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Is it wrong to despise alcoholics?

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posted on Aug, 18 2008 @ 03:06 PM
I am not sure if this topic should be here. If not feel free to move it.

I have been thinking about this lately and I still have not been able to come to a decision. The problem is because of a family member who is an alcoholic. I know that this disease runs in families and my family has had its share of this problem.

My older brother is killing himself slowly. He has been in detox once and rehab twice (he never finshed his last). He has been busted for D.U.I and lost his job of 18 years, but yet he still drinks. It has gotten to the point that I cannot stand to even look at him, much less speak to him.

I understand that this was "learned" from my father, just as he learned it from his. My grandfather died young and alone. My father gave it up cold turkey and was sober for 21 years before he died. He never went to meetings or church or anything like that.

At what point is it alright for me to remove myself from trying to help and attempting to be understanding. I know that I will never accept this behavior. I am at the end of my desire to help. Is this wrong?

Any advice or comments are welcome.

posted on Aug, 18 2008 @ 03:27 PM
I too have dealt with alcoholism in my family but what you have to remember is that it is a disease. If your brother had cancer or aids would you turn your back on him? Im guessing probably not. I know how bad it can affect you and those around him but what he needs is your love and support. Sometimes even places like AA aren't just for the alcoholics but also for the loved ones they affect....they might be able to help you and how you are feeling.

My Father is a huge alcoholic and definitely one of the mean ones. There are things he has said and done but I know deep down somewhere in his black, pickled heart he knows what an A-hole he is when he drinks but because the disease is so strong he can't stop.

In the end it is up to you but before you make your decision, think about how you would feel if you had the same problem and everyone just washed their hands of you. And remember there is always people out there to talk to who are willing to listen even here at ATS. Im sure im not the only member here that has had personal experience with this matter who may be able to help you out better than I could.

Take care

[edit on 18-8-2008 by QBSneak000]

posted on Aug, 18 2008 @ 03:37 PM

Thanks for the reply. I went to some of his meetings when he was in rehab. It is not easy when you have little patience for anything. I guess I wish he would do what my father did and maybe that is my problem. I just do not know what to do. Maybe he has not hit bottom yet.

posted on Aug, 18 2008 @ 03:38 PM
The following is my opinion as a member participating in this discussion.

Maybe despise is the wrong word? I don't know.

Both of my parents are alcoholics. My father is still living and it certainly didn't help at the time of my mothers death.

I don't despise them. I don't hate them, however there is a part of me that feels something from time to time.

I'm a grown man now, I remember my childhood well. My parents always drank, since I was born.

As kids, my brothers and I weren't abused or anything, not physically anyway. There was a lot of fighting between my parents, lots of yelling and yes on a couple of occasions it got physical between them.

My mother always cleaned and cooked, we had meals every day. Our clothes were washed and they made sure that we took care of ourselves as well. We were encouraged to do well in school and to try to do the best that we could in anything that we tried.

I actually think that I'm a better man today, because of the alcoholism of my parents. My father had a nice job, back in the 80s and early 90's in KY, he was making 40-50k a year. That was good money, but we were not middle class, we weren't dirt poor, but not as well off as we should have been.

I decided when I was about 18 that I wanted a better life than what my parents had, I wanted to give my kids a better life too. I knew that I was going to work hard to make this happen. My brothers both are doing ok also. One is an Iron worker, christian with a wife and 2 great kids. The other (youngest) He still lives at home with dad, has a job, works hard, but is still learning about life every day. We try to help him.

Sure I drink today, but only on occasion. I don't need or want it every day.

Despise, yeah, just not feeling that word towards my parents, I think I'm more angry at them for their actions and behavior.

As an ATS Staff Member, I will not moderate in threads such as this where I have participated as a member.

[edit on 18-8-2008 by elevatedone]

posted on Aug, 18 2008 @ 03:44 PM
I highly recommend this book:

It will help ALL of you out. Read it, give it to your brother, well, maybe just leave it lying around for him to find. Don't turn your back on him but don't enable him either. Just read that book, it says it better than any could.

posted on Aug, 18 2008 @ 03:46 PM
not tyring to sound to new agey here but honestly you should not harbor any of the negative feelings associated with the emotion in the title.

My family has dealt with it as well and it really opened my eyes to a bunch of stuff that was going on in my life, (no stranger to the bar). I didnt have abusive parents or anything like that so I dont know and would have a hard time putting myself in those shoes....

posted on Aug, 18 2008 @ 03:50 PM

I apreciate your reply. My father was also an angry drunk. Both my brother and I got hit with anything that was handy. the words "I sorry" really have no meaning for me anymore.

I do agree with you about somehow becoming a better man for the experience. Because of my fathers actions I do know what a man is not. I am just thankful that he got it together and we did have a few years that were good.

As far as my brother I do not know what I think. The word "love" has never been in our families vocabulary. We always dealt with emotions other than anger in a sideways manner. Anger was all we knew. The anger I feel towards him gets my stomache feeling upset.

posted on Aug, 18 2008 @ 03:58 PM
I understand where your coming from, but the problem is not the drink. The problem is in your brothers head and only when he wants to deal with that problem will he have the strength to give up alcohol. Its his escape route away from his problems. This is no easy task i know, but im afraid all you can do is keep talking to him when he's moderately sober, tell him you want him to be strong and tell you why he drinks, try to find the the real root of the problem, never be negative, always talk of solutions to the problems. Its a big responsiblity on your shoulders if you choose to take it on, but you will have to probably repeat everything i just said to him many times and hopefully it will help him find his way. All i can say is dont hate him, love him because he is unable to help himself. He has fallen into a deep dark hole and in his head its too easy to stay there rather than try climb out of it.
All the best to you, your brother and your family.

posted on Aug, 18 2008 @ 03:59 PM
reply to post by capgrup

If it was learned, why aren't you an alcoholic too?

You cannot blame anyone for what has happened to your brother.

He has brought this upon himself. He made a decision to drink instead of being clear headed and sober.

It has nothing to to with a made up disease (alcoholism) ; which is similar to acid reflux disease and restless leg syndrome. They are made up to make the sufferer feel better about what they are going through. If its out of their hands then they have no control. On the contrary, they have complete control and are doing this to themselves.

There is nothing wrong with despising these types of individuals, even if it's family.....

He chose the wrong path. It has nothing to do with you or anyone else.

Do not pity, do not feel guilty, and do not feel shame, as they are pointless emotions directed at sorry individuals.

Keep your head up!

posted on Aug, 18 2008 @ 04:01 PM
`despise` i think is def the wrong word. alcoholism is a disease. it is so hard to get away from it.
i know, that in AA-meatings, they tell family members of alcoholics at one point to leave them alone. not despise them - just leave them alone. because if you are always there to pull them out of their trouble, they dont see any need to stop drinking. often they start beginning to realize that they have a problem when they feel they loose/lost everything. that is so hartbreaking for family-members but often the last conclusion after trying everything else.

i think it is so amazing when people make it out of their alcoholism - i am so proud of everyone who pulled himself out of this terrible disease.

never stop believing your brother can make it and never stop telling him he can make it - because he can!

from all my heart i wish everyone with this problem all the best.

posted on Aug, 18 2008 @ 04:02 PM
reply to post by capgrup

its your choice to despise anyone...alcoholics included

one one needs to understand that alcoholism is both a physical disease and a psychological disease & behavior problem.

the brain needs certain levels of chemicals to 'be normal'
if a sufferer does excessive alcohol...they are slowly killing themselves....
what you have to do is protect your life & civil rights from drunks that want to impose and cause destruction to their family, friends etc.

like the cops say...take control of the situation...
or stand the chance of becoming just another statistic.

seek counseling on what ways to deal with a-hole drunks,
they are out of control alcoholics and don't need pity or being hated/despised


posted on Aug, 18 2008 @ 04:03 PM
reply to post by IMAdamnALIEN

alcoholism IS a disease !

posted on Aug, 18 2008 @ 04:04 PM
Your feelings are your feelings and are nothing to be ashamed of. There are support groups out there for families and friends of alcoholics too.

worth a try maybe

posted on Aug, 18 2008 @ 04:06 PM
reply to post by capgrup

Hey there capgrup,

I would say (without a seconds hesitation), that it is perfectly alright for you to step back from the situation. And the reason it's ok is because (a) you have to live your own life to it's fullest and happiest ... without feeling guilty about someone elses problem (b) you cannot waste your own life trying to help someone who does not want to be helped.

(let me explain);

I was married to an alcoholic for 21yrs ... yes, you did read that correctly I did say 21yrs (literally a lifetime), so I feel pretty well qualified to speak on this subject of alcoholism from the perspective of those who have to watch the alcoholic in question killing themselves ... and depending on the actions they exhibit (and these can vary enormously from alcoholic to alcoholic), potentially killing those closest to them either figuratively speaking (life with an alcoholic is soul-destroying) ... or god-forbid literally.

My ex-husband (a violent alcoholic), was physically ... psychologically and emotionally abusive to me throughout our entire marriage ... and yet I stayed with him so long mainly out of fear ... but also out of a misguided sense of loyalty.

He once stopped drinking for 6mths and it was great ... I didn't love him (that had been killed long before) ... but we were living a 'normal' life ... doing normal things. Then for no apparent reason he took the slippery slope again until he was even worse than before.

I could write pages on this subject but long story short ...

I finally filed for divorce after he assaulted our oldest son (18yrs old at the time) and his friend (one New Years Eve), with a double-barrelled shotgun ... the reason for the assault ... our son hadn't asked permission for his friend to stay over !!! They were not drunk or loud and the only reason the boy had stayed was because (being New Years Eve), he couldn't get a taxi home.

That was all a long time ago now and I live over a hundred miles away ... but he is still the same ... none of the children have anything to do with him but in spite of that ... he still drinks ... he's still violent. And I think he will always be that way.

So don't ever feel an obligation to be part of any kind of relationship if it is damaging to YOU in any way (it took me a helluva long time to realize that).

And yes, alcoholism can run in families (my ex's parents had both been heavy drinkers - although not alcoholic) ... but my son (who was assaulted), does not have a drink problem ... in fact he manages a pub (ironic hah) ? And don't assume that you may develop a problem because of the family history. Just think about your dad ... for him to stop and be dry for 21yrs is an amazing thing ... and takes enormous strength of character. I always have such admiration for those people who overcome drink and/or drug addiction ... it has to be the most difficult thing in the world.

If you do decide to step away don't have any regret or guilt ... but leave the door ajar ... so that if your brother ever manages to get his head together you can tell him how proud you are ... and with a clear head he would understand your reasons without blame.

Good luck (if you ever want to chat you can u2u me). Woody

posted on Aug, 18 2008 @ 04:13 PM

Unfortunately, I used to think that way. I remember actually laughing in a class I needed for real estate when I found out that alcholism falls under the Americans with disabilities Act.

As far as not learning this from my father like he did, I learned a different lesson. I still try to cope with issues like anger and acceptance of things I cannot change.

Right now I think I am stuck in between your position and those of other poeple.

posted on Aug, 18 2008 @ 04:22 PM

I think I know what you mean about being a crutch. Things got really bad in the beginning of 07. I got a call from one of his friends that he was in the E.R. He went to detox the next morning. I went to his house and it was a mess. I also found out through a mortgage lender that I had worked with that they were going to foreclose on his house in a couple of weeks.

I managed to get his house sold on a short sale in 3 days. I guess I should have let it get taken. He now lives with my mother. They both work but for some reason he calls me all the time.

posted on Aug, 18 2008 @ 04:28 PM

Thank you for the advice. I have to make a trip to the book store.
Not a one liner.

posted on Aug, 18 2008 @ 04:31 PM
i totally can feel how difficult that all must be for you. i also have a brother and he means the world to me.
probably your brother calls you all the time, because he feels your growing distance towards him. it sure is so hard for him either.
but maybe you really should go to an AA-group and get some advice how to act towards an alcoholic in the family. it is so good to talk to people who really know about that whole theme and to meet others who make similar experiences.

posted on Aug, 18 2008 @ 04:35 PM

I know I should, but I have never been able to bring myself to do it. The typical male ego and all. V.A. cant even get me to go for my anger issues.

posted on Aug, 18 2008 @ 04:38 PM
HAving to deal with a loved one's addiction really hurts the mind, the people nearby are the ones that suffer the most, as they are the ones consciously giving meaning to the pain.

Its wrong to despise anyone, let alone an alcoholic, I'm not so sure alcoholism is a disease, its been labeled that way because of the damage and the difficulty to deal with that problem as a society, being a "disease" makes coping with it much easier, but something self inflicted cannot be a disease.

We have to take into account the reasons for drinking, many alcoholics start young, and by the time they are adults, they are already consummate drinkers, some drink to forget, some drink because they cant deal with some hurtful or emotionally disruptive behavior.

Its easy to judge when one is but a simple observer.
But in the end, the relatives have to draw the line, the people that love the addict must make the choice to stop suffering, when all has been tried, rehab clinics, the loss of family and friends, jobs, etc, they have to say thats enough.

I believe it gets worse when you have tried to help them but all they do is drag you along to the bottomless pit they choose to be.

Never deny them love, or time, but one must make sure to let them know the hell they are putting everyone into is not fair.
We live and die by the consequence of our actions, some people enjoy being victims of fate, relegating all personal responsibility on the shoulders of others...

good luck!

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