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Christmas is rough. Mom didn't visit my daughter.

Old 12-25-2016, 06:29 PM
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Christmas is rough. Mom didn't visit my daughter.

So after taking my alcoholic mother to the ER for a broken rib and countless bruises, I did not cut my alcoholic mother off entirely but did stipulate that if she wanted to see my 4 yo daughter it would have to be at my house where I could be assured she would not have access to alcohol. Within 1 week of that nightmare, she returned to drinking.

The last 24 hours have been terrible.

My mom and my siblings were upset that I would not make an exception for Christmas where we traditionally gather at my mother's house on Christmas day. Last night, she left within 10 minutes of my wife, daughter, and I arriving at my sister's house. Today, she bowed out of coming over to see my daughter despite the fact we live less than 5 miles from her.

My daughter has repeatedly asked where my mom is and really wanted to see her today.

I am incensed, saddened, and frankly ready to cut off ties entirely at this point. My wife thinks my mom is punishing me for playing hardball. I know that my mom, in her mind, thinks that I wasted the opportunity to go see HER at HER house today and therefore she is "off the hook" for not coming to see my daughter - so why not relax at home and watch football which is what she is doing right now.
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Old 12-25-2016, 06:35 PM
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Addiction truly is a cruel master. Prayers to you and your family. A prayer for your mum.
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Old 12-25-2016, 07:07 PM
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Well, she's ticked off that you have set a boundary. You know what they say: tell an addict "no" and watch what happens. Sorry your sibs don't seem to have your back on this. Stick to your guns. You are doing what you feel is best for your family. Peace.
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Old 12-26-2016, 04:31 AM
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tonyKC.......I am so sorry that you are going through this experience....
Alcoholism is called a "family disease" and it really can destroy families......

In my experience, active alcoholics can impact and destroy holidays and family gatherings more than hurricanes and tornados!

It sounds like your siblings are in denial as to your mother's alcoholism...?

I think that it will be easier on you if you learn everything you can about alcoholism.....so that you know what you are up against,,,and, what to expect in the future.....and how to handle these kinds of events......

You can begin by reading through all the stickies .....that are posted just above the threads...including the suggested readings...
I would, also, encourage you to look into Adult Children of Alcoholics.....it certainly sounds like you qualify and that you might share common experiences with members of that group......
We have a forum for that group, also....but it doesn't get as much traffic as this one......
You mjght want to read the stickies for that forum, though,,,as well as the suggested readings......

It sounds like you are trying to set some boundaries for your family......and, like you are trying to protect your family...
You can be sure that when you set a boundary...those who are in denial about the alcoholism will not l ike it!!!!
Stand by your guns on this!
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Old 12-26-2016, 07:23 AM
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Irk. Tony, it is an entirely more difficult level when it involves kids. So sorry for this. I hope you had the best Christmas possible with your wife and daughter.

Congrats on sticking to this boundary but boy oh boy is it hard.
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Old 12-26-2016, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by TonyKC View Post
So after taking my alcoholic mother to the ER for a broken rib and countless bruises, I did not cut my alcoholic mother off entirely but did stipulate that if she wanted to see my 4 yo daughter it would have to be at my house where I could be assured she would not have access to alcohol. Within 1 week of that nightmare, she returned to drinking.

The last 24 hours have been terrible.

My mom and my siblings were upset that I would not make an exception for Christmas where we traditionally gather at my mother's house on Christmas day. Last night, she left within 10 minutes of my wife, daughter, and I arriving at my sister's house. Today, she bowed out of coming over to see my daughter despite the fact we live less than 5 miles from her.

My daughter has repeatedly asked where my mom is and really wanted to see her today.

I am incensed, saddened, and frankly ready to cut off ties entirely at this point. My wife thinks my mom is punishing me for playing hardball. I know that my mom, in her mind, thinks that I wasted the opportunity to go see HER at HER house today and therefore she is "off the hook" for not coming to see my daughter - so why not relax at home and watch football which is what she is doing right now.
Hi Tony,

You are right where I was before I decided to go NC this March with my alcoholic mom and enabler father. My mom texted me right before the holidays calling me repeatedly "cruel." When I said that she was cruel for picking alcohol over her family, she got very, very defensive and ugly in her texts. Bottom line, when alcoholics are in total denial, they just see us as trying to control them. They are seemingly incapable to see things from our point of view. Sadly, most people are too cowardly to call things as the are, for a variety of reasons. If we call someone else on their "stuff", it leaves us vulnerable to attack and makes us have to look at our own "stuff". If your siblings don't admit that your mom's problem is bad as it is they don't have to face that they are exposing their children to a dangerous, confusing, sad situation. They don't have to assess their own drinking habits. They don't have to enter into conflict and face uncomfortable disapproval from "mad mommy." Bottom line, you are the bravest of the bunch and it is a lonely place, I know. That being said, at age 46, this is the first Christmas I have not spent with my parents. Despite a few melancholy moments, it was mostly wonderful. I have no regrets and I don't have to worry that my kids won't want to be with us for Christmas because we do not allow dysfunctional family members ruin the holidays. I have taught them that it is healthy to have boundaries.
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Old 12-26-2016, 05:31 PM
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Yup.

Right now, I'm distancing myself in the living room after returning from DS/DDIL/DGS's house for 3 hours with my other two kids.

AH wasn't invited by DS for the exact same boundaries you have set. We came back 3 hours later, and AH is fit to be tied. It's uncomfortable for my other DS/DD but we're trying to go about our business.

He is upset that we were gone so long (only 3 hours), I'm sure he's upset that I went, and I'm sure he's upset because he didn't get to go.

This Christmas, I agree, was rough. We made the most of it, but it was incredibly stressful for my kids. The house looks great, the presents were lovely and thoughtful, there were a lot of laughs.. but... AH has been drunk 24/7 (wasted Christmas Eve at 8:30 a.m.)--a lot of changed plans because of his condition, no arguments, but a lot of frustration at the inane behavior.

The kids saw first hand how much worse he is now than before.

SUCH a shame. My son who set the boundary did bring DGS over yesterday morning for just 30 minutes, but they removed themselves right away when AH walked in the door (at 10:30am) drunk.

The saddest part was the seeing the big smile on 3 year old DGS's face when he saw his grandfather, and he ran over to AH and grabbed his hand and wanted to play. Seeing AH push that relationship away is so, so sad, so I know how you feel about your daughter, TonyKC. The relationship the As crave is the relationship they sabotage with their drinking.

Hang in there. Stick to your guns.
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Old 12-26-2016, 06:27 PM
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Thank you everyone. I really appreciate your kind words and support.

The crux of the disagreement between my siblings and I is that they buy-in to the argument that "she only drinks after 3pm" so have no problem leaving their kids with her before that time. In contrast, I have said that I won't schedule my life around her drinking habit.

At this moment, she is hammering me with nasty texts about how I am so judgmental. I don't even know what to say. What's the point in guilting her about not coming to see my daughter? If she cared she would come see her.
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Old 12-26-2016, 06:40 PM
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Stay strong but calm. Don't justify or get into explanations. She won't listen anyway. Turn off your phone, maybe?
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Old 12-26-2016, 07:45 PM
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Tony, you and your siblings really have no idea when your mom is actually starting her drinking. Seven years ago, I would have bet all the money that I have that my mom would never drink in the morning, that she would never show up to an afternoon family event drunk, never go to an airport blitzed etc. etc. She has done all of those things, more than once. When I think back even to a decade ago, my mom would often "disappear" in the guise of preparing snacks or going to the bathroom. I now realize that she was taking "nips" . I am willing to bet that most of us completely underestimate how much our alcoholics are drinking, especially since we cannot even to begin to understand the tolerance they have built up.
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Old 12-27-2016, 02:27 PM
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about how I am so judgmental

well to some degree, you are....you DID make judgement about her actions and behaviors and what you will and will not accept. there is NOTHING wrong with that.......unless of course you are the alcoholic and someone has just called you on your sh!t!!!

don't back down. this may widen the gap between you, but no one said establishing and upholding boundaries was for wussies!

i know my mom dearly adored my daughter, her ONLY grandchild. but she couldn't stay sober for her or during time with her, any more than she could for any other reason.

the booze came first. the breathing. then everything else.
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Old 12-28-2016, 11:39 AM
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Some people can't decipher between person and behavior. Your complaint and boundaries are about behavior, and that is specifically, the drinking.

If I understood it correctly, she can not be around your child if she's been drinking, and can not drink around your child. You have EVERY right to set that boundary. That's protecting your child from the pain and anguish you've experienced with an alcoholic parent.

That is -- you're specifically concerned about the behavior. That's NOT judgment.

Judgment is when you insult the person - call them names. Insult who they are.

Very likely, the alcoholic is probably being judgmental. They're complaining behind your back. You probably hear about things she's said through other family members? Through the triangulation? My point is that she isn't deciphering between person and behavior - gets mixed up between the two.

You are clearly outlining the BEHAVIOR that isn't welcome in your child's life. She is arguing that you're judging her as a Person (that's judgment by the way, at least in my opinion).

She's turning it around and saying you're attacking her character. It's all part of the disease. Denial is one of the greatest weapons of the disease of alcoholism.

Stand your ground. Protect your child.

Right now, the only thing that's really bothering you...is guilt. Sibs and your mom are pulling on your guilt string. What are you to feel guilty for? Protecting your child from the inevitable abuse, neglect, etc that comes with a person who's actively engaged in their disease of alcoholism?

Rock on and keep on rocking on. Some studying about your own guilt and why that's plaguing you would be a good direction. Trying to figure out your siblings or your mom won't help you - you don't live in their brains and don't lead their lives. You lead your own. Work on you.

What is it like to grow up with an alcoholic? How has it effected your life? Reading stickies, or literature on adult children of alcoholics can help. Al-Anon or ACOA meetings might help as well.

I'm so sorry your experiences the long, draining, painful experience of watching your loved one slowly killing themselves (some faster than others) with this disease.

Hugs to you and your family (spouse and kid(s)).

(PS - for more perspective on what I'm trying to explain - look up "detachment" -- you can love the alcoholic, but hate the disease - hate the abusive behavior, etc - detach with love - no judgment. The disease is in charge and destroying her life. But you don't have to let it harm you and your family too. -- another thing--> is it judgmental of me to laugh at the "she only drinks after 3 pm"? The fact that in this statement means she's drinking EVERY single day and escapes their logic -- is just part of the insanity I guess - but I totally understand - I once thought I would bring my daughter to visit my dad at work cause he doesn't drink when he's there -- something interesting to consider - an active alcoholic's behavior is impacted by their disease BOTH during drinking BEFORE and AFTER -- my father has said really judgmental and mean things without a drink in his hand -- but in the end? my father is the one making no effort to see my daughter - I feel very sad about it, but I can't fix the disease nor can I control his behavior)
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