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Slipped Big Time (Me, that is)

Old 02-20-2011, 07:25 PM
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Slipped Big Time (Me, that is)

Hi, been a couple of weeks since I posted, my AW had just come out of the second 30 day. She relapsed after a couple of days. Even with what I have learned in Al-Anon I was crushed, Id allowed myself to hope.

She was whisked off to her parents 3000 miles away in their own co-dependent mission to have her fixed, Detox, stripped of money. I let go and let them at it.

For our part we moved out of the house at short notice, took a house in the town 20 miles away where my 16 year old can come home nights instead of staying at boarding school (Psychologist advised she needed family time, she has started to suffer some sort of stress disorder). I can run the 6 year old to the school over near where our house is.
It was a huge relief to create a sanctuary from the insanity and terror. I felt empowered. Keep in the focus on myself, was doing well. Still worrying about my AW and if she was safe/alive etc.

AW did sobriety for a week, was raving about her AA friends (Lip-service?) Sure enough she slipped again, huge drama tonight, got had got some money changed her ticket to come back. Now I have the 16 year old begging that she doesnt come back even to the neighbourhood, the in-laws blame me for the fact that she got the money to change the airline ticket to come back. I think they really believe they can put her under lock and key and have her fixed.

My problem is Im terrified of what to do next, do I try to remove her access to more money back here? (Seems against the Al-Anon principles Ive tried to adopt), do I take away the car, she was bad for drunk driving, but if I take away the car how would she get to meetings if she needed to, she needs money or a car it seems.

I feel like I am back into the mad place of controlling, but I feel I need to do something.

Oh boy, I have slipped myself big time!

Anxiously, Reef...
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Old 02-20-2011, 07:29 PM
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I kind of missed off the end to tonights drama, I implored the AW and the inlaws to keep her in her program. The in-laws found her crashed out in a chair at the airport hotel bar and apparently have had an ambulance from the detox place take there.
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Old 02-20-2011, 08:10 PM
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My problem is I’m terrified of what to do next, do I try to remove her access to more money back here? (Seems against the Al-Anon principles I’ve tried to adopt), do I take away the car, she was bad for drunk driving, but if I take away the car how would she get to meetings if she needed to, she needs money or a car it seems.

That is not your problem, if she wants to go she will find a means to go just like everyone else.

It is a good idea to limit her access to money because it seems it will go to waste. Having access to money hasn't helped so far... has it?
What if you or your kids have a health emergency, or need it for something else, you will be angry there is none because it all went to buy alcohol.
Just what I see from my outsider point of view.

You can't control her
You can't cure her
You didn't cause her problem



Now what about your kids? what plans can you make so you enjoy some time together?


I have the 16 year old begging that she doesn’t come back even to the neighbourhood


This is very sad to read. These are consequences from her drinking though.
I have you all in my thoughts tonight.
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Old 02-20-2011, 08:32 PM
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It seems like you have to protect the finances.
Is she open to a sober living facility?
I cannot be sure, but I think you are saying she is flying back on her own, to b w the family.?
Your 16 year old is asking you to keep her out of the house.
That is very telling.
She does not want the chaos, you don't need the chaos.
How can you take care of yourself?
Alanon does not day you have to stay with an active, emotionally, fiscally, and potentially physically dangerous person.
Please take care. I wish you clarity and grace
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Old 02-20-2011, 09:45 PM
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It seems like you have to protect the finances.
I would consult a lawyer in order to find out what your rights are to protect yourself financially.
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Old 02-21-2011, 12:20 AM
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Thanks everyone, I think the visit to the lawyer is in order.

I think I need to come around to the realisation that she most likely will never seek receovery, but will gravitate to where the last drinks can be paid for.

We live in a rural area and the support groups for the various meetings she attended are 20 miles away. Taxis will cost a fortune, but she has been know to drink drive.

Don't want to be a barrier to her getting to these.

I had hoped that her bottom would be the realisation that she coulad actually lose her family, us moving out being the first step, but I sense it is actually not the bottom for her.

Sover living facility? Not sure that exists in the west of ireland!
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Old 02-21-2011, 08:17 AM
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reef,
It sounds as if her parents are more controlling than you are!
Which could be a very good thing. She may find living there so unbearable to her will, that she concedes defeat, and will do anything to get her life back with you and your daughter.
It could propel her into her rock bottom.
I would let her live with them and suffer for now. I hope they are unrelenting, unsympathetic, and merciless when it comes to her behavior. I can't think of a better punishment for an adult woman than have to answer to her parents again as if a forced back into childhood.

You didn't slip to hope...all humans hope, and without it, we would all sink into despair. You could though, turn your hope where it is most likely to find success--focusing on yourself and your daughter at this point.
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Old 02-21-2011, 08:33 AM
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That's a crusher. It seems spouses like us (here in F&F) are often hoping for the change that never comes. We continue to apply the reasonable norms from our world into the delusional, self centered world of the alcoholic. The same world not constrained by truth or even consequences. They simply can't stop even when the "know" they should.

Everyone reaches the end of what they can manage, and it sounds like you have reached yours.

Remember, there is no way to force the change. They must do it. Put your kids welfare first, and your path will be clear.

Good luck.
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Old 02-21-2011, 08:51 AM
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If she wants to get to meetings, she can ask for a ride. Lots of AA folks are willing to go out of their way to get someone to a meeting.

Let someone neutral (a judge) decide whether she gets a car, who gets what money, etc. You get a good lawyer to look out for your interests. That takes the "control" out of your hands. You simply stick with the court orders and let her rant if it doesn't seem "fair" to her.

I think you are doing GREAT.
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Old 02-21-2011, 08:56 AM
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I am in a similar situation and I have found the only way for me to not go totally insane is to detach from my STBXAW and her alcoholism. I tried for years to help her and like everyone here says, it's like talking to a rock. I also focus on myself and my recovery. But detaching was the single most helpful thing for me to regain my focus and move forward. It is very hard to do as a lot of us are codependent, but it has been a lifesaver for me. This board is very helpful as well. Spend some time reading thru the threads. Good luck.
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Old 02-21-2011, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by jrlcpl View Post
I am in a similar situation and I have found the only way for me to not go totally insane is to detach from my STBXAW and her alcoholism. I tried for years to help her and like everyone here says, it's like talking to a rock. I also focus on myself and my recovery. But detaching was the single most helpful thing for me to regain my focus and move forward. It is very hard to do as a lot of us are codependent, but it has been a lifesaver for me. This board is very helpful as well. Spend some time reading thru the threads. Good luck.
I like this post - but I struggle with detachment each and every day; especially when things feel like they are spinning out of control.

Sounds to me as if you are committed to protecting your kids and doing the right thing, but sometimes its hard to see through the tornado of the A what the right thing is to do.

When I get to that place, I stop doing anything for a period of time and just let myself think and feel instead of 'doing'. It's the 'doing' that tends to get me in trouble - my 'doing' is often 'controlling' instead. And sometimes, not 'doing' actually turns out to be the best tactic as the A's have a way of handling things themselves (i.e. and therefore are responsible for their own consequences).

Detachment - to me - also means surrendering to what is, and making a decision to accept what i can realistically accomplish today. Today, I am a mother first - therefore protecting & nurturing my children is a top priority. My A is a grown-up. He doesn't need my protection, my opinion, my perspective, or my money. He's perfectly capable of obtaining those things all by himself.

Sometimes 'doing' nothing about the A's situation seems like the hardest thing to accomplish - yet turns out to be the best thing to 'do' after all.
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Old 02-21-2011, 09:18 AM
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your in al anon? good i hope you have a sponsor or many people there you can talk too...they have expereinced alot also, someone here and there has your story....

this is what you need....BOUNDARIES...its your recovery and your childrens..nothing more...I would not give her your car...heck no! that would be 1 boundary...take the keys away....she can see the kids when SOBER, and the in laws? they need al anon also...ooh and the money, use a different account now...its time, you need to look out for you and your kids ....

keep posting and asking questions, but if you can get to a meeting...the more you do, the more it works for YOU to the advantage...

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Old 02-21-2011, 09:19 AM
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the 3 C's
you did not cause this
you can control this
and you can not cure this

this helps also
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Old 02-21-2011, 04:40 PM
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If it's her money, it's her money. If it's yours, it's yours. That said, either way by allowing her access to money you enabled her.

To your daughters, and I have a 15-Year old survivor myself, their physical and emotional safety are your first priority. To take care of them you have to take care of yourself. So, take care of yourself, take care of your daughters, and strongly consider detaching completely from your wife so you can do both. Completely detach. No, ifs, no ands, no buts.

If there is any chance of recovery, at this point she has to find it on her own.

Take what you want and leave the rest.

Cyranoak

By providing my wife money and a car I made it really easy for her to keep drinking. I wish I hadn't. Thank God she didn't kill anybody. Their blood would have been on my hands (like, metaphorically, my daughter's already is).

Take what you want and leave the rest.

Cyranoak
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Old 02-21-2011, 05:50 PM
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If it's her money, it's her money. If it's yours, it's yours. That said, either way by allowing her access to money you enabled her.
I don't agree with that. If you deny someone else access to what is theirs, that's a form of control.

If you can't bear to be a "party" to someone else's risky behavior (and I don't believe allowing them access to what's theirs is being a "party" to it), then you are better off removing yourself from their presence. If you can't simply detach, you remove yourself (or, if it's your home, insist that the other person leave).

There's a big difference, IMO, between protecting yourself and your loved ones and exerting economic control over the alcoholic "for her own good".
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Old 02-21-2011, 06:23 PM
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Fair enough and I agree it's a form of control...

...but I believe control is necessary and appropriate when it is truly to keep an innocent human being from being killed and that is the motivation.

I struggled over this for years, and finally got to the point where my daughter's safety or that of the public was the arbiter of whether I attempted to control a situation around my wife's drunkenness or not. If it affected the safety of others and I could control it, I did. If it did not, I let it go and she played it out on her own (including when she was arrested and sent to jail).

It took me a long time to reach that decision, and it was my decision applied to me and my scenario. I respect you a great deal Lexiecat and if you or other folks don't see it this way, please know my intention here is not to argue, but to share some experience, strength, and hope. Not so he'll do it my way, but so he will take this information and do it his way, whatever way that is.

Take care,

Cyranoak





Originally Posted by LexieCat View Post
I don't agree with that. If you deny someone else access to what is theirs, that's a form of control.

If you can't bear to be a "party" to someone else's risky behavior (and I don't believe allowing them access to what's theirs is being a "party" to it), then you are better off removing yourself from their presence. If you can't simply detach, you remove yourself (or, if it's your home, insist that the other person leave).

There's a big difference, IMO, between protecting yourself and your loved ones and exerting economic control over the alcoholic "for her own good".
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Old 02-21-2011, 06:40 PM
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Yup, and I respect you, too, Cyranoak, hope you realize that. Reasonable minds can differ on this sort of thing. Ultimately it is we who have to live with the consequences of our actions, and all any of us can do is what seems to be right at the time.
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Old 02-21-2011, 08:49 PM
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This brings up an interesting topic - responsibility to others. Where is the line between "letting go" of the alcoholic and being responsible for the welfare of other people?

Let me give an example: My RAH used to drink intoxicated. I even found myself in the car at times. We were breaking the law, putting other innocent strangers at risk. Is it my responsibility to protect the greater good from what I know is an immediate risk? Or do I "let go of the alcoholic" and let them experience their own consequences on their own time frame (instead of imposing mine by calling the police). Where is the line between being controlling and being responsible? Seems so blurry sometimes...
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Old 02-21-2011, 09:51 PM
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I ended up in a similar situation with my XAH - after his second inpatient 60 days, I told him he couldn't go home and ended up going to live with his parents under very tight supervision. His mom is a bit of a control freak (in a good way), and she's his mother. I wasn't, and that wasn't a role I enjoyed, nor was any good at.

He begged and pleaded, and was told NO. I had arranged for his car and his things to be sent to him, so NO, he couldn't come back. It was just me, but I needed the space and the clarity to see through the craziness. I think if your daughter is telling you in no uncertain terms to not let her come back, that's sending a very strong message.

Good luck. It's a sucky position to be sure.
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Old 02-22-2011, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Tuffgirl View Post
This brings up an interesting topic - responsibility to others. Where is the line between "letting go" of the alcoholic and being responsible for the welfare of other people?
I have thought about this too... I think it falls to "What are you most comfortable with?" We always talk about how detaching with love is to help the alcoholic hit their bottom, but sometimes we forget that it also helps up climb up out of the mess. If one decision might be considered "detaching" but will drag you down with guilt, pick a different decision.
Just because something might be beneficial to the alcoholic, doesn't mean it's not also beneficial to us.


EXAMPLE:

If, when the alcoholic goes to drive, you envision large accidents on major highways and you start blaming yourself for something that didn't even happen yet because it might happen, you probably want to take their keys.

If, when the alcoholic goes to drive, you start to worry that something might happen, you won't blame yourself but you do worry about bystanders (or simply want to make sure the alcoholic experiences the consequences of their decision), call the local police and report that the alcoholic is driving drunk, and give the details of their car and/or route if you know it.

If, when the alcoholic goes to drive, you are simply grateful they're leaving, then let them go.



Yes, it is easier said than done. When I make decisions, I frequently question myself why, because I have learned that my motives tell more than the decision itself. If it's important (to me) and I can't figure it out, I call someone, and talk it through with someone who isn't wrapped up in my life and my problem, and see what an outside view provides.
I still slip up, but at least I'm learning from my mistakes now, instead of blaming myself for them.
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