Child of an alcoholic mother.

For my entire life, my mother has been an alcoholic. She has long term depression and subsequently doesn't work meaning 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, she pens herself up in the house with a bottle of anything alcoholic for company.

I love my mum but as I've grown older, I've become more aware of her alcohol dependency and addiction; I've also been relied upon by the rest of the family to deal with her as apparently I'm the only one with the patience to. That's a lie! I get so easily frustrated with her even when she isn't that bad!

Sometimes I've wondered if my impatience is the cause of her drinking and the guilt I feel gets too much. I get very angry and distressed with her. As she's often too intoxicated to absorb anything I say, I often find myself exploding emotion onto pen and paper in the hope when she's sober in the morning, she will read my letters and realise how damaging her actions have been upon myself, my brother, my dad, the whole family and more importantly, her. Initially she appears hurt by the letters which spurs a motivation for her to get help but by the evening, it withers resulting in a drunken mess.

She isn't violent or abusive in anyway but she is extremely vulnerable when she has had a drink and it only takes one for her to go. Her emotional instability when drunk often leads to a role reversal whereby I tend to end up mothering her, reassuring her. No daughter should have to watch her mother cry in her arms over matters you can't even understand as they lie cryptic in drunken slurs. No child should have to bear the brunt of an alcoholic parent but sadly, too many do and I am one of them.

I feel I should be up front with the alcohol itself. Mum will have a glass of wine in front of the whole family every other night so as to create a facade that it's the only glass she's had that night. However, this soon divulges as she exits the living room for the kitchen where she spends 10-15 rustling about - during which time, numerous things occur.
1. She uncovers litre bottles of vodka, gin ect that she has wrapped in plastic bags and tea cloths and hidden round the backs of cupboards
2. She pours them into her empty wine glass claiming it is now water
3. She downs the remainder of the bottle
4. Re-hides the empty bottle
5. Throughout all of which, she initiates various techniques to fools us into thinking she's innocently tidying the kitchen - not drinking. Eg. Running the tap, putting the radio on (both devices to cover the noise involved with her doings)

How do I know all this? I've witnessed it. Plus, she's so predictable because it's repetitive; you soon know where to look. But it is this that upsets me the most. The fact she HIDES it and tries to fool us. When we are shopping and she is blatantly trying to ask the assistant for a bottle of Smirnoff, she will send my brother and I off to complete an errand elsewhere in the shop. She will then refuse to let us carry the bags in case we catch sight of the bottle we know she has. It's insulting both because she thinks we don't know and because she can't be honest with her own children. She has often lied to us, straight in the face. For that, I can never forgive her.

I suppose I'm doing this to get my feelings off my chest. I've looked at various support groups and charities but I still feel alone and isolated because the help I want for my mum isn't readily available at a price we can afford as a family. We've seen her GP multiple times who at our latest appointment advised mum opened up with her problem with the family, was honest about what and how much she was drinking as well as an implementation of 0-tolerance to spirits. She has taken no notice. She still lies, she can't look us in the face, she continues to act like a belligerent child and keeps on hiding the alcohol and trying to fool us all. Everyone is at their wits end. We just don't know what to do and it frightens me when I read about the long term effects having an alcoholic parent has proven to have on the children.

If you're like me or are in a similar situation or simply want to talk, reply! I think we all need to get stuff out in the open!
Musicislife96 Musicislife96
18-21, F
3 Responses Dec 8, 2012

This basically just described my mum, except that mine is violent and abusive when she’s drunk. I too, stuck around to help her unlike the rest of my family, but I think I’ve reached my limit. I need to move on with my life and can’t keep on getting sucked into this cycle of emotional chaos every time she relapses.

My family and I tried to hide her alcoholism for a very long time (almost all my life), because we live in a very conservative community where alcoholism is looked down on; but it’s become impossible to do so these past few years because she blackouts on the lawn or by the road on her way home, and in bars in the neighborhood (without clearing her tab).

So now, I’ve taken a step back from taking care of her, because of how much it has affected me, so I pour myself into my work. I just found out about ACoA’s last year, so this past year has been a journey of self-awareness & trying to break habits that I’ve developed having been raised by an alcoholic mother.

Oh my God, of all the 'alcoholic mum' stories I've read on here, yours sounds soon like mine, if you're still using this I'd love to talk

I think you are quite generous to your mom still, as you should well be. I am of the opinion, rare on this forum, that we owe the love and concern, no matter how hard and horrible it is for us, to our folks. That is not to say I do not think you are going through a hard time, I can see you are, oh yes I can. But I feel that if we are, thanks to our fortitude and resilience, the stronger ones, the ones who can be mature and patient, then we should also be humble and kind and generous. Life is superbly unfair, and makes terrible demands of us, we have it in us to stand up and deliver. I see a lot of posts here about "you not being your mother's therapist or punching bag", and I respect that opinion, but I do not share it. Yes, our lives are important, but how much of a life is it if it is without our intimate folks? True, like your mom they may not respect the love and respect we owe our own people, but what is it like to feel that I am giving up on my mum because she is impossibly difficult? I don't know the answer myself, but I feel very strongly that it is we who must be giving, and not think of what happens in return. Are we so petty that we ration out concern to our folks? And are we so afraid of failure that we will not keep trying?