Sister Of Addict - Confused About What's Going On
Posted: September 17, 2017, 10:39 AM


Posts: 2
Joined: September 17, 2017



My brother is married and has a young son. I am also married with kids in the same city. My brother has always had an addictive tendency. He first abused alcohol for many years until he came to a point where he realized it was ruining him and quit. He stopped drinking on his own and now he has a beer just once in a while. He broke his leg about 10 years ago and was prescribed T3s. I believe he started abusing them at the time and got off of them on his own. Over the last ten years though, he has been using otherpain meds like Percocet on and off (one month on and one month off). I don't know exactly how much he used and how often he used. He has some back pain which he started taking those for. He does not tell me these things as he fears he will be judged by me, but my husband has seen him pop the pills in the past and they have also discussed how he is weaning off them now with his wife's support. When confronted by my husband he admitted that he does Coke and taking sleeping pills whenever he can't sleep, which is every 3-4 days. He has insomnia and has a hard time sleeping.

Anyway, his wife has always defended him in terms of drug use. She says he's not addicted to anything and takes T3s for his back pain when he needs it, along with sleeping pills when he needs it. Never mentions the percocets. She says that he hates confrontation and agrees with whatever accusations people make to get them to shut up. She means that he agreed to doing Coke when he talked to my husband but he doesn't really do it. He has a line of credit if which is at $100K but he is not able to tell anyone exactly what he spent on. He says he spent money on his property and house renos, but those things may only account for $80K. His wife supports him fully and tells me and my mom that we need to trust him and we should be ashamed of ourselves for thinking he's a druggie and that it depresses him when we feel that way and he feels attacked. She says he's telling the truth.

I am so confused. Does he have a problem?
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Posted: September 17, 2017, 3:27 PM


Posts: 635
Joined: April 4, 2016



Welcome A....

Does your brother have a drug problem??? Hmmm... he might. Missing money, not working, or meeting his responsibilities, and unexplained absences are generally red flags that signal there may be a problem. And he admits to taking some drugs a couple of times a week? If he is using & abusing, double or triple the amount he admits. You didn't mention any other behavior/symptoms which would signify drug use such as red eyes, changed in size of his pupil, stumbling, staggering, mood swings, sniffling/track marks, hoarseness, nose bleeds, rambling.... the list can go on and on depending on what his drug of choice is and whether he smokes, snorts, etc.

It seems though that if he does have a problem his wife is enabling his addiction. Sounds like she is in denial. She is taking care of a grown man... and doing things he should be doing for himself. She probably chalks this up to her loving him thru sickness & in health, as she vowed on her wedding day. Unfortunately there is nothing you can do to make her smell the coffee and detach with love. You only have control over you. Take a look at the posts on this site "Ways Family Members can Help" & "What Not to Do" to educate yourself and find ways to help him and her.

Sending hugs,
Lynn
xoxo

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I forgot to read the fine print, when i signed up to be your Mom. I thought it would be smiles & hugs and quite a lot of fun.

I didn’t see the part about addiction, mental illness, pain, hopelessness or despair. I didn’t know life could be so flipping unfair.

But I now see something in the fine print that I didn’t see before. It also says to survive your addiction, I must love me more.


In Loving Memory of my angel, J. #forever21 #ihateaddiction #foreverloved
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Posted: September 17, 2017, 10:10 PM


Posts: 2
Joined: September 17, 2017



Thanks so much for replying. He doesn't have any obvious symptoms of red eyes, runny nose etc, but he does have insomnia, poor appetite, no interest in things he liked before, slurred speech only sometimes. He says he takes one percocet for his back pain and not every day. He also smokes weed and says he wants to quit because it makes him feel terrible. He says the weed is way stronger than the percocet and that the perc is the only thing that helps him with his pain. He has never had surgery, been in an accident or had cancer. His back pain stems from some back injury he had at the gym maybe 10 years ago. He says when he has back pain he can't even move and is in bed all day. How can that be?!?! It doesn't make sense to me.

He says he takes sleeping pills (clonazepam) once every few days to help him sleep.

Says he took xanax for a while but it made him totally trip out and he stopped.

His wife knows about all these pills. She is a nurse and I just can't understand why she thinks it's ok to take random pills like that, esp when they are off the street. When I confronted her about him doing Coke she said I should be ashamed of myself as his sister to think that he does Coke. She totally denied it, which means that she doesn't know about it?? He has had approximately $50K of his line of credit unaccounted for and his wife believes that he spent it on his real estate property and that he will pay it back in a few years. He doesn't even have a job. I'm trying to understand what's going on here.

Is she his partner in crime and covering everything up for him while trying to help him come out of this, or is she truly naive?? My brother says he doesn't want any friends and only wants to stay home with her. That she loves him unconditionally and helps him with everything he needs to do. That if she ever left him he would commit suicide.
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Posted: September 18, 2017, 7:16 AM


Posts: 635
Joined: April 4, 2016



Wow.... he's buying his meds off the street? Bells are going off in my head. Why would your brother be doing this, unless something isn't legit? Why won't a doctor prescribe? As a nurse, his wife must know many. Something is definitely wrong over there. The question becomes: what can YOU do about it?

I might talk to each of them individually and separately. Your sister in law is definitely enabling... who knows why. Could be that they are getting high together. Then again she could just be in denial. Or she could just be codependent. Whichever..... I first would do a little reading about co-dependency & enabling. Then I'd connect the dots for her.... I'd share my various observations of her hubby (e.g. His manipulative behavior, buying drugs off the street, missing money, etc.) and note that often these are signs of addiction. I'd say I don't know if he is or isn't ... but that's what it smells like.

You can also talk with your brother.... if he were my brother, my conversation would be a little different. I'd still be calm, non judgmental and matter of fact.... I'd tick off all his behavior that concerns me..... from buying drugs on the street, to the missing money, to not working. I'd tell him that I am concerned & thought he has a disease.... called addiction. I'd tell him that addict or not, I love him .... I'd explain that because I love him and am going into my own recovery from his addiction, I need to set boundaries (e.g. No money), detach with love. I'd stop helping him.... but I would never lose hope in him. I'd tell him that he should get help to battle/change his bad behavior.... therapist? Minister? AA/NA? Rehab? BUT.... understand if he just looks at you blankly or just flat out denies this is his issue. He has to believe there is a problem, be sick & tired of his current situation and then he has to want to change. You can't give him any of these things. Nor can you beat this in his head (I tried) or rationalize or reason with him. Hell, I showed my addict daughter pictures of herself pre & post addiction... and she just shrugged her shoulders & walked off.

I know that your current situation is frustrating. I'm so sorry. And I'm not helping by saying there is nothing you can do to make them recognize that addiction is a resident in their home no less battle addiction with and for them.

His addiction is clearly bothering you much more than it is bothering either one of them. Addiction infects and affects family members, including siblings. You can't force your brother or his wife to get educated, to get support, to stop enabling bc you don't have control over them. But you do have control over you...

Sending prayers & big hugs,
Lynn

This post has been edited by hurtingmom on September 18, 2017, 7:53 AM

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I forgot to read the fine print, when i signed up to be your Mom. I thought it would be smiles & hugs and quite a lot of fun.

I didn’t see the part about addiction, mental illness, pain, hopelessness or despair. I didn’t know life could be so flipping unfair.

But I now see something in the fine print that I didn’t see before. It also says to survive your addiction, I must love me more.


In Loving Memory of my angel, J. #forever21 #ihateaddiction #foreverloved
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