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Old 04-10-2018, 02:12 PM   #1
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Default Dealing with alcoholic Mother - When is enough?

Hello,

I am a 41 year old female who is sick of dealing with my alcoholic Mother. She raised me as a single, teen parent after being forced out of her parent's home. She was in a tough situation and sought out alcohol as a coping mechanism. Unfortunately she was a horrible parent and a mean drunk. Growing up we never felt loved, no affection, she never made an effort in attending our school conferences or any of that. She seemed to always be drunk. This made it really difficult for me growing up. I distanced myself as a teen and once I hit 18 I moved out. During this time she started dating a drug addict who enabled her habit and she even started doing drugs.

Around 7 years ago they split up. She underwent much needed surgery and became independent. She even stopped drinking, except for special occasions. Unfortunately once she starts she can't stop. She is fun as a sober parent and we developed a close relationship where we speak daily. I am a pet parent and she would spoil my dogs and buy me mother's day cards from them. She became not a great Mom, but a good friend. Unfortunately she was introduced to pills (I have no idea which ones), but they make her loopy. She hallucinates from them and can't remember if we spoke that day. When I can sense she is on them, I stay away.

My issue is I am sick of this yo-yo relationship. She is great one minute and horrible the next. When she is under the influence it triggers my anxiety and reminds of my crappy childhood. It's like it sucks the happy life that I have worked so hard to create out of me. I have contemplated cutting her out of my life all together, but I don't have a lot of family. I am estranged from my Dad and my Grandma (who I was extremely close to) passed away a year ago. I am happily married and do have my furry kids though. She doesn't understand the way her addiction makes me feel and takes no responsibility in her poor parenting. She is just horrible when I call her out on things or ask if she had been drinking. She becomes mean and says hurtful things to me.

After my Grandma passed I was reminded of how short life is. Can I compromise my happiness to have an unhealthy relationship with her or do I except the good with the bad. I am at lost and I am wondering what others in this position have done.

Sorry this is so long..thank you for reading
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Old 04-10-2018, 06:25 PM   #2
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Hello klkarja: I see this is your first post here on PC. So... welcome to PsychCentral! I hope you find the time you spend here to be beneficial.

Hopefully you're planning to hang in here with us for a while. Assuming you are... may I suggest you introduce yourself over on our New Members Introductions forum? Here's a link:

https://forums.psychcentral.com/new-...introductions/

Another forum that may be of interest would be the Relationships & Communication forum:

https://forums.psychcentral.com/rela...communication/

I don't know as there is a lot I can offer with regard to your particular concern. I'm an older person... likely older than your mother. My parents have been gone for quite a few years now. But I essentially left them behind many years ago. Sometimes I wish it could have been different. But it was not. Since I was an only child, they were the only family I had. And since then I've had no extended family... just my wife & me & our furry little old man.

I think all you can do in your situation is to make a decision with regard to what you can & cannot tolerate going forward. I'm afraid this is one of those situations where there simply are no really good options. Here are links to some articles, from PsychCentral's archives, on the subject of how to deal with difficult family members. Perhaps some of the information in them will be of some help:

https://blogs.psychcentral.com/good-...ppy-heres-why/

https://blogs.psychcentral.com/knott...olling-mother/

https://psychcentral.com/blog/how-to...amily-members/

https://blogs.psychcentral.com/imper...nd-or-explain/

https://blogs.psychcentral.com/child...-toxic-people/

https://psychcentral.com/blog/5-ways...ficult-people/

I wish you well...
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Old 04-11-2018, 12:30 PM   #3
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Hi and welcome to PC!

I was in a similar situation. I did go minimal contact with my parents after a while when I was in the military. It was only after my mother was weeks away from death that I went to see her for the last time. She had ovarian cancer and it metastasized thought her body. We all thought something would happen to her liver first.

It was hard because my mother didn't see her only grandchild, but I wasn't going to expose my daughter to the toxic family dynamic. We had enough going on as it was.

You could try establishing some boundaries first (no phone calls or visits unless she is sober and clean), but if you do go no contact make sure you have support from friends, spouse, or professionals. It would also help if you have a therapist who specializes in trauma so you can manage your responses to her.
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Old 04-11-2018, 03:41 PM   #4
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Welcome to PC.

I hope you find the information and the support you may be seeking.
Please make yourself at home. Jump in wherever you feel led to do so.

Your first 5 posts are approved by a moderator before they appear. After 5 approved posts, you will also have access to chatrooms and to the Private Messaging (PM) system.

I hope to see you around the forums.


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Old 04-11-2018, 03:50 PM   #5
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Hi klkarja,

I grew up and made a different life for myself, too. Luckily, my mother has as well, so we get along well. Some family members are still caught up in alcohol. I limit contact. I won't attend parties I know center around alcohol.

I agree with Fharraige's suggestions re: setting some boundaries. I have done this with some acquaintances. They can decide to honor the boundaries set, or not. Some fail to and eventually drop off as acquaintances as I reinforce the boundaries. It's fine with me if they choose to end the "friendship," as I don't want to re-live my childhood.

I hope a boundary-setting approach proves helpful for you.

Hope to see you around!


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Old 04-12-2018, 11:07 AM   #6
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Welcome to psych central
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