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.

How to help my emotionally unstable Mother who has reached crisis point.

(9 Posts)
Amillionquestions Tue 22-Dec-15 10:02:53

Four days before Christmas and I start a thread with that title! But yesterday my stepdad of 20 years announced he cannot cope with Mum and he wont be around for Christmas.

My Mother is a binge drinker (she gets incoherrantly drunk 2-3 nights a week) and behaves completely wrecklessly, the only thing which has stopped her from tipping over the edge is her Husband. She is verbally abusive to him 90% of the time something which has become progressively worse since I moved out 8 years ago. She has always been very highly strung, but as soon as the menopause hit (15 years agoish) she started to become very angry and quite vicious. About 4 years ago her Husband allowed male friend of hers (a fellow binge drinker) to live with them both as her behaviour seemed to relent a little with him in the house but she has now started to push this 'friend' away as well.

Back in October my stepdad came to talk to me and tell me that she had begun physically abusing him, he was becoming concerned about snapping as he was pushed to hit back on one occasion (in a public space!)

I have spoken to Mum about therpay on several occassions offering to both pay and go with her, she had a series of traumatics deaths in her family which she never came to terms with so we have discussed this but she keeps pretending to call the numbers I give her so I feel although she recognises she needs help she wont follow through with it.

I have a older Brother but I feel he is just about ready to turn his back on the situation.

When my stepdad leaves, my Mother will be left with next to nothing, she works the odd day but she has not had even a part time job for 10 years. How can I get her back on track?

She is currently going out until 3am sometimes getting lost and calling her Husband to come and find her, when he is gone I will be non stop worried about her.

I have two step kids and a steady relationship with their Mother, she has agreed to let us have the Kids for Christmas Day this year which we are so excited about but now I worry that my Mum will be a mess and they will have a miserable Christmas, my stepdad says I must still take the kids because she is so looking forward to having them but I am very unsure.

My stepdad spoke to us before he spoke to Mum yeaterday, he has told her he is leaving but she has not spoken to me about it yet so I dont quite know how she is coping, I wanted to wait until ahe reached out to me but perhaps I should call her? My Husband thinks we should be looking into sectioning her for her own safety - do any of you know about the process of sectioning a relative? She needs help but I dont know the logistics of how to get it to her if she wont accept it from me?

Any advice or just shared experiences are welcome?

amarmai Tue 22-Dec-15 15:14:07

Horrible as it sounds -you cannot save her, so save yourself and your family.

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 22-Dec-15 16:34:55

Trying to help an alcoholic is like giving water to a dead plant. What you have considered will simply not work.

Her primary relationship is with drink, nothing and no-one else matters. Her thoughts mainly revolve around where the next drink is going to come from.

The 3cs re alcoholism:-

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

Am so sorry to write the above but you cannot rescue and or save someone who does not want to be saved. Unless your mother herself wants to address her alcoholism properly there is nothing that anyone can do or say. Also she does not want your help and with all due respect you are not qualified to help her either. Do not get sucked into this any further than you already are.

Enabling her i.e. offering to pay for her therapy will be a waste of money and time as well. She is not ready for it and perhaps never will be. The will to change has to come from her and her alone; no-one can force that process because any familial coercion does not work. Enabling her also will not help her and will only give you a false sense of control.

You can only help your own self here and talking to Al-anon is a good start. Do not do as your stepdad suggests either; he is only acting in his own self interest here by doing that.

juneau Tue 22-Dec-15 16:40:57

I agree with the above OP. You cannot save an alcoholic who doesn't want to save themselves. Contact Al-Anon. They are a charity for the families of addicts. They can give you help and advice.

Hissy Tue 22-Dec-15 17:16:05

By walking away it may be exactly what forces her to do something for herself. People don't change until theye lose it all.

Get to all anon Asap, they will give you the support you need to navigate this

Hissy Tue 22-Dec-15 17:18:29

I would also suggest that you call her and tell her that you know what you know, and you still intend to visit with the kids, BUT ONLY IF SHES SOBER.

Send dh in first, and if she's drunk, turn and go. Say nothing whatsoever just leave

OnceAMeerNotAlwaysAMeer Tue 22-Dec-15 19:08:14

|If there is deep emotional instability and violence in your mother, I am very sorry but you need to be very, very careful about the contact between her and the kids. Especially because your stepfather has had to draw a line.

In truth I can see this spiralling badly downhill Amillion. The booze is bad enough but if she is violent and that unstable, she's going to need professional intervention. you cannot save her because 1) you're too close and 2) you're not trained.

You absolutely must prioritize here; and I think you need to prioritize yoru relationship and the stepchildren. If she really is that unstable and alcoholic, she will consume your life and you will be left with nothing. That isn't too strong; your stepfather -lived- with her for a long time and has finally had enough.

Keep a careful, if loving, distance. Don't let her force herself on you - especially because of the children. When she comes to you, encourage her to go to the doctor and get the MH services rolling. -they are the only people who can genuinely help now-

She won't improve until she wants to and that comes, if it comes at all, when she hits rock bottom. Don't go down too. She'll take you if she can, hanging onto you like a lifeline. You won't be able to make any real difference though.

I'm very sorry, this is bad news when you love your mother. But it's a bad situation.

timelytess Tue 22-Dec-15 19:18:52

I'm not sure you can 'section a relative' and I don't like the implication behind it. However, I'm sure its just a matter of phrasing because you obviously care deeply for your mother and she's in a heck of a mess.

If you want her sectioned by medics, you need to write to her GP and social services with full details of her condition and your fears for her. Or if you know she has a psych team, contact them directly.

As for the rest, OnceaMeer says it all, really. That and the 'save yourself' message in every post.

Heatherplant Tue 22-Dec-15 21:07:59

The only person who can change this is your mum, you need to protect yourself and the children in this situation. You've done enough for her and you and the children deserve a nice Christmas.

Join the discussion

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

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: