A person I love very deeply has had an alcohol problem for about half my life. This person hit an all-time low in 2011, started therapy, and started to change—only to relapse. That’s okay; we just pick ourselves up again as this person did. This time, however, the therapist who helped the person—who had been trying to convert the patient to god all along—succeeded, and now, I don’t even know this person at all.
It would be okay if it were just that. I am happy for people who feel they have something bigger in the world to live for, something to stay alive for. I have something like that in my life, too—a few somethings, actually. But now this person is not only pushing such beliefs into the family, but also constantly bringing it up—and pushing me away in the process.
The person knows how strongly I feel about this. In fact, this person felt even more strongly than I did before, identifying as an atheist! It has gotten a bit better since the beginning, but this person waxes on about Jesus and being a Christian more than any Christians I’ve known my whole life—and I know dozens—and has already successfully converted another family member.
What I feel like doing, however, is going to that damn therapist and screaming in her face, “Thanks for the help, and thanks for brainwashing (insert name)!” I’m so ambivalent. I’m so glad this person is alive with us while feeling as if he/she has been taken away from me at the same time. Go figure—I’ve spent all that time trying to support (some say enabling, listening to those drunken phone calls for hours a day, every day, for two years) and regain lost ground when now, it feels as if the ground is no longer there at all. I miss this person just as much as I did when alcoholism was in control. Only now, it feels as if something else, perhaps less dangerous (depending on the setting and whether or not you’re after the Holy Grail or jihad, I guess) but even more potent, is steering the wheel.
I wish I knew what to do to reconcile the way I feel, to be able to be close again without having to touch this subject—and especially not to have my seven-year-old thrown in the middle.