A Family of Addicts
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|Tue, 10-02-2012 - 5:17pm|
I think I may have found just the right support boards for me!
Just a little background...
Dh and I are 52 and 50 and married last year after a 2 1/2 year courtship. I did know when I married dh that he was an alcoholic, but kept faith that he would once again stop drinking. (He had quit for 8 years prior to meeting me.) Unfortunately, after 9 months, I had to let him know that if he continued drinking daily that our marriage would fail. He quit on February 27th and only drinks on occasion (never during the week). Someone told me he is what is called a "functioning alcoholic". My step-grandfather was one as well. Is this someone who can hold a job and control their drinking? Dh when he DOES drink, drinks to get drunk and it's exhausting to be honest. He suffers from depression and I have found takes things VERY personally, so when he drinks, it all comes out. Of course, like most of us who love our alcoholics, I fear every day that he will slide backwards, but hope that he won't. His father also was a heavy drinker, but now in his older years only has a couple drinks on Friday nights. I'm hoping dh, too, will take that path and continue to slow down as he ages.
The biggest stress in dh's life are his 3 sons - ages 30, 29, and 19. He gained custody of them when he divorced their mentally ill mother in 1997. She moved to another state and has not been a part of their lives since. On his own, dh had to deal with his oldest son's mental illness (severe alcohol and drug abuse). DS29 is currently in rehab for the 3rd time with the VA (he was in Iraq in 2005) and has abused both since he returned. He was diagnosed with PTSD, but turned to drugs instead of getting help until a couple years ago, so it only got worse. The oldest lives in a state home and lives on state disability and second son is on partial military disability living at the VA hospital currently. DS19 ruined his senior year of high school when he, too, turned to horrendous drug use. Luckily, he moved back home in January after dh had kicked him out 3 times last year, so he lived with DS29 who was in an apartment at the time for 8 months and they used and sold drugs together! DS30 was also on the streets at that time, so the 3 of them were actually living together for a while. We're lucky the youngest finally cleaned up and did the right thing. He did graduate in May, but, since he lost his license and totaled his car during that time, he currently has no way to get either to a job or take classes at our local community college. It's going to cost dh and me around $5,000 to get his life moving forward.
So, that's my story...and even just writing that, it's hard to believe that this is my life. I love dh with all my heart, but the addiction gene in this family is like NOTHING I've ever experienced. EVER. Dh has 4 sisters who are all college graduates, are married with totally college-bound kids. I was married for 25 years prior to dh, have 4 DDs all in their 20's who have graduated college or who are IN college and all are doing well. Dh hates social situations because people ask him about his children and he hates it.
The sad thing is...is these boys got the mental illness/addiction gene from both parents. Dh fortunately is smart and successful. None of his children inherited his intelligence unfortunately. Dh and all of his sons also smoke cigarettes which makes me sad. I have never witnessed addiction so up close and personal. Luckily, I became very strong 5 years ago during my horrendous divorce, so have handled it pretty well so far.
Dh's oldest is truly ill and will never get better. At this time, he's back in the psych ward of our local hospital and will probably end back up in another state institution where he won't be able to get passes and leave. Poor dh is so sick of the roller coaster ride of his sons, that he gets depressed and gets drunk. I KNOW this is what's called "self medicating". I wish he believed in counseling as I've never met anyone who could use it more than him with all he has on his shoulders, but he doesn't believe in it. His sons are SO dependent on him since they HAVE noone else...it just makes me sad and dh wishes sometimes that he could just run away.
Thanks all for listening.