Just expressing some personal feelings here (not something I often do but kinda depressed today, and really needed to put this out there).
It's been really rough for me emotionally lately (last several years), but with Xmas approaching soon, its an especially hard time. I apologize in advance if the following is somewhat depressing.
Little background: both of my parents are severe alcoholics (mom and step dad). To boot, my mom is sometimes physically/verbally/emotionally abused by my step father. My mother is also an undiagnosed/untreated manic-depressive. Basically its just an awful situation in every way possible. Fortunately for me, I have lived on my own for several years so I dont have to deal with their issues every day anymore. Over a year ago, I convinced my mom to start attending AA, and its helped some but not much. My step dad refuses to see he has a problem. My mom will not seek inpatient treatment for her disease. And in the past when I have tried to get the police involved with the abuse, it doesnt go anywhere bc she denies it to the authorities. My real father is a great guy, but lives a thousand miles away in a different state, so of course I don't get to see him much.
Last few days, my mom/step dad have been on a complete alcohol binge. Mom lost her job today, which I have no doubt is partly due to her unstable behavior and attitude. Anyway, every year the holidays are so hard to bear, and every year it seems like it gets a little worse. Either they are completely drunk, or fighting in some way, or putting on a fake front of happiness, or a combo of the above. I absolutely dread these times. Up until maybe less than a week ago, things seemed to be going ok. I was so happy and thankful that maybe this year we could have a somewhat "normal" Christmas together. Then a few days ago it started heading the way it normally does. Today when my mom told me she lost her job and that the two of them were drinking, my heart just sank. I have a feeling this will continue up to the actual day of Christmas.
I dont know what to do, or how to feel. I care about them so much, but I'm completely powerless to help. I've told them they will never completely know how painful it is for me to watch them destroy themselves, but they are addicts...nothing can change unless they make the effort. I remember the times when they didnt have this problem, and how happy we were to be together during the holidays. I would give anything for it to be that way again. With the direction they are heading, I dont doubt that we have little time together before the booze ultimately kills them (or they kill each other). I've seen and taken care of countless patients with end-stage liver disease, and know its an awful and slow way to die. Naturally, its very difficult for me to care for these patients (and their families), since I can relate to their painful situations.
I have talked with people I am friends with at work, with employee assistance, with private therapists, and with ppl from Al-Anon. It helps some, but doesnt totally take away my pain. Im ashamed to admit, but in the last few years my faith in religion has slipped quite a bit. It was really hard for me to wrap presents this year and put up my tree. I almost didnt do any of it. The greatest gift they could give me (and themselves) would be to get help, but I wont get my hopes up too much.
Thank you for reading, and please keep me in your thoughts. You are all wonderful colleagues, and I always look forward to reading your posts/thoughts on different issues. Im sure many of you out there have your own family drama and sadness that comes to a head around this time of the year, and my heart goes out to you as well.
Sorry for the depressing holiday post, but I really needed to do this to stay sane tonight lol
Quote from P_RN
Many Nurses seem to have this problem. I do too. Maybe it's our "rescue" disposition. Have you heard of Al-anon? It certainly helped me a lot. Another group is Adult Children of Alcoholics.
On another note my mother's mother died when Mama was 17 on December 27, 1935-of appendicitis! This was before antibiotics and all the modern diagnostic means. All my life she would get really depressed around the Christmas season.
She's now in a nursing home, but just the other day out of the clear blue (she has Alzheimer's) she said "You know I never have liked Christmas, my mother died then." Fortunately my children inherited their dad's happy disposition. DD puts on a light-show that literally lights up my life.
Yea, P_RN, I attend Al-Anon meetings when I can between work and what-not. And it does help to hear from ppl in the same boat (and sometimes worse 'boats'). Would have gone to one tonight if there was a place that was open at this time. Thought tonight I would sound-off here. Even though we all sometimes have our disagreements on this site, I truly love allnurses and enjoy hearing everyone's personal stories. God bless you all, and thank you for your comments.
Last edit by P_RN on Dec 19, '07