In December I was approached by a couple of kids (early 20’s) in recovery, he had lived in the half way house for 6 months until it was shut down and then moved in with a another person in recovery, she was a couple of weeks out of the mental health hospital for manic depression and alcoholism. I have known him since he was placed on the half way house and her for the 30 days or so while she was a patient at the hospital, both are alright kids from what I could tell. They started a relationship while she was a patient, she had no one to take responsibility for her if she was released from the hospital, she was homeless and her parents had basically disowned her, so the guy signs her out taking full responsibility for her and she moves in with him. He is on a program called drug court which has strict rules about cohabitating with someone who has substance abuse problems, the drug court supervisor found out that she was living with him and told them she had to move ASAP and he was given a stiff reprimand. They know that I have a couple of small rooms that I had let another guy rent from me when he left the half way house so they asked if she could stay with me and he would give me some money when he could, I agreed thinking it would only be for a month or 2 at the most. Now 3 months later I have yet to be paid any money and have provided her with meals, TP , smokes and plus a place to sleep, bath, watch T.V. lay around and what not. She doesn’t clean the house to compensate for the food, but I never told her she had to, my bad habit is assuming that if someone lives with you and they aren’t doing something for days on end, that they would do basic things around the house as a gesture of appreciation, my bad, it is my old farmer school way of thinking. I haven’t been really bothered by the food, the bumming smokes ticks me off a bit because I feel one needs to pay for their own bad habits or quit. Here recently the guy moved into his own apartment and has started blowing money on stuff and using the way over price rent to own place for a Xbox, so after buying a bunch of microwavable meals and pop for her, I realize that I need to confront him and tell him he needs to pay me some money to compensate for the food. I haven’t seen him at a meeting to confront him since I made the decision to do but knew I would tonight. Well this morning I went to put some spare change in a 1lb coffee can that I have using for change for a over a year, every once in a while I have pulled out some quarters so I could buy a pack of smokes if payday was a few days away. This morning when I opened the lid the can was empty! I would guess there was probably at least $20.00 in change in the can. I hate to kick a homeless person out but I will not tolerate stealing, especially after I have been very kind to someone and pretty much provided for their needs which included making sure they could get to meetings.
I honestly feel bad about having to do this but in quiet contemplation or maybe it is just justification by telling her she has to leave then she will have to start trying to help herself harder. The compassionate thing to do would be to stop enabling her and make her face up to the responsibilities of her actions. This is part of the recovery process, owning our inappropriate behavior and making amends by taking whatever corrective action we need to take. Being strong and assertive isn’t my strong suit but what I have to understand is that I am doing it for the right reason. Once again I have remember I am not responsible for someone else’s feelings as long as what I am confronting them on is for their own good. Compassion comes in many forms, I need to work on being aware of all the forms.
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