Dear Amy: My husband recently died after being hit by a car while out walking. He left behind two children from two marriages.
My stepdaughter, “Belle,” is 34. My son “Hank” is 24 and on the autism spectrum. He lives at home and takes classes.
Belle is an aspiring actress who cares for the bar when she does not have a wealthy boyfriend to take care of her.
Belle’s mother, “Jodie” and I are very kind.
My husband was only in the hospital for two days. In their honor, Belle and Jodie drove for hours to see him. At the hospital, Belle was drunk and hysterical. This made a terrible situation worse.
At one point, Jodie told me that Belle had hit and pushed her to snatch the car keys from her.
Hank and I were dealing with this silly drama while my husband took his last breaths.
Hank has decided that his sister is “dangerous” and does not want anything to do with her. He said, “If she beats her mother, maybe she can beat us!”
I told Belle and Jodie via text message that the drinking was unacceptable.
Jodie sent me a private message saying I was rude and “kicked Belle when she was down.”
If this was a single time, I might be inclined to retire. However, Belle’s young adult life has been a series of fender benders and public drug quotes.
I told Belle she was going to therapy and / or rehab to keep in touch with Hank and me. Jodie blows me up and says that Belle has promised not to drink anymore and that my tough stance is unnecessary.
I told Jodie and Belle that I do not think one can “hug it out” when someone is an alcoholic.
Am I too tough?
I want my son to have family around him and Belle is his only sibling.
– Sad mother
Dear sad: I’m so sorry about everything you’ve been through.
You communicated your attitude: “Get help or keep your distance” directly to your stepdaughter, “Belle.”
Her mother “Jodie” replied.
Jodie also tells you how you feel and how you react to a situation that has a direct impact on you.
Jodie hampers her adult daughter’s chances of recovery by activating and covering for her now.
However, I have a small problem with your statement that you can not “hug it out” when someone is an alcoholic.
Hugging it out is actually all you can do. The rest is up to the alcoholic.
From here on out, communicate: “Belle, I love you. I hope you get the help you need to achieve the sobriety you deserve. Your life will change so much when you do. Until then , absolutely no drinks when you are with us. “
Dear Amy: I had to answer your answer to “Stuck”, who had a group of anti-wax / anti-masks, as well as a vaccinated but “paranoid” family member to worry about on Thanksgiving.
I’m an RN working on a COVID ICU.
I just finished another exhausting shift, and – as tired as I am – I had to answer.
Although the majority of the patients I see in the intensive care unit with COVID are unvaccinated, I do see some vaccinated. They may be elderly, overweight or have a poor immune system, etc.
However, they can still get COVID, and studies show a higher risk of getting COVID from an unvaccinated carrier.
Unfortunately, we lost a 30-year-old patient today.
He was vaccinated but had another health risk.
Many restaurants require proof of vaccine to eat inside.
At my Thanksgiving dinner, everyone needs to be vaccinated.
I hope others do the same.
The suffering I see daily is heartbreaking.
Exhausted, tired, frustrated, angry, sad nurse
Dear Nurse: Thank you so much for the work you do and for offering your front-line perspective on this extremely challenging topic. I really appreciate it and assume that many families will use this as their guide this year.
Dear Amy: While I thought your answer to “Troubled Daughter” was spot on, you could have suggested that she work with a therapist.
Although I did not suffer near the abuse she has, I had to have some difficult conversations with a family member.
My wonderful therapist helped to formulate a dialogue that worked for me, and we also played possible reactions from the family.
It was incredibly empowering to know what to say and how to react.
Dear grateful: I completely agree. Practicing difficult conversations makes them much easier to have.
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