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Problems with my Alcoholic mother


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My mom is not necessary an alcoholic…but her daily ‘moderate consumption’ is beginning to affect our relationship. By moderate, I mean she has between 2-4 glasses of wine a night. I’m not a drinker so I honestly don’t know how normal it is to get ‘tipsy’ with this much alcohol, but with even 1 drink she gets affected by it. To get to the chase, for years my mom has had alcohol nearly every night (I can’t say every single night, but quite often at least 3-4 times a week) and the way she acts after drinking drives me CRAZY.

She gets obsessive, talkative, annoying, and has done crazy things in the past. For example I found her up at 1 in the morning sitting in her pajamas in the middle of the living room floor giving our dog a haircut! Or she complains how exhausted she is and stays up till midnight staring into space. She has a very stressful job, and her drinking is a way to ease the stress.

I can’t talk with her when she’s drunk because she gets….well as I mentioned above. Try being a teenager with problems and you can’t talk with your mom because she’s flipping drunk. (Though I understand this issue is nothing compared too other people’s problems.)

She and I use to go out to eat a lot, and during my senior year of high school I refused to go out with her because I was sick of sitting in restaurants for hours listening to her either babble with waiters or sit and stare into space and keep us out late.

I have had strong feelings of anger and resent build up towards her over the years because of this. Of the very few times I have gotten the courage up to try talk to her about it, she gets very defensive about her ‘rights’ to drink. Once we got pulled over by a cop when I was driving and he pulled me out of the car and asked me if I had drank, (I hadn’t) when I got back to the car I told my mom the cop had smelled alcohol, and, she responded with ’I have done nothing wrong!” (this was after a good 4 glasses of wine)

She gets defensive and starts yelling at me when I try to talk to her about this. Sometimes when she’s both angry with me and drunk, she makes me sit there for hours and listen to her. I feel angry that I can’t talk with her, it makes me feel controlled when she forces me to sit there and listen to her B---- at me. I was never a bad a teenager, I always sat there and listened to her without speaking up, because if I did she would go into a bigger tangent. I’ve never even hung up on her when she’s called me with these tangents! She has never been willing to listen to me regarding this, she has always just become defensive, defensive, defensive!

I moved away when I was 20 (about 9 months ago) and ever since than it certainly has been easier. Except when I call her she is ALWAYS drunk! I know I have to call her right when she gets home because I know once she’s home she’ll start drinking.

It’s this and other issues I have never addressed as a teenager that I have built up over the years.

The real problem is this. Right now I am doing an Americorp program, and while I receive a stipend to live off of, I am still in need of her help financially. Basically, I am afraid of confronting my feelings with her on this because I am scared she is going to stop supporting me financially. My job is a year long, and then I am going to college. Especially now when I am entering some of the most ‘dependent’ years of my life, how I can afford to confront her? But I am so sick of dealing with her.

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Hi, I am an adult child of two alcoholics and have lived through much of what you describe. Firstly, there are two books that helped me greatly. "Adult Children of Alcoholics" and "The Adult Children of Alcoholics Syndrome"

Go by your library and check them out or buy them (paper backs).


Until your mom admits she has a problem there isn't much you can do from so far away. Having your child tell you how to live your life never goes over well with any parent. Talk to other family members (aunts, uncles) and see if they feel the same as you do. They may be able to get through to her better than you can.

As far as the support/money thing goes. My father died from alcohol and I would give all the money in the world to have him back. Your mothers health is way more important than anything. If you try and can't help her see what she is doing to herself then back off and stay close as possible that way you will be able to help when she is ready.

The drunken phone calls and irrational talks are very hard to take I know. Try emails to cut down on the long drunken speeches. Keep in touch with other family so you are all on the same page when she needs you and will accept the help. This will be hard but it is worth it. My thoughts will be with you....



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My mother is also an alcoholic and has the same behaviour as your mother.


Please look into the Al-Anon program. It's been a wonderful help for me in dealing with my mother. It's a 12-step program that focuses on how you can help yourself in dealing with her...it helps you learn that you can't control her and it will take away a lot of resentment and anger that you have in her.


What Lost said above is very helpful...but I also recomend getting into a program like Al-Anon. It's late so I'm tired and don't want to write much more, but if you have any questions, either PM me or I'll respond to the thread some more tomorrow.

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Went through very similar things with my mom. Didn't know she was drinking, just thought she acted "weird" and kind of hyper some nights (we would always chat for at least an hour or two after I finished my homework in high school).


She always, always had a soda next to her while she sat on the couch and chatted, and one night I was thirsty while she was in the bathroom, so I grabbed a sip thinking it was just Pepsi. Had no idea what was in it, as I had never drank (and didn't until years later), but it tasted HORRIBLE. Then I started to piece things together.


My younger sister was really bothered by my mom's "weird" behavior, too, so one day we wrote her a letter about it and both signed it. My mom hugged us both, promised to stop, and she did for a while...but couldn't keep it up. When I went off to college, I wasn't dealing with it every day, so it was kind of "out of sight out of mind" because she never got combative, or destructive, or anything. Just acted weird. She started having a few sips to help her sleep (horrible insomnia), and she'd get buzzed. Never more, that I saw.


But one night a few years ago, I was visiting my parents and came upstairs to use the bathroom in the middle of the night...found my mom passed out in the bathtub. Told my dad...he didn't even act surprised, just went and got her and put her back into bed. VERY weird.


And the next day, it was like nothing ever happened. My parents like to not talk about unpleasant things, and we all go along with it.


Now to this day, I avoid calling my mom at certain times of night, because I know that she'll probably be buzzed, and talking to my mom won't be like talking to my mom--it's like another person.


I think the most difficult thing for me is not having my mom PRESENT at those times, and not having her act like a mom "should," if that makes sense.


I'm sorry this is so long, especially as I don't really have any advice to offer. In my family, it's "live and let live" as long as nothing horrible happens (although in your case, a potential DUI certainly doesn't seem harmless)!!!


I might suggest Al-Anon...they teach you to live with/deal with someone close to you having a drinking problem. They might have some suggestions as to how to approach your mom...or whether you should at this point...


Just wanted to say that I completely understand.

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