What would I change after losing my husband, Richie and my daughter, Lori, from their alcohol and drug abuse? I’ve been asked that question numerous times.
I would have let the laundry wait until I had a cup of coffee to ask Richie and Lori how their day went the night before. Who were they with? Did anything unusual happen?
I would have taken the time to sit down calmly and talked about what the family went through with them coming home in a blackout; talking about Richie’s actions bringing fear and confusion into the family, especially his two young daughters. I would have mentioned the abuse he was starting with me physically and mentally on his daughters. There would have been no fights or yelling talking to him. I would have stopped the enabling and possibly helped him.
I would have made demands the first time problems started to show. If he had no desire to get professional help, I would have protected our children instead of him. If the family does not make rules and forbid any abusive or mental actions within the family, we innocently drag the substance abuser deeper into their addiction and damage our family members for life.
So, my advice the day after an event of confusion and fear is to have tried harder to communicate. Ignoring the situation makes everyone think that the alcoholic life is normal.
Most importantly, I would have told them I loved them more often and wrapped my arms around them to show instead of telling. I would have let them know I didn’t hate them, it was the disease I hated.
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