I have a 44 year old niece that has been an alcoholic for most of her adult life. She has a 16 year old son that is embarrassed by her when she drinks. She only calls family when she is drunk and wants to argue and fight with us. Coming from alcoholic parents, I have had to ask her not to call me when she has been drinking and so I get no phone calls from her at all. Truthfully, it is a relief not to hear from her. Her mother (my sister) received a call from her this evening, she had been drinking and was verbally abusive to my sister. Among other things she called my sister ignorant (my sister is dyslexic) and said she was going to disown her mother. My sister had just called her last week and all seemed fine. I, my sister and her son has tried to encourage her to seek help. She doesn't feel there is anything wrong with herself. She has alienated herself from all family with her abusive attitude. My question is for my sister, what is the best way to handle her. Continue to talk to her when she is drunk, or to set boundaries and tell her not to call when under the influence. She is a functioning alcoholic, and only gets drunk on her days off. When she is sober she never calls. I feel terrible for her 16 year old son, he gets so mad at her when she is drunk and verbally abusive. Her husband works nights and tolerates her behavior. He also drinks and in the past has had a battle with his own addictions.
I would say that everyone involved should set some clear and concise boundaries. Y'all don't deserve the verbal lashings that she dishes out while drunk! Shame on her! She's old enough to know better but unfortunately alcohol can make us say and do horrible things. You can't help someone that doesn't want to be helped but you CAN choose to stay out of the line of fire..i know it's probably killing your sister to see her child go through this and act this way but its not your sisters fault! She doesn't have to talk to her daughter when she's intoxicated and would probably be doing herself a huge favor by not doing so! Best of luck to you in this tough situation! Please keep us updated...
I'm so sorry when I hear of the effects of alcoholism on families.:( I think the best thing that you can all do is to attend Alanon, and take your nephew by the hand, and bring him to Alateen, so he can be in a place where he does not have to feel shameful about his mother's actions. There IS strength in numbers, and it's so important that families of addicts learn how not to let this define them, to draw boundaries for themselves and refuse to enable an addiction. By refusing to talk to your sister, when she is using, is teaching her that her actions need to be curtailed. She needs to hit her bottom, so enabling her by listening to her abuse, is not helpful to anyone. God bless your family. I'm so sorry about the boy, I wish I could be a friend of the family that could help him to feel supported. I'd go way out of my way, to help to make him feel important and understood. Maybe making friends in Alanon yourself , with parents with children, will help you to surround him with friends that do understand and care? Maybe a barbeque and pool party? There is always a silver lining, if you look hard enough. Please let us know how things are proceeding? and anytime you feel like talking, post of send a private message, we'll be here for you. LIz
Thank you for your care and prayers. I failed to mention that both my sister and I live hours away from my niece and great nephew. They live in Michigan and I live in Las Vegas. My sister lives 4 hours away from them. Thank God my great nephew has a wonderful sense of humor. Like me, when I was young, I used humor to get me through the dark times with my parents. But, I was lucky, because my parents finally quit drinking in my high school years. I pray my niece will also. I just feel so bad that she has alienated herself and has no one to talk too anymore. We have told her if she needs us we are there, but only when she is sober. Thank You again for your advise and concern.
Thank you so much for your reply. It helps to know that we are doing the right thing with setting boundaries. It is just hard thinking she now has no one to listen to her, even if she is drunk. Thank you again.
Well, maybe you can direct your great nephew to go to alateen, and maybe ACOA, adult children of alcoholics. so that he feels he has some support. Yes, humor is a God send in times of trouble and although alcoholism is a deadly concern, it is also very silly when you think about it all. So much waste. The program of abstinence and the reasons why we would do it, are so powerful. I pray she finds her way, but hopefully you can lead the boy in the right direction.God bless your family. Your niece will find a huge family of support, if she looks in the right direction.
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