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Old Feb 15, '14, 7:08 am
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AnastasiaRomano AnastasiaRomano is offline
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Default Re: Good Influences for 6 year old

Originally Posted by sarikatodd View Post
Wow, this is happening again. I've offered to stay at a hotel, but my parents won't have us over if we don't stay with them. They are afraid of what the rest of the family will say if I'm staying in a hotel. This has become a big problem. My brother has been living with my parents for over 5 years now and shows no sign of moving out or working on his addictions. My parents say he has a heart of gold and is a victim and I should not be so tough on him. He doesn't have basic life skills like budgeting, etc. Keep in mind, he's 44 yrs old. Now, his new girlfriend has moved into the house. From their side of the fence, I'm keeping my family from them to be spiteful and all the stress this is causing rests solely with me. Now my parents health is starting to go down and they've laid a guilt trip on me for that too. Its really difficult because driving for 9 hours with the fam, using what little vacation I get, and being stressed out the whole time with no way out isn't something I can do anymore. I've done it before, but I know its taking a toll on me. I'm 37 and I feel like I'm in my 50's, largely because of this.
This post is old and I'm not sure if anyone will read it, but as least I get to let this out in another venue instead of replaying it in my own head. I guesss I should change the post title from 6 to 8 I thought this would be history by now.
Sorry to hear this is still a problem. If your brother still hasn't changed his behavior and is still an alcoholic, I'd stick to your guns here. Let your parents know that you'd love to visit them, but that your family will be staying at a hotel because that's more convenient for everyone. (If their health is declining, you can also use the energy level of the child[ren] as another reason a hotel would be good for everyone. After all, hotel = pool...)

If they choose not to permit you to visit them because you want to stay in a hotel, that's their decision. Not yours. Tell them that you'd be sad if they didn't permit you to visit, but make sure they know that you aren't budging on the hotel. Don't let them put the guilt on you -- they are the ones making the choice not to see you.

And if they make that choice, then I'd say you should find some fun alternate vacation plans for the time that you would have visited them.
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Old Feb 15, '14, 1:09 pm
Todd77 Todd77 is offline
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Default Re: Good Influences for 6 year old

I am a parent too, and have gone this very issue with my own family. In my case though, it's not my brother who's an alcoholic, it's my father.

I will tell you unequivocally, it is not a healthy situation for your child to be in. And my decision as a parent was to cut off contact with my father.

In my experience, the alcoholic and the people around him who are enabling his behavior will do their very best to convince you not to trust your own feelings and judgement. They will do their best to convince you that you're overreacting, blowing things out of proportion, etc. The goal is to get you to the point where you're willing to accept their view of what is and is not acceptable behavior, not your own.

In my opinion, alcoholism is not just an individual diseases in cases like these, it's a family disease. The disease for the other family members is codependency and enabling. The alcoholic's family needs to convince themselves to ignore the elephant in the room, to deny the reality of the situation as a coping behavior. It's like the tale of the emperor having no clothes - it only works as long as everyone believes in the fiction and you coming in pointing out reality is shattering the illusion.

You mentioned how your brother "enjoys figuring out how far he can go before I say something. Its quite tiring." I went through the exact same things with my father. I honestly think it's a way alcoholics instinctively train the people around them to "put up" with bad behavior. To wear them down until people become accepting of it. Because guess what, eventually you'll get tired of policing his behavior and he will start getting away with more and more. My bet is if you spent six months living with him, by the end you'd find yourself putting with behavior you never would have tolerated on day one.

I have been where you are, and the way I see it is that your brother (like my father) is an adult. They chose their path, and part of being an adult is dealing the consequences of your own choices. My son on the other hand is only a child. He relies on me and my wife to create a safe environment for him to thrive in. Being around an active alcoholic and a family that enables that sort of behavior isn't part of a healthy environment in my world.

Don't let anyone talk you out of your own feelings and convince you to mistrust your own judgement just because they're family.
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Old Feb 15, '14, 3:07 pm
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Irishmom2 Irishmom2 is online now
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Default Re: Good Influences for 6 year old

Todd, for your first post, it certainly was a powerful one!

You have really put it all in a nutshell. Excellent post, not only about alcoholism, but about any enabling behavior.
"Lord Jesus, in times of trial and temptation, be my strength and consolation. Teach me not to fear the darkness, but rather draw me to your light. For it can only be in darkness that you will become my light and in your light that I may bring the light of healing to all I meet." - George Maloney
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Old Feb 15, '14, 3:37 pm
Mrs Sally Mrs Sally is offline
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Default Re: Good Influences for 6 year old

OP, its time to come up with new vacation plans. Are there any resorts, national parks, other interesting sights by where you family lives? I'd arrange to visit one of those. Tell you parents "we are going to see sight X in July. We'd like to stop by for a few days in fhd way down. We can be there from this day to that. Let's plan a family dinner at favorite restaurant." If they "won't let you" see them, then oh well, that is their decision. Go see sight X, have a good time, and tell them that you'll miss visiting. You can give them options, but only those that are acceptable to you. Especially now that girlfriend has moved in all the more reason to stay in a hotel.
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Old Feb 16, '14, 6:22 am
PartoftheBody PartoftheBody is offline
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Default Re: Good Influences for 6 year old

I'd encourage you to stand your ground, especially now with the girlfriend living there. Just adding one more inappropriate behavior to the list of things not to teach your child.

Maybe they need you to call their bluff to really understand how bad the situation is. Perhaps saying something along the lines of, "I have to do what is best for my child, whether or not you agree with it. If you want to distance yourselves from us and deprive a child of seeing his grandparents, then that is your decision, not mine. We are the ones driving 9 hours to see you."

If they still refuse to see you unless you stay with them, then they have made their decision to choose your brother over you, your family, and your child's well-being. You would have nothing to feel guilty about. You made an effort and were not making an unreasonable request.
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