Guilt

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nelly101

Hi
My mum is an alcoholic and I am her main point of contact for everything. With lockdown I have not been able to see her as much as I normally would but now things are opening up again I feel like I should be taking her out for the day and spending more time with her again.

The problem is, her drinking makes me depressed, she is grumpy, rude and just unpleasant to be around. When she is pleasant to be around it is short lived and the grumpy mum comes back out. I don’t enjoy her company and she is such hard work. I feel such a responsibility to help her have more of a social life and to be out and about alot more, she doesn’t drive anymore and doesn’t want to use public transport due to the virus and she also has COPD.

I feel such a guilt at not suggesting we go out for a walk or taking her to places we would have gone before. It’s like lockdown gave me a bit of freedom and space from her and her drinking because I have not been able to spend any time with her, but now I am being taken back into that world again.

I constantly think “I should take mum to x’ and then I see her and I think ‘I really dont want to do that’ and then the guilt kicks in that I shouldn’t feel like that about my mum and i should be helping her, despite her alchoholism.

Is anyone in a similar situation that can help?

  • listener

    Hi there,

    I'm really sorry to hear how you're feeling at the moment and all that you're going through with your mum. Lockdown clearly gave you some breathing space from your mum, so with restrictions easing I appreciate why it's bringing some of these difficult feelings up.

    I think guilt is a very common feeling in people who have alcoholic parents. It sounds like you have so much responsibility to take care of your mum; being her main point of contact, that's a huge amount on your shoulders.

    I think there's no simple answer but it's really important to think about your own needs and wellbeing in all of this. Trying to find some sort of balance could help, and a plan moving forward. So it may be that you decide on an amount of times you see your mum during the week/month. Making sure you fit in plenty of time to do things that you enjoy and that help you relax is really important.

    You are doing nothing wrong by taking a step back when you need to. Reminding yourself of this could ease that guilt a little bit. The 6Cs could also help with this:

    • I didn’t cause it
    • I can’t cure it
    • I can’t control it
    • I can take care of myself
    • I can communicate my feelings
    • I can make healthy choices

    Do you have any support that you can rely on at all?

    Take good care

    • blue96

      Hi nelly101,

      I totally understand the feelings that you are experiencing, as will a lot of others in the NACOA community.

      It is important that you put yourself first and think about your own feelings, as well as your Mum's. Maybe you could try and explain how you're feeling to your Mum when she is in a good mood? Failing that, is there anyone else close to you that you can talk about your feelings with?

      Please remember that the NACOA helpline is there to listen should you need it at all.

      Best wishes :)

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