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Angel77 03-29-2004 05:00 PM

so many things: reason for sobriety, walking away from mom?
I posted here a long time ago about my mother who has traded one addiction for another, for as long as I can remember. Her current one is alcohol and probably the one that will kill her. She's already half gone.

I have so many questions for those who are there or have been there and advice on how to deal.

First, for those who wonder why they should fight so hard to become/stay sober, let me share something with you.......last year, my mother tried to kill herself and I sat there in the ER with her, held her while she cried, talked to the docs and watched the ambulance take her to rehab for alcoholism and suicidal probs....the result was awesome but short-lived.

It was the first time in years that I had a 'mom' to be with. She was kind, trying so hard and it was the best birthday I ever had.....and unfortunately last. I lost my dad when I was four, and felt for a long time that I didn't 'have' a mom, in effect, an orphan. I held out so much hope that she would pull through, but within a couple months, she started her slide back down hill again.

I would give anything to have my children know who my mother really is, not this creature she's turned into. She is so spightful, mean-sprited and hateful toward me, I don't know what to do.

My question is, when is it okay to walk away?? I've had all I can handle. She tears me down every chance she gets, berates me for taking parenting classes, and makes fun or forces her opinion that I'm not disabled. She has called me every name in the book, told me I shouldn't have quit driving, even though I was a threat to others due to my illness and concerning my medical problems....she showed up drunk the day I started radiation, the only appt she managed to attend, told me to suck it up when I was told the mortality rate, disbelieved and made fun of the physical limitations imposed on me by this illness and has even gone as far as to let the rest of the family think I'm psychotic, rather than admit I have a true medical problem.

I don't know what to do. She never calls to see how her daughter is, keeps conversations either shallow or launches personal attacks and then blames me for them all. She tries to guilt me for not letting her have my oldest son all the time, tells me that my life revolves around my imaginary illness, makes fun of the steps I'm taking to try to become independant and go thru voc. rehab to get an education that will be worth something....etc.

When is it okay to leave? I feel like if I totally cut her off, she will be pushed over the edge and although not my fault, I will feel like I should have just kept putting up with the verbal abuse. I'm just so tired....I have kids to take care of, a body that doesn't want to work, brain that's not worth a damn and all she can find time to do is tell me how I'm a bad mom, wife, kid, sister...etc. Yet she doesn't do this to my sister.

I have never asked for any kind of, babysitter, place to stay, etc. like my sis has, yet I'm the crap of the family. And the last straw was when she told me that people in the family that we don't see often think I'm crazy and she won't say otherwise because she's on that side of the fence too. I'm just lost and frustrated.

Can you beat a completely addictive personality?? She's always had some form of, eating, men, prescription pills and now alcohol. She also buys prescriptions from people at work...zoloft, prozac, valium, percocet, etc. and is on lithium and drinking a fifth of vodka and the same of kahlhua (sp?). She was even busted a few years back for changing one of my scrips for lortab from 18 to 118 and was on the news and arrested in the store...such a proud moment...but even that didn't seem to stop it.

When does it change and what will make the change stick?? Is there any hope of having a mom or am I going to continue being an "orphan?"

Sorry, a lot longer than planned, but opened a can of worms when I started this and looks like I'm still missing a couple of the suckers.

Banker 03-29-2004 07:44 PM

Re: so many things: reason for sobriety, walking away from mom?
Angel - I can totally relate as my mother was also an addict my entire life. Your stories sound so much like my own mother. However, she was not mean to me when she was sober - just when she was coming down off of pills. She worshiped my older sister and sometimes acted as though she hated me. However, she went into rehab after rehab and nothing worked! She would be sober for a while but then she would always go back to using.

I would take it personally when she would use drugs. I would think 'if she really loved me, why won't she just stop'.... I found myself pulling back emotionally but not physically. That way - I was still there for her (not all of the time and NOT when she was using) but I would call her frequently and see her often. However, if she was drugged up, i would immediately get off of the phone or leave if I was there. I cannot tell you how horrible she made my life as a child. So, I can relate - have you been to Alanon? You really need to go... Seriously, I pulled back so that I wouldn't get hurt again but would 'fake it' when we spent any time together.

The problem is, she accidentally overdosed from lortabs about 8 years ago. I always knew that would be how she died but it was difficult. One thing you need to know is that just because she is your mother, you don't have to stand by and listen to her abuse. Another thing you need to know is that if you are by her side and 'condone' her behavior, then you are giving her permission to use. I just cannot tell you what to do. You need to go to Alanon and make those decisions yourself. Take care and let us know how you are doing. I mean it... go to a meeting!

Angel77 03-29-2004 11:55 PM

Re: so many things: reason for sobriety, walking away from mom?
I went to Al-ateen before I got married, but not since. I am housebound now, for about 6 months, hopefully it will be changing.

Her and I butt heads because I don't let her slide. One time she asked me to pick her up and take her to a play that her dog was in and I agreed, only if she was sober and didn't take any alcohol with her. I got there, lights out, no one answering the door.. total panic. I climbed up to a second story window and crawled in....finally found her, passed out on the toilet. I thought she was dead!

She woke up ticked off and told me to take the dog to the car while she got her shoes (which were right by the door!) and she'd be out. So I did, came right back in and caught her mixing a 32 oz. white russian...I told her that I was willing to still take her, even though she was plowed, but not if she wanted to bring her drink and make an idiot of both of us. She got mad and started with the guilt trips.

She said it would be my fault if they didn't make it to opening day...I told her it was her choice. I'd still take her, but not the booze. Then she said it would be my fault if she had to drive to the play and ended up killing someone. I was dumbfounded and told her if she felt she could beat the cops, she was welcome to try. She didn't believe me, so I called the police on speaker phone, told them the address and the situation and to be prepared if I called back.

She started screaming at me, bawling, and physically pushed me out the door. This is all too often, and it takes it's toll.

I took care of the sibs and step-sibs, but then was told I was playing the poor little me card...and that I wasn't playing parent...okay, how do you explain that she made me go to their parent teacher's confrences???

She still denies anything or any wrongdoing, what-so-ever. She "sold" me down the river for the men in her life and when one of them got 'fresh' she blamed me! I was 15.

She uses the alcohol as a scape goat and denies she's ever mean, says she didn't do it or must have been drunk and doesn't remember, like that makes it okay somehow.

Another one I'm still trying to figure out is: she finally admitted she was an alcoholic and started her first 30-day rehab and came out with the conclusion that she was 'diagnosed' as an alcoholic, so now she HAD to drink. HUH??? There's always a justification, no matter how odd.

The last was on Sunday during our last fight and she didn't have the upper hand and said, "It's Sunday and I'm not going to fight with you!!" I wasn't aware sunday was pick on me day and don't stand up for myself!

She also hates me for having boundaries and not bending, no matter the guilt trip she lays on me...but it's getting tiresome and making my medical problems worse and just isn't worth it. I already feel like I lost her and almost am more hurt by her last stint of sobriety because it gave me a taste of what my 'mom' could be like and what it felt like to be loved. Now we're back to this.

Am I wrong if I want to walk away and not look back?? Would it be rude to not invite her or accept a b-day gift (it's this friday)? I have a hard time taking something from someone who is not on my 'good side.' I feel like it's a also gets hung over my head, no matter what the reason.

Is it time to walk away and just let life happen? I'm confused, hurt, and scared of what will happen. What if I walk away and she dies??? I've had dreams of the police finding her dead in her car from an over dose...what then? Was I a bad kid for walking away? Or is enough, enough???

jorob 03-30-2004 04:13 AM

Re: so many things: reason for sobriety, walking away from mom?

You do have alot on your plate don't you!! I know you said you took parenting classes (good for you!), but are you also in counseling now? Not just because of your mom but also because it sounds like you are dealing personally with a serious illness.

My mom is a narcisist, but not nearly as bad as yours. Unfortunately, I truly believe that with some people they will never change. I've had the conversation with my mom on several issues and she always says "I'm too old now to change" - thankfully I didn't inherit that attitude from her!

It sounds like you are trapped in a no-win situation right now. I feel your pain when you said you had a bried reprieve when your mom was like a "mom" to you and being nice - I had the same honeymoon period with my mom and when it ended it hurt that much more.

You are a deserving person. Deserving of getting the love, compassion, and caring that you need from a mom even if it's not from you birth mother but from someone else and you need to find that person! I don't know how anyone could look down on you now from turning away from your mother. Maybe you just tell her that you love her and you want to support her if she wants to help herself, but if she doesn't want to help herself you can't be there to support her destructive ways.

Guilt is a hard thing to deal with and I don't think there are any magic answers to that. I certainly can sit here and tell you that you have nothing to feel guilty about, but you will still feel guilty. That's why I think counseling is important to get those feelings out on the table and deal with them.

Good luck and know we are here for you.


yinksy 03-30-2004 04:52 AM

Re: so many things: reason for sobriety, walking away from mom?
Hello Angel,

I know your situation very well. And the advice you get from Banker is what I advise too. You NEED to talk to people in AlAnon.

Alcoholism is a three fold illness: physical, mental and spiritual. Everyone in contact with the alcoholic (addict) is affected and no more so than the family. In fact alcoholism(addiction) is referred to as a family illness. So -you, Angel, are sick too - not just your mother. Always remembering that alcoholism is recognised as a disease by the W.H.O.
You must get help and "treatment" for your own sickness. You will take control of your life and get on with living. Be positive. If you are housebound then you can find AlAnon online. If you look up your phone book - you will find a central number and be able to talk one to one to a person. Also - AlAnon will - if you wish - send along a couple of women (or men, or teenagers.......... whatever is most suitable to your situation) to your house to chat with you if you so desire. I see from literature in front of me that AlAnon's headquarters are at Corporate Landing Parkway, Virginia Beach. They too can advise as to where your nearest meeting is held and will give you the phone no of someone in that group who takes calls. So - someone close by is available to chat at any time. You need never be alone. They will also send you out literature which will help you understand.

Yes you are right too in that you have to leave your mother to her own devices, you cannot live her life for her. In time - with any luck at all - she will reach her own personal gutter, which, she will finally realise is the end of the road for her and she will ask for help. Then, you are there for her.
The advice is to "detach with compassion" from your mother. You can make it clear that her behaviour is not acceptable and that you wont take it. So you will detach yourself from her. However, you dont have to banish her - you can still pop in on her from time to time - but if she continues to drink then you leave her to it. I know this is hard - but its the only way - otherwise - your mother thinks it is OK for her to drink in this way and will just continue.
So - you make clear her drinking is not on. But you are still there for her if she needs you. Think about it - it makes sense. Otherwise you are just enabling her to carry on drinking.
Try not to condemn your alcoholic mother no matter what she says or does. She is just another very sick, unreasonable person. Treat her, when you can, as though she has pneumonia. When she angers you, remember that she is very ill.
Good luck Angel. I urge you strongly to make contact with AlAnon and to speak with people there. You will see many people in here who finally get to AA or NA - and who are living proof of the power of these fellowships.
Dont forget that you are not your mother's keeper! But you can take control of your own life and find an answer to this problem....... by leading your own life to the full.

Missylynn 03-30-2004 06:38 AM

Re: so many things: reason for sobriety, walking away from mom?
You deserve peace which you are not getting from your mother. It sounds as if you had an emotionally abusive childhood. I can relate because I had one. You are still acting out the role that you played as a child but you no longer have to. Your mom may be threatened by your independence and that may be why she treats your sister differently.

You are dealing with an illness of your own. Your health, mentally and physically should be your number one concern. Alanon was mentioned which is an excellent start for seeking help. Children of Alcoholics/Adult Children of Alcoholics is another excellent group for dealing with these types of issues. They also help with any dysfunctional family issues because they are all very similar (the symptoms).

Another option is to talk to your doctor about how your situation. It may be hard to talk to people because in most alcoholic/dysfunctional households we had to keep secrets.

Finally, if you can't leave the house, there are some alanon or Adult Children of Alcoholics groups that you can participate in through the internet.

My prayers are with you.


earthgirl 03-30-2004 01:26 PM

Re: so many things: reason for sobriety, walking away from mom?
Hi Angel,
I'm so sorry to hear about the situation with your mom.
Like you stated, your mom has gone from addiction to addiction her whole life. She needs MAJOR help to get straightened out.
The alcohol is making her insane. Try to remember that when you talk to her while she's intoxicated, you're not actually talking to HER - the sane, rational being. You are talking through a "via" (alcohol) and won't get anywhere.
There is no reason why anyone has to tolerate that kind of abuse. Yes, you want to help your mom but a person only changes or accepts help when THEY realize that they need it. So if she's not ready then it's like banging your head on the wall again and again.
One option you have would be to do an intervention, although I know that may be hard in your current situation of being house-bound. You would definitely need to have help from your other family members.
Otherwise, you do need to get her out of your life. You can still talk to her and see her on a social level but don't allow yourself to be pulled into all the drama. Sometimes that's even what it takes for people to see they need to change - they lose everyone around them. Maybe it would get her to snap out of it somehow...
You also have to look at what effect she has on your health. I truly believe that the people around us have a lot to do with our well-being. I know you have valid medical problems, but I'm sure they are made worse by her constant put-downs and negativity.
All the best to you.

GirlHarley 04-02-2004 08:12 AM

Re: so many things: reason for sobriety, walking away from mom?
Angel, I just read your first post! My god - How awful!
I don't have a mother who is addicted to anything other then herself so I was reading your post and can not believe what your mother has put you through.

I hope this helps alittle.

She is your mother and because of this YOU LOVE HER. but YOU Do not have to like her....nor has she given you any reason to LIKE HER.
She does not like herself and therefore takes out ALL the GOOD you have done in your life and turns it into negative feelings for you. Because you are strong and wise everything SHE IS NOT. Your her daugher and while are you not like her...This is what she maybe be asking herself.

Even though you are an adult now, that little girl in you wants her mom, wants her mom to say I LOVE YOU and she is Proud of YOU, you will keep searching for that Mother in your mother but you may not ever get that.

How sad but true and I know something about selfish mothers who's life revolves only around themselves. Your mother has chosen her path in life not you, she has controlled YOUR path in life, you need to cut loose of that path or it will destroy you if not already. You do not have to cut her out of your life completely, just limit yourself to what you can handle. Check in on her once a week? Once a month? Keep it simple, DON't let her into your life
because YOU know your life is GOOD, you no longer NEED to prove it to your mother, SHE knows How Good of a Daughter You Are...You do not have anything to PROVE! You have your own life to worry about and your own family, my mother is woman who chose her own way of life. Don't make HER your life anymore.

You have two choices, Cut her off completely or Limit your time with her and just make it about HER in your short visits or short phone calls. You have proven to YOURSELF and YOURSELF only how wonderful you are, no matter how much you want to Hear those words from your mother...
I love You, You are a Wonderful Daughter, I'm so very Proud of YOU,,,
You may Never hear them...Don't let this woman destroy what YOU have WORKED so Hard in Achieving with NO DIRECTION from HER!

God Bless!

cindy12345 04-02-2004 09:47 AM

Re: so many things: reason for sobriety, walking away from mom?
Hi so sorry about the **** you are going through with your mom. I WAS an addicted mom. I have 2 girls age 27 and 14 and up untill 3 yrs. ago this month I was addicted to cocaine. My family literally had to walk away for me to realize that I had to get straightened out. As long as they were there for me it was easy to stay on the coke even though I felt guilty as ****. I used every rationalization in the world and I did alot at least an 8ball per day. When my husband and daughters told me they were getting out of my life it was a very Shocking moment. I knew then I had to quit. It hasn't been easy but it has been worth it and I am very proud to say I have been clean for 3 years. Maybe if you choose to walk away it will sober her up
Just a thought......
Hugs to you

Best Friend 04-02-2004 10:43 AM

Re: so many things: reason for sobriety, walking away from mom?
You must get help and "treatment" for your own sickness. You will take control of your life and get on with living. Be positive. If you are housebound then you can find AlAnon online. If you look up your phone book - you will find a central number and be able to talk one to one to a person. Also - AlAnon will - if you wish - send along a couple of women (or men, or teenagers.......... whatever is most suitable to your situation) to your house to chat with you if you so desire. I see from literature in front of me that AlAnon's headquarters are at Corporate Landing Parkway, Virginia Beach. They too can advise as to where your nearest meeting is held and will give you the phone no of someone in that group who takes calls. So - someone close by is available to chat at any time. You need never be alone. They will also send you out literature which will help you understand.>>

Hi Angel. I've just been reading your story and the many responses...and you have gotten some really important information from people here on the Board. I especially agree with Yinksy (her quote above). I do think that your greatest help back to a real life for yourself will come from a group like AlAnon. There, you'll not only get the compassion of people who care about you, but you'll get specific coping strategies. It seems like the crucial "Step One" for you, and I do hope you'll consider it. In the meantime, I hope the caring people on this Board have given you some hope. Please keep us updated.

Angel77 04-05-2004 12:52 PM

Re: so many things: reason for sobriety, walking away from mom?
Sorry I didn't post back sooner, I got to leave the house and my husband took me shopping for my birthday. I had fun, don't think he did though!! lol I do appreciate all the advice, it helps me feel a little less awful for stepping away. This weekend was a bit hard, we celebrated my birthday on Sunday and had a small party, she said she was coming, then she called a few different times with excuses as to why she wasn't coming. It's par for the course, she's missed both birthdays for my youngest and half of those of my oldest and forgot my 13 and 15 birthdays all together. But I had a friend who's mom was wonderful to me. Both times she ran out, got cakes and presents and got all of our friends together for a party. They were probably the best ones I had, except for last year when my mom was sober.

That one, instead of calling three times with three different excuses, she came over three times! She came first with a cake, then came back with a present from her and one from my boys and then came back again with dinner!! That will forever be my best.

You are right about still wanting a mom. I never really had her, but still would give anything to have her. It almost feels like being dad died in a car accident soooo long ago and she gradually turned into someone I don't know. It's hard and it's confusing. I hate telling my oldest anything, but he's old enough to see what's going on and has questions. I try not to say bad things about her or her treatment of me. I don't want him to have bad memories of her. He was the only one for several years, so he's the grandbaby that's closest to her and he absolutely adores her. I just tell him that grandma is sick and while she's trying to get better, it's better for us to limit our time with her. He's asked me if she's going to die and all I can tell him is that it's in God's hands and he brings his people home when it's time.

When he asks why she's mean or makes me cry, I tell him that some people don't know how much they hurt people with their words and say things that hurt when they are hurting. I try to keep as much as I can away from him, but he's heard some of it and also asks why I'm not mean back or tell her how mean she is to me...the only thing I can say is that just because she's hurting me doesn't mean it's okay for me to hurt her back, that's why we don't go around her often. He just looks puzzled and walks away. I don't know what to tell him. I don't want him to have bad memories, because he loves her and she doesn't treat him like she does me, but it's not safe for him to be over there. He tells me that it's okay because she won't drink when he's there, even though I've seen otherwise. He promises for her and it's hard to tell him no, every time it's like you can see his little heart sink.

I hope she comes around, but I don't see it happening. Although she's mean at times when she's sober, she's vicious when she's drunk and I just can't deal with it. The fights trigger a domino effect with my health and I can go from a few days with hardly any sleep attacks or muscle weakness to three days of several sleep attacks, migraines and barely able to stay awake enough to keep up with my toddler. It's just not worth the trade off. If I deal with her then I lose what energy I have to enjoy my kids.

I'm also struggling with the fact that she is furious with me for taking the parenting classes. She says I'm dumb for letting them in my life and that I should be a good parent because she raised me!!! HUH??? I just am having a hard time connecting with my oldest now and think it's because at his age I had to play mommy with my little sis and then a few years later got step-kids to raise. I don't even know how to relate to him on his level and when he asks me to play with him, I don't know how. It's so hard. I don't know what's normal for his age, what's appropriate for his age in regards to responsibility, I just don't know. So I'm hoping the counseling will help. It's nice because they come to me. The funny side of it is that I'm their first parent with multiple health problems and they're trying to figure out how to tailor it to the specific needs in my family. Kinda funny, in an ironic sort of way....I'm a lot of firsts, first narcoleptic w/ a brain injury for my doc, one of the youngest Grave's patients for my endo, and a few others....I don't mind being rare, but the lottery would be nice! I want to be rare in a positive way! Is that too much to ask?? LOL

Anyhow, you'll have to forgive me if some of this is a repeat, my brain is kinda like swiss cheese, the hole in the memory is never in the same place....I tend to repeat myself. My husband told me if I get much worse he's going to drop me at the nursing home periodically so we can exchange the same stories over and over and none of us will ever get tired of them!

Thanks again for all the information and compassion you have all shown. I appreciate it more than you'll ever know. Thanks again, Angel

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