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Old 10-11-2010, 10:45 AM
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TeM
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Angry Here we go...

I knew it was just a matter of time. AW finally injured herself... she fell and broke her ankle while drunk. Now the whole family gets to suffer the consequences of her alcoholism.

She's too heavy to use crutches, so we've set up the living room with a portable toilet and a wheelchair. I'm back at work today, keeping in touch by phone, but she seems to be okay left alone. Our daughter has a two hour break between classes and going to work, so she will check in at lunchtime.

We've put AW's booze in the garage where she won't be able to get to it until she's walking. I know we should toss it out, but the sad reality is that AW will just go buy more. Should I throw away $100 worth of liquor, knowing AW will replace it first chance she gets? We did that in the beginning... I threw two huge bottles of Jack Daniels in the trash the first time AW fell and broke her glasses. She quit for about two months, then started drinking again.

Daughter and I hope this will be the event which wakes AW up to the fact that she has a serious problem... the proverbial "hitting bottom", but so far she's not exhibiting much guilt or remorse, though she is very grateful and all sugary when I do things for her. It's going to be several weeks before she'll be able to get her hands on any alcohol, unless her "drinking buddy" girlfriend sneaks some to her when I'm not there. I have no idea whether a forced "drying out" will help or not.

AW is lying to her family and friends about what happened, telling them that her bad knee gave out and she tumbled. I have already told my boss and coworkers the truth, as well as my own family. I have made that small step forward, at least; refusing to lie for her.

I'm trying to be strong for daughter (18) and encouraging her to keep living her life. She seems a little resentful when asked to help, which I suppose is natural for someone her age. On the one hand, she is angry with her mom, but also gets angry at me when I get angry at her mom. She's obviously a bit conflicted, and I've encouraged her to visit Alateen websites and talk to her pastor about it.

I know that taking care of AW while she's laid up is a form of enabling, but we can't afford to put her in a nursing home or anything like that. So, I'm dealing with the cards we've been dealt the best way I know how.

I'm finally checking for Alanon meetings in our area; I figure it can't hurt, and I may get some ideas on what to do next. ( I know, I was told to do that when I first came here, but I've been in my own state of denial as to how quickly our situation would deteriorate to this point.)

Anyway, thanks for listening. This forum is quickly becoming a tether to the sane world for me.
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Old 10-11-2010, 10:53 AM
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Sorry you are going through this.
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Old 10-11-2010, 12:06 PM
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Hate to say it, but if she's going on about how she took a tumble and not admitting she was plastered when it happened, this isn't "bottom".
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Old 10-11-2010, 12:26 PM
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Still Waters, I think you're right. It was a delusional hope on our part, I'm sure.

AW doesn't seem to blame herself in any way for the situation she finds herself in. If anything, I think she may be enjoying the added attention she's getting from me. It's kind of sickening when I stop and think about it. She does thank me when I get things for her, but she has yet to say anything indicating that she wants to get help.

Now, I'll admit that I have not been a perfect husband, and AW has complained frequently to our daughter about my lack of affection. But then, AW is not mentally or emotionally healthy; her OCD long ago exhausted my reservoirs of compassion and empathy; we've been living more or less like roommates for several years now. I'm willing to take my share of the blame for that.

Daughter, however, is under the impression that AW will get better if I'm willing to help by giving her more attention. So, I think daughter believes that I helped bring this on by not meeting AW's needs emotionally. I feel pretty sure that all of this is just AW's way of spreading the blame, but it does have an impact, and I'm sometimes plagued by guilt over this.

I'm sure these feelings are nothing new, and not uncommon in the alcoholic household.
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Old 10-11-2010, 01:49 PM
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I'm sorry this has happened, I'm not surprised your daughter is angry and resentful AND conflicted. I remember when my mum would tell me about things my dad had done and how angry she was with my dad, it didn't matter what he had done, or whether I was also angry with him for the same things, I felt it was between them, I felt I was being burdened and forced to "side", I also felt backed into a corner and started to defend him. In reality the things going on in their marriage were nothing to do with me and I was being burdened, there is a line between explaining our feelings and actions to our children (even grown ones) and using them as a support system/burdening them with things that are none of their business, it's a hard one to balance. As a young adult, I had no real understanding of a full adult relationship and where responsibility for feelings and actions lay, but I remember feeling my mum was being a matyr and if she hated it that much she should grow a backbone and get out rather than carry on moaning about it, especially to me. I have more compassion now that I am decades away from 18, and have lived with the effects of alcoholism in a partner but there is a core of truth there I think.

I know you don't need picky, pedantic comments right now, but me being me, I'm going to throw one in to chew over when you have some time and space:

Now the whole family gets to suffer the consequences of her alcoholism.
Now the whole family gets to suffer the consequences of continuing to live with her alcoholism.

subtle difference, but I have found it an important distinction.

good luck and hugs ((TeM))
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Old 10-12-2010, 03:47 AM
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This year TeM, a family member died in the hospital. Bled to death basically.

Even then, there was no admittance of why. It was the flu, or bulimia.

Some never get to the point where they can admit the alcohol use and abuse.
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Old 10-12-2010, 06:11 AM
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Jen, thanks for that perspective. I'm trying not to bring Daughter into the conflict any more than necessary. AW comes from a highly dysfunctional family; her mother lays the guilt on her every time they talk, and I see AW passing it on to our daughter. She'll make comments to Daughter's boyfriend like "She doesn't care about me any more". Then she tells daughter "Your father doesn't love me any more".

AW is very insecure and manipulative that way, and it's been going on since early in our marriage, long before the drinking. The alcohol has just made it harder to tolerate.

So, I try not to demand too much, or push too hard with daughter, but I am also trying to teach her to take some responsibilities... typical parenting stuff.

And, your last comment is correct. I kind of feel like I'm just treading water, waiting for daughter to grow up and get married, or get through with school and move on. Then, I feel like I can step back and make a more realistic judgement on what to do next. I know this is procrastination, but I don't see splitting up the family as a viable option at the moment. Of course, events may force my hand, but trying to sell the house right now would probably lead to bankruptcy, and I just can't face that yet.

I'm also dealing with the inevitable guilt over what will happen to AW. She tells me how much she loves me; that she can't live without me, etc. Yet, she chooses to keep drinking. If we get divorced, she'll have no place to go except to live with her mother or sister, and I'm not sure I can afford alimony. So, even though I know it's unhealthy to put off the inevitable, it's not a very appealing option right now.
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Old 10-12-2010, 06:14 AM
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Still Waters, sorry for your loss. This seems to be a common theme that I read and hear about. AW's family apparently has no idea that she's an alcoholic, even though her mother has seen her drunk. I rarely talk to members of her family without AW present, but I've warned her that I won't lie for her any more. If they ask me what happened, I will tell them.

It's a very sad sickness.
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Old 10-12-2010, 07:30 AM
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Originally Posted by TeM View Post
Still Waters, sorry for your loss. This seems to be a common theme that I read and hear about. AW's family apparently has no idea that she's an alcoholic, even though her mother has seen her drunk. I rarely talk to members of her family without AW present, but I've warned her that I won't lie for her any more. If they ask me what happened, I will tell them.

It's a very sad sickness.
It's a safe bet that they don't want to know.

I don't have any family left, and when the wheels fell off the "alcohol wagon", my natural instinct was to turn to axw's family for some help and support.

The old saying, blood is thicker than water comes to mind. I was definitely "the odd man out." Axw's family is highly dysfunctional, lots of bad childhood stuff, alcoholism, drug abuse. Seems pretty common in retrospect.

Turning to them with axw's problem was like throwing Miracle Grow on their own problems. They circled the wagons to protect their own, and have never looked back.

As big a PITA as xmil is, I kind of feel sorry for her, I know watching her only daughter die is hard. But she was sentenced to Alanon just like I was, but it "wasn't for her." Nothing I can do about that.

Sounds like a hard life for you, either way you slice it.

Hope you figure out a way to get some relief for yourself. Hang in there. Glad your daughter is nearly grown, one less variable, sort of.

Thanks and God bless us all,
Coyote
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Old 10-12-2010, 01:24 PM
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Thanks, Coyote. As hard as it is, the fact that daughter is 18 is one small silver lining. I can't imagine going through this with a young child, as many here are.
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