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My sister the alcoholic

Posted by on Dec. 1, 2009 at 2:10 PM
  • 5 Replies

So, when I was pregnant I asked my sister if she would be my daughters god mother. At that time I thought that she was a pretty good mom, and so I figured she would be a good pick. I had no idea that at the time she was a closet alcoholic and addicted to perscription drugs. NO IDEA. So in the last 2 months or so, she has gotten out of control, stopped taking care of my niece and only staying in her room with the door closed. We all thought it was a depression and were trying to get her psychiatric care, well it turns out she has been drinking all day popping xanax and whatever else she can. My poor niece had been taking care of herself (6), since her dad, my sisters husband works 12 hour grave shifts, he had almost no idea what was going on. Lately my niece has been staying with my mom part time, and me part time. She is a complete mess, I feel so awful for her. She is acting out, and has exzema from washing her hands obsessively, also wetting the bed. I am so mad at my sister for this.

Today she is supposed to go to rehab for 30 days, hopefully she goes. Anyway, I don't want my sister to be part of my daughters life in the way of being her god mother anymore. I feel bad though because I already asked her, and at the time she was so stoked. Now I am so pissed, and disgusted. Is this wrong of me? Would I be a complete jerk to not allow her to do this anymore? How do I tell her? Any ideas?

by on Dec. 1, 2009 at 2:10 PM
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jkleinman
by on Dec. 1, 2009 at 2:25 PM

Got to love alcoholics.  I grew up with two, my mom and my step father.  It's not an easy thing to deal with at all, you also can't make them clean up if they really don't want to.  They have to want to be sober in order to remain sober, remember that for future reference.  If it wasn't her choice to go into rehab, she may not remain sober after you all stop watching her, or she may become even more secretive about it.  My mom did.  Another thing you should know and remember alcoholism is actually a disease that cannot be cured, only treated, and managed cafefully.  This means she can never have another drink again, it's too much of a risk.

Your sister needs your support right now, not your anger.  I was angry with my mother for years, but it did no good, and I think it made it worse at times too.  You can still be angry, but don't show it to her.  Talk to your DH about it.  When she gets sober sit down with her and talk to her.  Ask her what has happened that was the trigger for her drinking because a lot of times that is the case.  Something has happened to them that has affected them emotionally, and/or mentally to start their drinking.  It's usually something they don't want to face so they use alcohol and drugs to hide from it.  Right now your sister is her own worst enemy as well as hurting, and needs to be shown that despite what she has done she is still loved and that you are there for her to support her through this very difficult time in her life because believe me it is very difficult.  I really hope for her sake and the sake of the entire family she does stay sober, but always be aware of what is going on.  If she seems like she's slipping, sit down and talk to her, be a friend, and help her.  Let her know she can come to you with anything and that she is absolutely NOT alone.  Also consider Al-Anon meetings to get some more insight into alcoholism.  Consider al-ateen for her daughter.  It's not just for teens, it's just what it's called.  Both of these are great support systems for families of alcoholics. 

I would wait to talk to her about being or not being your child's god mother right now.  This is stressful enough for her right now.  You don't want to make it worse.  For every step forward she takes any anger or hurt could send her 3 steps back.  Just make sure that above all else, she knows you love her, and you are there for her.  Good luck.

luckygirl333
by on Dec. 1, 2009 at 2:31 PM

Thank you so much for responding. I would never let her know right now how angry I am, or the god mother issue. I would wait until she has been sober for a while and is a little stronger. She knows we all love her. But honestly, I'm having a hard time not being completely disgusted with her. I am here picking up the pieces with my niece, seeing how neglegent she has been with her. We have all been holding my sisters hand for over a year now (thinking it was just depression), and I don't know how much more I or anyone else can take.

I really appreciate your long response, you covered a lot of bases.

mistie900
by on Dec. 1, 2009 at 2:36 PM

Your poor niece! I hope your sister gets some help, at least for her daughters sake!

jkleinman
by on Dec. 1, 2009 at 2:48 PM

One thing I did forget depression can be a trigger and a cause for a  person to begin drinking.  Unfortunately a lot of alcoholics don't realize this or refuse to admit that they have something wrong with them and tend to use drinking as an antidepressant problem is alcohol is a depressant and only makes depression worse so chances are she is depressed and only making it worse, but not realizing it.

Kageegirl
by Gold Member on Dec. 1, 2009 at 3:02 PM

     I can totally relate to what you are dealing with.  My older sister (31) is a depressed alcoholic addicted to prescription drugs.  Only difference is my sister has 3 children who are 8, 6 and 4 years old.  She lives with her abusive boyfriend and works 2 nights a week at a whole in the wall bar.  She collects child support for her two older children as well as social security because one is autistic and the other is dyslexic.  She uses that money has her money for drugs/alcohol.  She also receives over $500 a month in food stamps.  My sisters kids have been living with my parents for the last 3 years and over a week ago she up and took the children.  We haven't heard from her since last Sunday. 

     I'd have to say in your situation you just have to do what you feel is right.  If your sister needs help then she should get it.  I wouldn't shut her out completely.  I'd let her know that she will not be allowed to be around my kids until she gets cleaned up.  I wouldn't write her off maybe what she needs is support from family to help get her through this. 

                                                  

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