save the drama for your momma

July 26, 2009 at 7:12 pm 3 comments

i know that we’re not unique. every family has its issues. the black sheep, the skeletons hiding in the closet, the blame and strained relationships. sometimes i feel mine might very well be the epitome of dysfunctional but i’m sure most i were to ask, would feel the same about their own.

my brother is a severe alcoholic. the kind that hides whiskey bottles under couch cushions or behind bushes in the back yard. the kind that claims everyone as judgemental and accusatory while  preaching his innocence with slurred speech. his drinking has led to lost jobs, a failed marriage and the deterioration of his 40-year-old body and mind. and through it all i have yet to hear him accept one bit of responsibility.

last week sab and i took a trip north. a visit to family and friends that was to be a well-deserved break. though a week at my mother’s was bound to include the usual family drama, even i couldn’t have imagined what was to be.

it was our third night there and i was out with friends when it happened. an evening of music my mother was supposed to be a part of while my brother watched the kids. but a last minute sense of discomfort or maternal instinct led me to ask her not to go. something was different in my brother. something was wrong. and i wasn’t sure he was capable of being responsible for my child none-the-less his own. not an hour into my night i got the call. “we’ve had a little bit of an emergency. your brother has had a seizure and is on his way to the hospital. the kids are going to the neighbors and it’s all under control. no need to rush back.” i was speechless. so tempted to be there. to make my friends end the night before it had hardly begun and deliver me back to the chaos. i was worried about my baby. unsure of what she’d seen or the fear it had caused. but my mother assured me it was all ok. and a quick talk to sab brought enough comfort to ease, though not erase, my anxiety. 

it wasn’t until i got back to the house that i learned the severity of the situation. my mother had been upstairs changing to run a quick errand when the seizure hit. he went down in front of the kids; my daughter, niece and nephew and two neighborhood friends. scared and uncertain my six year old nephew ran for my mother and the scene upon which she came truly surreal. he was choking on vomit, seizing on the living floor. he bit off the tip of his tongue and his eyes rolled back in his head. she calmly told the kids to go across the street and have the neighbor call 911. as much to get them out of the house as to get help. when he went limp she gave him cpr. a mother breathing life into her own “child”. 

he was stable by the time the ambulance arrived though completely unaware of his surroundings. and after four days in the hospital, he was released with an almost clean bill of health that clearly confirmed what even the doctors seemed unwilling to voice out loud. or if they had, he failed to admit.

my initial concern and fear quickly turned to anger. this was in many ways self-induced. an apparent self-attempted detox followed by two straight days of binge drinking, little food and pain pills. years ago i passed the point of allowing myself to be hurt by his choices. he’s a big boy and i can do no more to make him see the disaster that he is. i expect nothing of him and have forced myself to accept my inability to get through. but this time he crossed the line. this time, he affected my child! had it been a mere five minutes later. had my mother walked out the door to go to the store. my child, and the others, likely would have seen him die on the living room floor. for that, i can’t seem to forgive.

my mother remains his crutch. his enabler. the one who always picks up the pieces and swears this time he’s really going to change. i’ve begged her to go to al-anon if he won’t. asked her to try and see the role she plays. she claims me to be cold. heartless and callous when he needs our love and support. but what i’ve tried to explain is that we can’t help someone who doesn’t accept the fact that he needs help. two days after he was released from the hospital my mother found an empty whiskey bottle behind boxes in her laundry room. it could have been old, she claimed. there was no way to know for certain. true. yet when she confronted him, his response remained the same. “it’s not mine. i don’t know where it came from. i have no idea.” … continued denial.

this time, i’m walking away until he gets help. i love my brother but i can’t watch him kill himself. but what really hurts, is i feel i’ve lost my mother as well. i can’t understand her need to accept his lies and i can no longer bite my tongue on the dissapointment it brings.


Entry filed under: divorce and co-parenting, fear, life, parenting, random, relationships. Tags: , , , , .

starting line the road less traveled

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. bonesxxx  |  July 26, 2009 at 7:26 pm

    I wish you the best and if I can be of service please do not hesitate to ask for help.
    Thank you for sharing your post

  • 2. sarah  |  July 27, 2009 at 7:01 pm

    (((HUGS))) i am so sorry for all that you are going through

  • 3. decompression « becelisa  |  June 2, 2011 at 9:46 am

    […] the bad guy. the one with no forgiveness or compassion. but ever since “the episode” ~ this day two summers ago ~ i’ve held firm to my decision to walk away until he accepts responsibility for himself and […]


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