Enabling VS Love  

Lauren (mother): “An enabler is defined as a person who encourages negative or self-destructive behavior in another. This is the definition I found on the internet and reading the meaning is hurtful. What parent wants to be referred to as being an enabler to their drug addicted child? Working hard daily, often holding down more than one job, just to make sure my child had the best education, all his needs and even his wants. I thought that was what I was giving my son. I never thought of myself as an enabler but a mother providing for her son. Yes, he was given money, a car and sent to a private school. All parents want their children to be successful, happy, and healthy. That is why we give them what they need, so they achieve their goals in life. I mean that is how I was raised and it worked for me so, why not raise my son the same way right? I did what I thought was right and my son would grow up to be successful.”

Zech (Narconon graduate):The enabling started off innocently when I was very young. I remember my mom and grandmother used to buy me everything under the sun. I had all the newest clothes and toys a child could ever dream of and there wasnt anything I wanted I didn’t have. My first distinct memory of this was when I was seven years old. I went up to my grandmother, tugged on her gown, and asked her to buy me a pool. She wound up buying a six-bedroom house with two backyards and of course a pool. Looking back, it was almost comical. That very instant, I knew what a cute face and an innocent look could get me in life.

Lauren: “So was I an enabler or a loving parent providing for her son? I gave him money trusting he would make the right choices on how to spend it. I gave him a car so he could drive himself to school and hang out with friends. When he got into trouble, I fixed it. I wanted to make sure he would not have a record and cause him not to get a good job later in life. But, it was his decision to buy drugs with my money and his decision to drive the car to buy drugs.”

Zech:Over the next few years, I began playing different sports at private schools, always trying to have something better than everyone else. I truly believed I was very wealthy and my pockets were never ending. This began to spiral out of control in high school when I got my first car and my first girlfriend. I began to ask for and spend obscene amounts of money on the most frivolous possessions and moments one can experience in life.

Lauren: “I always forgave him and believed it would never happen again. I trusted him to make the right choices with my money. But, time and time again I was disappointed and lied to. So you could say I was an enabler because I kept on forgiving and giving him more money. Then, one day I woke up. I looked at my son and what he had become. An addict who was so miserable in his life and hating himself for what he had become. He could not remember the lies he told or to who he told them to. He was truly out of control.”

Zech:My complex had begun to grow out of control and along with the money I assumed was mine, I felt an undeserved sense of entitlement to what I wanted in life. I did not truly know what it meant to have to work for something. Not only did I believe everything in my life was going to be given to me, I, unfortunately, believed this included my sobriety.

I continued to live in this world I had created, continuing to lose my family's respect all the while spending their money on rehabs with the intention of staying high. I would leave each expensive rehab and immediately relapse on drugs because I subconsciously knew I would get caught and when I did, they would bail me out again. Every problem I had ever caused in life, I did not have to take responsibility for. I knew I always had a safety net.

Lauren: “I could not take the lies, the worrying, or empty promises anymore. I could not look at my son and ignore the reality of who and what he had become. That is the day I became a different kind of loving parent. There was no more money to give or cars to drive and now no longer welcomed to stay in his home with his family. The day I took all of that away is the day my son became a responsible young man who had to face the monster that was killing him.”

Zech:I continued to live like this until one day they decided enough was enough. I was completely cut off from my family and their money. They were over the heartbreak I was causing them. I was killing them mentally and physically.

I’ll never forget the day my mother told me she wasn’t paying for my reckless lifestyle with her money or emotions any longer. When her words reached my ears, I began to cry. However, it was largely because at that moment I felt liberated. I knew the monster could not live any longer.

Lauren: “It was and is still not easy and one of the hardest decisions I had to make. I love my son and would do anything for him to keep him happy and alive. Sometimes parents love their children too much and think they are providing and doing what is right for their child.”

Zech:The money that had always enabled my lifestyle was gone, the demon was eradicated. That moment opened the door for me to have many amazing and inspiring realizations about myself and my status in life.

Lauren: “My son is happy now and free from drugs. I don’t blame myself for what he did. We were both equally guilty.”

Zech:My family gave me money because they wanted the best for me and for me to be happy and successful. This only proved to warp my mentality. Ninety-nine percent of the time, the intentions of parents are genuine, but the fact of the matter is spoiling someone by continuing to give them things with no exchange on their part will lead them to a life of instability and instant gratification.

Fortunately, this ends on a positive note. I realize the all too sobering truth that they do not always end this way.

Written By: Zech and Lauren—Narconon Graduate and Mother



Aaron has been writing drug education articles and documenting the success of the Narconon program for over two years.