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Unread 04-01-2011, 04:48 PM   #1
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Default I think my mother is dying

I have a really complicated situation going on with my mother. Since I turned 12 and we moved to a different state, she has been an alcoholic. Even prior to me being 12, she would binge drink sometimes.

The cops and paramedics have been to my house a good number of times. My father thinks that her alcohol spending reaches the thousands in a month now (she drinks mostly wine and then some liquor). For the last year and a half, I have lived in an apartment with my boyfriend. While I was living at home, I was the primary target of my mother's physical and verbal abuse.

She drinks so much that she is delusional and thinks that my father beats her, when in fact he has only ever touched her in the last 7 years (I'm 19) to restrain her from hurting me, my brother, himself, or herself. Her hands shake to the point where I saw it take her 10 minutes to sign a check, and her mouth remains open in a permanent droop. She has all but stopped eating, and complains of severe pain over her whole body. She stays in bed for about 23 hours of every day and most times refuses to pick up my younger brother (age 16) from school, work, or track practice. She is completely in denial about her drinking, referring to it as a problem entirely in the past and nothing of concern now. She thinks she's very fat. She wears an obnoxious amount of perfume to cover up the alcohol stench. I don't think she's left my town in years, as she is afraid to drive (but somehow makes it to the liquor store).

When she's not drinking, the way my family has generally operated is that we pretend everything is okay. I'll get calls from her while she's sober in the morning and we'll have a chat about news events or whatever trivial thing, then a few hours later I'll get another call with her screaming at me about how my father has me brainwashed.

My family has held multiple interventions, and she's seen a few therapists and doctors, all of whom she has blatantly lied to about her condition.

I think that she is dying, and I don't really know 1) when this will happen, 2) how it will affect me and especially my brother who is very attached to her, and 3) if my current relationship with her is harmful for me. The problem is, I need to stay in contact with her because I am not fully financially independent and my parents help pay my rent, and some people have told me before that I should just sever contact, which I am clearly unable to do.

Is this the kind of thing I should discuss with an Alanon/Alateen/ACA group? I've never been to group. I'm really confused and scared about all of this. Has anyone else had a parent essentially die because of their alcoholism?
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Unread 04-01-2011, 09:42 PM   #2
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Default Re: I think my mother is dying

Hi ina91,

I am very sorry that you have to deal with an alcoholic parent. It is very hard on the whole family as you already know.

Yes, people die of alcholism. They often loose liver function and even kidney function. But isn't your father helping?

Yes, going to an alonon meeting can help you get support. I did that when my husband drank and also as he got sober and stopped drinking.
He has not drank in almost 21years.

It sounds like your mother needs to go to detox and get treatment and I have to tell you, she may not be happy at all about that. It is a terrible disease and people who have it will do and say anything to keep drinking.

If you go to an alonon meeting you may find some support and some suggestions. It really sounds like someone needs to intervene. Your mother is clearly not in the state of mind where she can help herself right now. I also suggest that she see a doctor and have herself checked. Some alcoholics can indeed get very mean and tell you that your the one who has a problem. It sounds like your mother is a mean drunk.

I am so sorry ina91,

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Unread 04-02-2011, 06:44 AM   #3
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Default Re: I think my mother is dying

having an alcoholic in one's family is very difficult. they take "hostages" in their relationships. alcoholism is called a family disease because everyone is affected by the alcoholic.
yes, discussing this in acoa, al-anon, etc is very appropriate. you need the support of those members to lead you towards you own way of living and freedom too. i'd advise your brother to go with you too. it will help YOU both.the more meetings you attend will be beneficial. you can't change an alcoholic. but You can learn ways of coping to distance yourself emotionally and create your own life.
there is a "pink elephant" in the room at your parent's house based on what you described. i'm glad you decided to live elsewhere even tho you are stil relying on monetary support. try to find a job to get on your feet. (screen your phone calls from mom. that is another way to distance yourself). that is a beginning but use acoa, etc. to help you even more. hugs.
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Unread 04-02-2011, 09:33 PM   #4
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Default Re: I think my mother is dying

Thanks a lot for the advice both of you.

Though I am wondering, what was your first Alanon meeting like, and what are the ages of people in Alanon vs. Alateen? The Alateen groups I looked up in my area are 99% for ages 13-18 and I'm 19. I'm very nervous about going for the first time.

And as for my father, he does try his best to help, but his current shift leaves him working from about 11am to 2am, and my mother hates him because of her delusions about him.

Last edited by ina91; 04-02-2011 at 09:34 PM. Reason: wanted to add something else
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Unread 04-03-2011, 09:42 AM   #5
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Default Re: I think my mother is dying

al-anon, acoa or alateen would all be good choices. but for you i feel acoa or al-anon fits you better. everyone of the people in the rooms have once walked through that same door. they understand your fear. they were afraid once too. but they took that leap of faith to get help. they will be supportive and welcome you being there. there is nothing to lose and a lot to gain by your going. you don't have to speak. you can just listen. it's ok.. hope you will go. your life will change for the better in spite of mom's alcoholism.
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Unread 04-03-2011, 11:51 AM   #6
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Default Re: I think my mother is dying

Good luck to you, ina91.
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Unread 04-04-2011, 12:04 PM   #7
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Default Re: I think my mother is dying

I've never known anyone to die from it, but my boyfriend has. He's seen a lot of destruction with alcohol in a former relationship he had, his grandmother, and some of his friends. He had one friend that committed suicide because of his depression and constant drinking (which didn't help).

What's going on with your mother is pretty extreme, and I imagine very hard on you. I'm so sorry for all of that. It's hard to watch someone in pain, and it's even harder to watch them self-destruct because of it.

I think going to a meeting would help you. But remember, your mother has to make the final decision as to whether she wants help for her disease. Don't have high expectations for her to change, because if she's in this much denial now - it's going to be hard to help. She may never change. I hope she does. But going to meetings will help you, and being around others in your situation will bring you hope and people to talk to about this as to what you can do.

Here's some reading that might help:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/search/ref=...oks-Submit.y=0

I wish you the best, and keep in touch about what's going on.
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Unread 04-24-2011, 12:58 AM   #8
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Default Re: I think my mother is dying

When I was growing up I Knew a women who was an alcoholic, she was an older women and very sick, she drank from morning until night, my understanding was that her husband was a relative of my step fathers, we never got to know her because she was always drunk, so we seldom visited her and she was very mean. I over heard my parents talking, I heard them say that if she was to stop drinking she would die. However, she ended up dying anyway from alcoholism.
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