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Author Topic: Living With An Addict (WARNING: MAY TRIGGER)  (Read 2222 times)

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Offline persephone325Topic starter

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Living With An Addict (WARNING: MAY TRIGGER)
« on: April 30, 2013, 07:01:05 PM »
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.

Offline Mr Self Destruct

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Re: Living With An Addict (WARNING: MAY TRIGGER)
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2013, 01:01:07 AM »
I'm a recovering alcoholic and drug addict. I have ten years clean and sober. Your situation is one I've heard again and again. Unfortunately, there are no easy answers. But there are options.

The first thing you need to realize is that her drinking is by no means your fault. You were a kid. Addicts are notorious for blaming others for their problems. I used to do it, too. If only the world would act like I wanted it to, all my problems would go away, and everything would be perfect...but that's a lie. Its one we turn to when we can't accept that we have no control over others, and none over ourselves. At the point your mother is at, it sounds like she's been fooling herself for quite some time.

My suggestion would be to look up AA meetings in your local area. Go to one. You can remain entirely anonymous. Tell then what your mother is doing and how you feel. They've all had similar experiences, I can promise you that. Get some contact information from female members, just in case you need to talk. And take home literature, pamphlets about alcoholism and dependency. But here is the tricky part...don't give them to her. Lay them around the house. If she asks, tell her that you want to understand what she's going through. She'll get defensive, but that's okay. Sooner or later, she'll look througj one, and it could plant the seed of sobriety within het. And keep attending meetings! If she knows you go, you ould be the doorway for her to show up.

My inbox is only a click away if you want to talk. Remember...an alcoholic isn't a bad person. We're just sick people that have a hard time getting well.

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Re: Living With An Addict (WARNING: MAY TRIGGER)
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2013, 01:29:29 AM »
Both of my parents were alcoholics. Severe alcoholics. My dad was gone most of the time for work and he left my older sister and I with our mother after moving us two states away from the only support system she had. She wouldn't even get out of beds some mornings.

My parents eventually divorced and they blamed one another for everything, neither of them wanted to take any share in the responsibility for how their marriage had failed and how my older sister turned into a drug addicted alcoholic just like them (my dad did cocaine till I was about five and my mom was addicted to prescription meds). It was incredibly hard growing up and having a mother who would drink the way my mom did, and having to deal with my father wasn't any easier as he was a very mean drunk. My mother would drink and blame everyone for everything and would come to my room while I was trying to sleep to try and make me listen to her cry and whine and mourn how miserable her life was even though she'd remarried to a welder who bought her a beautiful house and loved her very much. He was a recovering alcoholic and she dragged him right back into that lifestyle. I won't bore you with all the stories about my mom's drunken episodes.

My dad got over it all and cleaned up, he still drinks a bit, but nothing like he used to. My mom died. But I have no doubt in my mind that if she were still alive today, she'd still be a drunken, bitter woman who only seems intent on dragging everyone around her down like a black hole.

You can do like Dark Clown suggested and try to help her, but frankly, I've learned that blood isn't thicker than water, and if you live your life trying to make others happy, you'll only end up miserable yourself. You don't owe your mom anything. Nothing she's done is your fault. She's an adult, she's making her own decisions and she needs to live with them. Maybe one day she'll be ready to get help, but arguing with her is just feeding into her behavior, it's giving her the attention she wants. So if I were you, I'd get away from her as quickly as possible and as far away as possible.

PS - yes, everything I said sounds harsh, I know that, but feel free to call me a bad person all you like. I'm the happiest I've ever been and I only achieved this after I stopped letting others dictate my life or feeling like I owe people my own happiness so they can be happy. No more and never again.

Offline Rogue

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Re: Living With An Addict (WARNING: MAY TRIGGER)
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2013, 09:35:32 AM »
I feel as if this is relevant to the point that Atroxa was attempting to make.

The actual saying is The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb. Meaning, the people you choose to be your family (the traditional meaning of covenant before it got sucked into vampire lore) is thicker than the fact that you came from some woman's body. The family you choose AND who choose you back will always be there for you, even when the other isn't.

This is my note to you Persephone, since I lack first hand advice due to second hand issues (my grandpa was an alcoholic and recovered). Feel free to come to me, my PM box or where ever you can find me. I will always make time for you.

Offline Mr Self Destruct

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Re: Living With An Addict (WARNING: MAY TRIGGER)
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2013, 12:03:44 PM »
You can do like Dark Clown suggested and try to help her, but frankly, I've learned that blood isn't thicker than water, and if you live your life trying to make others happy, you'll only end up miserable yourself. You don't owe your mom anything. Nothing she's done is your fault. She's an adult, she's making her own decisions and she needs to live with them. Maybe one day she'll be ready to get help, but arguing with her is just feeding into her behavior, it's giving her the attention she wants. So if I were you, I'd get away from her as quickly as possible and as far away as possible.

She could do that.  And you're entirely right...none of this is her fault.  What I posted was meant from the viewpoint that she wanted to help her mother...and despite her anger and aggravation, that seemed the tone of her post.  I could be wrong, though.

The tough love approach works with some people, myself included.  But I'd hate to think that her mother could die from her disease and she regrets that she didn't try to help.  It's a bad situation all around, there's no two ways around that.  And it's very hard to understand addiction if you're not predisposed to being an addict yourself.  But recovery is possible...I've seen it, time and again, and from people who were just as bad, if not worse!

Offline Oniya

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Re: Living With An Addict (WARNING: MAY TRIGGER)
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2013, 12:20:42 PM »
It's very possible to 'get away' and still be close enough to help - when that help is desired.  The important thing when helping anyone is to make sure you are in a stable enough position to help.  (I may have mentioned this to you in another thread, Seph - so apologies if it's a double-post.)

Offline Camie Calamity

Re: Living With An Addict (WARNING: MAY TRIGGER)
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2013, 12:27:12 PM »
First I want to say that it isnít your fault no matter how much your mother may try to place the blame on you, it isnít you.  Itís easier to lay blame instead of accepting blame.  I do have some experience in this with my father being an alcoholic and my current studies focusing around alcohol and drug counseling, however I by no means am an expert.

My father was an alcoholic and an abusive alcoholic to boot, still is.  It was never his fault and always someone elseís.  He had his favorites amongst my brother and me, although it tended to switch depending on his mood.  He may be a wonderful father to me one day and an absolute abusive alcoholic to my brother and vice versa.  He played games and tried to turn his own children on each other.  To be honest I do believe there is a whole lot more wrong with him than just his drinking, however his drinking doesnít help things and only makes them worse.  My mother dealt with it and tried her best to help and eventually his drinking only pushed her into depression and she took her health for granted, thinking it a way out.  One would think that would have woken him up, but no to this day he is still the same way.

My brother and I chose to cut him out of our lives.  It was the only option.  He refuses to get help and refuses to take the blame for his life, choosing to blame how everything that has gone wrong in his own life as someone elseís fault.  I have learned that is him.

Iím not going to oppose Dark Clownís mention of AA meetings, actually they might help.  I would add on to that if it were possible for you, seeking out a drug and alcohol counselor might also be beneficial.  They are not only there for the addicts; they are there for the families also, which means you.  You also have to remember that you can lead the horse to water but you cannot make them drink said water. 

Sometimes the tough love approach works and when they learn itís either get sober or lose me, it works and has worked.  Sometimes it doesnít.  Sometimes walking away from the ones we love is the only way to save ourselves. 

If you ever need to vent to someone who has been there, Iím just a pm away.

Offline Ember Star

Re: Living With An Addict (WARNING: MAY TRIGGER)
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2013, 12:38:17 AM »
My father is a alcoholic also. Granted, I never had a close personal relationship with him, despite him and mom still being married for insurance, they live half a state apart. However, I do have a good insight on alcoholism.

I back up what have been said thus far as well. Go to AA meetings, it'll give you some insight to meet people face to face in tgr same situation.

It is not your fault. With Alcoholics it's always somebody's fault in their mind. My father drank because he didn't have a family. Then he drank because he did have a family.

Don't try to help her. It'll only backfire. You can drop little things around, but don't confront her directly. It has to be her choice and her idea to change.

I'd add more but my battery is getting low and I'm tired. Will come back later.

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Re: Living With An Addict (WARNING: MAY TRIGGER)
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2013, 04:33:07 PM »
As someone who was married to an alcoholic/addict for 16 years, then later was in a relationship with an alcoholic/addict for 8 years, I know of every feeling you have running through you persephone.

The meat of the issue is that no matter how much you want your mother to get better, and no matter how much you might try/want to help her, you will not be able to do it. No matter how angry you get, or how much you try to show you love her, she won't do anything unless she is ready to. She has to do it herself. Most addicts go in and out of rehab several times before it sticks. Some never do. No one can say what a persons -bottom- might be that will flip that switch for them. Some even almost die, and still never get sober.

It is not your job darlin', to try and make her better, nor do you need to take her abuse. You must simply take care of you.

" I love you mom, but I can't deal with your addiction any longer. Until you decide to get sober for good, I won't be there."

As much as it sucks, and as much as it hurts, that's what you have to do. Let her know that you love her, and that if she decides to help herself, you'll be there 100%, but until then, no contact, no help, nothing.

It's the only thing you can do darlin', seriously. You are not the mother. She is.

*Hugs*

Offline persephone325Topic starter

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Re: Living With An Addict (WARNING: MAY TRIGGER)
« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2013, 04:53:04 PM »
My father is a alcoholic also. Granted, I never had a close personal relationship with him, despite him and mom still being married for insurance, they live half a state apart. However, I do have a good insight on alcoholism.

I back up what have been said thus far as well. Go to AA meetings, it'll give you some insight to meet people face to face in tgr same situation.

It is not your fault. With Alcoholics it's always somebody's fault in their mind. My father drank because he didn't have a family. Then he drank because he did have a family.

Don't try to help her. It'll only backfire. You can drop little things around, but don't confront her directly. It has to be her choice and her idea to change.

I'd add more but my battery is getting low and I'm tired. Will come back later.
As someone who was married to an alcoholic/addict for 16 years, then later was in a relationship with an alcoholic/addict for 8 years, I know of every feeling you have running through you persephone.

The meat of the issue is that no matter how much you want your mother to get better, and no matter how much you might try/want to help her, you will not be able to do it. No matter how angry you get, or how much you try to show you love her, she won't do anything unless she is ready to. She has to do it herself. Most addicts go in and out of rehab several times before it sticks. Some never do. No one can say what a persons -bottom- might be that will flip that switch for them. Some even almost die, and still never get sober.

It is not your job darlin', to try and make her better, nor do you need to take her abuse. You must simply take care of you.

" I love you mom, but I can't deal with your addiction any longer. Until you decide to get sober for good, I won't be there."

As much as it sucks, and as much as it hurts, that's what you have to do. Let her know that you love her, and that if she decides to help herself, you'll be there 100%, but until then, no contact, no help, nothing.

It's the only thing you can do darlin', seriously. You are not the mother. She is.

*Hugs*

Thank you both. :-) I've told my mom countless times that I don't want anything to do with her until she sobers up. But she never gets it. I think the only way it would stick is if I were out of the house. But I don't have the means to do that. :-(

I don't know what else to do, besides just ignore her almost all the time... And even then, I still feel guilty.

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Re: Living With An Addict (WARNING: MAY TRIGGER)
« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2013, 05:01:22 PM »
Thank you both. :-) I've told my mom countless times that I don't want anything to do with her until she sobers up. But she never gets it. I think the only way it would stick is if I were out of the house. But I don't have the means to do that. :-(

I don't know what else to do, besides just ignore her almost all the time... And even then, I still feel guilty.

Now that is hard, being stuck there. I know how that is too...

You will always feel guilty. It's what we, as co-dependents, do best. We are able to put up our walls for so long, until they say or do that one thing that makes us crack, and they know how to find the knife that will fit in the easiest.

Do just that, ignore her as best you can, and work very, very, VERY hard and getting yourself out on your own.

Also, try Al-Anon...  they are free meetings much like AA, but they are specifically made for the family/loved ones of addicts. You can go and hear people who are just like you, so you'll no longer feel alone in your situation, and they can give you better tools on how to deal as well.

Offline persephone325Topic starter

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Re: Living With An Addict (WARNING: MAY TRIGGER)
« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2013, 05:23:12 PM »
Now that is hard, being stuck there. I know how that is too...

You will always feel guilty. It's what we, as co-dependents, do best. We are able to put up our walls for so long, until they say or do that one thing that makes us crack, and they know how to find the knife that will fit in the easiest.

Do just that, ignore her as best you can, and work very, very, VERY hard and getting yourself out on your own.

Also, try Al-Anon...  they are free meetings much like AA, but they are specifically made for the family/loved ones of addicts. You can go and hear people who are just like you, so you'll no longer feel alone in your situation, and they can give you better tools on how to deal as well.

I was going to meetings for quite a while. And they really helped. But then the whole mess with the car accident, and the PTSD making it difficult for me to leave the house... So much is going wrong, that it feels like the world is working against me...

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Re: Living With An Addict (WARNING: MAY TRIGGER)
« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2013, 05:09:30 PM »
It is always a tragic tale of someone living a broken life due to the mistakes of the parents. My mother is pretty much just like that as well, save for the periodic abuse I suffered as a child due to bipolar rampages and drug abuse to couple into it. So, I  can empathize with how you feel. For some, it's a simple as running away and forgetting the problem ever existed. For most, it's having to deal with it on a day-to-day basis. Speaking from experience, there really is no way to deal with someone like that except let them fall down to the bottom. The matter is in willpower. Both of the individual and their loved ones.

Off of the tangent, like has been repeated several times before this, know it is never YOUR fault that these things happen. It's just a scapegoat to thrust responsibility onto someone else so they don't have to deal with it. "I don't have a problem" or "Yeah, well, it's (person's) fault that I'm like this." Phrases that are repeated countless times until it just becomes a reflexive response to the problem itself. You really can't make people see the light that they have so foolishly tossed away. She will lose more than she ever thought possible on such a destructive path and the painful thing is that all you can really do is watch. That and pray she recovers.

But yeah, like them, if you ever need someone to talk to I'm lurking around somewhere on these pages.

Also, stay strong.. for both her and your sake. It's the best, and probably only, thing you can do at this point.

Offline persephone325Topic starter

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Re: Living With An Addict (WARNING: MAY TRIGGER)
« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2014, 06:41:28 PM »
It's been a while since I posted here. But a lot has happened.

Short version: My mom went to a court date late and drunk. So they put her in a correctional institute for about a month.

Last night, she came home. We had no idea she was getting out, because she had told us her release would probably be between July 6th and 10th. But her sister brought her home.

Apparently, she was released early for good behavior. She took a bus to a shopping center, cashed her $90 check from the state at a nearby bank, and then walked to her sister's house. Which was actually quite close.

At first, she wouldn't admit she had gone anywhere. But after I continually asked her, she said she had gone to the bank to cash her check. I was suspicious because she was acting strange. But I thought I was just being paranoid.

Today, my suspicions were confirmed. We found fresh wine bottles in her room, and she's fallen over and passed out on the floor. She's still there, actually. And it's been a few hours.

I was stupid to get my hopes up. I was stupid to have hope that this would be the turning point. I still can't help but feel that if I had done something differently, then maybe none of this would be happening. If I was more like my brother, maybe things would be better. Everyone loves my brother. He's nice, if not too nice. He's been suckered into paying for things he didn't want because he can't say no.

But I just feel like if I wasn't the fucked up mess I am right now, then maybe my mom wouldn't have a reason to drink... I don't know. A part of me still really thinks that I had a hand in this mess...

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Re: Living With An Addict (WARNING: MAY TRIGGER)
« Reply #14 on: July 01, 2014, 06:50:02 PM »
Like Shouron said earlier, it's not your fault.  I know it's hard to believe, but it wouldn't matter if you were 'as nice as your brother' or not.  I'm willing to bet that the reason your brother is 'too nice' and gets suckered into paying for things is that he thinks that if 'he just does the right thing', that your mother won't do what she does.  Or that if he stops being 'nice', that she'll act up even more.

If anything, I think your mom's drinking is more responsible for your problems than the other way around.

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Re: Living With An Addict (WARNING: MAY TRIGGER)
« Reply #15 on: July 01, 2014, 09:25:41 PM »
*hugs close* Bull shit that that's your fault. It's not. You are not responsible for her actions. She is. If she can't be an adult and handle herself as one she obviously needs to go back to her correctional facility, good behavior or not.