JC: Maryfran, thanks for submitting your post. I cannot imagine the fear that grips a mother because her child is on such a destructive path. I do know that no matter the circumstances that surround alcoholism, those of us dealing with addicts need to learn how to protect ourselves from having emotional breakdowns. The best advice I can give you is to find an Al-anon group and start participating regularly.
Guest post by: Maryfran
I don’t know where to start. Kim, my daughter, started drinking when she was about 14. I put her into every rehab in the state. The last two times I put her into rehab it was to keep her alive because I knew she wasn’t going to stop. When she was about 30 she got clean for about 8 years and did very well with her life, working and volunteering at school for troubled children. Her husband introduced her to cocaine then the alcoholism started again. Every awful thing that could happen, happened to her and so much of it she doesn’t recall because of blackouts or selective memory?!
Two years ago she was hit by a car on a major highway, wasn’t expected to live. I have her records and 49 injuries are on it. In review, she had 5 skull fractures, 2 brain bleeds, smashed every bone in face, plate in forehead plates in jaws face reconstructed leg has pens plates etc. ankle broken as well as shoulder. This is not everything, I just don’t feel like listing it all. She was in a coma and when she came out of it, she had to relearn everything. It took 1 year and a few months before she was discharged to me, still in wheel chair and had rehab people come in and help.
As soon as she was out of wheelchair she wanted to get a bottle. She was taking dog for short walks and found someone to get her booze and the whole nightmare started again. Eventually she got so violent that I had her taken out of my house by police. She went on the road with a trucker and is spiraling down worse than she ever was. She saw her leg doctor last week and he told her if she wants to save her leg she must start using wheel chair, elevate leg and give herself shots of blood thinner.
She lost her taste and smell and chugs a fifth of alcohol like its water. I asked the family Dr. to help me get her in detox because I have power of attorney. She is a master manipulator and has him convinced she is o.k. She has been in i.c.u. at least 8 times in the past year and signed herself out. She was at concerts out of state and each time ended up in i.c.u. 4 different states.
I’m in a constant state of anxiety, lost weight, have no desire to eat and want to scream at the top of my lungs. My daughter-in-law- that lived with me passed away a few months ago and I just have to shut down and not feel because I’m afraid if I let myself I’ll lose my mind and never come back.
I unplug my phone every night so my daughter can’t call and leave me messages crying and asking me to come get her and when I ask where are you she tells me she doesn’t know. WHY does she do that?? That is why I can’t talk to her until she gets clean. I’ve told her that I love her and the only way she can be in my life is her going to detox and rehab. My greatest fear is that my daughters bottom is going to be death.
From JC: Mayfran, thanks for submitting your story. We must always get up one more time than we fall down. Learning how to let go of an alcoholic is vitally important to your success of reclaiming your sanity. You will find a few tips here: Methods Of Letting Go Of Alcoholics Choices.
Maryfran, My heart goes out to you. Every mother grieves
when a child does not want to take care of themselves.
It is a loss no one can describe. You have done everything
humanly possible to take care of your resistant adult
child. She has long passed the time when a parent should
be held responsible. She has chosen by addiction to live
her life her way. She has no more control over it than you. My husband is the same way and has lost one hip
to alcohol poisoning and the other one will soon need to
be replaced. He will not stop drinking and believes he
will never be able to. His sisters and brothers are alcoholics and narcotic users and all have serious problems
due to their addictions.
The good news is you can have a life, let go Let God.
Easy for me to say but it is what I had to do. She has been at the bottom of her existence on this planet and
is and will dwell there destroying everyone in her path.
You are wise to disconnect your phone at night, wise to
let go of her problems and take care of your self. Get
back into your life, if you have a husband, maybe it is time to develop more interest into that relationshp and of course with friends. Do not give up everything that you
are ,trying to take care of someone who doesn’t appreciate
what her life should be. Learn to appreciate what you do
have in your life and let go of hers. I am not saying that
it is easy only that it is very well worth trying to find
the joy that still exists in you. Good Luck, it is a tough journey but it can be done.
My prayers go out to you. I can see the torment this is causing you & you must somehow let it go. I have not had contact with my son in over 10 years and it breaks my heart–his was not an addiction problem but the pain is intense for me as well. I hope for your life to return to some type of normal routine and that won’t happen when you are so stressed out. Turning off the phone is a good first start. Keep making those efforts that stop the incidents that are getting you upset. Control what you can and put the rest in God’s hands. Go forward with your life so you are strong and when your daughter finally reaches the point of “hitting bottom” she will need you there then & you need to be strong for that time. Take care of yourself in the meantime & eliminate as much stress from this situation as you can. God Bless!
There is nothing I can say that will reassure you that everything will be OK someday because as we parents of alcoholics know all too well, our addicted, destructive, self-absorbed children are making their choices. It is a hard pill to swallow to accept that fact without feeling some personal sense of failure. My son continues alcoholiism with no apparent regard for his children, his wife, parents and other loved ones, and most importantly, himself. He too started drinking in his early teens, and is now 31. I see no light at the end of the tunnel, his drinking only continues to escalate, along with all of the problems. Our brains tell us to detach and accept there is nothing we can do, but our hearts tell us we are parents who cannot give up on our children. When we gave birth we made a lifetime commitment to our children, but we are up against a monster that will not allow us to fulfill that commitment. I am sure you expected your daughter’s horrific accident to change her drinking. Every time my son had had an especially terrible incident I have felt the same way. But really that is my heart guiding me, not my head. I commend you for taking the phone off the hook and encourage you to detach in all possible ways and focus on your own life as much as possible. You owe it to yourself to find happiness and joy. It will not make your daughter worse, it will make you better and help you heal. I say this with regret because I always thought my son would be a part of my joy and happiness in my later years but he is not. As much as I believe he loves me I can only entertain that thought as a detached observer. Until there is a miracle cure for addiction we can only help ourselves. Bless you and know that many moms/parents out there love you and understand your situation all too well.
Maryfran, my heart hurts for you and the pain you’re living through. Karens and Debbi are so right – let go and give God what you cannot carry any longer. You have done everything humanly possible to help your daughter. You have done it all, and still you haven’t been able to save her from herself. That is, sadly, the consequence of free will. Only God is strong enough to carry your burden, so put it in His hands and know that He will do all He can to reach your daughter, but she will have to reach out to take what He is trying to give her. God keep you and give you peace. My prayers are with you and with her.
Maryfran… I tell people laugh when you can, cry when you need to, scream when you have to and I mean it. SCREAM…put the window of the car down and scream, go to a park and scream let the pressure release and sob, rant, rail and pour your heart out to God. In my own life, I finally quit trying to pretend there wasn’t a scream trapped right at my lips and I found a (private) place to wail. In Biblical times it talks about such grief that people tore their clothes and put ashes on their head and wept unconsolably. Grief is a terrible thing and you are grieving for your precious daughter, daughter in law, as well as all the hopes and dreams that were not met, including what you wanted for YOUR life. Anxiety is another name for fear. Its just nameless. Anxiety follows with this constant sense of dread…the waiting…the waiting…for disaster. Its like we don’t know which direction its coming from but we know its coming… if you listen closely its almost like we can hear the Jaws theme…da dum…da dum… dadum dadum… living with that kind of pressure, year after year, day after day, hour after hour is beyond exhausting. Depression is common, Edward T. Welch in his book on Depression describes it as a “malignant sadness, a howling tempest in the brain.” Amen to that…its like the body locks up but the brain is on overdrive thinking of all possible scenarios, or what could have been different, or what are the potential outcomes…(none of them ever good). You’ve done the right thing by seeking out people who understand to some degree…and you must continue to do that…baby step by baby step reclaim YOUR life. Yes you are a mother Maryfran, but you are also Maryfran a person who has needs and wants and its time you move toward making sure those are met. Go to Al Anon if you haven’t already, talk to a pastor, or find a celebrate recovery group in a church…the key thing is to try to avoid isolation. Oh how I wish (as well as everyone on this website) that we could tell you it will be better… but as you know we have no power over the addict… but we can tell you this…It can be better for you. It can be better for you.. It CAN BE BETTER for YOU! Even as I say that to you, I’m reminding myself for me, though my alcoholic is my husband of 33 years. When I was in Al Anon they had a book I believe called Wisdom of the Room…. I wrote down this quote that I often read…
“Rather than give my power to my fears today, I now give my fears to God. My solution is that when I’m telling my fears how big my God is, I’m thinking about my God not my fears.” You may feel that God has let you down by allowing things to be in this condition, thats how we all tend to feel at times. Truth is, God will meet you where you are Maryfran and his plans are beyond anything we can imagine. Know this… you are not alone… even if you don’t see us, many are praying for you and your daughter. Let that strengthen you when times are tough. Continue to seek your God… He’s there! Let go of seeking answers and just draw near to Him.
I am so thankful and grateful for the posts. Knowing that there are people praying for me and all of you can relate to my struggles and heartache. I know God has begun a work in my daughter and he will finish it. My faith has brought me thru some really awful stuff and I will continue relying on God even though I don’t see changes, there is alot going on in the spirit realm!! I will go somewhere and scream and get this stuff out like someone posted that they did. Thank you again and God bless each one of you. Maryfran
Thank you for your post. My daughter is 32 and an non-functional alcoholic. My husband is a highly functional alcoholic. I do not drink. I worry about the 2 of them. This is my first time on this site and reading the
replies to your post have helped me too. I have learned about co-dependency, manipulation and detachment and that
has also helped. Today is Mother’s Day…the sadness is incredible. I used to try and fix it all but now realize I cannot and have given it up to God. I just try to take 1 day at a time. I feel so sad for my little grandson.
God bless you and know you are not alone.
same here, my first time. I have a 27 year old son, who has a drinking problem. I have 3 boys who live with me, ages 27, 26,and 22. My oldest has the drinking problem. I thought this would be easy, but it’s not. I feel like a babysitter now, instead of mom. I love him to death but can’t stand him at the same time. Mothers day just passed, didn’t wish me a happy mothers day, instead was drunk the whole day. My other two boys, tell me to kick him out. What they don’t understand is that I’m still mom. He has had an accident, which lost his license and is on three years probation. He didn’t get the fact, he could have killed two people. He still drinks, the only day he doesn’t drink is the day before his probation. I can’t figure that one out, he tests clean. I have no clue, what to do. When he calls me his names, i’m a bitch, cunt and a slut, can’t figure that one out, been married since 1983. I argue with my husband i want to turn him in to probation, but he says no. So I feel now like that I’m not alone, I do hope your daughter finds her way. God bless you and your family, and the others who have posted.