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My alcoholic mother and I

(11 Posts)
bahhhh Mon 08-Jul-13 22:52:00

I don't really know what I'm posting for, I just feel I need to get some thoughts down.
My mum is a functioning alcoholic, I'd almost prefer if she wasn't functioning because then atleast people would know.
I can't remember a time when it wasn't like this, it must be decades now, she doesn't care about the damage she's doing to herself. She's certainly deluded about the damage to my sister, my dad and I.
I've always ignored it or thought it was normal when I was younger but it's becoming too much now.
I miss my mum terribly, the one that's most familiar to me now is the drunk one.
I hate going back to university because I feel guilty for leaving my sister to deal with it, I'm scared she'll become like her.
I hate that I cannot enjoy a night out and I hate that people do not understand.
I realise that she spoils my sister and I because she knows, deep down, that she's messed up.
My friends do not understand why I don't drink, or don't invite them over, or don't make plans.

As each day passes I realise more that she deluded herself, and us, for years about her problem except it's becoming all our problems now.

Is it bad that I'm past wanting to help and I just want to let her get on with her self destruction and run?

Sorry for the rambling, I just needed to get it down and out of my head.

And sorry if it's in the wrong place.

SilverStars Mon 08-Jul-13 22:56:09

Hi hope writing helped.

I guess as not everyone can u dear stand at uni. I used to lie and say I was on medicine that could not be taken with alcohol which seemed to make it easier for me.

Has she sought help for it or in denial phase? Sorry it affecting whole family now.

bahhhh Mon 08-Jul-13 23:05:59

Thank you.
Friends are very good about me not drinking, they've never even questioned why, I just want to be like everyone else. I don't want to have a problem with it iyswim.

She hasn't sought help as far as I know, I'd say she's quite firmly in denial. 'Everyone has a drink at the end of the day' and 'I'm not an alcoholic because I don't drink before 6pm' are her favourite phrases.

Squeegle Mon 08-Jul-13 23:11:00

bahhh, I am so sorry you are going through this. I think it is a really good thing you're writing this.

I know a little of what you are going through as my ex was a functioning alcoholic. It's very different I am sure, as it's your mum. But I am sure also there are some similarities. So can I say what really helped me.

1). Share it. Don't make her problem your shame. Share with those you trust. It will be a massive weight off you. Otherwise you feel worried, guilty etcetc all the time. And feel you have to cover up.
2). Get support. Some people go to al anon. I never did, but I got a lot of support from a site called sober recovery. It has a section for friends and family. It gave me more strength than I can say.

It's vital not to let her choices become your secret. The problem with alcoholism is that you start feeling responsible for someone else's choices. But it's a responsibility without any authority- you really cannot control it.

I sound very logical. But believe me I went through 10 years or so of guilt, cover ups, anguish etc before I realised I had to detach and leave him to his choices. Unbelievably he is now sober.. I think it is something to do with me truly detaching- he realised there was nobody could sort it but him! But we are not together; it had gone too far for that.

Good luck and all best to you; I have every sympathy- it is such a difficult place to be.

Llareggub Mon 08-Jul-13 23:13:26

Hello. My ex-husband is an alcoholic. I understand why you don't drink. I hated it for years. When I left my husband I started to drink again and I don't hate it now. I decided that I owed it to my children to show that it is possible to drink and not be an alcoholic. Someone on another thread described it as being as incidental to life as a Krispy Kreme donut. This describes my attitude to alcohol perfectly.

There must be student counsellors at university. Do seek them out and see if you can have some counselling. Or try Al-anon. It helped me enormously to talk through my feelings.

Ultimately, you, your sister and your father need to stop helping her and detach. You have your own lives to lead and trying to help someone whose primary relationship with drink is deeply upsetting. You cannot change her and you didn't cause it.

There are plenty of us out there who have loved ones who drink. It helped me a lot to talk to friends. Sadly quite a few of them had parents or husbands in the same boat.

My exH is in rehab now for the third time. We are all hoping that this time he will make it.

Squeegle Mon 08-Jul-13 23:14:33

PS no, it is definitely not a bad thing you now want to leave her to her self destruction; in fact I think it's quite the reverse. What else can you realistically do?

bahhhh Sun 14-Jul-13 22:14:41

Thank you for your replies, they make me feel less alone. I think I've been slowly detaching for years but it still bothers me at times.

Llaregubb - I know you now drink because you want to show you're children that you can without it being a problem, which I think it great, but are you not scared about becoming one yourself or you children being alcoholics in the future?
This is what puts me off drinking I think, I feel like it's in my genes and that if I start I'll become like her.

Thank you for reassuring me - I've felt a bit meaning at times when I've been detached and a bit cynical about it all.

Llareggub Mon 15-Jul-13 10:34:17

Yes I am scared of that for my DCs. Their great uncle (my exH's uncle) died of alcoholism and for that reason I want to show them that it is possible to drink in a responsible way.

I am glad you feel less alone. Do find someone to talk to in real life. It helps a lot, I promise. Are there Student Counselling Services where you are? al-anon are also good. They are a self help organisation full of people in our boat - all affected by people who drink.

bahhhh Mon 15-Jul-13 14:39:11

My boyfriend does know about it which makes it easier. I'm reluctant to tell too many people as a 'friend' at school several years ago used to tease me about it and I just don't really want people to think of me in that way iyswim?
When I left for uni it was like a new slate and I could almost reinvent myself.
There is a counselling service at uni, I think ill go and talk to them when I go back, and ill look into al-anon aswell.
Thank you

Llareggub Mon 15-Jul-13 16:48:13

Remember, you didn't cause it and you can't change her. Detaching is good.

AdmiralData Tue 23-Jul-13 12:59:54

Hello, I can actually understand what you're going through smile My mum is a no-longer-functioning alcoholic. She blames everyone and everything for tiny little problems, makes up lies about people as an excuse to drink and then becomes vicious and violent. She makes a mess of her life (and mine and my fathers) and then blames us both for her behaviour. I take 100% care of her and I begrudge it, she is seeking help from a drug and alcohol clinic near us but keeps claiming that she is being forced to so I have to do everything for her, including picking up and repeating her prescriptions, walking her dogs, buying her clothes, organising her life in general. I don't blame myself and never have, but I can understand people who do blame themselves. My son is only four months old and barely sees me because I have to sort her out all the time as somehow she is my responsibility. I'm sorry this post isn't more constructive, I just needed a rant but I am glad there are others who understand what this disease can be like and I hope you find comfort in fellowship if nothing else. I repeat what others have said, don't blame yourself and if you can ... walk away smile

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