How to help friend?

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-15-2007
How to help friend?
6
Wed, 09-10-2008 - 8:54am

Hello all,
First time here; I am lurking, trying to learn from you all. I have a "friend," she is not even a close friend, but her son and my son have been friends since pre-school. A few years ago, her husband was killed in a motorcycle accident. She started to drink and I think become dependent on anti-anxiety meds then. This past year, her twin sister died of an overdose. Since then, she has started drinking very, very heavily, all the time. She misses school events because she is drunk (I know, because last week when it happened I called her to see why she wasn't there, and she was completely wasted when I talked to her. AND she was driving her car at the same time); she is on the verge of being fired (she told me this herself); she has been staying out all night and sleeping all day with a hangover on the weekends (which I know because her au pair has told a friend's au pair); it has been happening with more and more frequency, the au pair is being left in charge well over the 45 hours a week that she is supposed to be in charge... If she were not there, the kids would be fending for themselves on the weekends. They are only 8 and 4 years old.

The 8 year old is my son's friend. I have seen it on his face, his fear and confusion, lately. These kids are being neglected, pure and simple, and they deserve better. They already lost one parent, and the other one is not really "there" anymore.

A mutual friend -- who also lost a husband and has small children, so can relate to her on that level -- wants to stage an informal "intervention" this weekend. We just don't know how to go about it to make it as effective as we possibly can. We have all spoken to her at various times about her drinking, and she is very much in denial and defensive. I know she is going to be very angry and will probably take that anger out on her au pair, for spilling the beans. The kids will have NO responsible adult in the home, if she fires her au pair. Also, she has no family that could take the kids if she goes into treatment.

Any tips or advice would be very welcome.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-01-2003
Wed, 09-10-2008 - 9:30am

Hello and welcome to the board.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-11-2004
Wed, 09-10-2008 - 8:57pm

Welcome


I echo what Brenda said.


Let us know.


iVillage Member
Registered: 09-15-2005
Sat, 09-13-2008 - 4:43pm

Hello,


I was just wondering how it went if you did the intervention.


Hope everything is worked out.


Heidi

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-15-2007
Sun, 09-14-2008 - 2:54pm

Thanks so much for all of the replies. Unfortunately, she cancelled on us at the last minute today. We are not sure if she maybe caught wind of what we were up to, or if her excuse was legit. It may have been. We are really, really bummed because we felt READY. We talked a lot about how to handle it and I think we were really prepared to be compassionate and not accusatory. Due to things going on in everyone's lives, it may be awhile before we have this opportunity again, but we are going to try our best. And meanwhile, I am looking for every opportunity to have a heart-to-heart with her on my own, and I'm having her kids come to our house as often as I possibly can.

Thanks again for the help and concern. This site has been very, very helpful.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-15-2005
Sun, 09-14-2008 - 3:26pm

That is too bad.

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-15-2007
Sun, 09-14-2008 - 4:36pm

Well... I have an update already.

She was tipped off about the "intervention" by one of the people that was asked to be there. She stopped over to talk this afternoon. We had a good talk. She was embarrassed about the "intervention," and I think she is upset with the person who was organizing it. I explained to her that this person wasn't trying to be accusatory or judgemental; she was truly concerned and she wanted to get a group of us together to show her that she has a core group of friends who really do care and want to help her.

She admitted to me that she is drinking too much, that she is depressed, that she is not being a good mom to her kids, etc. She said she has a plan in place to seek help. She has already been going to counseling, and she says tomorrow she is calling a drug/alcohol counselor. She listed a few other steps she is taking. I reiterated to her that I want her to call me if there is ANYTHING I can do, and I told her I feel good about the steps she is taking and I think she is going to be all right. She left on a positive note. I realize she may have just been telling me exactly what I wanted to hear, but at least everything is out in the open now and I can follow up.

Thanks again!