My mom has asked me for help

Old 02-07-2007, 06:04 PM
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Acting not reacting
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My mom has asked me for help

My mom has expressed some interest in al-anon, had gone to a handful of meetings, none of which she said she cared for much. She has since said to hell with al-anon and went back to trying to control my dads drinking. My mom is also an ACOA as is my dad.

Last week on the phone she asked me to 'give her some advice and help with her issues with al-anon."

Sigh. I told her I was sure those issues would be much better answered by a sponsor or at meetings or by reading. I told her that I wasnt going to be able to give her the name of the sites I visit bc those were part of my recovery.
I told her that I could recommend books if she would like. I also told her there was al-anon lit she could read (I know she allready has the lit) and other books. She said she wants to read them but doesnt want my dad to find them and this is funny.."your dad doesnt think I need any help he thinks Im overreacting".
Uh huh.

She said she understood my position, agreed, and then I promptly changed the subject.

I am stuck on this.
I want her to find recovery and I think she wants to.
I cant help her or do anything about it though right?

Shes not a friend, shes not a stranger. Shes my mom that continually hurt me and shes married to the father that has continually hurt me.
I love her and want health for her.
I want her to be happy.
Shes been so miserable her whole life.
I can only imagine what I wreck I would be 25 years down the road if I had not found recovery..what if when I had asked someone to help me they said no.

Am I overidentifying with her? Is this just the unnecesary guilt talking? Is this me taking responsibility for anothers actions again?

She will recover when shes sick and tired of being sick and tired right?
Im feeling sad bc I am afraid she may just stop looking for recovery.

Any suggestions?
Just stay my course and work my program? It does seem that has had a light bulb effect on her.

I feel like Im in black or white zone. Afraid to help too much afraid to help too little.

I feel like Im really confused.
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Old 02-07-2007, 06:17 PM
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We all need walk on our own two feet so we can find recovery.

Give her the info of where she can find the answers. (did that)
Share with her some book titles and maybe if you have them, let her borrow them.
Beyond that, it is up to her.
You did well.
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Old 02-07-2007, 07:02 PM
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It sounds like your mom is in the very very very beginning stages of recovery. I remember that stage well - I desperately wanted to not be unhappy anymore, but I was terrified to do anything different or rock the boat.

You did give her literature and point her in that direction. I totally understand your desire to not give her this website or any others you're on as part of your recovery and agree with that decision completely. The only other avenue which you could persue is to find a therapist for her and give her that person's name/number.

Once you've done those things, it's up to her what she's willing to try. I think all of us sat on that precipice before our recovery. For some people, the fear wins out and they never progress any further than wishing things were different (but not doing anything about it). For others, we decide that we can't be any more miserable than we already are and we make that leap, hoping the net appears under us when we need it. Only your mom can make that decision for herself.
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Old 02-07-2007, 10:15 PM
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Hey there Sarah,

Me thinks you did just fine. I don't see anywhere in your post that you said "no" to your mom. I see that you told her exactly what should be told to _anybody_ who asks for advice. We do _not_ give them advice, we tell them where they can go find their own answers.

If your mom decides to stop looking for recovery it will be _her_ decision, and not yours. If living with your Dad for _decades_ is not enough to have gotten her into recovery then there sure isn't anything _you_ can do to have any effect on her choices in life.

When I get tangled up in my emotions the way you describe I "depersonalize" the situation. I change the names and try and figure out what I would tell _somebody else_ who came to me with the same situation. I can never see clearly with my own family, but with somebody else's I'm a great stand-in for Dr.Phil

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Old 02-07-2007, 10:27 PM
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Wow it sounds like you have alot of recovery. Good for you for STAYING OUT OF IT!!!!!! It can be soo hard to deal with our abusers. They are the ones who we looked to for love and safe support. We loved and needed them so much. You seem to be struggling with that old ACOA emotional trigger of feeling responsible for taking care of our parents.

Your relationship with her as an abuser is too entangled to be also entangled in each others recovery.
If she needs help, she can get it at a meeting. If she is scared to go to a meeting she might go with someone (not you). If she has any friends, you can suggest that she ask a friend to go with her to a meeting.

"Any suggestions?
Just stay my course and work my program? It does seem that has had a light bulb effect on her."
I am happy to say that, of course you don't need my suggestions. It seems very clear that you know how to listen to your heart and work your program. Even when it's tough... like now.

Blessings, you are not alone.
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Old 02-08-2007, 06:50 AM
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Acting not reacting
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If living with your Dad for _decades_ is not enough to have gotten her into recovery then there sure isn't anything _you_ can do to have any effect on her choices in life.
True enough.

Now, do NOT even get me started on Dr Phil, Mike.

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Old 02-08-2007, 09:40 AM
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Point her to a meetings list, and that is all you can do.

I wish my husband would go to Al-Anon. Besides the fact that he lived with my drinking for years, he is also an ACA like me--but is in denial that his dad ever had a drinking problem, despite the fact that he had to go fetch his dad at the bar on a regular basis from the age of about 8. But so far, he won't go to Al-Anon. Doesn't like groups, already sees a therapist, dad was not really alcoholic, blah blah blah...

Yes, I am disappointed about this. But, my disappointment does not help at all. In fact, it harms me AND him. So, I try not to focus on it.

Bugging him about it does NOT help. (I know from experience!)

Him seeing me working my program MAY help. I've just recently embarked on it, so patience and time may help as well.

The same would be true for your mom. She needs to work her own program if she truly wants to. There is no way that one person can work a program for somebody else. There is a difference between pointing the way, and doing it for her. One is possible... the other isn't.

Luck! xox
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