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Old 08-07-2017, 06:04 AM   #1 (permalink)
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scared for my mother


Hi all, this is my first post here. I've been looking around these forums a bit and the sharing of stories and support has already helped a whole bunch in making me feel less alone in my situation. I have an alcoholic brother, who's become less and less functional over the past two years or so. He's currently not working, has put university on hold and is living with my mum. I no longer live with them, having moved out and across the country for university.

My mum is an enabler to my brother, absolutely. He has no money, so she pays for the roof over his head, his food (going to buy it for him as well as paying for it), and she buys him his drink, too. She is fundamentally scared of him; scared of how he will react if he wakes up and finds there's no wine or vodka in the kitchen cupboards. He has a nasty temper, will shout, scream, accuse, threaten suicide and destroy possessions. He's never physically hurt a person before, but the threat is there in his apparently uncontrollable anger and that's enough to keep my mum in check and stocking him up with everything he wants.

The situation feels hopeless; I understand fully why she does what she does, even though the more she does it, the worse the situation is gonna get. I'm scared for her, because I also don't trust my brother wouldn't hurt her. He won't seek help because he's not reached his rock bottom yet, and my mum won't let him. Whenever I've talked about this to her, how she needs to kick him out and stop letting him live off her, she says I don't understand. that he's her son and she couldn't bear to see him living on the streets and that he won't cope on his own. She's extremely depressed. She can't even sleep at night because my brother keeps a nocturnal schedule and will wake her up in the middle of the night, accusing her of not having bought enough alcohol for him/having hidden alcohol. One night recently she woke up to him taking a hammer and destroying the refrigerator, angered because she had allegedly stolen a burger he had left in there (she hadn't. He had eaten it but forgotten).

I feel so bad for her. I feel so angry at my brother, even though I'm trying to understand and see this as a disease, it's a struggle to extract his addiction from him as a person (he's never been exactly a selfless, thoughtful person so it's really difficult to know what to think).

Anyway, thank you for letting my vent. This community is great
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Old 08-07-2017, 09:37 AM   #2 (permalink)
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He won't seek help because he's not reached his rock bottom yet
And sadly your mother has not reached hers yet either.

Is there al-anon in your area? If so you might want to go check out some meetings. Al-anon is for the family and friends of alcoholics, a face to face support group with others going through the family dysfunction of alcoholism.

Enablers can become just as toxic as the alcoholic, maybe you might want to think about setting some boundaries with your mother regarding her sharing about the chaos and dysfunction-taking place in her home, which is affecting you as well.
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Old 08-11-2017, 05:51 PM   #3 (permalink)
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atalose has it right. As heartbreaking as it can be, you have to set up boundaries for yourself.

I used to get involved in triangulation drama between my sister and my parents, and all it did was stress me out to the point that _I_ started drinking every night. Fortunately, my body does not respond well to alcohol, and what is a pleasurable experience for so many people was not a pleasurable experience for me. I also started grinding my teeth to the point that I broke a filling. I finally went to therapy last year and it helped me loads.

Your mom seems to be in a domestic violence situation. I would encourage her to contact her the DV hotline to at least talk to somebody in a confidential manner. Depending on how old your mom is there are organizations such as https://elderabuse.org.uk/ that might be of some assistance to you.

My cousin was terribly abusive to the point that his mom put a deadbolt on her bedroom door because she was afraid he was going to kill her. He sexually abused my sister. She covered up everything to the point that his younger siblings ended up in foster care. I'm not telling this to scare you - I'm telling you this because you may not even conceive how far your mom will go to protect your brother. And you can't take it personally, and you can't take it upon yourself to force her to act. The only thing you can do is point her in the right direction.

I had to do this with my own parents. I know they're terribly disappointed that I don't have much of a relationship with my sister at all. But just as I don't try to force them to stop their enabling, they no longer try to force a relationship between us.

I do feel anger towards my sister, but I also know that she chooses to live the life she has because my cousin inflicted so much pain on her she'd rather pretend it never happened at all. She bullied me too when we were younger but now I can view it through the lens of pity rather than the lens of anger.

I wish you strength and peace for the journey ahead.
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