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The outside enabler; a new wrinkle

Old 12-28-2010, 09:57 AM
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TeM
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The outside enabler; a new wrinkle

Okay, I've known about AW's drinking buddy for a while, but last night I realized just how damaging her influence has been.

AW, recovering from a broken ankle, is drinking wine now. She promised our 18 year old daughter that she wouldn't drink vodka any more, but only 4 ounces of wine a day, because "Dr. Oz says it's good for you". Oh, please.

Since AW hasn't been able to drive, her drinking buddy bought her a case of Yellow Tail. AW started out just drinking a glass a day, but, as one might expect, is now downing a whole bottle per day. (Saw that coming).

Apparently, when I wasn't there, Daughter confronted AW about her broken promise and threatened to move out. Nobody mentioned this to me, but last night, while AW was in a wine-induced fog, her drinking buddy called her. She was sitting a few feet away, and the phone volume was loud enough that I could hear both sides of the conversation.

Essentially, drinking buddy was railing on our daughter for trying to tell AW what to do. She said daughter had no right to take away AW's pleasure like that, and told her to stand her ground, that she wasn't hurting anybody, yada, yada, yada.

I guess I've become numb to this kind of thing; I just sat there and listened in disbelief, shaking my head. Apparently, these two people have no grasp of reality.

I know that this is mild stuff compared to the problems I read about here on a daily basis. I just find it puzzling, and sad, that alcoholics are so consumed by their addiction that they will choose it over everything and everybody, including their own families.
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Old 12-28-2010, 10:16 AM
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I know how frustrating addiction can be then add the outside influences it becomes a war of sorts………..you against her addiction and all her soldiers.

Is this friend aware that your wife has a drinking issue?

Many years ago I was influenced by a neighbor with her sad sob stories of her husband being abusive and controlling. Not allowing her a car and trying to keep her hostage in the house all day while he was is at work. I felt sorry for her and I believed her stories. She would often ask for a ride to the grocery store where she was buying milk, bread and a bottle of Whiskey – I had no idea that while I sat in the car and she went inside the store that she was buying booze, never even crossed my mind. Yet her husband blamed me for allowing his wife access to booze.
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Old 12-28-2010, 10:21 AM
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Well you can always make one of YOUR boundaries for YOU and your daughter, the home and grounds you live in and on an ALCOHOL FREE ZONE, ie no drinking on the property and if your AW does not like it she can go stay with her 'drinking buddy.'

Other than that, you will have to figure out what boundaries will be good for you and your daughter.

No it is not easy, but allowing her to live in a nice home and have no consequences for her drinking is just continuing to enable her.

Have you tried Al-Anon or personal counseling?

Love and hugs,
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Old 12-28-2010, 10:33 AM
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Yeah, if you're not an alcoholic...
the worst thing you can try to do is see the world through our addiction.

Cuz you'll never do it.

I agree.
Boundary time.

Especially if it's causing grief.

But oh my, yes.
We drunks will defend our 'recreation' to the death.
Literally.
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Old 12-28-2010, 10:39 AM
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atalose, I don't see how Drinking Buddy could not know, but she specifically told AW in their phone conversation "You are not an alcoholic". Drinking Buddy knows how AW broke her ankle, but doesn't think she's an alcoholic? I don't know Drinking Buddy that well, but our daughter is good friends with her daughter. She says DB drinks like a fish herself, but never turns into a zombie the way AW does.

So, my suspicion is that DB is an alcoholic, too, and they're just propping each other up. One thing I find odd is that DB is a religious fanatic. How she reconciles that with her drinking and enabling AW's drinking is beyond me.

Laurie, that sounds like good advice. I haven't gotten a handle on this thing yet, and I know that just further enables AW. Al-Anon, I know, is something I should do; I just haven't summoned up the courage yet. I'm a very introverted person... that's one reason I find this website so valuable.
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Old 12-28-2010, 10:47 AM
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You don't have to share in Al-Anon, if that's what is keeping you from going (though it sounds to me like you are just making excuses-- I did that for a long time). Or, maybe things aren't screwed up enough yet, though it would be a shame to wait that long to start meetings considering how great I think they are.

I've been in meetings with people for years who never share, but keep coming back.

Take what you want and leave the rest.

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Old 12-28-2010, 10:50 AM
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I'd just like to add that I know I'm making excuses... I know I'm in denial, trying to ride this out. I'm working on the "me" half of this equation. I suppose, in the back of my mind, I'm hesitating to dissolve the household while my daughter is still living with us.

She usually defends AW in these situations, seeming to believe that some of it is my fault. AW has been whining to daughter for years that "Daddy doesn't love me any more", and daughter thinks I could fix it if I just showed more affection. Her recent threat to move out is the first indication I've seen that she's beginning to appreciate the reality of AW's addiction.

Anyway, the situation is complicated (whose isn't?). I'm just plodding ahead, day by day. I'm grateful for this forum to use as a sounding board.
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Old 12-28-2010, 11:04 AM
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Gotcha, now I get the picture. Sure does sound like misery loves company and the both of them keep each other drinking.

I was a listener when I first began attending al-anon. I’m really glad I stuck with it because I have learned so much about me and my part in my reactions to other people’s issues.

That’s got to be an emotionally tuff spot your daughter is in, how old is she?
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Old 12-28-2010, 12:23 PM
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She's 18, so I guess it's not as bad as it would be if she were much younger. Fortunately, she has a boyfriend who seems to treat her well, and has no substance abuse issues, as far as I know.

It has been difficult for her, I know, because she's always had a fairly good relationship with her mother. I bend over backwards to be there for her, because I have a feeling this situation will get much worse before it gets better.
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Old 12-28-2010, 12:38 PM
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Your AW has chosen this cheer-leader as a friend, probably specifically because she supports her decisions regarding drinking etc. I t doesn't really matter specifically how or why this woman supports her actions, odds are if/when she does start to question AW, AW will drop her as a friend and recruit a new cheerleader: that's what ExAH does.

I used to get really annoyed at ExAH's friends for not seeing the situation, for giving him emotional strokes, for propping his skewed view of reality up, for going out drinking with him.

Thing was as soon as they threatened his world view they were discarded, or they moved away themselves. This woman is a symptom, she isn't the problem.
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Old 12-28-2010, 03:13 PM
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TeM, misery loves company!
Give this to your AW****************
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Old 12-28-2010, 10:18 PM
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My AH has a new friend who I would guess is also an A. He is wonderfully nice and he is the first friend my AH has had in the 10 years we have known one another. This friend has pursued the friendship (don't know why) and I think my AH is really benefitting from it. AND they drink.
All of it is really meaningless.
The point is my AH drinks and I don't like it.
The end.
Hugs to you!
peace
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