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Just don't know what to say....

Old 08-07-2011, 02:42 PM
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Just don't know what to say....

This week has been a doozie. My AH earlier this week announced his desire to go to rehab. While we do have insurance for it I am being warned by the center that insurance companies deny treatment frequently. I accepted the fact that we may likely have to pay some or all of his treatment out of pocket. After 4 nights of not getting quality sleep I finally took something to help. This weekend my AF planned to have all of the family come to his house for his big announcement (which was he came into a bunch of money and was moving out of state). My brothers fiance was there and the majority of the family (including myself) met her for the first time. I was very concerned what could happen this weekend knowing what my AH was going through and that there was tension between my AF, my brother and his fiance. Their wedding is in 3 short weeks.

Last night was HORRIBLE. My AF lost his temper (yes he had been drinking) and flew off the handle at both my brother and I in front of my brother's soon to be bride. She was so scared (as was I) and my brother and I were so saddened by his actions. My dad ignored us for the rest of the night and proceed to get completely $hit faced. We all stayed the night (I live 100 miles away and my brother lives in another state) as planned, but we agreed that if he said one more hostile, negative word to us we were leaving.

This morning my dad did not say one word to us and I could tell he was still very angry. Now that I am home again I had a moment of overwhelming sadness, let myself cry and now I am trying to set new boundaries to protect myself from further insult. I know I HAVE to say something to my AF about how I feel and how his actions were not acceptable to me, however with the wedding so close I am fearful that my brother's wedding could be ruined by the unpredictability of alcoholic behavior. I surely do not want to make things worse right now and I feel a bit lost on how to approach this.

My brother indicated he would have words with our AF, but I am having trouble determining if I should step in to this now or wait until he has the chance to discuss his feelings first.. and then see how that went before I say my piece.

I am sick to my stomach over my AF behavior, especially since it was an important event so close to an even more important event.

A positive that could come from this is my AH got a front row, sober seat to this show and I think it may have really helped him see how critical it is that he finds a solid path to recovery.

Oh and I forgot to add this little tidbit.... my AH saw growing pot plants in the garage. I have no clue who they belong to (there are 4 adults living at my AF's house), but points to the further decline of a healthy lifestyle. I guess I should point out too that my AF has an AW who has at least 2 grown A children. They were all there getting smashed of course.

Best part(not)... someone threw up in the bushes and my dogs found it. We got to smell barfy wine on my pups for our 1 1/2 hour ride home. Thanks for that!
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Old 08-07-2011, 02:52 PM
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Serenity is waiting...
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Old 08-07-2011, 03:22 PM
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All I can say is "Hands Off", you have enough on your plate without trying to save the whole family.

You cannot and will not change anyone else or for that matter their drunkin behavior.
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Old 08-07-2011, 03:37 PM
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hummm so I say nothing to my AF about his disrespectful behavior towards me? I'm thinking he needs to hear from me that he crossed a line and that a boundary needs to be stated so that he knows I will not accept this in the future, no? Do I just continue to ignore him and then have to spend 4 days with him around my brother's wedding? Or is it hands off for now and wait and see who does or says what next? Hate this situation! Can I just slap him instead? (joking)
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Old 08-07-2011, 05:32 PM
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I like the wait and see plan, respond as needed, and, if that doesn't work, slap the sheet out of him!
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Old 08-07-2011, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Alone22 View Post
hummm so I say nothing to my AF about his disrespectful behavior towards me? I'm thinking he needs to hear from me that he crossed a line and that a boundary needs to be stated so that he knows I will not accept this in the future, no? Do I just continue to ignore him and then have to spend 4 days with him around my brother's wedding? Or is it hands off for now and wait and see who does or says what next? Hate this situation! Can I just slap him instead? (joking)
You really don't have to respond. Sometimes responding is just climbing into a pot of crap and you don't want to go there.
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Old 08-08-2011, 11:18 AM
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Alone22...

It's so confusing and hard to figure out boundaries. I struggle with my urge to talk to people about what is/isn't acceptable behavior to me. Today I find myself struggling with an urge to talk to my AH (yet again, really?!?!) about how his drinking behaviors are unacceptable to me. I mean really?!?! I want to talk about it again, why? I think the more important issue for me to figure out is my reaction/choices if/when he is drinking. What am I going to do to get myself away from the unacceptable behavior? Because talking about it with AH has not, and will not, get me anywhere. He is who he is. And he will do what he does. Me talking to him about it... is me trying to control/change him.

Have some back up plans in place for the wedding... Plan A, Plan B, and Plan C... be prepared is really all you can do. You know from the past what behavior(s) are likely... figure out what your action will be in accordance with each. Being "trapped" around alcoholic loved ones during family events (wedding, funerals, etc)... means I have alot of "exit excuses"... ie. having to go to the bathroom, going for a walk outside... whatever I need to do to get away from the toxic garbage and refill my "serenity" bank.

Hope some of that helps... thanks for letting me share!
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Old 08-08-2011, 06:19 PM
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Someone on SR recently had recommended watching some of Craig Ferguson's youtube or netflix videos. He is a RA for the past so many years. He puts a lot of his dark humor into his stand up. Some of it is crass, but I found some of his jokes rather funny.

What I liked and took was what he said about saying things (anything in any situation):

He said something like, "I ask myself three questions: 'Does this need to be said?', 'Does this need to be said right now?', and 'Does this need to be said right now by me?'? And most times, none of these applies."

I like this. I have, in the past, had a tendency to want to react, defend, be CLEAR, etc., when none of those things really apply to whatever situation at hand. I also learned with my own AF that it really never mattered who said what to him, he would only hear whatever he thought was useful to protect his drinking.

I've learned from here and in Al-anon, that boundaries are rules that I make for myself and not impose upon others. This has helped me navigate a very peaceful existence. (so far, TODAY).

Take what you like and leave the rest.
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Old 08-08-2011, 08:20 PM
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Thanks for the wisdom you guys! I have been talking with my brother about this a bunch in the last few days. Setting healthy boundaries is so important and what I expressed to him is that he doesn't even need to share what they are. Yet I have trouble with my own advise to him because I WANT my dad to know what my boundaries are. I want him to know he upset me. Not that I think it will change one dang thing, but because I simply want him to know. I had this overwhelming urge to email my dad, so I did. What it did was make ME feel better. My email did not contain one comment about his drinking only his actions/behavior. I don't care what he thinks or feels or if it will affect him at all. I have 0 expectations of him. I think I have figured out what my boundary is " I will not be around, nor will I allow my family to be around, people who are drunk, acting disrespectful, or behaving erratically." I will leave any situation where I feel any of those things are occurring. Anyone care to share their thoughts on my boundary?

As far as the wedding is concern I am leaving that one to my brother. He may or may not talk to our AF about drinking at the wedding and I am not going to butt into that one. However if my AF or any other A crosses my boundary as stated above I will ask them to leave. If they don't leave and I can't get away from them I will leave. Thankfully the wedding is during the day and the only alcohol that will be served is limited champagne. My dad is the type who normally holds it together for events such as a wedding, but after this past weekend my trust in him doing that is a whole lot less.

On a positive note. My AH and I went and interviewed the recommended rehab center. He is all signed up to start on Monday! For the first time in a long time I feel there could be better days ahead for our marriage. My eyes are wide open that only time will tell but this is a great step forward in the right direction.
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Old 08-09-2011, 06:07 AM
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I like your boundary... it's a good one! I have it too - that I will not partcipate in/expose myself or my children to erratic, rude, irresponsible behaviors. How that "looks" depends on the situation. If I can stand quietly and just observe, wonderful! If I have to walk away to another area of the party, great. If I need to leave completely and go home, so be it.

What my boundary does NOT include is telling someone that their behavior is unacceptable to me (particularly in the heat of the moment, especially when alcohol is involved). Talking to them in that moment 1) is trying to control/change THEM and 2) will stir up drama and chaos and 3) put me right smack dab in the middle of THEIR business... a place I have no right to be!!

So, the best way to communicate our boundaries is... our ACTIONS. They speak louder than words. When my husband gets crazy/mouthy drunk, I no longer participate/stand-by. I walk away and leave him to himself. That sends a very loud message - better than beating the dead horse with with my words!!

I think it's a good call to leave the wedding/AF issue up to your brother - it's his day - let him decide what works for him!

TWYLALTR!
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Old 08-09-2011, 07:24 AM
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Thanks gettingby. I think I need to figure out why I want him to know my boundaries so much. You are correct that our actions are the best way to communicate, but I guess I feel like it will just fly right over his head if I don't say it...but does that even matter? I guess not. It is about me and my family and keeping serenity in our lives. Maybe I want to give him a heads up so he knows ahead of time so there is no surprises when I determine it is time to go even though dinner has not yet been served (or insert other odd times to leave). Trying to lessen the likelihood of more drama. I guess I am wanting him to hold it together (because I think he can at this point) until later in the evening. Him knowing once things get a little loose that it is time for us to go just seems like fair communication. Hummm.... I still think I am for communicating the boundary and then living by it.
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Old 08-09-2011, 07:53 AM
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My AH *knows* that he drinks too much. And he *knows* that he gets out of control. He knows that his drinking has caused issues in the past. I don't need to talk about it anymore. I have chosen, for me, to not participate in that insanity anymore. I have chosen to not harp on the issue with him anymore. My talking to him constantly about it is me treating him like a child - telling him what is right/wrong for him to do. I have learned through Al-anon that I need to give him the dignity to live his life on his terms. I don't like being told what to do - why should he? So I let him be who he wants to be... doesn't mean I like it, or agree with it... just means I stay out of his business! And if he does something unacceptable, I detach.

I have found myself getting all wound up about the "what-ifs"... getting myself prepared for some major episode - ready for the worst.... and it never happened?!?! So, it's good to have back-up plans, but not get so wound up in worrying/trying to control the situation. Simple... but not easy, I know.

You and I just don't know how your AF will act, or what he will do. So, have a general idea of what YOU will do should something happen... and then let go, and have YOUR fun.

Detaching doesn't mean stomping off in a rage. Or causing drama. In fact, detaching (with love) means responding in a way that is kind and non-judgemental. If he's getting goofy at/before dinner, maybe can you excuse yourself to the bathroom to take a deep breath? Can you switch to another table? I struggled for so long thinking that my detachment was black/white - all or nothing. Either AH behaved (to MY standards!) - or I was OUTTA THERE!!! I alienated myself from people because I refused to participate in any event that wasn't exactly to MY liking. (Not saying that's the case with you!) But it was hard for me to do anything other than that at first - because I was so raw and so hurt by him and his actions. All my detachment could be at that point was - RUN!

So, have some ideas of things you can do to protect you and your sanity so you can stay and enjoy your brother's wedding day. And tryi to think of some smaller, healthier steps you can take that don't necessarily mean leaving and missing out on the party.

And again - Think about what you are hoping to accomplish by talking to him about your boundary. Do you want to tell him so that maybe if he knows you would leave... maybe he would behave? That's trying to control him - and that's not the point of boundaries. It's hard to be honest with ourselves about our motives. Soooo many times I have found myself wanting to talk to my AH. To let him know how I feel/think, what I want, etc... and if I sit and really think about why I want to talk - all too many times I realize that my motives boil down to wanting to tell him how I want him to act/live. Ugh. It sucks. My desire to control is - well, out of control!!

So, when I keep my mouth shut, live and let live... at the end of the day - I feel better about myself and everyone around me!
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Old 08-09-2011, 08:11 AM
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All I wanted to add I guess is this:

You found your AF's behavior totally unacceptable and understandably so. I think that if you want, for your well being (not bc you hope it will change your F) to tell him "I felt very upset by your behavior this weekend and don't appreciate how you treated me" that is MORE than okay.

I think that sometimes the "does this need to be said?" notion gets taken too far with A's and we don't speak up about unacceptable behavior bc they can't take it? we don't want to deal with their reaction? who knows why.

I know this. Whether it makes any difference or not, when someone is completely out of line with me, I let them know it. I say it simply, say it once and don't look for a conversation about it. But unacceptable behavior is unacceptable no matter if you're an A or not and if you wish to tell your F that you have every right. Maybe no one has told him that bluntly and he thinks it's acceptable to continue to bully and bother everyone bc everyone is afraid to upset him and stay silent.

In my in laws family my FIL is much like your F. And no one says a peep bc it will upset him. It's insane. When he's acted horribly in MY house I do speak up and it's made me the enemy to my in laws but that's something I can live with. I respect myself enough to set limits in my own home and I see nothing wrong with saying what I find acceptable in terms of how I am treated.

I hope that your H will take the opportunity for rehab that he is being given and use it to the fullest extent.

Thinking of you!
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Old 08-09-2011, 08:27 AM
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Where I have a hard time not having a black/white plan (just plain leaving) is that his negative behavior can creep up quickly without much warning. While I do not like my AF getting drunk and behaving in ways that are crazy, it really doesn't bother me if he is drinking around me or my kids. It is not like one drink and I am out the door, but he does seem to have a pattern of getting totally smashed as the evening progresses. Most of the time he just gets drunk but doesn't cause drama, sometimes he gets drunk and is sloppy, stumbling have to carry him to bed (not me mind you) , but once in a while he is angry and can be scary. We live about 100 miles from him so our visits are planned ahead of time and we don't see him but every few months. From where I see things it just seems logical (after this past weekend) that our normal plan from this point forward is to leave by 8:00 pm and skip staying the night. Leave earlier if a boundary is crossed. I honestly do not want to try to control him (I know frankly that I can't), but just let him know where I stand so that when he choses to get tanked no one needs to talk about anything. We just all know a head of time the plan. Where things get tricky is he likes everyone to get together for family vacations where we all stay together or very close together (a big house in the mountains or the same hotel). Those times it is a little harder to simple leave (especially the big house). I would really like to stop that and set up two locations (the party house and the sober house if you will). All of the active A's and their SO can stay in one and my brother and I and our families can stay in the other one. I have no plan to leave my brothers wedding unless he (or any other A's) get out of control in a scary way. My brother has now decided his wedding will be a dry event so that may (yes may not will) prevent alcoholic craziness. It will be the after party back at the hotel (or where ever) that will be the questionable time period.
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Old 08-09-2011, 08:44 AM
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WTBH I agree! Not saying anything to my AF feels like I am sweeping it under the rug and therefore giving him the ability to think it is okay or minimize it. I did speak my mind in an email and I was to the point and very blunt. I did not say one word about him drinking, but only his behavior. Being scary and disrespectful is not okay drunk or not. The only thing I discussed as far as drinking was that I was hurt that he encouraged my AH (who is struggling and wanting long term sobriety) to drink and did it in front of my kids.

I would like to believe that my AH will give his heart and soul to his rehab program and I pray that he does. He may be at his bottom but as we all know only time tell. I am proud of him. It is a huge step.
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Old 08-09-2011, 08:55 AM
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Alone, sometimes life is like cleaning your closet, these are just a few of my thoughts on the matter:

The classic wool sweater in your closet that is supposed to keep you warm, and comfy is actually a porcupine in disguise, makes your skin crawl, and gives you hives. It attacks your sense of well being. It's toxic. Throw it out.

The expensive "dry clean" only," hand wash" only articles of clothing, those take up too much room, are very uncomfortable, and expensive to maintain. Throw them out.

The designer look alike purse, is a low quality piece of crap, truly a fake, throw it out.

The cute shoes, the ones that pinch, cause blisters, make your heels bleed, leave you with the feeling that someone beat the bottom of your feet with a baseball bat, (everybody has had at least one pair) throw them the hell out too. Long term wear will only lead to serious foot health complications.

And lets not forget the ungodly overpriced bridesmaid dress. A complete waste of money. Ill fitted, and truly not your color. The things we do, to make our girlfriends happy. The material would not even qualify to make good rags. Out with that too.

Now you have all this extra room in your closet. Fill it with pieces you love. Interchangable, easy wash and wear. Search for that something timeless, that never goes out of style. Fabrics that breathe, something soft and cozy, something you can't wait to come home to put on and be comfortable. Something that allows you to be you. Healthy in your own skin.

Wish you the best, you sure have alot to deal with. Hope you find peace.
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Old 08-09-2011, 07:49 PM
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I have a neighbor who sits outside from 2 p.m. through midnight or so, drinking boxed wine all day. She's sloppy drunk and has been for some time. It used to be ok for my son and I to go visit her early afternoon before the wine would really set in for her.

Lately, as her alcoholism progresses, it doesnt' take as much wine to get her tanked. I set tighter limits on when my son and I would go visit her. I never told her I was doing this, I just did it. Set my boundary so that we could check in on our neighbor without having to deal with her slurring rants or whatever her alcoholism had to offer us on any particular day.

Recently, she called me and asked why we didn't seem to spend as much time with her. Because she asked and because she was in a sober moment, I flat-out told her that while OF COURSE she had every right and freedom to do as she pleases at her own home, I felt uncomfortable with bringing my young son over during times when she'd been drinking for awhile.

She paused, and THANKED ME for my honesty. We've still gone to see her to let her know we care about her, and nothing has damaged our friendship.

That's one example I have about how it worked for me.

I have a few more.

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Old 08-09-2011, 09:59 PM
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I spoke with my AF today. He called, wanting say how sorry he was but then of course tried to defend why he went off in a rage. He said something to the effect of " I f'd up, I know it, and I need to figure out why I do this" humm whatever... the answer is you are an A and need to stop the denial. Of course I didn't give him my opinion. He needs to determine for himself why he does what he does. I simply told him I did not want to have that experience ever again and I would do what I needed to do to lessen the chances that I (or my family) will. I expressed to him that I know how important family is to him and that I know how horrible it would be for him to lose it. I felt like I stated what I need to and never got up set. I feel very thankful I am where I am in my own recovery because I know faced with this just a few month ago it would have been a very different discussion. I still have not determine if I will in fact openly state what my boundary is to him, but I am still leaning towards letting him know. I just feel it puts everyone on the same page. No questioning why I am leaving, or not going or whatever. It also gives him the opportunity to choose not to cross my boundary if he wants us to be around him longer. If I don't state it, he doesn't know. I don't have any expectations by doing so... it is not a test to see what he will do, but me letting him know exactly where I stand.

My brother is trying to determine how he should tell our AF that he does not want any alcohol at the rehearsal dinner and that there will be none at the wedding. I will have to see how that goes, but I plan to back my brother 100% if need be. He has every right to determine what he wants and doesn't at his special events.
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