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Need Help for 13 Yr Old With Alcoholic Mother - Advice?

Old 02-20-2014, 09:02 AM
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Exclamation Need Help for 13 Yr Old With Alcoholic Mother - Advice?

I run a website, Divorce and Teens (divorceandteens dot weebly dot com), helping teens cope with divorce with articles based on my own experiences. Sometimes teen readers write in with questions for me or just looking to vent about their experiences. I don't give professional advice (I'm not a professional and I make that clear), but I do talk to them about what I did in my own experiences and basically just provide a caring, nonjudgmental ear and try to get them to go use a crisis hotline or convince them to talk to a trusted adult, if the situation merits it.

I had a reader write in recently and the situation is way beyond me. Her mom is an alcoholic, became so after her parents divorced, and she blames her dad for making her mom that way. She lives with her mom and the mom sounds like she is emotionally abusive to the daughter when she's drinking or forgets to take her medication (she is also depressed). I am simplifying, because I don't want to betray her trust in telling me about this, but that's the gist of it.

I tried to send her resources and links for how to talk to professionals and get support for her mom's alcoholism (her mom is not in any recovery programs), but she is in Belgium so the resources I sent don't apply.

Please help. There is a little girl getting hurt emotionally an ocean away from me, and I want to do as much as I possibly can to help her. I just don't know what to do or say. Any resources you can send, advice you'd like to give her, or anything else you have to offer is greatly appreciated.
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Old 02-20-2014, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by divorceandteens View Post
.

I tried to send her resources and links for how to talk to professionals and get support for her mom's alcoholism (her mom is not in any recovery programs), but she is in Belgium so the resources I sent don't apply.
That part is just as well.

The A parent is NOT the kid's problem.

The kid needs help -- not the A / parent.

Please help. There is a little girl getting hurt emotionally an ocean away from me, and I want to do as much as I possibly can to help her. I just don't know what to do or say. Any resources you can send, advice you'd like to give her, or anything else you have to offer is greatly appreciated.
Alateen. For kids 9 to 19. GREAT Stuff.

THIS is what Alateen deals with, all day, everyday.

Belgium, you say?

http://www.al-anon.alateen.org/gso-belgium

Alanon sponsors Alateen (provides meeting sites, resources, adult supervision, etc.)
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Old 02-20-2014, 09:16 AM
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Thanks! Actually, that's what I tried sending her (information about Alateen, not for her mom), but I could only find it for the UK, not Belgium, so that's awesome you found that!
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Old 02-20-2014, 09:19 AM
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Teens can be terribly protective of their A parents and actually take a parental role towards their own parent (I saw it happen with one of my kids and her A father).

Because of that, an internet forum probably felt like a "safe" place for her to seek help. I think I would probably keep talking to her, and try to slowly convince her that this is a problem that is too big for her to handle, and that she does need to find outside help -- for herself, not for her mother; that's not her responsibility.

Alateen is a great start, but knowing first-hand how difficult it is for an adult to get over the resistance of going to an Al-Anon meeting, I can imagine it may feel terribly difficult for a teen.

You could refer her here -- we've had teens with alcoholic parents post here before.

I'm guessing getting her to talk to a school counselor would be hard?
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Old 02-20-2014, 09:21 AM
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Just part of the service.

Looks like this, too, if she speaks English.

alanon-netherlands - Home

=========

Sorry on sounding harsh on the first part.

In this realm, the Best Triage is generally -- Kids First, General Family Second, and A . . . somewhere down the line.

Sometimes folks start with worrying about the A's first.

Turns out the A's do not really need much help. Most have figured out their stuff just fine.

btw, THANK YOU VERY MUCH for what you do.
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Old 02-20-2014, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by lillamy View Post
Teens can be terribly protective of their A parents and actually take a parental role towards their own parent (I saw it happen with one of my kids and her A father).

Because of that, an internet forum probably felt like a "safe" place for her to seek help. I think I would probably keep talking to her, and try to slowly convince her that this is a problem that is too big for her to handle, and that she does need to find outside help -- for herself, not for her mother; that's not her responsibility.

Alateen is a great start, but knowing first-hand how difficult it is for an adult to get over the resistance of going to an Al-Anon meeting, I can imagine it may feel terribly difficult for a teen.

You could refer her here -- we've had teens with alcoholic parents post here before.

I'm guessing getting her to talk to a school counselor would be hard?
As experience from talking to kids for many years now, even assuming Belgium has school counselors trained in counseling, no one goes to the school counselor when I tell them to. They don't call the crisis hotlines, either. But they are comfortable talking with me, at least for a short while. Hopefully talking will help, because she sounds like a great person and I do genuinely care about her and relate to her situation (my father may not have been an alcoholic, but there are a lot of parallels between our two situations).

I'll refer her here, but are you aware of any other online forums made more specifically for kids?

And no worries, Hammer, it didn't sound harsh to me. Being able to reach kids all over the world, to help them when no one else is, is more than enough thanks for me. It breaks my heart when kids are suffering, particularly because I went through the same thing when I was a kid and I'm well aware that after divorce (and particularly with regards to alcoholism) parents are generally trying to deal with themselves too much to help the children, so kids are just left to fend for themselves. And I did the protective thing with my own parents (and my sister - basically I was protecting everyone from everyone) and it was just draining and exhausting and not a place a kid should be.
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