How to cope with aftermath

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book21

Okay so I’m a 19 year old turning 20 and this isn’t really about an issue I have with my alcoholic parent but more of the aftermath of my relationship with them.
Me and my mum had argued for years over her drinking as every weekend I’d see her and she was drunk (did not live with her) I’d bring it up and we would argue and I did this because no one was there to impose those boundaries and I wanted to help. Now it’s been nearly 4 years since we basically stopped talking (I only see her when my sibling is around). And this is because of how our relationship got so damaged through the constant arguing and how neither of us were changing. She essentially stopped making an effort or reaching out when I was 16 and since I’ve been struggling with any type of relationship as I can’t really stop thinking if I wasn’t enough for her or to even help her, not just an alcoholic but my mum. The person everyone is suppose to have backing them supposedly, how can I be enough really for anyone? It’s stupid I know but it’s the constant thought that if that person who is meant to care so deeply for you doesn’t want anything to do with you, how long is it till anyone realises you aren’t worth it either.
I’ve tried making up for my mistakes with my mum but ultimately I can’t now because of how bad I allowed it to become. Now I just want to get rid of this feeling but not sure how?

  • listener

    Hello book21,

    Having an alcoholic parent can still have a huge impact, regardless of whether you live with them or have contact with them. I'm sorry to hear how much conflict there was between you and your mum, and how much you're struggling with the lack of relationship with her. That must feel like a huge loss.

    It's very natural that you argued a lot with your mum. You clearly wanted her to get better and it's so frustrating when you can't find a way to help. This is very common and I think it's important to be kind to yourself. It sounds like you blame yourself for a lot, and I just want to reassure you that there is only so much family members can do to help someone until that person is willing to accept your help. Conflict is very natural in these situations, and isn't something you should feel bad about. Something that might help you put this into perspective is the 6C's - I hope they are helpful:

    • 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

    Feeling like you aren't worthy of your mum's care must be so incredibly painful. In reality, you are worthy of your mum's and everyone else's care and love. Sadly alcoholism makes alcohol the top priority and is so all-consuming that it's often not possible to engage in normal relationships with those closest to you. It's nothing to do with your worth, because you are worthy.

    Getting rid of that feeling is not easy though. Maybe surrounding yourself with people who you do feel love and support from will help. Do you have people around you like this?

    Is there anything that helps you to cope with the situation at the moment?

    Take care,
    Listener

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