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Old 04-17-2017, 03:45 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Is this codependent communication?


Hello. My only sibling, a sister, is alcoholic. She has progressed in her where she is about to lose her house and car. Fired from job about two months ago. When to 7-day detox plus 30-day inpatient rehab. Came home started drinking. Has a son, doesn't see him. She takes off doesn't communicate with her family or friends. Starting to hang out with other addicts and people she met in rehab. Recently met alcoholic and drug addict guy (Billy). She went no contact for weeks while Billy was most likely using her for somewhere to live, and they sold all of her valuables ---televisions, Wii, jewelry, etc.

Our parents used to let her "detox" in their house. They used to let her live there for weeks while she was trying to get sober. She would still drink. So, now they no longer allow her to stay the night and they don't give her money or help her except drive her to rehab/detox or pick her up from hospital. They do allow her to "visit" while they are home but she cannot stay the night or be there alone. She rarely visits. Today while I was at work, she messaged me and it went like this:

Sister: I need help

Me: Where are you? Do you need (my husband) to pick you up?

Sister: I'm at (our parent's house). They aren't going to let me stay. I'm afraid for my life.

Me: (My husband) can drive you to detox. Please let me know if you need him to pick you up.

Sister: Ok I will let you know. I don't know if they have a bed.

Me: ??? You can always check. Isn't your life on the line?

Sister: I can barely lift my head up.

Me; You are very ill. Please seek help. You will die without help. I think you know that.

Sister: I will later. They're (our parents) letting me stay couple hours. I'm trying to get help.

Me: I hope for you. You are very sick and I'm sorry. I empathize with your situation but it's up to you to get real help and stop drinking. We will be here for you when you want help.

Sister: I want help now. I haven't drank today and Billy went to jail. No gas and no money.

Me: Good luck. I hope you find a way to sober living and stay away from other addicts.

Sister: Me too

Me: There is a way out and you know it. I'm sorry you're feeling trapped in your addiction but there is a way out if you want it.

Sister: They're kicking me out and have nowhere to go. No beds at detox. I don't have enough gas to get home.

Me: Do you need a ride?

Sister: I will let you know. Dad put a teeny bit of gas in. I am going to try to go home with (her ex-husband).

Me: Okay if you want to sit with us until 9 or 10 o'clock tonight and have dinner with us, you can. Are you coming over or going to (ex-husband's)? Either way, I hope for you and good luck.

Sister: Thank you. (Ex-husband) is saying I can stay now. It's my only option...I may come over if enough gas

Me: Peace and love <3

Is it useless/non-helpful that I am communicating like this? When I offer help to have my husband drive her to detox she deflects. She only contacts me when there is a crisis (no gas, no money, her addict boyfriend who she has only known for two months went to jail). Other than that she can go weeks without contact and I take care of her child in the morning and afternoons. She rarely sees her child.

I love my sister and I know she will die without help but today I am at a point where I'm really just neutral and done with this.

She came over on Thursday. She looks so bad -- so unhealthy, bloated and incredibly weak. She drinks so much. She is so ill and needs medical help but won't seek help.
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Old 04-17-2017, 04:41 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I am so sorry, Plenty.
My two cents: I appreciate that you love her and tell her so. I appreciate that you and your parents have set boundaries and holding firm to not letting her stay there and not giving her money.
She calls you, as you likely know, because she needs something, probably money or a place to stay.
Since you are not going to give her either of those things, I'm not sure what the point is of taking her calls is. It is just upsetting to you.
I would consider blocking her.
That's tough, I know.
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Old 04-17-2017, 05:42 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks Maudcat. I looked back on all of the threads I've started on this forum about my alcoholic sister. Wow, I was really distressed over my sister. I was really in agony.

Although, it may not seem to be so, I have come a long way. My sister is worse than ever. I have more peace than ever. I can't tell you how many times my life stopped to "help" my sister. I think I'm waking up more and more each day.

Since my first post on this forum in May 2014 I have been to ACoA meetings, individual therapy, Codependent support group. They all helped a lot. Living and acknowledging reality helps too. Looking back at my first post in 2014 when I stated that my sister has been drinking every single day since 2010 --could be longer. What made me think I could help her? It was all new to me and I was so dumb.

I can't tell you how many times I cried for her. Cried for the tragedy of her past and the trauma she went through. I have enormous amount of empathy for her but what is the use of crying for what cannot be changed?

I wish I knew what I know now.
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Old 04-17-2017, 06:54 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I sympathize and empathize, Plenty. I have an alcohol- dependent sib who makes my mother's life hell at times.
I try to say, "not my circus. Not my monkeys." But it isn't always that easy.
Two weeks ago, I went to her house (he lives there too) to find him lying on the kitchen floor.
He was drunk, had fallen, couldn't get up. I ended up calling the EMTs to take him to the ER for a few hours.
At least your sister isn't living with your parents anymore, and it sounds like they are pretty resolute about keeping her out of the house.
I wish my mother and father had grown spines and booted him, but...no.
So we do what we can. We try to stay strong, to learn and grow and gain serenity in spite of everything.
You hang in there. I will too.
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Old 04-18-2017, 09:29 AM   #5 (permalink)
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PlentyGood, I do think you have come a long way and it is great you are setting strong boundaries. It is so emotionally draining and emotionally hurtful to be manipulated by an alcohol. It’s easy to understand the expression……….alcoholics don’t have relationships they take hostages.

We often become their emotional hostage because we love them and want what is best for them which causes us to entertain their phone calls, text messages, emails etc. because we feel this time may be the real time they really want help.

One of things that is said here on SR over and over again is………they can find recovery WITHOUT US that we are not the key to that door. They don’t recover because we drive them some place to seek help or walk them through the doors of a facility. They seek recovery because they WANT recovery, they want long term recovery not just the quick fix to get them through the pain of detox.

Maybe this time sit back and watch what kind of help did she actually end up getting for herself? Is she today receiving any recovery help or is she still in the wanting, seeking, talking about it and still no beds available kind of help?
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Old 04-18-2017, 09:44 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Atalose speaks true, Plenty. I no longer offer to help my sib. In past I have offered rehab, detox, finding him an apartmennt, helping him move, etc.
He doesn't want help. He wants to drink.
End of story.
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Old 04-18-2017, 11:00 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I think we learn the difference between real help and drama help. Real help would be a message from them saying I’ve called X detox and they have a bed for me but I need to be there with in the hour could I please have a ride. Or I’ve contacted Y rehab and have an appointment with a counselor at 3pm today could you drive me.

Drama help is a message from them saying I have no money and nowhere to go and I am going to die if you don’t X,Y or Z for me.

Drama help is them needing a ride to some place that has nothing to do with recovery, a friends place, a motel, etc.

Drama help is them contacting a number of people with the same script of “they will die if X, Y or Z” doesn’t happen. And then all of those people who are usually family or very close family friends get on board of the drama train and begin contacting each other in a frenzy trying to make plans to help or fighting with each other not to enable. And usually the alcoholic has found someone to go drink with them while everyone that loves them is running around like mad crazy trying to help.
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Old 04-18-2017, 12:24 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thank you for replies. Currently she is not seeking recovery help. She is not seeking an AA meeting and not really talking about sobriety. She does say, I'm sober today and I have to take baby steps. Mostly she has anxiety over not having money. She is super distressed that she may lose her car. Her purse was stolen in a bar. She has no driver's license. He biggest complaint is not having money.
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Old 04-18-2017, 01:20 PM   #9 (permalink)
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So she’s not currently seeking treatment or reaching out for AA meetings or even talking about sobriety. Guess you know now that yesterday it was drama help she was really after were the focus was really lack of money and DL and transportation to obtain more booze. She has no other choice today then to not be consuming alcohol. Another day or two and she’ll probably be reaching out to you again.
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addiction , alcoholic , codependent , drama , nuts


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