Exposing Someone With A Drinking Problem

The following is a guest submission from someone who exposed a friend’s drinking problem to his family members. In exposing his alcoholism the friendship seems to be in jeopardy. Please feel free to leave a comment below the article.

alcoholism exposureSubmitted By: Cindy
I have watched one of my closest friends spiral out of control with his drinking for the last six months. Looking back it has been longer I just didn’t put the pieces together. About three weeks ago I decided I couldn’t watch it anymore. I had to do something even if it means losing his friendship. It was just a matter of time before his drinking killed him. I could sense it.

So, I went to his family and gave them all the information I could because he lied to them about his alcohol consumption. It was hard as I betrayed his trust in me, but I had to and I know that. He agreed to go to detox and has completed that and is in outpatient now. But he still hasn’t talked to me. This has really hurt me. I never wanted to loose him and now I fear I have. I know it’s most important that he get better and that’s all that matters. I want to know how I stop feeling so bad about all of this. Even though it was the right thing to do why does it hurt me so much?

JC: Cindy, thanks for sharing your story. My first two thoughts were, if he stays in a rehab he will eventually view your actions as good. If he continues to drink the chances are good he will return to you in some time of need. It’s difficult to lose an alcoholic’s friendship. They somehow always manage to find their way back into our lives. Check out this short video on Finding Serenity Again. I think the pathway to you feeling better can be found through letting go of the problem drinker.

45 comments to Exposing Someone With A Drinking Problem

  • Danni

    Cindy, you did a kind and courageous thing by telling his family. You may have saved his life. I am sure his family is grateful and of course it was the determining factor in his going to rehab. My husband has been furious with me each time I have shared with friends, family and his therapist the extreme nature of this devastating addiction. When he sobers up he totally understands why and then when he drinks he forgets it all. When we love a person it is wrong not to help…it is our duty. Bless you for doing a good deed. Danni

  • Mia

    The fact he went to detox means he heard and respected something or he’d have said he was find and carried on

    Sometimes the humiliation of facing the drinking is too real , stark in sober times and too much

    He needs to focus on himself now and build up to a person who can come say thank you and sorry for putting you in that position. It’s probably too early for that.

    In the meantime let him be and recover. You could send a nice message or letter saying something cheery, but probably he will be in touch at the right time

    You chose when to step in. Let him choose when to step back into your life

    Don’t doubt you did the right thing. You did. He’s in rehab because you did and lets hope that’s a life saved that may have gone

    We can’t expect normal thanks or love or appreciation from them til they start to lead normal lives

    All we can do is say how it is, be honest and say if they cross our boundary

    The rest is up to them and there’s not a darn thing we can do about it

    My boyfriend has lost his job crashed his bike, got a dangerous injury he can’t get fixed cos he can’t drink in hospital and is terrified they find him out and he will have to deal with us.

    So far he’s got away with it all. If his crash was worse, injury could have killed him . Your friend may have just missed an accident because you stepped in. We don’t know that but we know that what he’s doing now is better than before so I say good for you. I so do wish one of my boyfriend’s friends would help like you have as its tough doing alone


  • Doreen

    Thats called tough love, my 30yr son and the father of my only grandchild who is three,has been drinking heavy for 10 years, losing jobs,girlfriend and son,dwi,family,crashing cars, nothing effects him,alcohol is his best friend and refuses to give it up no matter what even when he was going to put a gun to his head,in 2011, he is now on probation and still drinking we as his parents called his probation officer and turned him in and now he hates us and we have no relationship with him, i look at it this way better that he is angry instead of dead ! It does breck our hearts!
    U did the right thing!!

  • Debbi

    To All Of You:
    You deserve medals. You all made the tough choice to possibly save another’s life–you are heroes! Sometimes the person’s life we help or save in on a “suicide mission” and they don’t appreciate what was done for them but in all your cases I believe all of them will come to realize the sacrifices and chances you took because you cared. Don’t ever think twice about doing what you did–like Mia said you might just have saved their lives!

  • Connie

    Tomorrow is the day my boyfriend’s alcoholism and lying will be ‘outed’ to his boss. I met him 4 years ago on the internet. He lives in Norway and I live in the States. We have visited each other 5 times and there is always drunkenness and physical and verbal abuse from him. Despite this, I love him and have learned from this site how better to communicate with him. But 3 weeks ago, after many months of being on sick leave for other health issues, he had at heart attack at 47 years. The fact that he was dead for 30 minutes did not prove to be a wake-up call. A week later he called me while he was out drinking with a friend. The next day he flew to Lithuania to visit his former girlfriend, a true rival of mine. I spoke to a female co-worker of his who told me that he told his boss that he was going to recuperate at his mother’s house in central Norway, and that by law he is not allowed to leave the country while drawing sick leave benefits. They all know the alcoholic he is, but now he has lied to his employer and is committing fraud. I don’t want him to lose his job, but maybe his employer will force him into rehab. He is a very intelligent and well-respected electrician and if they want to keep him bad enough, hopefully they will do this. Yes, the cheating has a little bit to do with it, but his co-worker is the one who wants to expose him for fraud. I know she is doing the right thing by meeting with the boss tomorrow. Perhaps his livelihood being threatened will be the thing that changes him, but I am not so hopeful. I am sure he will blame me, regardless of what happens. If he never speaks to me again, I will be ok…sad but ok. At least I’ll know I tried to help, even if it costs him his job. I broke our relationship off on Sunday but he has emailed me once and text me 4 times this morning…all while with her, and even though I told him to never contact me again. He is supposed to go back to the doctor on Monday to see if he can go back to work or stay on sick leave, but I think he will be shocked to find that maybe his plans will change. As an electrician, his life is in danger every day. Add alcohol to the mix and the risk of injury and death are heightened. If he continues the way he is, the next time he dies may be the last. I know in my heart that exposing his behavior just might save his life.

  • Ger

    Hi all
    You are all indeed heroes for outing the A. I told a few select friends, my brother and his brother.
    I am thinking on leaving him. not because I don’t love him, but because I just can’t watch it anymore.
    I need advice from those who have made the move please.
    God bless you all.

  • Jule Allen

    Connie, you’re acting out of vindictiveness. Informing a boss is not the same as telling family and friends who care and want to help. Telling a boss may just get him fired or probation, and possibly nothing more. When a person suspects that you did it because they hurt you first, the purity of your intent is lost. Instead, the alcoholic will only feel resentful towards you. Besides, what percentage of alcoholics ever find recovery through intervention?

    Oh well, there’s still a chance that some good may come of it. Best wishes to you.

  • Connie

    Jule Allen, please…you do not know what is in my heart. I’m not being vindictive. I truly had no idea what the law in Norway was in regards to sick leave and leaving the country before I poured my heart out to his co-worker who is also my friend. It was HER idea to meet with their boss, not mine. Do you think I don’t feel terrible that he could lose his job? Of course I do! I certainly don’t want him to die again. He was here visiting in November, a robust 214 pound man, but when I visited him in March he was down to 174 and has since lost more weight. If he continues his alcoholic ways, he won’t be able to work anyway. He’s already been on sick leave for at least 10 weeks so far this year. And his family and friends DO know he’s an alcoholic. His sisters wouldn’t even invite them to their weddings for fear he would ruin them. On weekends or days off, he drinks from the time he wakes up until the time he goes to bed or just passes out. I’ve even seen him take a few swigs in the morning before he leaves for work. Please do not judge me. You’re entitled to your opinion but he needs help desperately. I even said I ended the relationship. I cannot bear to see what is happening to him. If he is happier being drunk with another woman, then so be it.

  • Bill

    Connie, it sounds like you’ve made a wise decision to not be with this man for now. He’s most definitely got some serious issues going on. The more you can detach from the situation the better off you will be.

    Here’s how I see things. If someone is in danger of hurting themselves or someone else, I think it’s fine to expose their substance abuse problems, especially at work.

    I had a co-worker who used to go off on lunch break and get stoned. He was a table saw operator in a very large manufacturing company, a very dangerous job. He had helpers who would have to work with him occasionally and I was one of them. After he came in flying high on two occasions when I was assigned to help him, I went to the foreman and told them about what was happening. The guy got fired. He was furious with me, but I didn’t care. What he was doing wasn’t right and needed to be exposed.

    One the other hand, I had another friend who was abusing prescription pills while working in the healthcare field and I never said a word…there were times when I wanted to. She eventually got stopped by a cop and she was arrested on several counts of having pills without a valid prescription.

    Eventually, whether someone narks on an alcoholic or not, their addictions will take them to the pits of hell. I remember reading on this site that there’s only three options for substance abusers, death, mental institutions or sobriety.

  • Connie

    Bill, thank you for your kind words. Yes, I have distanced myself and I’m not there to answer his every text, email or phone call. A little over an hour ago he sent me an email saying “Leave me alone”. I’d like to write back and remind him that I’ve left him alone for 55 hours, and that my last email to him at that time told him to not contact me ever again. It’s getting to him…we used to call, text and email every day…and I’m not responding. And I know from past experience that he will continue to try and instigate something with me. I’m not being controlled by him anymore and he’s seething, I’m sure. But until he realizes what he’s doing to himself and others, I don’t want to be in his web anymore. I haven’t heard the last of him. But for now he’s heard the last from me. Death? Maybe. Mental institution? Possibly, since most of his brain cells have already died off and he can’t think rationally. Sobriety? Doubtful. In a few days he will forget how angry he was and send another text or email that starts out “Hey, baby…..” You were right in exposing your co-worker. He may have harmed you or worse. My A works with high voltage electricity, and he’s darned lucky that those protective gloves have protected him from worse shocks than he’s had. His heart attack happened on the job, and the very co-worker who saved his life by rushing him to the hospital is the very one who feels she needs to expose him. She just may be saving his life for a second time.

  • Bill

    Connie, I hope you are strong enough to not “react” to his poking text messages. Alcoholics can be relentless at times, especially when they are feeling rejected.

    You will certainly enjoy an abundance of serenity as long as you can refrain from reacting to his pokes.

    I hope your friend decides to get help for his problems. In reading your posts, it sounds like you are wise enough to not jump back into a relationship with him until he demonstrates a serious level of dedication to sobriety.

  • Connie

    Bill, I’ve always been told I am stronger than I realize. And no, I have not reacted to him. I will not stoop to his level…he must rise up to mine before I will consider communicating with him. Right now I feel like the roller coaster car I’ve been riding in for 4 years has pulled into the station, and it’s a good feeling. I must focus my energies on myself now, even though he will always be in my thoughts and my heart. I pray for him daily, and I will pray for Cindy (who started this conversation) and all of the others who have posted in response. You, Bill, are an angel. 🙂 Thank you for understanding where I’m coming from and for sharing your stories and wisdom. God Bless You All.

  • Debbi

    I saw your post mixed in here and ready to help. I don’t know your situation but if you are married to the A in your life please visit an attorney before any move and find out your options especially if you own joint property or have children together. Also, please visit support groups in your area: Al Anon, open AA meetings, divorce groups, abuse groups and see a counselor before making final decisions as to what you want to do and how. Make sure you start taking care of you: your physical needs, talk with others, stay close to family and friends. In other words, get all your ducks in a row. Not sure if this helped but everyone here will listen & help just like they did for me. Good luck.

  • Bill

    Great post Debbie! Ger, I agree with Debbie, do your best to not make major life altering decisions in anger. Give yourself time to make wise choices, unless of course there’s abuse involved.

  • Cindy

    Thank you all for your responses. He is my closest friend. I love him dearly and he was someone I talked to everyday (he hid the drinking really well from me). To have him gone from my life is really hard. It’s been almost a month since I’ve talked to him but I do know he is concentrating on himself and going to treatment everyday. I am so relieved that he is going treatment and continuing on this path to recovery. That is exactly what I wanted to happen. He has so much to live for and I hope he will see it clearly someday. I am in such turmoil. What do I do now? It’s so selfish of me but I cry all the time because I miss him. I can’t seem to feel better even though I do know it was what had to happen. He doesn’t know how I’m feeling and I would never let him know. I know he doesn’t need that. I love him and I want him to get healthy. I feel like I’m a complete mess now. Looking back on it, I don’t think I have felt “normal” since I realized things were out of control with his drinking. No one seems to understand. They tell me to get over it and write him off. I don’t want to. I’ve gone this far, the true pain for me is from the fact that I feel like he won’t have a spot for me in his life again. That is how it feels and I know it’s selfish. What do I do now? Do I try to contact him every once in awhile or just wait it out? I honestly don’t know what the right thing to do is. Again, thank you for any thoughts you might have.

  • sc

    My self, I would contact my best friend.

    I always tell my friends..talk from the heart. If you do that then you know you have said everything you want to say. You will not look back and think I should have said or I should not have said because it came from the heart. I have never had a regret from doing this.
    You did it out of love. He is in treatment and the value
    of true friendship will be part of the recovery.

  • Shelley

    Hi I have joined this site because I have a friend who is an alcoholic. He has been a friend of my husbands and mine for over 30 years, he came back into our lives about 7 years ago. He got sent to prison in 2006 for an alcohol related incident. During his 4 years in prison I wrote every week trying to support him. I became very emotionally attached thinking somehow I could really help him. The last 2 years he has resumed his drinking with a vengeance living off his mom not holding a job and literally laying in bed all day drunk. Then he will call up wanting help going through withdrawals cause he is sick of living his life this way then within a week returns to his drinking. He has sucked me in to feeling sorry for him. He has verbally abused me and stabbed me in the back on more than one occasion but yet makes me feel like its my fault that he said the things he did. You would think that I could just walk away but every time I try he guilts me into continuing to put up with it..he cries and says he thought we were friends. He has totally become a different person than the one I wrote to for yrs while he was in prison. He is now in a treatment, again, and refuses to respond to me. He has no friends and I don’t want to be like everyone else and give up on him but yet don’t know how much I can take. He makes me feel so bad about myself like I am not a friend at all. Seems like I am always begging him not to lose his friendship because of the guilt he makes me feel. I don’t know what to do..do I just leave him with no one? My husband has given up on him along with most of his family. I just don’t want to give up the hope that I could somehow help him. Now like I said..he won’t respond to my attempts to contact him. My husband thinks he owes me an apology for the disrespect he has shown toward me..but he doesn’t apologize to anyone cause he’s never wrong. I am hoping someone could give me some advice, my heart goes out to all of you married to alcoholics..I can’t even imagine what you have been through!!

  • Sally

    Shelley, please, for the love of God and your own sanity, crawl down off the cross to which you’ve nailed yourself. Crucifying yourself in the hope that you can “somehow help” the guy is useless. Give up the hope that you, alone of all the others who have tried, will be the miracle worker and savior this career drunk needs. Give up the expectation that if you screw yourself over enough for his sake, or let him screw you over yet again, that somehow you’ll have the magic formula to turn him into a decent human being. It won’t happen – not in this lifetime or the next. You’re expecting the behavior of decent people to be present in a 24/7 drunken layabout. Give.It.Up. That bad feeling you get when you deal with him? That’s your innate survival instinct trying to get your attention. The reason you feel bad is you’re supposed to get away from danger, not keep trying to get it to be friends with you! Pity that he has no one else. Tough cookies. When you cut him loose, I (and most on this board) can guarantee you that he’ll find someone else to take his crap, enable him to keep being a drunk and give him a replacement target for his hatefulness. Right now you serve the position of whipping post quite nicely for him. In his view, it beats having to dump all that nastiness on himself where it belongs. Drunks are amazingly adaptable. When you’re not available, he’ll find someone else and tell them all about how awful everyone was to abandon him. Every drunk we’ve read about on this site does the same thing. The drunk you’re dealing with is no different than hundreds of other drunks. While the small particulars are all different, the plot to a drunk’s life is pretty much a re-run from one drunk to another. Let.Him.Go. Drunks don’t know how to be friends; they only know how to use people to get what they want – drunk again.

  • Lori

    Your husband is right – he does owe you an apology. My husband has hurt me beyond belief and has yet to apologize because everything he has done to hurt me, somehow he turns it around like it is MY fault?! You have to give up and leave him be. He has to figure out that you were the only one left to support him and if he chooses to be upset with you – so be it. After he sobers up, I am sure he will ask for your forgiveness. That could be awhile though. If not, then he is too much of an idiot for you to be wasting your time on.

  • Sally

    Lori, there’s another reason drunks don’t apologize for the harm they cause. They’re so freakin’ drunk that they’re in a walking blackout and don’t know what the h*ll they’re doing or saying. In their mind, why should they apologize when they didn’t do anything wrong? If I had a nickle for every time I heard, “I don’t remember that,” I’d already be retired. Seriously, drunks are at a complete loss when it comes to apologizing for their screw-ups, because they don’t have any memory of doing so. Some apologize as a matter of form, to placate in the hope that the hurt feelings and anger will blow over. Usually, though, they don’t apologize because they believe they have no reason to say I’m sorry.

  • Diana

    Alcoholics I have known past and present have apologized over and over. However the hurtful behavior didn’t change. I began to look at my ex with disgust when I would hear I’m sorry.”
    It was devastating living with him so I left when I could no longer subject my children to that chaotic and sometimes violent environment. They are master manipulators when it comes to making you feel sorry for them. Let your friend go his own way. He will find someone else to attempt to rescue him ( beating their head against a wall in the process.) They won’t stop drinking unless they want to. They don’t want to be rescued++++++++.

  • Deb

    Dear Shelley,

    I think if you want to keep him as a friend, that is very nice. You can’t do it if you don’t have support. This is not a joke. You need at least one other friend to decompress with, to relax after ‘trying’ with the alcoholic. If you do not have at least one very good friend you can spend time with away from the alcoholic, don’t try to remain the alcoholic’s friend. I keep thinking that if ‘anyone’ wants to become a professional counselor or psychiatrist, the best way to really begin is to ‘be friends with an alcoholic.’ If you can set boundaries, maintain your own sanity with someone like this, then you should be a professional. If it is too trying, maybe counseling isn’t for you.
    If you learn valuable things like ‘what an alcoholic personality’ is, it will help you in your future dealings with folks to spot them right away. It will improve your ability to truly be a Christian because almost no where else does the commandment ‘forgive forty times forty’ come to a stronger peak. You will learn to forgive over and over again. But please do not undertake this if you have no other support base. Never have friendship with an alcholic unless you have a Strong Support base of other folks and/or you are old enough that you’ve seem most of the ‘bad ways’ of life so that you aren’t overly shocked. There is a lot of SHOCK drama with alcoholics. Do not ever date one unless you have a spot on heart, or you may have a heart attack! ‘whew’

  • sc

    The blamed feels to be blamed. Honestly I live my life feeling at fault.
    I grew up in an alcoholic home then married and divorced an A.
    I was the one in the family that was the whipping post,
    my father treated me like the a’s seem to treat their
    spouse. I was blamed and criticized. My sister got married young and her and her husband took on the same attitude towards me (they are not a’s but were given the pruple kool-aid to drink). My sister and I have never been close (needless to say), I have kept my distance from them over the years and of course I am criticized for that (still the problem).
    My sister is having a brain tumor removed. I called her yesterday to let her know my thoughts and prayers are with her, I loved her and when might I be able to visit with her. To make a long story short…the conversation flowed and our childhood came up, I said 4 or 5 times this is not the reason I called, I didn’t want it to go there. She ask me what we needed to do to make our relationship better. I proceed to answer her question and all of a sudden her husband takes the phone from her, starts yelling at me, that she has cared about me and she can’t deal with this and hung up on me. I called back and they did not answer the phone. Once again I am taking the blame. I do feel bad that the conversation went in that direction, it takes two people to have a conversation flow, she ask me a question and I ended up being the problem. Because of being the blamie for all these years…I do feel bad, like I should have NOT let it go in that direction, I upset her with the health problems she has but she kept talking about us. This is what growing up in an A home does to people. To protect myself from feeling that I did something wrong in the future…I will always keep the conversation on a superficial level, if she brings up our childhood I will say lets not talk about that.
    Today I feel like I am that 15 year old again, I am responsible
    for a conversation with someone that has a brain tumor…
    I cry and I guess my brother in law feels justified. Sometimes I wish I could be the one to just blame another and go on, but I am way too emotional for that. How do us emotional people survive?

  • Zita

    Shelley….I hope you are giving as much focus and time to your husband and family as you are to this alcoholic. I agree with Sally….get off the cross. Focus on where you truly can make a difference…it doesn’t sound to me like this guy has any intention to stop drinking. Run for your life.

  • Mike

    Let it go. Get him out of your house and away from your family. This is one only God can help.
    Pray for him, but do not let the devil into your family, becaeu that’s what addiction is. It destroys everything good. You are not abandoning him, you are just protecting your family. HE made all his choices. I speak as a firefighter who has seen almost all life can give you in 24 years.
    Only one person walked on water and it wasn’t you. At what point will you let it go?
    Until he kills one in your family. In my 24 years as a firefighter, I have seen that too.
    Love your family and do what God wants you, and put your husband first as he should with you.
    Pray for him, but he has the power to destroy your whole family.

  • Amy

    Shelley..Listen to Sally!.She has NAILED IT right on the mark.Alcoholics will suck the life right out of you if you let them. Run and do not look back.Save yourself the misery of being involved in anyway with an alcoholic. Live your life for you, concentrate on YOUR family! if he wont respond to you and is ignoring you consider it a blessing in disquise…

  • Shelly, can I please tell you run for life. Because your friend will drag you down. I’m married to an alcoholic & left almost 2 yrs ago. Moved to lakehouse & I’m I wonderful. No more lies no more of drinking or worrying about it. You have to be strong & forget that friend. I’m telling you the truth. I’ve been married for 43 yrs & get away quick please maybe 10 % change.

  • Ger

    Hi all,
    Well, there was a bit of a blow out this past weekend. My son stood up to my A for telling me to “Shut the !@##$ up” and telling me to get out of my house along with my son.
    My son is the only one who calls him on birthdays, and even on Father’s Day. He is not his son.
    It was bad. and I thought he would stop drinking after that. He drank a few days later.
    I am going to a support group when my friend, whose husband was an alcoholic, now passed, when she finds out when the meetings are.
    I know I can’t help him and that only God can and I leave him at the foot of the cross.
    I do need support and will get it. Thanks for listening and God bless you all.
    The A will not change until something changes them, and it’s not in our power as mere mortals to do it! Realize this and go one with your lives. God will bring them to their knees.’

  • karen

    Shelly, I agree with Mike, don’t play with fire unless you have major insight. Find an Al-Anon meeting, go and listen as I do now. I have been with an alcoholic for 11 years who is in prison, he dragged me down to the gutter with my ignorance of the alcoholic personality, now much suffering later my eyes are opening and I thank God, this site and Al-Anon. Take care of yourself and your family. Al-Anon programme works xx

  • D.J.

    Shelley you are a very caring person with a big heart! It is so very difficult to watch someone you care about live so destructively. Like others have mentioned,there is nothing at all you can do to help this man except to pray for him. He is sick with the disease of alcoholism. He is not in control, alcohol is. Enabling someone to abuse us and mistreat us is not helping them. Hopefully through his treatment and a Divine intervention it is possible for him to change. My husband has been sober for 1 full year now. He was an alcoholic from the age of 16 to 50. He went to treatment 5 times. Alcohol almost killed him but that is what it took for him to truly want to be free from it. If someone has any type of disease they have to want to get help and receive the treatment available. Until they want to be helped no one can help them. As long as I had enabled my husbands abusiveness it continued. I was NOT helping him by allowing him to treat me in a way I did not deserve. By doing so it only revealed that I too was sick. I never gave up on him but it took 3 years of separation and continued prayer and working on myself before there was change. I reinforced my love for him but I got to the point once I began to get healthy myself to not enable his destructive behavior. Counseling helped me tremendously. I was once the addict myself (sober from meth and alcohol for 5 years now)so I know from both sides what can be involved. For us addicts hitting bottom can be a long a way down. It takes what it takes. ONLY by the Grace of God either of us are alive today!

  • Debbi

    As gently as I can say this I am going to. I have a brain tumor & when you get that diagnosis you reach out to those family members you might be estranged from because you think you are going to die. Your sister did that and the conversation did not go well. Just because I have a brain tumor does not mean I cannot communicate. Give your sister a chance. . .she is facing a surgery that might put her out of commission up to 18 months. Even an A (if she is one) deserves some compassion. I know what it’s like to lose the compassion when you get this diagnosis. First, my job was in jeopardy because they thought I might become a liability risk, then friends admitted to not wanting to be around me for fear I would have seizures (although I have no symptoms & no risk)and later family members shunned me and my now exA used my brain tumor to get people to believe his lies about me. What happened??? I only used 3 sick days last year in my office–better than anyone else–I came to work, I did a good job like I always had, I worked 3 jobs to pay bills because my exA bailed on me while this was going on. I have now ONE person who will have anything to do with me. My family doctor (afraid of possible lawsuit) told me goodbye & good luck. I am trying to be as gentle as I can but I saw red when I saw your post. Four of my friends had brain tumors–only one left alive now + me. To have my husband leave me, try to hit me after my diagnosis. I never would wish this on anyone. If you do not understand why your sister is upset, I do!!! Show some compassion for if you don’t you are no better than the narcissistic A’s in our lives!

  • sc

    Debbie, You might want to reread the post with a different point of view.
    I love my sister and called her for support. Please read again and only see my thoughts. My sister did nothing wrong. I would never do anything to hurt or make something difficult for someone else. It is not in my character. I think everyone on this site is caring and has compassion or they would not be here.
    You don’t go through emotional abuse from a’s and not be an emotional person. Emotional abuse does not work on non emotional people.
    The point of the story was…my brother inlaw once again jumped to conclusions and blamed me. That is what hurt my feelings and threw me back to my abusive childhood.
    Bottom line, my brother inlaw misunderstood, jumped to conclusion, blamed me and disrespected by hanging up on me. Bottom line, I let it take me back to my childhood and the abusive I have suffered from A’s, which caused an anxiety attack. Which in turn, I reached out to this site. I do not think this is being narcissistic, I think it is being a human with emotions. In no way would I put all of this before my sister’s stress at this time. I just needed a helping hand too.
    It has been 48 hours and my emotional state of mind is now back to
    normal. I can only take the high road with my brother in-law.
    I spoke with a friend I have known for 38 years and she said that she does not let the conversation of the past come up with her sister
    to keep fights from starting. If they bring it up, change the conversation or say let’s not talk about that. She said, if our sisters understood, they would have understood it 20 years ago. If they treat us like we are still 15, then we take the high road and they can’t put the blame on us.
    On a positive note. My sister had the surgey (meningioma brain tumor) this morning, it went well, she is doing good but in a lot of pain. My thoughts and prayers are with her at this time.

  • Debbi

    Did as you requested & re-read your words exactly
    “. . .her husband takes the phone from her, starts yelling at me, that she has cared about me and she can’t deal with this and hung up. . .” Your brother in law saw this conversation was upsetting his wife right before her surgery and stopped it. I applaud him for his actions at that moment. I am glad your sister had a husband who did not bail on her and when he saw she was getting upset with the conversation put an end to it. I am glad your sister was able to get the surgery she needed & it went well-in my case no surgery. . .how long do I have? If you want to show your sister you really do care, help her in her recovery. Actions speak louder than words to those of us facing this horrendous ordeal. No one can understand until you get a diagnosis like this. I am not trying to make you feel guilty but your sister needs you to just be there and listen to her feelings right now. I hope you do that for her because I did not get that and the despair I felt is something I hope you never have to feel. Your brother in law told you she does care–I saw your words believe him. . .he was just protecting his wife at that moment. Good for him! I have no one who cared whether I survived–imagine for a moment how that must feel!

  • Pez

    Does anyone have a clue about the justice system. As I have said before My XA left me for a low-life girl so he could continue to drink. This girl formerly put him in jail cause she did not want to be kicked out of his home and accused him of Domestic violence. He is now, still in the system with ankle bracelet, classes etc…. My question is he has been tampering with the ankle bracelet for about a year. I did write his probation officer a few times to let her know this and the history, even sent her the drunk text messages! He still has not been put in jail for violation of probation? His bracelet has come out clean every Friday He has to download. He even bragged to his X wife that he removed the bracelet and all they got was “weird” readings. Why would the justice system ignore my letters? Do they believe his lies? Are the jails too crowded? Do they have too much faith in the bracelet? Maybe because he pays child support they think classes are better? I have NO contact with him now, have blocked him, but hear these things from others that it continues.

  • sc

    Not here to fight it out with anyone.
    Thought the website was for support.

  • Sally

    SC, we are here for support. I understand what you’re talking about. Sadly, also growing up in a drunk household, I too have family members I can’t have a real conversation with, only a superficial one. It sucks, and it has the effect of making one feel even more alone. With family members like that, all you can do is stay pleasant and deliberately change the subject. Every time they attempt to bring up issues you know will spin quickly into mined territory, deliberately change the subject again. If they still try to take the conversation back to subjects that have and will cause ill will, you may simply have to leave or hang up the phone. There’s no other way. Your friend is right. You can live with people your entire life, but if they won’t meet you half way, they’ll never really know who you truly are. You reach a point where your only option is to love them and, in a way, let them go, because you know you’ll never be able to be as close to them as you’d like. Have pity for them, because it may be the best they can do, for whatever reason. As for letting interactions take you back to your childhood, those are demons you need to wrestle and put to rest forever. What we’ve been through is a part of who we are, but it’s not all we are. What’s behind us is just that – behind and gone. It’s only when we allow our memories of the past to intrude on and influence our present that they cause trouble. Let it go. Easy to say, hard to do, but not impossible and always preferable to living in the past, even for a minute. Something I’ve found that helps beyond anything is whenever I’m dealing with someone who’s being hurtful or difficult or hateful – I pray for them at that very second. It’s hard to stay angry with someone when you’re praying for them. Keep your chin up and stand tall. Just because something has been in the past doesn’t mean it has to be that way in the present or in the future. Be well.

  • Ro

    Get off his back, get out of his way, get on with your life. Disconnect. God is taking care of him. Focus on yourself, then your family, then the other priorities in your life. Something tells me to even go so far as to change your phone/cell #s. When you no longer help someone….probably within about 5 minutes there is someone else to be there. You do not owe him anything. Please focus on yourself. Go to Alanon and therapy to learn to detach. It is none of your business what he is doing right now. It is his higher power’s business, God’s business and the therapist’s and rehab helper’s business. That is what they are trained to do. This disease is too big for you or anyone. He is in a safe place now. Please go to Alanon. Recovery is for yourself would be the best thing right now. Stop racking your brains trying to figure out why/what/when…in God’s time everything works out. Please focus on yourself.

  • Pez

    Ro, Don’t know who your talking to but letting go is a process–doesn’t just happen overnight (believe me I wish it did!!!) We are all here to work through this process together and to move on day by day to concentrating on our own needs more and more and letting the Alcoholic go. All questions are legitimate and to be treated with respect on where each individual is right now! If your over it and have reached that place, you don’t need to be on this site.

  • Shelley

    I am not on his back. . He is the one who keeps reaching out to me for help. . He is making it my business. I realize there is not much I can do at this point but I have been taught that you care for people and not turn your back on friends. I know I need to let go of him to some point but you have to v realize he is like family. . I am very close to his mom who is elderly and fought alcoholism herself. People CAN change. . As with her and his father who both took treatment and both stopped drinking. It’s not just that easy to just let someone go who has been a friend of my whole family for most of my life. It’s going to take time.

  • sc

    Sally, I want to thank you for your post, I can tell you relate. I printed it off and when I start to feel sick about all this, I read your post to help me get centered.
    I also laugh when I think of “mined territory”, this is a phrase I will use forever.

    I have pretty much moved on from my childhood abuse after years of therapy.
    I think what threw me back in it…was it being my brother in law and the same exact behavior, it never changes. I will keep everything on a superficial level from now on. Still getting over my divorce from an A, with all the angry, blaming and irrational behavior. My nerves can’t take it anymore…I have to protect myself.
    Communication seems like it’s almost impossible with everyone…none of us were never taught how, so, we all try to do the best we can but it still does not seem to work. Thanks again for your wisdom to everyone on this site.

  • sc

    Sally, forgot to say. When you said “it has the effect of making one feel more alone”
    I think this is where all the pain is, because, I am alone. My marriage to my xah did not work out, I’m still disappointed in that and I have not gotten back into a social life because of lost self esteem.. I envy people that have large close family’s…like they are best friend.

  • Sally

    sc, you need to learn to be as kind to yourself as you are to everyone else. We’re human, we screw up, but the difference between us and most drunks is that we learn from our screw ups and do better. You didn’t get to the place you’re at in a short time and you won’t get back from it in a hurry. The world may move at the speed of light, but people don’t. Don’t be disappointed in yourself, just take your time and try again. I’ve been home for a year and a half and I’m only now beginning to get out and about. You’re absolutely right to protect yourself right now. It takes time to heal, so give yourself time to do just that. It does get better. Take care.

  • ES

    I have a friend for over 30 years, I was her bride’s maid. She is 52 y.o. with 2 school-age children and loving husband. Since March 2016 I received regular patterns of long distant phone calls from my friend, at 3am in the morning. During our phone conversation my friend is in a drunkard state. I asked her does she experience black-outs
    and her reply yes. “I have problems concentrating and I underestimate how much alcohol I consume.” “I sometimes feel I depressed.” “I can stop drinking for a while.”
    I became concerned about the health and safety for my friend so, I contacted her siblings. I expressed my concern to her 2 brothers. One brother is in denial and the other
    brother said he was thankful to learn about my friend’s drinking problem. I contacted her husband he reported to me that he and his wife would drink a glass of wine for dinner. However, my friend would sneak out of bed at nighttime and binge drink while watching T.V. on couch. Her husband also reported an incident that my friend drinking and driving with another friend and kids inside the car. I also learned in the 1990’s before she was married she was involved in a car accident resulting, totaling her Saab. The husband reported that his wife snatched the keys out of his hands when he asked my friend not drink and drive.
    In May 2016, I took a flight to visit my friend without her knowledge to talk with her about my concerns. Upon my arrival to her home she was at work. My friend refused to meet with me for lunch. “Go home, I am ok, and, you are stressing me out.” I was able to talk with my friend’s husband and share education on alcoholism. Unfortunately her
    husband is in denial and he verbalized he is not ready to force my friend to stop drinking or to seek help.” My friend stopped communicating with me and refuses to answer
    my phone calls. I am an Adult Nurse Practitioner I love my friend and I am extremely worried and concerned. Now I pray for help and support by the Holy Spirit to guide my friend to obtain professional help. I continue to send a text message or a card to maintain a conduit of communication of support.

  • ES

    I have a friend for over 30 years, I was her bride’s maid. She is 52 yrs.old with 2 school-age children and loving husband. Since March 2016 I received regular patterns of long distant phone calls from my friend, at 3am in the morning. During our phone conversation my friend is in a drunkard state. I asked her does she experience black-outs
    and her reply yes. “I have problems concentrating and I underestimate how much alcohol I consume.” “I sometimes feel I depressed.” “I can stop drinking for a while.”
    I became concerned about the health and safety for my friend so, I contacted her siblings. I expressed my concern to her 2 brothers. One brother is in denial and the other
    brother said he was thankful to learn about my friend’s drinking problem. I contacted her husband he reported to me that he and his wife would drink a glass of wine for dinner. However, my friend would sneak out of bed at nighttime and binge drink while watching T.V. on couch. Her husband also reported an incident that my friend drinking and driving with another friend and kids inside the car. I also learned in the 1990’s before she was married she was involved in a car accident resulting, totaling her Saab. The husband reported that his wife snatched the keys out of his hands when he asked my friend not drink and drive.
    In May 2016, I took a flight to visit my friend without her knowledge to talk with her about my concerns. Upon my arrival to her home she was at work. My friend refused to meet with me for lunch. “Go home, I am ok, and, you are stressing me out.” I was able to talk with my friend’s husband and share education on alcoholism. Unfortunately her
    husband is in denial and he verbalized he is not ready to force my friend to stop drinking or to seek help.” My friend stopped communicating with me and refuses to answer
    my phone calls. I am an Adult Nurse Practitioner I love my friend and I am extremely worried and concerned. Now I pray for help and support by the Holy Spirit to guide my friend to obtain professional help. I continue to send a text message or a card to maintain a conduit of communication of support.

  • […] JC: Thanks for your article Maggie. I don’t have any experience in the area of aiding and abetting. Perhaps some of our readers will be able to chime in and offer their experience, strength and hope in regard to your situation. I do think it is very important to communicate with the alcoholic about your concerns though. We had a great discussion recently on this site about what happens when someone’s alcoholism gets purposely revealed to others in matters where safety is important. You can read it here: Exposing Someone’s Alcoholism . […]

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