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I just got a gut wrenching phone call from my neice

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
My neices called my crying, my brother was drunk... again, and screaming at his wife for refusing to buy him more beer. I could hear them yelling in the background. They do not live near me, a 2.5hr plane ride away, I feel so helpless!

I know my bro is an alcholoic, I just don't know how to help him realize this for himself and get help! I don't know what to do, I'm heartbroken... They have never called me before,she said he's been getting worse. She swore to me that he has never hit anyone in the house, but I think verbal abuse is worse sometimes.....

I just wish there was SOMETHING I could do. (PS child services has already been through a through investigation, and it has been deemed a fit household)

Any and all advice would be apreciated.
post #2 of 21
Poor girls. It's hard to grow up in a household like that. I don't have any advice, sorry.

Either the wife will have to cut her losses and leave with the girls or your brother will have to want to stop drinking. No one else can make him do it.
post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
Either the wife will have to cut her losses and leave with the girls
I've suggested that to her many times over the last 12 years or so that they have been married I just wish there was something I could do....
post #4 of 21
The only thing you can do is to offer shelter for her and her kids for a while....
post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by carolinalima View Post
The only thing you can do is to offer shelter for her and her kids for a while....
Been there, done that, even tried to get them to move near me, it almost worked till the found out the rent rates in the area I live in!

I'm glad my neices know that they can at least call me, no matter what...
post #6 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by sillyitiliangrl View Post
Been there, done that, even tried to get them to move near me, it almost worked till the found out the rent rates in the area I live in!

I'm glad my neices know that they can at least call me, no matter what...
yeah.... you can offer, but they need to accept it, right? I hope things turn around soon... that's no way to live...
post #7 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by sillyitiliangrl View Post
I just wish there was something I could do....
Hope for a miracle? Hypnosis? Wish that aliens would abduct him? There's nothing you can do for your brother. Unless you and the family could somehow prove that he was a danger to himself and others and not in his right mind and have him committed into a rehab hospital somewhere...

How long has he been drinking, btw? If for those 12 years or more he may not even be able to stop without medical assistance. Like other drugs the body can get addicted to alcohol in such a way that a person can have serious (and even deadly) withdrawals if they try to suddenly quit.

Probably not info you want to know... but if he's truly that bad, a hospital may be the only way.
post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
How long has he been drinking, btw?
He probally started when he was 16 (long story, but he was not living at home)... hes now 36...
post #9 of 21
^ Oh dear...

M father is an alcoholic, too. BTW. He used to drink harder liquors when I was a kid and would also drink till he was quite drunk even if he was just drinking beer. It's hard to grow up around that.
He still drinks, but just beer now. I'd like to say it was just a few a night but he still drinks till he's completely drunk at least once or twice a week. I know he's had issues with depression for years and age + alcohol are starting to really mess with his memory.

I'm sure your nieces love their father. Verbal abuse aside, it's really difficult to watch a person constantly do this to themselves. I'm sure it's hard on you, too.


Aside from my health issues making any alcohol a very stupid idea, having an alcoholic father has made it so that I won't touch the stuff. I honestly view it as just as bad as any hard drug, worse because it's legal..
post #10 of 21
I know in Canada, you can make someone go into a rehab facility for up to 3 days without their permission. You'll have to look at the laws in the state he is in but I am sure there is some way to force him into a hospital if that is what you'd like.

My bestfriend is an alcoholic and after spending 3 years with her going farther and farther down her dark hole (spending all my spare time at her house or near her house to make sure I could get there very fast if she did anything, picking her up off the floor when she was too drunk, taking her keys, cleaning her puke, covering for her at work so she kept her job) that eventually I had to get out of it. It still breaks my heart but last I heard, after all her other friends did the same and her husband left her, that she went to rehab. Maybe the best bet is to try and convince his wife to get out for awhile. I know you can't make her, but if she leaves and he realizes no one is going to pick him up and tell him it's okay, he will change. He has to do it for himself, not for anyone else.
post #11 of 21
My brother now is a recovering alcholic, but before that it was pretty bad, the only good thing was he was single when this was going on. He stopped drinking, because he had no money for it and had the D T's. He was imagining all kinds of things, it was awful. We had to call the polce not because he was violent towards other people but we were afraid he would hurt himself. They said unless he wanted help there was nothing they could do, even though he could have hurt himself there was still nothing we could do but watch him, we had to make sure he was getting orange juice into him, it wasn't until he went unconscious, then we were able to get him help. I believe people should have rights but in this case it was over done.

He lived in New York at the time. My Prayers and thoughts are with you and your family.
post #12 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zuma-xo View Post
I know in Canada, you can make someone go into a rehab facility for up to 3 days without their permission.
Could you explain more? (If you know) How do you involuntarily commit someone? Presumably you need a doctor on board?

SIG - Their are lots of options for local housing if they will consider them, even renting out a nice couple's basement which can be VERY cheap. Having his family move away may be the push your brother needs to realize how much he's hurting his family; or it may push him into a deep depression from which he's not going to get out of .

for a solution being found.
post #13 of 21
Would your sister-in-law and nieces benefit from Al-Anon and Alateen, which are for the families of alcoholics?
post #14 of 21
His wife needs a serious wake up call. The environment that she is providing for her children is not a healthy one. If she wants to live with an abusive drunk, that's her business, but she shouldn't be subjecting her children to it as well. She seriously needs to either leave that house or send her children to live with someone else.

Those poor children are being abused IMHO.
post #15 of 21
Sounds like you need to organize an intervention.

I also want to say how wonderful it is that you are there for your niece, that she feels close enough to call you for help. I grew up in a brutally abusive household and had NO adult to turn to for help. It's SO important that your niece has you to turn to, even if it's only on the telephone, that doesn't matter. The fact that you are on her side is something she will remember all her life, believe me, and it will impact her life in positive ways that neither of you could possible foresee!

The sad fact is that your brother will end up in jail or worse if he doesn't change his path. A intervention can be a huge wake-up call, talk to everyone who cares about your brother, arrange the date and time with your SIL, and make that plane trip for it. If you don't have a good relationship with your brother, do it for your niece.
post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by SwampWitch View Post
Sounds like you need to organize an intervention.

I also want to say how wonderful it is that you are there for your niece, that she feels close enough to call you for help. I grew up in a brutally abusive household and had NO adult to turn to for help. It's SO important that your niece has you to turn to, even if it's only on the telephone, that doesn't matter. The fact that you are on her side is something she will remember all her life, believe me, and it will impact her life in positive ways that neither of you could possible foresee!

The sad fact is that your brother will end up in jail or worse if he doesn't change his path. A intervention can be a huge wake-up call, talk to everyone who cares about your brother, arrange the date and time with your SIL, and make that plane trip for it. If you don't have a good relationship with your brother, do it for your niece.
That's what I was going to say. An intervention.
post #17 of 21
The only thing you can do is tell your sis-in-law to get rid of him once and for all. Either he goes to rehab or she should separate her and her daughter away from him. It never turns out well when you live with a drunk, believe me I know. I never married one but did live with one for a short period of time, then I threw him out.
post #18 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Natalie_ca View Post
His wife needs a serious wake up call. The environment that she is providing for her children is not a healthy one. If she wants to live with an abusive drunk, that's her business, but she shouldn't be subjecting her children to it as well. She seriously needs to either leave that house or send her children to live with someone else.

Those poor children are being abused IMHO.
I feel the need to respond. My father was an alcoholic. My mom stayed with him in order to provide us with a home and food on the table. She had no job skills other than housekeeping. We lived outside of town in the country and if mom had left him, his and her family would have disowned her as being a bad wife and mother. Yes, in those days that would have happened and we children would have been far worse off than we were. Dad was a weekend drunk. He would stay sober all week but binge on the weekends. He was a quiet drunk until after a car accident and then he could get violent. He started drinking overseas during WWII and my understanding is that he was certainly not alone in this. I always tried to understand what demons he was dealing with and although he could get violent if pushed, he was never violent with me. When he was drunk and upset I was the only one who ever bothered to try to talk to him or understand him and he would listen to me.

My mom was not a bad mother - she was anything but. My father was not a bad man - he was anything but and I loved them both very much. Did my dad have a problem - certainly and it was started by WWII so I never blamed him for it. When he was sober, he was the most amazing, loving, kind and wonderful man alive. When he died (it was alcohol related - he fell and had internal injuries we didn't know about), my brothers both said they wished they could tell him how sorry they were for the things they said to him. I told them I had nothing to be sorry for since I always treated him with respect and let him know that I loved him.

It's a mistake IMO to assume we have the answers, can judge them and all too easy to sit at our computer and say leave the guy. It's a different thing to be in their shoes.

If there is physical abuse happening with your SIL and her children, then yes she needs to get help and advise at least, from a women's shelter.
post #19 of 21
As someone else said, an intervention. The problem you will have is that your SIL will need to be able to draw clear boundries & stick to them.
post #20 of 21
so sorry Danielle......I wished you can tell to him what important is to be Sober always... but the most important...that he have responsabilities...etc.....
post #21 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nes View Post
Could you explain more? (If you know) How do you involuntarily commit someone? Presumably you need a doctor on board?
I work at a Crisis Residential Unit. Its for psychiatric patients and for substance abusers. The substance abusers who come there are voluntary and are placed on a Librium protocol. For more extreme abusers, they are sent to a 36 day program. To have someone committed, a mental hygiene is filed and if the person is unsafe, involuntarily for treatment they are sent to a lockup facility.
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