Alcoholic Mom: How long does one wait?

Old 01-10-2004, 03:02 PM
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Alcoholic Mom: How long does one wait?

Hi everyone,

I am very fortunate to have a loving, supportive family - dad, step-mom, step-brother, and step-sister, grandma, fiance and soon to be three step-children - that's a lot of people! Despite the lack of biological ties, there is a lot of love and happiness. And then there is my mother.

Mom's alcoholism became full-blown (though she had been drinking moderately for years) when I was fourteen, and was unstoppable. She soared through three very well known treatment centers, returning to an even worse state within a week of being home. She was also a diagnosed manic depressive. She eventually left my Dad and went to live with another man out of state, they sued eachother for divorce and custody of me (of course, my Dad won). After a 2 year court battle over money (they had a business together), she moved 1000 miles away and I saw her once a year, dutifully, dreading going because she was always in various stages of drunkeness. I am non-confrontational and simply drove the car when I visited and went to bed early. My dad has supported me in every way, including through college. He eventually re-married and has continued his life. My mom suddenly decided to move back in-state around the time my dad got engaged, but no one knows if it was correlated. Even though she is close by, she avoids contact with her large family of brothers and sisters, who tell me that she does not return their calls. Within the first few months of her return I tried calling a few times and emailing, eventually banging on her door out of frustration. I found her completely wasted inside.

So, the point of the long story, after the initial attempts I left her alone and she leaves me alone - except for these infrequent but maddening emails she send me that are usually nasty and vengeful about how she is excluded from my life, with a few choice words trashing my dad, everything to calling him insane to accusing him of adultery to citing him as a the downfall of her life - this anger is a key indicator that she is still drinking. I have tried telling her that I don't want to be part of these comments, and that I cannot possibly include her until she stops the trash talk. Complicating the situation is the new family arrangement I am entering into. The step-kids want to meet their step-grandma, but for now we have to say, she's not available because she's sick. I am considering completely excluding her from my life (can you really do that to your own mother?), since the mother that I knew before alcoholism (many happy memories) seems to be long dead and gone - how many decades does one wait?
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Old 01-10-2004, 03:57 PM
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Show me - How long is a piece of string??? I am the alcoholic mother which you have so vividly described. I blamed my daughter's father, my ex-husband, for my drinking, blamed him for committing adultery - (Who wouldn't have, with a drunk of a wife to come home to??)

My eldest daughter left my home at the age of 15, but now 10 years on, and me in recovery, she is living with me again, and we have a wonderful relationship. I hope that one day your mum will find help for herself, and then you will see the real mother who is hidden beneath the alcohol. Until then, I believe you are right in stepping back, since it is affecting you so badly. I am also the child of an alcoholic mother, but forunately, I was sober before she died, 13 years ago, and was able to have a year of a good mother/daughter relationship. My mum never did get any quality sobriety, but she was so pleased that I had done, and oddly enough, for the last year of her life, due to terminal cancer, she didn't drink either.

Keep on doing the right thing for you and your supportive family and friends, and pray that one day your mum will get help.
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Old 01-11-2004, 08:45 AM
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Show me,

One thing I have learned here and in personal experience is that people treat us the way we allow them too. If you reinforce normal communication and refuse to participate in the bad your mother may learn. My son blames us for all his problems and he is very vocal about it...usually in the middle of the night on the phone. We hang up now.

That being said...we can cut people out of our lives but it is difficult if not impossible to do that if you are still hanging on emotionally. Physical distance, as you have discovered, is not always enough. Also nothing need be permanent...we don't know what tomorrow will bring.

You are doing a fine job of taking care of yourself right don't have to open e-mails anymore than I have to pick up the phone. My feeling is that if I am meant to know something I will.

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Old 01-13-2004, 12:33 PM
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Thanks for the support!
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