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I have drafted a letter to my mother - what do you think?

Old 10-15-2009, 02:47 AM
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I have drafted a letter to my mother - what do you think?

Ok I have tried to consider the little I have learnt so far, not to attack her or blame her, be honest, respectful but firm.

I am going to post this as a letter (rather than an email that she can jump straight onto and abuse me) and also send a copy to my dad, so he can see what is expected from him also (as I doubt my mother will show it to him).

I am prepared that even though this is rational and objective, she will see it as an attack and may well attack back. But at least I can start to recognise that for what it is!



Dear Mom


I wanted to take the time to write to you and be honest about my thoughts and feelings. I have taken a step back to have time to evaluate the situation and think about what is the best plan of action for my family.

You may think that I am punishing you or that I hate you but the plain truth is I love you and sincerely care about your mental, emotional and physical health. One thing I have come to realise is that I cannot control you or your actions and that I cannot force you to do anything you don’t want to do. In fact I am probably not aiding your recovery by forcing my opinions and beliefs about how to get well and sober.

I am not blaming you for anything, as I know you have a terrible disease and to see you battle your illness is very upsetting and sad for the people around you, especially knowing that are powerless to help.

I know you love Sammy as much as I do and I know that you would want more than anything for him to be happy and safe at all times – as both Jason and I do. We don’t want to have to worry anymore about whether you have been drinking or not, whether you and dad will fight over drinking in front of him or not. Sammy picks up on everything at the moment and is sensitive to what is going on. He told me 3 times on Sunday afternoon that you were shouting at each other and he had to tell you off twice. It is making me ill with worry and I have to consider my health and my family’s health and happiness over everything else.

I can guarantee you that you will always have a warm welcome in my life when you are well and sober but it is too upsetting to continue to see what you are doing to yourself and your relationships with your family.

As a result while you are drinking, we choose to remove ourselves from the situation. We would rather have Sammy missing you than put at risk or upset in anyway. And I would rather be ‘detached’ than worry about the situation to the detriment of my own health and happiness.

I will have to rely on yours and dads honesty to let us know when you are ready to spend time with us again but I do hope that will be soon.


Amanda
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Old 10-15-2009, 03:40 AM
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That sounds like detaching with love, to me, and doing what you need to do to take care of yourself. All this is healthy behaviour.

And you're right, it may not be received well, but you don't own their reactions, they do just as they own their problem.

I know that, for me, I could not live in the problem (my son's addiction) and the solution (my recovery) at the same time. So I chose to live in the solution to make my life worth living. I gave the care of my son over to God, asking Him in prayer each day to do what I could not do, and then I could live my life knowing that my son was in good hands.

It's hard to let go, but it's better than getting dragged down with them.

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Old 10-15-2009, 07:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Mandjas View Post
Dear Mom

I wanted to take the time to write to you and be honest about my thoughts and feelings. I have taken a step back to have time to evaluate the situation and think about what is the best plan of action for my family.

You may think that I am punishing you or that I hate you but the plain truth is I love you and sincerely care about your mental, emotional and physical health. One thing I have come to realise is that I cannot control you or your actions and that I cannot force you to do anything you don’t want to do. In fact I am probably not aiding your recovery by forcing my opinions and beliefs about how to get well and sober.

I am not blaming you for anything, as I know you have a terrible disease and to see you battle your illness is very upsetting and sad for the people around you, especially knowing that are powerless to help.

I know you love Sammy as much as I do and I know that you would want more than anything for him to be happy and safe at all times – as both Jason and I do. We don’t want to have to worry anymore about whether you have been drinking or not, whether you and dad will fight over drinking in front of him or not. Sammy picks up on everything at the moment and is sensitive to what is going on. He told me 3 times on Sunday afternoon that you were shouting at each other and he had to tell you off twice. It is making me ill with worry and I have to consider my health and my family’s health and happiness over everything else.

I can guarantee you that you will always have a warm welcome in my life when you are well and sober but it is too upsetting to continue to see what you are doing to yourself and your relationships with your family.

As a result while you are drinking, we choose to remove ourselves from the situation. We would rather have Sammy missing you than put at risk or upset in anyway. And I would rather be ‘detached’ than worry about the situation to the detriment of my own health and happiness.

I will have to rely on yours and dads honesty to let us know when you are ready to spend time with us again but I do hope that will be soon.


Amanda
This letter sounds pretty reasonable to me as long as you are confident that refraining from continued contact with her is what you need to do. Being that you no longer trust that she won't be honest with her drinking (she lies about drinking--typical of an alcoholic), you cannot rely on her being responsible for the care of your son. Also this hurts you emotionally and has damaged ur relationship w/ ur mom so you need some time to heal. Maybe, after you have taken some time apart from the situation of your mom for a while, when you are strong enough you may opt for short supervised/sober visits with your mom. That, however is totally up to you. I'm to the point with my mom that I dont' feel like she has earned that. When I lived out of state 2000 miles away, she came on a plane to see me and my first newborn child. Keep in mind that this had been 4 years since I had physicaly seen her. She promised she would not drink or smoke for the entire visit which was 4 days long. This would be considered a stretch for her b/c all my life, my mother has drank and smoke every single night. However, I decided to give her the benefit of the doubt and allow her to see my first child. At that time I thought, maybe she see what a joy Naila is and it will inspire her to stop drinking. Much to my detriment, that was not the case at all. Not only did I have to deal with a woman who was sweating, shaking, cussing about anythings she could think of, she went into my medicine cabinet and took all of my postpartum medication that was prescribed to me (for some reason I was prescribed oxycodone for pain b/c I had tore during delivery...which I only took 1 time and didn't care for it and didn't want the baby to ingest it with the breast milk). She said she "accidentally took the wrong bottle of medicine thinking it was ibuprofen. I said, 11 pills?" How do you accidentally take 11 pills in 2 days. She just looked at me dumfounded w/ no answer. I was so angry adn in hindsight should have called the police on her for doing that. My postpartum period after she left was very difficult. It had been 4 years since I had seen my mother and that was the welcome I get? It was horrible. That is why I am VERY reluctant to allow her to see my 3rd newborn. I'm not going to go through that again. She's burned her bridge with me as far as I'm concerned.

Anyway, with my mom, I wrote her similar letters when I first began my plan of detachment and she would try so hard to convince me that she no longer was drinking anymore (this was on the phone and I could tell she was lying b/c I know her drunk voice a mile away). Sadly, sometimes I even believed it....and it took me a long time to stick to my boundaries and course of action.

Hang in there...and I hope the best for you, your family, and your mum. :praying
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Old 10-19-2009, 08:45 AM
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Well for the record I have posted the letter and am awaiting my trial or banishment!

Thank you for your support. x
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Old 10-19-2009, 08:57 AM
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I think your letter is great and you are full of courage to be able to write/send it.

Just remember--writing/sending was the most important part. Don't set yourself up too high for expectations either way. It may go unnoticed. It may heed unfavorable responses, etc, etc.

Just considering yourself managing that part of your recovery because you've set your boundaries and remember--you can't control their reactions ---all you can do is control your reaction to them.

Hang in there. Be proud of yourself. I did that part, too, and it was so very difficult. I feel your pain.

You just unstuck yourself.......welcome to the 'moving forward' part ---it feels better than anything else in this icky process. I promise.
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Old 10-19-2009, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Mandjas View Post
You may think that I am punishing you or that I hate you but the plain truth is I love you and sincerely care about your mental, emotional and physical health.... I am not blaming you for anything, as I know you have a terrible disease and to see you battle your illness is very upsetting and sad for the people around you, especially knowing that are powerless to help.
Hmmmm -- I'm normally of the "write the letter to your alkie, sleep on it, then throw it in the trash" school of thought. But I actually like this one. I'm not sure it'll work -- whatever results are implied by the term "work" -- but it might help, both you and others, to get the issue out there, so that it is no longer the "elephant in the room that everyone knows is there but no one will acknowledge or talk about."

My suspicion is that the alkie will bristle at the idea that she has "a disease" and that you "sincerely care" about her -- but if she doesn't like it, tough cookies. The bottom line is that you're spelling out the conditions she has to comply with if she wants to see her grandson. If she keeps showing up drunk, she doesn't get to see him -- but she knows that, and she can no longer give you the usual line of BS that makes you want to do this:

Before my mother died last year, she suggested, at one point, that I write an actual letter -- put it down on paper and send, as you have done -- to my Dad, spelling out the fact that I am not going to move back in with him no matter what. I've kicked that idea around numerous times, as you might imagine, but always end up deciding not to do it, because my Dad tends to ignore anything he doesn't want to hear -- if it sets a boundary he doesn't like, he simply ignores the boundary and acts as if it weren't there. (Whereupon I respond by withdrawing, not coming by or answering the phone very often, and basically withholding... whatever it is that I'm withholding from him.)

In opting to actually send "The Letter," I think you've done a good job in defining the boundary. You're not trying to manipulate the guilty party into giving up booze -- you're just saying, "If you show up drunk, you're not seeing the grandkid." Nobody can say you're out of line -- you're not forcing her to change, nor are you controlling or manipulating her in any way. You're not judging, you're just saying: if she wants to see the kid, she can d*mn well show up sober. If she objects to that, she's making it more and more obvious that there's a problem -- and it's hers, not yours.

I wish I had a tidy solution to the thing with my Dad. The thing is, I don't give a you-know-what if he stops drinking, at 89-going-on-90, but he needs to get it through his stubborn-*** head that I am not, am not, am not moving back there. I know he'd hate it if I said, "Mom told me I shouldn't move back" (which is true -- in one of her more lucid moments, we talked about that, and she said, "You shouldn't do that -- it wouldn't be a good idea"), and normally, I'd hate to say such a diabolically-calculated thing (to which there is no possible response, now that my Mom is gone), but... hmmm... I might just do it, at some point....

T
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Old 10-19-2009, 02:30 PM
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I have used the elephant saying so many times. Because that is exactly what happens. I found it quitr therapeutic to write and send - not enjoyable as is was upsetting but I do feel a little cleansed.

I told my dad there was no contact but not her directly. I felt the need in my head to wrap it up, if that makes sense. I have said my bit and there are no loose ends in my mind.

She may choose never to speak to me again, she may choose to write a nasty letter back but I am relieved because I pointed right at that elephant and acknowledged it.

I have just come home from my 2nd ala-non meeting and I feel I will sleep well tonight.
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Old 10-20-2009, 07:47 AM
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I must say that since I wrote that letter to my mom and her last negative response was two weeks ago almost, I had a rough week at first. It took some getting used to and brought back some really creepy memories of her when I was a child. It made me realize that she is no different than when I was younger living under her roof and that she probably is worse now. I also started recognizing when I started blaming myself for the reason why I had a troubled relationship with her..and pretty much no relationship now. It's soooo easy to fall into the trap of blaming myself b/c I want to fix it and since she acts like nothing is wrong with her...it's easy for me to say...what can i do differently---if only i would have done this or that then maybe my mom would want to drive to come see her new grandbaby. But since I've taken a step back, i've been realizing the negative patterns that I've developed over time througout my relationship and have been able to recognize why I get that way and blame myself. Now that I have started to let my mom go....and allow her to live the consequences of her behavior, I have been able to focus better on my family and my husband. I realize how much I took my husband for granted and how much I so often would pull away from him for absolutely NO reason. It is taking time to heal and allow myself to love others freely.
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