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Talk to ME!!!! by Dinna Alexanyan, MFT

Ask Miss Dinna Dear Miss Dinna, Recently, I went on a trip with one of my closest friends….really more like a sister. Unfortunately, over the years I have watched her turn into a full blown alcoholic.
Ask Miss Dinna
Ask Miss Dinna

Dear Miss Dinna,

Recently, I went on a trip with one of my closest friends….really more like a sister. Unfortunately, over the years I have watched her turn into a full blown alcoholic. I have spoken to her over and over again about her drinking, but I suppose until she hits rock bottom or makes the choice for herself, there's not much more I can do.

More specifically, about a year ago she asked if she could stay at my home for about a month. I told her she is always welcome, but that I cannot have her drink here, no sneaking, nothing. She agreed but after some time began to sneak alcohol into the home.

It all eventually came to a head and I wrote her an email expressing my disappointment and sadness. She responded by saying that she is going through a lot but knows I will always love her….and that was all. She NEVER apologized, faced me about the disregarding of my wishes in my home, nothing.

On this trip I felt like there was a wall between us… it was a small wall, but there none the less. I found myself being very passive aggressive when she would drink and my irritation growing more and more. I would swear in the morning after a night of drinking that I HAD to talk to her, but then when she's sober, she's so great….the anger would dissipate…and so on.

During the trip I received a casual email from an old lover who had lied to me a lot through our brief time together. When the lies came to light, he told me we would hash it out later, but he never followed through — instead he just basically disappeared.

Here and there he hits me up casually and I find that I am obsessed with having him sit down to talk to me — However, as soon as I bring up talking about what occurred, he disappears again. I find it just amazing that he has the audacity to reach out to me casually, yet never want to step up and speak about what he did.

When he reached out while I was on this trip I found myself replying to him very coldly and this rage rising up inside of me.

And then it dawned on me: I am REALLY mad at my girl friend for the same reason that I am REALLY mad at this old lover. Both parties seriously disrespected me….which is one thing — but what really bothers me is that both parties have not taken the time to acknowledge what they have done, yet they reach out or interact with me like NOTHING happened.

To add insult to injury, in some way I feel like I get punished for requesting to acknowledge the elephant in the room by having them abandon me/disappear from my life.

So my question is — what do I do? Do I just chug along and play this game as if nothing has happened or do I confront both of them? I just want some acknowledgement that what they did hurt me!


Talk to Me

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Dear "Talk To Me,"

Let me just start by saying denial is the name of the game when it comes to alcoholism, especially when it comes to recognizing that in some way or another your addiction could actually be hurting someone else. As far as an alcoholic is concerned — their relationship with their bottle is their relationship, and nobody else is or needs to be involved.

You're right to say that your friend has to come to her own resolve around her alcoholism, and everybody's rock bottom is different.

You are also very right to make this parallel between your emotions to your old lover and your best friend….especially as I note you saying that you resolve to speak to her in the morning, but find that she's so great sober that the anger quickly dissipates.

This statement is very close to how many people feel with their lovers and/or intimate partners as well….they will often over look the bad or conflicts when the good feels so damn good and you just want to hold on to the good with all your might.

Speaking to both these parties, I believe, has a lot to do with how much you really want them in your life and in turn the amount of energy you want to put into these relationships. It sounds like your best-friend/sister is someone that is definitely worth talking to.

Pick a time you know she is sober, with no distractions, maybe an intimate moment with just the two of you and let her know. It would be good for her in any case to know that she is affecting those around her and acting, I assume, out of character or in a way that she would not be proud of.

I would do this as soon as possible Talk to Me, or you risk the emotion, what I like to call, creating scar tissue. Meaning, it doesn't quite look like a wound anymore, but the scar tissue that has grown around it still creates obstruction and problems for the future.

As far as the lover - hmmmm — well, to be blunt, he seems to be quite a coward and probably finds that whatever reasons he had to lie are MUCH more important to him then your feelings or anybody else who may be crossing his path.

You might want to write him an email expressing your disdain and disappointment, but I would leave it at that and with no expectations of any reply or engaging in a back and forth….just for you….just so that you got the opportunity to speak your mind. And then release him… that you can make space for better and more J

I wish you the best of luck and a future of flowing conversations!

Miss Dinna