Guest blogger Marley: Several months ago, I wrote a post about my sister, who had gone to jail for allowing her underage daughter to have a party in their home. A momlogic reader left a comment suggesting that my sister might have an addiction, because she had taken a sleeping pill and gone to bed while all these kids were drinking. At the time, I thought the idea ridiculous. I mean, I know my own sister -- or so I thought. She was no addict; she was just a mother who'd made a poor judgment call, I believed. How could anyone get from my story that she had a problem with pills?!
Well, that reader turned out to be right: My sister is a pill addict and an alcoholic, and no one -- aside from her husband and three kids -- knew about it until recently. We're all blown away with the news, especially with the fact that her children now want nothing to do with her. Yes, in the process of destroying her life, my sister succeeded in disgusting and disappointing her children for so many years, they no longer want her in their lives -- as in, they deleted her number from their phones and refuse to be around her. And they're fine with this, because their lives are so much better without her in them.
This is straight from the mouth of my niece (my sister's middle kid), who was visiting a few weeks ago. The family -- my other siblings and parents -- are flabbergasted. Looking back, the signs were there (the drunken speech at my wedding, the slurring at the family reunion, etc.). If only we had paid attention! My parents are worried sick, scared that they're going to lose my sister. Apparently it's that bad -- and has been for a decade. A decade! None of us could ever have imagined the stories that have come out.
Yet our main question on hearing the news was, "Why did it take you so long to tell us?" My niece's answer was that her father is an intensely private person, and her mother forbade any of them to mention it to us. We were all very upset that we weren't told, because we feel we could have done something to help her (like an intervention or something). But my niece assured me that they had tried to get my sister help. They did do an intervention, and they were successful in getting her into rehab -- twice. But both times, she was high within hours of getting out.
My sister has also been to jail twice (once for a drunk-driving charge, and once for the underage party). She's a pathological liar. She's spent thousands of dollars a year on prescription medication (she gets it by "shopping" doctors). Now she's living alone in a furnished apartment with no friends, no children and no husband.
I feel sad for my sister -- and for my parents, who are freaking out. When we call her, she prefers to pretend that everything's fine and that it's her husband and kids who are nuts. She's in denial, still -- after ten years of drug and alcohol abuse! I'm just so turned off I don't even know what to do. How can someone do this to their family, their children, their husband? She's done so much damage, yet she still takes no responsibility. But I guess that's addiction for you.
Can you imagine choosing pills and alcohol over your own children?