I’ve returned from what I believe I’d the last visit to my mother I’ll ever make. I had to drop everything and find to Ireland from the UK at 3am due to a call that was made flagging that she was about to become homeless. I found her slumped behind a wheel in a car park, intoxicated and dirty. She had been living in squaller. Over five days, I housed her in an air BnB, got her off the booze, had paramedics and a GP come and asses her. Medicated her, fed her and found her temporary accomodation which I don’t think she will be able to pay for much longer.
After 28 years of trauma I believe this event has triggered a PTSD response and had decided I cannot intervene again.
My life has been impacted by her addiction and personality in ways I can’t even begin to explain. As a child, teenager and adult, I have protected my mother in every way imaginable. From a young age, she made me complicit in a lot of her dysfunctional behaviour and manipulated me so that I felt I couldn’t speak up or tell anyone. This has bled into my adult life and has meant I’ve tried endlessly to maintain her life for her, with little to no acknowledgement, guilt or remorse from her end. Speaking with the GP was life changing, as I finally had the strength to tell the truth, and spoke to her about things I’ve never told anyone. Leaving her behind was painful because in many ways, I’ve been her carer for as long as I can remember. I know this is difficult to read, but the truth is she has never protected me or put me first – I have always been the parent in this relationship, even when I was a child.
In recent years, I’ve had to make contact with charities such as Al-Anon and NACOA to try and begin processing the damage caused by all this. I’m going to be organising some counselling with a therapist who specialises in adult children of alcoholics moving forward, and I’m hoping I can begin to live the life I want to create for myself. I have an incredible support network and I feel lucky that I have this in place. I believe i’m a good person, and in return have been able to create and maintain a group of amazing friends who care for me and want the best for me.
At not even 29 years old, there’s many things I would love to do with my life which she has made me believe aren’t possible. To feel responsible for another person from birth, means putting your own hopes, aspirations and goals on hold. I’m fearful that if I continue down this path, I will eventually look back with deep regret and a feeling of loss of my own life. I love my mother, but I feel this isn’t reciprocated in a way most parents love their children. Again, this has been a devastating conclusion to reach in recent years and I’m trying my best to come to terms with it.
I’ve had this conversation with her several times over the past few days, one of which was in front of her FP and I recorded on my phone. She knows and understands my stance in that I cannot intervene like I have done my entire life anymore. I know now that if I continue to do so, my own life will be destroyed and the cycle will continue.
Does anyone have any advice on how you finally let go?