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too late. (repost)

Old 09-12-2009, 06:21 PM
  # 1 (permalink)  
one.day.at.a.time.
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too late. (repost)

I read through post after post trying to find releif in my situation and can't. My mother was an alacolholic of many many years. A good person who would help anyone... but herself. Although I didn't have a perfect childhood and experienced many of the hardships children of alcoholics do, verbal abuse, emotional abuse, uncertaintly, ups & downs, ect. I knew far less than I thought I did. My mother loved me and I always knew this but as a child we don't understand addiciton the way we do as adults and we want to know "why can't you just STOP!" It's not until we mature that we understand they can't just stop. I now know that many of the things my mother did was due to her addiction and that if she could take it all back she would. I was an only child, spoiled, & thought I knew it all.
I chose not to talk much to my mother about the past as I thought I had "moved on" and wanted to leave that behind (like it would disappear). I wanted to live as normal of a life as possible with my husband and daughter and bringing up the past was painful, even to my Mom. I decided that if she wanted to live her life that way she could and I began "loving from a distance" thinking that would prepare me to live a normal as an adult child of an alcoholic. I was so wrong. I offerred help when she needed and would do anything for her but emotionally I was disconnected. I was emotionally unavailable to her for a long time and this made her feel like she wasn't worthy and like I had abandoned her which was far from the truth. I was just confused I think. My mother spent the last two years of her life trying to make things up to me and I was so diconnected I didn't even realize it until it was to late. I always loved me Mother, a deep love which was obviously unconditional because I never stopped speaking to her even though times we tough.

After 19 years of marraige to my Father they finally seperated stating the only reason they stayed together so long (while being miserable) was for me. That dind't make me feel so good because I've always been adult about my parent's relationship and our family issues. I supported the seperation as I know they were tired of the struggle. I was only 17. It is funny though, some people can't live together and be married but the bond they have is stronger than any other, my Dad always loved my Mom and always will and I don't think anyone can ever take her place in his life. He struggled with addiction when I was a baby and they overcame it only to have her develope one in the meantime. Stress I guess.

My mother passed away a little over 6 months ago from a failed liver. It's horrible. It's been a miserable experience that I was so unprepared for. I thought I was prepared but I was so wrong. She had actually prepared herself for death much more than I had, and I'm supposed to be the smart one. When your alcoholic parent is living you sometimes feel like death is the only peace they will ever find in life because nothing else seems to work. You feel that death is the only time you will feel they are safe and out of harms way. It sounds horrible and it's not easy to admit but I know it's true for many of us.

No words can describe the guilt I feel inside from the loss of my Mother. I feel like I failed her in so many ways and feel like when I should have embraced her the most I didn't. It's very easy to misunderstand them when they are alive but I feel like I understand alot more now that she's not here and it's too late. Plain and simple, I'm really lonesome and would love a second chance to make sure she knows how much I love her.
My family tells me, "you have nothing to feel guilty about". The weird thing, I don't feel relieved about her being "safe" and free of earlthy depression and hardship like i thought I would, I feel empty without her here. All of experiences are different I know but the loss of my Mother opened my heart and mind to all people with addictions. it opened my heart and mind to her addiciton most of all, where it came from and how she got to the point she did. It's hard to love sometimes during hard times but there aren't always second chances and there is no harder lesson to learn than at the expense of a parent.

I've gone from a strong, organized, confident woman to days of feeling lost, empty, confusion, and guilt. Life isn't about preparing for the the future anymore... it's about waking up and figuring out how to get through the day. Survival. I have a daughter and husband who adore me and keep me going so i know it's not the end of life, I have no choice but to keep going... but it's not easy. Some days are better than others but I haven't found peace with my Mother's death at all. I know I will one day have peace and I know God will lead me to that place in life where I will be free of the guilt and I will be free. Free. I know he will. He is too good not to.

I just want others to know that yes it's hard and we all have some bad experiences with alcoholic parent... but if its possible try to understand and love them as they are while they are here because it's very hard when they're not. It's hard and I miss her very much and if I had life to live again I'd and ask God to give me the same Mother He gave me.
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Old 09-12-2009, 08:07 PM
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Thanks for sharing your story, Rushi. When we lose an alcoholic loved one - especially a parent - it can be a cyclone of emotions that we were completely unprepared for. We sometimes take on responsibility for things that we had no control over, and we blame ourselves for not doing whatever magical thing we think we could've/should've/would've done better.

I know you're not asking for advice, but I can tell you that when I finally agreed to go to counseling to talk through the death of my sisters, it helped me transform that guilt and anger into something that was a lot more useful for me and for the people I loved. It took me a while to WANT to, though. I needed to feel the darker feelings first, and then use them to become a better woman when the time came to let go. Grief has no timetable.

From what I can see, you did things as best you could. You separated from the chaos of active alcoholism as best you could. You focused on your own life, the only one you had the power to change. You recognized that her disorder was not at all under your control, and chose to build a healthy life of detachment from it instead. But I know this too: doing it right doesn't mean you don't miss them all the way down to your core.

Big hugs to you.....you've been through a lot
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Old 09-14-2009, 02:53 PM
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Rushl, I'm so sorry about your mom.

I agree with GiveLove. I think a counselor might help you sort your feelings out. But I understand completely that sometimes you have to be READY to do that.

Sending you big hugs.
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