Alcoholic Dementia

My mom has been an alcoholic my whole life, I am 24 years old. It wasn't until the past ten years when it took a hold of her.

It was right after my little sister was born when things took a turn for the worse and I was in 6th grade. My step-dad made enough money where my mom didn't have to work. She stayed home and would drink beer all day, then it slowly went to a few drinks with captain morgan... then by the time I was in high school she was easily drinking a bottle of captain morgan everyday. Yes, everyday. In that time, my step dad worked from 6 in the morning and wouldn't be home till 8 at night. I don't think he had a clue. So when I got home from school, I was the one taking care of my little sister. I was a teen mom, in middle school, with my moms child. I changed my sisters diapers, I bathed her, I made sure she ate. There would be times my mom would make me stay home from school to take care of my little sister. If something ever went wrong, it was always my fault.
Living in that kind of environment, killed me. I was depressed. I debated suicide everyday. Until I got enough nerve when I was in 11th grade to move out. So I did. I gave up my car, cell phone, credit card - handed it over to my mom and told her I was moving out. All she had to say was "good luck getting pregnant".  The only person I told in my family before I moved out was my grandma. I told her I couldn't handle it anymore and she said... to the exact word "Ami, you're just a kid, you don't understand". That's been hard to get over... but everyone else in my family didn't want to admit my mom had a problem. I was the only one experiencing it first hand.

Ive been angry at my mom for the past ten years. What she put me through. What she puts herself through. She drinks because it's someone else fault, god forbid if it was herself bringing the alcohol to her lips.
About a year ago I went through some intense counseling. I have been able to get past my moms problems, and realize that yes, she is an alcoholic, but by all means, it is not my fault. I was struggling almost everyday with that lifestyle she lead. I attempted to go to a few ALNON meetings, but I always messed up the days and one meeting was an actual AA meeting. Once coming to that conclusion, I've had better relationships and I've definitely been way more positive. Although I did already make the decision that my mom was no longer going to be a part of my life.

This past August, my mom was on a downward spiral. She looked sickly. I knew something was wrong. A week later my step-dad got into a really bad accident at work so we went to my moms to figure out what we were going to do. We got there and she didn't even know who we were. Her body shut down - she couldn't even walk. She was loopy. It was like talking to someone with no memory. The next day my grandma too my mom to the ER, she was admitted immediately for malnourishment. She had a lack of thymine and her blood count was at a 5. She was literally days away from dying. She was killing herself.

To find out she has alcoholic dementia. She has significant brain and liver damage. Her brain has literally shrunk. We spent ten days in the hospital wondering what was going to happen. Trying to figure out how we got here. It felt so surreal. My own mother had to ask me who I was. Over and over again. She didn't know who she was married to. She still thought she was in college. She's 45... and has no memory. The questions kept on coming. I could elaborate more on the hospital experience, let me know if you want to know more. Most of all, you know you love someone when you can help them go to the bathroom and not be grossed out.
After ten days in the hospital she went to a nursing home, which is where she is still today.

She can finally walk, SOME of her memory is back but she still isn't that same person who she was once was. We still don't know what we want to do with her. Since the accident my step-dad was in - my aunt and I have custody over my mom, which he signed over to us.
Because of this experience I have been able to forgive my mom the past ten years. I tell her I love her everyday. I hug and kiss her. I dont look at her and get angry. I have my mom back. She's not going to be the one I always day dreamed of, but shes my mom and finally loving her for who she is.

Its definitely been experience. I never thought I would be involved in something like this... but it definitely happened and I all I can say, you never realize how fast you can grow up in such a short period of time.i
ohhitsami ohhitsami
22-25, F
10 Responses Dec 27, 2011

My mother went down the same route, luckily for me she wasn't drinking so heavily that I ended up with fetal alcohol syndrome - bit of a close call by all accounts. My mother went from an accomplished teacher and concert grade pianist and violinist to someone who could barely balance a checkbook. I've had my own skirmishes with alcohol, when in uni I could well have been considered an alchy but now it's a tool (I'm on the artistic side and a little unsociable). Can't really denigrate it too much as I'm sat here with a glass of rather nice red wine, meh :P

My mom was hospitalized in January this year and they found brain damage. Her brain damage wasn't as extensive as your mom's but they told her to stop drinking-and she hasn't. Since then-the relationships around her have deteriorated. The pain in my heart is mostly related to that my dad and sister won't confront her. If she stops drinking now..she could have a chance. But she chooses alcohol. That's the most painful thing. Thank you so much for sharing your story.

I wish i could forgive my mom. Im not ready to yet. Im too angry.<br />
Im so proud of you though, i really am. Im also really proud of you for getting the guts to move out - good on you. I wanted to move out since i was 16 but stayed for my dad.<br />
Good luck.

I wasn't able to fully forgive my mom until she got sick. It was hard, but I realize now I cannot blame myself for my moms decisions. There are definitely times in life you have to make selfish decisions in order to save yourself.

True but those decisions are heart breaking :( the only reason im still at home is for my dad, minus him from the equation and id be out of here in a flash. it was her choice to be like this. I am such a different depressed person when i am around her.i still love her obviously but she chose that path and musnt expect me to stick around and watch her destroy herself, and she knows it.

You're one tough cookie

I didn't know it could do so much damage to your brain without ruining the liver first. That's so sad. Thanks for sharing your experience. I'm sure it's not easy to talk about.

I did not either, until I saw the MRI results and talking to many doctors.

Sometimes alcoholism is too far to recover from. I am an alcoholic who chooses day by day not to drink. I am sorry you had to live thru that. Perhaps someday you will be able to forgive her or help someone else before they get that far.I am here if you ever need to talk or have questions I can help you find answers to.<br />
<br />
Be at peace in your mind and soul<br />

I give you so much credit to live everyday and make the decisions to not drink. I know that takes great effort.

Thanks for posting. Very good story. Well done you. How are your stepdad and sister?

They are good. Living life :)

Wow. That is a truly amazing story. I can't imagine how proud you must be to have gotten this far in your life at such a young age. I know I am proud of your accomplishments and I barely know you!


your so strong 2 go through that and still love her! good is ur sis?