Advice! Drinking & driving


#1

Hi,

Please help me get some perspective! I am happily married with children. My family is large so there are a lot of siblings of mine around because my parents live here. One sister is especially hurting with mental issues-it seems like- and has taken to riding around with a stocked bar-a cooler in her car. She is a chronic liar, she has rage issues and her marriage is on the rocks-we assume we know why, but she lies so much. Her kids are so young and sweet and she is jeopardizing their lives when she is drunk.I have recently had an awakening from denial that my whole family has an alcoholic mindset from reading Al-Anon stuff and general info about alcoholism, which I think one of my parents was one. This sister has isolated her husband from our family to keep him from knowing the truth of all her antics in my home. She hides her drinking from him & I think she’s cheated on him. She dresses like a street walker and tells strangers she’s getting divorced soon. She has “come on” to my teen boys and their homeschooled friends just recently, trying to “sexy dance” with them while they were practicing for a recital. She rants and raves if I try and discuss her problems. Other times she acts like I’m the only one who “gets her”. She comes on to my husband and our friend’s husbands. I’m almost positive she slept with my ex-husband when she was 19. But I love her anyway. I want the best for her.I am obviously being used. I get that. What I can’t take anymore is the fact that my peace of mind is being stolen in my own home. My husband never intervenes and helps protect us. He is a huge guy but is more pacifist and doesn’t like to be the bad guy. Other siblings of mine drink a lot and leave here drunk I admit…I just never noticed because they don’t stumble around. I’m so anxious about how am I going to keep sister my killing someone. She’s already had a bad wreck which cut off her ear as a teen-drinking and driving. She got a DUI last year. Her kids couldnt wake her up and called my Mom on accident and left messages, “Daddy, please help me, I can’t wake up Mommy. Oh, please don’t be mad at me for calling you…” Mom confronted her and she explodes with threats and promises to never see her again. etc.
I wrote a family notice telling them my thoughts on how we were raised and how drinking has and is effecting me. That I need not to be around drunks and no one should ever drive after drinking. Another sister agree wholeheartedly. She never had a drinking problem. The others are silent and I pretty much know they are mad and feel like I’m ruining their fun. I said that if they get drunk and drive off I’ll call the patrol and give their plate # or they could accept a ride home. None of them accept rides!
So, DH was upset at me for this letter and said I went too far. He said if they get drunk and wreck it’s their own fault. He was worried that we’d be the bad guys and be unpopular & never get visitors again. Although he doesn’t necessarily like the noisy and messy get togethers-He’s afraid to get into a confrontation I think.
On some website, it said that you should allow the alcoholics to experience the consequences-but dying or killing someone seems a heavy price.
What is a Catholic response to this madness?

Thanks!
Dannilynn


#2

Dannilynn,
you are understandably very stressed and worried, with good reason. Is it possible for your husband and you to go to your priest together or to a counsellor to sort out your position on this, as your relationship is your primary concern before you can cope with all the rest. You aren’t responsible for others’ decisions and behaviour, but you need coping strategies for your own health and peace before facing what you can do to help, would you think?

I will keep your sister and your husband and your family and you in my prayers and Masses. God grant you all peace and discernment. And I ask You, heavenly Father, in Jesus’ name, to enter into these lives, and in a powerful way, take Dannilynn’s sister and her family into Your greatest care.

Bless you, Trishie:hug1: :coffee: :coffee:


#3

I’m pretty sure if someone leaves your home after consuming alcohol and injures or kills someone you can be held accountable for their actions.
I really don’t understand your husband’s point of view either, exposing this irresponsible behavior to your children is a very bad example and honestly I would rather have no visitors than those kinds of visitors.
Your sister made sexual advances on your sons and your husband still wants her in your home?:eek: Your sons are your sister’s nephews that’s not only immoral but illegal.


#4

“I’m pretty sure if someone leaves your home after consuming alcohol and injures or kills someone you can be held accountable for their actions.”

I agree one is responsible for preventing someone from leaving one’s home after drinking, my meaning is that the responsibility for choice for lifestyle is that of the person engaged in it…that we all have free will. Naturally if someone needed to be driven home one would be iresponsible not to do so. I was not speaking of a specific instance under one’s control.

However it appears that Dannilynn’s family are not open to such offers or suggestions, so she faces the dilemma of disallowing them to drink at her home, so as not to be complicit in their actions. It’s a difficult choice which could leave her without much family, so please God she can make the decision her conscience calls for. It is not an enviable position for the poor girl to be in, especially that she doesn’t have her husband’s support in dealing with her family.


#5

actually you are right, if they leave your home drunk and get in an accident and kill someone you could be liable if you served the alcohol, allowed them to drink when they were obviously drunk. you may have to resort to the expedient we do–no alcohol served when these members of my family are around, and that included my daughters’ weddings.

whether or not the letter was wise or prudent is another matter. since it is his home too, and his liabibility as well, you and your husband should have discussed this together and come up with a plan. if your sister or any other siblings get in a car drunk with a child call the cops immediately. If you observe other behavior in her that puts her children at risk, report her to CPS. love for your sister is fine, but where is the love for her children?

now that you have made your threat you had better carry it out, or it will not protect you from liability issues.

I realize I am talking cut and dried here, not charity, but there is NO love in letting a drunk get in a car and drive. it is the height of uncharity.

I challenge anyone to find a passage in the bible that says: If you truly love your brother the thing to do is allow him to continue his self-destructive behavior and put other people in danger. Even the father of the prodigal had to practice tough love and let the son learn his lesson the hard way.

and yes be prepared to find out as we did that taking the hard line on drinking means virtually no socializing in your home with your family. those family members to whom I prefer always choose their cigarettes and booze over human beings, including their own children.


#6

I think your DH needs to grow a backbone and learn that confrontation is not wrong; after all, he is supposed to be protector of the family. I mean, for crying out loud, she is coming on to your teen children? Or does he think that is cute?

Also, ask him if the possibility of going to her children’s funerals is worth “keeping the peace”.

Additionally, I would suggest that if you want to have any more get-togethers in your home, make it alcohol-free, let everyone know it is alcohol-free, and turn away anyone who brings alcohol to your house.

Also, when the children left the message, that was an opportunity to call DCFS or whatever the family services agency is.


#7

This is so true. You have to stand firm, dannilynn! It’s not going to be easy; in fact, I can guarantee that it’s not.

You should PM a member named LSK. She is simply wonderful about all things booze!!!


#8

You need to get her out of your house. She’s hitting on your kids, who are your main responsibility. Don’t spend your time analyzing alcoholic mindsets; opinions differ on what that even means. Just protect yourself and your kids. She is an adult and knows how to get help if she needs and wants it. You offered her all you reasonably could and then confronted her, and she responded by not improving. That was her answer. Out with her.


#9

I agree. It is time for some “tough love”. However, if you are protecting yourself and your immediate family, it should not be a tough decision. One of the hardest things to do is to exclude family members from your life because of the negative/dangerous influences they are on you and yours; I have had to do that myself… You have to decide if the “peace” that your husband wants to keep in the family is really worth it. Is it even “peace” at all? Please know that you and your family are in my prayers. Your FIRST obligation in this situation is to the children…
Annie


#10

Thank you all for your reasonable responses!

This is going to be very hard.

We lost my Dad a year ago and it was really hard for me to admit that he was an alcoholic, most probably. I always felt so close to him and since he lived with us I got to know him as a person. I miss him so much. Still grieving.

It is such a strange conflict going on-I love my family and want them to love me yet the cost is so high! I was co- caretaker of most of them as children because my Mom was very depressed and angry (post abortion syndrome, too) as well as angry at Dad and was very mean and didn’t deal well with them or the house.

My insides are screaming, “What are they going to do to me?!” and “What kind of things will they say?!” My stomach flutters at standing up to the sister who’s threatened to kill me in one of her rages-she was even sober at the time.

Her kids, are so precious to me and I have kept contact ONLY because she comes to see Mom and brings them. If she didn’t, how would we make sure they aren’t being hurt more? She takes out stuff on them (no proof but I hear her screaming at them)and I feel like anything that makes her angry=like being confronted does=she will harm them and it will be my fault.

She comes here drunk already so telling her to leave may jeopardize the kid’s lives so I can’t do that. She doesn’t accept a ride…and we can’t call her husband because then she may get left and we will be blamed and she’ll ask to live here…

You are all right, of course, and I have no choice but to follow through with my ultimatum.

Reaction from family so far to letter:

One sister wrote a very long detail letter agreeing with me and sent it to all of them…YAY…

One brother simply emailed me this with nothing else but:

“still plan on drinking beer on the float” then the next day this:

“i know what it is. you are just jealous that you do not have the tolerance you used to have.”

I sent him a page with how tolerance is a clue to how bad your drinking problem is and it said about how when a person brags about their tolerance, they ignorantly are tellling you they are progressing into more trouble.

Please pray for me!!!


#11

the list of things I know nothing about is long, but on my short list of things I do know is living in an alcoholic family. the only choice for the non-alcoholics in the family is:
how much control am I going to allow my family to have over me and my life
and
how much am I willing to enable the alcoholics in maintaining their way of living and relating to the rest of us.


#12

If children are in danger, there is no excuse for not alerting the authorities.

No drinking at your house, your house, your rules.


#13

Great news!

I am so excited because of the events that have been occurring.
The troublesome sister read the “letters to the siblings”. Additionally, I sent her one privately listing how she has personally affected me and my family. I went into detail about all the shameful things she has done. Also, I was honest and didn’t try to humor her or placate her. I told her what I thought of all her troubles and how she could reach out for help…
I added some kind words of encouragement and told her that our family loves her and she should not push us away by her rages and lies etc.
Needless to say, she had a fit. She began the usual calls, first to me, then Mom then my other sister. She went into this big disinformation spin, trying to explain away her behavior while pointing to me as the cause. She threatened to “never come over again” etc. She tried every trick in her gameplan and I was able to be stalwart and powerful. I remained my usual calm but I never capitulated nor gave in to her manipulations. For the first time ever she was left speechless several times.
This happened over again to her with my sister and Mom since we prepared a new way to deal with her-honesty. We called her on every lie and on every excuse. They did an awesome job!!!
They were particularly frightened to deal with her because normally that was my “job”. This time there was a united front. All her dubious claims of “others” in the family who “hate you” didn’t bother me at all and I didn’t let her bait me to get the subject changed.

Right as it stands, she is dropping out of a fun family get together with our relatives…and she will never be able to see us again “since you choose not to believe me”. “I am not putting myself through being called a liar.” She just demands that we fall in to her tune or else.

She claimed she was dropping out of the float due to a wedding in her husband’s family that they have to attend out of town. They just found out about it yesterday…Huh? Yesterday she said they were going to the float-oh, but that was before she read the letter. She told Mom it was a reunion…and told my other sister it was because of me-that I’d be watching her too much. No thanks.

So, we all feel strangely liberated…I can’t describe the weight that is off-and I told her, “I understand you are hurting. I know this is hard for you to lose control over us. You know we never believed your lies. All you wanted was the thrill of making us tell you we did. Those times are over.”

I assured her I had no intention of involving myself in her crazy marriage and that I am no longer interested in hearing her complain about her private affairs…those with or without her husband. Yuck. She kept throwing out the tired old threat-“I just don’t think I can be around you anymore.I am never coming over there again and I can’t see Mom and neither can my boys because of you!” Yet, she’d never stop talking to me on the phone she kept blabbling on and on…
So, next time I’m pointing out how she always hurts her children to make a point. I’m telling her what I did in the letter-that they have been collateral damage from her bad choices. She’s told them many times how much we hate them right in front of us all and I told her-you feel so bad about yourself, it has spilled over on them and you are dragging them down and trying to make them feel as bad as you do.

Next time, I’m going to say this"You know what? It is ME who should be contemplating whether I want YOU in my life."

She is so mad…but I feel so great.

I am shaking my head, wondering why I couldn’t do this years ago. Shame on me. She will not step foot in here impaired ever again.

Thanks to all of you for helping me find my back-bone.


#14

Report her to the police if she drives when she is drunk.


#15

boy do I know that feeling.
congratulations


#16

I’ve reached the age where, when people try to play that game with me, I just go with the “else” - it’s usually not as bad as it’s being made out to be. :wink:


#17

If there is alcohol in your house, get rid of it immediately, even if you or your husband like it. Than go to your priest and seek advise. Follow the advise. And be sure to pray for the family.


#18

Update!

The sister was so angry she took my private email to her that dealt with all the recent things she’s done over here and it had a lot of her “secrets” in it and emailed it to all our family!! She outed herself as a fruitcake. With it came this huge long diatribe that, really, read as if it came from a possessed 9 yr old in a fit of rage:
Synopsis: It is the typical I’m-never-seeing-you-again tome so here is some of it:
"Dannilynn thinks she’s so perfectttt and Saint Dannilynn thinks she’s god and Mom and other sister are all against me and they won’t listen to me but there are those few who aren’t judgmental like them and I won’t be in their sight or their mind and you better not ever tell them anything about me because I don’t care to be thought of as the way they see me as a liar and alcoholic or worse. Dannilynn has to have it her way so you better go to Confession or you’ll go to hell if you don’t do what she does and keep her kids out of the real world and away from me…I have done things wrong but at least I know how to fix it cuz I’m my own saving grace unlike some people who won’t believe me about anything…I’m going to try out another religion cuz Catholicism is too judgemental and has too many rules and it’s all Dannilynn’s fault because she won’t believe a ------ thing I tell her and she never has and Mom and G won’t either so we all must bow to them, the new godhead trio…and see everyone Dannilynn acts and this is why we don’t get along because she thinks she’s so good and I don’t buy her ----for a minute that she loves and cares about me…I don’t hate myself cuz I make mistakes and I embrace that’s who I am and I am a good person because of that. So whoever doesn’t agree with god Danni should email us all and tell everyone like those siblings that said she is hypocritical…and someone told me I should tell her off so I am fine with never being seen or heard from again except from those people who truly love me because they believe what I say…I like wearing miniskirts and there is nothing wrong with showing it and (boy siblings X & X) can’t wear one so ha!..I’m never going to allow these people who see me as a liar to steal my happiness and peace and I know I’ve done this before but this time it is permanent!!! ETC.

She continued on all crazy-like and thought that this was going to sway people into believing her. I couldn’t have come up with a better email myself to feel vindicated for calling her out.

At morning Mass it was about forgiveness and the priest gave a homily about so many people in Purgatory from unforgiveness of family…and we should ask Jesus to allow the graces to flow from His precious Wounds and make us love and forgive as He forgives so that we can be reconciled to Himself.

That helped me to realize that to be healed I need to let her go and give up my need to keep “raising” these siblings as I had to in my childhood. That I need to refrain from even answering this email because all it would be for would be to call her a liar again by pointing out the inconsistencies of her story. She knows she lies already. I could have a hay-day with the silliness and all that would be for was to make fun of her…which I don’t want to do. I love her. I have said everything already. So my silence will be golden as I contemplate all the forgiveness I’ve recieved from Jesus and all the love and prayers I will continue to send her way from afar. I forgive her. And I’m letting it go!


#19

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.