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Episode 182: Sandi

sandi

Sandi
Age: 64
Location: North Aurora, Illinois
Addiction: Alcohol (gin)
What’s memorable: The relationship with her adult daughter and the things they say to each other – disturbing and heartbreaking.  After watching the episode a 2nd time after finally getting my own mother into rehab only to have her leave after 5 days, I have a much more empathetic understanding of daughter’s Andrea’s feelings (or lack thereof).  There comes a point when the only way to protect yourself from being sucked into the emotional manipulation is to convince yourself you don’t care what happens to them.  Of course you care, and you’ll eventually have an emotional breakdown, but right now it’s just easier to act like you don’t and to try to move on with your life. Andrea finally letting her guard down and begging her mom to get help, that’s what got Sandi into treatment and it saved their relationship. But I totally get what took Andrea so long to get there.

Official Synopsis: Sandi, 64, is a vivacious, spunky and fun grandmother who loves gardening. But as her drinking escalates throughout the day, Sandi turns her gin-fueled anger on her 88-year-old mother and her 45-year-old daughter, alienating everyone in her wake.

Original Air Date: December 2012
Interventionist: Donna

Categories: Alcohol, Donna, Season 12, Traumatic Incident

Discussion

23 Responses to “Episode 182: Sandi”

  1. This episode was certainly painful to watch. It is amazing to me that Sandi’s daughter even talked to her mother at all anymore, let alone wanted to help her get sober. I’m glad to have found your site! This is such a powerful show.

    Posted by Kate Corbett Pollack | December 8, 2014, 8:09 pm
    • Whatever happened to Sandi? Still sober?

      Posted by Holly | April 29, 2015, 1:59 pm
      • I am Andrea, Sandi’s daughter. I have not regained a relationship with her, but wish her nothing but success. It is my understanding she is sober. I am about to see her next week, so I will keep you posted.

        Posted by Andrea Hochstedt | January 22, 2017, 1:50 pm
      • Hi Andrea

        Can you please provide any status you may have on your mom?

        I hope you are well.

        Posted by John Baptiste | July 17, 2017, 8:03 pm
    • Growing up with an addict and a narcissistic mother myself I have such respect for Andrea. It is so hard to finally just walk away and grieve the loss:loss of the care and nurturing we should have had as children, the loss of a mentor/teachers the loss of someone that should love us unconditionally. Andrea you deserved so much more. There is no dealing with a narcissistic personality and the addiction just adds to it.

      Posted by Kaye | March 7, 2017, 4:37 pm
    • She was quite an asshole herself, as we found out from her grandpa, and son. And just about everyone else in the intervention come to think.

      Posted by chris m | March 8, 2017, 12:19 am
  2. Sandi reminds me of my own mother.
    Monied, miserable yet energy to keep a way nicer yard than most healthyish people.
    I do hope Sandi is still sober.
    Everyone deserves the chance to be happy. Many choose not to be, be those that do choose to be happy, who choose life over death, deserve life and happiness.
    To those who have love ones that are addicts and alcoholics – never give up – never.

    Posted by Monte | May 1, 2015, 9:01 pm
  3. This episode was very emotional for me. I’m so glad she got clean. I pray she stayed that way!

    Posted by LeAnn | August 31, 2015, 1:59 pm
  4. The lady doing the intervention is wrong about what she said to Sandi’s daughter. Sandi’s daughter was perhaps the most honest person on that show… she is the only one who I can actually see moving on to a healthy mental life because she refuses to be a part of the sick life.

    Posted by eryn | December 24, 2015, 4:29 am
    • Completely agree! After years of therapists telling me to run far far away from dealing with my addicted and narcissistic mom I can not believe they tried to guilt Andrea into dealing with such a toxic relationship any farther. If a man a bus s a woman they tell us to report and get away but because the abuser is a mother shouldn’t mean we must deal with more and more abuse. Move far away!

      Posted by Kay | March 7, 2017, 4:44 pm
    • There is a difference between peacefully moving on and shutting yourself off to any emotion entirely. Listen to Andrea’s son. She’s not OK and she needs help whether or not she reconciles with her mother. She didn’t deserve the life she was given either, but that doesn’t mean she should stop having emotions. I come from a similar family. Not feeling doesn’t always mean that you protect yourself. I wish the best for all involved.

      Posted by Layla | July 17, 2017, 12:21 pm
  5. Wow! This one made me cry because my mom and sister have a similar (although much less severe) situation. It seems that there is some hope for this family. you can tell that there is still a hint of love during the intervention. They have put up fronts of anger and callousness to protect themselves. The interventionist was amazing. I thought she handled the daughter very well. I think that her daughter’s breakdown was the catalyst that started the healing. I really hope they are still doing well.

    Posted by Kitteh | December 26, 2015, 7:40 pm
  6. I wanted to say that I wish Sandi well. Many watched her episode and saw a mean drunk. (She was certainly) but I saw a woman who got a raw damn deal in life and was in incredible pain. I hope sandi has found happiness. I hope her daughter found forgiveness.

    Posted by Angela | March 2, 2016, 8:54 pm
  7. Watching this episode makes me feel grateful I don’t have a mother who’s an alcoholic… That being said, I can relate to her saying “when will it get better”- in sobriety. Things kind of ebb and flow, and do get better, and get worse again. I guess that’s just the way it goes. For some reason my addiction didn’t progress that far, and I don’t know why, but I can be thankful for it.

    Posted by Halley | March 3, 2016, 5:42 pm
  8. I hope you’re doing well, Sandi, wherever you are.

    Posted by Just some viewer | January 22, 2017, 3:00 pm
  9. Hi, Andrea: I hope the aforementioned recent meeting with your mother was a positive one and that she is recovering successfully. You appear to be a strong, smart, principled woman, and should guard against allowing enduring anger to distort your considerable beauty. My best to you and your family.

    Posted by MTB | March 7, 2017, 4:59 pm
  10. What a painful episode to watch! I really felt for Andrea. My dad passed away from alcoholism related cancers at the age of 56, and we were pretty much estranged by that point. He was often very verbally abusive and could be physically threatening. After too many cruel phone calls made while he was drunk, too many near punches to my face, I had to cut him off for my own health.

    Later in life, I developed my own alcoholism and see in Sandi how my life could have been had I not gotten sober.

    Sending my best wishes to this family. Thank you for sharing your story.

    Posted by Melanie | March 7, 2017, 6:00 pm
  11. Andrea, I hope that you are able to find peace and serenity in your own life. I have a father that is an alcoholic, and I limit our interaction. He is 70 now but was in a rest home at 65, because of the consequences of his alcoholism.

    My father is an alcoholic. He’s also an asshole. He had a really sad childhood, and just doesn’t know what love is. So he could never give it to me. I have compassion for him. It must be a lonely life to be estranged from 4 children and to be in a resthome. However, that is the natural consequence of being an alcoholic asshole.

    I share this story, because I hope you can find compassion for your mum, forgive her and be able to live your life well and with happiness. On the show you talked about not enabling, and looking after yourself. Keep doing that.

    And look into Al-Anon if you haven’t already.

    Posted by Michelle | April 8, 2017, 1:19 am
  12. I have been through many years of therapy. My lack of emotion for Sandi’s situation, during the show, comes through my self preservation. I always, from a very young age, had to create the boundary of – I’m the child , you’re the parent Sandi . She always wanted…. needed someone to care for her. That wasn’t my job. No one ever cared for her as a child, thus her adult life was to seek that out in dsfunctional ways. It’s quite sad. Remember, you saw a show about Sandi’s story, not Andrea’s. Andreas is quite different and Sandi didn’t act like she did on the show when we were kids. I had incredibly loving great grand parents that cared for me and my brother. Not to say having Sandi as a mother has not effected me quite negatively .Sandi wasn’t the most mindful parent, but she did the best she could with what she was dealt. You must see from what you saw on the show that she didn’t have the healthiest of support systems. Her parents, highly dysfunctional and alcoholics themselves amongst other issues. Sandi also had some terrible things happen to her as a very young child due to that neglect.
    I love my mother. She has taught me many valuable lessons. My lack of emotion is because I have let it go. A very difficult accomplishment for many in similar situations .

    Posted by Andrea Hochstedt | July 20, 2017, 6:42 pm
    • Andrea, I know exactly where you’re coming from. My father was a horrible alcoholic and my mother joined him in his alcoholism after years of trying to get him to stop and be a better husband and father. I remember at a very young age asking my mother why she was drinking…her response? And I had to be about 8. She said “If you can’t beat em than you join em!” I’ll never forget the feeling I had at that moment. The one person I felt safe with was no longer my safety net. Your story really hits home.

      What was surprising to me was when I saw that this episode was in North Aurora, Illinois
      I am a nurse in North Aurora, Illinois!
      I reside in Plainfield. So, this story hit home in more ways than one.
      I pray that Sandi (that’s also my name, same spelling too) is sober and that you and your family are thriving and healthy!
      God Bless!
      Sandi S.

      Posted by Sandi Stasiak | July 22, 2017, 4:44 pm
    • Is your mom still winning the battle? is she sober?
      I hope so with all my heart and pray that one day you will be able to forgive her for the pain she has caused you…..

      she was never given the right role modelling for how to be a successful parent, she had children while she was in the middle of so much dysfunction……

      there is almost no way for that to end but the way it did….

      you are ALL victims in this, and I can guarantee you Sandi would Never have hurt you if she knew how to stop the pain she was feeling any other way…..

      Please please try with everything in you to see the good and the loving side of your mom so that your child learns the power of love and of mercy……
      Put it on Gods account….He knows what you have been through….

      xoxoxo with hope and prayers for you all…..

      Posted by Lori | July 23, 2017, 10:58 am
  13. Just happened to look up this episode after seeing it for the first time just now. The update is appreciated.

    I was quite moved by your mom’s story and felt so much empathy for both of you. I respect that you have done what you needed to do to heal. I don’t know if your mom can ever heal without your forgiveness, but that is not your fault.

    I wish you both peace and healing.

    Posted by Stephanie | July 20, 2017, 9:18 pm
  14. Good to hear, Andrea
    Peace

    Posted by MTB | July 24, 2017, 7:56 am

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