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Post by GetReal »

My older sister is truthfully a wonderful person--gifted, talented, artistic, athletic, etc. She has a great heart, but she is a terrible alcoholic. She has been drinking since she was 13 years old; she is 45 and drinks because she is unhappy so she is unhappy because she drinks so she drinks . . . She has been in more alcohol-related accidents, DUI situations, leaving the scene of the accident, etc., than I honestly can count. Alcohol brought about her cheating on her husband and getting a divorce. She never wanted her life to be fractured, but it is.

I sympathize, support, advocate, etc. I bail her out of jail, give legal advice, call prosecutors, etc. I do not make excuses--alcohol and her involvement with alcohol are to blame in all of these cases, and she HATES me for being good to her but being blunt about her alcohol issues. She has reduced herself to attacking me publicly and spreading vicious statements about my family. I live a lesser version of the life she would have lived if she could have given up alcohol. It is the life we would have shared together, but she has dismantled her life drink by drink. She is now set on dismantling everyone else's because she feels better about feeling sad when everyone else feels sad too.

I feel so beat up that I have thought of attending something to learn what family members of alcoholics can do to shake the emotional baggage. What we have all done is just quietly assist, cross our fingers and hope, pray, give our best--which is never deemed good enough--and suffer as we are judged by the alcoholic. Whenever we find any joy or happiness while the alcoholic is suffering, we are expected to read the alcoholic's mind, suffer too, and just accept the slander. A few weeks ago, while I was recovering from a head injury, she called me and texted me every few minutes regarding her most recent DUI that I was giving legal advice to her about. She was essentially second-guessing whether she needed a lawyer, and I encouraged her to get one if she felt that she needed one. She was mad because she felt I was not supporting her enough. I tried to calm her down, but she became more enraged with CAPITAL LETTERS and lots of punctuation!!!!! Finally, I text-cussed her out in a text message--it was mean. I apologized for it, but this mistake I have made has given her some type of fuel to demonize me in public and belittle me and ruin our family functions. I did tell her to leave me alone because my concussion required rest--she would not leave me alone--AND NOW she is shredding me anytime she has a person to speak to. It is embarrassing, childish, selfish, and simply the standard that she lives her alcoholic life by: she can make a million mistakes, but everyone else is expected to forget her mistakes, treat her as a saint, read her mind, and suffer any punishment she wants to hand out for whatever reasons she deems appropriate.

I found this quote at a time when I needed it, btw I like it, but I wonder what your opinion is: "When a toxic person can no longer control you, the person will try to control how others see you. The misinformation will feel unfair, but stay above it, trusting others will see the truth as you do."
Do I remain silent?
Do I respond to my sister's lies and criticism?
Do I publicly respond as she has been publicly attacking me?
Do I try to help her, which I think is what she wants, but she also wants me to beg her to let me be a part of her alcohol-crazed life--do I beg her?
Can I just quit knowing her for awhile and sever ties?
Is there a kind approach that you could recommend?
Is there a book or a place to begin?



Post by Noels »

Good morning Getreal. Your post brought back so many memories. Both from being the alcoholic who takes until there is nothing left in the other person and also from helping a loved one who was taking.
You and your family have been tremendous with your support of your sisters habbit and you will greatly benefit from contacting al-anon who is there to assist families and loved ones of alcoholics. I'm sure some more members will be along during the day to give you more information regarding al-anon.
Regarding your sister - alcoholics without recovery are unfortunately selfish, self centred people who take and take until there is nothing left to take and then we take some more. Whilst drinking we are unable to see our fault in anything so we live a life believing we have been done in and everything and everyone is to blame for our bad choices. The world owes us. .. my suggestion would be to contact AA, discuss your sisters situation and take a recovered alcoholic with a few years of sobriety who have worked the 12 step program with you to your sister to chat with her so she can hear the facts about alcoholism but also that there is a way out and where to find help. Then cut ties. For now and get yourself some help through al-anon. As long as she knows there is help available and where to find it you have done what you can. It is then up to her to go for help when she's ready to reach out.
It may sound harsh but by continuously bailing your sister out and helping her you are actually enabling her to continue to drink as she is not learning whilst still receiving all the help from everyone and sadly she will drink herself into the grave. That's the facts for alcoholics who continue drinking - hospital's, jail and death.

I'm sure some more members will be along during the course of the day with more suggestions but that's what I suggest.
Good luck and thank you for joining us here at e-aa :D
Love and light

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Post by Feeya »

Hey Getreal!
Please please please contact al-anon!
Try to see it like this: Your sister is lost in the woods and you are not helping her by getting lost yourself!
Al-anon is a great resource to learn and educate yourself on what your sister needs right now!

Best of luck to you,
One day at a time.

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Post by Reborn »

Like Feeya suggested get in touch with Alanon. An alcoholic's sickness touches everyone close to them especially those in the immediate family. Her behavior has made you spiritually ill...what really needs to happen is you need to concentrate on your own recovery. You may ask yourself "she's the sick one why do I need recovery?" From what you wrote above you definitely need some help with this. You may have to distance yourself from her...and when you find your own recovery you may be able to help. You are in a tough situation...try alanon it works.
We have recovered, and have been given the power to help others. BB pg 132

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Post by positrac »

This is such a slippery slope topic as family, closeness, care, love and even consumption in the control department can drive us all mad. I believe that I need to be true to thy own first before I start trying to save others. Is this cruel? Well if two people get hurt physically because of helping the other physically hurt person then you have two lost souls and this gives no one any hope.

If you look in the mirror and see you need to work on yourself and then you can learn to accept that your abilities fall short. Your sister has to want to change and life has to deal her a blow in order for her to possibly see she has a drinking problem. You can't tell her something she already knows and yet denies it exist while she slugs down another swallow of booze.

Go help yourself and step away because it might be you that has contributed to her drinking.... Point is you said she had the world in her hands because of talent she possessed, ever think she is jealous of you because you are just regular everyday sister? So work on you and eventually you'll see what we are saying and hopefully your sister will get sober and life might be different.

Tough love is hard and trying to control it via our vision of what is best makes it all the harder.
Work hard, stay positive, and get up early. It's the best part of the day.
George Allen, Sr.

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Post by kellye »

"When a toxic person can no longer control you, the person will try to control how others see you. The misinformation will feel unfair, but stay above it, trusting others will see the truth as you do."

I've lived this experience. My addicted daughter has slashed and burned me across all social media. The lies and misinformation nearly tore me down. However, I determined that those who knew me, even those who were not necessarily friendly toward me, would know the truth. Only people who wished me ill would credit the lies. So far so good. Chin up and prayers for your sister. She is so lucky to have you. I hope she will know that some day soon.

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