should i really report my mom?




First, a little background. I’m 15, turning 16 soon! So many good things have happened in my life recently and I’ve been very happy. The problem is my mom. I’m not in her custody, I haven’t been in her custody ever and legally I was adopted by her little sister when I was 7.

She’s been a drug addict my whole life. Everyone she surrounds herself with are addicts to. All of her past partners were criminals. My dad was part of a burglary that landed him in a book called, “The Robber Who Shot Himself In The Face” which is a book about the worlds stupidest criminals. I was told the woman he was trying to rob was on Ellen because it was so stupid.

Anyway, I’ve never had the thought to report her when she was using, it was something I was used to hearing and seeing. This time, for some reason, is different. I’ve seen a lot of crap because of her. I mean.. How many kids grow up with random people they hardly know sleeping in their bedroom because they had nowhere to go? Or knowing exactly how many days it’s safe to have a needle stuck in your arm from heroin? I don’t know. Maybe it’s more than I think.

I felt really ill when I got the thought to report her. My mind filled with, “maybe this time will be different,” “maybe she can get off of them on her own,” “but she promised.”

If you’re a kid who also has had the concept of a promise dirtied and broken because of a parent, I’m sorry. And I understand. My mom has done it to me so much and she has only been around for a collective 4 years of my life.

I keep thinking of all the bad things she has done to me. She made me miss my first day of kindergarten because she was high when she registered me and forgot when the first day was. Or in second grade when she showed up high to my classes Halloween party. Or, when she used my social security to get several loans before my 11th birthday(how?!?) When I couldn’t care for my guinea pigs she took them, and instead of rehoming them to a good family like I wanted she sold them to a breeder for $300. But no matter how many hurtful things she has done to me I can’t help but remember the good things.

Like all the times she stayed the night and would rub my back and sing me to sleep. Or when I was little and had my first anxiety attack and she would help me through it. Even that time she brought me home a puppy!

Even then, those are bad memories. She would lull me to sleep so she could sneak off and use again. She is the REASON I had anxiety attacks. The puppy she brought home was very ill and was in pain, my adopted mom told me that when the puppy wasn’t playing with me or my brother she had to be treated for a million and one infections and was constantly puking.

I guess I thought that writing this and being able to see my thoughts would help me to come to a decision but I just can’t. As much as I hate her I still just want her to be happy. I’m torn between wanting her to get better even if she hates me for reporting her(if she finds out) and just letting her do what she wants because that’s all she’s ever done.

Even though my adopted mom is great and loves me, I still just want my damn mom back. What should I do?

  • listener

    Hi Essie,

    I'm so sorry to hear all that you've been through, and are still going through, with your mom's addiction. It must be so hard looking back at all of these broken promises and painful memories, and it sounds like even the good memories are tarnished.

    I can hear how much you love your mom and want her to be happy, but also how hurt and angry you are. This is completely natural and it's important to remember that it's OK to love your mom, as well as feeling hate and anger towards her. This conflict is really hard but remember you're allowed to feel this way.

    It's clear that you're very conflicted over whether to report your mom or not. It's a very difficult decision to make. Are you able to talk to your adoptive mom about this, or another adult who you trust? Dealing with all of this alone can feel so isolating.

    Do you have any ways of coping with what you're going through? Nacoa have some great resources around coping with these situations:
    This is geared towards people affected by a parent's drinking, but lots of it may still be relevant to you. I hope it's helpful.

    It's so great that you've reached out on here and I hope using these Message Boards helps in some way. Remember if you ever want to reach out to Nacoa they have an email helpline too (

    Take good care,

    • essie

      Thank you so much for your kind words, they mean more than you know.
      Unfortunately, my adoptive mom will tell me not to and I think I know I'm not just going to let this go. I was able to reach out to my old teacher and she kind of reinforced that this is a tough decision and that there's not really a right answer in this but that I'm not alone.
      My adoptive mom drinks so I think making an account here and using it will help me quite a bit, and I didn't know there was a helpline so thank you!
      Again, thank you for commenting and especially thank you for the " you're allowed to feel this way" because man I needed that one.
      Stay safe

    • uniquemind

      Hi essie,

      I'm really sorry to hear you're going through this and can empathise with you on a personal level as I have experience of my mum being addicted to alcohol. You are not alone and a lot of people experience what you are going through. I can completely understand your experiences of painful and good memories. Although, every time you think of the happy memories they are also tainted by the painful memories you have experienced.

      I would not make any rash decisions to not speak to your mum, and think it through properly beforehand. Although, your mum is the only one who can stop the addiction she is going through and it is not your fault. The only one who should make the decision on whether you stop speaking to your mum is you. Although it is a very difficult situation to be in, I know personally. You still love your mum and want the best for her but you also need to make sure you are looking after yourself mentally and physically.

      I hope you are ok soon.

  • pink flamingo

    Dear Essie

    I am so sorry to hear about all you have been through and how difficult your mum's addiction has been.

    It is really brave that you have posted and shared your experiences, this community is hear to listen and support you.

    Your conflicted feelings towards you mum are very normal - addiction can often lead to mixed emotions towards the people we love. Please remember that you didn't cause and can't cure this situation - but you can take care of yourself. At times you are finding it difficult to might help to take some time for yourself and do something that you enjoy - read a book, listen to music or go for a walk.

    Regarding reporting your mum, as Listener has said, I would encourage you to speak to your adoptive mum (or another adult you trust) if you feel comfortable to do so.

    Best wishes

  • blue96

    Hi Essie,

    Well done on being brave enough to post a message and share how you are feeling. It's great that you are already feeling the support of the NACOA community, many of whom will have shared the feelings that you are experiencing.

    I also agree with the comments above that it would be really valuable to talk to an adult that you can trust, maybe a teacher or your adoptive Mother. Don't forget that the NACOA helpline is always there to listen to you too.

    Finally, remember that nothing that has happened to you is your fault. NACOA's 6 C's really helped me to understand this:
    - I didn’t cause it
    - I can’t control it
    - I can’t cure it
    - I can take care of myself
    - I can communicate my feelings
    - I can make healthy choices

    Take care of yourself and keep talking :)

  • hkmnineteenseventyseven

    Dear Essie,

    I just wanted to say that we are here and thinking of you if you ever need to communicate with people, and I would agree with everyone else when they say talk to your adoptive mum. I think it is very important that you let her know how you feel because then you won't feel so isolated. Remember, this isn't your fault. You didn't cause it and you can't control it. As others have said, the NACOA helpline is here aswell should you need more support.

    Best wishes

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