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My Mum drove my children whilst drunk(67 Posts)
Very infrequent poster here as, usually, nothing dramatic happens in my life. The last week has been horrendous.
HUGE back story to my mum, her history and our relationship. She has depression issues and I don't believe she has ever been happy. Two failed marriages (first where she left husband and her 18mo DD for my Dad after they had affair then my Dad had affair and left after 20yrs). She has been by herself for last 18 years. Drink was a problem 10-20 years ago as a coping mechanism for depression. There were a couple of suicide attempts and I went NC for a while as being around wasn't 'saving' her and just hurting me more.
She got sober just over 10 years ago and, whilst still a very tricky personality with a lot of issues, I thought she was doing really well. I respect her for turning her life around. DH and I have DS (5) and DD (3) and she has been a big help with childcare. I never had any concerns leaving them with her as she was 6yrs sober by then and I genuinely didn't think it would cross her mind.
She has recently moved home to the same town as us and had plans to volunteer at the school, reading etc. Last Thurs I got home from work (she looked after DD on a Thurs when DS at school. I pick him up and then come home) and knew straight away she wasn't right. She said she wasnt well and had to go home. Then I twigged she was drunk. Shock doesn't cover it. I asked if she had driven like 'this', she said "Yes". I said have you driven DD like this she said "Yes". Both DC's around so I had to think fast and not go loopy. I said I would drive her home but she left before I had DC shoes etc on.
When they were in bed I went to have it out with her which probably wasn't a good idea as she was talking shit most of the time. I now believe she started drinking last Tues and would have been drunk when she picked up DS from school and drove him last Weds. I have tried to understand why this has happened and, apparently, it's my fault and DD's fault. She doesn't like how much I shout at the children and she is embarrassed of DD's behaviour (very wilful 3yr old who I struggle to cope with but nothing out of the ordinary). She is fed up of being 'brave' by herself all the time. She refused to say sorry for driving them. Just said she felt 'sad' about it. She doesn't believe she has done anything wrong to them as they are too little to understand.
Anyway, I'm so angry right now that I don't give a shit the why's and where for's SHE DROVE MY CHILDREN WHEN DRUNK. I will never forgive her and she will never be left alone with them again. She will not be getting near them for a long time and certainly not if she continues to be drunk. This has brought back huge issues for me as she drove me drunk on a few occasions (school pickup) and I can still remember heading straight for a wall, don't know how we missed it. She will NEVER put my children through similar.
She also tried to give me parenting advice for DD and now I think FUCK YOU at least I keep my children safe and, oh, I didn't walk out on an 18month old and never see them again. I have never said that to her but REALLY want to at the moment. I know that won't help but a large part of me wants to hurt her for what she has done.
Haven't seen / spoken to her since Thurs night and don't really know where to go from here (if anywhere). Obviously I am safe guarding my children and have sorted nursery etc so I can do all drop offs / pick ups but what else can / should I do? There's still a part of me that wants to help her (not that I can stop her drinking. I know that and have spoken to Al-Anon in the past). The other, angrier part of me just wants to say FUCK OFF.
Any words of wisdom as I'm really struggling to process all of this.
Fuck me, that was really long, sorry . Obviously needed to get it all out.
You did not cause this
You cannot control this
You cannot cure this
Repeat, repeat, repeat and keep your dc safe. Report her if you know she's driving under the influence.
All you can do is take a big step back until she is ready to face her demons again.
I would take a step back from her and keep your distance for the moment, to give yourself a chance to recover from the shock and fury.
Later, you can explain to her the consequences of what she has done, ie you won't be trusting her alone with the dcs. Then see if she gets back on the wagon and sorts herself out. But that last part is up to her. You can't sort her out. You can't make that choice. But you can put in place the boundaries that you need to protect your DCs from her alcoholism.
Aw shit my alcoholic dm has just started her antics again but not on this scale.
Thanks so much for responses. Andro your first 3 lines made me cry. I know that is true but it's so hard to see it happening again and to have my DC involved this time.
Sorry you're going through this as well Rainbow . Really thought she had got past this. NC is the way forward then?
You will feel the weight drop from your shoulders.
Because we are soft we try and help pick up the pieces but we don't have to stay around and watch it fall apart.
They will find us when they are ready to try again
Im so sorry you are going through this but you really must report it. She could kill someone the next time.
so sorry darling. I can't think of anything more gut wrenching than the thought of my DC being in such a dangerous situation at the hands of my DM. HOWEVER, YOU are in NO way to blame AT ALL!!! You are as innocent in this as your DC. For your own MH and their well being I think lots of distance is the key. Also if your budget can stretch to it, I suggest a lovely family day out somewhere gusty like the seaside so you can let the clean icy wind blow away your tears and frustrations. xxx
How utterly shit. She's now destroyed your trust and made it all about her.
Detach detach detach.
Gosh, what a lot to be dealing with.
I would also report her, as it's not just your kids' lives she endangered driving like that. It was every single other driver and pedestrian who was in close range. That's not acceptable.
My DF was an alcoholic and I sympathise. After two convictions for drink driving, he actually got rid of his car as another would have meant prison.
I'd go NC if I were you as a self preservation mechanism.
Ha Cupcakes we've done exactly that! Been on a long weekend away (pre-booked) which has meant I've been able to suspend reality and have a lovely time with the DC. Got back this afternoon, reality has hit so feeling really low again. Can't stop touching / kissing / hugging the DC and thinking what if
What on earth do I say to DS about not seeing her? She was meant to have them this Thurs (half-term) but I've said she's not very well and needs to be at home. Will work for a while but what then? He completely adores her
I did wonder what you would say to your son about no longer seeing granny and I cant even begin to think what all of this must feel like.
Yes Sansoora I will. She has a drunk driving conviction which had just passed the 10yr mark. What a mess.
Who do you intend to report this to?
The police can't do anything retrospectively about drink driving.
The best you can do is tip the police off when she is drunk and behind the wheel.
At least your DC are safe
You poor thing, as everyone else has said you need to back away.
For now you can tell DS that Nanny has loads of stuff to do maybe invent a new job? That he will see her soon etc I wouldn't use the ill excuse for too long as he may worry.
Then you need to decide if you want to try and rebuild bridges, maybe you could make it clear that the only time spent with the kids is supervised and if she is ever drunk then you will leave immediately.
I don't think you can ever trust her again completely and this is why I cut my father out of my life entirely. But thats a decision you need to make.
Mull, Im sorry, really. My husband became a drink driver so I know how hard its going to be.
Im not in the UK so I wasnt aware of the things Wombat has mentioned so where you go from here I just dont know.
Could you talk to her insurers?
Could you tell her she hands over her car to you or else!
Wow, how shocking. Your DM's excuses are outrageous - your parenting is not the cause of her drinking, and your 3 year-old is certainly not to blame.
It's scary to think that something awful could have happened, but fortunately your children are safe, and it's worth focusing on that. You can't change the past, but you can make sure they stay as safe as possible in the future by limiting their contact with your DM, or by going NC completely. If it were me, it would be the latter.
Your mum doesn't sound like a bad person, she sounds like someone who is quite unwell. The trouble is, that illness, has, and is, affecting you.
In your shoes i would talk to her GP and raise concerns about her being a danger to herself and others (which i know it sounds harsh but it is the only way you'll get them to listen). She needs help but do you know what, short of raising this with her Dr that is where your responsibility ends. Well, you don't even have to do that if you don't want to.
It would be perfectly reasonable to just walk away - you must feel very hurt by her actions.
I think you would benefit from some counselling to help you deal with this, it is an awful lot to procedss and whilst you must be so vefry angry with your mum, and rightly so, anger is such a negative and destructive emotion. Even if you do decide that the right thing for your family is to walk away, harbouring the anger wont help you.
Your children are lucky to have you.
One thing that has really got to me is how she minimised her behaviour, as if it wasn't a big deal. I know that is mainly the drink talking but that is her all over. She minimises how she has behaved in the past, has never said sorry for anything but, God forbid, you do something wrong in her eyes! She is epic at holding grudges. She still wishes my Dad dead for having an affair but I dont think she thinks it was wrong for her and Dad to have an affair in the first place. Massive double standards that no one will ever live up to.
Mull, did you know about the family branch of al-anon. They helped me with my sister.
My Mum had similar issues, my heart goes out to you. I suceeded after 10 years to have my first child and my mum left her at 2 weeks old in her pram in town while she went off to get alcohol. Words failed me. I couldnt understand why booze was more important to her than my child, me, our relationship. After years of supporting her, sticking up for her, and loving her. I can still get upset at what we missed, fun and a loving relationship, when she was sober. But not at what we did miss when she was drunk.
Yes LEM I agree I have a lot of anger. A lot from childhood stuff but this is a whole new level. It's invoked something quite primitive actually, I WILL keep my children safe from danger, even if that is from my own mum. I have never had any counselling but maybe I should?
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