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Old 01-12-2015, 11:56 AM
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To Talk or Not to Talk?

I need some advice and perspective on this. This story feels a little crazy, so please bear with me:

An old friend of mine recently contacted me after some time without contact. After I began the split with my XAH 2-3 years ago, I stopped hanging out with Friend because it became increasingly clear that she had some substance abuse issues herself, not to mention being short on empathy for me for divorcing an alcoholic.

HOWEVER, we were once really close, and she meant a lot to me at one time. She'd been messaging me a little and on a whim I went to visit her about a month ago when I knew neither of us had the kids. I wanted a short, controlled visit. I was hoping that my initial perceptions were off, and wanted to test my intuition, I guess. It turns out I was right, and she's an active addict. All the signs and red flags were there. I left feeling okay with my decision to go, and fine about the visit, but still disappointed in Addict Friend and where she's ended up.

The short version: AF was a nurse and was fired for using opiates on the job, she still drinks heavily, still takes prescription meds heavily and talks about trying to detox from them at home, tried to get her license renewed but thinks the treatment process is stupid and quit the re-licensing process, started bartending, drinks and drives, recently drove during a blackout and wrecked her car and doesn't know how, has had VERY DRAMATIC AND SCARY abusive incidents with her husband and speaks openly about being verbally abusive to her teen daughter without any recognition of abuse at all. When her family found out about her getting fired, they tried to stage an intervention and get her into rehab, but AF cut them out of her life entirely. It's been about a year and a half since they have seen her or her daughter, despite their attempts.

In short, really yucky. Classic addict family stuff.

Today I opened up the "Other" folder in my Facebook account -- that I didn't know existed until today -- and there was an old SOS message from her sister. I didn't realize I was responding to an ancient message (Summer of 2013), so I responded, saying I was sorry I didn't see her message until today, that I was worried about AF too, that was all. Sister texted me back almost immediately, wants to call me tonight, I guess to exchange information.

Knowing what I know, I feel like maybe I should tell them about it. It's dangerous and insane behavior and there is a child in the house.

I feel really mixed up about it. I hate the idea of meddling in someone else's business, but after my experience with XAH, I feel like not saying something is irresponsible. I feel like I can tell sister the facts without editorializing. I don't think it's my place, but... I don't know. This was my friend. Her daughter was like my daughter. Not saying something feels like a worse betrayal to their best interests than being quiet.
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Old 01-12-2015, 12:01 PM
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I would tell her you are uncomfortable about it, but since there is a child involved that you will discuss it this one time. It's likely she is going to want to vent, I would shut that down pretty quickly. I would tell her what you know and leave it at that. I would remind her it is b/c there is a child involved and she is obviously a danger to the child and to herself, not to mention the other innocent drivers on the road.

And, I would have the nearest Alanon meeting time and place to give that is near the sister and encourage her to go.
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Old 01-12-2015, 12:07 PM
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I don't think it's ever wrong to try to defend a child in the face of addiction. And realistically, you know A LOT about addiction from all sides of the fence & can provide a fairly unbiased opinion.

You may be able to really provide her sister with some insight & tools that can make a big difference in how this plays out for the entire family. In that way it's not much different than helping out a fellow Al-Anon member, right?

But I agree that you want to be able to keep a reasonable distance from the drama.
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Old 01-12-2015, 12:17 PM
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I don't think it's ever wrong to try to defend a child in the face of addiction. And realistically, you know A LOT about addiction from all sides of the fence & can provide a fairly unbiased opinion.
This. For sure.
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Old 01-12-2015, 12:33 PM
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I know that some time ago her family was talking about getting custody of her daughter. At the time I was still quite naive to addiction and believed her story. Now, in hindsight I know the reality was probably quite different than what I was told by AF. I'm somewhat concerned about getting dragged into that process as well, but I know after what I saw and heard that she's not in a place to be raising any child.

Oh, some more details. Her abusive husband is voluntarily signing away rights to his young son because the child support is too high (but he makes six figures a year). And AF told me she hasn't had a driver's license in years, and in hindsight I think it's probably related to a drunk driving accident.

I mean, it was really outrageous, and hearing her talk about all this stuff, it was clear it was totally normal to her. I guess I'm okay with talking about it to her family, keeping to the facts, but it still stinks.
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Old 01-12-2015, 01:07 PM
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I have a friend from highschool that I keep in touch with. She is an active highly functioning alcoholic, and well, we are just two totally different people at this point in our lives. At one point, she wanted to come live with me and I had to solidly tell her no.

I think as long as you set clear boundaries for yourself, then talking with her sister (who seems desperate for help) might be okay. But lay down exactly what you are NOT willing to do. For instance, if you get invited to an intervention and you are not comfortable with that, simply say no. But if you are comfortable sharing information with her sister, then by all means, share.
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Old 01-12-2015, 01:30 PM
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er abusive husband is voluntarily signing away rights to his young son because the child support is too high
He may be surprised to find that you can sign away your parental rights, but in most states that I'm familiar with, that doesn't mean you get out of paying child support...
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Old 01-12-2015, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by lillamy View Post
He may be surprised to find that you can sign away your parental rights, but in most states that I'm familiar with, that doesn't mean you get out of paying child support...
Heheheheh, hope nobody tells him that. And that SHE gets sober, wakes up, and makes sure her kid gets what's coming to him.
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Old 01-12-2015, 01:57 PM
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Her abusive husband is voluntarily signing away rights to his young son because the child support is too high (but he makes six figures a year).
This was probably unclear. The child was from a previous relationship. The mother always accused him of being abusive, and it came out later that he actually was. AF always maintained his innocence, even now, after he hit HER and pulled a gun on HER, she can't believe that anyone would think he was abusive.

Again, outrageous.
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Old 01-12-2015, 03:07 PM
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Well since she wants to call you, and talk, let her talk, it's her dime.

If you feel at some point you are getting sucked into a situation, you do NOT want to be in, simply say so. Understanding you were once close friends has to be difficult, but come to today, and it's a whole different ballgame, probably doesn't even seem like you are talking about the same person, but you are, how sad for all involved.

Have always appreciated your ES&H, you rock, my friend, IMHO, thinking this is one of the times sticking to the FACTS seems the best course to follow.

I would say my peace regarding the welfare of the child, and be done.

Does the sister not realize/understand, you can't help someone who is not ready or prepared to help themself?
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Old 01-12-2015, 06:38 PM
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I'm glad I called. It was way worse than I ever thought. Very dark, very scary stuff. Very dark.

Sister is very likely going to call CPS this week.
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Old 01-12-2015, 07:55 PM
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All so tragic.

I feel terrible for you and for the daughter of your AF and if I were in your shoes I might be inclined to get involved if only to try and help the daughter who it sounds like has no one there for her.

But is also know that means involving yourself in the turmoil of an addict and that may be unfair to you.
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Old 01-12-2015, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Florence View Post
I'm glad I called. It was way worse than I ever thought. Very dark, very scary stuff. Very dark.

Sister is very likely going to call CPS this week.
Just saw this after I posted. Glad you called too. That poor kiddo in the mix. Good for you for calling and hopefully the sister does call CPS
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Old 01-12-2015, 08:20 PM
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Hang in there, Florence. You're doing the right thing.

And I think you're recovered enough that you will recognize the danger zones.

Hugs,
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Old 01-12-2015, 08:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Florence View Post
I'm glad I called. It was way worse than I ever thought. Very dark, very scary stuff. Very dark.

Sister is very likely going to call CPS this week.



If you feel moved to do so you can also report what you know to CPS. You can do that anonymously and while it may not be anything specific it is one more thing CPS add's to their investigation/notes.

And I'd stay well away from her personally.
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Old 01-13-2015, 06:26 AM
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I always walk away from this stuff wondering how I could have ever believed this person. AF used to be my best friend. I bought all her stories, hook, line and sinker.

After lots of recovery for myself, I knew I didn't like some of her behavior, she was a heavy drinker and low on empathy, but I had no idea what was actually going on. I talked to Sister last night -- Sister and I had also been friendly way back when, but she and AF were always at odds for vague reasons, according to AF.

I was absolutely shocked, and at the same time Sister's version of the events made way more sense than what AF was telling me. Anyway, long story short, it's classic addict narrative with few twists.

Turns out the story about her husband beating her and holding her hostage was probably not true. Sister thinks AF told this story to isolate him from the rest of the family, so her using stories wouldn't come to light. It worked. She wasn't "just" stealing pills from work, like she told everyone, she was fired for using dirty needles at the hospital to inject herself with morphine on the job. She also drinks heavily, takes prescription meds, takes street drugs, and smokes weed. Sister knows there is emotional abuse against the teen daughter, and recently there is cause to believe AF injected the daughter with drugs. The reason AF's husband's son from a prior relationship is not allowed to see them anymore is because of AF's drug abuse. There's other stuff too, bringing random men home, leaving the daughter with strangers so she could go on vacation.

Her family has been terrified to get the authorities involved because AF has been so successful at triangulating them by threatening not to let the daughter see Sister and Grandma, which is daughter's only reprieve from the madness aside from school. Daughter is a sweet kid, a homebody, beautiful, creative -- she hasn't been "turned" by all this just yet, but Sister is starting to see the Daughter make bigger excuses for her mom, like, "She only injected me a couple of times after I couldn't swallow the pills."

I looked up the licensing board public records because I just wasn't sure I could believe it, and there it was -- fired after being found in the "dirty room" with two kinds of intravenous drugs in her system.

After I slept on it, I feel like I should call CPS too, regardless of what Sister does. I know firsthand that she's a drunk driver and has drugs in her household and drives without a license. In my state you can make anonymous calls. I feel responsible being shoulder to shoulder with this for so many years and not seeing what it was doing. We haven't been close in several years, but that kid and my DS15 were raised like cousins. There is family there who can take care of the daughter, no problem, so I'm not on the hook for anything other than reporting or not reporting.

Thoughts? Advice? Warnings? Things I'm not seeing?
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Old 01-13-2015, 06:49 AM
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Call, immediately. I guarantee you only know the tip of the iceberg. She has SHOT UP her daughter. That is horrible and she should be in jail.

How awful.
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Old 01-13-2015, 06:59 AM
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I'd call too. ((((((HUGS))))))) This must be tearing you up inside.
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Old 01-13-2015, 07:13 AM
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Write down what exactly you want to say Florence. Then call CPS & read off your list.
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Old 01-13-2015, 07:25 AM
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I think calling is a good idea. However:
I feel responsible being shoulder to shoulder with this for so many years and not seeing what it was doing.
Don't. I mean, I'm not telling you what to FEEL -- I'm telling you (and you know this already so it's just a reminder) that addicts are really good at covering their tracks and lying. I mean, if I could live under the same roof with a guy for about a year without realizing he was an alcoholic... how on earth were you supposed to know what was going on with your AF???

Do the right thing, but don't blame yourself for not being a psychic. (((hugs)))
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