Only child dealing with alcoholic Mother...reached my limit!

Started by

I had to do a very hard thing more than a week ago...I had to cut ties with my 79 year old mom. She has been an alcoholic most of her life...was sober for about 15 years...did go through rehab, but now has put the bottle back as her #1 priority! My dad passed away almost 4 years ago, and had taken all of her drunken wrath...after his death, it was my turn. My mom lives alone, and for the most part, did ok...she makes some awful choices concerning hygiene, cleanliness and eating habits...but I have never really pushed those issues. Since my dad passed away, I have had to deal with multiple episodes where my mom's drinking has harmed her...#1, she almost lost her leg after a fall. The wound, caused by the fall became infected, and if it wasn't for my 2X daily visits to clean and dress the wound, she would have lost the leg. Most recently, she has found another source to supply her alcohol...I have long since refused to buy it for her, and she doesn't drive. Anyway, after another binge...she fell again, this time breaking her arm. Bottom line, my mom's addiction is killing her and me along with her. She is verbally abusive to me, never appreciates anything I do and continues to place more and more on me. Following the last injury...I flat out told her, that if she brought alcohol back into the house, I would no longer be able to help her...the hardest thing I have ever had to do! Its been almost 2 weeks now and except for 1 or 2 phone calls, I have not had any contact with her. I received a phone call from her hairdresser, who she had recruited to go shopping for her, and was worried about my mom. I have contacted social services in our area, detailing that I have concern for my mom's caring for herself...and was told that this report is anonymous and I would not hear of any outcome of the visit. I feel guilty and yet also feel a bit freer, but yet feel guilty for that feeling too. My mom essentially has no other friends or family, she has alienated everyone in her life. It seems that if she was younger, maybe I wouldn't feel so bad, but because she is older, it just makes it worse. I have a good support system of family and friends...but this still is my burden. I have attended Al-anon meetings and also had some counseling in the past...some help, but neither the solution. Anyone else out there going through this kind of hell??


I come from a family afflicted by addiction. I have lost a brother, sister and two uncles to various addictions. Your situation is very familiar to me. It seems like you are handling it as well as possible. A person can only take so much, do so much, offer only so much help. And then you have to step back. Your mom may well be lost to her addiction. It's not your fault and you shouldn't feel guilty. To be honest, I never felt guilty for letting go only angry for how these people tourtured my family for so many years. Good luck to you.
Call Adult Protective Services. Tech them she is a dunk, unsafe at home, and you're done. I'd do it in a heartbeat. You simply cannot reason with a drunk.
What Maggie said, call APS and report her as a vulnerable adult. You have no power or control over her addiction.

Please go back to therapy! Find a clinician who is a good fit, who will help you grieve this most grievous loss.
Thank you all for your comments! It helps to know I'm not alone! Am actively looking for a new therapist with background in dealing with families with addictions!

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

Please enter your Comment

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support