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to feel ashamed and disgusted? Should I be showing compassion?(Long - sorry)

(527 Posts)
BabylonPI Thu 13-Sep-12 22:24:11


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 sad

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 sad

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 sad

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 angry

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.

I'm gutted sad

Sorry, I did say it was long.

kiwichan00 Thu 01-Nov-12 04:06:22

Sorry! Just seen end of thread, sounds like things are evening out for now, please disregard previous post! Duh...x

kiwichan00 Thu 01-Nov-12 04:06:04

Sorry! Just seen end of thread, sounds like things are evening out for now, please disregard previous post! Duh...x

kiwichan00 Thu 01-Nov-12 04:02:20

Her behaviour will never change until and unless she accepts the fact that she is an alcoholic. This could be some time away, and nothing you say or do will make the blindest bit of difference to her behaviour, it's a case of accept it (i know this is a massive ask..!) and do whatever the children need to support them. Nothing and no one will change her addiction/behaviour/habits but herself and this won't happen till she accepts she is an addict. Counselling/support group for you all will really help, it's amazing how reassuring it is to talk to other families and realise you are entitled to every feeling you will experience and it doesn't make you a shit sister. Good luck, and look after yourself, big hugs. ;)

AdoraBell Thu 01-Nov-12 02:46:01


So glad to see that things are still on track with Dsis and the DCs are doing well, BIL too. I was wandering about you yesterday, you've done a fantastic job of helping Dsis and her family. I hope she, and they, continue to improve.

cfc Thu 01-Nov-12 02:38:26

I am pleased to hear that babylon, it is indeed a tough time of year coming up - I really hope you all see it through unscathed.

I am heartened to hear that addaction is helping - I might have some contact with them myself soon to ask their advice, but I also found alanon very helpful, personally speaking, in trying to understand my loved one's addiction.

Anyway, am trying to figure out how to get this child back to sleep whilst enduring some braxton hicks! Why didn't I stop at one, again???

Anniegetyourgun Wed 31-Oct-12 14:46:15

I haven't been giving you support (sorry) due to no helpful experience, but have been lurking and cheering you on and am delighted to see how things have progressed. Even if she does have a relapse the rest of you are all geared up now and know what to do - hopefully that will guide her back onto the straight and narrow more quickly. Hopefully, though, she won't. BIL seems to have gained a lot from it too, like finding his backbone for example!

BabylonPI Wed 31-Oct-12 11:41:44

Things are indeed still on an even keel.

Tomorrow I am taking dsis and her DCs, along with my DCs and dm to the local adventure farm place - it should be a great day.

We are all still accessing support from al anon and dsis is still regularly visiting Addaction and getting smegood counselling.

The children are good and happy, bil is like a new man - he looks 10 years younger, and all in all, I'm very pleased at how it is going.

It is still relatively early days and obviously there is one of the most stressful times of year almost upon us. I'm tempted to think that if she can get through Christmas without falling off the wagon, then I may dare to hope that we will have turned a corner.

I'd like tho thank you all again for the amazing support you showed me here, it is so appreciated and you'll never now just how much it has helped me and my family , so thank you.

cfc Wed 24-Oct-12 21:06:19

I hope things are still on an even keel, babs?

Wingedharpy Thu 18-Oct-12 04:37:04

I'm feeling hopeful for you and yours Babylon.
Hope all continues to go reasonably smoothly and your Sis remains focussed.
I just wanted to throw in a thimbleful of sympathy for your DBil.
His own Mother's response to all this was to opt out and not get involved or attempt any support for her own son or his children.
His role models in his formative years came nowhere near to yours and consequently he's turned into a fairly useless husband.
With the help of you and your Dad, he can now see the error of his ways.
Glad those children are happier.

BabylonPI Wed 17-Oct-12 22:03:45

Spent today with dsis at her house. Her youngest dc was poorly and off school, and other than that it's been a really nice day smile

BabylonPI Mon 15-Oct-12 22:29:58

Thank you Fraser

The DCs know they have a safe haven with me and GPs whenever they want/need it - we have made it clear we are only ever a phonecall or text away and will be with them inside of half an hour if they need us to be.

Dsis has also told them, in front of me and DM and BIL that if they are ever worried, scared or concerned about her, then they must call either me or GPs - without any fear that they will get into trouble or cause any trouble.

Today dsis has made a massive effort decorating her ds1s bedroom - she is methodically working her way through the house with the help of DM - she says it is nice to have focus and be busy; and of course feels good that she is reclaiming her home.

On Wednesday DH and I are taking DS and going to spend the day with her - DH is a property maintenance man and she has a few jobs that need to be done - so he has volunteered to do them. BIL is NOT DIY minded in the slightest and wouldn't know the arse end of a screwdriver from it's elbow! grin

fraserboysmum Mon 15-Oct-12 11:16:47

Can i come at it from a different angle ... I grew up with an alcoholic Mum ~ my Mum was awful when drunk, overly affectionate, followed by intense anger. Luckily my stepdad was a diamond and there whenever she had a particularly bad 'episode' ... i can guarantee you that those poor kids need to know they have a 'safe haven' and someone to talk to. They will feel ashamed, embarrassed and also guilty for not being able to stop it or do anything about it .
Sadly it works out my Dad has now (after many years of drinking excessively ) admitted he is an alcoholic so all the childhood traumas have come back. I won't bore you with the details, but i truly believe the best support you can give your sister is to be there for her DC until she gets herself sorted ( if indeed she ever does ) Alcoholics are selfish and will think of nothing but their next drink, she's ill ~ disgusting behaviour as it is. I'm really sorry you are going through this, but Al Anon may be able to help you vent some anger and frustration xx I'll be thinking of you all xx

saffronwblue Mon 15-Oct-12 10:57:35

Hi Babylon
What a lot has happened in a month. You should feel really proud of yourself - you have been a fab sister, aunt and daughter. Baby steps and you may not be able to stop a slip backwards at some point but no-one could have done more than you have. Sounds like your DNs are regaining a sense that the world is a safe place with adults in charge. That is what matters most of all.

BabylonPI Sun 14-Oct-12 09:53:47

Thank you weregoingtothezoo and I'm pleased you're on the road to recovery.

I too have my doubts that dsis has reached rock bottom but I guess I have to ride it out.

I really appreciate you sharing your story with me, it helps a lot.

Good luck to you too, and if you need support, please feel free to pm me or use this thread for support smile

weregoingtothezoo Sun 14-Oct-12 09:41:47

Hi Babylon,
I'm ***** and I'm an alcoholic/ addict.
Considering that it's only a month since you discovered about this, I think you've done absolutely everything you can for your sister, given that you have a lot on your own plate with children including a baby and school things, home, husband, supporting your parents, etc.
I hope you keep going to Al-Anon, and your sister to wherever works for her - did you mean she'd been to AA rather than Al-Anon in an earlier post? Also NA may help her - they make no distinction between what drugs an individual has used or how they got hold of them.
Alcoholism is a chronic, progressive, fatal disease and not, as it's so easy to believe, a moral failing. I've struggled with that statement - I mean, doesn't it seem so convenient? No fault, no responsibility? My experience of AA has helped me see that I was not responsible for the fact that I am an addict, but I am responsible for my recovery. I hope - and it's very early days and baby steps - you and your family can get to this point.
With my own story, I encountered Social Services as soon as I asked for help. GP referred me and no community detox or antabuse is done in my area. My family did the opposite of yours - they phoned Social Services when I drank and told them I wasn't fit to look after my daughter. Harsh, but true. I think this meant I went on to reach what I hope was the rock bottom for me, faster. No help in my home, no people around, like your sister has, the fear and loneliness and isolation set in hugely fast. I sometimes worry when I hear of people being cushioned, with families that have the best of intentions, that their rock bottom is being prolonged. I hope this is recovery for your sister, and that this is as bad as it has to get for her, which I know has been horrendous for you all. But it could be worse - I have been there.
I don't know if this has helped, I've shared it wanting to be useful, and best wishes to you and your family.

BabylonPI Sat 13-Oct-12 21:38:58

School run is going well. BIL takes them in the morning then they have a taxi to collect them - dsis goes in taxi to meet them so it's all working out ok.

DM is also starting to reduce the time she is spending at dsis' house which is good - dsis needs to learn to spend time on her own without being tempted to drink.

It really is small steps but so far, there have been no backwards steps <touches wood> wink

achillea Sat 13-Oct-12 21:13:08

I'm really pleased to hear that things are going well with your sister, that your Mum is also supporting her. How are the kids doing now? Is BIL coping with the school run?

BabylonPI Sat 13-Oct-12 12:39:52

Ironically it's a month today since this thread started and things are more "normal" than I expected them to be.

I was praised by dsis' addaction worker as my attitude to alcohol has not changed - and I still drank alcohol in front of dsis.

The addaction worker pointed out to dsis that everyone else avoiding alcohol won't help her, and actually my attitude towards it doesn't need to change. I don't drink to excess --very often--blush nor do I hide the fact that I like to drink now and then, and it doesn't stop me doing anything else. smile

BabylonPI Sat 13-Oct-12 12:35:39

Things are moving along nicely still.

DM has helped dsis redecorate her house and she feels better about her home now.

She's also started weekly sessions with addaction and her worker is a recovering alcoholic who is still practicing nursing - this has given dsis hope that she too will be able to return to her career someday.

All in all things are quite positive, but I don't believe we're out of the woods yet.

Small steps smile

Jux Tue 09-Oct-12 22:39:44

That's great news, Babylon. You always said the children were your priority, and you can see the beneficial effect your intervention has had already; very rewarding, and a good time for you to see the difference. You need occasional 'rewards' to remind you of why you're doing this, otherwise it can become just so tiring and you wonder what you're doing it for. So glad the children's states of mind seem to be improving. Bet you're relieved.

And how are you? How about your parents? Is your mum managing OK? So hard for you all. There's not one person who can be finding this easy.

BabylonPI Sun 07-Oct-12 23:42:18

One day at a time TET - slowly but surely and all that!!

There is a remarkable difference in the DCs though - a positive difference, their behaviour is so much better smile

TheEnthusiasticTroll Sun 07-Oct-12 22:59:21

Steady progress Babylon, keep strong.

achillea Sat 06-Oct-12 07:47:19

It must be very very hard for her, I'm glad she is getting help. It takes a long time to become alcohol dependent, it also takes a long time to be free of It.

BabylonPI Fri 05-Oct-12 17:37:11

He's keeping his head down and credit to him he's actually trying really hard with the DCs and is really parenting them.

Small steps there too though hmm

Jux Fri 05-Oct-12 17:29:49

Well, yes. Keeping fingers crossed that she doesn't.

And how is that delightful h of hers?

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