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I feel guilty for not being table to help my aunt who I am really close to.

Discussion in 'General Substance Abuse Discussion' started by 003, Jan 7, 2015.

  1. 003

    003 Community Champion

    It's really hard for me to see my aunt without a change that I expect her to have, the improvement and that willingness to really change for the better, to rehabilitate herself and get out from her addiction for her kids. I really pity her kids because it's obvious that their needs are inadequately addressed. They are unsociable and they look as if they were traumatised. I am not living with them, and their place is far from mine, so I am not able to witness personally what's going on in their day-to-day lives. But because of the fact what my aunt is doing, it's not hard to see that even her kids are direly affected. I couldn't do anything. First, I am not in the position. Second, I don't have the capacity to sustain her children's needs. But I want to help her in even the most little unimaginable and unnoticeable way, but even one I couldn't find. And that just make my heart aches.
    amethyst and Joseph like this.
  2. bluedressed

    bluedressed Community Champion

    If you personally don't have the capacity to sustain their needs, what about the rest of your family? I cannot imagine that they would not also care and try to help. Have you tried talking to them about ways you guys could get together and help out?
  3. jeremy2

    jeremy2 Community Champion

    The power is in your hands.Don't just sit there helpless as her kids continue to suffer.Engage someone in authority like a social worker who is better placed to assess the kid's welfare and take appropriate action.Those kids will be forever grateful for your actions.That's the least you can do for them.
    MrsJones likes this.
  4. bluedressed

    bluedressed Community Champion

    Honestly, foster care is not necessarily a better place for kids. If anybody in the family can take the kids and figure out ways to get through to the mother before making her lose her kids in the law, then that would be immensely preferable. I know kids who were children of addicts and they did NOT like to be put in homes. Many of them got more violent, more troubled and ended up small criminals because of this. Of course, OP should help them. But he should first try to find ways within his extended family and close family first.
    Clairelouise84 and stariie like this.
  5. lucyarty

    lucyarty Member

    What a horrible situation for everyone involved. How old are the children? Could you build up a relationship with them long-distance? Just the knowledge that there's someone out there who sees what's going on, cares, and is willing to listen and be emotionally supportive could make a huge difference to their lives.
  6. bluzkluz09

    bluzkluz09 Active Contributor

    It is difficult to want to help someone and being unable to do so. I understand that sometimes the person who needs help doesn't even recognize it themselves. If your family is anything like mine the problem can easily be swept under the rug. I sympathize with you and knowing that I am not in the situation it would be unfair for me to try to give advice. Depending on your relationship with your Aunt maybe you can ask why she needs the substance she's on. I would imagine it's different for everyone but could it be loneliness? You would probably have to find an indirect way of asking as most people get defensive when asked direct questions. I always believe that one single person can make a huge change and maybe just by calling your Aunt and checking on her she'll eventually open up on what's going on in her life.
  7. keeshamarie

    keeshamarie Member

    That is such a tough situation, and my heart truly goes out to you. I do know that all things can be turn around and there is a solution to every problem. Start with other family members, Is there anyone else in the family capable of helping? Also how old are the children? I am sure there are programs and agencies that may be able to help your situation. Try looking up some agencies in her county for help.
  8. Nick W.

    Nick W. Community Listener Community Listener

    I think that when it comes to the safety of children you really have to have a hardline. Not wanting to alienate someone, or piss someone off, should not play a factor. It should be about what's best for the kids, period. I know that "the system" has a lot of horror stories, but as someone who has worked with teens in crisis for the better part of about 15 years, I can tell you that kids who are able to grow up in a more stable environment turn out better a vast majority of the time, even if they hated the situation they were placed in, and even if it was not ideal. It's easy to hear about all the foster home & group home horror stories, they are the ones that get talked about the most, but what you don't hear about is the number of times it simply works out for the best. If safety is a concern, someone else needs to get involved, and hard choices have to be made for the sake of the children. Family is an option, but not family that is enabling behavior, or contributes to behavior and is not going to do what is in the best interest of a child that is not old enough to take care of themselves.
  9. LitoLawless

    LitoLawless Senior Contributor

    If you can do anything in the materialistic way then do something in other ways. Give the kids a call and see how they are doing. Let them know that you are there for them and that they have someone that they can talk to. Sometimes, that is way stronger than anything we can do in terms of material things.
  10. bluedressed

    bluedressed Community Champion

    You're right, and seeing as I've also friends working and studying to become social workers, I should have said this first. But the people closest to me are some of the people who suffered foster care and who did become more violent and more criminal for it. The original poster talked about vague things concerning the kids; I think if there was a pressing issue of safety, they would have not this hesitation, which is why I mentioned that maybe the family could take care of it before the kids were just sent away to other families. I mean, this person obviously cares a great deal, and I really cannot imagine he/she is the only one in the family to care this much.
  11. muthoni

    muthoni Active Contributor

    It is possible to feel so helpless if you are not in a position to assist your aunt. She must be struggling with an issue that needs to be sorted out. The problem is that she has to want the help herself. Find out as much as you can if there is someone else who can help her; maybe a friend of hers? It is so unfortunate because kids are involved here.
  12. stariie

    stariie Community Champion

    This is a really hard situation to be in, especially for the kids. I have had friends that were addicts, and their kids went through a lot because of that addiction. I'm sure that if your aunt could do better, she would, but sometimes addiction gets a hold of a person and doesn't want to let go.
    Pray for an answer. When you are with the kids, try to do what you can for them. It can be something really simple. Also, try not to put their mother down in front of them.
  13. Charli

    Charli Community Champion

    Sorry to hear about your situation. I really hope one of your family members will be able to step up and take care of those kids for a while as the mother gets better. I'm sure they will become fine adults as long as they get someone capable to raise them and set a good example for them.
  14. MrsJones

    MrsJones Community Listener Community Listener

    You could become a foster parent? There are sources available to assist you legally and financially. You can talk to a social service agency regarding your concerns and see what alternatives there are to take. Even if it is just until your aunt gets rehabilitated. I think that she would have to approve of such an arrangement it would be best for the children. Hopefully she would see that and agree.
  15. notodrugs

    notodrugs Community Listener Community Listener

    I am also thinking in the same line. Please refer your cousins' case, 003, to a social worker in their area. Their situation, living with an addicted mom, is dangerous. It is not legal and it is a violation of the children's right to a healthy and safe environment. Theirs can be a matter of life and death. That should be taken seriously and not something to just take pity on. My niece, who was a toddler when her dad abused meth, left their house one afternoon when dad was soundly asleep after days of hyperactivity due to meth and mom was at work. She walked up to a bridge by a river. Good that a neighbor saw her before she could have fallen into the water and drowned. This happened because the babysitter wasn't able to come that day. My sister-in-law had to hire a nanny since she didn't trust her husband anymore to sensibly look after their child. Yet she felt guilty that day because she knew her husband was totally wasted but she left their daughter alone with him. You see, your cousins' case is like an accident waiting to happen anytime. Before it happens, act on it now. I believe anyone is in a position to help out someone in need especially if minor kids are involved.

    Nevertheless, your idea of writing about it here is really good. Hope our answers help you come up with a sound solution. All the best to you!
    MrsJones likes this.
  16. amethyst

    amethyst Community Champion

    I think that every tiny bit helps when you really want to bring new awareness and change into the life of a person who is addicted to a substance. Most of the time we want to see quick changes, because it's obvious to us what needs to be done, but for the affected person/s it's a very different story. They need to adjust slowly to changes. First of all their eyes need to be opened. And that might take some time as well. It might take more than one person, and more than one attempt to make your aunt and her kids see and understand that there is more to life than the eye meets.
  17. pintbean

    pintbean Active Contributor

    Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. This is a real serious and complicated situation that you are in, and I honestly feel for you, your aunt, her kids and just your family in general. I wish I could offer more advice like other people here, but it is quite difficult to think of the right way to deal with this situation. I hope I can just offer you some words that will let you know that I feel for your pain.
  18. lucyarty

    lucyarty Member

    Becoming a foster parent is a massive undertaking and not something the OP necessarily needs or ought to consider just because they feel sympathy for their aunt and the aunt's children. I'm not necessarily saying it's a bad idea, but I just don't want OP to feel as though they're in any way obliged to take on their aunt's children if they don't feel in a position to. Going from one dysfunctional home to a carer unused to children and their needs would not be good for the children in question.
  19. missbishi

    missbishi Community Champion

    Are you able to discuss your feelings with other members of your family at all? It may well be the case that they feel the same as you. The children do not necessarily need to be taken away from your aunt, as other posters have said, this could cause more harm than good. Are you able to spend a little time with the children, maybe take them to the park or somewhere else that is free? It might be nice to try and put a little fun into their lives.
  20. juno

    juno Community Champion

    You should not feel guilty if you don't have the personal capacity to assist. You don't have to help financially and if you don't live near by you may not be able to always be their emotionally. You can only do what is within your means, but if you can't offer direct help, perhaps you can rally other family members to help or at least provide resources. You mentioned that you were close to your aunt, so you should be able to have an impactful conversation with her.