Should I Cut Off My Mom?

My mom has been drinking for as long as I can remember. Along with her drinking came physical and mental abuse toward everyone else in the house (myself, my sister, and my father). Growing up I had a love/hate relationship with her. When she was sober, she was fun, caring, and lovable. Then when she drank, she became this mean, nasty, spiteful woman who I did not recognize, and couldn't possible love. Her drinking would escalate to the point where she would abuse my father. It was such a scary thing to watch, and as I child I felt so helpless. I can remember running to a neighbor's house many times to ask for help when my mom was drunk, and my parents were fighting. Police were involved multiple times, and I spent many nights at the neighbors for my own safety. The following mornings always involved a lot of crying on her part, an all-day apology, and a promise to stop drinking. Needless to say that never happened.

As I grew up, and became more independent, I was able to see through my mothers lies and manipulations due to her addiction. When I no longer cried at the horrible things she would say (like that I should have been an abortion) she started to resent me even more, and tell me that "I didn't care about her." Because I went to college and currently am working on my masters, am in a great relationship, and can support myself, she tells me that I think I am too good for her. For me it was the complete opposite. Seeing her that way completely rips my heart out, but I understand that her hurtful words and threats only bring stress and anxiety into my life.

I have tried numerous times to talk to her, and have offered to pay for her to go to rehab, but she doesn't seem to think she has a problem. She blames her drinking on everyone, and everything but herself.

I have gotten to the point that I have made the choice to no longer be an enabler by being their for her emotionally, but my sister and father unfortunately have not. My father has basically become an alcoholic himself to "deal" with living with my mother. My sister feels bad for her, and babies her when she has a bad blowup. She then tells me that I don't care about my mom (which again is so frustrating).

About two months ago my mother fell down the front steps drunk, and cut her face open pretty bad to the point where she was rushed to the hospital for stitches. When she called me the next day, she blamed it on the dog's leash tripping her (a neighbor verified that it was not the dog, it was intoxication). At that point I told her I love her, and care about her, but can not let myself be hurt and worried all of the time because of her irresponsible choices and behavior. I told her that I will be willing to speak to her when she decides she wants help, but until then I do not want to talk to her. This is causing me extreme guilt. My sister makes it worse when she tells me that I don't care about my mother. I tried to talk to my sister, but she thinks that if she too cuts my mom off that my mom will end up drinking herself to death, or killing herself, and she will have that guilt on her.

I would truly love some advice from anyone who can suggest what I should do in this situation. Is cutting her off the right thing to do?
summer242 summer242
7 Responses Jul 18, 2012

Oh my, what a difficult situation for you. I can not tell you what to do, but I can certainly emphathise with the idea that it is so difficult to separate oneself from one's parents. Even now in your question it really sounds like you are putting her needs first. You have needs to, and it is really okay to look after them, especially when the people who are actually meant and expected to do not. I found the book Heal Your Emotional Self really helpful. I know it probably doesn't seem like a priority at the moment, to look after yourself, but in a way it never really becomes a priority until you make it one. I really wish you all the very best and trust that you will make the right decision for you. Remember you are never responsible for another person's behaviour. Take care.

To become a person that you are no longer resenting your mom, you might have to cut her off. Go to a counselor, go to ALnon meetings.You have the right to make selfish decisions, and if she is bringing you down with her, why keep on trying?

My advice is to love her with a long handled spoon

I too grew up with an alcoholic mother, my 2 older sisters ended helping raise me until they moved out. My mother would disappear for days at a time. I too cut her out of my life when I was about 17 yrs old until about 3 1/2 yrs ago when she stopped drinking and doing drugs because she almost died! I honestly don't even know if that scared her enough to stop because she had been beaten up badly so many times by her so called drunk friends and husbands. I think it was my older sister dying that made her stop, because nothing else did for 27yrs! She did not seem to care that my kids and I were not in her life for all those years..please do what is best for you, I had to even though it meant no contact it was almost like if I don't see, hear or know what's happening I could somewhat function daily otherwise I don't know if I would have survived mentally!!

Yes i believe you are doing the right thing. The way you described your mother hits home for me and this is what o would do too. Im going to move out of my house in about a month to start cutting her and my dad out of my life. They just hurt us and make our lives misserable with theyr addiction..

I think you are doing the right thing. <br />
My sister did the same and it seems to have worked, she's quit drinking. I just plain stopped caring very early on, yet have always remained in contact with my mother. I need to care about me, firstly, then love those who deserve it. It's just too much to ask from an abused child to love their abuser unconditionally, a parent who miserably failed in their job to provide and care for them.

Learn about "unconditional" love...

I wish that I could... but how do you love someone unconditionally when they cause you and your family nothing but pain and heartache? I watch my sister fight with her boyfriend constantly over the pain she endures from "babysitting" my mom, I have missed numerous days of work because I spent the nights babysitting her an putting up with her abuse myself, I have watched my dad turn into an alcoholic to "cope" with her outburst. When is enough enough?

She is my mother and because of that I will always love her, but if anyone else in my life treated me this way (a friend, or partner) I wouldn't think twice about ending the abusive relationship.

So frustrating :(