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AIBU to demand my BIL allows me to move into his house?

(136 Posts)
creamola Tue 23-Aug-11 10:58:31

(Long but background required to set scenario.)

I have posted before about my sister who has depresssion following hysterectomy and has turned to alcohol to cope.

She is now in a complete and utter mess.

Last week I discovered that BIL and niece had gone off on holiday and was able to get access to the house and bring my sister down to my house.

She is unrecognisable, filthy skin, hair and clothes, face broken out in red spotty blotches (looks like a drunk street person)

Her bedroom is beyond's filthy, full of empty bottles, old food, rubbish everywhere and stinks (not smells, stinks )

I had a long phone conversation yesterday with BIL to try and arrange a family meeting to see what idea's we could come up with to help and he's not interested.

More or less he's said myself, my son and my ex-husband (who helped me with her last week) can do what ever we want but he's not interested in being involved ......he's had enough and doesn't want to know??

I can't get her to move into mine so I'm considering insisting that I move into their house for maybe a month to see if I can get through to her and help her.

I know he won't go for it so wonder if it's unreasonable to just move in and refuse to leave due to him refusing to help her?

BabyDubsEverywhere Tue 23-Aug-11 11:01:52

could you not call social services? they act for all vunerable people surely?

BabyDubsEverywhere Tue 23-Aug-11 11:03:24

sorry posed too quick, it sounds awful. But you dont have right to access their home and surley arguments wont help your sis, you need proffessionals in imo. Please dont try to tackle this yourself.

cricketballs Tue 23-Aug-11 11:03:29

does she want help? You can not force an addict to accept help, they have to want it or nothing will work (speak from experience sad)

Mandyville Tue 23-Aug-11 11:05:23

You poor thing - and your poor sis.

I understand why you're desperate. Your BIL is obviously at the end of his rope. If HE can't help your sister, I can't see how you moving in will help. It's awful that she's in this state, but no-one can take responsibility for recovery from alcoholism apart from the alcoholic herself.

I hope someone with knowledge of depression and alcoholism will be along to suggest sources of aid...

Would she go to the doctor again? It sounds as though she needs more medical help.

porcamiseria Tue 23-Aug-11 11:05:35

oh what a terrible scenario, poor everyone

I think you do have to respect his views as he is the dad here

BUT maybe force an interventon with her

fuck, this is hard

Mitmoo Tue 23-Aug-11 11:06:18

Of course you are being unreasonable. If anyone moved into my house without my permission I'd have the police remove them.

How awful would that be for your niece to see her father kicking out his aunty. You are coming from the right direction but you are not thinking about going about it the right way.

A few suggestions: Go to an Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, they are not just there for the alcoholic but support the family too. They will give you some good (and legal) ideas on what you can do.

Call MIND see what they suggest, she may be bad enough to get sectioned.

Try to work with BIL you should if it is possible be working together because the better your sister is the better it is for your niece.

InfinityButNotBeyond Tue 23-Aug-11 11:07:27

Well I don't know your BiL but it sounds like it's taken a while for your sister to get into this state - and quite possibly BiL has been supporting her through that time and has just now had enough.

As PPs have said it seems like she needs more help than you (or BiL) can provide.

LadyLapsang Tue 23-Aug-11 11:08:17

Do you think he is just fed up trying to deal with her? Is she receiving medical / psychiatric care? Sounds like she may have refused help, has turned to alcohol and he is trying to keep some normality for their child.

springydaffs Tue 23-Aug-11 11:21:18

I really feel for you all. It is an awful situation, extremely painful sad

your BIL has probably done all he can and realises there is nothing you can do about the landslide that is an alcoholic re it is far more powerful than any human intervention.

however, you haven't tried. You will probably go through the same process your BIL has and realise there is nothing you can do to help her. You also have to take into account the appalling toll it would take on you and your family if you stepped into the chaos that is her life (it sucks you in and spits out your bones). Maybe you have to try it to realise it's hopeless?

I don't think you can move into her/BIL's house without his permission - though you should be able to camp there while he's away? Is your neice her daughter? Is she living in a house? How old is she (the neice)? If she is your sister's daughter and is living in the house, have ss been involved at any stage?

What medical treatment is your sister getting? I have heard this before re a woman having a hysterectomy and going totally off the rails re mental health - unrecognisable from before. <cry>

It feels desperate to hear your/her story. I hope someone with more experience will post some concrete advice. Have you contacted the Alcohol Advisory Service? (I think it's called that).

Wishing you all the very best. xx

SDTGisAnEvilGenius Tue 23-Aug-11 11:23:39

I know someone with an alchohol problem, and it is a huge strain on the family, especially those living with the alchoholic, so I can understand how your BIL has reached the point of not wanting to try to help your sister any more - he's probably tried more times than he can count, and doesn't have the emotional or physical energy to do any more - and any energy he has got left, he is putting into protecting your neice and giving her as normal a life as possible.

Also, as others have said on this thread, you cannot force an alchoholic to accept help - they have to acknowledge for themselves that they have reached rock bottom, and to ask for help themselves. The partner of the alchoholic I know rang Alchoholics Anonymous, at the request of their partner (the alchoholic), and even though she was ringing with at his request, they still wanted to speak to him directly.

How is your sister feeling at the moment? Does she accept that she has a problem and needs help - if she does, then find your nearest, soonest AA meeting, and take her there. If not, then the best you can do at the moment for her is to clean her up, clean up her bedroom for her, feed her up and offer support.

I realise that you want to do more, to turn this situation round for your sister, and my heart goes out to you because yours must be breaking to see her in this state. Somewhere, deep inside, she may well acknowledge how much you love her and care for her, and the fact that you are there to support and help her when she is ready to make the changes she needs to make in her life - hold onto that fact. And it might help you too to go to an AA meeting, to seek support for yourself and your BIL.

I hope your sister realises she has a problem and tackles it with your help and support.


creamola Tue 23-Aug-11 11:32:57


my neice is 20 and no longer lives at home.

So it's just the two of them.

One of the issue's is that my sister has always been the 'dominent/sensible' one in the relationship.....earned all the money, paid the bills and supported BIL (I'm not exactly sure why but he's never really been responsible for anything)

I think one of the problems has been in that the family has always relied on my sister to 'sort things' out and I think he's just got completely out of his depth and ignoring things is his usual coping mechanism.

She's been on waiting lists for several types of help and got confirmation that a cpn will be in touch soon (but we don't know when soon will be)

It sounds horrible but after the conversation yesterday it sounds like he's just waiting for her to die because that will solve all his problems. This of course freaked me out and I know I want to do something but have never had to deal with anything like this before.

It's heartbreaking and makes me feel useless

Mitmoo Tue 23-Aug-11 11:38:34

Can you do anything to chase up the waiting lists saying you are in fear for her life. I would urge you to call Alcoholics Anonymous. I was married to a compulsive gambler and the help, support and understanding I got from GA was amazing even though my ex never once attended as "he didn't have a problem and was in control".

Who is getting her this booze, does she have the money to keep going out for it? Is she well enough to go out?

Andrewofgg Tue 23-Aug-11 11:38:58

YABU. It's not your home and you have no right to demand any such thing.

creamola Tue 23-Aug-11 11:39:38

cricketballs there a way you can tell if they really mean it when they say they 'want to change?'

BIL thinks it's lip-service I think she does but is lonely, lost and desparate & has the intention but not the will-power

AnyFucker Tue 23-Aug-11 11:42:49

Speak to her GP and ask if he can push forward an urgent crisis meeting for her, with Social Services, Mental health and/or alcohol abuse services

FGS, don't push yourself into their home

You can't take the law into your own hands in this way

ignore the BIL for now, and concentrate on getting your sis the professional help she needs

you are not a professional, and risk making the whole situation even worse than it already is

Gonzo33 Tue 23-Aug-11 11:46:01

OP, my friend had an alcohol problem for over 20 years. He has been through re-hab several times. The last time he went through re-hab he was told it was his last chance saloon. It was extremely hard for him, but in the end he made it through re-hab and he is still dry after 2 years. It is getting easier day by day for him.

The one thing that sticks in my mind was when he said "Only the addicted can beat the addiction". Don't get me wrong he was very greatful for the help that everyone gave him, but ultimately he had to help himself.

He was also help by the CPN because he started to drink through guilt and depression.

creamola Tue 23-Aug-11 11:47:27

thanks Mitmoo

I'll try AA again.

She appears to be getting it herself from the shop that's directly opposite her house.......but from what I can gather he must be serving it to her whilst she is obviously in a state.

She has her own money from savings, and redundancy but have no idea how much is left.

I should also have mentioned the house is in her sole name, daughter grown up and left home.

BuxomWenchOnAPony Tue 23-Aug-11 11:56:53

God, what a nightmare for you. Have you suggested to BIL that you stay with them? He might actually appreciate the support, even if you can't help your sister much you could help him. He might be feeling embarrassed that things are out of control, that by wanting your sister to stay with you that you are saying he is in some way inadequate/responsible for her condition.

I'd second AA too, and asking her GP to do a home visit to assess the situation and make appropriate referrals.

Fwiw, you sound like a great sister and she's lucky to have you.

creamola Tue 23-Aug-11 22:58:30

just wanted to say thank you to for the replies.

I've used the advice given and whilst it's only the first step, and I've made numerous phonecalls , I truely appreciate the replies

I'm going to be moving in though for 3 weeks regardless of whether or not my BIL likes it or approves of it

Xales Tue 23-Aug-11 23:21:44

You are a lovely sister and it is clear that you love and want to help your sister.

What do you think that you can do that your BIL has not probably tried some where down the line?

What do you think you can do in three weeks? You can try to keep her away from the booze. Clean her, clean her place.

As soon as you turn your back or leave if she wants to she will be straight back on the bottle and in a few weeks back to the same point.

You sister needs to reach rock bottom and want to sort things out for herself without you. She hasn't wanted to do this for her 20 year old DD. Do you think her DD probably hasn't seen her like this or tried to help either? sad

No one else can do this for her.

The best thing you can do is get the best professionals in this area involved and help your sister that way.

Kayano Tue 23-Aug-11 23:24:13

Weeeeew no way

Yabu IT is not your house! Sister won't move into yours so there isn't much you can do. If it was my house and BIL decided or insisted in moving in to 'help' I would join Team Fabby and have you forcibly removed.

Xales Tue 23-Aug-11 23:25:33

I also don't see why are you saying it is her house in her sole name. If they are married and have been a long time (to have a 20 year old daughter) then it's their house isn't it?

If you go in all guns blazing with this attitude you are going to be fighting battles on more sides and maybe not helping your sister at all.

FabbyChic Tue 23-Aug-11 23:27:11

Its your sisters house, how does she feel about you moving in? In order to give her help she has to ask for it. Has she?

Kayano Tue 23-Aug-11 23:27:25

Op so the majority if the advice is Do not move In or force the issue so you are doing the exact opposite? Moving in for 3 weeks regardless of BIL opinion is bank out of order and will only put more strain on an already stressful situation.

He might snap and ask you both to leave. And as he isn't the one drinking and doing
Most of the childcare it will only make things harder in the long run


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