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Alcoholic Parent

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
I'm looking for ideas, hints, tips, anything really.

My uncle is an alcoholic and I'm looking for some ways to help support my cousin who is 14. I have no idea about much really, couldn't even work out where to put this topic. Everyone is putting a lot of effort into trying to help him, but she's being left to get on with it.

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Does your uncle accept that it is a problem? Has he been to Alanon? http://www.alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk/

    Alcoholics Anonymous run Alateen groups specifically for the children of alcoholics.

    Alateen
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    AA is only for people who are ready to face and deal with their problem.
    my mum used to drink. my advice is get your cousin out of there somehow. not sure how?!... but in retrospect when i look back at my family life when i was a kid and growing up - i really wish someone had been there to help and take me away from it (and i mean things which happened with both my parents). i had a pretty fucked childhood. i would stress not to let them try and deal with it on their own - it never works, offer as much practical support as you can. kids/ teenages need a stable, emotionally strong family environment - without that they get head-fucked. ~ i feel very strongly about this... could your cousin not come and stay with you / your family?!!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    A problem with an alcoholic father popped up in my friend's family not too long ago and I felt quite helpless because I didn't really know what to say or do. I did listen plenty to my friend rant about how isolated she felt and tried to do something that included leaving the house with her frequently. I also know that she stayed with her sisters a lot who had moved out so she could sleep at theirs over the most tense days at home.
    I think that the worst one can do is to act as if nothing serious is going on, especially when it comes to kids/teenagers who cannot get away on their own accord, so whatever you do, it will probably be appreciated at some level.

    With my friend, she told me often how angry she was towards both parents, not just the alcoholic one. Yet it was clear that she was so angry because she loves them both very much and it was hard to see them clash all the time. I wouldn't be surprised if your cousin had similar feelings and that it'll help her a lot just to have somebody listen and show some concern.

    Best wishes, and kudos to you for reaching out to your cousin.
  • JsTJsT TheSite Graduate Posts: 18,265 Incredible Poster
    I don't really know what I can say. My dad wasn't 'an alcoholic' as such, but alcohol certainly was the major factor in the breakdown of my parents marriage.

    All you can do is be there to talk or do things with them. There really isn't much a child in that situation can do sadly.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Cheers for all your help.

    Kentish Man, one of us has the wrong end of the stick, from what I gather AA is for the Alcoholic themself, Alanon and Alateen for the family. Not that it really matters, he goes to AA meetings hence my reckoning.

    I've already got in touch with Alateen to try and find a local group, waiting to hear back from them.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Cheers for all your help.

    Kentish Man, one of us has the wrong end of the stick, from what I gather AA is for the Alcoholic themself, Alanon and Alateen for the family. Not that it really matters, he goes to AA meetings hence my reckoning.

    I've already got in touch with Alateen to try and find a local group, waiting to hear back from them.
    Yeah, sorry, I was using Alanon as an abbreviation for AA but it seems they are separate entities!

    Good luck.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Best thing is just to lend your support and be a good friend, there's nothing you can do to change your uncle. Your cousin will gradually come to terms with his problem, I have with mine and it's not too bad.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thanks for that. I'm fairly sure all three are different.

    Hopefully I can help her out, my mum has tried to take her out for the day on a regular basis and frequently gets knocked back for interferring, but handily no one sees me as a threat.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    turlough wrote:
    Best thing is just to lend your support and be a good friend, there's nothing you can do to change your uncle. Your cousin will gradually come to terms with his problem, I have with mine and it's not too bad.

    I agree,

    I have experience of a family member who had a drink problem, so this is my little bit of advice, this is only my opinion though.

    It is really important that you don't slag her Dad off, she might be pissed off with him and he might well be treating her and the rest of the family really badly but he is still her Dad. Don't isolate her by rubbishing her dad, she might take it as a personal insult and it could add a lot of shame to already horrid situation.

    The other thing that used to piss me off was that my mates would laugh when said person was drunk, because they acted like so much fun but my mates werent there when it all kicked off and the depression set in. I know you wouldn't laugh but I just wanted to add that.

    It sounds like you are being really supportive. :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thanks for that.

    A lot of the time her dad is a great person so unless she wanted someone to vent to I wouldn't slag him off at all.

    Another thing I'm slightly wary of is I don't know how she'll take the support, whether she would also see me as interferring. For people who've been there, would you rather I kept trying or kept my nose out of your life?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thanks for that.

    A lot of the time her dad is a great person so unless she wanted someone to vent to I wouldn't slag him off at all.

    Another thing I'm slightly wary of is I don't know how she'll take the support, whether she would also see me as interferring. For people who've been there, would you rather I kept trying or kept my nose out of your life?

    No, support is a great thing, it doesn't have to be in the form of a heart to heart about he Dad. Maybe you could go shopping or just a chat about random stuff.

    Once she knows you are there for her she will probably open up a bit more.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    JsT wrote:
    All you can do is be there to talk or do things with them. There really isn't much a child in that situation can do sadly.
    :yes: You are right there.

    Well, thats how it was in my case. When I lived with my step dad and mother a few years back, they were alcoholics. They drank all day, every day and were awful by the end of the night. Despite me asking them not to drink, despite me repeatedly saying that it was wrong and it was causing the problems they had, they just carried on drinking.

    The best thing you can do is be there for your cousin and give her as much support as possible. Its not nice to have to deal with it but if your uncle is not willing to accept that he has an alcohol problem then the problem isn't going to go away.
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