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pq
Reply with quote  #91 
leguin--

Welcome to this VERY active support group.  You will find SO many wise and caring friends here to lend you their shoulders and advice.  I know your heart is breaking.  I don't have an alcoholic parent, but I do have a parent who has suffered for years from clinical depression (and did you know that 75% of female alcoholics are self-medicating for depression?) and refused treatment.  Currently I'm even more worried because Mom is 81, diabetic, with high-blood pressure and depression, and acting as the sole caregiver for my wheelchair-bound, paralyzed 83-yo dad, and she refuses to allow anyone to help, any improvements to their house, or to consider moving.  So I do understand a little of the helplessness you feel, though our situations are quite different. 

And what I have learned the hard way is that you are right when you say:  This is her choice.  If someone doesn't want to be helped, you can't help them.  You can send them to rehab, send them to classes, send them to support groups, but if they don't want to change, it really doesn't make a difference.  This is so so hard to accept when it's your loved one you're watching balance on the precipice. 

But what I have also learned is that, if you can't actually talk your loved one off the cliffside, you can at least be ready at the bottom to catch them if you can.  And so that is how I cope:  by learning as much as I can to jump in and help when (in my parents' case) Mom works herself to exhaustion and the hospital, or one of them falls and breaks a hip, or whatever other disaster strikes.  You can do that for your Mom, too:  research at the hospital or other treatment center to find what you can do for her IF she decides she wants to change, or if she becomes ill from the alcohol, etc.  And let her know you will be there for her if she decides to help herself.  What else can you do?  You cannot control others, just yourself.

And do give yourself credit for coming here, trying Al-Anon, going to ACOA meetings, and individual therapy.  So many decide they should just "tough it out" on their own, when someone else is out there who's been there and done that and can help them find the way.

okay, i'm starting to babble, and others will probably have better advice than mine, but i wanted to chime in and let you know you're not alone.

pq
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Derby Dawg
Reply with quote  #92 
Greetings, Lequin

First, I am very sorry to hear of the situation you find yourself in, through absolutely NO FAULT OF YOUR OWN.

I am in a bit of a different situation in that I am a caregiver for an 85yo with a 62yo son who is an actively using alcoholic. He recently told her that his 4th marriage, which has somehow lasted 20+ years, is ending in divorce as did his first three. He has lost numerous jobs, friends and family, wives, relationships with his children, untold amounts of money, and all respect for himself to this brutal disease. And yet, he continues to drink. And his mother continues to worry and believe that she should be able to fix him. I don't know which is more sad to watch.

I sincerely hope you find here, in therapy and through ALANON/ACOA groups the support you need. I just want to encourage you to find a program that works for you. Dont' stop looking if you don't immediately find what you need. I went to at least a half-dozen different Alanon groups before I found the right one for me.

As I am sure you realize, you cannot control your mother's behavior or cure her illness. For now, the best thing you can do for her is take care of you.
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Jackson
Reply with quote  #93 
From the first page of comments, indicating "tough love" is needed - they do not know what it is to have an ELDERLY, frail alcoholic on their hands.
We who would feel a duty to help our parents, when they are of an age to depend on us, are stymied. To "butt out of it" until they "decide to get better" is not as easy when the person is over 65. Do you know what it is to have an elderly person fall? Certain death. At the same time, if a person is a longtime alcoholic, change at 75+ is unlikely, to say the least.
This is compounded by this problem - When an elderly parent is on a binge, they become a frail, teetering, Alzheimer's patient, with bathroom issues (if you don't know, guess the worst, then multiply), mobility issues, communication issues (belligerent), etc - i.e., the old person that friends and authorities would have you put in an institution. (I have been pressed to do this many times).
Then due to intervention (if not by you, then by cops, social workers, or just by a nice rest in hospital intensive care), they dry out - and assume an in-control personality, exasperating professional caregivers and making the nursing home incidental, and making their loyal, suffering child look like a selfish heir trying to smother their elders' independence.
(Note that we haven't even gotten into the driving issue here. I had it suggested we simply call the cops. Picture your frail "Alzheimer's " parent in handcuffs in jail...)
Al-Anon & ALL other therapies are aimed at the idea that the person has the capability to be a fully-functioning individual when sober. My mother couldn't even physically get to therapy half the time (just a convenient walk and up a few flights of stairs...). The professional program couldn't even wrap their heads around transportation, let alone the average medical needs of an elderly person.
By the way, liquor stores deliver to your door.
Sadly, the problem will resolve itself. Meaning, either they'll get in such bad health that they end up in a nursing home where they can't get it (meaning the staff searches vigilantly for the booze), or they die. Which sucks. Especially while you're waiting to find out.
Unless the dad mentioned is recent enough that a friend or a priest can get it through to him that his late wife would hate to see him this way. Or possibly say you want to bring the grandkids over but he has to be sober. If childless, perhaps you can borrow a friend's baby for this purpose. Sigh...



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Jackson
Reply with quote  #94 
I do have one question for anyone listening who has an alcoholic elderly parent: How did taking power of atty affect their care and your relationship with nursing homes &c over the alcoholism?
My mother is in a retirement home and now in the nursing home wing. Since she finally agreed to the nursing wing, they've been able to monitor her alcohol intake (i.e., check for bottles and signs of intoxication.) and she's been more sober. However, now at 80 she is subject to the usual "old age" falls and ailments even when sober. In that case I do want to back her up if she's in the hospital.
(Especially since the staff no longer listens to her, having put up with her alcoholism as well as her general elderly orneriness. Another reason not to be an alcoholic senior citizen, BTW. Remind any alcoholics, who think it's a great idea to spend their  "golden years" inebriated, that being a 40-yr-old alcoholic is not like being an 80-yr-old alcoholic. Your body gets worse at handling it and you get less of a high - and did I mention the incontinence problem? Drives that cute candy-striper nurse out of the room quick.)
So - power of atty. When Mom was drinking heavily, the retirement home was really pushing the power-of-atty deal. Like, they tried to make us think HIPAA restrictions meant they shouldn't call us to tell us Mom was in the hospital, let alone which, despite her having no objection except not to worry us. (Turned out they didn't know where she was half the time, either...)
I'm wondering if, had we taken power of atty, would her alcoholism officially become our responsibility....? As in, Mom paid her life savings to be in this (posh) retirement home in a deal that included end-of-life care. They threatened her with being kicked out if she continued drinking, but probably it looks bad and feels uncomfortable for them to go to this old lady and definitively kick her out. (She, of course, always said it wouldn't happen again.) However, I'm afraid that if we had power of atty and thus official "control of" the situation, her alcoholism would officially become something we were obliged to "handle" (i.e. fix). Much easier to go to the "caregiver" (which we would become, right?) and tell them the problem had to be "resolved" before she could be admitted somewhere.
This is what I mean by, when it's your elderly parent who's the alcoholic, things get confused.

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pq
Reply with quote  #95 

hi, Jackson!  I'm far from an expert, and I'm sure the real legal eagles will be here soon enough with definitive advice.  BUT my understanding re: POA is that is simply gives you the permission to act on a person's behalf if they become incompetent (i.e., write checks, make some decisions, etc.).  However, it does not REQUIRE you to.  What you are talking about sounds more like guardianship, where you DO take legal responsibility for another person--a much more complicated process.

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WR
Reply with quote  #96 
I'm glad to have found this group! An incident today really clarified a lot for me: Over the weekend my 80 year old mother called me numerous times (and even this morning), saying she needed me to take her to the bank (across the street from her house).  I traveled one hour carrying my usual weekly groceries and foods I had spent hours cooking.  There is never any food in the house (she has plenty of money), and she claims she's not hungry, but devours whatever I bring.

When I got to the house, she drunkenly informed me she had already gone to the bank, and didn't need my help.  I really felt stupid; she could go to the bank, buy the scotch which was sitting on the counter, but didn't even care to stop at the supermarket to buy food for herself, or to call me to say 'don't bother coming down'. I have been such a sap. I have tried to help her because she is suffering from some form of dementia with short-term memory loss and an inability to name things.  However she is otherwise healthy and refuses to go be evaluated. I want to feel sorry for myself, but really I'm just angry for being so gullible as to think I can save her by feeding her. When I told her how angry I was, she was too drunk to even respond.  I was so disgusted, I left. The last 2 years have become more and more insane; her calling me at all hours of the night with no regard for my time, having other drunken enablers around her, etc. After today, I realized how I have been so used by her. Her narcissism has been drowning me, and I want to wipe my hands of her.  Today's episode will help me to free myself.

Thanks for reading this.

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pixiegirls
Reply with quote  #97 
WR....I so know that manipulation!  My sister and I had to drive my mother to the shore (she won't drive that far), and I suspected she was drinking again....and not eating.  She managed to bring down a bottle of vodka.  With her own denial and maybe beginning of dementia, she stated her doctor told her she could....which was so far from the truth.  We went out daily to get her things we thought she'd like to eat, cleaned her and her floor/furniture up when she was incontinent of stool, and basically did everything else since she was having difficulty walking.  She even had my aunts totally clean her kitchen while she watched.  The day we were to leave she told me I had to go buy her more vodka and pick her up a hoagie for dinner.  I refused and said my sister wouldn't buy it either.  Needless to say, she said she'd go herself, and off she went.  The bad leg wasn't noticable either.  She went and got her booze, but somehow wasn't able to manage to pick up her hoagie.  I almost went ballistic!

Part of alcoholism is the manipulation of people.  I know my mother has been doing it for years.  Don't feel like an idiot either.  You try to give them the benefit of the doubt....and truly hope they aren't bs'ing you, but we are never surprised to find out we were taken advantage of.  You are just trying to make sure she has food and doesn't get malnourished....and those intentions are good.  It's not you...it's her. 
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WR
Reply with quote  #98 
Wow!  Thanks pixiegirls for the eye opener. Until last week I thought my mom had Alzheimer, but her memory problems and behaviors may be due to long-term alcohol.  During her working years she was very functional, even though she drank very often.  She made every holiday a setting for her drama (fueled by alcohol of course).  But we never mentioned it because she controlled us, and simply banished any adult who could have been in a position to judge her.  My main concern was just getting away from her madness.  Last week was the first time I ever criticized her drinking. Now she has stopped calling me, and perhaps is ready to banish me as well.  It is so sad. I want to help her, but doubt that she can accept the problem. It is so much easier for her to cut people out of her life if she cannot use them.  



 
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pixiegirls
Reply with quote  #99 
WR, alcohol dementia has very similar symptoms to alzheimers.  Will I Survive posted some great stages to look at on this thread http://mikegamble.websitetoolbox.com/post?id=4835850.  It appears my mother may be early stage, but have a neurology consult coming up to determine how much damage she actually has.  She had a few good days lately, but unfortunately the manipulation still remains.  She has also refused to go to rehab "if" she is able to go home.  She said she would consider a day program.  I was trying to make rehab a non-negotiable thing for her coming home, but now feel stuck since I can't really make her.  At the moment, the NH is on her about going out and smoking....along with asking my sister and I if we are supplying her with cigarettes (she already had some).  She was upset my sister didn't see her the other day, not because she wanted company, but because she couldn't get my sister to wheel her outside to smoke.  Part of the alcohol manipulation game.
 
My mother also was a very functional working alcoholic.  Holidays and weekends were her "thing".  It was more of a joke that she could party so much.  When she started to take every monday off because of a headache, supposed food poisoning, or some other reason, she was reprimanded by her supervisors.  Ironically, this was something she used to chastise my sister and I for.
 
I can see the holiday things....always centered around them.  People who said something or wouldn't attend were "ruining" the whole holiday.  I hated going to holiday dinners when I was older since she was always loaded. 
 
Kudos to you for saying something to your mom about the drinking!!  I don't think you can ever feel that you aren't enabling or helping her if you don't say something.  I will tell you it is a hard thing....very hard thing to do and to stick with.  Have you been the only one to even say anything to her?  My family agrees with my mother's drinking problem, but have been too afraid to say anything....I did, and continue to do so.  I cannot keep going through her "falls", etc. and have to be the one she keeps calling and depends on...especially if she refuses to admit the problem and get help.  She has definitely gotten mad at me and not called in awhile, including this last admission to rehab.  She told the family I was trying to place her, which is not what I said.
 
I don't know how old your mom is, but if she's close to my mom's age of 72, then the admitting to alcoholism is a huge thing and they just won't do it.  It is easier for your mother to cut people out.....it goes along with their denial.
 
If you don't mind my asking, what did you say to your mother?  I know we tip-toe through that as well.  I just had a long talk with my mom yesterday about the drinking....and didn't get too far.  She believes she can do it herself, but has never admitted to having a problem.  It's heartbreaking and more than frustrating!
 
You'll get great advise and support on this site though....you know you aren't alone and people can definitely feel empathy.
 
Any time you need to vent or talk, drop me a line, or post, etc.  Stick to your guns, you mom will start to call again.....they can't help it.
 
 
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WR
Reply with quote  #100 
Pix---In response, my mom is 80 now. Her dementia is more toward the moderate level: she is very repetitive, as short term memory loss, and often cannot remember that she was married. Can't remember the names of things or people, but can describe them. Often merges reality and her dreams, and thus gets really confused most of the time. She remembers my name, but sometimes forgets that I am her daughter.  Cycles through emotional states quickly, so sometimes the conversations are pretty comical for both of us, and other times, I just want pour a stiff drink myself!

There is no one to help her except me.   She stopped speaking to my sister over 20 years ago, and now has forgotten that she has another child.  She stopped communicating with other relatives over 40 years ago because she thought they were too stupid and uneducated.  So she has chosen to live in her own world for a very long time.  Her only other visitors are the other addicts, drunks and hangers-on in her building.  Sometimes her suspicions make her banish them as well, but there are always others who volunteer to help her.  In her functional days, she wouldn't have evn spoken to these people, but now she needs them to do run errands for her.

How did I tell her about her drinking? I was so frustrated and angry I just blurted out that she was inconsiderate of my time and energy, and that she couldn't even remember what day it was because she had been drinking.  She started to deny it, but the bottle of scotch (almost all gone) was on the counter. Unfortunately, her mental state does not allow rational discussion much of the time.  She just lapses into saying the same sentences over and over. So in this drunken state she was alternating between talking to me and mumbling to herself.  When I called her the following week she was sober, but I wasn't ready to have a big discussion with her.  In the interim I had called Adult Protective Services (APS), but there wasn't much they could do, because she would not open the door, and refused to answer their questions on the phone.  A few weeks ago she had finally agreed to a home health aide once a week (told her she would get a housekeeper), but I can see that will not be enough.  The APS guy said it sounds like she needs a nursing home, because round-the-clock home health will be too expensive. 

I think it is finally time to tell her that she has a permanent condition that will necessitate that we make plans for her care.  It may be better to let her know that this is serious and real.  It is not just about drinking, but that her condition is well underway.  Then I hope to tell her we should get confirmation from another health care provider besides me, so she can start making decisions about her future.  If that doesn't work I will need to get Power of Attorney (I don't look forward to this).  My friends say that although she will hate me for it, in a year or two, she won't remember anyway.  I just want her to be in a safe, secure place, so I can stop stressing about her. 

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pixiegirls
Reply with quote  #101 
WR...
Must be hard with the dementia at a moderate level and your mom having many confused moments.  I'm sure trying to talk to her about her safety, health, drinking, etc. are even harder not knowing how much she might remember.  My mom's have a couple of those "comical" moments, and you really do have to laugh at some of them....the needing to have a stiff drink is probably more common, lol.  I've had more people with alcoholic parents say the same thing.  Ironic.
 
I can't imagine how much stress it is for you being the only one in the family who is still around to help her get treatment or into a safer place to live, but don't let it take over your life.  Sounds like my mom with the refusing treatment/help and the continued denial.  That is where we are stuck now with my mother insisting that she's going home to live again where there is no doubt she'll start drinking again and smoking.  Right now we have about four weeks to try and figure some things out.  It will only be a matter of time before she falls and breaks something again, and honestly I don't think I can take it again.
 
If you are able to get her seen by a doctor, they may be able to assess that she is incompetent...making it somewhat easier for you to get power of attorney.  I would say to maybe ask her to sign a medical and durable power of attorney, but wonder if she would be too confused to sign and have it be legal.  The fact that she is refusing APS may be an indication of how she'll react to going to the doctor, etc. 
 
Do you have an idea of her financial status?  I know it's something that was recommended to me so that it was easier figuring out any NH placement.  With the costs being anywhere from $20,000-$50,000 a year (depending on where she lives), a lot of people have to think about Medicaid as an option when funds run out.
 
I'm sorry you had to bring up the drinking to her under those circumstances (catching her), but in the long run, at least you got it out and can say more easier.  As you said, it's only one part of her needing NH care, but also a huge part of safety issues.
 
I wish parents realized that having to make the decision that they be placed in some kind of care facility is for their safety and health.....not that we just want to put them away.  With my mother having anywhere from 10-15 falls (with many fractures) in the past few years, we are, and have been too afraid to leave her alone at home, but she's been insistant.  I had hoped this admission she would "see" that she's damaging herself with her vices and noncompliance.
 
I hope you are successful in getting your mother to see a doctor at least.  Sometimes they listen to their doctors more than the do their family.  I'm sure the doctor can help with finding her the care that she needs.
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WR
Reply with quote  #102 
Just an update on my mom.  Neighbors called 911 due to confused behaviors on the street, and she was taken to the hospital.  FINALLY I had her in a place where she could get the care she needed.  I asked for a stat psych consult.  They also did a CT scan of the brain. The doctors agreed she has dementia, but not due to Alzheimer's.  Rather, she has some dead brain cells due to ruptured vessels (undetectable mini-strokes). She remained in the hospital until we could arrange for a nursing home. 

She is now  on a dementia unit in a nearby nursing home. I thought she would resist going, but actually once I told her she could not go home again, she expressed relief that she would be in a safe place; no people asking her for money or beer.  Now that she is in the nursing home, I see that she was MUCH worse off than I realized; she was only functional because she was inside her home (familiar surroundings).  When she ventured outside, or had alcohol, she became really disoriented.

So in the twilight of her years, this fiercely independent woman has to be reminded how to do even the simplest tasks; her memory (long-term and short- term) are shot. But at least she is being looked after 24/7 in a caring environment, and getting regular meals.  And no more alcohol.

I only wish I had arranged placement sooner, and that she had managed her finances so that I didn't have to pay these exorbitant costs until Medicaid kicks in.  But as my Jewish friends, say, I will get my blessings later.  Right now, I'm just glad I was able to help her. 



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Sigh
Reply with quote  #103 
Hi all,
I know this is an old thread, but a google search brought me here. I read it and everybody seems to understand what it feels like to have an elderly alcoholic as parents, so I figured I'd get my story off my chest and maybe get some of my anger out.

First, one thing.  I have cancer.  I didn't choose to have cancer and I would do anything to not have cancer.  My mother and father are alcoholics.  They chose it and they don't want to stop.  Alcholism is NOT a disease, it is a behavior.  This belief - this certainty - is why I can't get support from Al Anon or other groups.  It is 100% not a disease.

I'm 52.  They have been drinking my entire life.  I grew up middle class so I suppose they were functional alcoholics.   When I was a child, it was cocktail hour at 5:00, which of course, often went very late and we kids went without dinner - mom sometimes needed a "nap."  Sometimes, she'd wake me up beating me with hangers because I left something on the floor.  (And she was drunk.)  On weekends, they would have afternoon bloody Marys.  There were many times that we couldn't leave the house to go somewhere in the evening because they had to drink first.  My high school graduation was notable - they were late because they had to have several cocktails.  Not only did they drink themselves, but they provided drinks to their kids.  I had my first drink at age 10 in a restaurant.  My dad pretended it was his and I sipped it.  Our favorite place to go as kids was bars.  How cute and subversive.

My mother is not only a drunk but she is abusive and mean.  She would have been without alcohol - I think she's just innately mean -  but alcohol made it worse.  I took the brunt of it.   I was beaten often and abused mentally.  She was cruel and humiliated me as much as she could.  I am a fighter though.  I lived to move out of the house.  I got a job at 15 and started saving.  At 16 I went all over my town looking for apartments but nobody would rent to me due to my age.  I was obsessed with getting out of there.  One week after I graduated from high school, I moved out to another city.  College was never on my radar because I was so focused on getting away from them.

I have a sister and a brother, both younger.  My sister had to be the good little girl - the peacemaker.  My brother was the wild one.  I was the rebel.  My mom stopped hitting me when I grabbed her around the throat and pushed her against the wall at 16.

Unfortunately, after I escaped, I had a malformed sense of normalcy, like most children of drunks.  So, I began drinking.  Heavily. I thought it was what everybody did.  They had so much scorn for non-drinkers that I had absorbed it.  I didn't realize that not drinking all the time was actually normal.    I eventually moved back to the same town my parents lived in and worked as a bartender.  We were friends then, because we drank together.  But, I got knocked up.  I realized that I didn't want to raise my child the way I'd been raised, and so I sobered up.

I turned into  a good, sober mom who later married and raised two very nice children.  My oldest is now 24 and my youngest is 13.

I once let my parents watch my baby.  Once.  I went somewhere and left him in the crib napping.  My mother, drunk, had decided that she didn't like a toy that was hanging near the crib and cut it down and left the scissors in the crib with the baby.  He was at the age where everything went in the mouth, maybe five or six months.  Fortunately, even though the scissors were near his head, he didn't wake up.

My parents drinking became a constant thing when my dad retired (was thrown out due to drinking.)  They moved 2 hours away and I moved on.  I did my yearly duty visits and that was it.  My mother doesn't want her children or grandchildren around because it interferes with her drinking.  The family joke used to be you can't call mom or dad after 5:00 because they were drunk.  The last 20 years it's you can't call them at all because they are drunk.  Most of my contact has been via email.

My mother has a cute little nickname for her morning drinks.  She calls it her "elevensie" which is the time she thinks she starts drinking.  In reality, she starts about 9:00 - passes out at noon, wakes up at 3:00, drinks again until 5:00 and passes out again.

My mother weighs 70 pounds and only drinks and smokes. She does not eat and I think she likes the power that gives her over everybody.  She is in a diaper.  She is 78.  Dad is now abused by my mother.  Her mouth is awful - she's as cruel to him as she was to me - but he is still functional and she isn't.  Yet, she controls him.  I don't understand it.

 He has paid for long-term health care for many years and he could use it for in-home services and get a break from her - but she doesn't want it so he won't.  He has to carry her around but he won't take her to the hospital because she refuses.

She won't let his family come up so he sees nobody.  His life is controlled by her.  However, while he stays relatively sober now because he has to carry her around, he is still not always sober and he is codependant.  I have suggested that to help my mother gain weight, they just delay their drinking until after they eat first thing, that alcohol is an appetite suppressant.  But he refuses.  'This is the way we've always done it and we aren't going to change now."

Fine.

During the past year I have been dealing with cancer.  I had a mastectomy, chemotherapy, had a year of herceptin infusions.  I have more surgery upcoming and will be in treatment for the next four years.

Needless to say, I got no support from my family and didn't expect any.  I was peeved a bit when they started talking about going to Mexico and seeing me wasn't on their radar, but I knew they weren't going to Mexico. 

 But, my dad is turning 80 this year.  My dad, drunk or not,  is a nice guy for the most part.  Seriously co-dependent and alcoholic but not mean.

Because he wasn't allowed to have a birthday party for his 80th, we decided to use my son's 24th birthday as a guise.  We were going to go up there on his birthday, have a family party to celebrate both.  My mother hates us all so we were just going to have a lunch, then leave and do something alone with the siblings and grandchildren.

As the date got closer, my mother began her Machiavellian tricks.  She suddenly got sick and stopped walking.  She told my father she couldn't handle us coming because she was too weak, which is no surprise, she's done this many times.  Despite the fact that I'd taken time off work (no easy task after a year of cancer treatment) and my youngest son's friend had rearranged a party so my son could go, they canceled.  Only my sister is allowed to go because they made plane reservations.

So, now you can guess.  I am not mad at my parents.  They are who they are.  But, I am very mad at my sister.  She is going.  She is catering to their illness.  She is still stuck in that good girl role even though it hurts other people.  My parents haven't seen me since my cancer diagnosis and apparently don't care to but they want to see her.  I told her I thought this game was old and we should all go or none of us should go, but she refused.  She has problems too - she is passive aggressive.  She "forgot" that it was my son's birthday and was supposed to be his party.

She was extremely hurt that they didn't go down to her son's wedding.  They sent a box in advance so they wouldn't have to carry on.  The box contained a change of clothes and a gallon of scotch.  (That was for one night).  But, she continues to coddle them and she said "if my dad wants me on his birthday, then I'm going. "  what she forgets is it isn't his birthday - his birthday is in December.  It was my SON'S birthday and my son is now not allowed to go to his own party.

So, I'm not mad at my parents.  They are who they are.  Cancer has taught me that I can't have these toxic people in my life anymore.  They were barely in my life anyway but every year, we have a situation like this.  I will not have a situation like this.  I have decided I will only go for funerals from now on.

But, I need advice on dealing with my sister. It makes me sad that they can hurt her over and over and she still takes it.  She's like my dad in that way, dealing with my mom.  It's awful.  I know I can't tell her that and I just can't stand to see it.   Cutting out the main cancer (my parents) is easy.  Cutting out the metastases (my sister) isn't as easy.

Thanks for listening. 















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Just a Friend
Reply with quote  #104 
I too found this through Google. I've read every single post.  I wonder if anyone has a live-in parent or knows some resources for someone who's alcoholic parent lives with them?
My ex lives with his mother due to some ongoing health issues on her end as well as financial hardship on both parts.  As a child he knew his mother was an alcoholic and caught her attempting suicide a couple of times.  After she got divorced, it seemed to get better.  Well, 20 years later, she got into a car accident and it turned out she was drunk.  And it's all gone down hill from there. 

What propelled me to look for answers was that today is the 3rd time in as many months that she's been hospitalized for drinking and/or suicide attempt by overdose on prescription painkillers and sleep meds.  He is the eldest of her children and the other two have all but given up on her. Because they can. But he lives there, and (as luck would have it) this year he quit his job and went back to school so he's not financially in a position to move out now either.  He has 4 children under 10 and they're all big fans of Grandma. As my 2 year old said, "Grandma gives  me candy. I like her".  They have always gone into her room freely to play or hang out or sleep.  Today she was found having taken an obscene amount of pills (something to the tune of 120). 

After her last attempt last month, he took over her meds and keeps them locked in his room and dispenses them to her.  But apparently she's been telling her dr that she was out or they weren't strong enough and stocking up on bottles in her room.  They found 12 bottles in her room.  She doesn't leave her room unless it's to go to her out-patient rehab, but once they found out she'd been using (when they called today to find out why she hadn't shown), they kicked her out. 

I just feel so terrible for him. He's called so many inpatient units, but they run into one of two answers, either her insurance is inadequate, or they have no room for her.  The hospital keeps releasing her after her 72 hr hold, because she convinces them she won't hurt herself again.  But there are children in that house. God forbid one of the babies wanders in and finds an open bottle of 'candy' or a bottle of liquor. 

Anybody have any resources or ideas? I want to help, but there isn't much I can do, except listen to him and let him vent to me... but it doesn't seem adequate.  Afterall, my children are there 2 weeks a month too.  I have more than a slight personal investment in the situation.  Thanks.

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WR
Reply with quote  #105 
Sigh;

Your health problems certainly have given you a lot to deal with!  Why complicate your life even further with worrying about your sister's actions? Although your sister's behavior is frustrating, who can say what her needs are that are driving her to bend to your parents' wishes?  You say you are not angry with your parents, but clearly their actions still upset you. If it is difficult to acknowledge your own feelings, might it not be difficult for your sister as well?  She may have many conflicting emotions.  Why not just let her do what seems right for her, and you do what is right for you.  Her willingness to forgive them or at least to temporarily forget their bad behaviors is really her issue.  It seems you want your sister to help punish your mother, but each person has to do what feels right individually. Without blame, let your sister choose her own actions.  

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