Author Topic: Don't Drink from my Bottle! - Update #52  (Read 13042 times)

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QueenfaninCA

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Re: Don't Drink from my Bottle!
« Reply #30 on: August 30, 2012, 08:16:32 PM »
He's not very attached to her, but is her only close relative.  It falls to me to keep up the communication and, except for this issue, hasn't been a problem for me (as long as she stays straight).

Just being family doesn't mean you have to spend time together. And seriously, I'd tell my husband, that if he thinks it is important to be in contact with her, that's his job.

wonderfullyanonymous

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Re: Don't Drink from my Bottle!
« Reply #31 on: August 30, 2012, 08:50:44 PM »
Tell her, "if you drink from my bottle or cup, then I will drop you off at home and our visit will be over" and follow through.

It's already impolite enough to drink from someones bottle, but to do it when it's not likes or when one is sick, is disgusting.

sevenday

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Re: Don't Drink from my Bottle!
« Reply #32 on: August 30, 2012, 08:55:16 PM »
Honestly, I'd tell her point blank, "This is mine.  Do not drink from it." If you are driving her somewhere - turn right around, take her back to wherever you got her from, and tell her that since she cannot follow instructions, you aren't going to be taking her anywhere.  If her mental age is 12, that's still old enough to follow instructions when they are given.  I would stop offering her drinks, keep your drink glass close to you at restaurants... I don't think you should be prevented from having a bottle in the car when she's in it, but if you don't want to give her direct consequences (not driving her anywhere) then put the drink bottle elsewhere - in the door, in one of those stick-on cup holders... (They sell ones that stick to windows too.) Or in the trunk or otherwise out of reach of you both.

ETA: Anonymous said it right before me.   It also has nothing to do with her Hep C. I do not share bottles/glasses with anyone, even with  my ex-husband (when we were married) and I have no tolerance for people who ignore point-blank directions.

Amava

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Re: Don't Drink from my Bottle!
« Reply #33 on: August 30, 2012, 09:55:34 PM »
I asked DH about this and he said that it was a weird family thing and to quote, "I grew out of and she didn't."  I'm wondering if it isn't some weird domination thing.

I was thinking something further along the lines of domination/control, too... but it might be a bit of a stretch. Is it in any way possible that she is doing this on purpose you to *dare* you to say something to her about it, to enable to go all drama-queen "BarensMom won't let me drink out of her bottle because she thinks I'm contagious! She is being mean to me about my disease!! Woe is me!"
I don't know her, of course, so I'm asking you: is this a possibility?

Lindee

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Re: Don't Drink from my Bottle!
« Reply #34 on: August 30, 2012, 10:07:42 PM »
If your husband isn't very attached with her why does it fall on you to keep up the communication? Does he visit with your family when you aren't there?

Unless you really like visiting with her I'd pull right back. Otherwise I agree with everyone else here, be blunt about it and make sure there are consequences. Apart from the ickyness of someone repeatedly drinking from your bottle even the slim chance of contacting Hep C is not worth taking for the sake of politeness.

gramma dishes

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Re: Don't Drink from my Bottle!
« Reply #35 on: August 30, 2012, 10:57:37 PM »
I asked DH about this and he said that it was a weird family thing and to quote, "I grew out of and she didn't."  I'm wondering if it isn't some weird domination thing.

I was thinking something further along the lines of domination/control, too... but it might be a bit of a stretch. Is it in any way possible that she is doing this on purpose you to *dare* you to say something to her about it, to enable to go all drama-queen "BarensMom won't let me drink out of her bottle because she thinks I'm contagious! She is being mean to me about my disease!! Woe is me!"
I don't know her, of course, so I'm asking you: is this a possibility?

This is what I thought too.  If it happened once, well woops, mistake.  But since it not only happens repeatedly, but even happens when you've quite obviously provided her with an alternative, I am left to only be able to believe that she's doing this intentionally. 

Why?  Who knows.  Maybe to imply dominance, maybe it is a dare (Will she be afraid to drink after me since I have a disease?), or just being ornery to assure your continued attention.  But I wouldn't put up with this for one second. 

I think it would be polite to bring something for her to drink in the car if you yourself are drinking in the car, but I agree with the other posters who say the moment she reaches for your bottle/glass, the visit is OVER!


PastryGoddess

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Re: Don't Drink from my Bottle!
« Reply #36 on: August 30, 2012, 11:36:50 PM »
I asked DH about this and he said that it was a weird family thing and to quote, "I grew out of and she didn't."  I'm wondering if it isn't some weird domination thing.

I was thinking something further along the lines of domination/control, too... but it might be a bit of a stretch. Is it in any way possible that she is doing this on purpose you to *dare* you to say something to her about it, to enable to go all drama-queen "BarensMom won't let me drink out of her bottle because she thinks I'm contagious! She is being mean to me about my disease!! Woe is me!"
I don't know her, of course, so I'm asking you: is this a possibility?

This is what I thought too.  If it happened once, well woops, mistake.  But since it not only happens repeatedly, but even happens when you've quite obviously provided her with an alternative, I am left to only be able to believe that she's doing this intentionally. 

Why?  Who knows.  Maybe to imply dominance, maybe it is a dare (Will she be afraid to drink after me since I have a disease?), or just being ornery to assure your continued attention.  But I wouldn't put up with this for one second. 

I think it would be polite to bring something for her to drink in the car if you yourself are drinking in the car, but I agree with the other posters who say the moment she reaches for your bottle/glass, the visit is OVER!



bolding the above.  It would be polite, but not expected.

Indigosails

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Re: Don't Drink from my Bottle!
« Reply #37 on: August 31, 2012, 08:32:02 AM »
Why not ask her why she is drinking from your bottle/glass? You can do it in a nice way. "Sis, you have your own bottle/glass of soda, why are you drinking from mine?" Then acknowledge the answer and tell her it really bothers you to have another drink from your bottle/glass, please do not do it. Then you have established you do not want her drinking from your bottle/glass and you can remind her when you see her before she has a chance to go for your bottle.

girlysprite

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Re: Don't Drink from my Bottle!
« Reply #38 on: August 31, 2012, 09:01:43 AM »
Why not ask her why she is drinking from your bottle/glass? You can do it in a nice way. "Sis, you have your own bottle/glass of soda, why are you drinking from mine?" Then acknowledge the answer and tell her it really bothers you to have another drink from your bottle/glass, please do not do it. Then you have established you do not want her drinking from your bottle/glass and you can remind her when you see her before she has a chance to go for your bottle.

This. Politely bringing such subjects up is ok.
Also, when you are dining, try to put your glass as far away from her as possible. It will likely not really be out of her reach, but it gives you some time to intercept her hand when she reaches out of it, and just saying 'I'd prefer that no one else but me drinks from my glass. It's nothing personal.'

TootsNYC

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Re: Don't Drink from my Bottle!
« Reply #39 on: August 31, 2012, 09:25:03 AM »
Honestly, I'd bring up the Hep-C thing with her. She needs to talk responsibility for not spreading those germs!!

Even if she IS 12.

In fact, maybe treat this whole thing as you would if she WAS a 12yo for whom you have some level of caretaker responsibility. Pretend she's your 12yo niece who is living with you for the school year. So you aren't necessarily her mom, which will influence how you approach her, but you ARE a wiser grownup with a responsibility to help her grow up.

So you explain how the world works (NO one likes other people to drink from their glasses under ANY situation; it's especially dangerous when she has a communicable and incurable disease; you have observed that she does it a LOT; and it's important that she stop--important to you and to others).

And then you pick a sanction and deliver it.

BarensMom

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Re: Don't Drink from my Bottle!
« Reply #40 on: August 31, 2012, 11:07:05 AM »
I asked DH about this and he said that it was a weird family thing and to quote, "I grew out of and she didn't."  I'm wondering if it isn't some weird domination thing.

I was thinking something further along the lines of domination/control, too... but it might be a bit of a stretch. Is it in any way possible that she is doing this on purpose you to *dare* you to say something to her about it, to enable to go all drama-queen "BarensMom won't let me drink out of her bottle because she thinks I'm contagious! She is being mean to me about my disease!! Woe is me!"
I don't know her, of course, so I'm asking you: is this a possibility?

This is what I thought too.  If it happened once, well woops, mistake.  But since it not only happens repeatedly, but even happens when you've quite obviously provided her with an alternative, I am left to only be able to believe that she's doing this intentionally. 

Why?  Who knows.  Maybe to imply dominance, maybe it is a dare (Will she be afraid to drink after me since I have a disease?), or just being ornery to assure your continued attention.  But I wouldn't put up with this for one second. 

I think it would be polite to bring something for her to drink in the car if you yourself are drinking in the car, but I agree with the other posters who say the moment she reaches for your bottle/glass, the visit is OVER!

I said what I did about the dominance thing due to past history.  DH, over the years, has become more successful, while his sister continued her drug use and hit rock bottom a few years ago (prison).  Years ago, there was a lot of resentment, jealousy and passive aggression from her and their mother because I took the precious boy away (the culture is one that hangs on to males until death).

artk2002

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Re: Don't Drink from my Bottle!
« Reply #41 on: September 02, 2012, 11:41:39 PM »
It falls to me to keep up the communication and, except for this issue, hasn't been a problem for me (as long as she stays straight).

If your DH wants contact with her then that's his job. Frankly I don't understand why you think that this some duty you have to take on at all
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

CaffeineKatie

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Re: Don't Drink from my Bottle!
« Reply #42 on: September 03, 2012, 07:16:00 AM »
POD the posters that wonder WHY you are continuing contact with this woman.  So what if she is related to your husband?  He isn't interested, she's rude and willing to endanger your health (even is the risk is minimal) and causes stress for no good reason--walk away!  And if she's 62, she's not going to change.  If I were you, I'd not only draw a line in the sand--drink and you go home now--but I'd also take a long, hard look at why I feel the need to maintain contact with her. 

weeblewobble

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Re: Don't Drink from my Bottle!
« Reply #43 on: September 03, 2012, 07:48:48 AM »
Thanks, all.  I will look into the drink cup holder.  After she "contaminated" both soda bottles, I bought another bottle and shoved it between my seat and the door.  It felt weird, but, dang it all, I wanted to drink ALL my Diet Coke.

Someone explained to me one time that, for most heavy drug users, her behavioral and emotional age is that of when she started using, in her case, 12.  So it makes it tricky to call her out, because we never know if she'll react as an adult (62) or as an over-emotional preteen.  She acknowledges that she has made bad life choices and has made a conscious effort to overcome her long-term addiction.

My DH's solution is to stop drinking in the car and/or stop going to restaurants with her.  He's not very attached to her, but is her only close relative.  It falls to me to keep up the communication and, except for this issue, hasn't been a problem for me (as long as she stays straight).  I'm going to see her next week and I'll try the above suggestions.  I'll update post-visit.

The people who told you about SIL's emotional age are right on.  The drugs basically prevent that person from emotionally maturing, so you are dealing with a preteen.  That said, this is not your problem.  SIL's emotional condition is a result of her bad choices.  The resentment that she and your MIL feel toward you because you "stole" DH and DH was successful, not your problem.  Their resentment was a choice that they made. 

Part of the problem with dealing with people with substance abuse issues is that enabling family members have prevented them from feeling the impact of their choices.  It's very difficult for a loving parent to let a child hit rock bottom, so they do everything they can to cushion that fall.  Excuses are made.  Boundaries are crossed. The people around them become miserable, but the drug user just wanders along in their addiction. Sober or not, this is the operating system SIL is used to. 

That said, none of this is your problem.  Your husband is not too keen on spending time with or contacting her.  Why are you furthering this relationship?  Is it guilt?  Fear of leaving SIL alone?  SIL's choices have left her alone.  Not you.  Take a cue from your husband and withdraw.  Have you considered that spending time with SIL may be making your husband uncomfortable?  Maybe he would prefer it if you spent less time with her.

If you want to continue spending time with SIL, you have to tell her, "Don't drink from my bottle/glass.  Drink from yours."  I agree that this has something to do with both a weird family thing and domination.  She wants to provoke into saying something to her.  She wants your attention, and this may be the only way she knows how to get it. 

If she acts offended, so be it. If she continues to do this after you tell her no, stop going out with her!
If SIL can't respect something as simple as "don't drink my drinks," imagine what other boundaries she could roll right over.

It is not your job to provide SIL with a family outlet.  It's not your job to help her grow up. 

miranova

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Re: Don't Drink from my Bottle!
« Reply #44 on: September 03, 2012, 10:41:23 AM »
I have a 12 year old.  He certainly knows not to drink out of other people's glasses at restaurants.