Right this minute in my family, the silent chaos continues.
Last Wednesday morning I received a message from my older sister, she had taken my younger sister (I’ll call her Glow) to the hospital. Glow had taken nearly 90 pills in the previous 24 hours and casually mentioned it to her therapist during a phone call Wednesday morning. The therapist said “Either go to the hospital NOW or I’m calling the police”. Off to the hospital they went.
A few hours later they released her with the promise that she would seek counseling. During the few hours she was in the emergency room I had numerous conversations with the ER doctor about her recent state of mind and her continued battle with drugs and alcohol. I sent a notarized letter to the doctor asking them to check her into a long term in-patient rehab facility, begging them not to release her. If she wasn’t trying to kill herself, she -at the very least- needs treatment for having the ability to take 90 of anything and not die immediately. The doctors released her and kindly explained to me that unless she actually admits to them she wants to kill herself, there is nothing they can do. I can have her committed to a mental facility against her will but I have to get an attorney and have her declared mentally incompetent. Shes not incompetent at all, she’s a prescription drug addict and an alcoholic… and she’s my little sister. You have to be pretty damn smart and manipulative to convince multiple doctors you need the same meds and then multiple therapists you need a cocktail of other drugs and hide the fact that you’re an alcoholic all at the same time.
In and out of the hospital in the last week, on and off suicide watch, many phone conversations with family asking her to get help. Glow checked herself into the ER last Thursday evening and asked to be sent to a long term in-patient rehab. She’s was released from the psych ward this morning because she told them she decided she doesn’t want to go to rehab after-all. She read a book over the weekend about Buddhism and alcoholism. She wants to heal herself. I absolutely believe in the power of meditation and the power of faith, I believe it is possible to heal because you want to. I believe it is possible to just stop. I also believe that my sister’s level of drug and alcohol addiction is bigger than she is. I believe she needs help to deal with her demons and get to a place where all her emotional traumas are just events instead of life shattering, emotional devastation.
Glow is staying with my older sister (I’ll call her Kira). Kira and I had a great conversation this evening about some of the things this family has gone through. The sexual abuse by relatives and others over years, the continued cycles of abuse when the adult children of this type of abuse get into relationships with people who do the same thing. More abuse, more generations of victimized children… Glow is dealing with some of those things as well. (That’s her story, I have to let her tell it)
How do I get a family that has spent years burying the events of their childhood to talk? How do I get them to understand that it’s not only for themselves it’s for the rest of us; the ones that are hurting and haven’t said anything, the ones considering suicide, the children of the ones that have committed suicide, the young and adult children of the ones that were victimized as children so there is no more shame, no more hiding and no more death?