With American Thanksgiving soon upon us, I’m dreading the holidays yet again this year. They always seem to set my brother off spiraling into drunken rages, pity parties or worse. They always seem to be a mental health emergency waiting to happen.
Got a preview yesterday, when I was unable to stave off his increasingly drunken demands for a ride to offer unrequested “support” to my mother who’s caring for my father with late stage dementia. They’d had a rough night due to agitation/sundowning. I told him I wasn’t going to drive him over unrequested and unannounced, and was waiting for my mother to return my calls on the subject.
After a nearly incomprehensible insult-laden drunken phone call demanding my ETA, I said I wasn’t going to drive him, but he could do what he wanted. I quickly regretted this, and put in a follow up voicemail to my mother warning her that he might show up drunk—which he did. I could hear him in the background shouting he was here to support her as she hung up the phone, followed by a call from my mother asking me to drive him home. As I arrived, he was pacing, shouting and rambling on about attending music concerts with my mother trying to calm him down. He refused a ride, and supposedly had run out of cigarettes which seems a common ploy to escape situations. He walked to a nearby friends house, because he had cigarettes and is known to the cab company (they delivered him to my parents condo just fine). He made it home, but now I have Thanksgiving and my parents wedding anniversary/Saint Nicholas Day and Christmas, New Years, and possibly my father’s birthday and/or funeral to look forward to. And all this is while going through the expense and stress of moving nearer to my parents and preparing my old house to go on the market.
My other brother called me for a recap of events, and asked if I had any strategies to help my brother survive the holidays this year. I told him I’m fresh out of ideas; I’m not even sure how I’ll make it through. But yet I expressed similar dread last year, and we made it through somehow. What’s your survival plan, and are you dreading the holidays too?