Had to make a really difficult decision…… Last night I got a phone call from my little sister (by "little" I mean 2 years younger than myself).  She was drunk. She tells me she relapsed and i was like no shit. Let me preface this w/ the fact that she lost her job 5 months ago, hasnt worked since, lost her house in foreclosure, lost her car, her 8yr old lives w/ the mother-in-law and doesnt want anything to do w/ her, and she now resides in a women's shelter w/ her 4yr old. I had *hoped* she had reached her bottom…. she had been sober for 20 days. This shelter also specializes in addictions. Okay, so she calls me b/c she needs someone to take her 4yrold, my nephew gage. I love that kid. The shelter told her that she either goes to detox/rehab or she's kicked out. So my knee jerk reaction was to say of course, i can take Gage… the alternative was calling CPS.

A little history…. Gage has been on and off staying w/ my godparents b/c my sister (becky) had cps involved last year when she left him alone at home while she went to go get more alcohol. She proceeded to get pulled over and put in jail for driving drunk. Gage was alone at home until 9am the next morning. He has been used as a pawn by becky…. going to my godparents when she was too drunk and then she'd yank him back to the instability of her life. My godparents have recently told her NO MORE. When she recently asked them to take gage they said no, not unless they get some paperwork that gives them some rights. They had him in preschool and everything. They are awesome ppl and provide a loving stable home for him. We all know the instability and potential violence that comes along w/ violence.

So……back to my difficult decision. I said yes, I'll take him and spoke to the counselor at the shelter. I hung up the phone and immediately I was like what did i just do?? I have no idea how long i could have him for. i have a 1 bedroom small apt w/ my partner, a dog, 3 cats, $10 in my checking acct….8days til i get paid again,  1 week clean (last friday I drank and swallowed a handful of pills trying to off myself in a TOTAL impulse….was hospitalized and diagnosed w/ low cycling bipolar and started on new meds) I AM IN NO POSITION emotionally, financially, mentally, or otherwise to provide anymore stability to this child. Not to mention time issues….i work full time, have ramped up my mtg attendance, therapy, etc!!!   So, I call my therapist and she was like….THAT was a bad decision… you need to call them back and tell them to call CPS. That was when my tears and angst let loose… NO i dont want my nephew in the system!! What kind of aunt am I??? What is that baby gonna think when he gets older…. that no one loved him enough to take him in? All this shit is running thru my head. So I call my godparents and talk to my aunt for like an hour. She's telling me well, ya!!! They will definitely take gage and be foster parents but they want to have some backup so becky cant just show up at the door and snatch him back into her chaos. She went on to tell me all they have been thru w/ becky and gage and as I was talking to her we BOTH came to the decision that yes, I had to call the shelter back and tell them to call CPS. The official paperwork has to be initiated so that becky has to prove her fittness AND sobriety before she can get him back.

It was the hardest phonecall I had to make. I felt like shit even tho I knew it was the right decision… the best for becky and for gage. That child needs to have a chance. My sister needs to have this happen b/c I think gage was her last harbinger of resentment…. she used him like a pawn….not realizing it of course b/c she is full blown in her disease…..blaming everyone else for where she is, not taking responsibility…etc. Her world has shrunk in her alcoholism and she will die of it if she doesnt stop. My mom died at the age of 50 3 years ago from alcoholism. My dad is an alcoholic and I dont know how long he has. It is so fucking sad to watch my sister, my baby sister walk that same road.  I'm sad and anxious. I miss my sister!!!  She's been hardcore drinking for the past 2.5 years after having 3 years sober. I've missed her for that time b/c i will not talk to her or engage w/ her while she's drinking. I know she feels abandoned and whatever but I need to maintain these boundaries!!!  I'm hangin on by a thread myself here! Not to mention the fact that I have been unknowingly enabling her over the past few years by "helping" her. I really hate this disease sometimes. It is so very distructive.

For myself, I'm hoping this new medication helps w/ my impulse control. I was diagnosed w/ depression many years ago but now that I look back…. My actions and behaviors and impulsivity and whatever are much more consistent w/ bipolar. It kinda sux to have this diagnosis w/o the mania though… I dont have the true manic episodes but I guess you dont have to have them to be bipolar. Whatever, it gives me a little bit of understanding to why I cant leave booze alone. I've been clean from narcs for 4 years and 6 months but its like I get to a point where I say FUCK IT like every 6-8 months or so and I drink. This last time though really scared me. I've never actually attempted suicide before. I didnt feel suicidal until about an hour before i finally was like fuck it. Fuck it, fuckit , fuck all y'all. My girlfriend and best friend found me and took me to an ER, then i was held on an emergency detention. Shit. That was really stupid. I still cant believe it all happened and that i really did that. It is what it is I guess.

I say all that to say this, I've had issues w/ boundaries my whole life. I didnt learn healthy boundaries growing up when i was supposed to so now I'm learning them as an adult. I finally kept a healthy boundary and even though I KNOW in my heart its the right decision, it still hurts. I did the right thing by calling my therapist, talking it through, and making the decision that was right for me, my nephew, and my sister. I just recently acquired the literature for adult children of alcoholics and am looking forward to attending those meetings….. we'll see. I am definitely a work in progress. I've had a rough road but every experience has taught me something about myself and my reaction to the world around me.

My dad called me a few weeks back about my sister telling me that I need to take care of my little sister. She's my little sister and i need to take care of her. This insensed me. I, for the first time ever, stood up to my dad and told him no. She is an adult, she needs to fall. She needs to experience the consequences b/c someone has ALWAYS been rescueing her!!! Many times I have been the one to the "rescue."  I told him no, if she doesnt experience the consequences she's gonna end up just like mom. DEAD. This kinda silenced him. When I told my aunt what my dad said she was like NO, he's the FATHER. Its time to step up and be a DAD.  He was never around emotionally or physically but did provide us w/ health insurance, parochial schooling, etc. My aunt said he was always saying that he was so proud of our teeth. He paid for braces and stuff. I was like wow. Out of all the accomplishments….my dad brags about our teeth? wow. Anyway, I'm done. There was a lot of shit bangin around in my head so hence this blog.

1 Comment
  1. hellbent73 13 years ago

    Wow, what a scary choice to have to make! I think you did a wonderful job. No matter what, your nephew will know you love him enough to fight for him. In the long run, that’s what will matter.

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