How to deal with a loved one destroying herself?

For the younger AA generation, some experience, strength and hope.

How to deal with a loved one destroying herself?

Postby johnthebuilder » Mon May 09, 2016 5:43 pm

Hello everyone, this is my first time on a forum, not only the first time on a aa forum but a forum in general...To be honest with you, i have arrived to a situation where my personal thoughts and experiences cannot find an answer to what i am looking for. I am seeking advice. No one around me seems to be living the same situation and for once i will find the courage to speak about it.

I am the first born of 2 divorced alcoholics, one would be a "functional alcoholic" (drinks every day, mood swings, socially normal, or let's say less hard to deal with than the other parent ...but keeps a kind of normal life now that he is retired), and a mother who is slowly destroying/killing herself through alcohol.

I have had this environment since i was very young ( I am in college now). I am not used to these kind of ways to communicate about things over the internet, but i could use some advice and help.

I do not speak english perfectly since english is not my first language but i will try my best... I will try to describe what creates a great deal of suffering to myself.

I do not really know where to search help and advice from, so in a desperate measure i will try new methods...Reason why i try this forum.

So i am the son of 2 alcoholic parents, i have a sister, and i love my family very much. Of course, like anybody else, i did not choose my family, nor did i choose the experiences i have went through.

I have always had a hard time dealing with the alcoholism of my mother especially, and i have a hard time understanding why. I've spent my life trying to care and protect my family, especially my sister from all of this but i feel lost. I do not know what to do, i do not know what to feel, i do not know what is the next step, i do not know what is the right way to deal with this situation, and i have no one who to talk to about it.

I live in a reality that i cannot share. I have no friends that i can share my story with and the only time i have spoken about it the only advice i get is "you got to protect yourself". I do not worry by pleasure, i worry because i love my family and they are all that i have.

Sadly, having divorced parents, i feel responsible of the well being of my mother. She does not have any family close by. My sister and i are her only family and i am the only one who cares...That build up a huge weight on me...

I have been living with this alcoholic mother since 10 years now, probably more, and it has a real impact on my own life. The rare people i have dared to speak about only a small story about certain things like when i could not show up for certain classes because my mother would be in the hospital for diverse reasons due to alcohol like liver cirrohsis or brain damage due to falling in the stairs, etc... they always told me to find a way to accept the situation...My problem is that i keep hope that she will change, because she has moments where she understands that she needs to stop alcohol and stops for a couple of weeks, but only to start drinking again even more than before. I am young, but i have gone through (other than alcoholic parents) so much for my age, but of course that makes me stronger, but i feel weak since a few weeks.

I try to be the pillar of stability for my sister, to always be there when she needs help and advice for anything, i try to be there for my step brothers, i help them in their school work. I try to be the best son i can, i call my mother everytime i can to avoid her feeling lonely, etc... But i am starting to be worried...

I have gone through this kind of experience more than once but this time was different in the fact that i felt the need for help and advice for the first time. I could not deal with it alone totally anymore.

Recently i arrived home (i felt the need to urgently go back home because my mom was not answering the phone and the last voicemail she left me was totally drunk speech, and i had a wierd feeling) And i found her in her bed, with bruises all over her face, for a moment i thought she was dead...She was just passed out.

Having lived with this women for most of my life, i did not even recognize her. She probably fell in the stairs, but she was telling me to leave her alone. I could not leave her alone. I told her that she had the choice, i would call an ambulance or i would call a doctor. But it was 2 am. I decided to call a doctor and explain the situation. The doctor asked me to call the police. She was worried, through the symptoms that i described, that she had been beaten. I did what the doctor said. The police came, the doctor came after, and they all said that i did the right thing and they told me that we could not leave her alone (my mother at that time thought that there was no problem and that all was good...).

Finally an ambulance came, in her living room there was the equivalent of 50 liters of empty bottles, there was things every where as if someone had tried to break in and steal things...My mother had fallen in the stairs, and was lucky enough to get back up and walk, but there was blood everywhere, I had the impression of being in a crime scene of CSI with what i saw...But that was not a part that marked me, sadly said, i have had already gone through that a couple months before.

So the police and doctor called the ambulance, which arrived, and decided to pick her up, because we could not leave her in such state all alone (when she drinks she does not eat, does not change clothes, does not wash, does not go to the bathroom other than on herself,...).

And she was taken to the emergencies. The doctors there said that it was a question of days. She would have stayed in her state, with no help, she could have started to have epileptic crisis due to blood in the brain because of the fall in the stairs that was not taken care of fast enough, and the alcohol killing her so much that her liver could just not take it anymore.

She stayed in the hospital for many weeks. But my mother is not the easy type to accept that she made a mistake, no, i was the bad child to have called for help and put her in "prison" in the hospital. I know withdrawal does affect a person, i have seen that many times, but this was plain aggressive all the time for no reason. I was trying to go to school and go to class, and try to have a normal student life when the doctors say that she does not have much time left, but i tried my best. It was not easy.

Long story short, she was kept in the hospital as long as it was the "necessary judicial limit" for them to let her go if she wanted to go back home. They cannot keep a patient against their will after a certain time, even if it could save their life.

Back home, she stopped drinking, after going through neurological tests, that clearly proved that alcohol developed holes in her brain, and her liver was completely destroyed and her blood tests were very bad.

And things were going great, sober for a few weeks, i finally had the impression of seeing my mother that i did not see since a decade. But a few days later, as soon as she could drive again, she went to go buy some alcohol again and got drunk...

All this story could last long, and it is already hard to explain this story with a keyboard, and i am not used to this, and this is only 1% of what has been happening these last years...

But as i said, i feel lost, i am always the guy who is strong and deals with everything, but problem has made me admit that i am weak towards my emotions of fear and incomprehension towards this situation.

She has been this way since years, especially during final exam moments, my sister and i, her only family left, we love her very much, we try our best, we do everything and try all the ways we know to make her feel good, and when she is sober she is so grateful, but when she get's drunk we are bad children who do not care about her. She manipulates us against each other and my main problem is this incomprehension towards this whole situation...I have grown and developed (i hope) more maturity and wisdom over the years, and i used to be just angry towards my parents for them making me suffer and drinking too much. But now i know that there is for sure a deep meaning to all of this that i cannot comprehend. There must be expressions of fears or deep psychological issues that were not resolved that come out now.

But all i know is that its hard to trying to be the normal kid/young adult/student and go forward in life when you go through these kind of events.

What i am seeking for is maybe someone who was in the same situation, and maybe give me some tips or advice on how to deal with this situation, because im not afraid to say that for most things im really strong and i can deal with anything, but with this, i have no shame in saying i need your help or advice.

Sorry the story was long, and i dont really know how this whole forum thing works, but if you took the time to go through all of this, thank you.

If there are students out there, who do some of you find the distance to focus, and how do you deal with this kind of situation?
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Re: How to deal with a loved one destroying herself?

Postby Brock » Tue May 10, 2016 3:46 am

Hello there John, you sure are going through a tough time trying to help your mother. Some of us here had reached the state she has and needed medical help to save our lives, others were lucky to read stories like the one you wrote, and change their lives for the better before it got as bad as this. So the story about you poor mother might have helped someone looking at this today, made them realize just what alcohol can do.

An alcoholic can not stop drinking by willpower, so even after she came out of the hospital she may have tried really hard but she can't do it alone. I am sorry to say that many do not want help also, and you must free yourself of any blame, in fact if I had a son who cared as much as you do I would be very proud.

Every country and city even towns have groups of AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) as I expect you know, there is an “offshoot” of this called Al Anon, it is for the family of alcoholics, and all who attend have family like yours. If you enter the city name on Google and the letters AA you should find a phone number, they can give you the information on Al Anon meetings. You can even try the city name followed by Al Anon and you may find them directly. People at these meetings will be able to help you understand what you might do to help your mother, and also very importantly what you can do to help yourself.

Sometimes people at AA itself will go and speak to your mother, it also sometimes helps if we take the free literature they can provide and leave it with her, in one of her down moments when she may feel the need for help she might reach out to AA.

I wish you the very best, you sound like the sort of person this world needs more of, best of luck to you and your mother.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
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Re: How to deal with a loved one destroying herself?

Postby whipping post » Tue May 10, 2016 4:45 am

Hello John,

I am very sorry to hear you are going through this. I don't think we are allowed to publicly posts non AA links here so I am sending you a private message. It is a link to a support forum that has a large group for the families of alcoholics. We have great support for alcoholics here but you may be better served there. Also the Al anon Brock suggested is good.

Best wishes
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Re: How to deal with a loved one destroying herself?

Postby johnthebuilder » Tue May 10, 2016 7:47 am

wow. i was not expecting an answer so quickly...@whipping post i have not received your private message with the link you talk about.

I would like to thank you all to have taken the time to read my post, i know it was long, but it came from the heart, i did not know how to express my feelings otherwise...

I would like to know (as a student) how to cope with parents that are alcoholics...Perhaps you can give me tips and advice on how to improve the situation that i am in. I have finals in a few weeks and studying engineering demands full concentration at all times...But i missed classes to take care of my mother, and i feel like this situation is is affecting my life and future.

How did you overcome fear and how were you able to focus for exams?

John.
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Re: How to deal with a loved one destroying herself?

Postby clouds » Tue May 10, 2016 8:12 am

Hi John, I hope you will seek out Alanon groups. This you may find by a phone dirctory or googling Alanon and your city or town. Alanon family groups can help. They can explain the alcoholic as well as tell you a way to cope with your family situations. Did you try yet to find someone in Alanon? Let us know if you were able to do so and how it went and if you still need help. Thanks for sharing your story with us.
" Burn the idea into the consciousness of every man that he can get well regardless of anyone. The only condition is that he trust in God and clean house." page 98 A.A.
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Re: How to deal with a loved one destroying herself?

Postby clouds » Tue May 10, 2016 8:29 am

ACOA is maybe a better fit for you John. That is Adult Children Of Alcoholics. Again, find the number in phone dirctory or google it with your town name.
" Burn the idea into the consciousness of every man that he can get well regardless of anyone. The only condition is that he trust in God and clean house." page 98 A.A.
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Re: How to deal with a loved one destroying herself?

Postby whipping post » Tue May 10, 2016 8:43 am

Hi John,

I sent it again. The first one showed to have gone through as well. Did you look up in the upper left hand corner under your "user control panel"?
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Re: How to deal with a loved one destroying herself?

Postby johnthebuilder » Tue May 10, 2016 9:38 am

Hi everyone :)

Thanks for the reply :)

@clouds, thank you for your post, i have never contacted alanon or anything like it. I am alone in this matter, i have never contacted anyone or spoken about it to anyone since years, except on certain days when it was to hard to hide. Is al anon useful? If yes, how is it useful? how can it help?

@whipping post, thank you for your post, i have received the link, and searched for it. I live in Belgium. I have had doctors who told me to go to these kind of meetings but i have never been. I dont know what to expect.
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Re: How to deal with a loved one destroying herself?

Postby ezdzit247 » Tue May 10, 2016 10:44 am

Hi John and welcome. So glad you found this forum,

Thank you for sharing your story. You are not alone and you do not have to go through what you are going through alone. Many many AA members are also the children of alcoholic parents. I am one of them and can relate to everything you've shared. There is a 12 Step program called Adult Children of Alcoholics, also known as ACA or ACoA, that was very helpful to me. When I first got sober and began sharing my story with my sponsor, she recommended I attend Alanon meetings, a 12-Step program for friends and family members of alcoholics, as well as ACA meetings in addition to my regular AA meetings. I had also spent the two years prior to joining AA in one on one transactional analysis with a clinical psychologist dealing with my anger, resentments, fears, blame, shame, guilt, despair, and all those other low self-esteem issues common to every ACA. I needed to do that. I don't think I could have ever gotten to a place in my head where I could accept that I "deserved" a better, happier, drama-free life and found my way to recovery if not for my therapist. Thanks to the help I got from him, AA, Alanon, and ACA, and God as I understand God, I was able to build and enjoy a "happy, joyous, and free" life for myself and give my son a happy, fun, emotionally stable parent and home life. One of the most important things I've learned from my recovery experience in all three 12 Step programs is that it's never too late to turn things around and give myself the gift of a happy childhood. One day at a time, you can learn to give yourself this gift, John.

Keep coming back....
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children...to leave the world a better place...to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Re: How to deal with a loved one destroying herself?

Postby Noels » Wed May 11, 2016 11:02 am

Hi John. I just read your post to Blacked Out. Your words to her is absolutely beautiful and so insightful. I did not respond on this thread but after reading the other one - please do what is the best for you. Your life is only starting. You can't allow mom's troubles to hold you back or interfere with your studies right now hon. My son was writing matric when my drinking career reached its peak and even when I was drinking it was always my prayer that my son would be protected and be successful in all he did. I'm sure that your mom feels the same way and want you to succeed. We want our children to be successful and have a better life than we had. We don't want you to be part of our failures.
My son always just loved me. Even when I was drunk and I always knew that. It was all I needed.
So please hon, just love mom as she is. Pray for her and concentrate on yourself and your future. That will be enough for mom. To see you safe and successful.
You said to Blacked out she is worth so much more. So are you angel.
Be blessed
Lotsa love and light
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Re: How to deal with a loved one destroying herself?

Postby Lali » Thu May 12, 2016 7:01 am

Hi, John. You have described the dynamics of an alcoholic household to a "T". I have so much I would like to say in response to your post, but I'll keep it short for now. A lot of people have suggested you contact AlAnon. They may not have grown up in the type of household you and I did. I think you will find much more help, as others have said, with Adult Children of Alcoholics meetings. Depending on the size of your town there may be none available, but there is so much literature out there on the subject. I would like for you to google "Adult Children of Alcoholics" and purchase some books on the subject. If you would like, I will do a search and recommend some books for you.

It's not that AlAnon would not be helpful to you and I don't mean to discourage you in going to meetings by any means. But I'm sure you will identify very well with literature on the subject of ACOA. Understanding a problem goes a long way in "fixing" a problem.

I will probably send you a PM shortly.

There is no shame in asking for help. We, in AA, get better together!
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