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Daughter an alcoholic

Old 03-21-2011, 12:35 PM
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Daughter an alcoholic

I have been reading and reading. I finally decided to post. As so many of you I am almost to the end. I just can't do this anymore. My daughter is an alcoholic, she is a 33 year old, single mom of 2 beautiful little girls. She has always had a problem when she drank, she never knew when to stop, but at least she didn't drink alot. Now she is drinking wine all night long at least 3 to 4 times a week. I have watched the progression over the last 2 years. She changes into someone that I don't even know. She is college educated, owns her own business, owns her own home. She has all the advantages, but is messing up so badly that it is just a matter of time that she loses it all. She doesn't go to work the day after she drinks. Her business is just closed. She doesn't care if she misses clients. She Lays on the couch all day, and does nothing with the girls. They just run around the house all day fending for themselves. Finally, their father stepped in, and he has custody of them for 4 months. Then it will be reviewed. I thought that would make her go get help, but she doesn't seem to care. She likes it better, she is glad, she knows they are better taken care of with him. She agreed to it without a fight.

She got a DUI a few weeks ago. She didn't blow, so she will not have a license for a year. She has no one to take her to and from work but me. I own my own business also, and I will give her rides, but she will have to be ready when I am leaving. I will not close to go get her at her convience. So therefore I have no doubt that she will be there even less.

She has made horrible choices in her last two boyfriends. The first one took her for 59,000 and because of it she is filing for a chapter 13 bankrupsy. The second one violently beat her and is going to jail for 18 years because of it. He almost killed her. It was horriffic, it is a miracle she is alive. I know she is horribly depressed. She can't even get off the couch except to drink. She is taking antidepressents, and has a therapist, but always cancels at the last minute.

Even with all of this, she still doesn't get it. She doesn't get that she has lost herself and that she is losing it all because of it.

It is so hard to sit her as her Mother and watch this progression spiraling downward. I have loaned her 13,000 to try to help her out. I refuse to do anymore enabling. The DUI, fixing her car, all of that I will not help with.

I have hit my bottom, and I can't do this anymore. She verbally abuses me when she is drunk, she seems to hate me. When she is sober, she needs me, depends on me, I am her best friend, until the next time she drinks. I am the only one that cares about her now. All her friends have left, they got tired of dealing with her drunken, abusive tirads.

I know I have to be done and let her hit bottom, even if that means she is homeless on the street. But how do I really do that. She is my daughter, I love her. I remember when she was a wonderful wife, mother, person.

This is a horrible disease. I just don't know how to stay strong and let her go. Please help me.
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Old 03-21-2011, 12:50 PM
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Hello Rowanthe and welcome to SR.

How very sad for you.

Welcome to SR.
I hope you'll read some of the stickies at the top of the forum.
that's those thingies up top that aren't part of the daily conversation)
they contain addresses and other resources for family members.

This is a large burden to carry alone
have you considered outside support?

I hope you'll find the support you'll need
to get through this
both here at SR
and in the 'real' world.

It's a tough thing to try all by one's self.

Welcome!
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Old 03-21-2011, 12:53 PM
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Al-anon would do you a world of good. You will learn how to detach from her madness and have face-to-face support from people who are in the same position as you. I hope you will check it out. It's good that you realize there is nothing you can do for her. The less you do, the more she will have to face the consequences of her poor choices. I wouldn't even give her rides to work. Let her figure it out. Since the two little girls aren't there, I wouldn't do anything to help her.

Welcome to SR! You will find a lot of support here. Keep reading and posting. We're here to support you.
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Old 03-21-2011, 01:20 PM
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rowanthe, you're in my thoughts, I have no advice or wise words. Your words just remind me so much of my own mother.
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Old 03-21-2011, 01:52 PM
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I am really hoping you look after yourself too...

I am nearly 21 and my mum was an alcholic. It wasnt until recently did i understand she wont change for me, and no one else for that matter. She will have to want to change for herself. As much preching and care you show her, it will never work.

It is good you joined here for support, as you will get it, and as i have too.

Im sad to say that i think the best thing has happened - the kids moving in with their father. Maybe soon (hopefully) she will begin to realise that drink will only push people away.

Wishing you well always & forever
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Old 03-21-2011, 02:44 PM
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Thank you so much for your replies, just someone responding and caring made me cry. I am so emotional about all of this. I go from hope, to anger, to dispair. I just know I am making myself crazy trying to help her, talk to her, change her. And I have come to realize that Nothing I do will make a difference. She has to want to do this.

I will try to find an Al anon meeting in my area. Watching her destroy all the wonderful things she has in her life is so hard. She is so beautiful, and so smart. She is a kind, caring person, when she is sober. She says she won't drink, she says she will go to AA, she says, and says and says, and then she drinks. Bad things happen when she drinks. I wish I could throw her in treatment, but I can't even do that. She will just check herself out. I have thought about an intervention, but by the time she got out, she will have lost everything, her house, her business, her kids. She would have no income or money to pay for treatment, or her mortages if she is gone for months. Of course she is going to lose it anyway, it will just take alittle longer.

But I have to remember that it is not my problem. Her little girls, they are 7 and 4, are who I am trying to concentrate on now, I love them so much. Her ex husband and I are doing all that we can to make sure they are ok. We do get along really well. He still loves my daughter, but just had to distance himself from her. I can't blame him.

I need to stop making excuses for her, lying for her, telling people that she is fine. So, I just let happen what will happen? Don't do anything? Just let it go, right?
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Old 03-21-2011, 03:29 PM
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I know it feels like you're typing that
from a place of
'oh so you mean just do the impossible?'

but pretty much - yeah.

You're doing the right thing ... right now.

This isn't going to be an easy or brief thing.

If your daughter chooses recovery -
it is a choice that she will have to maintain
for the rest of her life.
If she chooses to keep going and do nothing
it is also a choice that will last the rest of her life.

What we try to focus on
is what is happening to US
during all this.
Where is the line?
Where did it go?
Why did I think it's my job to save an adult in the first place?

That kind of thing.

It's a major shift in thinking.

And we come here
and talk about it
and get the input of others
and take what works
and when something doesn't work
we try not to do that.

*smile*

It's a completely different course of life, choosing life.

We had to learn to let them fail.
We have to learn to let US fail as well.
We do that together here.
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Old 03-21-2011, 04:41 PM
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I am the mom of an alcoholic/drug addict who is in early recovery..it is very hard, but what helped me was alanon where I learned to undo my thoughts about "helping". I learned to look at it as padding her bottom, prolonging her illness.. and who wants to be resonsible for that? Consequences and pain motivate people to change..like you, I hit my bottom well before my daughter hit hers...alanon can show you how to let go with love..a foriegn concept to me at the time.
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Old 03-22-2011, 08:28 AM
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Barb, Thank you, your words really helped. I have thought alot about that "line" it was crossed along time ago. Now I need to put it back in place.

Keepinon, You hit it so on the head. It is such a hard place to be. I have tried to fix everything she has screwed up with her drinking. Giving her money to stay afloat, lying for her to her clients and friends, and family. Calling every morning at 7 to make sure that my granddaughter was up and getting ready for school. Then when no one answered making a quick trip over there to grab the kids if she was still drunk, or passed out from a night of drinking. It just got to be too much, and so heartbreaking to go back over at noon and have her still drunk, and abusive if you tried to get her to get out of bed, and all of this on work days while her office stayed closed... So sad.

At least my granddaughters are safe now and being taken care of. That is such a huge relief. I felt like I couldn't stop enabling her or taking care of things because I was really doing it for her beautiful little girls safety and wellbeing. I don't call anymore, I don't go over at noon, I don't make up a big story about someone being sick or a dr's appt, to her clients if they call me wanting to know where she is... I just simply give them her cell phone # and tell them to call her.

I still love her with all my heart, but I am letting go. Last night she went to a friends, I know she drank, I know there is a chance that she drove home drunk again. I let it go, and got on with my life instead of calling her and making sure she was staying the night. I haven't checked this morning to see if she is at work. I am letting go. She will have to face the consequences of her actions herself. I can't help her anymore.

I hope she hits bottom, and decides to get help. But I have to keep telling myself that I can't control it, can't cure it, and didn't cause it. That is a wonderful quote. I have been repeating it over and over again.
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Old 03-22-2011, 01:33 PM
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She called me alittle while ago. She finally got to work at 1:00, 4 hrs late. She was upset and ranted about her ex (who has the kids) that he didn't drop her daughter off at 1 as he was supposed to. She called him and he told her he was there, she was not, so he took her home and put her down for her nap. She was upset because she was only a few minutes late...

I just listened, didn't respond in the negative or affirmative. She kept talking, when suddenly she stopped and got mad at me. Asked me if I was siding with him, and thought she was a piece of crap? Kept saying, "You're mad at me" I just kept my control, told her that I loved her, and that I was really busy at work and had to go.

I could tell she was angry and defiant, just thinking I disapproved.

Did I do the right thing? How am I supposed to react to her. Do I just outright tell her "Honey, this isn't my problem" or do I just stay quiet? Not sure how to do this. It won't take her but a few times to realize that I am not getting involved, or pointing out to her what she is doing wrong.

Somehow, I think that is going to make her angry and defiant too. I alternately tell her what she is doing wrong, and then baby her and try to fix it. She won't know what to do when she realizes that I am not going to do anything anymore but tell her that I love her.

Is this the way it is supposed to be done?
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Old 03-22-2011, 01:47 PM
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I think the "Honey, this isn't my problem" is great. You don't have to sit there on the phone and listen to her complain about anyone and everyone, and most especially when she turns it on you. I also like that you said you were busy and had to go. Combine the two and I think it's a great way to let her know it's her problem and that you don't have time to listen to her complain. And, of course, telling her that you love her before hanging up is very important.

You're doing fine. Hang in there. We're always here for you.
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Old 03-23-2011, 04:55 PM
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I think that what you done was great. What i good starting point.

I know when i get phone calls, it always depend on the type of phone call. For example is she angry, sad etc.

When my mum is sad i tell her things like, "im sorry there is nothing i can do for you" or "look this is out of my control" etc.

If she is angry and abusive i say things like, "i dont have to listen to this, so im going" or " i havnt done anything wrong and dont deserve to be treated like this" etc.

What happens for me is i will feel guilty i am not there for her. I would like to help and do something for her but there is nothing i can do. She wont hang up the phone so i have to hang up.
It is really difficult to simply hang up when they go on and on, but it is for your sake you are doing this.

It will take her a long time to realise you are not going to take on her needs anymore, so repitition is key. After she kind of gets the point that you and not tolerating this anymore she will begin to lower the times she calls. Also she will know what mechanisms you put in place to protect yourself so she will expect how you handle the phone calls.

I also found with me that hanging up became easier to do after a while. When she is crying to me i put the phone down beside me and the odd time pick it up and say "yeah". I dont know how practical this will be for you but just telling you how i handle my mother.

You will begin to find your own ways of dealing with her once you learn the basic skills. So keep at it...

Stay strong and things will get better for you
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Old 03-24-2011, 11:14 AM
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Thank you for those tips Angel. I have done a really good job of staying detached.

I think she has already figured out that I am not responding to her and trying to fix her. She isn't calling very much at all. Or maybe it's that i'm not calling her. I think I called her alot because I was worried and if she had been drinking it all the stuff started.

I feel better. I'm not as stressed. I am still worried. I have driven by her house several times to make sure she is home. I have also checked to see if she is at work a few times, but not everyday. And if she isn't, I don't call her and ask why.

That is a big improvement over what I used to do. As I said, I do feel better.

I just keep saying, I can't control it, I can't cure it, and I didn't cause it. That little phrase that I learned here has done more good for me than anything else I have heard or read.
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Old 03-24-2011, 01:01 PM
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Just dropped by to see how it's going for you.

See?
Isn't just being able to come here and get
an understanding 'thanks' on your post
helps?

Usually these things escalate before they begin to work.
The person tries the 'usual' remarks and button pushing
to get what they want
and when it isn't offered
they freak out and escalate the scent
before doing anything positive.

Just ... a heads up.
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Old 03-24-2011, 02:44 PM
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Thanks for giving me the heads up. She called me alittle while ago just as sweet as could be. She wanted to let me know that she had talked to the county attorney and that they were going to send her the paperwork for a diverson since this is her first DUI.

She seemed very happy and calm, she was at work. I just told her I was glad and didn't point out that she is still losing her license for a year, and that if she gets another one this one will go to a regular DUI and she will spend time in jail.... didn't point any of that out to her. I'd say that was really doing good for me....lol

I'm learning.
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Old 03-24-2011, 02:47 PM
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* applause*

oh - and it was supposed to be 'scene' not 'scent'.... lol

unfortunate typo for sure.

good - glad it's DE-escalating for now.
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Old 03-24-2011, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by barb dwyer View Post
* applause*

oh - and it was supposed to be 'scene' not 'scent'.... lol

unfortunate typo for sure.

good - glad it's DE-escalating for now.
LOL,

Now, THAT'S a Freudian slip if ever I heard one...
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Old 03-24-2011, 03:04 PM
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Phrases i love to use are..I'm sure you'll figure it out...hmmm... and ..well, gott run!
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