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I think my mum is an alcoholic(8 Posts)
I'm expecting my first baby. The father isn't involved so I really need to support of my family, and sometimes my mum is great and there for me.
But since I can remember she has been a heavy drinker, she does hold down a job but drinks every evening and a lot more on the weekends.
I try to avoid speaking to her in the evenings as she is unpredictable when she's drunk - she will often start crying and having a go at me for various things completely out of the blue. She lives with her husband who drinks often too.
I have tried speaking to her when she's sober but she gets very defensive and says it's normal for her generation to drink every evening - talks about it always end in a row.
Today I went round after work at 5.30, she hasn't been working today and was clearly drunk. The usual pattern followed. I left and she text me a horrible message. I've never done this before but I've blocked her on everything, I text her husband telling him I'm not willing to speak to her until she admits she has an issue. I feel bad but I don't know what else to do.
I thought I'd be able to rely on my mum for help when the baby arrives, to babysit occasionally etc, but I won't feel happy too while she's still drinking.
Has anyone experienced similar, and been able to get through to their family member? I feel so lost and I don't know what to do next
I didnt want to read and run. Im sure some posters will come with good advice.
The problem with alcoholics is that they need to realise themselves they have a problem. People cant get through to them and barriers usually come up if mentioned. Is it her first grandchild you're expecting? Do you think she would slow the drinking for him/her? If you have baby around etc?
Sorry youre finding yourself dealing with that ... hope someone comes along with sound advise op!
It’s sad to recognise that your mum is unable and unsafe to be a significant part of your life with your child. And it might also bring up what you had to cope with as a child yourself due to her drinking.
Have you heard of the three Cs of addiction?
I didn't cause it.
I can't cure it.
I can't control it.
There’s helpful reading on this website, and you can phone them too:
Your awareness gives you a chance to be clear about how it has affected you and not pass on destructive behaviours (which you can do even if you don’t have a problem with alcohol yourself.)
Feel for you! I have posted somewhere else on here about my dad. He is an alcoholic and has been since I was a teenager...about 25 years now. He drinks around the clock. I have heard him shuffling around for his vodka in the middle of the night on holiday. As kids, he would just ignore me, my brother and my mum if we tried to mention he had a problem. He’s never really admitted he has a problem and has never really tried to quit. He shakes uncontrollably when he goes a couple of hours without alcohol. He always worked but had his own business for many years so was able to hide his drinking but customers knew and often complained. As brutal as this sounds- my dad is a lost cause. He will NEVER stop drinking. It doesn’t help that my mum enables it (to an extent). She makes excuses for him and gets defensive if we criticise him. I detached myself (emotionally) from my dad years ago so his drinking doesn’t really bother me. I don’t ask him or need him for anything so he can’t let me down. I appreciate the dynamics of having a mother / father as an alcoholic are very different. I have a great relationship with my mum - I’m not sure how I would handle things if she was the alcoholic. Interestingly, my brother desperately wants a father/ son relationship with my dad whereas I know that ship has long sailed! Like I say, mother/ daughter....father/son....dynamics are different.
I have boundaries I set so I can no longer be hurt. Me and my family don’t holiday with my mum and dad anymore, we pop and see them in the day but never at night for long periods as my dad will be argumentative and spout ‘my house, my rules’ bullshit. He’s not too bad on neutral territory but again, we limit this to a couple of hours if it’s in a restaurant because any longer and he gets far too drunk and will cause a scene eg. Fall over into other people’s tables; start shouting and swearing; throw a chair; vomit at the table....he’s done all of these things.
You may read this and think your mum isn’t as bad as this but other people will read your mum’s story and think they are not as bad as her. It all depends on the person and to what degree alcohol plays a part in their lives.
The questions to ask your mum are stuff like- how much and how often are you drinking? Could she stop if she wanted to? Would her life be better if she removed alcohol from it? AA sites have questions like this and more.
Alcoholism is a horrible thing. Soul destroying to watch a loved one go through it and be in total denial about it too.
Hope you get the outcome you want. Big hugs xxx
I hope you’re OK, @HL123. It can be a bit overwhelming when you start thinking about this, and looking at the consequences - for yourself and your baby’s relationship with their grandmother. And I’d imagine that expecting your own child brings it all home rather
Thank you @AuntyElle and everyone else for your advice. I've called a helpline and I'm going to have a chat with my mum about it this week xx
@HL123. As hard as this sounds, please don’t rely on your mum after the baby is born. Unfortunately she has a serious mental illness and denial is a symptom of that illness. As hard and depressing for you as it is, try and mentally let go on any idealistic vision you are holding in your mind of a perfect mum / grandma. Leave some AA or Smart Recovery leaflets for your mum, tell her that she’s ill and needs support to recover if she’s ready : she’s alcohol dependent. Then just focus on you and baby ; join groups, network, find clubs, seek outside support structures locally that Xs really help you out. Good luck 💐
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