When to tell his parents/family

If you're not an alcoholic but have questions about AA, here's the place to ask them. Anyone may post messages and replies in this forum.

When to tell his parents/family

Postby Cowtown » Tue Aug 23, 2016 10:49 am

Here is the big question: Is it ok for me to tell his parents and grandparents what is going on?
They love him unconditionally, and I'm certain they do not know. I'm not clear on whether its out of bounds.

My 28 year old cousin has landed at our house after losing a job in California. We were excited to have him back in our home, and had hoped he'd move here forever. We were saddened to see that his drinking has progressed drastically since we lived in our home 5 years ago. In the last couple weeks he's driven drunk (in our car), gotten very drunk alone many times, been way too drunk around our children. Its basically non-stop, as best we can tell. When he is drunk, late at night, he will cry, and has told us that he knows he's an alcoholic at rock bottom. He'll say he doesn't kn9ow the next step. Plans are made for the next day to get help. My family will go to bed thinking we're all going to be doing different tasks to help him get things moving. But the next morning, he will hide out in his room and give thin excuses for why its not the right time.

I get that he has to be ready on his own, but it feels like I'd be enabling him if I keep this to myself.
I know he shares a car with his Dad, for example. And that would be a financial disaster for the Dad if there were an accident.
His grandparents have given him money, and I'm certain they have no idea he is at such a dark state.
Forums Newcomer
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2016 9:06 am

Re: When to tell his parents/family

Postby avaneesh912 » Tue Aug 23, 2016 11:13 am

Definitely. We got to start somewhere. Maybe intervention. Drop him off at a detox facility or somewhere. Too dangerous if he is DUIing.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)
User avatar
Trusted Servant
Posts: 5007
Joined: Fri May 30, 2008 12:22 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: When to tell his parents/family

Postby Brock » Tue Aug 23, 2016 11:21 am

Welcome here, it's nice when people care enough about others to seek advise.

I don't believe you should tell anyone, as you have rightly said he has to be ready on his own, and he may resent you 'squealing' on him, although it's done with the best of intentions.

As far as the enabling goes, you have a right to have people in your home behave in a responsible manner, and you might tell him that, sort of a little tough love. Perhaps by Goggling AA Meetings and your city, you can get a list of those closest to you, it normally indicates open meetings with the letter O, that means you can accompany him to the first one if he wishes.

The AA program works wonders for those who want it, and I hope he finds that out, best of luck to you.

Edited to add – As avaneesh suggested above, an intervention is not a bad idea, perhaps if he won't go for the meetings you suggest, you might tell him you are thinking of telling his folks.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
User avatar
Forums Coordinator
Posts: 3724
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:45 pm

Re: When to tell his parents/family

Postby Cowtown » Tue Aug 23, 2016 12:21 pm

I'm agree is will be really annoying for my cousin if I share this news. I am prepared for any harm this could do to our relationship. My main concern is that I do what will do the most good for my cousin. I guess there just aren't any "rules" for what we're supposed to do. I think its fair to say that this will turn up the amount or crappy things that are happening due to his drinking.
Forums Newcomer
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2016 9:06 am

Re: When to tell his parents/family

Postby PuppyEars » Tue Aug 23, 2016 2:35 pm

Hi Cowtown.
I don't know how far down the scale your family member has gone but maybe my own experience can be useful. Even if you trash my experience that is fine too.

Some alcoholics need to be pushed and have doors slammed in their face to move them toward a new beginning. I happen to be that type of alcoholic.
When I came home from getting loaded a few years ago, the very last person in the world that I thought would ever kick me out, did. That night was foggy to me, but what did stick in my mind was the severity of the tone and the sternness that she used. Mind you, she was most likely dead serious because I smashed her spirit in the 5 years I lived with her. At the time, I had already burnt everyone I ever came in contact with so she knew I had no where to go but still stood her ground. The only thing I took with me were the clothes on my back and had not the slightest idea of what my next move was. So in true alcoholic form I ended up in a mental institution which eventually put me in a place and position for AA to fall into my lap which saved my life and gave me a new found freedom. My story is AA found me because I sought it before all this happened and I simply had more drinking/damage to do. This person holds a very important part of my journey for closing a door on me.

I'm sorry I can't suggest a for sure answer but I honestly wish you a peaceful outcome.
User avatar
Forums Enthusiast
Posts: 195
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2016 4:39 pm

Re: When to tell his parents/family

Postby positrac » Wed Aug 24, 2016 7:02 am

You've got to stop enabling him and laid down some tough love law. He could die no matter what and so the less you enable the less you need to wear the responsibility vest! Family is important and you need to tell others of this situation and have some help and or additional ideas. But to "b itch" about this and not really have him change makes everyone just as guilty.

Rules, lines in the sand and hold to it and this might mean he has to leave in order to wake up to reality of his issues.

No body wants too hear this kind of message and I get it. We have gotten sober because we found we could no longer live the way we had been. We are each blessed to have been spared some horrific issues had we not stopped drinking.

Life is a blink of the eye and he either gets it and or doesn't.

Hope is a slow boat and eventually it does come around if we have faith it can come around.
Work hard, stay positive, and get up early. It's the best part of the day.
George Allen, Sr.
User avatar
Trusted Servant
Posts: 1301
Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2014 4:03 am

Re: When to tell his parents/family

Postby Lali » Wed Aug 24, 2016 10:29 am

Cowtown wrote:Here is the big question: Is it ok for me to tell his parents and grandparents what is going on?

Yes! You could be saving his life. (And others' lives as well if he's driving drunk. An intervention sounds like a good idea. I cannot think of any reason NOT to tell the family. When (and if) you do the intervention, you need to have made plans for a rehab facility and if he agrees, take him straight there before he changes his mind.

Good luck. Write again and let us know what happens.
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 4296
Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2009 8:13 am

Return to Our Friends and Families

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest