Direct Answers - Column for the week of May 24, 2004
I am the mother of a 6-year-old child. My husband is an alcoholic and refuses to realize it because he can skip a few days, once in awhile, before drinking again. A few years ago he went to a counselor with me and was told those few days in between are considered a "dry drunk." I totally agree as his verbal abuse is worst when he's dry occasionally.
I have a little bit of college, but no vehicle or means of getting out on my own. Everyone refuses to help. They tell me to stay with him and raise my son. I feel I am the only parent as my husband spends most of the time drinking, cursing, or sleeping. Why am I the only person who feels this is no life for a child?
My son and I have nowhere to turn. My dad passed away when I was a child. My mother takes as much as she can from us and only looks out for herself. What can I do?
Sondra, a few years ago a friend of ours went on vacation, and we agreed to feed his dog, a Great Pyrenees, while he was gone. Wayne was carrying a 50 pound sack of dry dog food through our friend's kitchen, when the bag split. The height and momentum of the moving bag caused dry food to ricochet everywhere.
Dog food covered the entire kitchen floor. Some of it landed in our friend's sun porch, home office, living room, and breakfast nook. It was a mess to clean up, but the hardest part may have been deciding where to start and having the heart to begin.
You are right. This is no life for a child. Your son is growing up in a world totally beyond his control. He can't stop his father's drinking, he can't stop his father's abuse, and his father is not showing him how to be an adult male.
A home like yours is a factory for producing children who will struggle as adults, seeking to please others in preference to seeking workable solutions to problems. In addition, children of alcoholics usually feel isolated and question themselves, while pretending to outsiders that everything is normal.
Your mother won't help. She wants to keep you in this situation for her own benefit. Your friends won't help. The simple aid of close friends and family is unavailable to you, so your first step will have to be a bigger one.
Contact everyone you think could help you. That includes government services, career counselors, women's centers, churches, and an attorney. Look into every possible type of assistance. Your goal is to get yourself and your son out of the control of an abusive drunk. Keep your eye on the goal. If you go to an organization or individual, and their goal is not the same as yours, move on to the next possibility.
You don't have the ability to make your husband stop drinking, and we are not going to tell you to handcuff yourself to this situation. Some people may tell you that you can help your husband not to drink, but they won't say, as is often the case, you may never change his behavior. He may be five years from sobriety or 35 years from sobriety. He may spend his entire life inside a bottle.
You cannot cure someone of something they deny they have. But you have been cured. You no longer want to be the wife of an alcoholic or have your son raised by one. Don't let anyone uncure you of that.
If you and your son leave, then you control your fate, not a bottle of liquor. Often in life we are handed 50 pounds of dog food to clean up. The hardest part is deciding where to start and having the heart to begin.
Wayne & Tamara
About The Author
Authors and columnists Wayne and Tamara Mitchell can be reached at www.WayneAndTamara.com.
Send letters to: Direct Answers, PO Box 964, Springfield, MO 65801 or email: DirectAnswers@WayneAndTamara.com.
A Word Fitly Spoken ~ Acceptance
A WORD FITLY SPOKEN
The Secret Of Lasting Personal Change
Why do so many of us end up frustrated when we try to improve our personal reality?
My name is Smarty Jones -- Embracing Gods Glory
Our deepest fear us not that we are inadequate.Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyondmeasure. It is our light, not our darkness, thatmost frightens us?..We are born to manifest theglory of God that is within us?.And as we let ourown light shine, we unconsciously give otherpeople permission to do the same.
The Power of A.S.K.ing
Have you ever had the opportunity to follow-up on a sales lead? Recently, I had such an opportunity to reconnect with an organization that I had been trying to secure as a client. Due to some new events and after multiple unreturned phone calls, I decided to ask for the decision maker within the department. After receiving the executive's name and finally making contact, I explained who I was, where I was from and how I could add value to their training request. A planned 5 minute telephone call turned into a 30 minute engaging dialogue where I learned even more about their needs and was asked in return if I had the experience to facilitate a second, separate engagement.
Words Of Wisdom
Carlos' Words of Wisdom
A Teller Of Tales
Direct Answers - Column for the week of June 10, 2002
Sharing Your Experiences and Your Potential!
Who dares to teach must never cease to learn. - John Cotton Dana
Life is what happens to you, while you are making other plans. ( John Lennon )
Two Drops Of Water
Direct Answers - Column for the week of June 17, 2002
I call myself semi-retired. I work at a job that takes up 5 hours of my day, 5 days a week. I go home and I lock myself in my office and I work on the computer for 5-6 hours a day. I try and break up my routine by doing household chores in between times when I become brain dead. On the weekend I go out for breakfast and cruise the mall, check out some book stores and go shopping.
Do You Feel Headed For Shipwreck?
The ocean liner Achille Lauro sailed perpetually under a dark cloud. In 1953 it collided with another ship. In 1975 it rammed a Lebanese vessel, killing four people. In 1981 it suffered a fire that claimed two lives. In 1985, Palestinian terrorists grabbed world headlines by seizing the ship, slaying passenger Leon Klinghoffer, and dumping him and his wheelchair overboard. In December of 1994, off Somalia, a fire broke out in the engine room, forcing all 1,000 aboard to abandon ship. Two days later, the Achille Lauro sank to the bottom of the Indian Ocean.
The Power Of A Dream - Success Always Start Off With A Dream
Back in the good old days of school, the teachers would often catch us for daydreaming in class and not paying attention. "Stop dreaming! Dreaming will get you nowhere," yelled the teacher. Is it really so? Does 'dreaming' really get you nowhere in life? The answer is 'Yes'...and 'No'. If you dream and you took massive action to achieve your dream, your dream could very well come true for you. However, if you dream and take no action, it remains just a powerless dream.
The Power of Inspiration
INSPIRATION can be a powerful thing. It can keep you going when all around you cries out "quit!" It is even more powerful than motivation,as motivation gives you your basic reasons to keepgoing--it tells you why you want to do what you do, because motivation is based on goals. These, in turn, may be based on necessity want or desire. But inspiration fills those reasons with hope, possibil-ity and enjoyment and keeps the "grind" from becomingtoo grindy. But just what does inspiration consist of? Iposit two elements: vision and mission. Proverbs29:18 says 'Where there is no vision, the peopleperish." A vision is the first step toward turningyour motivation into inspiration. A person with a vision sees down the road. He can sense what itwill be like six weeks, six months, a year, twoyears, five years and more ahead. But how do you get a vision?, you ask. Firstof all, you need to narrow your perspective. You can't attempt to "ride off in all directions at once,"so to speak. Try to decide what it is you arelooking for, so you'll know it when you see it.In other words, try to have in mind some generalgoals as to where you want to be six months a year,etc. from now. These goals will not only form thebasis of your motivation but should also serve to limit to an extent the scope of your activity. Next, try to locate and choose an opportunity(buisness, career or job) which you feel is right for you.This may be easier said then done, as there are many choiceswhich sound good. You may come upon an outstanding oneright away, purely by chance. If so, latch onto it. Butyou will probably have to pick several at first andstudy the things which each one offers and try to evaluate the potential of each one as you see it.Settle on the one which you feel has the mostpotential with the least amount of hassle (preferablyone that is totally Internet driven as opposed to one where you have to spend time calling potential prospects by phone). Once you have chosen your company, stand behindit in every way and don't quit or change your mind.B.C. Forbes said "Without loyalty, nothing can beaccomplished in any sphere..." Think of yourself as being in it for the long haul, no matter what. And try to envision, based on what you know, how things will be down the road. Keep that picture before yourmind, and never doubt. Napoleon Hill said "What themind can conceive and believe it can achieve,"and the Bible says, in Hebrews 11:1 "Faith isthe substance of things hoped for, the evidenceof things not seen." Once the vision is firmly implanted in your mind,let it become your driving force. Let the vision exciteyou with the possibility of its fulfillment and you willautomatically begin the next step--you are on a mission. Your mission is to bring about the realization of thevision. If you keep the vision in mind, you will moveforward in the mission, accomplishing enthusiasticallystep by step that which is necessary to bring the visioninto reality. You will have developed a sense of excite-ment, importance and urgency which will keep the fires ofinspiration burning in your heart and moving you ever onwardand upward.
The River of Life
I've always loved the awesome majesty of mountains. They are, however, the byproduct of the rivers that formed them: flowing, adjusting, carving, crashing and gently nurturing the land and animals along the way. The river carves its way through, and the mountains answer as towers of strength. Like the river, our lives are forever moving and changing, shaping us as the water shapes the land it flows through.
Inspirations: Even More Things Ive Noticed Along the Way So Far
Some people live in and talk about the past so much it's as if they are "planning for the past."
Life After Death: The Story of the Green Donkey
This is the true story of what Deepak Chopra would call a "Whopper". It is a story so touched with the hand of God it seems almost impossible to believe, and yet, there can be NO doubt for those of us who are believers that this really happened!
Anam Cara - Finding a Song for the Heart
All this week I have been singing.
Don?t Let the Boogeyman Steal Your Dreams
The boogeyman lurking in the closet scares the bejesus out of little kids. "Big people" know the imaginary monster from their childhood isn't real. Yet, adults freeze in their tracks when the same monster pops up on their path in life.
Top Ten Ways to Retire Retirement
1. Retire the word "retirement" from your vocabulary. Look it up: it means to "withdraw" or "retreat." Words can shape reality, and it's time for this one to go. Doesn't "renaissance" or "graduation" better describe your post-career life?
Inspiration, the Living Force
These moments of awareness are powerful motivators. They boost our spirit and expand our view of certain joys we don't have the chance to appreciate every day. They make you want to shout for more and they also rejuvenate the child within. They have inspired new dreams and goals, and made possible other options in life.
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