The Denial and Destruction of Diane Schuler
David Lowe, April 1994
Denial Kills! It’s that simple, when it comes to dealing with alcoholics and addicts. I should know, I run a company that deals with all kinds of situations, usually when people are in crisis. Sometimes people come to us when the warning signs are there and our counsel is generally the same ‘do something now before the crisis hits.” Sometimes they do, more often than not, they don’t. It doesn’t always produce a tragic consequence but when it does, there is no satisfaction in being “right”. We have many examples of car accidents, overdoses, all kinds of horror stories that may have been avoided were it not for denial, the denial of the addict themselves but as damaging as that is the denial of the people around them. There is an old story about a woman standing graveside after the death of her son. A friend said, “Did he ever think of going to AA?” and she replies, “Oh, it never got THAT bad”
In his first public statement since the tragic accident, Daniel Schuler seems more vested in telling the world that his wife was not an alcoholic than anything else. He has blamed everything imaginable: some bump on her leg, diabetes, the boogeyman (not really, but you get the point). Despite simple toxicology that demonstrated his wife should not have been vertical much less driving, Schuler claims he ‘never saw her drunk”. I don’t believe he never saw her drunk; I do believe he never acknowledged she was drunk, that’s a big difference. At this point I don’t think his psyche will let him believe that Diane Schuler was anything but a “perfect wife” and it certainly won’t let him believe that his co dependency is culpable in this tragedy as well. The consequences of her actions have cost others their lives, her family is in denial (although her brother failed to mention her at the funeral for his 3 daughters so he may be open to the theory that she had a problem) and until that veil of secrecy is lifted they will remain secluded and isolated in denial. The families of the victims in the car she plowed into have no problem seeing the truth and deciphering the toxicology reports clearly – she was drunk and stoned, she choose to get behind the wheel of a car and those actions killed their loved ones.