Advice about no-contact

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Advice about no-contact

Postby sadsackx123 » Tue Oct 24, 2017 1:44 am

My parent has been abusing substance for at least 10 years, and possibly longer than when I started perceiving it as a child. She has experienced terrible losses and abuse in her own life as an immigrant to foreign lands, and as a child growing up in a very violent/neglectful household and bad country. I feel like all she needed was a something to blow the fuse - when she lost every financial security in 2008, and consequently lost control of her life and the relationship with a person she loved dearly, she began drinking heavily and slipping into a deep depression. I don't know if the mental illness is an effect, a symptom, or a factor of her substance problem, but she also has wild mood swings, uncontrollable rage, and fantasies of grandeur. She had always been that way on some level, but the drinking unleashed everything that she held deep inside her heart. Her wounds were deep, and they only grew deeper...It got worse, especially when I decided to move away, mostly to escape the verbal and emotional abuse and my own inclination towards a downward-spiral...I have some mental issues myself, possibly hereditary and very likely from various factors in my "nurtured development"

We have had many stints in the past where things went sour. There are a lot of pains and complexities in our relationship, since I am her only daughter and the only relative she has in this country (aside from an aunt who does not speak to her.) I have felt a lot of the pain that children with parents who abuse substance feel, as well as a weird sense of obligation-betrayal towards her. I no longer think of our relationship in this forceful, coercive way...but it is hard to shake that feeling of abandonment when she was also the only parent I ever knew. She has very few friends, if any at all anymore, and is a very lonely soul...over the years they have steadily dropped out of her life. I have tried to reach out in various ways, mostly through encouragement from a distance, as well as various resources (alternative medication, books, online resources) to help her find recovery. But I never tried to get physically closer to her again by moving back, or having her move up to be near me. I just couldn't bear to do it. The times I had seen her for visits, violence and chaos ensued - I knew we couldn't live together.

This past summer, I was about to graduate from my school so of course I invited her up for it. I am not one who really cares about my parent embarrassing me - it was just really upsetting and painful to see how she has deteriorated so quickly over the half a year since I saw her last. She was so thin...she was so sickly and fragile. She showed up absolutely wasted, her clothes were literally falling off of her, and she had been having an extreme mental episode/substance relapse for the few weeks prior where threats of suicide were made over what is honestly a perfectly silly situation. She was late since she had missed the flight I had gotten for her, because she had been drinking in a hotel room for almost a week in self-defined solitary confinement. It was an extremely stressful time. A series of events followed with many strange, painful parts. I don't want to share all of those details, only that somehow she ended up staying for a month and a half, gotten my partner's entire family involved in her situation, and then spontaneously moved up here against my will knowing full well how damaging our relationship has been for both of us.

I know she is lonely. At times, I know her mind isn't really even there. But I felt like I was being tricked and manipulated. I truly felt that she had chosen to trample over all the boundaries that I had carefully drawn, over all the work that we had invested over the past 4 years to build a slightly healthier/more accepting relationship. She was a very imperfect and often times very abusive/neglectful/jealous parent, but she was also capable of love and resilience and honor. I was not a completely unhappy child. But I also know where my limits are, and i know what my story is. I felt like this time was different than the other times. She knew where my limits were and ceased to care. I couldn't trust her anymore. I also had the feeling like the decision to stop contact with her has been slowly gaining in my mind for years, and this was the moment I had to commit to it.

I love my parent. I feel for her. I want so badly to have this relationship, to be able to be there for her. She is so sick, she is so alone in this, and she still carries all of that pain and rage inside of her. I know going no contact is not the "right" thing to do, because what the hell is the right thing to do anyway. It just hurts to be near her and be reminded constantly of our life together. It hurts to feel like I can't really do anything, but still feel like I have to do something. I knew I needed at least a break from her and our collective traumas, but I don't know if I do this for too long if I will just start getting used to it. I want to reach out once more, to see if she is willing to get help or move forward with some things in her past, once I feel a bit more settled into my life...but right now she just seems to have hit such a low, and I honestly don't know how I can be there for her AND be there for myself.

Honestly whoever is reading this...thank you. She had taken up to going to AA for about a month, but stopped...I think she has cultural issues with being open about this, as well as pretty intense mental health issues that make her judgement/decisions a bit erratic. Idk any advice would help, or any stories of similar experiences/reflections, or any methods of reaching out that seems to work (Writing a letter? Hiring an intervention specialist? Asking her to tell her story??) I am going no-contact, but I am trying to not give up...
sadsackx123
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Re: Advice about no-contact

Postby JohnDaniels » Tue Oct 24, 2017 2:44 am

Welcome Home Sadsackx123,

I am extremely empathetic toward your situation and I thank you for your trust and honesty in opening up here. I'm sure the others here will appreciate your openness and honesty also.

First of all we all have a story. So you are not alone. You're among friends. After reading your life's story of the pains and heartaches you've gone through I am going to suggest that you call Al-Anon right away after reading the replies to your post here. The telephone number is in your Information Directory or the Internet. I think that call will lead you to a new world of wisdom and help in the answers you're looking for to set you free of your pain and heartaches and to help you help your mother the right way, the healthy way.

You mentioned several things that touched my heart. You have described perfectly the definition of an Alcoholic and the effect Alcoholism has on the people in the Alcoholics life. This is something I can really understand in your life. Her wild mood swings and her delusions of grandeur. I understand your need to move away from it for your own piece of mind. I also understand your feelings of betrayal. However in Al-Anon they will help you deal with this and re-gain your independence and your outlines of your boundaries that are so necessary for living a peaceful and serene life. I am betting that you are having a difficult time concentrating on the things you're doing. The Alcoholic will drain the life right out of you over time. It's heart breaking for sure. But Al-Anon will address this with the real answers that really deal with these problems and it makes you want to keep coming back to Al-Anon meetings. Get a good sponsor right away.

I know the temptations to want to walk right back into the life of the one you walked away from when you're living the Al-Anon program. That's because Alcoholism is not just an addiction of alcohol for the Alcoholic, it' also an addiction to and of the people in the Alcoholics life. In other words you are addicted to her Alcoholic behaviors. This is so important, if you walk right back into her life that after giving her an ultimatum to get help in AA, she will hardly believe anything you say in the future. But get a good Al-Anon sponsor before doing any of this. Hey, it's part of the program of helping your mother and when you look back at it and the benefit it had, you'll be glad you stuck to your words. In time you can get back together as a healthy family doing the healthy things families do like family get-togethers and the fun things families really do. This has been my experience and that is what I'm sharing with you.

So, call Al-Anon and stick with it. I can tell by reading your post above that you are a highly intelligent person and you can do this an understand why it is all so necessary to help the Alcoholic in your life.
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Re: Advice about no-contact

Postby sadsackx123 » Tue Oct 24, 2017 8:39 am

Thank you so much for reaching out. I had originally though Al-Anon is only for recovering alcoholics. I am going to try and join an online meeting group - there are many meetups in our area, but it would be easiest for me right now to explore these new ideas and people where I am at so that I can still be a part of the various organizations I am involved in.

You have really empathically understood my story. I actually don't know if I have ADHD or not, but I have a lot of issues of focusing as you've mentioned. I also have a bad habit of being overtly emotional and distorting my logic (anger management), but also suppressing emotions to the point of denial and then having adverse physical reactions (nightmares, skin breakouts, sickness.) A lot of my self-image is tied up in my relationship with my parent. I never thought about our relationship as a form of addiction...

Thanks again.
sadsackx123
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