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Years may pass and despite the family's best efforts to address the unhealthy family patterns and facilitate change, somehow the alcoholic seems to control the family and in a sense "call the shots".As a therapist in the addiction field, I have watched in amazement as families have given unlimited access to finances, rewards, repeated chances and unconditional love - but the alcoholic still remains sick.A close (male) friend who is a beer drinking HFA was just diagnosed and was not a smoker and has no family history.He obviously had the thought that it was a possible cause but quickly dismissed the idea.One quote from a family who had attended one of her workshops demonstrates the confusion that families face: "We all want our kids to be so happy-especially my generation. It has been so freeing for me personally to let go of this." - R. Many parents show love through trying to help their child to have a "happy" life.I never realized until I went to your seminar how much I felt responsible for making my son "happy" so he wouldn't use. This may work well for those without addictions, but parenting those with addictions required a different skill set and often involves a new road map.Everyone knows of a family that has struggled to cope with a loved one who is alcoholic.Friends and observers may try to understand the experience of the family and may watch, sometimes with judgment, as family members try to navigate this stressful situation.
They have a really difficult job in terms of helping families to see that the way that they have been relating to and loving the active alcoholic has actually been feeding the addiction and not helping their loved one.Many have seen the show "A&E Intervention" or movies that depict these dramatic addiction intervention scenes.There is a reason that families find it necessary to hire a skilled interventionist to conduct an intervention - to raise the bottom for their loved one so that they can see how their addiction is affecting everyone in their life.The cycle of violence was one I knew of long before I found out it had a name. Fear, religion, shame, guilt, etc., all played a role.Decades later I can gauge how well I am doing by my nightmares.