Need major guidance w/alcoholic mom...

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-18-2007
Need major guidance w/alcoholic mom...
5
Mon, 10-29-2007 - 3:30pm
This is my first post to this board. I lurked a little last night to see if anyone was going through something similar to me so I could just follow whatever good advice might be given to someone in my shoes. But no luck. :( Here is my story: my mom is an alcoholic--I think. She is not the kind of alcoholic that has to have a drink as soon as she wakes up in the morning, but she does drink wine almost every night in excess. I never really know how much she drinks because her standard answer is "I've only had 2 glasses." At least once or twice a week she has enough to drink that I don't want to talk to her and that always starts a fight. She recently moved to the same city that I live in so she could be close to my baby, who was born in January. Before this year, we had not lived within 500 miles of one another for over 10 years. So it has been a major adjustment. Before she lived here, it was much easier to brush this problem under the rug. Not so much anymore. I have learned that I cannot get her to stop drinking but I have told her that if she chooses to drink, than she can do it at her home--away from me and my family--and not to call me when she has been drinking. She is mostly repsectful or my request to not drink in excess at my home but does not respect my no-call rule. She will call and call and call, screaming at me about what a horrible daughter I am, that I am trying to control her, etc. There is a lot of background to her drinking. I am on only child and my dad cheated on her and left us when I was 12. My married the woman with whom he had the affair and does not acknowledge me and cannot stand my mom--it was a very nasty divorce and that is when the drinking really accelerated. She started dating a family friend soon after my parents separated and he is also a heavy drinker, so the drinking got even worse. My high school years were miserable. Even though her boyfriend has just as serious a drinking problem, he seems to have a much higher tolerance than my mom does and he does not get mean like she does, either. But he is a loser. He never wanted me around so my mom was constantly at his house and I was left to fend for myself. He was verbally abusive to me and once tried to sexually abuse me (I told my mom and she acted like it was not a big deal because he was drunk). And he is verbally abusive to my mom and I suspect physically abusive as well. He is an attorney but by no means successful because he is more concerned with drinking all day than actually working. About 3 years ago, my mom caught him (red handed) cheating with her with one of her married girlfriends. She swore she would never speak to him again. That was one of the reasons she moved up here--to make a fresh start. Well, I guess absence makes the heart grow fonder because she has been back to visit with him at least once a month since she moved here and he comes to visit her, too. When they are together, all they do is drink. They convince each other that neither of them have a problem. I get reports from people in my small hometown that when she is home to visit him, she stays drunk. So that is the basic background. Now, throw in that in August, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. Let me say now, since I haven't yet, that I love my mom so much. I am her only child and we are very, very close. I am devastated by this cancer diagnosis. And just because I hate the person she becomes when she drinks, we are inseparables during the day, while she is sober. So I am having a very hard time with this. Her prognosis is really, really good. She opted for a double mastectomy so she would never have to worry about breast cancer again and they are doing some preventative light chemo (3 or 4 treatments) just as a precautionary measure. She is, understandably, very scared and depressed about her future with treatment. However, the cancer has now become another excuse for her to drink. Her boyfriend came to visit over the weekend and they stayed drunk. He left yesterday at about noon and she kept drinking. She called me to cry, not telling me what was wrong. I told her that I could tell that she had been drinking and we would talk tomorrow. Then, she was quickly able to scream at me to tell me that she was crying because she has cancer and she is going to die and I don't know what she is going through, and how dare I bring up her drinking now, that has nothing to do with it, etc. My problem is, I know I need to be supportive of her in this fight against cancer--but quite simply, I am certain what happened was, she got in to a funk because her boyfriend left, she kept drinking, and then started feeling sorry for herself. That is what it was all about not the cancer. And I feel like she is "using" the cancer as an excuse to drink and be miserable and make everyone around her miserable--does that make sense? So anyway, I am going to my first Al-Anon meeting tomorrow. But what should I do in the mean time? I told her this morning that I did not want to see her today and that I had gotten someone else to babysit tonight (I have a meeting and she was going to watch the baby--I pay her), and all hell broke lose. She thinks I am trying to "hold the baby over her." She adores my baby more than anything in the world and she thinks this is my way of punishing her. What do I do? Do I take it easy on her because of the cancer even though I really am at my breaking point? Any guidance is appreciated. Sorry it is so long!


Powered by CGISpy.com


Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket



Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketBlinkiesPhoto Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket





Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketPhoto Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

KStar Design.com
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-18-2007
Mon, 10-29-2007 - 3:43pm
Updated to add: my mom made an appointment with a therapist at her cancer treatment center. She told me this this morning as she was screaming at my about how dare I bring her drinking in to this, and I am using the baby to get back at her, etc. She watches the baby for me 2 days a week while I go to work(again--I pay her) and she also works PT at an antique store. So she just called me to ask me if I had been to my Al-Anon meeting (which this morning she told me to leave her out of--she did not even want to hear about it) and I told her no, because there is a meeting tomorrow that is closer to the house and offers child care. She said she still wants to babysit this week even though I have arranged for another sitter. She was trying to be nice to me but I could tell she was really hurting over not being able to see the baby. Do I tell her that if she will agree to talk to the therapist openly and honestly about her drinking and start working on getting her drinking under control that I will let her babysit this week? I really wanted to wait until I went to my Al-Anon meeting and got some guidance, but maybe this is a chance to get her to commit to something? But then it seems like I AM using the baby as a tool to get her to stop drinking, which is really not my intent. I just don't want to be around her until I figure out what to do...TIA!


Powered by CGISpy.com


Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket



Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketBlinkiesPhoto Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket





Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketPhoto Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

KStar Design.com
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-15-2004
Mon, 10-29-2007 - 3:59pm

Alanon - GOOD DECISION!


As for the meantime...consider sticking to the boundaries you initially set with her - cancer or no cancer. Speak to her on the phone if she has not been drinking, and do not if she has.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-07-2003
Mon, 10-29-2007 - 8:09pm

Whew!!

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-07-2003
Mon, 10-29-2007 - 8:13pm

I would wait for quite a while before I leave your baby with her.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-11-2004
Tue, 10-30-2007 - 10:33pm

Hi


I want to welcome you. I agree with Leslie. Please get caller id and stop answering the phone. Call the DRs office. The DR can't discuss your mother with you unless she has signed that he/she can, but you can talk with the DR about her alcohol use. Please don't leave your child with her. Find other daycare.