How to have this conversation with my mother?

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How to have this conversation with my mother?

Postby emeraldg » Fri Aug 05, 2016 12:05 pm

Hello friends,

I would love your input, advice, prayers and guidance please and thank you...if you are able and/or comfortable. It would be much appreciated.
God has given me the right answer on this my entire life, but to have some human guidance from my friends on here would be most wonderful.

Without going into excessive detail, my mother has for as long as I remember had severe and untreated borderline personality disorder. I had an unbelievably emotionally abusive upbringing which I have worked through within the program and outside therapy. My mother climbed into bed when I was about 7 years old and has never gotten out, other than when she wants to shop for herself or take vacations. She has spent my life claiming she is physically disabled despite any lack of evidence to support this, and lives in bed on a cocktail of aggressive pain medications. As a child and teenager, I spent all of my waking hours that I wasn't at school or at a job serving her in bed. She is a woman who expects others to serve her and to drop everything to do so.

Regardless, we have a fairly decent relationship today, mostly through the phone and cards. We do not see each other frequently, and I have little resentment. I have an estranged sister who I love very much, but is very mentally sick. She is living in isolation with very little contact with others, and I entirely respect this.

Anyhow, my father is dying...and sadly still is my mother's servant. My mother's grand plan has always been to move in with me so that I could "take care of her", should something happen to my father. Well, something IS happening with him, and NO WAY is she moving in with me. It is not because of resentment, it is because i WILL NOT put my happiness and sobriety at risk for anyone ever. I hope this doesn't sound selfish and self centered, but it wold be a TERRIBLE idea for all involved to have her move in with me. My plan is to have her move into an "old age" facility. She claims she can not do anything for herself, so this would likely be the best place for her to be. I am not spending these wonderful years serving anybody.

She has been talking more and more lately about all of the accommodations I will have to make in my life for when she moves in. It's not going to happen.
How would you all approach this conversation?

Thank you all so much friends.
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Re: How to have this conversation with my mother?

Postby PaigeB » Fri Aug 05, 2016 1:00 pm

Do you have a sponsor? These types of intimate questions are not well handled anonymously. Talk to a trusted friend in your area and get a temporary sponsor online.
http://aa-intergroup.org/urgent/index.php
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Re: How to have this conversation with my mother?

Postby PuppyEars » Fri Aug 05, 2016 4:29 pm

No clue about how to have that conversation but I can tell you what not to say.
I wouldn't bring up "my sobriety at risk" to my mother. That's right next to someone bragging about never going to jail; hey dummy, you ain't supposed to go to jail! I heard some where that if we have a strong enough program running, we could swim in a pool of booze and not be affected.
I also would not throw any of the past up in mom's face. I absolutely detest when someone like an ex does it to me. And your description of your mother is mild compared to mine.
That is my non professional, zero experience with this - opinion.
But the thought of mom moving in with me makes me uneasy as well. That is like smacking a bees nest with a stick...I shudder at the thought haha
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Re: How to have this conversation with my mother?

Postby emeraldg » Fri Aug 05, 2016 5:53 pm

PuppyEars wrote:No clue about how to have that conversation but I can tell you what not to say.
I wouldn't bring up "my sobriety at risk" to my mother. That's right next to someone bragging about never going to jail; hey dummy, you ain't supposed to go to jail! I heard some where that if we have a strong enough program running, we could swim in a pool of booze and not be affected.
I also would not throw any of the past up in mom's face. I absolutely detest when someone like an ex does it to me. And your description of your mother is mild compared to mine.
That is my non professional, zero experience with this - opinion.
But the thought of mom moving in with me makes me uneasy as well. That is like smacking a bees nest with a stick...I shudder at the thought haha


Thanks for sharing. Me expressing my feelings about my boundaries and my sobriety is not bragging at all. They are my boundaries, and my health, and my comfort zone. Being at a friends wedding or out for a boss's going away party or even at my home where alcohol is served is one thing; moving an unhealthy, abusive person with (possible?) addictions into my home is another. It's not about bragging or holding onto resentments. It's about accepting a person as they are and having healthy boundaries.
Also, I am not here to compare whose mother or ex is worse....sorry but that sounds completely pointless and unhealthy. You did not live my life and I did not live yours. You have zero idea. And I'd also refrain from doing that in the rooms with someone who is expressing their story if it were me.
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Re: How to have this conversation with my mother?

Postby Layne » Fri Aug 05, 2016 6:11 pm

Talk with your heart. What your heart has to say may not be well received, but your heart will never lead you wrong.
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Re: How to have this conversation with my mother?

Postby Feeya » Sat Aug 06, 2016 8:03 am

Emeraldg, do you have a sponsor? If so, I would suggest talking to them about these types of things...
If not, I would suggest you get one.
I know from own experience how appealing it is to solve those kinds of things on the Internet, anonymously... but it can surely go wrong because important information could go missing, while in a f2f discussion things can be adressed differently.
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Re: How to have this conversation with my mother?

Postby Hanna » Sat Aug 06, 2016 9:43 am

Hello emeraldg,
Consider assisted living facilities. I wish I had, after my mother moved in with me, my stress and anxiety went thru the roof, she too was very demanding of my time and attention, even though I had a husband and 2 very young children. Eventually our relationship deteriorated and I became resentful of her, that's when my problem drinking started. Take care of yourself first or else you won't be able to care for anyone else, I learned that the hard way. Sending you prayers, I know this is a difficult time but you will be able to make the best decisions for you and your mom as long as you remain sober. Take care of yourself~ Keep reaching out, talk to your sponsor and share your feelings at meetings, talk yourself through this before you make any commitments.
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Re: How to have this conversation with my mother?

Postby Brock » Sat Aug 06, 2016 12:05 pm

I think Hanna has given spot on advise, and I would certainly follow it, nobody would expect you to do what your mother is suggesting.

I respect how you laid out the problem squarely and fairly, I also respect those who advise asking a sponsor instead of members here, respect but don't agree with. It may be something intimate, and I don't see how it could be better explained to a sponsor, except maybe some tears might fall. But some good advise has been found doing it this way, including Hanna who has personal experience with this sort of thing.

Excuse me for taking a slight tangent on your post, but I find it very difficult to not comment on sponsorship when the opportunity arises. In another thread we have a six year sober person just getting a 'new' sponsor, and being advised to cut out prescribed medications. This idea that we must still have sponsors after we do the steps, is something which the GSO of AA in their 'approved' literature contradicts themselves on. On one hand we have people saying only choose a sponsor who is being sponsored themselves, on the other they print the 'Living Sober' book and state quite clearly - “And the best sponsors are really delighted when the newcomer is able to step out past the stage of being sponsored.” Perhaps they would prefer we did what the book suggests - “Here we ask God for inspiration,..We are often surprised how the right answers come after we have tried this for a while....we find that our thinking will, as time passes, be more and more on the plane of inspiration. We come to rely upon it.”

Best of luck at sorting out this situation to the best benefit of all concerned, which probably is Mom lives in a home and you live in peace.
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Re: How to have this conversation with my mother?

Postby PaigeB » Sat Aug 06, 2016 12:27 pm

You did not live my life and I did not live yours. You have zero idea. And I'd also refrain from doing that in the rooms with someone who is expressing their story if it were me.

PRECISELY why we don't talk about personal things in the rooms or express opinions on personal issues.

WAY too much at risk with alcoholism to go about alienating people over differences.
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Re: How to have this conversation with my mother?

Postby emeraldg » Sun Aug 07, 2016 6:07 am

Thank you all very much for sharing. PuppyEars, there is no need to send me cruel and unnecessary personal messages to my inbox. If you have an issue with something I say, you are more than welcome to post it here, publicly.
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Re: How to have this conversation with my mother?

Postby Feeya » Sun Aug 07, 2016 7:14 am

PaigeB wrote:
You did not live my life and I did not live yours. You have zero idea. And I'd also refrain from doing that in the rooms with someone who is expressing their story if it were me.

PRECISELY why we don't talk about personal things in the rooms or express opinions on personal issues.

WAY too much at risk with alcoholism to go about alienating people over differences.

Thank you Paige, I agree!
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Re: How to have this conversation with my mother?

Postby Lali » Mon Aug 08, 2016 7:36 pm

Bragging? I don't get how that's bragging. Anyhow, emerald, I don't think you are being selfish at all. You gave a huge part of your life to your mother when you were growing up. Now its time for you to live your life! One thing, though. Your mother is making all of these plans about how she's going to live with you and you're going to help her but you haven't told her yet that that isn't happening. Any reason you haven't told her yet? I don't know that it would be a good idea to wait until your father passes and she's in the grieving stage. It seems it would be harder to tell her at that time. And she may use that against you, as in, "I just lost my husband and you're throwing me in a home?" You might want to think about laying it all out for her now.

I'm wondering, do you have any siblings other than the sister you mentioned?
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Re: How to have this conversation with my mother?

Postby positrac » Tue Aug 09, 2016 3:25 am

Sponsor, prayer, plan, rejection, hug-love-forgiveness and peace from within.

My mind is the worst place to plan people and agendas and so the above are ideas that might be of some real help. My expectations are always the best because I hate to hurt and or feel rejected. But one would assume parents could find a place to make peace. I am not sure of your past and hence the "surprise factor" .

If you are doing some step work 4 & 5th I'd suggest to really read the print on what not to do- hurt and or injure others as to clean our side of the street. Just sayin.....


I can say for my past I held a lot of resentments over my folks after they passed because of life and stuff and I thought I had made peace and I did but really forgiving is not forgetting as much as I thought I did.
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Re: How to have this conversation with my mother?

Postby emeraldg » Tue Aug 09, 2016 3:26 am

Lali wrote:Bragging? I don't get how that's bragging. Anyhow, emerald, I don't think you are being selfish at all. You gave a huge part of your life to your mother when you were growing up. Now its time for you to live your life! One thing, though. Your mother is making all of these plans about how she's going to live with you and you're going to help her but you haven't told her yet that that isn't happening. Any reason you haven't told her yet? I don't know that it would be a good idea to wait until your father passes and she's in the grieving stage. It seems it would be harder to tell her at that time. And she may use that against you, as in, "I just lost my husband and you're throwing me in a home?" You might want to think about laying it all out for her now.

I'm wondering, do you have any siblings other than the sister you mentioned?


Hi Lali,
Thank you so much. There is not a particular reason that I have not told her yet, other than from my end I could not understand how she would not have assumed this. My mistake. Throughout my life, she has mentioned many times that she will "never" reside with me as an elderly woman because I was "evil and cold hearted" and would "get my kicks out of abusing" her. So I just always assumed this was non-negotiable that she would live in a home, and in this way as well, she would receive all of the "service" she ever wanted. I only have the one sister that I mentioned. My brother died of addiction several years ago. My sister got progressively more mentally ill at that time, and blames my mother a great deal for my brother's suffering and subsequent death.
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