Living with someone with an addiction is hard. Well, no. "Hard" doesn't even begin to cover it.
Hard, stressful, chaotic, unstable, frustrating, upsetting, aggravating... But those words still can't even really sum it up. "Hell on earth" actually sounds quite accurate.
Some of you know that I have a mother who is an alcoholic. If you didn't know, now you do. I don't know when the problem started, but I know that it first came to light that something might be wrong back in 04 or 05. We just didn't really know what to do.
My mom blames my dad for her addiction because, while they were still married, he was talking to other women online. He even flew out to meet a woman one weekend. I understand why she was so upset and hurt by that. But I also understand why he did what he did. Granted, it wasn't the best decision on his part.
They were pretty much in a loveless marriage. Communication had broken down, they didn't hold hands anymore, no more kissing or hugging. It was like they were basically roommates who just happened to have two kids together. I remember being a little girl and walking through stores with them, and physically putting their hands together so they would come into contact.
I guess the straw that broke the camel's back was when my mom got gastric bypass so she could lose weight. She didn't even really need it. (Mind you, this was back when this surgery was coming to light and people were seeing it as a quick fix and all that. I guess back in 2000? I'm not entirely sure.) Yeah, she was "overweight". But I always considered her "fluffy", not fat. She didn't have any life threatening health problems, she was just insecure.
After the surgery was when we noticed she was doing more drinking. She had always been a "social drinker". I guess that's the right way to put it. It started out as like a glass or two a day. Then it was maybe three. Three turned into a bottle. A bottle turned into two. Two bottles turned into mini four packs.
The cycle kept getting progressively worse. We would find mouthwash bottles hidden all around the house. Then vanilla extract, or orange extract. Recently, it's been huge bottles of cooking wine. And you wanna know something? All these things have MORE alcohol in them, than actual alcohol itself! The bottle of orange extract is listed as having 40% alcohol... Her stomach is so small, that she doesn't even need much to get completely wasted. But because she's been drinking for so long, she's built up somewhat of a tolerance. So she needs more to get the same effect.
She tries to be sneaky and mix her alcohol of choice with another drink. Like coke, or vitamin water. We can tell she's been drinking if she gets defensive when we ask for a sip of whatever she has. It's obvious after she acts like that.
But she doesn't have a problem. At least, that's what she thinks. It's always my dad's fault. He made her this way, he forced her to do this, blah, blah, blah. It's been my fault, too. I shouldn't have been born, how did I grow up so wrong, abortion, abortion, abortion. She's never said it was my brother's fault, and I can tell she really favors him. Though maybe I'm looking to hard at things... He's frustrated with it too and blows up at her. But she never stays mad at him. An hour after an argument, she's all nice and sweet towards him.
I barely graduated high school because of the shit storm that was my life at the time. I was missing so much time from school because I couldn't bring myself to get out of bed in the morning. Or I would go to school and feel so sick that I would have to leave early. I was hospitalized for a little more than a month because of a suicide attempt. About a week as in-patient, and then I was going to a day program.
I truly believed it was my fault. I felt like I had done something wrong, and drove my mother to destroy our "family". I wasn't the happy little girl I used to be. Because my mom had given up her parental role, had no job and just drank all day, I was thrust into adulthood when I was about 14 years old. I couldn't go out with my friends on the weekends because I would need to stay home to make sure my mom didn't fall down and crack her head open. (Which still happened, regardless.) I couldn't have friends over to the house because I was so embarrassed.
She's been in and out of rehab facilities so many times, she should have her own room reserved. Nothing works. The most she's been sober for after leaving rehab is almost 24 hours. What pisses me off, is that her mother is an enabler who is in denial. And she blames me as well! "Why don't you respect your mother? Why don't you love her? Why don't you do this? Why don't you do that?"
Fuck you. Respect is EARNED, not just handed out willy-nilly. How can I respect someone who doesn't respect herself? Or me, for that matter? How can I respect the woman who gave birth to me, raised me, and then says "Oh yeah. You were kind of a mistake. I was going to get an abortion." WHO in their right fucking mind would respect that person?!?! It's hard to respect someone who gets so wasted that they lose all control over their bodily functions, and then leaves their kids to clean up the mess.
I'm angry. I'm hurt. I'm upset. But I feel like I have no right to have those emotions. Dysfunction has become my "norm", and I'm constantly told that my feelings and opinions are wrong. Or, I'm told what I should be feeling. "I know you hate me..." or "I know you love your father more than me..." I'm sick of it.
There are still times when I feel like it is my fault. Therapy helps, but it only takes that one careless remark to just throw you back down into that hole that you've tried to hard to crawl your way out of over the years. When you make it out covered in the dirt, tears, and blood... It makes you wonder why you still try when that one person comes along and doesn't even hesitate to push you back in again.
I fall so hard, I wish my back would break so I wouldn't be able to get up to try again. Even though when I can finally crawl out it feels so fucking great, but I feel it's all for nothing because the cycle just repeats itself.