Who wins most dysfunctional family of the year???
My family. My family wins this week.
Think I am being dramatic? I probably am. I have a flare for the dramatics but it sure feels like my family is in a competition for who can prove to be the most dysfunctional.
In a post from last week, I shared that my mom showed up to the hospital, at the birth of her grandchild, intoxicated. After that, chaos ensued. She felt so terrible about her relapse, she couldn’t stop drinking. She didn’t want to face all of our disappointment and we were scrambling to keep things together.
EXCEPT….Nobody shared their disappointment with her. She didn’t have to face up to anything. My dad didn’t react to it when he came back into town. My sister didn’t mention how hard it was for her to turn away her mother at the hospital from keeping her older children. No one addressed it. It was just another day.
This infuriated me. Why would my mom ever get sober? She never has a consequence. She is the luckiest drunk in the world. Her only consequence is that I am not speaking to her and let’s be honest, she is probably grateful for that.
**Side Bar** She tried to get me to talk with her in a very manipulative way though. She texted me that she had some bad news about my grandfather and to call her right away. Of course, I obliged and she shared he was diagnosed with dementia. I asked when she found out and she told me she learned a little over a week ago…Why did she wait to tell me until now? She was surprised by my question. I already knew the answer. She was manipulating me into talking to her. She could have told me any other time but no. She told me right after she messed up big time to draw my attention away from the pain she caused us. Classic alcoholic. **End Side Bar**
So there she is off being super dysfunctional, driving drunk without a license (due to a previous DUI). Meanwhile, my dad is in and out of doctor’s offices. My sister claims this is why she is not focused on my mom. She is busy trying to make sure my dad is okay.
A few weeks ago, after 1 too many beers, my dad hit his head in the garage. He refused to go to the doctor for weeks. I KNOW. Men…anyway. After being dizzy and nauseous from his headaches, he went to the doctor. His blood pressure was through the roof and they confirmed he had a pretty severe concussion. They were shocked that he hadn’t had a stroke with his blood pressure being that high.
My sister has been pushing for him to go to follow up appointments, as have I, but the one person who hasn’t been pestering him is my mother. Why would that be? Why would his wife of 30+ years not be pushing her husband to take care of himself. I have a few theories.
Theory number one: She knows he won’t listen. He hasn’t been to the doctor in over a decade. When he went to pick up his medication, they had our phone number from our old address…where we lived 16 years ago. Why bother with that uphill battle?
Theory number two: She doesn’t want to make him angry. This is a fair guess. He has every reason to be mad at her for a million other things. Maybe she doesn’t want to push him over the edge…well mom, maybe don’t drink and drive. Take that off your to-do list and perhaps you can get him to the doctor.
Theory number three: She doesn’t want him to get better. While he is dizzy, sick, and out of commission, she has more opportunities to drink. This is a pretty dark thought. I felt guilty for thinking it initially but it started to make sense. If my mom is desperate enough to leave work at 8am, take a taxi to the store, and be blacked out before noon, maybe wanting her husband to be sick so she can drink isn’t completely unrealistic.
With my mom in full relapse, my grandpa’s diagnosis hanging over our heads, my dad out of commission due to his own shenanigans while drinking, a sister swimming in denial, and my brother trying to stay as removed as possible, I feel like my family is gearing up for an eventful holiday season.
What can I do? I can’t force my dad to the doctor. I have tried. I can’t cure my grandfather. We all know I can’t get my mom sober. I can’t make my sister face these problems. I can’t make my brother want to be a part of this when I don’t even want to be a part of it. I can’t make anyone do anything? So what do I do? Nothing.
Let go and let God.
It may sound cheesy but when everything is out of your control and you’re drowning in the dysfunction, there is nothing else to do. He knows my prayers are to keep my mom safe and to keep people safe from my mom, to keep my grandpa in good spirits, to keep my dad motivated to take care of himself, and to find peace in my own heart…and to find the perfect macaroni recipe.
So as the holidays come up and stresses arise, remember you are not responsible for the well being of all. You cannot cure them. You cannot fix every problem. Let it go and let the big guy take care of what you cannot. If you do not believe in a higher power, I admire your strength getting through without relying on one. I truly do. I hope that you can let go and instead of “letting God” you can just let go. We cannot control everything. We can barely control anything except our own responses to situations.
Thanks for reading! Please subscribe if you would like to find more or look for my page on Facebook (Grumpy Sunshine) or follow me on Instagram @grumpy.sunshineblog