Addiction / Family / Life

Off to Rehab

My Mom is heading to rehab today. She just called and said that she was trying to get into a rehab facility two days ago. I’ve been hearing that for months, so I wished her luck and didn’t think any more about it. This morning she called to tell me that she has to leave tonight or at the latest early tomorrow for Florida. I don’t really know how I feel about it. Obviously, she needs help. And I am glad that she’s going. But I guess part of me thinks it’s not going to work and she will have missed my first Mother’s Day for nothing.

We just have a strange relationship right now. I can’t really deal with her addiction, or her drama. Lately, I have definitely taken on the parent role for her. Worrying about her when her friends are mean to her. Worrying when I don’t hear from her. Calming her down when she crying or raging. Yelling at people who are saying nasty things. But it’s probably obvious to her that I don’t want to do it. That I feel neglected by her.

It’s not that I need support for raising my son, but for some reason I feel like she should be offering it to me. Not to mention that her best friend is my age (exactly) and my mother calls her the nickname she called me growing up. Or that my birthday came and went and she gave her friend an Easter present (while I was up for my birthday) and told me that there happened to be a piece cake (which I hate and can’t even eat) leftover from Pap’s birthday party when she realized it was my birthday. But it’s not about any of that. I can’t really deal with her because she’s not my Mom. She’s not being my Mom.

In fact, I don’t really want to deal with most people. Her best friend is constantly messaging me trying to figure out how to help my Mom. I don’t really want to talk to her. I don’t trust my Mom’s crazy friends (for good reason one just had a mental break and smashed in their front door with a 2X4). But it’s more than that. I just don’t want to deal with anyone or anything that makes me feel out of control. I already have a control issue. So much so, that I will effect a result that I don’t even want just to regain control. In the past, I have intentionally put myself into a circumstance for over a year where I felt completely out of control and forced myself to remain out of control to try to work on it, among other reasons. But it makes me feel like I’m going to be my Mom. Erratic. Emotional. Needy. Childish.

I want the people I love to be able to depend on me. My son should be able to feel supported by me. He shouldn’t feel responsible for me or worried about me. I want my husband to feel that he can lean on me, not worry about whether or not I can even stand. And I don’t want to prop myself up on anything. Anything perhaps but writing. That’s pretty safe right? Writing and intellectualizing.

Her addiction makes me selfish.
Why is that?

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4 thoughts on “Off to Rehab

  1. “Her addiction makes me selfish. Why is that?”
    As the daughter of a hoarder and closet alcoholic (and preacher, but that’s a whole different story), I may have some insight on that….
    Dad had open-heart surgery in 06. My sister and her two best friends cleaned out his apartment. It was horrible, with papers laid down everywhere and a fridge full of rotten food and dishes that had mold in them. Etc. He changed apartments, and spent OVER A YEAR paying for both his old apartment AND his new one in the same complex. The landlord finally had to move the last 40 boxes of stuff for him. That was in 09. Dad died suddenly in January 2012. That same sister and I went to his apartment and attempted to start sorting it out. Again, the fridge was full of rotten food, and papers stuck everywhere, and he hadn’t even unpacked all of his boxes. We found 6 crockpots, none of which had ever been used (he couldn’t cook).
    Back in 1990, I dated and lived with a man who was a recovering alcoholic/drug addict. I went to AA meetings with him, fully participating in “the program,” even though I am not an alcoholic myself. As a part of my “recovery,” Alan suggested I also attend AlAnon meetings. They made more sense to me than the AA meetings, and I learned a whole lot about letting go with love, about alcoholics in denial, and about my reactions to alcoholics. In a nutshell, what I learned is that usually, children of alcoholics have one of two reactions: either they over-compensate and become the parent and take on all of the responsibility for the sick member of their family, OR they ignore the problem entirely and become a hard-hearted uncaring “bitch/asshole.” (Sorry for the language, I don’t know any other way to put it.)
    It sounds like you fit into that first one: Over-compensating and over-caring and taking on all the responsibility……
    I don’t know where you live, I’ve only just started reading your blog, and I don’t know if you’ve ever said where you live. I would suggest that you find an AlAnon group, and read their material, and sit in on meetings, and see if they can offer you any suggestions. It’s not a perfect program, nobody in there is perfect, but the members have in common that they all dealt with or are dealing with an alcoholic and/or addict.
    Those meetings and living the principles of that program saved my sanity when Dad died. I loved my Dad, with all his quirks and imperfections and horrid behavior problems, but was able to help my sister and be there forr her when Dad died. And that man I lived with: when I had enough of his crap, I was able to kick him out, and know that he was no longer my responsibility, and I was able to help his children plan his memorial when HE died.
    I hope your Mom gets the help she needs, but understand, please, that Rehab is not the complete answer to alcoholism. There must be a desire to stop, and a desire to get better, and a real understanding that there is a real problem.
    As far as you being selfish, I doubt it seriously. You are human, and have normal human wishes for love and attention from your mother, and that’s not selfish, that’s human.

    I hope you don’t mind if I say a prayer for you.

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    • I went with her to some of her Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meetings. There was so much drama with the people who attend that my Mom had to stop going. Maybe I’ll look into something like AlAnon. I hadn’t really thought of it. Thank you for telling your story. And for your prayer.
      Blessings on your journey.

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  2. I’m sorry to hear about the challenging relationship you have with your Mum….Do you know, I reckon there’s something about becoming a mother yourself that seems to fundamentally change how we view our relationship with our own mother. It just changes everything, once we become a parent. Like you said, we want the people we love to able to depend on us. That’s how it should be. I agree with Sylvia – I reckon you’re not being selfish at all, just human. Perhaps her addiction just highlights all the ways in which she isn’t able to be the parent she should be…? Maybe the selfishness you feel is a projection or something of her (probably unintentional) selfishness….?
    All the best anyway, with knowing what to do. (I agree 100% with writing and intellectualising as good options. They are definitely two of my preferred coping mechanisms. Don’t know what I would do if I couldn’t write about things..)

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