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Old 01-28-2010, 07:43 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Dealing with Alcoholic Sister

Had another incident of drunk, name calling messages left on my voice mail last night, telling me I am a b_tch, to stay out of her life, and all sorts of other nastiness. This was prompted because I didn't return her call fast enough about something that she is stressed out about related to her 20y.o. daughter. Haven't had any of these phone calls for almost a year, last time I cut off contact for several months. After being blindsided by the voicemail, (I thought she was doing better), I couldn't sleep with my mind spinning. I am trying to decide how to handle this, she won't get help or talk about her alcoholism. We were raised in two different homes which is always her excuse for why she gets to act out since hers was more damaging. I feel like I need to set a limit or she will just lay low for a week or so then call and want to talk as if nothing happened and then the cycle will start again. I am thinking about telling her to not contact me again until she goes back to therapy or begins AA (which I now she won't). The other part of me is worried that if I cut her off that she will go down the toliet, (she is finishing her college degree). Any suggestions? I should also say that I don't have any other family members other than her and my brother.
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Old 01-28-2010, 06:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
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hi, i found myself relating to your post.

my sister doesnt contact me like that but at family gatherings i find her to be very hypersensitve and the last occasion she was bascially yelling at me and calling me names because i was "being difficult" about ordering food from menu.

in alanon i learnt that i cant control my sister or her thinking, i cant cure her and i cant cause her issues, im not responsible for her because i cant be, i dont actually have the authority or power to do that even if i wanted to. but i can love her.

so ive set boundaries, ive told her my feelings in a way to be honest but not mean when i say it, ive told her i love her, ive tried to address her list of things shes upset with me about, still sadly, we dont have a relationship to speak of, she is my only sibling so it hurts but alanon is a great support for me because sadly with alcoholism we do suffer losses....but alanon helps me know that we can lessen our grief and problems with using the program tools and suggestions, they def work for me and ease my mind.
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Old 01-29-2010, 12:01 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Utopia, Thank you for responding. It is good to hear that others can relate and understand.
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Old 02-01-2010, 09:07 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The other part of me is worried that if I cut her off that she will go down the toliet, (she is finishing her college degree).
As Utopia said, you can't control her or cure her and you aren't causing her to behave this way. If her life goes down the toilet, it is because of choices she makes with no input from you whatsoever. You can't prevent her from behaving the way she behaves.

The best you can do is try to insulate yourself from any damage she does to you in the process of whatever she's doing with her own life. Usually, that means setting some significant boundaries, such as "if you leave a drunken voice mail, I will not call you back. If you call me and you're drunk, I will hang up on you."

After you set those boundaries, what *she* chooses to do with them is *her* issue. You are taking care of yourself. Walking on eggshells around her will not make her make better decisions about her life. Nothing you do or don't do will affect the decisions she's making.

I have a 'drunk dialer' in my family also. There have been a few times that this has nearly resulted in no contact because they were mad at me. But if they get mad at me because I won't answer the phone when they're drunk, that is not my problem.

I would rather be without family, than be with family who drive me insane. It sounds really harsh, but it is honest. I need to stay sane for myself and for those around me whom I love and who love me and who are not crazy-making.

You're worth being sane. You deserve to be sane. I suppose I finally realized that I couldn't really "lose" someone who was already lost to me due to alcohol. So in reality, I had nothing to lose, and my sanity to gain.

I can relate to your situation, and I certainly understand. It's a hard step to make even to accept that the person is already lost. Setting boundaries is even more difficult.
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Old 02-02-2010, 10:16 AM   #5 (permalink)
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For your sanity setting a limit sounds like a great idea. I like GingerM's suggestion: If you call me and you're drunk, I will not return calls/hang up on you.

You are not forcing her behavior in any direction by setting limits for what you will tolerate from other people. So even if she continues to disappoint you, know that it's not your fault or your responsibility. The only person you can control is you.
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Old 02-03-2010, 05:56 PM   #6 (permalink)
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and i know it hurts a lot to lose that person so here is some love. i care.

(((love)))
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