Dealing With It

by renfro
(North Carolina)

I come from a family of enabler/codependent people as well as addicts. During my childhood, I was subjected to addictive behaviors, violence, and abuse from my dad and brothers. My mom at the time had the appearance of being the person who kept things in check. Fast forward 30+ years down the road to today.

I am an adult, married, out on my own. My dad is deceased. Two of my brothers still have issue with drug abuse. Add to the mix now, my mother is starting to show signs of being an addict after all these years of monitoring my brothers.

She is elderly and infirm, often requiring EMS visits to the local hospital. One of the visits ended up happening for being over medicated. She was literally on death's door because of it.

I am the first to admit and own my own issues. I am starting to realize that I show signs of being a food addict. I have also been in treatment now for several years for depression/PTSD. I am not perfect and don't want to appear coming across that I am.

I lived through my childhood dealing with the behavior as I had no choice in the matter. Now as an adult, I have a choice. I am starting to distance myself from her, as well as my whole family. She and I don't get along because I won't enable her.

I speak plainly and realistically to her based on what her physicians tell me, and she says I want to control her because of me doing that. She is directly defiant to the things that the doctor tells her to do or not to do. She's a train wreck waiting to happen and I really don't want to be the conductor at the station for the event. So I am doing the most challenging thing I have ever done in my life and I am letting her go. I can't help someone that won't admit she has a problem. I cannot be responsible for someone who intentionally and knowingly puts herself at risk.

We talk less and less now. I have reduced my time of visiting her. I don't know what else to do or how else to handle it. I love her but I can't and won't deal with her behaviors. It is sad to me, but I don't know any other way for us to be.

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Jul 12, 2014
We can't change the past
by: Anonymous

I grew up in a domestic violence household. My father had a drinking problem and was a migrant. My parents marriage was arranged and my mother is a very 'obedient' person. But when she had enough she would yell out her piece and yeh beaten for it. They had their family. Many years on they are still together and found a way to be together. But instead of blaming her,he blames his children who in his eyes have amounted to nothing except for my alcoholic brother who had 5 kids and now has grand children. Domestic violence continued in his marriage until his wife left him
I married a man with a drug addiction who I thought I could change and had two children. I couldn't stay with a man who smoked dope daily. I divorced him, after nagging him for years He was so heart broken that he got his shit together and unfortunately revenge was part of it. The kids chose to live with him, but I no longer trusted him. My kids changed overnight, like they were brainwashed. And my family would only support me if I went back to my husband, so yeh it has been tough, but if did emotionally survive the pain and twenty years on my son is addicted to meth and dope and cigarettes and my daughter has a weight problem. I have rebuilt my relationship with my daughter but my son, that's different. Occasionally I visit him with food or clothes and he doesn't want to be nagged about his drug problem. It is out of my hands since his father hasn't spoken to me in years and it is his house and rules.

Oct 27, 2011
Continual Recovery
by: renfro

Thank you Don = ) I have been involved in the Recovery Education Center at the local mental health agency here for 3 years now. I have also sought further assistance with private therapists.

The one think that I have learned that has been a key point in me coming as far as I have today has been the concept of personal responsibility and accountability. I am responsible for me-whether I make the choice to react or respond, what I choose to do for others or not to do. If I make a mistake, it is up to me to own that mistake in order to take steps to rectify the problem.

It used to be if I didn't do exactly what my mother wanted me to do, she put out the signals, and I elected to feel guilt for not doing just exactly what she wanted me to do. I would almost call it a programming situation with trigger involvement. Even in all of that, it came down to me choosing, whether consciously or subconsciously to allow myself to react and accept that feeling of guilt. If I have done all that I can do to help someone, and I know that I have, then I have no reason to feel guilty at all.
I have given it my best.

I have also realized that recovery is a continual process for me-I recognize that I have the need for continual therapy to maintain and build. I went for three months one time without utilizing the recovery education center or a therapist, and I ended up suicidal and in the hospital for a while. Treatment is something that will be a part of my life indefinately.

Oct 27, 2011
That's why the call it Tough Love
by: Don Carter

It's Tough!! But it is the most loving thing you can do for her AND yourself! Getting sick with her is not going to do any good...just speeds up the train. That doesn't make it easier and there may be no happy ending, but there can be less damage and at least a chance for the both of you!

You ARE dealing with it and I appreciate your demonstrating and sharing with others what it looks and feels like to let go. Please return here as often as you can and share your story, your experience, and your strength with others who are on a similar path.

But never forget, just because you are not enabling as much (if any) you still have some work to do. Happiness is an inside job! So ask for and receive as much as you do and give to others.


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