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When your parent is an alcoholic... ......................... 17 kids; Washington 807 posts
29th Dec '12

Very long but I appreciate anyone who reads and gives advice.



My mother claims she's been completely sober and hasn't even looked at alcohol in about four years. She's an alcoholic and has a lot of health issues due to heavy drinking in the past. She was in AA for a few years and then stopped going because she said it wasn't doing anything for her anymore.



Well, over the past six or so months I had been suspicious and wondered if maybe she was drinking again. She said it was her medications at first (she takes stuff for depression, diabetes, and fibromyalgia), then she told me she was smoking weed and that was what was making her act 'weird.' Well, she was acting drunk so I didn't really buy that but I couldn't be sure as she's always drank in private.



Recently, though, she went shopping with me. I had to pick up a prescription so she decided to meet me at another part of the store. I saw her before she saw me, and she was pushing a cart with one item in it. A bottle of vodka. As soon as she saw me too, she exclaimed 'OH WOW, THIS ISN'T MY CART!' and pushed it over to the side. I said 'How were you pushing a different cart...?' 'I don't know but nope, not mine. I have to go get a new one!' And she ran away before I could say anything else.



I didn't say anything more about it because, hey, maybe it wasn't her cart. I mean, it seemed dumb to me that she didn't know it wasn't her cart but who knows. Maybe she was just distracted.



So she comes over the other day to stay the night and as soon as I pick her up, I notice she's being annoying and acting like an idiot. She's slurring words, her face is all red. She claims, again, that it's her medication. We come back to the house and she's slobbering all over my son, telling him how much I suck and how he's so great. Wtf. But I ignore it. It's her medication, after all. :/



She keeps going into my back room where she's going to sleep and won't let me back there when she's in there. Not cool. She comes back out and when Felix wants me instead of her, she says 'What's so great about your stupid, dumb MOM anyway?' Now I'm getting irritated and ask her 'Are you okay?'



She says 'Uhm...YEAH. I'm just...HAPPY. HELLO. GEEZ.' So I tell her that I think she's drunk or high or SOMETHING because she's being stupid and slurring like crazy. Her glasses aren't even on her face straight. She just sits there for a moment, then says 'I. AM. NOT. DRUNK.' I tell her 'Okay, but you're really acting like it and it makes me uncomfortable. If this really is your medication, you need to see your doctor to change it.' She totally ignores that and just says 'It doesn't matter what YOU think I'm on because I'm NOT f**king DRUNK!'



So now I'm pissed so I tell her I'm taking her home because I don't want Felix to see us fighting or around her while acting this way.



I haven't talked to her in two days.



All of my brothers, myself, my husband, my friends... We all suspect she's drinking again. I am not going to snoop through her shit and invade her privacy, obviously. But she is clearly doing something to act this way. I think the vodka bottle was very suspicious too.



So what do I do? I know addictions aren't something cured overnight. This is what I'm thinking of doing: Writing her a letter (because in-person and telephone conversations always result in a fight) that asks these things of her...



1. Please tell us what is impairing you. If it's alcohol, then please seek help because physically and mentally you cannot handle it. If it's medication, please ask your doctor to change it or the dosage.



2. I know you can't stop these things cold turkey, so please just don't do them around me or your grandson. If you feel the temptation to drink or you need the medication so badly on a day you plan to come over, be honest with me and just don't show up. Come by on a good day.



Are those unreasonable requests?



I want to help her but I don't know how. I wish she was honest with us. Back when she was drinking during the hours I was at school back in 2003-2005, she always, ALWAYS claimed she wasn't drunk. Ever. We found wine and vodka behind the OVEN even and no, not hers. No way, no how.



How do I handle this? I don't want my son around her when she's acting drunk but I don't want to keep him from her entirely. But she always promises she's not on anything then comes over acting like a total moron and not being the mom I remember. ): I miss that person and I just want her back.

melindapple 1 child; Michigan 5425 posts
29th Dec '12

I don't know the answers to any of the other questions, but I think your requests are just fine. To me, it does sound like she was drunk when she was over at your house but maybe not. I mean, I don't know her, or her personality.

......................... 17 kids; Washington 807 posts
29th Dec '12
Quoting melindapple:" I don't know the answers to any of the other questions, but I think your requests are just fine. To me, ... [snip!] ... it does sound like she was drunk when she was over at your house but maybe not. I mean, I don't know her, or her personality. "


When she's not on anything, she's the best. We get along beautifully and she's a great person. But as soon as she's drunk or on anything, I can't stand her. She's so rude. As a kid, it was really hard because she'd be so nice to me one day and then the next she was telling me how she wished she'd die so she didn't have to look at me. :/ She's definitely got a lot of issues and I wish she'd do something about them, instead of just denying them, blaming others, and drinking. Everything is always someone else's fault. Usually mine. It really hurts because I love who she is when she's in a right state of mind, but that person is very rare these days. ):

I'm His Amy He's My Rory 2 kids; Caldwell, Idaho 49254 posts
29th Dec '12

Sadly some people get to a point they can't and won't allow help. I feel you're right in asking her not to bring it around your son, but be prepared that if she's that bad he may never know his grandma. If he doesn't, as bad as it sounds, it's not the end of the world. I grew up with absolutely NO grandparents, and I'm no worse for wear. I'm happier never being around them than being around a man who set my mother on fire for fun.

Smokey_Taboo Due April 22; 1 child; California 5480 posts
29th Dec '12

My father is also a Alcoholic and was sober for about 6months and just recently started drinking again.
I think those are all really great and reasonable request.
And she is obviously altered, in some way and it needs some attention, just make sure you are coming at from a place with love and compassion.
Thats what im trying to do with my dad, Im done being angry at him its not even worth it anymore...

Wanted: #2 Due August 26 (boy); 33 kids; Illinois 4726 posts
29th Dec '12

I have been dealing with an alcoholic for 5 years now. It very much sounds as if she is drinking again. Of course it could also be the meds, but than she is overdosing on the meds. No request you make will matter. The addiction is stronger. I know the alcoholic in my life used to love me and my son very dearly. He is aware that he is truly hurting both of us and that he is losing us (just yesterday I decided that life as we know it will change) and even that will not keep him from drinking. They are obesessed and it is out of their control. The only thing you truly can do is get yourself to Al-Anon and give her very clear rules in regards to yourself and your son. E.g. I love you, but I don't want you around when you are drunk. You are always welcome, but as soon as I realize that you are not acting normal you are out of the door". This is fair and if she can't handle this than it is not you who keeps your son from seeing her, but it is herself. If you want to talk, PM me. I am going through the exact same sh... right now, just that it is not my mom but someone else in the family.

anonymom + 1.5 2 kids; West Virginia 10787 posts
29th Dec '12

I think if she is drinking, while she may start with the intention of not coming to see you and your son, that intention will dissolve and she may come, anyway. You'll have to just put your foot down, IMO, and say something like, "Mom, you're really not acting sober right now. I'm sorry, but you're going to have to come back tomorrow/whenever."



IMO and in my experience... all of the best intentions go down the drain when someone is high/drunk.



But, the requests give her some sort of control in her eyes, over her life. I'm sorry... I just don't know how likely it is for her to stay sober. I know that sometimes addicts will go back again and again, no matter how long they've been sober, just because... well, they don't know and neither does nayone else. Loving an addict is hard. I wish you the best of luck.

......................... 17 kids; Washington 807 posts
29th Dec '12
Quoting I'm His Amy He's My Rory:" Sadly some people get to a point they can't and won't allow help. I feel you're right in asking her not ... [snip!] ... and I'm no worse for wear. I'm happier never being around them than being around a man who set my mother on fire for fun."


Set her on fire? That's terrible!



I didn't grow up with grandparents either. My grandmother on my mom's side was around a few times but had bad Alzheimer's so it wasn't REALLY like she was in my life. She didn't really even know who I was. The rest were either dead or living far away my entire life. My grandfather was apparently an abusive drunk so...definitely glad I didn't meet him.



I am honestly considering keeping them apart entirely. ): I hate it because when she gets help, she is SO much better. I remember when she went to this rehabilitation place when she admitted to drinking the first time and when we went to go see her a couple weeks in, she already looked so much better. She didn't look like the bumbling idiot she was on when she was drunk. We had nice conversations and she was the person I remembered when I was really, really young.



I have no idea why I keep holding onto hope that she'll be that person again. Clearly she doesn't want to be or if she does, she doesn't want it enough to actually seek help to do so. ):

I'm His Amy He's My Rory 2 kids; Caldwell, Idaho 49254 posts
29th Dec '12
Quoting emmygog[Felix's Mommy]:" Set her on fire? That's terrible! I didn't grow up with grandparents either. My grandmother on my mom's ... [snip!] ... that person again. Clearly she doesn't want to be or if she does, she doesn't want it enough to actually seek help to do so. ):"


Yeah he set her on fire in her sleep.



Honestly at this point I would keep them apart. He's going to get hurt/damaged more TRYING than not having her around.

......................... 17 kids; Washington 807 posts
29th Dec '12
Quoting anonymom + 1.5:" I think if she is drinking, while she may start with the intention of not coming to see you and your ... [snip!] ... just because... well, they don't know and neither does nayone else. Loving an addict is hard. I wish you the best of luck."


As of right now, that's pretty much what I do. At least to some extent. Three or four times now, she's packed up her stuff, gotten to my house, and then I made her leave because I thought she was drunk. I usually let her stay for a bit because I always tell myself that it'll pass or maybe she's just tired or whatever. One time I got to her place and as soon as she got in the car, I told her to go back in her house because her behavior was making me suspect she was drunk. She was so angry with me but I didn't change my mind and told her I'd have her over when she was sober. She is still adamant that she was just 'tired' that day.

......................... 17 kids; Washington 807 posts
29th Dec '12
Quoting I'm His Amy He's My Rory:" Yeah he set her on fire in her sleep. Honestly at this point I would keep them apart. He's going to get hurt/damaged more TRYING than not having her around."


Wow...that's just awful. I am sorry she had to go through something so terrible. ):



And yes... I think you're right. I didn't speak with her for a few months while I was pregnant because she was stressing me out and I think I'm going to have to do it again, for who knows how long. Something has to change.

Dragon Queen Salem, OR, United States 9896 posts
29th Dec '12

You will have to get stronger than you already are and tell her your requests. If you just let it go like you seem to be doing, you're only enabling her. My father is similar. He was/is an alcoholic but claims that he has it under control. Addicts are always in recovery, there is no cure for addiction. You'll have to accept that and understand that if you want her in your life, your strength, tough love, and patience will be key to your relationship. You shouldn't have your child(ren) around that kind of behavior. Good luck.

SuperOvulator;♥ ;] 2 kids; North Carolina 9982 posts
29th Dec '12

My stepdad is an alcoholic.
Been dealing with it for 22 years! :?
(I'm 22, but still, that's how long he's been around, because my real dad passed away when I was 5 months)



And, I'm the same situation, my stepdad was sober for about a year and half. Then all of a sudden, recently, he starts drinking again and not going to AA meetings. He'll swear up and down he's not drinking, but like your mom, he drinks in private, he doesn't drink in front of other people, so he'll drink in his room or he'll walk down the street or go to a friend's house up the road. He's not AS bad as he used to be, but it's still pretty bad when he's stumbling around at midnight and later while my kids are trying to sleep, and slurring his words and asking the same questions over and over.



I honestly can't stand him at all anymore. If my mom works nights, I'll take the twins and go out to dinner or go eat dinner at my sister's house. I refuse to cook dinner at home for him anymore.

FroggysMommy 1 child; Golden, Colorado 26805 posts
status 29th Dec '12
Quoting I'm His Amy He's My Rory:" Sadly some people get to a point they can't and won't allow help. I feel you're right in asking her not ... [snip!] ... and I'm no worse for wear. I'm happier never being around them than being around a man who set my mother on fire for fun."


This. My Dad will NEVER be sober. Ive accepted that. It took many years for me to accept that.



That being said, hes a good grandpa. He is not allowed to drive the kids around and cant watch the kids once hes been drinking. He only sees them a couple times a year so its not a problem.



But as for the cart... honestly I did that the other day. Me and the other lady grabbed each others carts, walked the entire walkway and then when we looked down we went OH CRAP WHAT THE HELL! We had grabbed each others carts! My purse wasnt in mine but hers was in hers, we both felt like idiots and I was a bublling idiot going "Im sorry I didnt even look in the purse, I thought it was my cart!" lol so honestly it CAN happen! Did it happen? No idea. But it did happen to me!