Monday, June 1, 2009

Some Things Bring Me to My Knees...

Most of what I put out here is insubstantial crap. This is not a journal. It is my way of trying my hand at humor with a bunch of fluff in between. But sometimes? Sometimes I need to rant. I understand that what I put out here is here ‘for all to see’. I also understand that what I have to say today may upset some of my relatives because it is of a personal nature, but deal with it. These are ‘my’ thoughts and I can share them if I want.

There’s a post I put out last summer regarding my brother’s drinking. If you don’t remember it or haven’t read it please take a moment to read it here.

He’s fallen off and climbed back up on ‘the wagon’ several times since last August. There have been many more trips schlepping him to the ER and an out patient facility. For the most part it seemed he was doing better and trying. His last stab at sobriety has lasted over two months…until a week ago. No one knows what happened. Things seemed to be looking up for him and then BAM!

My mother happened to be out of town enjoying a rare vacation with one of her sisters. It makes me happy that she was able to do this. My husband got her airline ticket with his points and my aunt paid for the hotel room. My parents, like many seniors, are on a fixed income. An income that basically just covers their living expenses, unfortunately they’re supporting my brother on top of it.

While my mom was gone my dad stopped by a few times for a cup of coffee and just to chat. Just to chat? My dad is a man of few words. Few words, but his actions speak volumes. He is the man that would never call into work sick and work his vacation days to make sure he could provide for his family. He is the man who will ask to hold the baby of a woman he just met just to gaze into their eyes. While he was here I had to hand him a tissue to wipe his eyes. He wasn’t crying; his eyes just tear up all the time now because of his age. As he wiped his eyes he told me how he didn’t think he’d live this long and how most of his friends have passed away. That hit me hard.

I know my parents won’t be here forever, but whether it’s another year or ten, I want those years to be happy for them because they deserve it. My blood boils that my brother is robbing them of this. I wish they had the strength to let him go; to make him go.

After my brother’s binge he decided to leave; no one told him to. His truck wouldn’t start so he packed his backpack, grabbed his tent and left on his bicycle. Later in the day my dad realized his truck was gone; this is not good as he lost his license and his insurance has lapsed. In keeping with past scenarios he’ll be back. It might be by his accord, but from experience he’ll most likely have to be picked up from a hospital, an out of state motel, a bar, or some random street where a stranger took pity and made a phone call.

Please know that I love my brother with all my heart. It tears me up to see him struggle with this addiction and I can’t fix it for him, but I also love our parents.

When, and how, will this end?


Bama Cheryl said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your troubles with your brother. It's such a rotten affliction and it affects so many people. My father was an alcoholic and died of it. You may want to talk with someone - whether a counselor or a person affiliated with AA - to see what's the most healthy way for you and your parents to deal with your brother so you don't continue to enable his behavior. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Mental P Mama said...

My heart aches for all of you...what an insidious sickness. I understand that Al-Anon meetings can be lifesavers for family members. Blessings to you.

Wait. What? said...

I am so sorry to hear this is going on - addiction of any kind is something that loved ones have no control over - and my first inclination is to offer up al anon as a source of comfort to you - because it has played a huge role in helping me deal with my husband's alcoholism.



Lola said...

Oh, Linda, I know this pain all too well. It rips your heart out to see your elderly parents (parent, in my case) dealing with their addicted child. It's my sister in our family.

She basically became a shut-in many years ago, which is good in the sense that she can't hurt herself or anyone else out in the world, but the damage she did to her two boys has been a mess that my mother and brother and I have been trying to clean up for years.

Hopefully, your brother will straighten up again and stay that way so that your parents can have some peace. My sister has never even tried.

TexAss said...

My heart hurts for you and this situation. I can't imagine the emotions you and your parents are feeling right now but I totally agree with you. There are some things a parent should not have to live with, namely an adult child with a life threatening addiction. I don't think there is such a thing as a family who hasn't been totally ripped apart by addiction, mine included.

I'll be thinking about you and your parents. Hopefully your bro gets a major wake up call and realizes what he's done.

Gin said...

I'm really sorry to hear this. I have been living with my husband's alcoholism for about 4 years and it is so frustrating to see what he is doing to himself and also our family.
Unfortunetly, unless alcoholics want to change, they won't. Because of the disease they are extremely selfish and can't think about anyone but themselves.
I am thinking of you and your parents. Hang in there.

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

Alcoholism, drug addiction, etc, are all very selfish diseases. Your brother is being very selfish and that selfishness is interfering with your life and the lives of your parents. It will take either your brother walking away from alcohol for good, or for you guys to walk away from brother. The latter would be difficult for you and your parents, but it may be what wakes your brother up to his condition and finally giving up drinking.

I'm so very sorry, hon. I wish he would realize the pain he's causing for everyone.

Cindy said...

Oh my goodness, I must be your doppleganger...well, that's if one didn't have to be good and the other bad. And, I suspect that's a myth anyway. Our father's are very similar. My brother and sister are alcoholics. She's in recovery but, he's not. It is VERY difficult seeing my father and son and nephew suffer on account of my brother's chronic alcoholism. My brother employs them all. We have a bizare alcoholic family with a lot of workaholics at the same time. As a mother, I'm helping my son put our AlAnon program to work in his young life with his alcoholic uncle. My Mom and Dad go to Al Anon and life has gotten so much less stressful for them regarding their reactions and pain to the alcoholics. Thank God for that.

meleah rebeccah said...

this is so terrible, for ALL of you. I am sooo sorry. I dont even know what to say, so I will just send you a virtual hug. ((((hugs)))

Anonymous said...

It's so hard to deal with an addiction of any kind. It causes so much stress for everyone. My heart goes out to you and your family for having to bear this. I'm so sorry.

Nej said...

It really sucks. Stories like these are never good, and when they affect the family in such severe ways it's even worse.

From my experience, unless they want to change, they aren't going to. You (and you parents) need to find a way to deal with what he's doing (and not going to stop doing).

Anonymous said...

Oh my friend, there's no easy answer to any of that, is there? I am sorry for the struggles for your parents and your brothers. It's not bound to end happily, which is the worse part. Blessings to you all.