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need advice on my mother ( I'm the alcoholic)

Old 01-08-2012, 08:54 AM
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need advice on my mother ( I'm the alcoholic)

I need advice on how to beging repairing the relationship with my mother. She does not trust me at all ( I understand.) However, over conversastions we've had in the past few weeks...I've come to learn several things. The main thing being is that she actually thinks I'm WORSE than I am. For example, she things that not only do I drink, I do drugs as well ( could not be farther from the truth).....and that my drinking is more often than it was ( I'm a binge drinker plain and simple...this was happening once week, sometimes less sometimes more)....she thinks that I have strange men around my son..( again, could not be farther from the truth, just doesn't happen, plain and simple).

I get that she's upset about the drinking, as no one would want their 32 year old daughter behaving that way. However, I've been sober for three weeks now ( would be longer except for a slip up then).

I don't expect her to forgive and forget. But how do I attempt to fix a relationship in which she is accusing me of things I'm not doing? She thinks I'm lying......this is so messed up and I would love some advice.
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Old 01-08-2012, 09:08 AM
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Congratulations on your sobriety!

One of our moderator's (CatsPajamas) has this as her signature line:

"What other people think of me is none of my business"

That helps me deal with outside, unsolicited opinions.

I know it would feel great to have the support of your immediate family. However, no one understands your addiction better than professionals and others that have walked the same path.

Maybe one day she will see from your actions the better person you are today. As you continue to grow in recovery, she may embrace the new you.

In the meantime,
this always helps:

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change (other people), the
Courage to change the things I can (me, myself and I) and
Wisdom to know the difference
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Old 01-08-2012, 09:13 AM
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I don't expect her to forgive and forget. But how do I attempt to fix a relationship in which she is accusing me of things I'm not doing? She thinks I'm lying......this is so messed up and I would love some advice.
Okay, it is going to take TIME, LOTS OF TIME. I think I was about 3 years sober or so when my MOTHER finally acknowledged that yep I had turned my life around in her 'her eyes.'

Well, how did I do that?

1: I didn't discuss my recovery with here.

2: I did discuss my 'day to day' or 'week to week' life. When she would bring up something 'negative' I would just say; "well I guess time will prove you wrong." and change the subject.

3: I did continue to WORK ON ME EVERY DAY (still do 30+ continuous years later).

We didn't live near each other, but did talk once a week. My mother was always a 'very opinionated person' and if I or anyone disagreed you went on her 'chit list.' Well it reached a point when I was about 5 1/2 years sober that I have finally 'had it', (yes this was in recovery) and I told her that I would no longer speak with her unless she could treat me with the 'respect' I did her. You know how that went over ........... like a lead balloon. She started 'ranting at me', I hung up, and the next day changed my telephone number. Not too long after that I moved to a different place and then a different state.

I didn't talk with her or have any contact with her for 5 years. I finally called the house in Aug of '92 when Hurricane Andrew was headed straight for them. Oh I did stay in touch with other members of my family just not her.

Lo and behold, her whole 'attitude' toward me and life it seemed had changed in those 5 years.

I can tell you that we had a very good 12 years until her demise in '04.

All I am trying to show you is that YOU CANNOT CONVINCE HER OF ANYTHING. Just keep working on your sobriety and being the best YOU you can be for YOU and your son.

She will either come around or she won't in time. You also have the RIGHT to stop the conversation at any time. Walk away, say 'I have to go now' etc. As you stay sober you will figure out how to and will know what your personal 'boundaries' are.

Congrats on your 3 weeks!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Love and hugs,
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Old 01-08-2012, 10:33 AM
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northend:

Three weeks is a great accomplishment, but it's a bit soon to be expecting anything by way of relationship repair. Even if much of what your mother thinks is untrue, enough of it IS true that you don't have any credibility at this point, and you won't have any until you have a longer track record.

The best you can do at this point is to stick to your own path and not worry too much about what your mother thinks. The only antidote here is time and consistency on your part.

Even then, she may never believe you. That is just something that some of us have to live with.
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Old 01-08-2012, 10:50 AM
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oh my word! I know three weeks is nothing but a flash in the pan...believe me...( when I re read my post, it doesn`t come across properly). I don`t expect to have regained trust in that short period of time.

I guess I was oblivious to the other things she thought I was doing...my question was more what to do about that...I get being upset about the drinking, and it is going to take a long to repair trust...but it seems as though
having her think the situation was worse than it actually was, makes that an even more insurmountable task in the long run....I guess I`ve seen family members in denial...but I`m not used to family members making the situation worse than it actually is? Is this common?
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Old 01-08-2012, 11:05 AM
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You can't change what your mother thinks. You can only work your program of recovery and become a living example of what recovery looks like.

Although my parents are glad I lead a responsible and reasonably happy life, they aren't particularly supportive in the area of my recovery, and I've been clean/sober for 21+ years now. That's just the way that they are, and I've come to accept that (which brings peace of mind).

Congratulations on your 3 weeks, and sending you hugs of support!
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Old 01-08-2012, 11:07 AM
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As you continue to stay sober, grow and change, the phrase of:

"what other people think of me is none of my business."

And yep that includes our parent(s).

It is what I and my HP think of me that matters.

I cannot change anyone else (their thinking, their opinions, their actions) but I can change ME.

My goodness, I was 50 years old and having a discussion with my folks and they BOTH finally admitted, that they still thought of me SOMETIMES like I was 16, roflmao and then had to 'check' themselves. I think ALL parents do that. I still sometimes think of my daughter as 16, lol BUT only for a moment of two, she is 40, lol

You cannot change your mum, you can change you and how you react to her words and actions.

You can put it all (the truths and her opinions) into one sentence that you repeat over and over to her:

"Mom, your opinions are your opinions and I cannot nor will I try to change them. I will continue to live my new life to the best of my ability." Then CHANGE THE SUBJECT.

If she goes back to it again, repeat above, then excuse yourself from the conversation. No need for you to continue to feel frustrated about something that you cannot change.

J M H O

Oh and btw, it usually does get better as time goes on, especially when we start interacting with loves ones as an Adult working on being a full functioning member of society.

Love and hugs,
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Old 01-08-2012, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by northend79 View Post
oh my word! I know three weeks is nothing but a flash in the pan...believe me...( when I re read my post, it doesn`t come across properly). I don`t expect to have regained trust in that short period of time.

I guess I was oblivious to the other things she thought I was doing...my question was more what to do about that...I get being upset about the drinking, and it is going to take a long to repair trust...but it seems as though
having her think the situation was worse than it actually was, makes that an even more insurmountable task in the long run....I guess I`ve seen family members in denial...but I`m not used to family members making the situation worse than it actually is? Is this common?
Family members react in all sorts of ways to our addictions, northend. Yes, I've definitely known some family members who have believed things were worse than they really were. I've also known many who remain in total denial that anything ever happened.

But, regardless of the accuracy of what our family may think, our task, when it comes to relationship repair, is still the same: we change our behavior, and we hope that, over time, we earn their trust. Once the trust is earned, then we can talk about what really happened and be believed.
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Old 01-08-2012, 03:49 PM
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Act instead of talk.
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Old 01-08-2012, 03:58 PM
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Wow, northend!!! Huge congratulations on your 3 weeks.

Well, as others have already said, time takes time. Your continued abstinence over time and your work to make things right with people you may have hurt will go a long, long way to fixing your relationship with your mother.

Best of luck to you as you move forward! HG
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