really appreciate it!" they will think "i'm so glad they appreciate me, I really deserve this!". As a result, they just keep taking and taking and taking. They just do not view generosity the same way.
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
Post by: Gyosho on July 19, 2016, 08:20:23 AM
I have one of these also. A half-brother who is 31, hasn't had a job in years, lets our father pay his rent, phone, car expenses.

My father keeps insisting that he's "helping", that he's "going to get X (brother) back on track"....

Sigh.
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
Post by: mskyle on July 19, 2016, 09:54:28 AM
It's not so much me wanting to reform him, it's me wanting to help my mom reform him.  It really bugs her and she worries about him all the time, to me.  After our chat tonight, she says she's going to cut him off her plans.  I hope she follows through.  It's really hard for her because, let's face it, she's an enabler and doesn't want to upset him!  I say better upset him now than in 40 years when he's a total deadbeat.

So basically your question is, "Is it possible to reform an enabler?" And the answer, again, is "probably not." When your mother complains about your brother, that's a good time to say, "Well, if you didn't do $X it would be a lot harder for him to get away with that," or just, "Mom, he's not going to change unless you do," or "Ma, I'm tired of hearing about your problems with Brother, let's talk about something else."

But don't expect much!
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
Post by: DeltaBond on July 19, 2016, 10:46:33 AM
It's not so much me wanting to reform him, it's me wanting to help my mom reform him.  It really bugs her and she worries about him all the time, to me.  After our chat tonight, she says she's going to cut him off her plans.  I hope she follows through.  It's really hard for her because, let's face it, she's an enabler and doesn't want to upset him!  I say better upset him now than in 40 years when he's a total deadbeat.

So basically your question is, "Is it possible to reform an enabler?" And the answer, again, is "probably not." When your mother complains about your brother, that's a good time to say, "Well, if you didn't do $X it would be a lot harder for him to get away with that," or just, "Mom, he's not going to change unless you do," or "Ma, I'm tired of hearing about your problems with Brother, let's talk about something else."

But don't expect much!

agreed
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
Post by: LadyStache in Baja on July 19, 2016, 11:24:06 AM
Ok, I know I'm supposed to stay out of this.  But.....

It's so odd, because I really don't think he's mean-spirited, I think he's delusional.

Here's a text I just received from him.  He's trying to decide on if he should move to Mexico (where I am), because I told him about a job offer here.  We've been texting about it for about two weeks now.

"she got on my case about cell phone and car insurance and I got upset because I could tell she wasn't saying what was on her mind (per usual) so I pressed her to speak freely and then it was just about money... I'm sick of money ruling everything... she doesn't have an uncertain financial future right ? She's good isn't she ?

"I think I might [take the job and move to mexico]... I just dont know that leaving mother alone in the winter here is the best... but she just resents me for being here and living for free so I dunno what to do"

I said,

"Mom will be fine on her own. Shes an adult. She raised three kids.  That shouldn't enter into your decision.
Yeah and if she resents you you should definitely get out of there.
Obviously!  What an awful way to live! Don't put up with that!"

Ok, so obviously I'm playing double-agent here.  Do you see how he thinks he's responsible for her problems (helping her in the winter), and she's responsible for his problems (paying his bills).  He doesn't know about boundaries!!!  It's so interesting to see this play out, all while I'm reading some self-help books about maintaining my own boundaries. 

So I think in my family, love = rescuing.  I remember back in high school one night (maybe more, but one sticks in my memory), of my mom up late typing up a paper for him.  As in, he had written the rough draft on paper and needed to turn it in typed.  And she did that for him.  And that's still going on. 

And my brother is twisted in a way because of all of this, because now he's making decisions based on some weird thing he owes to her (mind you, not what she wants, for him to pay his bills, but out of a sense of obligation to help her at some point in the future--like if the driveway needs to be shoveled?). 

Thing is he doesn't actually help her.  He doesn't mow the lawn when she asks.  He doesn't install the wiper blades on the car if she asks.  She shovels the driveway herself most of the time.  He'll help some of the time, but not like in a gung-ho way.  Only after multiple asks.

 It's hard for be to believe he's manipulative because he talks a big game about love, family, community, and how it's not all about money, and everyone only cares about money and that's why they're all depressed.  But maybe he's not as innocent as I believe.  Maybe he's just lying to himself and making excuses for living at home.

Mskyle and others is right with their advice.  My mom is the only one who can stop enabling. 

Ok, one other significant factor is that our dad passed away of cancer last September.  Brother moved in a bit before that.  So we all kind of thought, well he's grieving, needs some time, but I don't believe that anymore.  It's been almost a year.  And now just about a month ago gf broke up with him.  Honestly having some real-world problems to worry about (rather than being rescued by mom) would help take his mind off these emotional problems.


Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
Post by: rockstache on July 19, 2016, 11:45:03 AM
I remember back in high school one night (maybe more, but one sticks in my memory), of my mom up late typing up a paper for him.  As in, he had written the rough draft on paper and needed to turn it in typed.  And she did that for him.  And that's still going on. 


That sticks in your mind because THAT IS CRAZY. My mom didn't know what my homework assignments were after middle school because I just came home and you know, did them. On time. Like a mini-adult in training.

What are your plans to protect the boundaries of yourself/your family if he does decide to move where you are? This is where your focus should be.
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
Post by: LeRainDrop on July 19, 2016, 11:48:50 AM
Ok, so obviously I'm playing double-agent here.

Alert!  You are in dangerous territory!  Been there, done that.

Quote
Do you see how he thinks he's responsible for her problems (helping her in the winter), and she's responsible for his problems (paying his bills).  He doesn't know about boundaries!!!  It's so interesting to see this play out, all while I'm reading some self-help books about maintaining my own boundaries.  So I think in my family, love = rescuing. . . .

Yeah, I can really relate to this all.  I'm glad to hear that you are reading up on healthy boundaries and co-dependency.  In the end, you will learn good strategies for helping your relationship with each of them.  Alas, as between the two of them, navigating their boundaries is something they will have to do on their own.  But, if you continue to play the mediator/interloper, well, then you need to repeat the steps of reading up about boundaries and co-dependency, as you are continuing to let yourself play the same old game.
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
Post by: SKL-HOU on July 19, 2016, 12:06:42 PM
... it was just about money... I'm sick of money ruling everything..."

This part would have been enough to piss me off. I am all for helping family but if that family member has this attitude while not doing anything at all to help themselves then nope! Your mom can do this in stages. She can let him know starting the month of august he will no longer be on her insurance or cell phone. Then tell him he will either have to pay rent or move out starting say November. Give him time to adjust but stay firm. I know it is easier said than done but your mom is not helping him at all.
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
Post by: Miss Piggy on July 19, 2016, 12:15:47 PM
What are your plans to protect the boundaries of yourself/your family if he does decide to move where you are? This is where your focus should be.

I had the same thought/question. He's not thinking he'll be able to move in with you "temporarily," is he?
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
Post by: kite on July 19, 2016, 12:49:53 PM
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change....
Or if you're one of those who want to keep all AA or God references at a distance of a 10 foot pole, there is....
Not my circus, not my monkeys.

Take Mom's complaints like they are complaints about the weather, the traffic or the price of a steak dinner. Listen, empathize and share some of your own struggles, but don't think you are the savior.  It's difficult enough to fix your own self, let alone other people. 
This is a life skill.  From now until you are having a dirt nap people will mismanage their lives and complain to you about how it went down.  If you simply say "That sucks" while passing the ice cream, it is going to be better for both of you than a litany of shoulda/coulda/woulda.   And it leaves you free of resentment when they don't take your advice.  Just focus on being a good example and let your actions do the talking. 
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
Post by: geekinprogress on July 19, 2016, 01:25:30 PM
It's hard for be to believe he's manipulative because he talks a big game about love, family, community, and how it's not all about money, and everyone only cares about money and that's why they're all depressed.  But maybe he's not as innocent as I believe.  Maybe he's just lying to himself and making excuses for living at home.

That's what manipulative people do.  They talk a big game, it sounds good, and they know exactly which buttons to push to get what they want. 

Would your mom consider therapy?  It sounds like their relationship has some pretty well established patterns and sometimes the only way someone deeply enmeshed in something like that can see it is to talk to a third party.  It also sounds like your family has been through a LOT in the past couple years. 
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
Post by: Captain FIRE on July 19, 2016, 01:28:09 PM
My mom helped me type one paper in high school, but that was because our Apple IIe died just as I was finishing it up, so I was having to redo a huge part of it (my recollection is I hadn't printed, or at least certainly not a final draft - and as the computer was dead, it was totally lost so I had to redo it).  She felt guilty re the computer.  She and I both discussed how this was basically the only circumstance under which she would help (something totally out of my control).  It was a late night, but it got done.

However, I'd be careful re playing both sides.  It doesn't sound like you're sending the message that he ought to pay his own way, so that can add to his sense of entitlement.  Maybe lay things out for him a bit more explicitly.
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
Post by: LadyStache in Baja on July 19, 2016, 02:35:19 PM
Well said kite.  "That sucks" and pass the ice cream!  Love it.  I'll do that!

Captain Fire, yeah, obviously I think he should pay his own way, but since he doesn't care about money because he wants to build a new world (be the change!  build utopia!  money sucks!  consumers suck!  its about experiences, and people!) I thought I should avoid that angle because as soon as I say "money", he'll just shut down.  So I thought I'd try to go about it a different way.  Try to get him to see (ok, irony coming up) that he can't change her or her values on money, he can only change himself, that maybe that would be a better way to get him out on his own. 

Regarding him coming here....yeah, he's made no effort to find housing here (which would involve just putting an ad in an online forum here), and yes, he's expecting to be able to stay here "until he finds a place".  I never agreed to that.  But I'm seeing now that I'll have to proactively not allow that. 

It's just so sad to me that he doesn't think "I better put an ad in the forum to see if I can find housing".  It's so easy. 

Letting go, letting go, letting go.
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
Post by: ender on July 19, 2016, 02:41:39 PM
I find it interesting your way to help him not be a moocher is to tell him about jobs.

Have your mom writeup a formal document with a date he will move out on (maybe 3 months from now?).  Have both of them sign it, be really great if you get it notarized if you have this convenient. Or otherwise convey the "this is actually serious" nature. If he hasn't moved out by that date, tell her to call the police and explain the situation, tell them you've given him 3 months advanced warning and he is now trespassing.
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
Post by: LadyStache in Baja on July 19, 2016, 02:57:29 PM
ender isn't getting a job the best way to not be a moocher?  also it would involve him moving to another country, thereby getting out on his own. 

People are weird.  It sucks when its one's own brother.  Because you want to have an awesome relationship with your brother, and be proud of each other, and root for each other.  But it's just so hard because all I see is the stuff he's not doing.  Like getting a second part time job.  Or one full-time job.  Those would be easy steps. 

He always plays the victim.  He always always has hated his landlords and his bosses.  Because, get this, his bosses are always about the money.  lol.  Yeah Bro, it's a business, not a hobby.  That he has a narcissistic personality might be just about right.
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
Post by: arebelspy on July 19, 2016, 05:13:45 PM
It's only about the money when you aren't doing what you're supposed to with money.

If you handle money responsibly (pay for things on time, etc.), and do your obligations, money isn't even brought up.

It only becomes about the money because of YOU, and you not doing what you're supposed to.

The funny part is, it sounds like if he was actually in a hippy commune, where there's no money, just working together, he'd slack off on his job (say, weeding the garden, or whatever), and then complain "it's all about the work--why can't we just chill and have fun?"

He turns it to "it's all about X" but X is just a placeholder for the thing he's responsible for but doesn't want to take care of.  In this case, it's money, but it doesn't seem like it's due to him actually being for free sharing/community, so much as him being lazy.

(Disclaimer: All I know of him is from what you've posted.  I can't judge him, personally, because I don't know enough.  But if this were a character in a story, that's the impression I'd have gotten of their character.)
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
Post by: LadyStache in Baja on July 19, 2016, 05:17:31 PM
yes arebelspy I can absolutely see him not wanting to weed the garden and say "its all about the work, can't we just chill and have fun".  I love the first few sentences of your response as well.  I think I'll try that on him next time it comes up in conversation.
 
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
Post by: Josiecat on July 19, 2016, 06:22:13 PM
OK LadyStache, I'm going to be honest with you.  Those texts that you replied with are enabling in nature.  Why?  Because you need to be telling him things like, 'Well, you do know you should be paying for your own cell and insurance.'  'Mom can't afford to be paying your bills any longer.' Stuff like that.  I don't care if he 'shuts down' or not.  That's total bullshit.  He's a dayum adult and needs to start acting like one. He needs a severe ass kicking wake up call. 

Your family has enabled him long enough.  STOP IT RIGHT NOW!!!!!

Also, I have the feeling you're going to get a big surprise when he moves to Mexico for the 'job'.  He will stay with you and you will never be able to get rid of him.

BE VERY, VERY clear with him.  If he moves there, he can stay with you a few nights, but he cannot live there.  No, you are not paying any bills.  Text him, 'How is the apartment hunt going?'  Make it very clear that you don't have room for him and he is NOT living there with your family. 

Jeez, I can't believe this guys is 26 years old. 
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
Post by: LadyStache in Baja on July 19, 2016, 07:16:14 PM
Josiecat! yes, i love your honesty!  I really had to think about it for a bit to see your point.  Enablers through and through over here. 

So just got off the phone with mom, giving her a pep talk.  She's kind of in shock that she has to do anything, since my sister and I turned out fine, independent.  She's just been waiting for him to spread his wings on his own.  I think I got through to her that he'll need a kick and it can only come from her.  She's going to read some of the books I've been reading. 

Sadly, she's really worried that he'll blow up and never speak to her again.  So yeah, textbook emotional manipulation right there.  I told her that if she had a friend with a husband that treated her that way, she would advise her to get out of that situation.  Hopefully she sees how wrong it is that she's letting fear of her son withholding love dictate her actions.

So yeah, she's got some work to do.  Hopefully she'll read some of these books, see that she's not crazy, see that others have done this hard work before, and that it is necessary.  I feel I've done my part.  I'll have to continue reading up on enabling, codependency, and boundaries to be sure I'm not enabling her enabling!
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
Post by: Ladychips on July 19, 2016, 07:43:43 PM
I have no words of advice but as a recovering enabler, I will tell you it feels better (at some point in the future) when you stop.  Eventually, you figure out you aren't really helping anyone,.  All my relationships improved when I stopped enabling...but like many bad behaviors, you have to be ever vigilant. Good luck to you.
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
Post by: Josiecat on July 19, 2016, 07:48:11 PM
Good!  Let him blow up.  He needs to stop acting like a baby. He needs to leave her house and then she should immediately change the locks. 

A question for you and your mom to ponder.  Can she really afford to continue supporting this man child?  Really, can she?  She needs to take care of herself financially. In his texts, he seems to think she is wealthy, but what is the real story? Don't commiserate with him.  Stick up for your mom and tell him to get the hell out of her house.
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
Post by: sonjak on July 19, 2016, 07:49:56 PM
I just finished reading this book: https://www.amazon.com/Naked-Woods-Unexpected-Hippie-Commune/dp/087071807X  It was interesting and it SO reminds me of your brother.  The only thing most of the community (particularly the men) took seriously after establishing shelter was growing/smoking pot.  They were able to live as long as they did by living on government and other handouts and because one of the members bought them land.  They "grew up" when the land was no longer available to them and the other resources were insufficient. 

IMO, he's looking at Mexico specifically because you are there and giving him sympathy - no other draw to Mexico, which is why he's not looking for housing, plans on living with you and hasn't found a job.  The fact that you "never agreed to that" will not keep him from moving in with you and mooching off you.  I imagine he didn't ask your mom if he could stay there for X years doing nothing, paying her nothing - he's just doing it because she's letting him.

Take the "love" out of it and what benefit are either of you getting from him being in your life?  (There probably is something and it just hasn't been mentioned.)  Is that worth what he's taking from you (both)?  If he gets angry and won't speak to you anymore, what have you lost?  (From an outside perspective, this reminds me of the Roommate Rant thread that GrimSqueaker and others have made so entertaining.)  He seems to just be taking which isn't love.  Definitely encourage you to read Codependent No More asap (and when you're done read it again).  Also, there is an affirmations companion book that goes with it that I found really helpful.  (Yes, I'm speaking from experience.)
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
Post by: SunshineAZ on July 19, 2016, 09:09:51 PM
Another book recommendation:  Emotional Blackmail: When the people in your life use fear, obligation and guilt to manipulate you by Susan Forward.  It has been a while since I read it, but I remember that it really hit the mark for a lot of my family dynamics. https://www.amazon.com/Emotional-Blackmail-People-Obligation-Manipulate/dp/0060928972/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1468984122&sr=1-1&keywords=emotional+blackmail (https://www.amazon.com/Emotional-Blackmail-People-Obligation-Manipulate/dp/0060928972/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1468984122&sr=1-1&keywords=emotional+blackmail)
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
Post by: ender on July 19, 2016, 09:52:02 PM
ender isn't getting a job the best way to not be a moocher?  also it would involve him moving to another country, thereby getting out on his own. 

People are weird.  It sucks when its one's own brother.  Because you want to have an awesome relationship with your brother, and be proud of each other, and root for each other.  But it's just so hard because all I see is the stuff he's not doing.  Like getting a second part time job.  Or one full-time job.  Those would be easy steps. 

He always plays the victim.  He always always has hated his landlords and his bosses.  Because, get this, his bosses are always about the money.  lol.  Yeah Bro, it's a business, not a hobby.  That he has a narcissistic personality might be just about right.

The problem is that:

Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
Post by: LadyStache in Baja on July 19, 2016, 10:20:00 PM
Wow, so just doing some more research.  Thanks to SunshineAZ's link to Emotional Blackmail, I noticed a similar title and the intro fits him perfectly:

"People with Borderline or Narcissistic Personality Disorders have a serious mental illness that primarily affects their intimate, personal, and family relationships. Often they appear to be normally functioning at work and in public interactions, and Narcissists may even be highly effective, in the short term, in some work or social situations. However, in intimate relationships, they can be emotional, aggressive, demeaning, illogical, paranoid, accusing, and controlling—in the extreme. Their ability to function normally or pleasantly can suddenly change in an instant, like flipping a switch. These negative behaviors don’t happen once in a while, they happen almost continuously in their intimate relationships and most often, and especially with their Caretaker family member."

I mean perfectly.  He's only crazy with my mom.  He's totally illogical.  I've gotten texts from her back before we ever really talked about it just saying "he's crazy" and I thought she was over-exaggerating, but I see now.

Yes touche Ender, I'm now going to not help him come here and talk to the job people to urge them to find someone else!
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
Post by: LeRainDrop on July 20, 2016, 08:54:36 AM
"People with Borderline or Narcissistic Personality Disorders have a serious mental illness that primarily affects their intimate, personal, and family relationships. Often they appear to be normally functioning at work and in public interactions, and Narcissists may even be highly effective, in the short term, in some work or social situations. However, in intimate relationships, they can be emotional, aggressive, demeaning, illogical, paranoid, accusing, and controlling—in the extreme. Their ability to function normally or pleasantly can suddenly change in an instant, like flipping a switch. These negative behaviors don’t happen once in a while, they happen almost continuously in their intimate relationships and most often, and especially with their Caretaker family member."

If you want to read up about narcissism and managing your relationship with a narcissist, I highly recommend the book Why Is It Always About You? : The Seven Deadly Sins of Narcissism by Sandy Hotchkiss.  My therapist suggested it to me when I was going through a really rough period dealing with a family member and one of the partners at work, and it was very enlightening to me.  Here's the Amazon summary:

"In this groundbreaking book -- the first popular book on narcissism in more than a decade -- clinical social worker and psychotherapist Sandy Hotchkiss shows you how to cope with controlling, egotistical people who are incapable of the fundamental give-and-take that sustains healthy relationships. Exploring how individuals come to have this shortcoming, why you get drawn into their perilous orbit, and what you can do to break free, Hotchkiss describes the "Seven Deadly Sins of Narcissism" and their origins. You will learn to recognize these hallmarks of unhealthy narcissism -- Shamelessness, Magical Thinking, Arrogance, Envy, Entitlement, Exploitation, Bad Boundaries -- and to understand the roles that parenting and culture play in their creation.

Whether the narcissist in question is a coworker, spouse, parent, or child, Why Is It Always About You? provides abundant practical advice for anyone struggling to break narcissism's insidious spread to the next generation, and for anyone who encounters narcissists in everyday life."
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
Post by: Spork on July 20, 2016, 09:07:19 AM

The brother you are describing is -- in essence -- my sister.  Warning: She's almost 60.  The earlier the enabling ends, the likelier he will become an adult. 

As has been said: You (and your mother) cannot fix him.  All you can do is to stop being part of the problem.  From my experience, "tough love" doesn't work with everyone.  All you can do sometimes is be polite, succinct and disengage.

It's none of my business... but curious because of the similarities with my sis... Is he a substance abuser as well?
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
Post by: pbkmaine 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.
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
Post by: Captain FIRE 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. 
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
Post by: LadyStache in Baja 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.
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
Post by: LeRainDrop 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.
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
Post by: LadyStache in Baja 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?
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
Post by: MarciaB 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.
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
Post by: Spork 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. 
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
Post by: FLBiker 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.
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? Update! Breakthrough!
Post by: LadyStache in Baja 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". 
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? Update! Breakthrough!
Post by: LeRainDrop 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!
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? Update! Breakthrough!
Post by: arebelspy 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.
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
Post by: LifeHappens 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.
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
Post by: Josiecat on July 29, 2016, 04:05:14 PM
WOW!  I'm so proud of you.  Good job. 
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher?
Post by: Alchemilla 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!
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? : uhoh, it got worse
Post by: LadyStache in Baja 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...
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? : uhoh, it got worse
Post by: arebelspy on August 01, 2016, 01:52:36 PM
Brother should no longer have a car.

Yikes.
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? : uhoh, it got worse
Post by: LadyStache in Baja 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!
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? : uhoh, it got worse
Post by: LeRainDrop 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!
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? : uhoh, it got worse
Post by: Spork 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. 
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? : uhoh, it got worse
Post by: arebelspy 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.
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? : uhoh, it got worse
Post by: kitkat 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....
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? : uhoh, it got worse
Post by: Cassie 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:))
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? : uhoh, it got worse
Post by: LadyStache in Baja 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!
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? : uhoh, it got worse
Post by: arebelspy 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.  =/
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? : uhoh, it got worse
Post by: Josiecat 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.
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? : uhoh, it got worse
Post by: dess1313 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. 
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? : uhoh, it got worse
Post by: Astatine 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 (http://outofthefog.website/) helpful. FOG = fear, obligation, guilt
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? : uhoh, it got worse
Post by: Fishindude 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.
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? : uhoh, it got worse
Post by: 2Birds1Stone 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?
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? : uhoh, it got worse
Post by: MrsDinero 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.

Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? : uhoh, it got worse
Post by: mozar 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.
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? : uhoh, it got worse
Post by: SwordGuy 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...
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? : uhoh, it got worse
Post by: RedmondStash 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.
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? : uhoh, it got worse
Post by: LadyStache in Baja 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.
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? : Confrontation! Delusions Revealed!
Post by: LadyStache in Baja 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.

Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? : uhoh, it got worse
Post by: Miss Piggy 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.")
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? : Confrontation! Delusions Revealed!
Post by: MrsDinero 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.
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? : Confrontation! Delusions Revealed!
Post by: LeRainDrop 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..."
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? : Confrontation! Delusions Revealed!
Post by: partgypsy 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.
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? : Confrontation! Delusions Revealed!
Post by: little_brown_dog 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.
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? : Confrontation! Delusions Revealed!
Post by: arebelspy 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)!
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? : Confrontation! Delusions Revealed!
Post by: ohsnap 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.
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? : Confrontation! Delusions Revealed!
Post by: ohsnap 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!
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? : Confrontation! Delusions Revealed!
Post by: arebelspy 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.  :)
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? : Confrontation! Delusions Revealed!
Post by: marty998 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.
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? : Confrontation! Delusions Revealed!
Post by: arebelspy 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.  :)
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? : Confrontation! Delusions Revealed!
Post by: ohsnap 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)
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? : Confrontation! Delusions Revealed!
Post by: LeRainDrop 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."
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? : Confrontation! Delusions Revealed!
Post by: mozar 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.
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? : Confrontation! Delusions Revealed!
Post by: FIREby35 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.
Title: Re: Is it possible to reform a moocher? : Confrontation! Delusions Revealed!
Post by: MissNancyPryor on August 03, 2016, 08:09:50 PM
I have heard that you know there is a potential for a long future of enabling if the parent removes the crying newborn from the car seat and holds it on the way home from the hospital.  They can't stand to see the poor baby crying for that first car ride even though removing it from the seat puts it in far greater danger.  I am not sure what sorts of easy 'tells' there were before 1983 or so when car seats became so common and standard. 

I also agree there has been huge wussification and helicopter parenting where many young people are just not getting it.