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LOST RIVER, WV, USA - Enabling is leaving your wallet in plain view of a thief and after he steals it telling him it's "no big deal." Enabling is letting someone with broken legs that have healed rely on crutches, though you know they don't need them anymore. Enabling is also a HUGE contribution to the disease of alcoholism. I know this first hand because I am the sister of an alcoholic. Year after year, I have watched my parents baby him and bail him out of trouble.
Like me and our other two siblings, he dropped out of school. With little education or parental guidance, he has crawled through life from one dead end to another. However, he has found a way to harness his anger and resentment over his dysfunctional childhood by neatly bottling all of his anguish and calling it Budweiser. I am the oldest child with three children of my own, so I have tried to set a good example for my brother.
I have talked until I am blue in the face and tried to convince him that he needs help. But guess what? He's not speaking to me because of it and neither is anyone else related to me. I'm the bitch.
- I don't think he should be drinking and driving, especially with 3 babies under the age of four in the car.
- I don't think he should leave them in the car all night on a river bank, while he and his girlfriend do a little incapacitated "night-fishing"
- I'm the bitch. I believe babies need more to eat all day than cold corn straight from the can and cheese puffs.
But what do I know? I'm just the bitch who thinks he should go to rehab, be around to raise his kids, and outlive me by twenty years.
Oh, if only I could be more like my parents and say, "It's ok. We know your girlfriend nags the hell out of you and you have three kids at such a tender age, so we can understand why you get drunk and disorderly."
Their idea of "tough love" was having kids and deciding that they didn't want to be parents after the fact. Some things never change.
Have you ever seen how many memorial web sights are out there? There are a lot of them dedicated to victims of drunk driving, and they are endless.
By the way, my brother's three little boys just became foster children. Of course, I would rather see them under state care than in the ground. It's a shame that it had gotten to that point, but it had.
I remember when I was around 6 or 7, there was a young mother who went to our church who had three little girls. They were 8, 5, and 8 months. One night, she and her boyfriend had an accident. On a dark country road, they took a turn too fast and went through a fence. The car landed upside down in a pond. When the police arrived on the scene, they were both SO DRUNK, and were staggering around so much, the police had a hard time deciphering the inaudible gibberish coming from their mouths. To the officers' horror, they were finally starting to understand. Kids....car....pond. All three of their beautiful little girls drowned in the pond that night. The parents couldn't save them, you see, because they were TOO DAMNED DRUNK.
I remember that they had to put a bonnet on the baby's head for the viewing because it got wedged in the steering wheel and she lost the back of it.
Sound horrible? Are you sick to your stomach right now, sad or angry? I'm madder than hell. All these years, I have never forgotten those little girls.
I've looked into my brothers eyes at times and thought about that young mother. I've held his children close to me, and after they had left for home, I imagined them in caskets. It's hell. I wonder how many of you out there can relate to how I feel? Totally helpless.
Don't enable the people you love to do something that could kill them and countless others. Be tough! Band together as a strong family unit. Hold your child's hand as tightly as you can and help them fight their addiction. And if you make sure they put the booze down, you can hold both their hands.
Remember when you were a kid, and you would hold a friend by both hands as they leaned back? If you let go of one hand, they would fall. That's the kind of mistake I see my parents making all the time. They are holding my brother's hand, but they are not gaining any leverage because the beer is still in the other one.
The fact is that drinking and driving kills. And, much too often, it's victim is innocence. Please commit to making your loved ones get help. It doesn't mean you don't care about them, even though they will probably look you square in the face and tell you that you don't ( especially if they are drunk at the time).
Donít buckle, don't bend. And no matter what, hold tightly to both hands and don't let go. They will fall.
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