There are no words




I have been dealing with my mum’s alcoholism all my life and as much as I try and convince myself I don’t want my mum’s support, I do. It seems really counterintuitive to spend my time and energy wanting support from my mother when I know it won’t happen. I am very independent. And.I wish I didn’t have to be at such a young age. I wish my mum would hug me and tell me that it will be okay and it’s awful I don’t get to have my needs met,because of addiction. Some days I feel angry about my mum’s drinking and other days I just feel numb. Unfortunately I have experienced my father dying and while it’s beyond herrendous, he’s gone. Growing up with an emotionally absent mother, who is alive but can’t truly be there is just cruel.

I wonder if anyone has a similar experience to this, and how do you deal with it?

  • here2help

    Thank you for sharing this and I’m so glad you reached out to Nacoa. It is really hard being the child of an alcoholic and feeling your needs aren’t being met, I’m sorry you’re feeling this way. Having to become independent at a young age is so difficult and I’m sorry you’re going through this with your mum. I’m also sorry to hear your dad has passed away too, it must be very difficult for you to be in this situation. You are right when you say there are no words, it’s very hard to find words to describe the sadness, frustration, anger and disappointment you may feel. Building a support network is really important, alongside good self care and healthy boundaries. It’s ok to feel however you are feeling. Sometimes journaling or finding a creative outlet can help us process our emotions. Take some time for yourself and be kind to yourself, these are hard things to go through and it can feel so unfair that we don’t have the support from our parents that we want and need due to addiction. It’s also hard to find words that can provide comfort, but you aren’t alone. You can call the Nacoa helpline to speak to someone for support if you’d like to. Take good care of yourself,


  • mountainchaser

    Hi katy996,

    Thank you so much for sharing your story and your feelings. I am sorry to hear that your dad passed away, that you can't get your needs met by your mum and that you have to deal with your mum's alcoholism.
    Dealing with such challenges can be incredibly difficult, and it's natural to have a mix of emotions in response to the situation.

    I can relate to the feelings you've described, as both of my parents are alcoholics as well, and I understand the complex mix of emotions that arise when you yearn for support that seems out of reach due to their addiction.

    Navigating this situation can be extremely challenging, but here are a few tips that might help you cope:

    Acknowledge Your Emotions: It's important to recognize and validate your feelings. You're allowed to feel angry, hurt, and even numb. It's okay to have a range of emotions in response to your circumstances.

    Seek Support Elsewhere: While it's natural to want your mother's support, it's crucial to find support from other sources. Friends, family members, therapists, or support groups can provide you with the understanding and comfort you need.

    Set Boundaries: Establish clear boundaries with your mother that protect your emotional well-being. It's okay to limit your interactions if they become emotionally taxing.

    Practice Self-Care: Taking care of yourself is vital. Engage in activities that bring you joy, relaxation, and peace. Prioritize your physical, emotional, and mental well-being.

    Therapy and Counseling: Consider seeking professional therapy or counseling. A therapist can provide you with tools to cope with your emotions and navigate the challenges stemming from your mother's alcoholism.

    Forgive Yourself: It's common to have moments of guilt, feeling like you're betraying your parents by seeking support elsewhere. Remember that taking care of yourself doesn't mean you don't care about them.

    Acceptance: Accepting that you cannot control your mother's actions or choices can be liberating. Focus on what you can control—your own life and well-being.

    Focus on the Present and Future: While your past has shaped you, your future is still yours to create. Concentrate on building the life you want for yourself, independent of your parents' struggles.

    Connect with Others: Engage with people who understand your situation. Online forums (just like you are doing here), support groups, or local organizations can provide a sense of community and shared understanding.

    Practice Patience: Healing takes time. Be patient with yourself as you navigate your emotions and work toward finding a sense of peace.

    Remember, you're not alone in this journey. Others have faced similar circumstances, and while each person's experience is unique, there's a shared understanding of the challenges you're going through. Your strength in sharing your story and seeking ways to cope is admirable.

    Being independent is often praised, but it's important to recognize that there can be drawbacks to excessive independence, especially in situations like yours. While independence is a valuable trait, relying solely on it to navigate the complexities of your mother's alcoholism and your own emotional needs can sometimes come with challenges.
    In your situation, where you're dealing with your mother's alcoholism, it's important to recognize that seeking support, asking for help, and allowing yourself to be vulnerable are not signs of weakness. They are signs of resilience and a commitment to your own well-being. Balancing your independence with a willingness to lean on others can contribute to a healthier and more sustainable approach to coping with the challenges you're facing.

    You also asked how do I cope with it?
    For me it comes in waves, I can have a good period where I am not thinking about the support I do not get and I can manage my life, responsibilities and challenges, but when more challenging situations arise, it sometimes hits twice as hard - because I feel alone, I know I am not getting support from parents that I need and crave, and then anger adds to it as I feel that it is unfair for me to not have their support. All I do in that moment is cry and allow the closest person to me to just hold me and ride the wave. I compare it to grief - as I am grieving something that should be there but it is not. Then I get really honest and I say to myself - Yes, I would love the support, but I need to recognise, it is not here. And no matter how much I want it, it is not coming. How can I help myself? Who can help instead? What can I do to make myself feel better in this situation? What is one thing I can do to change how I feel now?
    Well done for reaching out, keep going, you are doing great (even if it does not feel like it sometimes), and definitely let the closest people help and support you.
    All the best,

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