The scapegoat in the family
Some Blogs are like personal diaries, right? Well, mine is kind of like that. I can’t go spouting off my unorthodox feelings and thoughts on public social media websites, can I?
I used to, but then I felt the wrath of my family. My opinion was “shameful”. I was ‘showing up’ the family. Because all families are perfect right? So do it in a place they can’t read this. Sly, but necessary for my sanity.
In my previous post, I finished with the sentence -‘I am not looking forward to Christmas’.
To be honest I have never been much of a Christmas person. I didn’t mind getting money for it because it funded my lifestyle at that point in my life. It took a while to ‘grow’ out of that part of me.
People tend to look at people with addiction issues as weak. At least that is my experience of it. I’m not one to judge, having that kind of nature and kink in my DNA or personality. What pisses me off are the people who judge. The ones who have a cemetery full of bones and skulls bursting out, rattling on their closet door- screeching to come out.
I do not regret being an addict. Especially this year. 2015. I have had some amazing people confide in me about the issues they have. The addictions that they have. These are people I would never have suspected had any problems of this nature. I don’t judge. These people judge themselves more and don’t need my judgement. These people I know have sought out help for their problems but maybe it wasn’t always the case.
It’s Christmas time and my child is at an age where she will probably remember Christmas and so, I have dusted off my -bah-humbugs and got my Christmas booty into gear. I even wore the reindeer ears to put up the tree. I do stop at corny Christmas jumpers and saying thanks to a God I don’t believe in. What about my child? She must know about religion and the true meaning of Christmas!
I have been hunting down for an Alien monster costume for my child’s end of year ‘Christmas play’ – I don’t know how political this message is ( sorry bad humour) or what to expect. I am happy enough to let my child believe in Santa Claus and magic at this stage. I also don’t believe in going crazy -with hundreds of presents. I never appreciated mine. I seek to instil the coming together of the family at Christmas. You don’t need God to bring a family together. Mind you some do- some need a miracle.
This brings me back to addictions. It has taken me a long time to control my addictions. I like a few cocktails to celebrate. I’m lucky my true choice of drug is illegal and I don’t know of any dealers and I don’t frequent those playgrounds any longer.
I have had an uncle knob head in my life. He hated me with such venom. I couldn’t understand why. I know I was a bit of a shit for a bunch of years, but then again so was he: when he was younger. Let’s wave the flags, right? Past is past.
In February this year. We had a funeral for my crazy and good time aunt. Miss this woman so much! I dreaded the fact Uncle knob head was coming to the funeral. I hadn’t seen him in over 20 years!
When I met up with him again. There was no rage and hatred behind those eyes. He was loving and in awe of me. Uncle knob head had become a normal uncle. Well, normal to the point that he starts drinking alcohol at 8 am in the morning and doesn’t stop until he passes out. He has come to stay at with his blood family for Christmas. The one he has shunned for nearly 30 years. He is still in the grips of denial and very much self-medicating- epically so. He is on the final chapter of his trilogy. We found out he has no home to go back to after Christmas. His wife of over 3o years and his children have had enough!.
My Ma doesn’t drink and she has had a week of living with an alcoholic. She is not married to him. He is her brother nearing his 60’s. I can emphasize with him but I don’t feel that it is fair that the family should palm off all the ‘ill” people onto us. The U.K. is depressing enough this time of year. No snow- just rain and wind. My traditional Ma is so stressed she is dreading Christmas- very unlike her. The family had a Skype talk and I told them in my opinion, that he needs to hit rock bottom. That rock bottom was to be made homeless, harsh, I know. I was phoning around madly to get help for him. I ended up on the phone chatting to a person I had ever met, who was having a holiday in Tenerife, and part of al-anon. He told me the same thing: Rock bottom or death.
Shelters are full of people wanting to or pretending to want to get off drugs to escape the harsh British weather. Uncle in denial’s cards are not looking good. My family in the U.S.A. begged us to look for a place to stay. Why he couldn’t he stay with them? they didn’t want the drama! I shall leave that to sit there.
My point is that I truly believe uncle has burned every bridge and the more cushy his life is living with my Ma, allowing him to drink, until he has to go back to France is not helping him but enabling him. My heart softened a bit ( I’m not all coal and cinders) after talking to my family in the U.S.A. I realised that his bridges had not been burned with us just yet. I rang around to find a place for my uncle to stay. I came up with ‘the joker’s card’. One person said he had more chance of playing the ‘refugee status’ card than the I am a French raging alcoholic’ on holiday, in the U.K. – It sucks but point taken!.
On Saturday, while he was sat in a pub with another relative: drinking. Our family planned an intervention. When he got home – There was no alcohol in the house. My Ma poured everything down the drain. The deal is this: prove you can stop drinking for two days – no alcohol out or in the home or he is out. He accepted this challenge. I being of a suspicious nature asked my Ma, ‘What then? what if he can go two days without it?
‘ I was relieved to hear the answer:
‘well, if he can go two days without it then he can go the rest of his life without it’… My uncle as you may have guessed did not take this well.
He didn’t to my knowledge drink yesterday. He slept. Apparently, this is a common thing for people who stop cold turkey, according to my hubby to be. Day two begins. I hope he can do this. I hope he gets bad withdrawals, in the hope, we can get him to agree to go A&E and that the doctors will have a duty of care to treat him for a detox. It doesn’t solve the whole problem but it is a good start.
What is Christmas about?
Family coming together, yes! But nobody has to put up with being disrespected. Everyone has the right to state their boundaries. My family’s (in Florida) attitude to my uncle’s plight made me think how judgemental I was being. I was in favour of letting him hit rock bottom and go be in denial in the streets. However, he is family and as a family, I understand we need to give him this chance.
None of us has confronted him with intervention before. So we are giving him this chance. I don’t know what my families true agenda is. They are religious and probably can’t face their god knowing they cast aside their own brother. I, on the other hand, have learnt from them to give a person a chance -especially when that person has not been in this type of stop or go kind of situation.
So, this is where we are at. I am not religious – never will be but I do want to see my uncle succeed. Not just because it is Christmas but because so many people- more than you can think of, have some kind of addiction problems. People don’t self medicate because they are weak. They do it because of trauma. It’s not a new concept- I know.
Most people wait with their hands rubbing together- waiting for the underdog to fall. I had these thoughts too -so don’t deny you haven’t or do- I can’t control what another person thinks. I have had a bit of a talk with my self and now I truly want my uncle to get through this. He needs support but if he fucks up now. Then that is it. Full stop. Then, is up to him to change that full stop into a semicolon.
Tough love and all that…
Posted on 2015-12-14, in WRITE TO RECOVER and tagged Family matters, Living with Mental illness, Love, Relapse, Religion, self expression, Self medication, THIS IS LIFE. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.