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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?

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