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Addict Brother, Co-Depent. Mother

Old 03-26-2007, 08:29 PM
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Addict Brother, Co-Depent. Mother

I was wondering if any of you codependent mothers with addict children have other children with problems resulting from your preoccupation with the addict child.

I'm hardly a child (55) but have an addict brother (54) that has caused chaos for years. I've recently discovered that I'm as mad at my mother as I am at my brother. I want to get over this & be at peace.

Does anyone have any insight or experience with this? Or even any random thoughts to help me look at this with different eyes.

I mainly get involved with helping my brother because I feel sorry for my mother. I also try to get her to see her part in this & even gave her a book on codependency, which she never read. Am I enabling the enabler?
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Old 03-26-2007, 09:04 PM
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Your situation is very similar to mine. My brother is the addict (he is 37) and my mother is his enabler. I'm 39, by the way.
I, too, get mad at my mother because of all this. It has been going on for YEARS and both of them just keep getting worse. I've given her books on codependency to read too. The first time she just gave them right back! This time she has kept them but I don't think she has read them.
I don't really have much involvement with my brother and have absolutely no involvement as far as helping him out with his addiction. My mother gives him all the 'help' he needs. I think that if my mom were to (God forbid!) die tomorrow I may never have any more contact with him at all.
His being an addict has really ruined the relationship my mother and I once had as well as the relationship she has with my children, her grandchildren. She is so wrapped up in my brother and his addictions she barely has time for anything else, even herself.
I've been trying for years to get someone to do something about it, but for now I'm just trying detaching from the whole situation to save my family's sanity. Maybe they won't do anything about his addictions, but I can do something about how I deal with them.
I know where you're coming from, I'm right there with you.
Good Luck!
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Old 03-28-2007, 10:21 PM
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Hi girls,
as a recovering codependent, enabling mother, I appreciate your posts. Just today, my AD (possibly in recovery, possibly not) called me to ask me to buy her cigarettes. It is so stupid, but I find it very difficult to say no. I did say I am sorry, but no. She said I didn't think so, but your not sorry.
I have been having this dance with her for years, but she is only 21.

Just this little thing was so difficult for me. My son (almost 19) has been exasperated by the whole merry-go-round with the addict in our family. We have put up with so much.

I am praying I am doing the right thing, she is not allowed to live here, and I won't give her money anymore. Just reading this shows me how insane I have been.

I am sorry your moms got caught up in trying to save your siblings. And yes, my son had to fend for himself a lot. Funny though, now he is the strong independent one.
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Old 03-28-2007, 10:39 PM
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I'm a mom, a sister and a daughter of addicts and alcoholics.

My relationship with sis was soooo strained for soooo long. She was the youngest, and the most favored by dad and the prettiest and the more popular (I thought). Daddy always bailed her out (though I remember about ten years ago her saying he did her no favors by that... perhaps that was the beginning of her changes).

Mom getting sober helped very much, but mom was very weak in the beginning of her recovery and wanted so bad to make amends and (I believe) thought Sis' drinking might be "her" fault. Over time, mom got better at not enabling, even though Sis got worse and worse.

When my own kids developed addiction, I favored first one then the other, depending on whose addiction was blooming at the time. Not so different from mom. Which helped me get some peace around the resentments I still carried from youth. I still had some resentments perking in there - and they would pop from time to time.

Then our brother, the one between us in age, died unexpectedly in 2000. Sis sent me a letter that just said, "I love you. I never got to tell Sam and I don't want to lose you without saying it. So I am." All I could think at the time was how hard that was for her to do... so hard, *I* (the sober older, somehow "better" one) had not found the strength to do so. That was another time I saw the "real" Sis start to peek through.

Then, in 2004, Sis got sober.... wow. What a difference... at about the same time, I got into Alanon and learned about expectations and resentments and MY part in the dance of addiction.

Today... mom and sis live together - and are as happy as clams. Both get along SO much better than either one would by living with me... and we are all open about that. There is love, laughter a little reminiscing... some of it pointed, but never mean anymore.

I am blessed to have two of the best women in the world in my life today. I love them more than I can express. Our recovery - each in our own way - has allowed that. I treasure every day I have with each of them.
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Old 03-29-2007, 06:31 AM
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My younger Brother is the addict he is 27 and I am 30 something.and I get so sick of hearing about it and him that I want to scream, he did this or did'nt do that, I love my brother with all my soul, but that zombie IS NOT who I love
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Old 03-29-2007, 09:51 AM
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welcome to S.R. i am the mother of a 34 yr.old son who has been an addict since he was about 17. it is hard on us mothers to let go of our children no matter if they are grown.if she is has hit her bottom there is nothing you can do for her.attend a meeting & try to take her with you.this site has saved my life.today i refuse to let my sons problems control my every thought.i can not save him.you can not save your brother or your mother.keep coming back & work on your recovery.we are glad to have you.prayers for your brother , mother & you too.
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Old 03-29-2007, 11:01 AM
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My brother was an addict and sadly died at 20. My mother was completely overwhelmed by his addiction and it was very hard to see them both enmeshed in addiction/codependency.
Being ten years older than my brother, I lived 3,000 miles away and was darn glad for the distance from them. I had a family, a husband and two children so my energy and attentions went to them and for that I am grateful.
My ex enabled my AS for years and Our daughter felt she was not given her father's attention or interest because he was completely enmeshed with AS
and all his problems. Fortunately, I found recovery for myself early on in AS's addiction and did not repeat my mother's pattern and was fully there for my daughter. Without recovery a codie parent gets as sick as the addict.
The best thing you can do is make the most of your own life whether or not
"they" change. You can only change you and nothing you say or do can change them.
It's fine to give Mom a book on codependency and encourage her to seek help. Then leave her to find what she alone can change when and if she is willing.
Detaching for the sake of you and your family's sanity is very healthy. I found attending Alanon meetings gave me back my life, the one I deserved to have without rescuing, feeling angry about, worrying about, resenting or controling others. I suggest you attend meetings and keep coming here. We truly understand, care, support and offer a wealth of experience, strength and hope.
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Old 03-29-2007, 11:51 AM
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Thanks to all of you for responding. Every story I read helps me.

jeepgirl, don't underestimate the importance of saying "no" to something small like buying cigarettes. It is the boundry that is important not the actual detail. It sounds like you're doing good.

My brother is in a medical nursing home for a month. He has a colostomy and a feeding tube. When he regains strength, he is to have the hole in his stomach repaired & will no longer need the feeding tube & will have his intestines reattached. He's had addiction problems for years, mostly denied by himself & my parents. In the hospital & now nursing home he has been given a fetanol(sp?) patch & dilada (sp?) for pain as well as ativan (sp?) for anxiety. Well, that was not enough for him & the minute he was able he added Xanax to the mix. He will be going home in 2-3 weeks & must be able to care for himself with feedings, etc. Obviously, that won't be the case with all these drugs & probably alcohol too (yes even with a hole in his stomach).

So I told the doctor. I got my whole family on board (I thought). The doctor stopped all his meds. Of course (who could not predict this), my mother went to the doctor crying to have the meds started again plus the Xanax. The doctor made a deal with brother that if he wouldn't take anything on his own, the doctor would keep him "comfortable". Brother had convinced Mother that if he didn't get the drugs he wanted, he would just leave. Also that he would die from the abrupt stopping of drugs. I know that last argument has some merit, but his drug use has been closely monitored for the last 6 weeks & he's at a hospital & being constantly monitored. Funny, how he'll mix all kinds of drugs & alcohol & not worry but when it comes to stopping "it might not be safe". That's just an outline of the current problems.

Oh, & my mother's attitude is that I'm the one causing the problems. I attended my first Alanon meeting Tuesday & will be returning.

Last edited by finally; 03-29-2007 at 11:53 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 03-29-2007, 12:03 PM
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Your mother is as 'sick' as your brother when it comes to his addictions. I know my mother is. It's hard to tell who the addict is sometimes since they both act crazy. And my mother has said I'm the cold hearted one because I refuse to put up with his bull any longer. Like I'm the bad one for not going along with all the madness.
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Old 03-29-2007, 06:25 PM
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just want to chime in and send prayers you way for you and your family.
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Old 03-30-2007, 05:48 AM
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I have heard that as an addict, it could be recommended that your brother go directly to a detox facility after leaving the hospital. He, or his advocate could petition for this from the insurance company. My daughter had surgery, and also was similar to your brother, needing pain medication. Right after getting out of the hospital for 6 weeks, she went right back to using.
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Old 03-30-2007, 10:10 AM
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This is my first time here. This site was recommended by a friend at Naranon. I am the mom of an addicted 23 yr old son. I know that I have been an enabler, but I am trying to get healthier. I am going to meetings and praying a lot. My daughter,25, is also tired of how his behavior affects me and my relationship with her and her family. Today, he is in rehab, but when I don't hear from him, I get panicky that he has left. However, from past experience, he would call me if he had left. He is supposed to come home on a 24 hr pass today. I am kind of scared about that. I keep trying to make sense of something that doesn't make sense. Thank you for listening.
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Old 03-30-2007, 11:42 AM
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Beachcatz, Your son is very fortunate that you are willing to learn & tolerate your own anxiety to not stand in the way of his recovering. I think that is real Mother Love. Sorta like when I was little & being punished my mother would say, "This hurts me more than it hurts you". Now that I'm a mother, I know what she meant.
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Old 03-30-2007, 11:53 AM
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Hi Beachcatz, Hi Finally... Welcome to Sober Recovery!!!

The best way to get responses is to have a thread of your very own (mostly because folks here can see if they've responded to a thread, and may not realize someone new has showed up who ALSO needs advice or information).

To start your own thread (it can be as simple as, Hi, I'm new!) - go out to the forum list (the list of topics). At the top, on the left - you should see a "new thread" button, like this:



Push that button, and you will get a box where you can type the thread title and a larger box for typing your "post". Push the button at the bottom that says "Submit new thread".... and watch the responses appear!

Do hope you can find here all the help you need.

((hugs))

Welcome!
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Old 03-30-2007, 07:35 PM
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OMG you do sound like my daughter...have I left her in search for her brothers enlightment...May god be with you and grace you with his love.
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