I honestly forgot I had this and then I was thinking the other day: I am so desperate for a set of ears to listen or a place to write what I’m feeling right now.
Things have been pretty good recently, which would account for most of my silence…but then this weekend I got a phone call that disrupted it all.
My mom was in the hospital last week for a few days. She thought she was having a stroke so she had her friend take her to the emergency room. Apparently she was not having a stroke, but she was in bad enough shape that they kept her around a few extra days to monitor her.
So yes, that is ALL very upsetting, BUT the most upsetting part was that none of my immediate family learned she was even in the hospital until after the fact. She didn’t tell anyone and she wouldn’t let her friend tell anyone. My mom’s reason was, “I don’t want to be a burden.”
Like seriously WHAT THE FUCK. Obviously the situation was rather serious and something we all would have wanted to be made aware of, including me. And I’m just feeling some regret and doubt about the current relationship stance I have taken with my mom. I can’t decide anymore if, IF she had of passed away alone in that hospital last week, I would or would not have been able to forgive myself for allowing it to happen that way. The idea of her dying alone, without a familiar and loving person to comfort her in the end, is about the worst possible way I think it could happen. And I know that at the end of someone’s life, for the person dying, it’s always a very lonely road to that end…But at least for them to know there is someone there that will love them, remember them, and mourn their loss…It’s so important to me. I think it’s more important to me than it is necessary for my mom. It doesn’t have to be me there beside her during those final moments, but just someone who knew who she was before all of this. Someone that can remember when she was a vibrant, smart, beautiful person so full of hope and potential. I don’t think that is a lot to ask for.
When I tell my story I often wonder:
Is it that they relate with what I’ve been through that leads them to listen so raptly or is the horror of the situation just that captivating?
You know, like being a spectator to a train wreck.
And other times I can see the discomfort written all over their face, like what I’m telling them is backing them into a corner.
Holidays and anniversaries make for the most difficult time of the year. It’s true now and will still be true years down the line (but hopefully it will have lessened by degrees). There are so many emotions and memories invested in them that it’s harder than ever to remain calm. The hurt and fear is a knot in my stomach. I’m really struggling.
I remember the last Thanksgiving I shared with my mother and my family, it was November of 2004. It was one of the most tense experiences of my life. My dad was barely disguising the huge resentment he held for my mom. My sister wasn’t talking to me. My mom was disgustingly drunk and hateful towards everyone the WHOLE night. Right in the middle of dinner she accused my dad of infidelity, in front of my grandparents. It was horrifying. I went to the bathroom immediately after and cried.
There was no Christmas that year - Between pills and alcohol my mom was absent. My dad had basically abandoned the family for a lady friend at that point, so he wasn’t even around. That’s the last memory I have of a holiday shared with my family. Really. Fucked. Up.
Alcoholism: Disease or Choice?
Arguably one of my favorite topics lately, because I have personal experience with this topic I stand for the choice model when it comes to fact and best treatment options. Read carefully before forming an opinion, because I was once a strong advocate for the disease model.
This is just another paper I wrote for Rhetoric class, it’s formatted as a classical essay so that’s why those labels are there.
I’ll write more thoughts in a post, but I would love to hear some argument for the disease model that isn’t emotion-driven; because I think that I make my general point clearly enough in the essay. Not that emotions shouldn’t be acknowledged in this debate, but it would be more convincing.
I made two wishes today. I dared not speak them out loud for fear someone else might hear how pitiful they were.
Please let her get sober - And - Please don’t let her die.
My mother suffers from the following (and I’m sure a few I’m unaware of):
- flaps, astrexis
- ascites with abdominal distention
- gall stones
- changes in nails and fingers
- gait disturbances
- bleeding tendency
- decreased immunity
- electrolyte imbalance
- inversion of sleep rhythm
- gastrointestinal bleeding
- renal failure
- liver failure
And a few not mentioned….
- alcoholic induced anorexia
- extreme memory loss
- alcoholic induced dementia
I’ve been an inactive member for awhile. The last time I was posting on here was during a time when I was making the difficult choice to estrange myself from my alcoholic mother. It has been exactly two years since I cut ties with her; this was the best decision I could have possibly made. I’ve seen a vast improvement in all areas of my life: Mentally, physically, and emotionally. I am healthy, stable and above all happy. But, even as time has allowed me to move forward and heal, at the moment I am really struggling. I think it is the realization that I have neither seen nor heard from my mother in such a long time, and a phone call I received the other day from a family member regarding her current health. A family member was disturbed to have my mother admit to them that she is still drinking daily. I’ve never been naive enough to think my mother has ever stopped drinking, despite her denials. For the severity of her alcoholism there just is no possible way she could become sober without help.
My mother is in end stage liver failure. The doctors have made it very clear that her continued consumption of alcohol would lead to her death. When I became estranged from my mother, part of the choice hinged on an ultimatum: She either got help and found sobriety OR we stopped having any contact.
I guess today I am struggling with two things: 1) My mother chose alcohol over me. 2) My mother is choosing alcohol over life.
I’ve found myself really sad and bewildered while contemplating over these two things.
Sometimes I think…What was it that I lacked that my own mother would rather continue to drink than have a relationship with me? And, why are we (myself and my family) not a good enough reason to live?
I know it’s not that simple, I am not to blame. I know it’s not about us, even. I’m just a little lost right now.
A jump nearer into the present.
She tried to steal my identity last year. I found her name and information on my credit report and an incorrect version of my SS number added as an alternate.
There was a small loan opened in my name, but since closed.
At one point I was getting phone calls because bills from a medical visit had gone to collection. All of my information was listed for the patient and billing, but it was (I think) her SS number attached. At the time of the visit made by “me” to the medical office, I wasn’t even living in the state where it took place. I told my mom about the situation - I was still deluded enough to think that she couldn’t possibly have anything to do with the bill and it’s connection to me. After explaining to her that it was obviously fraud, she had the audacity to tell me that I should “just pay the bill so the collection agency stops calling” me.
Later on I allowed myself to connect the dots and it became obvious that she was the perpetrator of fraud against me.
Two years ago I contacted the show Intervention because I felt like I was at the end of my options. This was immediately after my mom was out of the hospital and I found out she was drinking again:
They basically told me in sterile and impersonal words that my mother was too far gone and they couldn’t help.
Growing up I was heavily exposed to people that consumed alcohol. My parents and their friends ran in a circle of people that enjoyed weekly social drinking - be it parties or bar hopping - their lifestyle revolved primarily around alcohol.
It’s very hazy to me, but I do have a vague memory of when my mother’s social drinking status evolved into full-fledged alcohol abuse. I was very young, 8 years old maybe, and the only distinct memories I have of there being an issue are of: My mother sitting on a stool in our kitchen - wasted and agitated, regular daily trips to a local liquor store, and jugs of wine in the basement. Empty gallon jugs of wine that multiplied ever increasingly, filling nooks in the basement and becoming so prominent that they were as standard to me as milk or orange juice; they were part of my childhood in a prevailing sort of way.
I’m not certain of who, if anyone in my extended family understood the blossoming alcoholic my mother was becoming in her early 30’s. I am aware that my father understood there was a growing serious issue and even went as far as to threaten her with divorce and taking custody of us if she didn’t get her drinking under control.
It “worked” too, for the time being.