Wibu to have shouted at my mum?(39 Posts)
Backstory is, my dad's an alcoholic, he drinks every night and has for years and years, every so often going on a 2-3 day binge.
It's obviously caused no end of problems as he can behave terribly when he's drunk. Abusing everyone, disturbing the neighbours, ringing people and turning up at all hours, ringing the police/ambulance on himself.
10 years ago he was told that he had cirrhosis of the liver and as he still hasn't stopped I wouldn't like to imagine how bad it's got.
My mums put up with it all of our lives and enables him by going out to buy him alcohol every day, switching off the phones while he sleeps off three day hangovers. She hides alcohol, hides car keys, phones so he can't go out. A big worry we all have is that he goes out in such a state he'll get robbed or beaten up or worse.
He relies on my mum for absolutely everything, my mums attitude is that it's his house so there's nothing she can do and it's up to her to leave, but she won't leave.
I've tried to drum it into her that she doesn't have to live like this, she's got the right to live in her home without all this, that she has the right to refuse to buy him alcohol, that she has the right to call the police if he's drunk and disorderly. Because I know she won't leave, and because I know that he relies on her for everything, my theory is that her best option is to stand up to him. Refuse to allow alcohol in the house, I think that she would win because deep down he's weak and wouldn't want to end up on the streets.
She's moaned and despaired to me over this, we all bare the scars from it.
My dads brother is also an alcoholic, and recently he's been coming round 2-3 times and week, which means my dad drinks 3 times as much. Worst of all is my dad invites him round then buggers off out to the pub and leaves my mum with his brother. My mum keeps saying that he's not coming round any more, that she's going to talk to him. My mum sort of acts as a carer for the two of them as neither are capable of making so much as a sandwich for themselves.
Anyway last night I rang my mum, turns out dads brother was there again, dad out at the pub again. I asked her why she was still letting this go on as she'd said it was all stopping in the new year.
She got really defensive and said that they weren't doing any harm, how she didn't mind and dad would just come in and go straight to bed no trouble.
I ended up having a real go at her about how she's in a dream world if she thinks all this is acceptable. How she's let him ruin all our lives and still is. I told her he will probably die soon as his body can't cope much longer. I asked her if she was truly happy to which she said no.
I am just so frustrated, I know it's not her fault but it's almost as though she actively encourages him as though she enjoys the drama.
I don't know how she can bear it, I still have nightmares about living back with them and being kept up all night with his drunken behaviour when I had school or work the next day.
Sorry it's so long she's living in hell and she can't see it.
You can't save someone who doesn't want to be saved.
Let her know that if she ever chooses to make changes in her life, then you will support her, but you cannot carry on being so involved so you are going to back off and never mention it again and you don't want her to talk about it to you either.
You can't drum anything into someone. They're either ready and willing to hear it or they aren't.
and if they aren't, there comes a point when you have to step back, because you just can't do it any more.
For me, and this may sound selfish, I can't stand to watch my dad slowly killing himself. I also feel shit that my mum didn't care about us (her kids) enough to protect us growing up.
If he ends up getting beaten up, or bed ridden, I don't think I could handle it, I don't think that I could step up and help my mum to care for him, knowing that he's caused it all himself.
So sad for you...it sounds like a shit situation all round.
Your mum has no power to stop him. Alcoholics only stop and get better if they acknowledge the problem and want to get better.
Sadly I don't think there is anything you can do to help any of them. They all sound like they have buried their heads in the sand. Your mum ia in denial.
So you laying into her will help with her low self esteem?
On the other hand I can totally see your upset, annoyance and mainly frustration.
I think you best bet would be to accept that she's made her decision. Make it plain to her (once, no nagging) that you will support 100% if/when she decides to make a change, then you owe it to yourself to distance yourself. I don't mean go NC, but not as much contact and don't get involved when you do.
YABU, you can not get angry at your mother for what your dad is doing and shout at her, she is not responsible for his drinking whether she is enabling him or not. Go to Al Anon.
You have to protect yourself and any children you have. That's your first priority.
Sometimes you have got to step away and leave people to the life they have chosen. Just do what you can do, without letting them destroy you too.
People don't just take themselves down. They take everyone around them down with them. You have to not allow that to happen.
That isn't to say you don't care, it's not to say you don't help in well planned and practical ways as far as you are able, but you don't let it eat away at you. you can't.
I feel awful, I just get so frustrated, she's wasting her life.
She's a lovely, popular, capable woman. She has interests and hobbies and friends, but she just gets dragged down and doesn't get to have a life or any independence.
If she wants to go and visit her own mother she has to deal with coming back to him drunk as punishment for her going out.
I know it's not her fault, but I want her to see there's another way.
Summermovedon, there's no way my dad would accept outside help, he doesn't even think he's doing anything wrong. He's got no interest in turning his life around and never has.
I do get angry because my mum goes and buys his alcohol everyday as he doesn't leave the house unless he's drunk, I suppose in a way I blame her for that but I'm sure she has her reasons for that.
Shivers I think you're right, I just need to accept that it's her life and maintain a distant relationship trying to detach.
So sorry for this situation, pyjamas, it is heartbreaking seeing your DF slowly killing himself before your eyes.
I do think you need to get some RL help for yourself, because you just wont be able to resolve this single handed. It is too much for you and it sounds like you are at your wits end.
I was wondering if you have thought of contacting your local Alcoholics Anonymous group, because they are really good about practical support for families impacted by people who drink heavily. Also, can you talk with your GP practice to see if they can give you any advice.
I really feel like you are on a hiding to nothing re your mum because her sense of loyalty and also her lack of ability to change her own circumstances for obvious financial and social reasons means she is taking a "learned helplessness" approach in other words she is now passive to the whole situation, wont fight it and lets it continue rather than do the difficult thing of changing it.
Do you think it would help you to get some outside help?
So just to clarify my suggestion is to get the support for yourself, as You have said that your DF just wont recognise his problem and your DM cant change how he is but has to live with it.
Make sure you give yourself some priority, you have your life ahead of you, dont be dragged down by it, because you cant help the bad life style choices made by your parents unfortunately.
Oh I didn't realise agencies offered support for families, is that for you to help the alcoholic? Or just support for yourself?
Just writing it all down here is like a bit of a weight lifted.
I think for my sanity I'm going to have to learn to accept them both the way they are.
Cross post daisychain, it's definitely something I would look into.
Yes pyjamas although I dont have personal experience of AA I believe they have good support networks because they recognise that alcoholism has a big impact on the lives of those who suffer from that addiction, as you have shown in your posts.
I hope someone may come along here to validate this. I also think your GP may be another good source of support to you personally in terms of the emotional impact this situation has on you. i would avail yourself of all possible support, you are not alone, and you need help so you dont feel you have to cope with it all on your lonesome. X
Or rather, it has an impact on the lives of family and friends of the alcoholics themselves
I think you need a coping strategy of how best to detach yourself in a helpful way, whilst still being there for your DM, as I am sure you dont want to walk away, but just be able to handle it emotionally.
OP - you might find the National Association for Children of Alcoholics can help you. www.nacoa.org.uk
It sounds to me like you need help dealing with your feelings about your dad before you try to support your mum.
The support groups are for people like you OP. Not to 'help' the alcoholic or people who enable their drinking, but to help you with the impact it has on your life.
You will meet people in similar situations to you who know exactly how difficult it is. The fear, the guilt, the worry, etc.
There is nothing you can do for your mum or dad. They have to make their own choices. Get some support for yourself and step back from their situation.
It's sad to say but your dad will not live for many more years and then your mum will be free of this addiction. Until then, if she wants to enable him and care for him, that's up to her. She will stop when it gets too much for her.
You can stop now because it's already too much for you. Tell your mum you will be there for her when she wants to change her behaviour but, until then, you do not want to hear about his drinking or any related problems.
Please re-read what ISeeYouShiverWithAntici wrote. It's what I think, too, only she's put it so much better than could I.
Terrible situation, but your mother seems obdurate in continuing to enable and support your father. I don't blame you for having a go at her, but I suppose she'll have to reach rock bottom, like your father, before she wakes up and sees the light. If that ever happens ... do you think she subscribes to the 'through sickness and in health, till death us do part' stuff about marriage? All very well, but your father's 'sickness' is self-inflicted and self-indulgent. He COULD seek treatment and stop, but chooses not to. Poor mother - but I was intrigued by your comment 'it's almost as though she actively encourages him as though she enjoys the drama'.
Truly dreadful that you endured such a ghastly childhood because of his drinking. I'd find it difficult to forgive a mother who allowed it to happen. You're obviously a far kinder and better person than I.
I don't really forgive them, my dad could, and still can be very cruel, and my mum tries to normalise it, but the only alternative is to go n/c.
My dad also used to blame me for his drinking, I was the youngest by a big age gap and the only one left living at home from about the age of 8, my dad would blame the drinking on me saying I was cheeky, badly behaved, trying to come between him and my mum, I was actually a really quiet and well behaved child doing very well at school, my mum and school had high hopes of me doing the 11+ and getting a place at grammar school, but my dad trashed all this and constantly called me Woolworths fodder.
I've never been able to have a normal mother daughter relationship because she can't and won't go shopping, or for coffee or even just to my house because it will mean he will drink more.
My mum walks to the shop each day to buy alcohol, she can't buy in bulk because he'd drink it all, she invites and encourages his family round knowing that this will mean he will drink even more than usual.
My mum is very unemotional and I have even wondered whether she just doesn't care if he drops dead, but won't leave/stand up to him because it would disrupt the little life that she's got.
Why did you have a go at your mum and not your dad? Don't you think it's hard enough for her? Your just trying to bully your mum the same way your dad does... I feel sorry for her!
I don't know if it's hard for her. But nobody is holding a gun to her head to stay.
On the other hand it was very, very hard for me and my siblings to grow up in that environment, and we had no choice.
It is very hard for me now worrying about them both, that I'll get a phone call to say my dads been robbed, beaten up or dead. Or that my mums finally snapped and stabbed him, it will be hard trying to protect my son from all this as he gets older while trying to let him maintain a relationship with the grandparents he loves.
There's little point in having a go at my dad when he's off his face, or when he can't get out of bed for 3 days.
I feel sometimes that my mum is not beyond listening and reasoning with.
Have you asked your mum why she goes out to buy drink for your dad? Is he intimidating her into it, or is it a case of anything for a quiet(ish) life?
She just says that she doesn't know.
A significant point I've missed however is that my mum also drinks herself, although a lot less than my dad, she does like a drink each night probably over the recommended allowance, but she doesn't become abusive she just goes to bed. If my dad has drink free days because he's too ill from a binge then she doesn't drink either.
So perhaps that's why.
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