Thursday, December 19, 2013

I WANT MY MOTHER BACK

*** Submitted by Sue, daughter of an addict/alcoholic


I am deeply sad and sometimes I feel hopeless too. The rest of time I am just cynical and I can barely believe in change. I am the daughter of an addict who wasn't violent, wasn't of outrageous behavior, but on the contrary … she was an angel for me. She was so gentle.  So full of love and kindness that I used to think during my childhood that I could actually see her gentleness and kindness. It was like an aura - in her hands, her voice, and in her face. I still find her unique, but she doesn't even resemble the woman who is the mother I remember.

She has been in active addiction for 20 years now.  I see that she is choosing her addiction. She is numbed most of the days in a week. She gets furious without reason.  What hurts the most is that she doesn’t seem to care about the fact that she is slipping deeper into this vicious illness. I feel she just wants to stay with her drink.  She does not care if we are around, if we are happy or sad, if we want her to stop, if we have a life to live and want to share it with her.  I just can’t believe that I am losing her, but I am. 

And there is me: I feel so impotent.  I can’t speak about this with her although I would like to.  I have to try to rescue her but I’m paralyzed.  It’s like a trauma that will not allow me to speak. I think the fact that I have these two pictures of my mother – her being a perfect parent (that she truly is and was), gentle, sweet, kind.  My addicted mother: not caring, choosing a life without us, a numbed life. I am caught between these two pictures - and I can’t act to help her. I can’t talk to her about her addiction when she is lucid because it feels like I would hurt her, I would offend her and she is so different when she doesn’t drink.

I want my mother back in my life but I feel her so far away and I don’t have the power to go get her …

4 comments:

  1. Sue, I had the same experience with my Mom about 3 years ago. She was a fantastic mother, and luck for all of us, she didn't drink when we were kids. I live away from my family, and my Mom was excellent at hiding her habit, but when my family found out about the extent of her problem we were lucky because she knew she wanted to quit. We all took her to detox and from there she went to rehab. The rehab center had us fill out forms telling our Mom how her drinking impacted us and our children, and what the consequences would be if she continued to drink. It was so hard to do, but I was very honest. If she chose to continue to drink I would still love her, but she wouldn't be able to be alone with my kids and I didn't want to have contact with her. It was one of the most difficult things I have done in my life--to confront someone I love so much. But it was worth it. She is sober and is the mom I remember.

    In the end, it will be up to your mom whether or not she decides to face her addiction. You can't do that for her, but you can let her know you care and you're worried.

    Thinking of you and your family.

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  2. Sue, I am touched by your story and thank you for sharing. Unfortunately, as an alcoholic mother myself, there is little you can do for her but love her until she loves herself. You said she was choosing to drink, I know its hard to understand but an alcoholic has lost the power of choice in the matter. Yes - we can choose to seek recovery, as I did, but rarely this happens if the person is not honest with themselves. Accepting that this is a disease and we will eventually die from it is a hard thing to accept. She may be in somewhat of denial about the manageability of her drinking. Don't lose hope, one day she may feel she has had enough and choose to seek help, but until that day comes just love her and know she is in the grips of alcoholism and pray for her. Try googling Al-Anon or Adult Child of an Alcoholics, read the descriptions of these people and see if you can identify with them, if so go to one of their meetings. You may find you will be blessed by being in fellowship there with others who have walked in your shoes, and you may find the answers you have been seeking.

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  3. Thank you. This is a really powerful reminder of the wide reaching affects of alcoholism. Because you were brave enough to share your story here, I am putting down the wrapping and baking and guilt that can consume us during this season, and heading to a meeting. I am reminded that if I am not diligent about my recovery, my daughter will be living your story. I am reminded through your words, what gifts really matter. Thank you again! Isn't it so amazing what sharing our stories can do? Healing thoughts are sent your way through this painful and confusing time, and prayers that your Mom reaches her bottom swiftly, because although it is impossible to reason with addiction, the recovery part of life is so worth it...

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