I thought I would add my own story as it might relate to others.
I’m 40 and my mother is an alcoholic, I’m finding just typing this extremely difficult as there are emotions I’ve hidden for many years.
I was so shocked at how everyone’s story has similarities, like how everyone hated and some still do (as I do) hate Christmas time, and that reason is “Alcohol”, and I too HATE the sound of a metal lid on a glass bottle, it makes me angry.
I have 3 brothers and I was the only girl and also the eldest, I never felt my mother loved me, but she loved my brothers and this showed in her actions,
It first came to light about her drinking (as far as my memories go) to when I was 10 years old and my mother met one of my brothers’ father, she married him quickly and even though they were only together for 2 years it felt a lifetime,
I went from a normal child to a terrified child within weeks, when I read others stories I realised why she stayed with this man, she would and still called him an alcoholic!, because he came home drunk after spending shopping money on booze and he would come home with a takeaway, she would lock him out and he would break his way in,
She would wake us up and drag me and my brother who was 9 at the time (my other 2 brothers came later on) and would drag us into her bed and instead of shielding us from this she would use us to help make her feel safer,
When he would smash the back door in, me and brother took turns to run to the neighbour’s house to call the police, I always remember once I slipped in our garden and I was so petrified in case he was behind me (that memory is still so vivid) then it was in our neighbour’s house the minutes until the police arrived would be me going through turmoil of thoughts thinking “has he got into the house and killed my mum and brother”
After this would happen and they took him to the police cells I would start cleaning the house frantically and I remember our neighbour saying “don’t do that now silly” this woman saved me many times in the coming years,
It went from that to this man dragging us out of our beds at 3am and take us downstairs where he would beat up my mother and then when they made up he would take us to the park at 5am and we weren’t allowed home until we said we loved him 100%,
What my mother forgets to mention when she tells people her pity story is she would often be the instigator of these events, I would shout in my head “mam shut up you are making him mad” she would be drunk and screaming “go on hit me go on” she knew how to push his buttons so I cannot say it was all down to him,
Along came my 2nd brother, I remember when he was a new-born and they were fighting at the bottom of the stairs with him holding my brother and he swerved from my mother and my brother hit his head on the door latch, I remember him turning blue and he was just screaming at my mother “look at what you have done” while I was panicking how I knew to blow air into his mouth fast and that would make him breathe I do not know, but I was thankful I did know,
When they married I did not go, everyone went but I remember staying on the street, I don’t know why I didn’t want to go but I remember my mother not caring either way, maybe because I knew it was an excuse for a big party and lots of alcohol.
We would stay at my grandparents’ house and my gran being my gran and was scared of no one would answer the door to him holding a poker (from a coal fire) and would threaten him to leave us alone,
Once we went home and our uncle was with us and he had taken an overdose and my uncle saying “we better call an ambulance his pulse is really low” and I remember my mother saying “F*** him he can die”, looking back why couldn’t she just have told me and my brother to go upstairs we didn’t need to hear all of that,
She still says to this day she left him because he went to hit my eldest brother, whether that was true I do not know, I just knew he was there one day and gone the next,
In the space of her meeting the dad of my youngest brother, it was the most normal I knew my life to be, even though I wouldn’t have friends over from school and most days I came home to her in bed with her saying she was tired, I do remember I had one friend over and she did try she put party food bits on the table and a note saying sorry she had to go to bed as she wasn’t well, and that’s the excuse I used to use after that,
When she met the dad of my youngest brother the first night I remember hearing him laughing downstairs and me and brother going down to see what the noise was, I just knew from the 1st moment we met him that he would keep us feeling safe,
After that my mother was still really harsh to me,
When I was 12 in my few times of being a kid decided I would say to my mother I’m not staying in being grounded and she said “well ill kick you out” and I walked out the door saying “fine”,
She left me crying looking at her and my stepdad through the window (her drinking her usual vodka) and it was pouring down with rain I was crying hysterically begging to be let in but she left me and at 3am my neighbour came and got me quietly (she was in an awkward position as she was my mother’s friend but knew she treated me mean) and I slept at her house, my mother would do awful things to me yet my eldest brother took drugs and the school would ring her up and tell her to go up straight away as they found him drugged up on a field on the schools premises, you could see he was clearly on drugs yet all that was ignored and it was “we will have to get him a councillor” !
She would wake me up aged 13 and tell me about her nights out (way too much info for a 13 year old) she would tell me how she met guys and all I could think was how awful I felt for my stepdad who did anything for her.
At the age of 14 I met a 19 year old guy who was my escape and also a major help in the coming years, one day he told me he needed to talk to me and took me down the beach and began to explain how my mother had cornered him and asked him if he could take her to the station as she planned on leaving us for this guy she met 6 hours away while on a night out, I remembered her telling me about him and also telling me she was sneaking off to spend a night in a hotel with him,
I felt so hurt and humiliated, I asked him to take me home where I flew in a rage and screamed abuse at her (for the first time) “how could you leave your kids for another man”,
She just came at me throwing plant pots at me angry, so I run to my gran and she said “do you blame her ?” that confused me but later in life I realised my gran was only told things by my mother who obviously didn’t tell her the whole truth,
So I ended up going to another friend (who would help me and understood what my mother was like) she put on her slippers and was up to my house straight away, she said she managed to convince her to stay (convince her to stay and look after her kids, my 2 youngest brothers were only 4 and 2 years old),
After her friend left though my mother gave me a sob story about how she was having a nervous breakdown and needed 2 weeks away with him to refresh herself or she couldn’t guarantee she would survive (funny how all this was said AFTER her friend left), so she left me to take care of 3 brothers, that’s why I’m thankful for that relationship I had with the 19 year old because I would not have been able to cope otherwise, social services called and I had to go to ring her in a phone box down the road, I had to nag her and all she would say is “I don’t have money to come back, I am trying” it must have been a few weeks before she finally came home, no thank you for anything,
In all the years I never answered her back and always was the one who sorted out everything her finances, my brothers if they got into trouble, I feel so sorry for my youngest brother as his memories are crossed with me doing the mother things for him but thinking it was my mother and vice versa,
Even though he’s 28 and I’m 40 he still will come to me if there is anything going on in the house, I remember having a tarot card reading and this man saying “you either have 2 sons or you will have 2 sons and explained in detail each brother, and I’ve been more or less a mother to them, I have no relationship with my eldest brother, he hit me while drugged up and after years of abuse from him and me having to bring his daughter (my niece) up and ungrateful, I had enough and cut contact with him, while my mother ignored all the bad things he did to me, she would text me not to call to the house as he was having dinner there,
I’m wondering why alcoholic mothers give abuse to the daughters more,
This is the situation now, after years of blanking her out of my life we are back talking. She had breast cancer grade 4 so I felt it was time to talk to her, but I made sure first to get rid of any hatred I had over her drinking vodka and what she had done,
When I first walked in and seen her I broke down, she was tiny and frail and looked awful but she said it was cos of the cancer, and she beat it, and then admitted to being an alcoholic and asked me to help her quit, so I felt I’d started talking to her at the right time as maybe just maybe I could feel what it would be like to have a mother, I have to admit I felt excited about the future, she stayed off vodka for several weeks and it was amazing those 7 weeks, she remembered things I told her for the first time since I was 21!,
But that was short lived, she went back to the vodka, my 40th birthday not only did she forget but she also ruined the day by messaging me drunk at 11am, I stayed in bed miserable the whole day,
She then asked me to take her to the doctors to get help which I did, I couldn’t believe the doctor said “don’t stop drinking it will kill you” I felt those emotions well up again and screamed at him “are you mad u just told an alcoholic to keep drinking that’s music to her ears” I could even see and feel her happiness !!
On the way home she made me stop at the shop for her to buy vodka (I’ve never bought it and never will that’s one thing she will never ask me because she knows I will NOT)
We then had an appointment with drug and alcohol group who said she needed to cut down to half a bottle of vodka each day (she lied to them saying she drunk well over a litre because she knew she wouldn’t have to cut back lots in the beginning),
She did start off cutting down not a lot but a bit, and then she would have what she says is “I’ve had a terrible day so I drunk myself into oblivion” meaning she had a 2 day streak of nonstop drinking,
So now I’m left with her not even trying. When I asked her she said “I can’t I just can’t” even though she knew the drug and alcohol people told her she could have tablets off them when she was down to a quarter bottle and that would stop the cravings, even after they gave me an injection in case my mother took cocodamols too many of them to give it to her if she went into cardiac arrest !
I moved 44 miles away to get away when we weren’t speaking and when we started speaking I wanted to move back there but now I’m glad I didn’t because I can’t handle it.
She spends her days in her bedroom and between 2-3pm she starts drinking her vodka. Its killing her and she knows it, she can’t eat most days and is constantly being sick, she still says the same thing like yesterday when I went there and seen how awful she looked again she said “this awful cold is back I’m being sick etc. etc.” and I’m ” NO its the vodka” she still makes excuses to the rest of the house,
My youngest brother is stuck living there and sleeps on the sofa because he can’t sleep in the bedroom upstairs because she moans if he coughs when he is downstairs sleeping, so he said he would end up being too paranoid to move,
The house is just a war zone my brothers suffers from schizophrenia and has bursts of complete anger and screams abuse and smashes up things, he lets things get so deep emotionally cos it’s all about my mum and dad he tries to be there for them and its making him ill,
I’ve tried so many times to tell them that she won’t live long if she carries on in the hope that they both get together and stop her drinking, stop giving it to her, but they live in denial and I feel like I’m the one who is delivering the negative news they don’t want to hear, point is I KNOW it’s coming I know that when it happens the both of them will be “I should have done this and I should have done that” so that’s why I try telling them but it gets swept away under the carpet,
My dad tip toes around my mother so she continues to treat him like crap and when he does stand up for himself and screams back my brother will stand up for my mother,
They all think I’m being too harsh when I don’t want to go upstairs and talk to her, when I go up she hides these marks all up her arms (they look like bruises but she hasn’t hit herself the doctor said it’s because of the drink),
Her body won’t be able to keep fighting off infection, and she is about 6 and half stone, and is at the moment all happy cos she is going away with her friend to jersey for 2 days, when reality is just a few days ago she went to the hairdressers in a taxi and fell when she walked in (she’s that frail) yet no one has said anything about how she is going to cope going away for 2 days
I just don’t know what else to do, what will make her wake up I’m so desperately unhappy and lay in bed all day myself just waiting for the call to say she is dead .
I’m 40 and childless, suffered with depression all my life, I keep everyone at arm’s length and I never admit to anyone I need help, I’ll just deal with it,
I’m still confused to whether the horrific life events that’s happened and by me not getting help from a psychiatrist etc. is still a problem like my partner dying in a motorcycle accident I couldn’t understand how he could stand beside me and within an hour I was standing over him in a morgue and looking at this body (which I won’t type what sort of injuries I seen, it still haunts me) etc. I didn’t go to my house I had by my mother’s for 2 weeks I just stayed in our bedroom at his parents’ farm and when I did decide to go back I walked into my mother’s, a complete zombie, and just wanted my mother to hug me and tell me it would be okay and make me get help. Instead she was drunk and when I burst into tears sobbing “what’s happening help me” she replied “I’ve been through worse don’t worry about it”,
Whilst living by my parents (I had a house by hers for 16 years) I even hid the fact I had a violent partner whom I married, it’s as if I knew not to bother telling my mother, then one day I was giving a lift to my dad and we got into the car and the police were called to my house the few days previous and I asked them to take my partner out of my house and he went to stay in his mum’s across the road, he came running down and I started my car panicking and reversed down the road FAST while my dad was shouting “what are you doing” and all I could say was “you don’t understand what he’s like”. At the bottom of the road I managed to reverse around a corner but he caught up with us and flew over my bonnet of my car and began punching the window. I managed to persuade him to let me pull up to the curb but then sped off to my mother’s and ran inside and called 999 while my mother was slurring “for Christ sake stop making a drama will you”. I was a shaking mess as I believed he would kill me because he would take a LOT of prescription medication so I knew he was capable of doing it, I lived in constant fear for 2 years and that still affected me and still does.
I’m now in a loving relationship and have been for 5 years, he’s brilliant, but I still keep him at arm’s length, I just don’t confide in anyone because I think I will just drag them down to feel as awful as I do, I wake up miserable every day and go to sleep feeling the same, I don’t get out of bed most days, I really do want a child now more than anything and I hope it does happen it’s doubtful but I still hope,
Why do I find it so hard to just live in a moment of happiness ? I feel guilty for feeling it and give myself a 1000 reasons not to be happy, I ALWAYS help others and have done all my life and a friend I have in America once told me, you help so many others and forget about your own life. I would love to run my own business, I have ideas but I’m so depressed and can’t see a way out, I’ve tried anti-depressants but the side effects were horrible and I never felt any better, I don’t like to live past pains and to me there are more people who have suffered a lot worse so I try and blank it,
I’ll NEVER drink alcohol I know a lot of people who have had alcoholic parents tend to drink themselves but I couldn’t. The very thought of vodka makes me want to vomit, I’d love to foster children, I’m natural with kids and I relate to them, I would love to help some kids not to take things they suffered in childhood with them into adulthood, but first I need to get happy myself before thinking about bringing up a child, but time is ticking.