Friday, April 27, 2007

Fearless Friday the First

You know how it is with drunks when they get old. You have to give them money even more constantly as the unemployment seems to become permanent. You end up dragging them through the hospital for the occasional case of poisioning. Or you have to deal with the wretched drama of the self-inflicted brain injury.

Well maybe you don't know. You would be lucky, then.

Me. I know. I am the adult-child of an adult-child of an alcholic. We are a weird support-groupless group. We know how it is.

But am I an enabler, you ask. Of course I am an enabler. By the time I was nine I was spending a goodly amount of my savings on my drunk relatives at Christmas time just so they would "feel enough love" to stop the madness. It is -- in a word -- hopeless. I now know you have to let people find their bottom. That's it.

So I can handle giving up on people? Can I give in to all that bottom stuff? No. Not readily. It seems scary and it is. To alienate is sort of frightening. But I have done it. A few years back I did give up on someone. I gave up on my relentless hope-making. I simply said 'you're never going to change, it's a joke!' I still remember how it sounded those words falling into the air. The moment of incredulous disdain that followed. Myself aghast at the suddeness of the utterance. I could not believe I just threw caution to the wind, in this way, and dropped my veil of enabling.

Cause, in my experience, well drunks... they are pretty mean. I am afraid of them. They can be vicious. That can be the charm of it all. The stringent pact of overlooking and overindulging. Living with drunks is a bit like being a peacekeeper in Somalia. You can't keep the peace when they haven't yet made the peace. It was pretty fucking scary for me when I said "you're a write-off". My words hung there awhile and I awaited the retribution. None was immediately apparent. Shit. This is even worse. I figured ok maybe we can all pretend it never happened. Insert nervous smile.

So there. I said it. I was afraid. But you know, someone did go to a meeting that night. Insert agog.

I felt the fear and did it anyway. It was one of the best moments of my life.

I am a fan of Miriam Peskowitz or at least her book, The Truth About the Mommy Wars. I appreciate her asking us to talk about fear for a few posts. Sorry if I fall pretty far outside the motherhoodity of the initial request but I just can't see how this would be superfluous to families today. Here's to the rest of the roundup, to come.

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Blogger Russell said...

Courage is not the lack of fear. Courage is feeling the fear, and yet acting anyway.

11:54 a.m.  
Blogger Andrea said...

You may have felt fear but she probably looks at you and feels more fear becasue you are so much better than her. (((hugs)))

9:31 p.m.  
Blogger Crunchy Carpets said...

Courage is knowing you are not like them and being able to walk away.

9:36 a.m.  
Blogger NotSoSage said...

Oof. This post hits home.

I'm going to be facing something like this very soon, I fear.

And yes, agog is an excellent word.

12:37 p.m.  
Blogger nonlineargirl said...

Within mommyhood, without, who is to say? Dealing with the alcoholic in my extended family was worse when I had Ada. I feared telling him I wouldn't let her in the car with him. He stopped drinking in January. Good thing, because she adores him.

9:57 p.m.  
Blogger Granny said...

Hits home here too. The hardest thing is giving up and letting go.

You'd think a recovered alcoholic would know this better than anyone but we don't until we're beaten down just like any other enabler.

6:59 a.m.  

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