Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Alcoholic Mother

(10 Posts)
ytsrikstars Mon 31-Mar-14 14:52:17

Have name-changed.

I've debated posting this as I have been burying my head in the sand a bit.

My mothers always drank for as long as I can remember, I've always hated it as has my older brother. He is mostly non-contact but at present I'm living at home so I get to see her and my dad drinking themselves into oblivion.

She's tried in the past to give up and done well but then it starts again, one glass with a meal turning into a bottle then a bottle every night. Last week she went to bed one night at 8pm and I went to make a drink and my dad said "don't bother making your mum one, she's been on the gin" and I looked at the bottle and there was about 1/4 left.

Then the next day she was on the gin again so I got cross telling her she was pushing me away and that she didn't seem to care to which she just shrugged.

So we've been distant to one another all week, my dad tried to smooth things over on Friday and I told him the same that she was an alcoholic and she needed to sort herself out.

Just now she came in to try and make amends and I said that I wasn't happy and she had a problem and she just kept saying she liked to drink and just wanted to enjoy it without people dictating to her.

Then it came out she was stressed and needed the drink to help unwind and I said but you shouldn't turn to drink all the time, at the slightest thing you're turning to drink.

Then she said to me that she went to bed after our argument and took some pills and prayed to never wake up.

I'm so angry at her, I'm begging her to see the doctor but she says her doctor is off until mid-April I just don't know what to do any more.

We used to be so close.

As it is, I'm also in the process of trying for a baby, a time when I really need her support and I feel lost without her.

I'm sorry this is so long, well done if you read to the end.

Bogeyface Mon 31-Mar-14 15:00:28

Why are you trying for a baby if you are living at home?

I wouldnt be bringing a child into a home with an alcoholic!

Sadly you cant make her quit, all you can do is protect yourself. Is moving out an option? I would make it a priority if you can.

ytsrikstars Mon 31-Mar-14 15:01:52

Yes I'm applying for a mortgage next month...

Lioninthesun Mon 31-Mar-14 15:11:31

My mother drank every day and when I was older I did confront her on it. She lived alone and basically said what else did she have to look forward to? All well and good, but she had done it ever since I could remember. It was a selfish thing to subject a child to which is why it hurt, it also makes the child into the parent which is unfair. However, the fact you are older could be that she is finally admitting to depression and feels at last she can let go of responsibilities? I wanted my mum to go for counselling as I was sure she was depressed, but she didn't 'believe in depression' and was very affronted when I suggested it. For her it made her paranoid, anti-social, aggressive and, I believe, eventually led to her pancreatic cancer.

Sadly you alone can't make her give up. My mum would sometimes lie on the phone (thinking she wasn't slurring I assume) and would attempt to hide the sea of bottles by not letting me into certain rooms hmm, but in reality, she didn't want to or perhaps simply wasn't strong enough to do it for herself. I would suggest some support for her rather than trying to pull her off it, as it is a crutch.

Sorry to hear how upsetting you are finding it, not a pleasant time for you.

Lioninthesun Mon 31-Mar-14 15:14:02

I also second the above poster - I'd never have let my mum near my baby alone! She died before I had her, but I wouldn't have felt happy leaving DD with her. I'd have to be in the same house at the very least!

Without meaning to sound harsh, if you are going to be a parent, you have to know you can do it without having to rely on other people. You never know what is around the corner!

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 31-Mar-14 15:18:40

The 3cs re alcoholism are ones you would do well to remember:-

You did not cause this
You cannot control this
You cannot cure this

Alcoholics will find any old reason to drink, any reason will do and they are masters of denial.

You need to get your head out of the sand as well, alcoholism as well thrives on secrecy as well and you need outside support from the likes of Al-anon.

I would move out asap, it is also not doing you any favours at all to be living in such an environment. Please hold of the ttc now until you are settled away from them in your new home. She and your Dad will not be any sort of grandparents other than alcoholic ones to any future children you have; they are not healthy functioning parents to you now and their primary relationship is with drink. Small wonder therefore your brother bailed on them, he did the right thing and backed off almost completely from them. Nothing and no-one else matters to an alcoholic other than where the next drink is going to come from and alcohol is truly a cruel mistress.

You cannot help anyone who does not want to be helped or saved. Your parents enable each other's drinking.

I would suggest you contact Al-anon on 020 7403 0888 as they are helpful to family members of problem drinkers. You could well do with their support.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 31-Mar-14 15:21:06

BTW alcohol as well is and acts as a depressant so either one or both your parents may also be self medicating any underlying anxiety or depressive states they have with alcohol.

ytsrikstars Mon 31-Mar-14 15:24:50

thanks for the replies, she is depressed and was on fluoxetine but she said she came off them as she felt better and then last Sunday hit rock bottom again and hit the drink instead.

It had been the baby that I was trying to encourage her to give up for, and that's why she gave up in December as I said I'd never let my child be with her alone if she couldn't give up the drink.

Now I feel like she's chosen the drink over me/future grandchildren :/

Lioninthesun Mon 31-Mar-14 15:30:42

Alcoholics are selfish. They simply don't see how their behaviour impacts on other people. My mum would forget what she had said (lots of EA) and would accuse me of being self centred when in reality I would have to sit and quietly listen to her ranting on about her sorry self and childhood every single night. If I spoke or tried to change the subject she'd go bonkers and start on me/slam doors or smash things. As I said, they aren't exactly thinking of others when they look into the bottom of that glass...
I think it is a version of self harming (I have personal experience there) but a more socially acceptable one. It is a vicious circle though as previously mentioned, she will feel terrible and therefore want another drink the next day...and on it goes. If she has only just started, please do get help sooner than later. You need to detach if she really won't help herself.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 31-Mar-14 15:33:53

"It had been the baby that I was trying to encourage her to give up for, and that's why she gave up in December as I said I'd never let my child be with her alone if she couldn't give up the drink".

A child will not change anything and can never though be used as any sort of incentive or in such a manner. Your mother has to want to give up drink for her own self and without any outside encouragement from you or anyone other than her. That is basically not going to happen anytime soon if at all.

She has indeed in effect chosen the drink over you and everything/everyone else. She will basically be and become an alcoholic grandparent once you have a child. It is truly a cruel mistress and alcoholism is indeed a family disease. Your Dad enables his wife also which is very damaging for them both.

Do talk to Al-anon; you could well find their help very useful indeed and you will certainly see you are not the only one.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now