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My (F21) alcoholic mother's (F50) behavior is unacceptable, what do I do?


punkrock17
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TLDR; My mom's alcoholic behavior is getting out of hand. What do I do?

I want to start off by thanking anyone that takes the time to read this very long post about my mom's behavior. I have to give a lot of backstory in order for the story to make sense, so thank you so much for taking the time to read this and help me.

My mom (F50) and my dad (M54) met at a bar, got married, and had me (F21) and my sister (F19). My dad inherited the family business when my grandpa passed away. We quickly became a very wealthy family. We moved into a big house in a wealthy neighborhood. My parents became close friends with a few other wealthy couples in the neighborhood, and my sister and I became lifelong friends with their kids. My dad ran the family business while my mom was a stay-at-home mom. She spent her days cooking, cleaning, taking care of my sister and I, and hanging out with her friends. Due to some complicated legal issues, my dad lost the family business. We had to move out of the wealthy neighborhood and my mom had to go back to work. We grew apart from those other wealthy families, but we still stayed in touch with our lifelong friends. My dad has struggled a lot over the years because he is ashamed of losing the family business. He got a new job and works very hard, but he never wants to do much on his days off besides watch football. My mom got frustrated with this because she wanted to go out to bars and restaurants with her husband, but my dad was always embarrassed by her drunk behavior and didn't want to go out with her. My mom cheated on my dad with multiple men to make up for him not spending time with her. Due to the stressful change in financial situation, my dad's shame from loosing his business, and my mom's infidelity, my parents ended up getting divorced in 2017. Today, my dad has a good job and makes good money. My mom has a decent job, but often struggles to make ends meet. She claims that her wealthy friends look down on her because she is "poor" now, but I think my mom is just jealous of their lifestyle and wishes she could go back to that.

Ever since I can remember, my mother has not been able to go anywhere without drinking. Family dinners would usually end in my dad carrying her to the car. She would bring a tumbler with alcohol to all of my sporting events. Her drunk behavior is worse than the boys I go to college parties with. Holidays, vacations, and special occasions are the worst because she considers this a time to drink even more alcohol, and that's when her behavior always crosses the line. So, as you can imagine, pretty much every holiday, vacation, and special occasion in my life has been ruined by her drinking. Her drinking has only escalated since my parents got divorced. Since the divorce, my mom always keeps a boyfriend around so that she can have someone help her financially. On top of this, my mother also takes several medications for anxiety, depression, ADHD, bipolar disorder, migraines, and insomnia. I feel that all of these medications are the reason she gets so belligerently drunk every time she drinks. My family and I have tried to have interventions with her about all of this before, but she swears that she doesn't have a problem and we are all just being dramatic.

Some of the most notable things that she has done while she is drunk are:

-Crawl into bed with me in the middle of the night

-Sleep on the kitchen floor

-Hit me, my dad, and my sister

-Tell us she has cancer (she does not)

-Cheat on my dad with multiple different men

-Get one inch from my sister's boyfriend's (M21) face, then when my sister and I grabbed her arms and took her upstairs to bed, she starts screaming, "No! Wait! We have a connection!"

-Ripped my sister's hair out of her head while she was driving, causing them to swerve all over the road

-Accused her dad (M80) and brothers (Not sure about exact ages, but they are older than 50) of sexually abusing her when she was a child (Not sure how to feel about this one. You should always believe sexual abuse survivors, but my grandpa and uncles swear this is not true, and it is hard to believe anything my mother says when she is drunk)

-Told her cousin that she hates her because she got a promotion at a company that my mom got fired from

-Message her co-workers on LinkedIn and tell them she is going to commit suicide

These are just a few of the things that I can think of off the top of my head. This type of behavior has been constant my entire life. I believe that this behavior is a result of my mom struggling with severe mental illness, and she is choosing to treat it by mixing her medications with alcohol. But, as I stated before, she refuses to believe that this is the problem. I have noticed that I have inherited my mother's mental illness and I often act the same way that she does when I drink. Because of this, I have quit drinking and am seeking help for my mental illness.

Last night was the final straw that inspired me to write this post. About a year and a half ago, I went to a high school graduation party for one of my friends (F19) from the wealthy neighborhood. She got pretty drunk and we decided to go in the hot tub. While we were sitting in the hot tub, she confides in me and tells me that she has been sleeping with older men for money. I was shocked, but I listened and allowed her to tell me her story. She told me not to tell anyone because her parents were under the impression that she stilled worked at her old job, and that was the reason for the cash flow into her bank account. She also promised me that she would try to stop, but she really liked how much money she was making. The whole thing is very disturbing. This was all pretty overwhelming for me. I wanted to keep her secret, but I was deeply concerned for her safety. After a few months of keeping her secret, I ended up confiding in my mom and sister and telling them what my friend had told me. None of us knew what to do, but I wanted to keep my promise to her and not tell her parents. We decided that we would keep an eye on her social media posts and reach out to her regularly to keep an eye on her mental health. According to her Facebook page, she has a new job and a boyfriend now. She looked really happy in her pictures. We all assumed that she had stopped her dangerous behavior and was living a great life. I haven't thought about this situation in a long time and I thought it was all in the past.

Last night, my mom got blackout drunk while she was at a bar watching a football game with her current boyfriend. In her drunk state, she created a group chat with a few of her old friends from the wealthy neighborhood, two of them being my friend's parents. She said something along the lines of "I hope you are all living amazing, rich lives. Glad to hear your daughter is blowing guys for money. I hate you all." The parents are obviously extremely upset and start texting my dad and yelling at him, even though he is not involved. My dad is calling me asking me what is going on. My mom won't answer my texts or calls. The parents think that my sister and I made up these rumors about their daughter. I'm freaking out and don't know what to do.

This morning, my mom texted me and said "Sorry, got too drunk." I don't think she understands the gravity of her actions. I texted my friend and asked her if we could talk, but she hasn't answered me. I am terrified that I lost this girl as a friend for the rest of my life due to my mom's behavior. I know that I have to take some of the blame hear because I am the one who told my mom. But I really was looking out for my friend's safety. I felt like I had to get advice from my family because I didn't know how to handle this situation. I know I should've known not to trust my mom because of her past alcoholic behavior, but you have to understand that a relationship with a mother who flip flops between alcoholic and abusive and caring and loving is very hard to navigate. I accept responsibility for sharing my friend's secret, but my intentions were only to protect her. And I never would have dreamed that my mom would do something like this.

I love my mom when she is not drinking. In my childhood, she would always keep our house clean, cook us delicious meals, drive my sister and I to all of our activities, and she never missed a softball game, orchestra concert, or award ceremony (even if she did have to be drunk for it). We can go places together and have a great time when she is sober. Also, I have been going through some rough times myself lately, and my mom has called me and checked on me every day. She is willing to listen to me vent for hours. My mom is a good person, but she becomes something else when she is drinking.

So, I don't know what to do. This woman is my mother, and I can't help but love her despite everything she has done. But when does this behavior end? How does this behavior end? Can I help my mom quit drinking? What can I even do in this situation? 

If anyone has any advice to offer me, I would greatly appreciate. I hope that all of you are happy and healthy. Thank you.

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24 minutes ago, punkrock17 said:

But when does this behavior end? How does this behavior end? Can I help my mom quit drinking? What can I even do in this situation

It won't end until she'll want to do so. Probably, not anytime soon. And from your post, if I'm correct, your mom is a narcissist. She's abusive. I don't care how sweet she is, the abuse is unacceptable. People who "love" each other don't abuse each other.

What you need to do, sadly, is learn to keep her at arm's length. Keep your mom at bay. Limit contact. Don't confide secrets or sensitive info with her. Perhaps, your father would be better confidant than your mom (up to you to judge).

I'm sorry it's like this. It's really tough to see our parents this way. The ones who are supposed to love us and protect us... Hurt us and mess us up.

Get therapy help, and develop close healthy friends. Your friend might come around- but don't beat yourself up. It's not your fault. Normal people wouldn't do what your mom did. She's a jealous selfish narc.

Take care of you. Put yourself first. We don't choose our family unfortunately. But, we do choose our friends.

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31 minutes ago, punkrock17 said:

My mom is a good person, but she becomes something else when she is drinking.

I feel this is what you should say to your friend...and that you are truly sorry for what your mom did and you have NO control over her actions.

 

31 minutes ago, punkrock17 said:

But when does this behavior end? How does this behavior end? Can I help my mom quit drinking? What can I even do in this situation? 

It will not end... until your mom wants it to and seeks some actual prof help. 😕 

I had a good childhood friend who's mom was the same way & she ended up having to avoid her mother & moving on with her own life - for her own sanity.

Think on it.. I do hope your friend will come around again ❤️ ... Remember to take care of you as well.. Maybe consider some prof help as well.? To help you work through all of this.

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It sounds as though your mum is very unhappy an is missing something in her life. Often people drink to block out their emotions and then it casually becomes the norm. Like they are unable to be themselves without a drink, they can’t have fun without a drink and they even reward themselves by having a drink. Unless she wants to help herself there is very little you can do to help her. She needs to understand the reasons for why she is drinking to be able to deal with it. Alcohol is the most addictive but readily available substances that a person can abuse. When you think about it no-one ever asks a person why they are drinking but everyone seems to ask a person who is drinking soft drinks why they are not drinking. It’s become a social norm so it’s very hard to quit. 

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1 hour ago, punkrock17 said:

advice to offer me, I would greatly appreciate. I hope that all of you are happy and healthy. Thank you.

You're a very articulate bright young woman. This is way over your head.  Are you in college? Do you work?  Talk to trusted friends and family about the chaos.

You can get support for people dealing with an alcoholic loved one:

https://al-anon.org/newcomers/self-quiz/adult-quiz/

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1 hour ago, punkrock17 said:

I texted my friend and asked her if we could talk, but she hasn't answered me.

Update: My friend blocked me on everything. I texted her sister, and she said that her family is very hurt by this situation and they need to cut everyone off. She said that they love my sister and I, and they don't want to cut us off, but apparently my mom has been harassing her parents for about a year now and they just want it to end. My mom ruined my relationship with this family forever.

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33 minutes ago, punkrock17 said:

Update: My friend blocked me on everything. I texted her sister, and she said that her family is very hurt by this situation and they need to cut everyone off. She said that they love my sister and I, and they don't want to cut us off, but apparently my mom has been harassing her parents for about a year now and they just want it to end. My mom ruined my relationship with this family forever.

unfortunately, I think the only thing you can do is still apologize but say you accept and understand. 

A lot of their hurt has to be because their daughter was a prostitute. That is unthinkable & awful no matter what your financial situation is.

And they are going to do the only thing they can... punish the messenger, which let's be honest was not done to help anyone.  It was done to hurt them and embarrass them.

People use excuses such as drinking to justify being a horrible person. From what you wrote, she is a horrible person. She has made horrible choices and shows no remorse or concern for what she did to other people. 

These things will continue until she decides to get help. So it's on you to decide are you going to put up with this or are you going to create boundaries?

I do hear what you're saying... this is your mom and you love her.

For the time being you might have to love her from a distance.  Drunk or sober we are all responsible for our actions and that includes the consequences.

She broke your trust. you told her that info in confidence. She cost you a friendship and for nothing.

I think the only thing you can do is refuse to have a relationship with her until she gets help. 

Edited by Lambert
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2 hours ago, Seraphim said:

What I did was cut my dad mostly out of my life because I refused to be abused anymore.

Thank you so much for sharing your story. I hope I don't have to cut my mom out of my life forever. I hope she realizes that she needs help and that we can come back together in a healthy way. But I agree that, for now, I will have to not contact her.

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2 hours ago, DarkCh0c0 said:

And from your post, if I'm correct, your mom is a narcissist.

I have heard this a few times before, I think this may be true...

 

2 hours ago, DarkCh0c0 said:

Get therapy help, and develop close healthy friends.

This is great advice. Thank you so much.

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2 hours ago, SooSad33 said:

It will not end... until your mom wants it to and seeks some actual prof help.

2 hours ago, SooSad33 said:

Remember to take care of you as well.. Maybe consider some prof help as well.?

This is great advice. I am in the process of switching to a new health insurance, but I will be seeing a therapist as soon as it is sorted out. Thank you so much.

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1 hour ago, Smile4me said:

Unless she wants to help herself there is very little you can do to help her.

I think you are right about this. And it is sad how normal and encouraged alcohol is in our society when it has ruined so many lives. I am going to try to convince her to get help, but there is not much else I can do for her besides that. I will have to strictly limit, if not totally cut off, contact with her if she won't change.

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1 hour ago, Wiseman2 said:

You're a very articulate bright young woman. This is way over your head.  Are you in college? Do you work?  Talk to trusted friends and family about the chaos.

Yes, I'm in college for aerospace engineering right now. Trying to build a better life for myself and my future family than what I was raised with. I really appreciate your advice and the link you provided for me ❤️ Thank you

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7 minutes ago, punkrock17 said:

Thank you so much for sharing your story. I hope I don't have to cut my mom out of my life forever. I hope she realizes that she needs help and that we can come back together in a healthy way. But I agree that, for now, I will have to not contact her.

I saw my dad once a year for 30 years unfortunately. He never changed and he has passed on now. 
 

Your mom will need professional help for alcoholism if she ever hopes to change . 

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47 minutes ago, Lambert said:

She broke your trust. you told her that info in confidence. She cost you a friendship and for nothing.

I think the only thing you can do is refuse to have a relationship with her until she gets help.

I appreciate your advice so much. I think I will have to cut her off for the time being. Thank you so much ❤️

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I'm so sorry you are going through this.  I wanted to add -I'm a 55 year old married mom of a 12 year old.  I am on a number of Facebook groups involving moms/parenting.  I cannot tell you how many posts there are about (1) moms needing a drink; (2) moms looking to go out for drinks; and the worst is (3) joke after joke about moms and wine, how much they need to drink wine, how they drink it when the kids are around, etc. 

It doesn't excuse anything but it's this ridiculous cliche about moms and alcohol and drinking (usually SAHM). (I've never been drunk, did not ever feel I needed a drink/alcohol when I was a SAHM for 7 years/and know a number of women - including moms -who are alcoholics.  It's awful.  

I think you got great advice here.  Good luck with school and with everything else!!

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