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My alcoholic mother is being made homeless. I've distanced myself but had a call for help.wwyd?

(104 Posts)
BriansBrain Tue 18-Jun-13 20:12:27

I've had a thread on here before about what a nightmare my mother has been in the past due to her ill health and alcholism and received lots of support.

Sad to say I'm back again.

I'm married with DC, full time career and moved away from my/our home town 15 years ago because as selfish as it sounds she is such hard word, lying, threatening suicide, lying. I couldn't take to any more.

We used to speak on the phone but she would tell me constant lies.

The house was unkept to the point where I couldn't visit with DC because of the smoke and alchol and general state of it all.

She would be hospitalised, I refused to visit every time because nothing changed.

I know I sound selfish but I like to think of it as protective of my little family.

No dad, grandparents just me and then my mothers sister who lives hours and hours away.

She lost her house and the last I heard she was doing fine in residential care and waiting for assisted housing (all of these words are new to me and mean nothing) I have text but not had any replies or just "I'm fine" replies.

Mothers sister calls today, mum is suicidal and the assisted housing has fallen through,social services have said she needs to leave residential and offered her a flat with no assistance and in an area she doesn't want to live in.

She is saying no so SS are saying its the flat or homeless your choice.

Sister wants me to swoop in. And save the day because mother is rock bottom again

Sorry it's so long and I've kept it bullet point to keep my emotions out because I have had this for many many sad years since a child myself and every is great and now this.

I k ow this is my mother but I can't let the DC k ow what's going on, youngest doesn't even know who she is.

I'm going to finish putting DC to bed and hope someone an help me figure out what I am going to have to do.

BriansBrain Tue 18-Jun-13 20:19:24

And you can tell how much I didn't want to write that post by the many letters I missed out of words.

Bogeyface Tue 18-Jun-13 20:22:32

You dont have to do anything. She is not being made homeless, she has been offered a home and is refusing, that is a very different thing.

I rather suspect that her ideal end result is that you swoop in and take her to live with you. DO NOT DO THIS. When she realises that this wont happen, she will take the flat. So you need to make it clear that she must take the flat as you are no offering her any other options.

I know this must be hard, but are right in that you must do what you need to do in order to protect your family.

Helltotheno Tue 18-Jun-13 20:24:46

Agree with Bogey. Steer well clear. She is manipulative and this is a ruse to get you to go and live with her. It's not your fault or your problem that you've had this imposed on you.

Harryhairypig Tue 18-Jun-13 20:26:04

What does your sister want you to do? If your mum doesn't think the unassisted housing is suitable she needs to get some legal advice and get them to challenge the decision of the local authority not to house her in assisted/supported housing. Do not agree to have her live with you, they will house her if you don't.

onefewernow Tue 18-Jun-13 20:30:16

The other thing I would add, is that even if she hasn't done this for manipulative reasons, it is still her choice.

You do not exist to sweep up after her poor choices, however bad they are.

Sometimes it is reaching such a low ebb and not being rescued that can make some people decide to sort themselves out.

PenelopePortrait Tue 18-Jun-13 20:32:26

BriansBrain you know what to do. You know she's a manipulative, devious lying alcoholic and will stoop lower than we can ever imagine.

Her choice to refuse flat, she has to take the consequences of her own actions or nothing will ever change.

If you keep swooping in to save her, she'll keep doing the same thing, and then you'll do the same thing and nothing ever changes. Einstein's definition of Insanity - keep doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Sound familiar.

Look after yourself and your family. Stop enabling her to carry on her drinking career.

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Tue 18-Jun-13 20:32:34

If her sister is so keen to have someone save the day why doesn't she do it?

I know she is your mother but you have your children to protect now, it is not as simple as helping her out and all being well because that is not what will happen. Your mum is not being made homeless she has accommodation on offer, if she chooses to decline that offer then she needs to sort herself somewhere else to go.

PenelopePortrait Tue 18-Jun-13 20:34:26

onefewernow alcoholics always do things for devious reasons. They even lie when there is no need to lie.

How do you know an alcoholic is lying? They open their mouth. Sad but true.

BriansBrain Tue 18-Jun-13 20:34:48

I haven't actually spoken to her, she is putting pressure on her sister who is miles away and saying I must help.

She is my mother and I owe it to her to look after her now she is over 60 and so so unwell and unable to care for her self.

I'm so glad I have MN, I know what is right, I've been doing it right by distancing but it is so hard and now the guilt on top of it.

My DH says everything I am told on MN.

I just need help to stay strong.

diplodocus Tue 18-Jun-13 20:35:25

Are you sure this is actually true and the SW has asked her to leave residential?

parabelle Tue 18-Jun-13 20:40:03

Don't swoop in. She has been offered a house and is refusing, it's her choice. She is not your responsibility. I say this as the dd of an alcoholic father. I had to explain to my dd at the weekend why we don't see him and what an alcoholic is. You need to protect your children.

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Tue 18-Jun-13 20:40:35

You are not selfish. You are fantastic to be so together after such a tough time in life.

The best thing you can do for her is to leave her to sort her own mess out.

<Sneaks in a hug while no one is watching>

catsrus Tue 18-Jun-13 20:41:09

She is an alcoholic - you will not be helping her by swooping in - you will be enabling. If you are in any doubt then get to an AlAnon meeting. If she sorts herself out you might want to consider rebuilding a relationship - until she does that then for HER sake you need to stay away. If she cares enough about herself she might turn a corner, if she doesn't care then nothing you can do will help her - but it will drag you down.

ImperialBlether Tue 18-Jun-13 20:47:31

If you act now and take her in, you'll find it impossible to keep going and impossible to make her leave, too.

Her sister sounds nice, wanting you to take your mum in when she clearly isn't prepared to do the same.

Stand firm. Get your husband to deal with any phone calls and emails. Don't let your mum ruin your lovely family.

PenelopePortrait Tue 18-Jun-13 20:55:15

briansBrain you will only be helping her if you don't help her IUSWIM? She is an adult not a child, she knows full well where to get help - if she wants it, she's knows it will be hard - so the easy way is to play on you and your sisters guilt and get you to do what she wants ( which is to carry on drinking).

I'll say again - she has to take the consequences of her own actions or nothing will ever change.

It's hard but right, and you know it.

BriansBrain Tue 18-Jun-13 21:30:48

Thank you for helping keep my head straight.

Apparently she isn't drinking right now but I've heard that before, many, many times its just all so draining.

It's nice when I have been able to not deal with it and just focus on work and our little family on their day to day journey - not blissful because DC are still young and life has a habit of biting you on the arse but I have my life to deal with and I just don't have the energy for all the extra drama.

Mothers sister and now some of my mothers "friends"are laying the guilt on as apparently it is my turn to deal with it all.

What I'm supposed to do I don't know, I'm over an hour away to start with.

I have a mad busy day at work tomorrow which I'm looking forward to and have now promised her sister I will speak to the social worker for her.

Can I really get my DH to field all the calls until they give up?he would do that for me but isn't that very cowardly?

Thank yo so much, you don't know how much this is helping.

PenelopePortrait Tue 18-Jun-13 21:54:12

If you all are really taking it in turns to 'deal' with her, then all you are doing is helping her to drink.

You ask ''what am I supposed to do?'. The answer is nothing only get on with your own life. What you are all doing Isn't Working! Tell your sister and aunt 'this isn't working!'

You are all not helping, you are making it worse. Unless you are a fellow alcoholic you cannot help.

BriansBrain Tue 18-Jun-13 21:59:57

Thank you.

It's all so horrible, funny how I am now the bad one in it all.

I feel awful that I am now going to have to ignore my mother's sister's calls and I gave her my mobile number, they think I'm selfish.

Once this is dealt with I officially have no family left, apart from my own little family of course.

Repeatedlydoingthetwist Tue 18-Jun-13 22:05:29

Second completely everything said already but just want to add that you do not 'owe' her anything OP. She owes it to you to be able to act like and adult, and the only people you owe anything to are your little family who deserve the family life which you are working so hard to give them. Stay strong thanks

joanofarchitrave Tue 18-Jun-13 22:05:35

You're not abandoning her, actually, you're just not going to step in in this particular way at this particular time. That's all. She's still your mother, and your aunt is still your aunt. I have stopped giving certain types of support to my dad, and he is still my dad.

DIddled Tue 18-Jun-13 22:09:11

Been there myself. Don't waste your time - my sister and I drove ourselves demented trying to sort my mum out. Suicide attempts, multiple mental hospital admissions and worse. She died two years ago and I am not ashamed to say it was a relief.

Just be firm, say you are not going to do anything... And keep saying it if you have to.

And have a hug from me x

tribpot Tue 18-Jun-13 22:09:22

That's why they call it the family disease. It poisons everyone.

You really cannot help, and you will be sucked into a horrendous melodrama and probably a family feud as well. It isn't selfish to protect yourself, there's nothing else you can do which protects your own family.

Have you been to Al-Anon? I would definitely recommend you go and get some coping strategies to deal with the crises.

TheCrackFox Tue 18-Jun-13 22:14:37

The only person who can help your mother is your mother.

She is choosing to make herself homeless and you must leave her to it.

BriansBrain Tue 18-Jun-13 22:20:35

I d wonder if I should take a look at going along to an Al-Anon to try and help with the guilt.

DIddled I can understand the relief, every time I used to get that call to say she was maybe gong to die, or tried to die...

I can't go through all that again, it's all pointless.

I feel secretly sucked into melodrama and family bitching (not many of them left bit) it's all about me being selfish and ungrateful.

What am I meant to be grateful for? DC that have never met their granny?

BriansBrain Tue 18-Jun-13 22:21:10

So full of pity I forgot to say thank you for your help - all of you thanks

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Tue 18-Jun-13 22:28:52

Look at it this way.

If you DO swoop in and help your kids will have the privilege of seeing, their alcoholic granny every morning, all day and every night. There she will be drinking, while they try and do their homework. When they want their friends round, she will be sitting in the corner. They will grow up with you and their Dad arguing about her. She will be there for them modelling co-dependent, manipulative, emotionally abusive behaviour.

Do you still feel guilty?

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Tue 18-Jun-13 22:30:10

What I mean to say is you are doing the right thing flowers She is not your problem.

Xales Tue 18-Jun-13 22:33:53

Your mother isn't rock bottom. She is being offered a place to live. Her choice to accept or not. She is not homeless unless she chooses that.

Stay strong you are helping her more by not helping her.

NotSoNervous Tue 18-Jun-13 22:34:17

Tbh I wouldn't do anything. She's a big girl and will stand on her own two feet. Social services aren't going to let her sleep on the street.

BriansBrain Tue 18-Jun-13 22:34:48


You just summed my life as a child up in one post.

Mummy always looked after granny because if she didn't god forbid go on a family holiday Granny would attempt to set fire to her flat.

Daddy hated seeing what it did to mummy so he left after many many years of arguments...


Inertia Tue 18-Jun-13 22:39:59

You owe it to your children to provide a stable family home.

And a stream of people endlessly rescuing your mum and haranguing each other about whose turn it is clearly isn't having any success in terms of helping her get better.

DIddled Tue 18-Jun-13 22:40:42

Well said TOn- harsh but true. BB by all means look into AL Anon but why wast your time on the subject, where will it get you? Please please remember this is not your fault and you must put yourself first. Xx

BriansBrain Tue 18-Jun-13 22:48:51

I've made a point since the last hospital admission not to waste my time with this.

She never calls me, never asks about the DC or me or my DH it's all about her and her next drama - if you can believe even a fraction of it.

Everything is going so well at the minute, work is so busy it's great and Dh is in a new role which means more time for us and I'm so glad I started this thread.

Thank you all so much.

I will be back once Dh has fielded the first of many calls for help but we do agree with every post here even though it feels wretched.

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Tue 18-Jun-13 22:53:55

Didn't mean to be harsh sad but I grew up like this (DF) and wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. Those are not the memories I would like to have and I always shy away from conversations / nostalgia about childhood for this reason.

It will feel wretched Brian but it will be temporary. It is wonderful that things are going well for you and you should focus on that [hugs]

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Tue 18-Jun-13 22:54:48

(((hugs))) I meant blush

DIddled Tue 18-Jun-13 23:05:25

Ton bless you you weren't harsh - sorry I didn't mean to upset you! You put it better than anyone of us have in the context of how it would be in reality if BB had her mother living with her.

As daughters of alcohol dependent parents- we will carry many scars , but must shield our own children from the same.

Hugs to you Ton too- I feel sad that you have bad childhood memories- I know what you mean. X

jessjessjess Tue 18-Jun-13 23:08:36

If you swoop in to 'help' her, you won't actually be helping her.

It does sound like Al-Anon might be worth a try.

BriansBrain Tue 18-Jun-13 23:10:44

Please don't feel bad Ton

As I said, I also grew up in that environment and tonight is probably the first time I have realised that is why I am not willing to go through, or put my family through it.

It is a make or break situation for my little happy family.

So thank you x

Viviennemary Tue 18-Jun-13 23:14:05

I agree with nearly everything that has been said. She isn't being made homeless but has been offered accommodation that doesn't suit her. She will just have to accept it on a temporary basis. I don't think you should succumb to pressure from your sister to get involved. Let her sort it out. Families are so good at saying you should do this and you should do that while they stand in the wings. Don't fall for it.

BombJack Wed 19-Jun-13 00:05:49

Reading these posts gives me an awful, sick, sinking feeling in my stomach. It reminds me of the calls I used to get about my Mum, and later, Dad. sad

The advice in this thread is spot on. No matter what guilt trips are laid on you, detach, detach, detach. Your responsibility is to your DC & your DH. You will only make things worse if you try to help directly, and I know from bitter experience, the alcoholic loves the booze far more than their own family.

You don't need your DH to field the calls. Speak to your Aunt and tell her to either back off, or not contact you ever again. Explain your position to her clearly, so there can't be any misunderstandings. You cannot risk the happiness of your children to enable an alcoholic. It's that simple.

I had to do something similar when my Dad fell off the wagon (after being sober for 6 years). Had to tell his Cousin I wasn't going to have him stay. My kids will never see a drunk staggering round the house like I had to growing up.

I really sympathize with you - and you're doing the right thing.

TwasBrillig Wed 19-Jun-13 00:11:48

This is a situation we could be faced with with my mother in the next few years. When we were thinking of moving I'd even been looking at places with a granny annex or room that could be locked to keep up safe from her. . .

All the replies are making me wonder if I've got it wrong too! Interesting to hear others stories. I'm now beginning to be angry at the hours and days lost at uni trying to talk a suicide attempt down or rushing home. The day after my wedding I spent in a and e with her so she wasn't on her own. After all she's ill isn't she and it must be frightening. . .

musickeepsmesane Wed 19-Jun-13 00:14:18

She is manipulating others. She has choices. Ignore it. You have had some great advice on here. Stay strong flowers

cleopatrasasp Wed 19-Jun-13 00:28:45

I have had similar wheedling calls from family members about a similar matter. My answer is this: 'if the person needs help so desperately why don't you help them?' Of course they have no answer to this as it is not what they want to hear. They want not to feel guilty so they try and guilt trip you into dealing with the crap so they can get on with their own happy life with a clear conscience. Don't fall for it.

My solution has been to teach myself to be unguiltable (though I don't think this is a proper word!) I simply do not care if people think I'm selfish - I am no more selfish than any of them anyway. It is very liberating and means that I am able to enjoy my life and devote myself to the family and friends that actually love and care about me.

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 19-Jun-13 00:43:00

change your phone number....i did that and its easier to move on when you are not getting bombarded with calls guilt tripping you.

i gave my number to only the people i wanted to have it. I dont hear now from one year to the next, and have had no contact with my mother for 13 years.

i dont feel guilty. i sometimes feel sad, but not guilty. I made my choices, she made hers.

Your mother has been offered a flat. its up to her now. This is not, and should not be, your problem.
stay firm.
change your number if the guilt trip gets too much.

If you take her in it will be impossible for her to get housing in the future as she will no longer be a priority , relations between you and her will get worse and you will end up being the bad guy when you want her to leave. Not to mention its not fair on your husband or children .
let her take the flat , she isn't homeless.

Be invulnerable when it comes to your alcoholic mother.

Detach and keep detaching.

Its all very well for her sister but you are not here to rescue and or save someone who does not either want your help nor wants to be rescued or saved.

Your mother has and continues to make poor life choices; l'd leave her to it hard as that is. She is refusing accommodation for poor reasons.

As for feeling guilt, you think your mother feels at all guilty?. Likely not, her primary relationship is with drink. Protect your own family unit from such malign influences.

ImperialBlether Wed 19-Jun-13 09:58:15

Of course her sister wants you to take care of her, she knows your mum is a bloody nightmare! She knows that she's had enough of your mum and is desperately trying to pass her on to anyone who will take her away and deal with her. That's not you. You have your family now. Your mum is your mother but she's not part of your family in the same way that your husband and children are. She lost that right long, long ago by her own actions. Look after your family and yourself.

Lindt70Percent Wed 19-Jun-13 10:09:25

What are you expected to swoop in and do? She's been offered a flat and doesn't want to take it, what are you supposed to offer that would be acceptable to both of you?

I think you've done very well to keep in contact with her at all. You're protecting your own family which is the best thing you can do. I understand the guilt but I can't see what else you could actually do.

I really feel for you. I have similar issues in my own family (not with my parents but with my siblings). I too have distanced myself for my own self preservation but sometimes the guilt creeps in and it can be hard to suppress particularly when others think you should be doing something else. When I've tried to help it's only made me very miserable and darkened my life and it's never helped the addicted person who never remembers that you tried to help anyway.

Listen to your DH. He can remind you of the reality of her and the situation.

Stepmooster Wed 19-Jun-13 10:19:44

(Hugs) Op, my mum was the same and I cut contact which really p*ssed off my mother's siblings. There were 3 of them and they were all very good at telling me what I should do for my mum. I couldn't take anymore, I spoke with social services too. They told me my mother had all the support she needed from them to put her life back on track but each an every time they offered she refused.

They told me not to feel guilty, and that I needed to seek help and support myself. Also by keeping an alcoholic barely functioning is doing them no favours nor you or you family. You have to be cruel to be kind.

I went to counselling and instead of feeling guilty for not being able to cure my mum, I learnt how to come to terms with the fact my mother was a hopeless mum, how she would never be there for me and that she never really was. And that actually she's the one letting her family down.

Alcoholism is a choice, its not a disease that strikes random victims. Alcoholics have a choice, your mother has chosen the bottle over you.
Protect your children from witnessing this, politely and firmly tell your aunt that your children come first. That you wish your mum well and hope that she sees sense enough to take the flat but you have no desire to remain in contact with your mother for the sake of your children.

Best wishes x

missalien Wed 19-Jun-13 10:25:43

Let the experts deal with her that is what they are there for.

Your only responsibility is to your own children and husband who are the ones who support you.

These people drain everyone around them and then move on to the next sucker . You can't cure or help its only enabling her to cover up and hide from her problems longer .

There is nothing you can do , except be the best mum you can be to your own.

MNEdBlackpoolWiganandSalford Wed 19-Jun-13 10:28:34

"Of course her sister wants you to take care of her, she knows your mum is a bloody nightmare! She knows that she's had enough of your mum and is desperately trying to pass her on to anyone who will take her away and deal with her. That's not you. You have your family now. Your mum is your mother but she's not part of your family in the same way that your husband and children are. She lost that right long, long ago by her own actions. Look after your family and yourself."

This^^ speaking from experience, you can not allow this woman to enter your life and turn it upside down, when she starts drinking again and she is turning the house and your children's lifes upside down it will be too late.

She HAS options, she is not homeless, she has offer of a flat, she has social services helping her. she is doing it for pity and attention so the world will continue to revolve around her. She would not rather be on the streets than live in a flat in an area she does not want.

I know its harsh but I am speaking from experience, please do not let her in your home.

CerealMom Wed 19-Jun-13 14:27:08

Change your mobile/landline and email.

Enjoy your stable family life.

BriansBrain Wed 19-Jun-13 16:12:23

Thank you all again for helping me stay strong.

I'm going to text my Aunt as I agreed to yesterday tomorrow and tell her there is nothing I can do, I need to stay strong for my family and getting involved again will be no help to anyone.


BriansBrain Wed 19-Jun-13 19:57:54

Just listened to a message from my mothers sister left on my mobile. Sounds like my cousin has been heavily involved with trying to help her with SS.

Message was along the lines of dont call the women from SS because they have washed their hands of your mother and as of next week she is officially homeless so between us we need to find her a bedsit or somewhere with us, god knows who is paying for this bedsit or the deposit or anything else it needs.

I'm ashamed to admit I'm scared because I just don't want to get involved.

She has gone from a mentally unstable, vulnerable adult with suicidal tendencies to some one SS has washed their hands off.

I can only imagine what has been going on.

Bogeyface Wed 19-Jun-13 20:00:21

Have SS washed their hands of her, or has she told them to sod off? Why wouldnt your aunt want you to ring SS? Surely all they will do is confirm what your Aunt is telling you.

I smell a rat here, I wonder if your aunt is in on the plan to get you to take over responsibility.

gamerchick Wed 19-Jun-13 20:03:40

Roughly translated 'I don't want to put any money up so maybe you will!'

Short message, to the point 'I can't help, please don't contact me again regarding this matter' and ignore anything after that.

It's harsh I know but there are few people who can enter other peoples carcrash lives and come out unscathed. You have to think of yourself and your family. Bitter experience says you can't help anybody who doesn't want to be helped and your mother sounds like one of them. I'm sorry sad

Roshbegosh Wed 19-Jun-13 20:11:10

Step away from the chaos.
You don't need anyone's approval in your family so step away.
If you got her a bedsit she wouldn't pay the rent and she would learn that she can rely on you to rescue her forever, you as a person do not exist.
Step away.

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Wed 19-Jun-13 20:13:37

Hi BB, you know what to do don't you? It's just more drama, more guilt and more of them trying to offload her onto you. 'Don't call SS' - my arse. She is a grown up and someone who has managed to reach old age with alcoholism. She is plenty strong enough to look after herself.

This is so hard for you so stay strong and think of your lovely DCs and your very wise DH and how happy you are as a family unit and how nothing should come between that. flowers flowers flowers

BriansBrain Wed 19-Jun-13 20:14:14

How does this sound (I really can't be rude to my Aunt and I know I a about to cut all ties with the very little, distant family I have left)

"I don't understand how she has gone from being offered some where to needing is to find/fund a bedsit. With no chance of further SS help. I don't believe jumping in the place of professionals will work at all"

I don't know how to finish the message and I now she/they are going to flip their lid when I send it.

I'd had such a positive day today as well sad

gamerchick Wed 19-Jun-13 20:16:52

Then don't answer it today. Sleep on it and maybe answer it tomorrow - or the next day.

As it is that message is fine by itself or stick an 'I'm sorry' on the end to finish it off.

YellowTulips Wed 19-Jun-13 20:17:46

If your aunt wants to offer support its up to her, but she shouldn't expect you to pick up the pieces.

It's guilt in a very raw form. Your aunt feels like she has done her job (thus absolving herself) by contacting you.

The irony is she is probably better placed to help your mum than you - but she doesn't want to.

That doesn't mean you should step in. Quite rightly your family is your priority. You mum has options - she doesn't have to be homeless - it's her choice.

Right now booze is more important than anything else - so fine. That's her choice. She is an adult.

As an adult yourself, your choice is your family - and it's the right one smile

Badvoc Wed 19-Jun-13 20:21:20

I can't help.
Please do not contact me again.
Change your phone number if necessary.
Stay strong op x

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Wed 19-Jun-13 20:22:07

"I don't understand how she has gone from being offered somewhere to now needing is to find/fund a bedsit. I'm sorry if this is the case but I cannot help."

BriansBrain Wed 19-Jun-13 20:30:35

Thank you all so much, it really is helping.

I think I will leave it tonight and speak to DH before sending the shorter Version suggested by Ton

I'm quite cross because I've lost my appetite for the thin crust pizza I'm having for a treat.

At least I know my aunt is too far away to turn up here and the cousin, I hope, will think twice before coming here because my DC know nothing about any of this.

CinnamonAddict Wed 19-Jun-13 20:31:09

Stay strong. She's been offered help and if she doesn't take it, it's her choice. Protect your family and don't feel guilty.

Write what Ton said.
She's been offered a place and is not homeless.

Detach. Detach. Detach

iwantanafternoonnap Wed 19-Jun-13 20:32:57

I am not a total expert in this but do know a little of dealing with alcoholics through A and E.

I would say that the whole 'SS have washed their hands of her' may refer to her not sticking to rules set out in the residential place she was at and continuing to drink/be abusive/nuisance etc. They may have then stated that they are unable to accommodate her due to her inability to adhere to these rules or interact with the local Alcohol team to reduce/stop her drinking. This of course depends on the placement/assisted housing that was being offered.

The local council only have to offer her accommodation but if she refuses those then she needs to find her own accommodation. So effectively SS have done what they can, the council have done what they need to do but if your mum doesn't engage as she wants to continue to live her life drinking etc then you could say they have washed their hands off her. She is an adult and therefore responsible for her own actions and although sad there isn't much you can do.

I would say to your Aunt that you have spent much of your life picking your mum up and sorting her out but that you can no longer do this due to your young family need you.

It is shit when one of your parents is an alcoholic but there really isn't that much you can do about it when they are intent on carrying on drinking. My dad was homeless at one point, then kept getting thrown out of the hostels because he kept on drinking and sneaking booze in. Eventually SS found him a bedsit where he could just keep on drinking with all the other drunks. I had no contact with him for years because quite frankly I did not need a selfish arsehole in my life that cared more about his drinking mates than his own children.

Stay strong and don't get sucked in. xxx

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Wed 19-Jun-13 20:35:19

There's a reason they don't want you to talk to social services and that's because they aren't giving you the true picture.

You owe her nothing.

In your shoes I would say that the only thing I am willing to do is to have one conversation with social services about how they are going to help her and that's it.
If your relatives can know the way you have been treated by her and still try to make you the bad guy then you need them out of your life too

YellowTulips Wed 19-Jun-13 20:39:15

My response would be:

"SS have already offered help and support. If my mother does not wish to accept this then offering any alternative is likely to prevent any pro-active professional support in the future. She is a victim of her own behaviour. If she really wants to change her circumstances then she needs to tackle her addition. There has been no evidence she wishes to do so. Helping her now is simply feeding her dependency and I have no wish to do anything that further contributes to her alcoholism. Having lived with this through my childhood I am also not willing to allow this disease to impact my children and if my mother was dry I doubt she would want me to. So until the day she chooses her family over booze, I need, as a mother myself to choose my children over her. I am sure you can understand this upsetting, but necessary choice on my part."

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Wed 19-Jun-13 20:42:45

Write what YellowTulip put. It is good smile

IWipeArses Wed 19-Jun-13 20:45:33

Stay strong. I know how hard it is.

"There's nothing I can do to help I'm afraid, though if you want her to live with you I have no objections"

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Wed 19-Jun-13 20:49:28

Ooh yellow. That is brilliant.

Dozer Wed 19-Jun-13 21:00:09

You don't owe her anything. She may be in her 60s and unwell, but it's her addiction and choices that have led to the current problems, and it's for her to resolve.

As for your other family, they can make their own decisions about their level of engagement with your mother. If they can't consider your needs (her child, who was put through hell for many, many years and has despite this built a happy, busy family life) and those of your DC, and get angry or cut ties with you because you won't engage in the drama, then (very sadly) they can't be your ( extended) family right now.

BriansBrain Wed 19-Jun-13 21:01:45

I don't want to be involved even if she is on the wagon, apparently she is and has been for a while but how many times have I heard that, how many nights have I had her on the phone repeating her self because she doesn't remember what she has all ready told me.

How many times has it been all about her without asking after the DC.

How many times have I called or text and she forgets and then I get crap from my cousin for not being in touch and not caring.

It's my fault for not visiting because her house wasnt fit or healthy for crawling DC.

How many hospital trips for attempting suicide did I not go to and "leave my cousin to deal with" I didn't ask her to do anything and I have work and small children, what am I supposed to do?

How many times have we needed help in the holidays or to have family around like other people do.

How many how manys can my head take?

BriansBrain Wed 19-Jun-13 21:04:13

IWipe you made me laugh, can you imagine how their heads would explode in self righteous importance if I sent that!!

YellowTulips Wed 19-Jun-13 21:08:55

Sorry "addictition" rather than "addition".

I don't think you should be apologetic about placing your family over your mother - brutally - she has chosen booze over you.

It's easy to be helpful when on the periphery and when you actually don't have to live with the consequences.

Been in a similar situation with an elderly relative (not alcohol) and it was amazing how many people (family) felt able to "tell me" and my mother the right thing to do when they would not have to deal with the emotional and financial fallout.

YellowTulips Wed 19-Jun-13 21:10:48

Maybe you should send what Iwipe said for that reason alone!

IWipeArses Wed 19-Jun-13 21:11:39

grin hey, they're going to get arse on with you anyway, get it over with I ay.

Dozer Wed 19-Jun-13 21:15:25

Wipe makes a good point!

Your cousin has obviously got her issues with her mother, your aunt, who is putting her sister above her daughter sad

2rebecca Wed 19-Jun-13 21:25:15

She was offered a flat, it may not be her ideal flat but it's more than many people get offered and she could live there until somewhere she likes better comes along.
I don't see what the emergency is.
If she doesn't like the flat social services offer her then she has to sort out her own flat, same as everyone else who refuses a particular council house, you don't get to pick your favourite street.
If your mum is only 60 then her sister who won't have a young family is maybe the best person to deal with this and she has shown a great enthusiasm for involving herself in it.
I don't see what you can do. She may be entitled to housing benefit in a private let, your mum will have to sort that out with social services. If she's not drinking and doesn't have dementia she should be capable of sorting this out herself. if she wasn't capable of sorting it out herself she'd come under the "vulnerable adult" category and SS would have to help. If she has severe depression that might also fit into that category, although it sounds as though she's only suicidal because she isn't getting what she wants.
She just sounds stroppy and awkward and to be enjoying having people run round after her.

YellowTulips Wed 19-Jun-13 21:38:54

I think 2r's last sentence sums it up perfectly

BriansBrain Wed 19-Jun-13 21:46:27

<weak> smile you are probably right.

tribpot Wed 19-Jun-13 22:44:28

You need to close this down with your aunt, and suggesting she might be trying to pull the wool over your eyes is just fuelling the drama and recriminations further. They are clearly angling for you to cough up for this bedsit for her.

YellowTulip's response is excellent, although for myself I would just send a shorter version "I am no longer willing to be involved in the repercussions of my mother's addiction. I am not able to help."

BriansBrain Wed 19-Jun-13 22:58:12

I've had a lovely evening with DC, a little bit of one to one with each of them due to school choir event and just remembering that I want them to remember me for lots of good reasons.

I've spoken to DH but I think he is a bit scared to agree with me incase I regret it once she has gone (something that has been said in friend circles in the past)

I'm going to go with short and sweet and then deal with ignoring the fall out until they give up, I have nothing to give and nothing to gain from trying.

Thank you all so much.

2rebecca Thu 20-Jun-13 09:01:05

Another reason not to get involved is that it makes it easier for SS to disengage themselves as she has family looking after her so they don't need to.
The more you do, the less they will do, especially if your mother refuses alot of their help, so then you are left having to continue to do stuff. Plus if your mum turned her last flat into a hovel she's likely to repeat the pattern with her next flat and if it's your name on the lease/ your money in the deposit you are stuck with the repercussions of it.
It sounds as though your mum has never been inclined to help you when you needed help, and that the help you would need to give is open ended.
Yes she's your mother but she hasn't done much mothering from the sounds of things. if she had you'd be helping her.

YellowTulips Thu 20-Jun-13 22:38:31

Good luck and best wishes OP thanks

BriansBrain Thu 20-Jun-13 22:48:04

I've been a coward and still not answered the text but good news is I hàvent heard any thing further today.

Fantastic day at work today even though my day ran over and DH stepped up and did my turn to do the school run (3rd time this week!)

DC2 found a message on my phone from ages ago when my mother was last in hospital but I distracted her, goes to show she knows who she is but never asks to see her.

I thought today that I have nothing to gain from answering the text message and nothing to lose.

Every time it all entered my head today I had a sneak at this thread and was lifted straight back from doubt.

Another busy day tomorrow with a scary never done before task needing to be done, I think I'm surviving on the adrenaline and this thread

DIddled Thu 20-Jun-13 23:14:56

2rebecca speaks wise words- if ss can dump on family they will. I mean no disrespect to social workers who I know are often horrendously overburdened, underpaid and I also know its a thankless job where alcoholics are involved. My mum had a very pleasant social worker but... Once we were involved he sought us out constantly- not that we could have helped.

Keep your determination BB - you are doing the right thing xxx

Bogeyface Fri 21-Jun-13 00:09:57

if ss can dump on family they will

Sad but true, usually because the "service" in place for a particular vulnerable section of society is underfunded and cant help anywhere near the amount of people that need it.

My mum was literally on the verge of a nervous breakdown and had to write to SS stating that she and her sister were no longer prepared to care for my ill grandparents before SS would do anything. Both my GP needed residential care, but because my mum and aunt were doing the caring, they were happy to let that continue as it didnt further overburden the services that were already stretched. What they didnt know is the my father, Uncle and I were also helping, and we were all stretched to the limit too. When they went into care (together), they were so much happier and my mum and aunt both spent several months each on medication for depression.

My mum and aunt wanted to care for them, but we couldnt give them what they needed and SS played on that guilt. I mean no disrespect at all to SW who I know to an incredibly hard job, "making a penneth o' lard last the week", but it took my mother crying over writing that letter for my GP to get what they needed.

stepmooster Fri 21-Jun-13 05:57:46

Hi OP, I don't think you will regret your decision to keep out of it if the worse were to happen. Well meaning folk who spout this rubbish tend to have no perspective of what it's like to go through this kind of hell. Just politley ignore them. When my mother died I was upset of course, but more at the fact that she wasted her life on drink and had done it to herself. I did grieve also for the what could/should have been that never was. I think someone upthread said that it was an immense relief for them when their mother passed away, I can certainly see where they are coming from. I also tend to think my mother is resting in peace now as she was a very troubled soul.

I made it quite clear to my mother that she could become part of my life again, and that meant a lot of hard work and effort on her part and not just saying, "i'm off the booze, come visit me." She had to earn my trust.

I would have thought if your mother was genuinely taking steps to recovery she would be accepting the help of social services and making some very good efforts to get back in your life. Such as regular and remembered letters/cards for your families birthdays/christmas.

I think I got one card in 5 years from my mother, no letters/emails of apology acceptance of her alcoholism. The only texts or calls I got were when she wanted something.

It's up to your mum to make the effort, not you.

JustinBsMum Fri 21-Jun-13 07:44:06

Personally I wouldn't get into a debate about what SS will or won't provide. You should really just cut ties as recommended above - this means you will have to live with the consequences. But some counselling might help you come to terms with this. The consequences won't be your fault but entirely your mother's but you could still be left feeling guilty.
It's pointless debating around your mother about her care as she might go along with things, might not, might jump under a bus or might stop drinking, none of you can influence this, it's up to her.
Tell Aunt you have done what you can over the years but now have a family of your own and, sorry, but you won't be involved any more.
(daughter of lifelong alcoholic father here)

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Fri 21-Jun-13 07:55:59

Well done OP, glad this thread is of use. You are absolutely doing the right thing and your DH sounds lovely.

BriansBrain Sat 22-Jun-13 23:23:28

I've had no further contact and although Tuesday is still very much on my mind I am determined to keep out of it all.

Busy day today with parties etc and oldest DC really testing the boundaries hmm

Luckily DH has arranged a few weekends at home unexpected he is lovely, we have had our ups and downs but he does have my side.

BriansBrain Mon 24-Jun-13 21:51:40

I received a text from my mum today to say she is moving in to a mobile home tomorrow.

I replied asking if it was through SS and she said her key worker had found it for her.

Apparently SS and the council "washed their hands with her" because she refused the flat they offered her because it would cost £175 per week + utilities.

I'm to sure how true that is and I haven't sent a second reply.

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Mon 24-Jun-13 21:57:43

Hand holding BB - she has a roof over her head, she will be fine. Glad your DH is around for support.

BriansBrain Mon 24-Jun-13 22:01:38

Thank you Ton. Part of me thinks I should offer to help settle her in but I know it's best just to keep out of the way.

working9while5 Mon 24-Jun-13 23:08:11


My father is similar but I have no anger or entanglement at this stage. I don't believe it is a choice, it is illness and suffering to me.

I work hard on compassion... for me and the scars of my childhoo d but also for him. This doesn't involve speaking to or seeing him but I do mindfulness meditation where I send him love and kindness as a suffering human being.

I find this helps as I have no sense of needing to fix him now or respond. If he has a good few weeks and leaves a sober message I will speak to him but I have no pull to need him to be different or better. His life is a tragedy but it is not my tragedy. I feel for him like you might for a homeless person in a documentary and wish him well well without feeling personal pain at our relationship

There is nothing you need to do but heal.

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Mon 24-Jun-13 23:12:47

Yes, it's good she's got somewhere to stay but don't get involved.

BriansBrain Mon 24-Jun-13 23:15:23


Working, that is how I feel.

I am hapy. She has somewhere to start again but it makes no difference to me now.

I wish her well, I wish her happiness and I wish her sobriety but none of this impacts on my life.

I struggle to reply when she very never sends me a message because I don't want to give her false hope because we are done and nothing now or ever will change that because I have my DH & DC and they will always factor as high as my own mental well being without her will.

I appreciate all the support x

34DD Mon 24-Jun-13 23:16:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

34DD Mon 24-Jun-13 23:18:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BriansBrain Mon 24-Jun-13 23:24:10

grin @ personal Rottwieler

I'm going to choose shot & guilty + peaceful life please.

something2say Mon 24-Jun-13 23:40:52

Well done bb x
An amazing read. Glad you stood by your guns.

olgaga Tue 25-Jun-13 00:11:08

I've been through something similar and sadly you have to turn away. Your responsibility now is to your own family.

You might find that some counselling.might assist you. You are grieving for the mum you never had. You are obviously a caring person and these unreasonable, emotional demands from other members of your mum's family must be hard to face.

But they are certainly unreasonable and you have every right to put your own family's needs first.

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