Concerned about my alcoholic mom

posted 2 years ago in Emotional
Post # 16
Member
97 posts
Worker bee

As the daughter of an alcoholic let me say I feel your pain. I hear that you love your mom and are worried for her. You wish there was something you could do to help her. I tried many things to help my mom. I even  brought her to live with us–for eight years– because I thought that loneliness was making her drink so much after we all left the house. All that happened was that she kept on drinking, because the truth is that addiction is complicated and in the end only the person with the addiction can make the choice to stop. In other words, it’s really not about what’s happening outside the person (their circumstances), but what’s happening inside. To this day–and she’s now 91–she still thinks it’s everyone else who has the problem and not her.  I’m sure that in her right mind, your mother wouldn’t dream of hurting your daughter. The problem is that when she’s drunk she’s not in her right mind. Her judgement is impaired and even her physical balance. My mom would drink enough to fall down. What if your mom was carrying your daughter and lost her balance? No one who is drunk is competent to take care of a baby, even if you, as you say, turned out alright. Is this really what you want for your daughter? You also are putting a lot of pressure on your mom’s fiance to be responsible for your daughter. Part of coming to terms with loving an addicted person is being able to set good boundaries for your physical and emotional safety and for the safety of those you love. Please consider Al-Anon or Smart Recovery,  a congitive therapy group for addicts that also has support for family and friends. Sending prayers.

Post # 19
Member
6273 posts
Bee Keeper

I speak with experience. 

Al-anon for you. Your mother may or may not admit she has a problem and get into 12 step. Regardless of what she does, al-anon is for you. 

I urge you to go. 

Post # 20
Member
306 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2004

samanthasmama :  Trying hard not to upset her is textbook enabling.  How many of these sound like you?  (not that you need to tell us)

  • Ignoring the addict’s negative or potentially dangerous behavior – This behavior can involve anything from overlooking problems to denying that a problem even exists
  • Difficulty expressing emotions – Enablers are often unsure how to express their feelings, especially if there are negative repercussions for doing so
  • Prioritizing the addict’s needs before her own – While it is natural to want to help loved ones, enabling takes helping a step too far, where the addict has her needs taken care of while the enabler neglects her own
  • Acting out of fear – Since addiction can cause frightening events, the enabler will do whatever it takes to avoid such situations
  • Lying to others to cover the addict’s behavior – An enabler will lie to keep the peace and to present a controlled, calm exterior
  • Blaming people or situations other than the addict – To protect the addict from the consequences of drug abuse, the enabler might accuse other people of causing drug abuse
  • Resenting the addict – The result of the above behaviors is that the enabler will likely feel angry and hurt. She may act on these feelings by resenting the addict all while continuing to enable the addiction.
Post # 21
Member
2019 posts
Buzzing bee

Unfortunately your mom is an addict. Whether it’s 1 weekend a year or 4 nights a week that you rely on her, she is going to let you down. She is not going to put her addiction on hold for a night to stay sober for your daughter. She never will, so stop thinking or expecting that of her. 

You know that she has a drinking problem. You know that she won’t stop drinking for your daughter. You need to stop leaving your daughter with her. 

Post # 22
Member
370 posts
Helper bee

samanthasmama :  Look hard at all of your posts.  You’re making excuse after excuse for your mom.  Doesn’t drink and drive?  Well, when she’s sober she knows that’s not a good idea.  When she’s drunk?  No one can tell what a drunk person is going to justify in their own mind.  What about a fire?  What about your daughter getting ill when mom’s drunk?  What about all sorts of possibilities?  You mention being on 24/7 call for a hospital, you of all people should know the kinds of accidents that can happen unexpectedly!  I understand the job problem, but you have GOT to get safer care for your daughter.  She’s depending on you.

Post # 25
Member
132 posts
Blushing bee

I think, deep down, you know the answer: no unsupervised trips/sitting with your daughter. Visits only with you present. If you need accomidations for weird shift, start looking into a sitter. Care.com is a great resource where you can vet sitters. Or, try to do trade offs with other parents (ie. you sit for their child so they can do a date night, they have your daughter over on a night you need sitting). What happens if she stops breathing during the night? Would your mom notice in her inebriated state? She wouldn’t be able to do CPR. What if she picks her up to console her, and drops her on her head? What if shes not feeling well and your mom decides to hop in a car and get her medicine at the store? It’s not safe. 

Babies don’t fix anything for anyone, especially not alchoholism, and their little shoulders are too small to carry that burden. Don’t put your daughter in danger trying to change your mom when she’s shown that she cannot change at this time. Get yourself into Al-Anon, and be concious about the amount of enabling you do. Stop justifying your mothers behavior, and stop justifying why you feel its okay to put your daughter in this situation. Own it, change it.

Post # 26
Member
162 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

samanthasmama :  my mom is also an alcoholic and for years was very verbally abusive toward me, and it took two things to snap her out of it: me threatening to never let her see her grandchildren, and liver failure. she’s sober now for the first time in 10 years, and it sucks it took what it did, but addiction is very powerful…

Post # 28
Member
306 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2004

samanthasmama :  I’ve gone my whole life trying to convince my mom she wasn’t horrible every time she gets down herself. She’s so emotionally fragile. If I unleash there’s no taking it back and I’m afraid she would end up spiraling into the abyss and it would be my fault.

This screams of codependency and enabling.  You are trying to protect her from her disease and control her.  You can’t make her stop drinking and you are not responsible if she gets upset by you standing up to her since she won’t.

Are you in therapy?  Have you ever been to Al anon?

Post # 30
Member
132 posts
Blushing bee

samanthasmama :  if she gets emotional, you need to practice saying “you seem like your getting upset, so I’ll leave and we can talk about this when you calm down.” And then don’t be the person who comforts her. Let it be her SO. Work on not feeling guilty about that. Disconnect from the enmeshment. For what it’s worth, my best friend ended up snapping at one of her friends whose been in and out of prison with various addictions. She was the only friend she had left. And it was a wake up call for her. The friend is doing better than ever now. Even if your mom drinks that night, it is not your fault for setting boundaries, it’s hers. Visits withLO only with you present. You don’t have to justify or explain anything. If you really want to you can tell her your not comfortable leaving your daughter alone with her until she seeks treatment, but you don’t even need to do that. Just “thanks for offering mom. We’re seeking alternative care for LO  in the future. If you’d like to meet for lunch either us on xyz date we can do that as a family.” She asks why? “It no longer works for us.” She gets upset? “You seem pretty emotional mom. We will shoot for a visit again then in (next month). We will go now.” And leave. Rinse and repeat.

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