Seeing my mum after no contact




Hi everyone,

I have been no contact with my alcoholic mother for approx 18 months due to her alcoholism and I have heard from family that she has drastically worsened over that time… she has been hospitalised various times and is now addicted to crack cocaine as well as alcohol, and is generally in a really bad way. My contact decision was absolutely right for me as it has meant I am no longer constantly worrying about her or upset at her state.

However, my aunty passed away a few weeks ago and the funeral is due to take place next week. I am going to have to come face to face with my mother after all that time and I am really nervous. I don’t want to see her because a) it is likely she will be completely out of it…she is literally never sober b) it will really upset me seeing her in such a state because I still love her despite everything c) she really hates me for cutting her out of my life and it’s likely she will start verbally abusing me when she see’s me. d) it is going to be really awkward for me and other family members.

I have got to go to the funeral to support my cousin, who I am very close to. has anyone been in a similar situation? Any advice? Any coping strategies?

Thanks all <3

  • listener

    Hi salboo,
    I am sorry to hear that you have had troubles with your mother's addiction, and I'm also sorry to hear of your Auntie's passing away- my condolences are with you. I am glad to hear you have made the right decision for yourself by cutting contact with your mother, and that you have been able to continue a normal life despite the issues your mother has been through.
    This sounds to me like a tough situation to be put into the middle of, and one that doesn't leave you much choice. I am not too sure what advice I can offer here other than one of self-care; take some time to do things that help you relax before and after the funeral, regardless of whether it is smooth-sailing or not because funerals are emotionally tumultuous occasions. If possible, I would stick with your cousin to see whether this will diffuse any chance of an altercation with your mother, however if this altercation is entirely unavoidable please do not hesitate to call us at NACOA to talk about it, or at any time for that matter.
    Addiction is a horrible disease that can cause our loved ones to do thing that are out of character or come across as malicious, but please know this is never your fault and we are here to help you through it at NACOA.
    Kind Regards,

  • sk

    Hi salboo,
    Thanks very much for sharing your situation. That is really difficult and I'm sorry you're having to deal with such a situation, especially while you are grieving.
    I'm so pleased to hear you are at peace with your no contact decision with your mum - setting boundaries is really important and I'm glad you've found this beneficial. It's not easy so well done!
    It makes sense that you're nervous for the funeral, with all those factors at play. It's very kind of you that you are going to be supporting your cousin. Is there anyone that will be there that day that can offer you some support/solidarity/comfort? As you say seeing your mum might be quite difficult and it would be good to make sure you are taken care of as well. You can call the NACOA helpline at any time during or after the event if you want someone to listen to you - perhaps you could save the number in your phone so it is there if you need?
    I think the important thing to remind yourself on the day is that your mother's choices and actions are not your responsibility - you did not cause this, and you are right and justified to put in boundaries.
    I hope the funeral goes okay and please do write back on the messageboard or call the NACOA phone line if you'd like to continue to talk about it.
    Wishing you well,

  • pixel28

    Hi, I am so sorry to hear about your situation. I am writing with complete empathy of what you are going through adn will try to include the best advice I can.
    It can be really hard as on the one hand you care but on the other you matter and are important and you are valid to have place your boundaries, even if they are family. Boundaries can be simply just telling her that you are not ready to talk to her and are there to support the family; as the above have said you have no obligation or face responsibility for her actions. I also mirror above suggestions of taking care of yourself before and after the event - it can be easy to feel guilty or to feel like we should have done something when really you are absolutely within your rights to choose to distance yourself if that is what is best for you and your wellbeing.
    It sounds like a really tough situation but I think really good to have reached out to Nacoa. Sending you my condolences and I hope that the funeral doesn't draw up any difficult moments for you. Take care

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