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Mum's reaction to me joining AA... AIBU to be hurt?

(9 Posts)
jennyandfelix Mon 10-Oct-16 11:09:11

I told my mum about joining AA yesterday.

I had been worried about doing it in case she took it as a personal affront, as she has her own alcohol issues (which she doesn't see as a problem, at all, despite all of her 4 children trying to talk to her about it). She had been talking about the pair of us going to visit our home town for a long weekend and taking DS to lots of places we used to go, museums and such. I haven’t spent any time with my Mum in the evenings since DS was born, and probably a good time before that, too. Christmas is a time I don’t enjoy because of the huge quantity of alcohol that’s consumed in my family. Every time I have spent time with her and I’ve been worried about what’s going to happen, the worst has (when I was pregnant we went to visit her friend (my ‘aunt’) and my mum had an alcohol induced psychotic episode, which had me wanting to run away and never come back).

She asked me if I’d had any more thoughts about going to on the trip and I said:
“I have. Well, this is quite a delicate thing to bring up… I joined AA.”
“Oh, I thought you’d stopped drinking ages ago.” (this is delusional, she’s seen me drinking, I drank at my birthday in front of her)
“Well, no, I hadn’t. So I don’t think I can go if there’s going to be alcohol.”
“Ok. Well, I’m going to want to go to the pub; it’s one of the nice things about being there, you know? laughs Obviously you wouldn’t have to come with me!”
“I don’t think it would be good for my recovery, mum.”
“Oh well, I’ll go by myself then.”

End of conversation.

I know that this is merely her own alcohol addiction talking, and that’s sad. I’ve been there, choosing drinking over family and friends. I get it. It’s a terribly lonely and awful place to be. I am so grateful that I’m not stuck in that position now.

I don’t know what to do now. Do I tell her that I know what’s going on in her head? Or do I just let her continue on this path without intervening?

Her blase reaction makes me feel like she doesn't care either way, if I'm drinking or if I'm getting help and sober. It makes me feel ill.

Please no judgement. I'm sober and I'm very grateful to be here and sober.

IminaPickle Mon 10-Oct-16 11:11:51

Well done on your sobriety.
She's not there yet. Best to keep away from the subject. flowers

TheHubblesWindscreenWipers Mon 10-Oct-16 11:13:34

Look after yourself. You can't 'save' her. Her apparent disinterest is self protection.

Well done on getting help for yourself.

CoffeeCrisis Mon 10-Oct-16 11:15:46

If she's in denial about her own alcohol issues, and she's downplaying them, she's probably not going to acknowledge yours. It doesn't mean she doesn't care, it just probably means she's denying to herself and you can't do anything about that.

Could you not go and take DS to the museums and then do something else in the evening and your mum could go to the pub if she liked? Take DS to the pictures or something? What would you be doing with DS otherwise, taking him out drinking?

Squeegle Mon 10-Oct-16 11:17:46

Please look after yourself. You have done brilliantly. Agree her lack of interest is self protection. I would actually consider just being blunt with her and saying, no, I'm sorry, can't come on the trip with you because I need to stay sober and it upsets me to see you drinking. That refusal will be more powerful than anything you can say to persuade her. Your boundaries.

BlueKarou Mon 10-Oct-16 11:23:05

What would you have said, if at the height of your troubles with alcohol, someone tried to lecture you (not saying this is what you'd do, but possibly it's how it would come across.)

Sit on your thoughts for now - or find a safe way of venting them; here, or in a journal, or in a group. Somewhere your mum will never see/hear. You can't change her, you need to focus on yourself.

Congratulations for being sober, and for having the strength and resolve to join AA and to be able to work on your recovery. Hopefully your personal strength will inspire your mum, but if it doesn't it isn't a failing on your behalf, and it doesn't mean she doesn't care about you. She's at a different stage in her journey than you are.

culpa Mon 10-Oct-16 11:32:59

Focus on yourself first, Jenny but also read some Al-anon literature. You can't fix your mother but don't allow her to sabotage you. I'm sure you will be guided by what you learn in AA.

MatildaTheCat Mon 10-Oct-16 11:44:33

Congratulations on your sobriety. If you have a mentor or counsellor I'd suggest talking this through. If you hoped she would join you in a sober weekend or see the light and change I would suggest that was never going to happen.

You are in two different places and for some time you might need to keep away from these conversations and family gatherings. I think you were looking for support in the wrong place.

But very best wishes in getting great support elsewhere.

Zumbarunswim Mon 10-Oct-16 16:59:30

Well done on taking such a brave step.

I think the only thing as a pp said you can do for your mum is show an example of a happy alcohol free life. The serenity prayer says about having the serenity to accept what you cannot change and you can't change your mums drinking - she has to take the steps to do something about it herself. Don't go anywhere you are not 100% comfortable with. Recovery comes first. You are allowed to be "selfish" (but in my opinion it's not really selfish as it means you are properly there for your dc)

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