Codependency and feeling like I should fix everything
I am an ACA who’s parent-alcoholic has recently (in the last year) relapsed hard. Since just before Christmas last year we’ve had quite a few periods where she has been incredibly low and times she has completely emotionally destroyed me by saying horrible, nasty things about me and how she dislikes things about me as a person. Obviously, she was not sober at this point. We’d got her help and she’d been to rehab and then relapsed again really hard and sent horrific messages to me again about every aspect of my being, which caused me to take a step back and not speak to her for a few weeks.
I started going to al-anon meetings and trying to take care of myself as I managed to completely leave my university work and well-being behind as I was too caught up in the whole situation and was mentally really struggling. I am an only child and have felt intense guilt and pressure around the whole situation and have desperately trying to help her for most of the past 10 months or so – whilst also having a lot of childhood flashbacks of situations where she was drinking and not really knowing what to do but feeling like it was my fault. I know her partner/ex-partner violently disagrees with my life choices and wants to try and separate her contact with me, which complicates things further. Since we started talking again after a few weeks of not speaking she hasn’t mentioned him to me, but I’m pretty certain he’s back and around when I’m not here.
Recently, I have been to visit and stay with my partner for a month (in another country). I cannot explain how much lighter I felt being there with her and just feeling unconditionally loved and in a stable situation. Coming back and being thrown back into a huge atmosphere of uncertainty and anxiety has been so difficult.
I’m due to go back to university again soon (to one of the most important years of my course) and I’m so anxious about…well, a lot, really.
My parent has been unhappy for years, has such low self-esteem and I’m so upset for her that she can’t be happy. She recently lost the job she was doing and she’s currently trialing a job she doesn’t think will work out and said earlier she doesn’t think she can “cope” with another ‘failure’. This sent me into a huge spiral of worry about how she won’t be able to manage and will likely take another turn for the worse. I know I can’t stop this or stop her turning to drinking if she does this but as much as I’m trying to fight I’m so worried. I don’t really know what to do because I know I can’t control anything and I will return to al-anon but I just feel like I can’t breathe at the moment. Her parents have supported her on and off for 20 years of this illness at least, and they have stepped away from her since her last relapse around 3 months ago. I feel like I’m on my own and by putting space between me and her I’m abandoning her. She’s my mother and I love her so much, but emotionally I don’t know how much longer I can cope with this.
Any response/advice would be appreciated, and I’m so sorry to everyone in these tricky situations.
Thanks a lot in advance 🙂