Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
to feel ashamed and disgusted? Should I be showing compassion?(Long - sorry)(527 Posts)
my DSis and I haven't seen eye to eye for quite some time - the last time I visited her house was in September 2009 when dd2 was a month old. Since then, I've given birth to DS1 - she didn't know I was pregnant with him as I asked people not to tell her. I didn't want her to know. The last time I had any contact with her was in August 2011 when she ruined my DD2s birthday party by starting a
massive row with my inlaws
DSis has 4 DCs, and I love them dearly. I have maintained contact with them even though I haven't had any contact with her.
At the beginning of the summer hols, DSis was admitted to hospital with some unknown illness. My parents begged me to make contact with her, and I did - for them, not for me or for her, but for my parents.
She was discharged from hospital (without a diagnosis) and we met for the first time in 12 months at my parents house. She met my DS for the first time and it was fine.
On Monday this week I took a trip up to her house as it was her DC3s birthday on Tuesday and I wanted to make sure the card and gift was on time. DSis was not expecting me and immediately upon entering her home I felt very uncomfortable - nothing I could put my finger on but very uncomfy.
Her DCs 3&4 told me upon my arrival that I shouldn't use the downstairs loo as mummy has been sick in there and it smells. DC4 also said that Daddy was still at work and he wasn't coming back.
Alarm bells started to ring, and I just felt that she wasn't herself. I thought she had been drinking, but talked myself out of that as I know how ill she has been. DCs asked if me and my DCs could stay for tea - DSis said we must and she would go and fetch takeaway. At this, I said we simply couldn't and had to get home.
I left after approx 45 mins.
On the way home, I called my parents and started off a whole chain of events which I'm devastated by.
I told parents that if I didn't know better I would say she was drunk - parents didn't believe me, so took a trip up to her house unannounced. The shit really hit the fan.
DSis denied drinking, but her whole attitude and demeanour gave her away. She attacked her DH, our parents and all in front of her 4 DCS who were screaming at their GPs to leave as they were making everything worse
It gets worse.
On wednesday, I got a call from DM to say I needed to pick her up ASAP and get to DSis' house.
On arriving there, we find, DSis sat in a heap on the floor covered in her own vomit. The living room floor covered in vomit with the youngest DCs playing in it and the family dog eating it <boak>
She was so out of it - sat there in just a bra, completely oblivious to her surroundings. This was at 5pm.
She had collected her children from school in the car in this state (but dressed) just over an hour before. Eldest DC had called her Dad to say they desperately so needed help as mummy was so ill. Daddy called GP and so on and so forth....
Dsis is fighting drunk. DCs are witnessing everything (and it was obvious by their reactions that they've witnessed it before).
Because of her recent stay in hospital, her DH and my DM thought it best to take her back to hospital - she is denying all the time that she has had a drink.
At 10pm last night, she was still twice over the legal drink drive limit - she wasn't fit to be seen by the MH crisis scene until after 2am.
She was vile to the hospital staff, DH, DM - everyone really.
It then all came out. She has been drinking in secret for YEARS. She has conditioned her DCs to say NOTHING by thereatening them with Social Services and telling them they would be taken away.
She has had numerous bumps in her car, and has been breathalysed on one occassion that we are aware of (obviously clear on this occasion). Her DCs finally admitted that mummy often mounts the kerb when driving and they have been covering up for her.
She also has major issues with dependency on painkillers. Again, she has denied this vehemently.
She was sent home from hospital soon after 5am today. She has a crisis team in place who will visit her daily at home. She is on a detox as she is severely alcohol dependent.
She missed her DC4s first day at school and her DC1s first day at Secondary school due to her drinking.
When she arrived home, her first concern was that she didn't want to see her MIL, and after that I received a call to ask if I had seen her iPad as she couldn't remember what she had done with it.
I dropped EVRYTHING last night to go to her and her DCs, and her major concern is updating her facebook status
I am disgusted, angry and ashamed of her. Right now I don't want to know her. I am livid that she has risked her children's lives and the lives of others by driving drunk on a daily basis for god knows how long.
I will do anything to make sure the DCs are safe, but I'm not sure I can see her without without giving her a good hard slap
Is this wrong? Should I be supporting her unconditionally?
AIBU for being this disgusted with her?
Where do I go from here?
She has some deep rooted issues which she had told everyone she was addressing and was getting counselling for - this was also a lie.
Sorry, I did say it was long.
I should clarify that every hospital asmission this summer has obvioulsy now been alcohol related, but until last night she was denying that she ever had a drink.
You can't help someone unless they accept they need help.
You can make sure her DC are looked after by a sober adult.
She needs help and compassion.
If I was you I would be angry and disgusted too, but try and keep it to yourself and help her and her family however you can.
Blimey. Don't know what to say but I didn't want to read and run. I don't think you should feel ashamed... I think you need to focus if possible on supporting your sister's children if you can.
Oh god... I really don't have much useful to say bit couldn't read and run.
One thing that struck me though... You should not feel bad for speaking up and bringing this to light. Those poor children need someone to step in and help them... Thank god you did.
I couldn't leave this unanswered, but I don't really know what to say :-(
Your poor DNs :-( I hope your sis gets the help she needs, and I think YANBU to feel how you do, however alcoholism is a mental illness, and your sis needs help to get through this.
More than that, your DNs need the help and support of the family as well, so whatever you feel, try to put it aside for them.
What a huge thing for you to be taking on board, it must have been such a shock for you
I can understand your anger and disgust, YANBU there
But, you will get over that and you will realise that it is the drink that has made her so selfish, and once she is dry, you'll see your sister of old again
Try and be there for her, support her and her DC any way you can, she's got a long road ahead of her
Dear god what a sorry sad tale....poor you....poor her (she's in a right state) and most of all her poor DC's what have they been going through. Has their Dad walked out then.
YANBU to feel revulsion and YANBU to find it it hard to show compassion but I think maybe some tough love to help her stay on the wagon would be a start. You have to think of the DC;s now & you & DM & the restof the family must help.
Must be awful for you & the extended family.....hugs.
It was her MIL that said she needed compassion. I'm finding it hard to find any.
Without wanting to drip feed - she has said truly awful things about our alcohol dependent uncle over the last 10 years, including wishing him dead.
Its the lies she has told and the fact that she hasn't even tried to hide it from her DCs which angers me the most. She has exposed them to so much and god only knows what they have witnessed.
Yes - you are being unreasonable and yes you should be more compassionate.
no you do not help her unconditionally...I do not think that will help her to take responsibility for herself to get out of the mess she is in. you do need to help the children as much as you are able though.
being angry is the right emotion for what she has put the children through, though expressing it in appropriate ways is very difficult.
Sorry posted too soon....
I agree that I too would probably feel disgust and anger at the situation but also incredibly sad that she has got to this state without anyone knowing.
I don't know what the difference is between unconditional and enabling I think I would contact Al Anon. They have a group for people affested by alcoholism, sorry brain gone dead and can't think what it's called.
What a nightmare.
I don't think your reaction is unreasonable. I think you and grandparents should come up with a plan to look after the children while she sorts herself out.
Nagoo - good suggestion. It is Al anon I think - for people affected by alcoholism rather than the alcoholic themselves.
It's difficult to witness but harder to be her or her children
Please try to keep that in mind
Try try try not to judge her.
If she were horribly uncontrollably diabetic or epileptic suffering hypos and storms she would have your sympathy
She has an illness. She needs support to get the treatment she needs for her illness.
I know it's hard to observe but try to provide the help you'd hope for if you were at the bottom of a pit
Alcoholism/drug dependancy is a disease. I know her behaviour is appalling, but the alcoholism is the cause surely?
I can truly empathise how difficult it is to be sympathetic to an addict who has been so destructive, but ask yourself- can you imagine that she WANTS to live this way? Can you imagine how painful it is?
I know it's easier said than done (personal experience) but do try to support her recovery, without enabling it.
Where has her dh been in all this. Did he not realise she was drinking? To get in that state frequently enough for the children to notice i don't see how he could not. So why has he been leaving the children with her?
I am so sorry, dealing with an addict in your family is so distressing. Of course your feelings are to be expected. The lying is hard to listen to. My oldest brother has been drug and alcohol dependent for years. He has a family that loves him and I can't begin to understand. I wish I knew what else to say. Your concern for her children is wonderful. Helping them may help you.
You are not being at unreasonable. Not in the slightest. You can't help how you feel and your feelings are valid.
Being related to an addict is not an easy thing, and it is not something that only every effects one person. Her alcoholism has affected out whole family, obviously her dc mainly, but no one can expect you to not have feelings about it and to just be a tower of strength to support her.
She does need your support, bit to be able to do that for her and her children, you will need support yourself. Do some research and find out what help is available to you, as the sibling of an addict and as the aunt of abused children, and then take whatever help you can. It's the only way ou will be able to provide good emotional support for her dc.
So far, yesterday and today, I have "acted" compassionately towards her - so as not to anger her really.
I don't think I actually feel any compassion for her, but will do anything to support her DCs. Her DH is still very much there and is very supportive |I think, but it appears that he enables her to continue with this behaviour.
My opinion is that he needs to grow a pair and put his foot down - tough love yes yes. But she makes his life hell. I am surprised he is still there TBH, a lot of men would have walked years ago. He loves her, I'm certain of that, and he definitely loves his DCs too.
Am trying to answer all questions as they come up - sorry if I miss anything.
I am happy to take whatever on board to help the DCs.
I understand that alcoholism is a disease and she does have some MH issues, of that we are now certain.
I want to help her, but she has to want to help herself doesn't she?
She is an addict. Addict's do terrible things to themselves and their families. I think the adults of the family need to have a serious discussion how this is to be dealt with. For the sake of the children you need to be there so you need to put your anger to one side and try and see your sister as ill. You need to discuss with the crisis resolution team what the next course of action is. Unconditional support doesn't equate to enabling her behaviour. Has anyone talked about sections yet?
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now »
Already registered? Log in with:
Please login first.