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He had help but he is still on that path

Discussion in 'Share Your Story Here' started by Miaka_M, May 5, 2015.

  1. Miaka_M

    Miaka_M Active Contributor

    Alcohol abuse is something that runs in my family for the long run primarily on my mother's side. My father has stayed away from such intoxicants ever since they got married because he's seen what it can do.

    My uncle who is the father of my 2 cousins is one of those individuals in the family that has taken drinking to a new level. When he married my aunt everything was just fine, but then he started hanging out with his friends more often and would come home drunk every night.

    One night it came to a horrible realization - he needed help. He came home around 4 in the morning and was found with a pool of blood around him on the floor. He had apparently been so drunk that he hit his head very hard on the side of the bed table and started to bleed. Of course, he felt no pain because he was heavily intoxicated and immediately "fell asleep."

    Rushing to the hospital my aunt called his work and they came to the conclusion that he had to be taken to therapy. He was suspended from work until he was able to control his drinking. 2 months into the treatment he was doing very well, but then again he fell on the drinking path. My cousins are about 13 and 11 now and both of them are very frightened, it is not fair for them to live in such a household. What advice should I give them?
    IrishHeather likes this.
  2. gracer

    gracer Community Champion

    Your cousins are in a very tough situation right now especially because they're seeing such things at very young ages. I can imagine the trauma they experienced when they knew their father almost lost his life to drinking and until now they could still be feeling a certain fear of losing their father early because of his drunkenness. Your best role right now is to show your support and give them words of assurance and encouragement fit for their age. They need someone to always remind them that what's happening to their father is not their fault and that they can always go to you whenever they need help. Their young age is a critical stage where they can develop hatred and remorse towards their situation and their own father. So you have to be there for them to explain things when they need guidance.
  3. serenity

    serenity Community Champion

    I think their mom should be in charge solely of disciplining them. As a cousin, you can offer your support by offering to treat them out and then doing a sermon to them and guiding them like their father, like you tell them what's right and wrong, and tell them their dad is not to be imitated but they should steer clear of him when he acts like he's not himself because he's drunk.
  4. IrishHeather

    IrishHeather Active Contributor

    Let me start out by saying...Rehab rarely works the first time. It took me 3 rounds and a "going to do it myself" stint before I got a handle on my addiction. So there is HOPE! Always hold on to that!

    I know what your cousins are going through right now, I was them. My father was, and is still a severe alcoholic. Its like you wrote a chapter from my childhood in your post. I have found my dad many times in a pool of blood. I had an aunt much in the same position that you find yourself in with your cousins. She always was there to remind me that my dads behavior was not my fault and I did nothing to cause the situation. Keep reinforcing this to your cousins. Continue to be someone they can talk to about anything. My aunt was my shining light during my childhood. Just to have some one to talk to that understood and did not judge me because of my family situation meant the world to me and kept me from completely breaking down. You have no idea how much you mean to those kids.
  5. Miaka_M

    Miaka_M Active Contributor

    Thank you all for the encouraging words! I think the best thing that I can do is be there to support them. I had never thought about taking them out before, but I think that I will start doing this for them. It is very hard to be told by your younger cousins that "I don't want my dad to die," its very heartbreaking.

    Should I encourage my aunt to make my uncle go to rehab for a few more rounds? I'm very sorry to hear that you had to go through this as well, I hadn't thought that it was a situation that others had gone through. I will try my best to be as open with them as possible.
    IrishHeather likes this.
  6. IrishHeather

    IrishHeather Active Contributor

    Always encourage rehab, but ultimately it will have to be your uncle that decides that he has had enough and he needs help to end this battle with addiction. I am assuming that your uncle went into rehab voluntarily and not 'Marchman acted', correct. If he went voluntarily then he has taken the first steps on the road to recovery in realizing that he has a problem and needs help. This is BIG! You would not believe how strong the denial response is in people. Addiction is a disease that has detrimental effects on everyone involved. Thank you for being there for those kids, you don't know how wonderful that is!
  7. EditorsRHumansToo!

    EditorsRHumansToo! Community Champion

    Hi @Miaka_M Welcome! So disheartening news about your young cousins because of irresponsible parents. They must remain strong and a sweet support to their mother, your aunt. It is this time of crisis that their mother needs help with the finances, strength within the home because she cannot get it from her drinking husband.

    I hope your uncle will realize his immaturity and is ruining a potentially happy family. I hope, too that he begins to feel the desperate need of help to be healed and be whole again. His wife and children need him.
  8. imperivm1

    imperivm1 Community Champion

    You might want to approach them as friends. Not as relatives. Simply offer a friendly advice and don't let them feel pressured by the fact that you're somehow related. It always helps when the person(s) you're talking to is/are at ease. Then you just tell them how you feel about all this. I'm sure they'll take your opinion into consideration.
  9. Miaka_M

    Miaka_M Active Contributor

    Thank you for the warm welcome! It is indeed very disheartening. My aunt is probably through the roof with the number of attempts she tried to tell my uncle to stop. He doesn't understand that his children are scared and that his wife is actually horrified to take him into public. Actually, the other day he called my place and was talking to me drunk over the phone. I really didn't understand the subject of the conversation at all. I really hope that one day soon he realizes what is happening and attempts to change his actions.
  10. dyanmarie25

    dyanmarie25 Community Champion

    I think the least thing you can do is offer them your support and encouragement. Also, try to lighten the feelings/mood of those children if possible. They are still too young for this terrible situation.
  11. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    I grew up as the son of a nasty alcoholic, so I know what your cousins are feeling @Miaka_M. Do you know if they have tried any kind of therapy or support groups? I think having them talk with a professional or other people their age who have similar experiences would help them greatly. Also, @IrishHeather is right about rehab taking multiple tries before it sinks in. My son was addicted to heroin and it took a lot of therapy and four trips to treatment before things finally "stuck." By the way, I think it's so great that you're here in an effort to help your uncle, aunt, and cousins! They are lucky to have you!
  12. Miaka_M

    Miaka_M Active Contributor

    I'm sorry to hear that you were in a similar situation as well. I don't think they have, they are very embarrassed about my uncle's behaviour and they have kept it strictly family known and some individuals who encouraged his therapy know as well. I think that if my cousins joined a support group, they may feel very uncomfortable. They don't enjoy opening up and they are still very young, I don't want to pressure them into anything that will make them hurt more. But I will mention it to my aunt for her to decide, thank you. Thank you, I really hate getting the news of what new things my uncle does, or to be called at 2 a.m. by him. It has gotten a lot worse over the years, a few drinks here and there has turned for the worse. I am thankful that he can't drive though, I can't imagine what he would do on the road.
  13. Winterybella

    Winterybella Community Champion

    Miaka_M, the situation with your uncle and your cousin is quite unfortunate but like others here suggested you should do all you can to be a tower of support to your innocent cousins. Have you spoken to other family members about ways to help your uncle? Does he recognise he has a serious problem that has the potential to destroy his family?

    I read in another thread of a father who quit either smoking or drugs because he was thinking of a child or children. I hope your uncle accepts the needed help. If love for his family does not motivate him to change his way, I don't know what will. Whatever happens explore all the options available and don't give up on him. Further, keep doing whatever you can to support the kids. You did a fine thing bringing the issue to the forum. I wish you and your family well and hope to hear that progress is being made.
    deanokat likes this.
  14. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    @Miaka_M... I totally understand how a support group could be uncomfortable for your cousins, because they are young. But a support group for your aunt would be, I think, a great thing. Even if it was an online support group or forum like this one.

    Being embarrassed about a loved one's alcoholism/addiction is a normal feeling. At the same time, that embarrassment and shame is part of what makes everyone hurt so bad. Although it may be difficult at first, eventually talking about the problem may end up lifting a ton of weight off everyone's shoulders. A key part of recovery for family members is knowing that they are not alone; that there are so many other people out there going through what they are going through. And that it's nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about.

    I'm a big fan of inspirational and self-help books. Brene Brown's The Gifts of Imperfection is a favorite of mine. Here's a passage that I frequently share with people:

    "Shame needs three things to grow out of control in our lives: secrecy, silence, and judgment. When something shaming happens and we keep it locked up, it festers and grows. It consumes us. We need to share our experience....Shame hates it when we reach out and tell our story. It hates having words wrapped around it—it can’t survive being shared."

    I hope things get better for your aunt and your cousins. And I hope your uncle sees the light soon.
    IrishHeather likes this.
  15. drc52

    drc52 Active Contributor

    The important thing is not view this man's alcoholism as a tragic event, worthy of negativity. You should try to help him understand moderation (i.e. not getting so drunk he hurts himself) I say this because a lot of people find it almost impossible to not drink. When they do start drinking again they feel ashamed and drink even more.
    deanokat likes this.
  16. IrishHeather

    IrishHeather Active Contributor

    @Miaka_M, hey hun, just wanted to get an update on how things are going and wanted to let you know that we are still here for you. You have been in my thoughts and prayers as well as everyone involved in your situation. Be sure to keep us posted.
  17. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    The kids should not live with fear and should be protected at least by their mother or other relatives. The father should undergo rehabilitation again or treatment or help in order to be a deserving father for his kids. It will not be a good thing that he will remain that way.
  18. 6up

    6up Community Champion

    He needs live examples of how people have been addicted by being alcohol addicts. He should consider changing his habit since he will never progress in his projects. He also needs to be shown love, he should not feel neglected. Ask his closest friends if the can talk to him, maybe he might listen to them.
    deanokat likes this.
  19. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    @6up offers up a great suggestion: See if you can get some of your uncle's closest friends to talk to him. Sometimes friends can have more influence over someone's behavior than family can. And make sure your cousins are well. Growing up in an alcoholic home can be so devastating in so many ways. Oftentimes the scars don't begin to show up until much later in life. Your cousins deserve better.

    Let us know how things are going, @Miaka_M. We are here to support you and your family.