Loving someone with addiction is heartbreaking.
You know they are struggling, but sometimes they can hurt you as much as they hurt themselves.
So, it’s important to set boundaries even if you want to help them.
Redditor Tylershotwheels encountered this very issue with his mom. So he turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for moral judgment.
“AITA for not wanting to give my mom money to pay rent and court fees after she was arrested for meth charges?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“I (17 M) have a difficult relationship with my mom (42 F).”
“My parents got a divorce when I was 4 and I live with my dad. Until last year the custody agreement was that I spent every other weekend with my mom.”
“But she had a boyfriend at the time who was a creep and I hated him (she ditched him now). He was watching porn all day and wanted me to watch with him.”
“I couldn’t stand that so I refused to go.”
OP explained here.
“If you want to know more about that, I posted to get advice about that so it’s in my post history (easier than to have to retype everything here. If you need more detail just ask.)”
But, going back to OP’s story.
“Anyway. There was a huge fight between my parents. My dad went to court and got full custody.”
“Later we learned that my mother’s bf got her hooked on meth. She picked up drug charges, she was arrested and posted bail and got probation.”
“My mom can be quite a PITA (pain in the a**) and is kind of abusive but not all the time. We didn’t talk for months after the story with her bf, until a few weeks ago.”
“She was calmer than the usual and even nice actually. Said she wanted to see me, so I went.”
OP’s mother is struggling.
“She lost her job because of the arrest. She can’t pay rent. She has fines and court fees and she says that if she doesn’t pay she’ll be arrested again.”
“She wants to see me, but I’m not sure I want to do that. She asked if I can help her.”
“Truth is, I’ve been working with my uncle and my dad on week-ends and holidays and I’ve made some money. I still live with my dad so I don’t pay rent or anything.”
“I *could* give her some money. But I don’t want to because I’m mad at her for what she did to me (selling and destroying my stuff, calling the cops on my dad, protecting her creepy bf and she’s just so annoying).”
OP couldn’t say “no.”
“I said I would think about it. I wasn’t brave enough to say no to her face unfortunately.”
“She asked over texts two more times. I don’t want to give her money but at the same time, she wants money for legitimate stuff like rent and court fees.”
“I know it’s not for drugs she’s clean now. She’s gonna be homeless and maybe be arrested.”
“Some friends tell me to not give her anything and some friends tell me I have to help her because letting her go to jail is too much. If she becomes homeless that makes me feel real bad even if she’s not a good mom.”
“AITA for not helping my mother even though I could?”
Redditors gave their opinions on the situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Most Redditors agreed OP was not the a**hole.
“The money you have in savings right now is your future.”
“It could be your college or trade school education. It could be your first and last months rent when you move out. It could be the start of a down payment on a house.It could be a reliable car that allows you to commute to a good job in the future.”
“This is money that your worked hard for.”
“Sure, at 17 you don’t have bills right now but having a few thousand or even a few hundred saved up for future you can give you a good step up when starting your adult life.” ~ NotMe739
“You’re right. I’m pretty proud of myself for earning this money.” ~ Tylershotwheels
Some gave OP tips.
“You’re not obligated to help this grown woman get herself together. I’m sorry but it’s really not your fault that she is going to have face consequences for whatever she did. To be honest, it sounds like she only reached out in order to see if she could get money.”
“I personally wouldn’t give her anything.” ~ Ok_Yellow8056
“NTA, you’re her child, not a partner. Her abuse of you in the past is reprehensible.”
“If you feel like you want to help despite everyone here saying you’re not required to, pay the court costs directly to the court. I wouldn’t pay the rent… she’s gonna have to find someplace else that she can afford some other way.”
“Sorry you’re in such a shitty position.”
“Good luck!” ~ Substantial_Slide_54
“I didn’t know you could do this. I have no idea what she owes though. And I’m not a millionaire either…” ~ Tylershotwheels
Some moms added.
“Aww buddy, I’m a mom and it breaks my heart that you’d even be broken up about not helping this woman. You are 17 and you deserve so, so much better!”
“Listen to those friends telling you that giving her money is not a good idea. Not only will it not solve anything; it will probably just make it all worse.”
“I get that she’s your mom and that has so much emotional baggage attached, but she’s a grown-up, and she needs to handle this without guilting her teenage son for his hard-earned money.”
“Very obviously NTA, and I’m so glad it sounds like your dad has a good head on his shoulders. Tell him what’s going on and let him manage this for you. This should not be on you!” ~ Bananabutt22
“NTA – Tell her since you are a minor, you have to have permission of your father to pull money out of your account to give to her.” ~ madnessfromthesea
“That’s clever. She’ll either implode or stop asking because she knows my dad will tell her to fuck off.” ~ Tylershotwheels
You don’t have an obligation to help someone who continues to hurt you.
If you know someone struggling with addiction you can contact SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357.