How do two siblings go through similar painful family experiences and only one comes away with a drug or alcohol addiction? One sibling manages to get through the pain with moderate stress, and the other needs drug or alcohol rehab to save their life. There’s no easy answer to this question.
Last night I watched parts of two Intervention shows. One showed a young woman addicted to inhalants and another showed a young alcoholic mom. Both women had heartache and problems related to their fathers. And each one sibling that stood out in comparison to them that didn’t seem to have a drug or alcohol problem.
Molestation Divorce and Abandonment Lead to Drug Addiction
The young woman addicted to inhalants had watched her younger sister get molested, and the aftermath split the family. Their father left and never acknowledged the girls again. Her younger sister was the one molested and she also lost her father’s presence. But somehow, this only caused one of them to turn to drugs. Her torment, perhaps her inability to stop the molestation or her shame over it all, was too much to bear.
A boyfriend introduced her to inhalants in college and she was immediately a different person. She cried as she said that she would never get better and that she already thought she was pretty much dead. Thankfully, the show ended with a hopeful note. She spent two months in drug rehab and was in good contact with her sister and mom.
Alcoholism In The Family
In the other show, this young woman was the youngest of four siblings. Her older brother spoke a lot on the show about her situation. Their mother divorced their alcoholic dad just months after this young woman was born. He was absent for much of her life. She became pregnant as a teen and married her boyfriend. After her second child was born, the burden of early motherhood became too much. She began drinking to relax, and eventually drank most of the time. She also began connecting with her father by binge drinking with him. They spent a lot of time together during the last few years of his life.
Her father died as a result of his alcoholism. The young mom’s older brother observed that she seemed to take pride in her alcoholic connection with their dad, that it was something that just the two of them shared. During the episode, she showed the camera a large bruise on her back that was taking a very long time to go away. The screen went black and displayed the fact that bruising easily can be a sign of liver failure. How did she develop such a rampant alcohol addiction at such a young age when her older brother, who would have witnessed more of the family problems and had the same genetic background, did not? She was just twenty nine years old at the time of the show. I don’t know if she accepted the invitation to go to alcohol rehab because I didn’t see the end.
Some Family Members More Vulnerable To Addiction
The most likely conclusion is that a similar environment and genetics work together differently, even on people in the same family. Perhaps some personality traits made these two young women just vulnerable
enough that the addiction pulled them under. A one hour show isn’t long enough to go into that much depth. It is clear that these women had a cavernous pain inside that was too much for them to deal with on
their own. It leaves me to wonder and hope for the best for these two young women.