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This forum has been both comforting (that I am not the only one dealing with a difficult mother) and scary (that one day all your stories could be mine!)

My mother spent her entire adult life married to my deadbeat father who dwindled any money we had on drugs and alcohol. My mother began to suffer from depression and secluded herself to playing on the computer and drinking her sorrows away. Eventually they got divorced, my father has since remarried and ended his addiction with drugs and alcohol. My mother...has not. She is a recluse, a chain smoker, and drinks quite heavily every night. I love my mother when she is sober. She is the most amazing person to me, but as soon as she starts drinking, she turns into a different person. Spacey, emotional, and really annoying. She relies on her children for everything, from constant companionship, to cooking for her, and general help with everything.

A few years ago I moved out of my home state to "start a new life." (I am only in my twenties) I suffered quite a childhood and instead of letting it consume me, I have vowed to never let my life (or my future children's lives) be affected by drugs, alcohol, or fear. I left my whole family behind to start fresh. It was quite an exciting yet painful journey, but has been worth every experience. My mother and I have always been really close and one night when she was intoxicated, I had a long talk with her about my concerns for her future because of her excessive drinking. This started a rollercoaster of emotions as she began to tell me how depressed she was and how for a while she even thought "what is the point of being alive anymore." This is such a scary thing to hear your mother say! So I convinced her that she needs to get out of her rut and her decision was to move down to my new state to be closer to me. I told her that she could live with my boyfriend and I for a couple of months until she got up on her feet, got a job, and a new house. My boyfriend (whose house it is) said it was fine if it was just for a couple of months but he didnt want her here with us for 5 or 6 months.....We are now in our 4th month and there is no hope that she will find a job-let alone a house- anytime soon. She has tried finding jobs, albeit not the most proactive job seeker in the world, but she is becoming very discouraged as no one is replying to her applications. She doesnt follow up with any of her inquiries to recruitment specialists and as much as I try to give her advice to do so, she gets defensive and doesnt want to talk about it. Well now my boyfriend doesnt want her here anymore. She barely helps cook dinner during the week despite the fact that we both work and she sits home all day, and I have to ask her to help with most chores. She doesnt take the incentive to do anything. I cant hate my boyfriend for not wanting her here, but I also can't kick my mother out! She has been there for me my entire life, and has helped me financially so many times! But we also cant help feeling like we are being taken advantage of with her lack of proactiveness with job hunting. she gets discouraged easily and when I try to give her advice or encourage her, she flips out on me. What do I do?! Talking doesnt help, finding potential jobs for her doesnt help, ignoring it doesnt help, I am at my wits end. I really feel like I am the most horrible person in the world even just writing about her like this, I know that if she found it, she would be crushed, but I can't keep feeling like this and letting it bottle up inside of me. I would feel like the world's worst daughter if we kicked her out without a job, or on her own accord. I feel so hopeless and alone in this, but I also can't help but feel so bad for my mother. I know she doesnt want to be a burden on us, and she has had a tough past few years after her mother passed away. She suffers from depression and alcoholism, and all I want to do is help her, and make her life perfect. She is lonely, and scared, and regretting her move. I just want her to be happy, but I cant change her to make herself happy.

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Are you willing to make your mother's life perfect at the expense of possibly destroying yours? This is your boyfriend's house, how long do you think he is willing to be taken advanage of by your mother? You are enabling your mother and she is taking full advantage of it at the expense of your relationship with your boyfriends. Your boyfriend does not want her there! For your own sake find a resolution before you and your mother are looking for a place to live.
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"She suffers from depression and alcoholism, and all I want to do is help her, and make her life perfect. "

Oh, sweetie, of course you do, but that's impossible. Is your life perfect? No one's is, unless they are buddhist or something, and have learned that whatever is, is perfect.

Try to get her on Medicaid, get her to a doctor, and to a therapist. Tell her you see how hard she's trying, and how hard it is for her. Her life will always be hard, but maybe easier than it is now. The place for her is AA. They will show her what she needs to do. The place for you is Al Anon. That's where you can learn to keep yourself sane and a little serene whatever your mother does.
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Also, you are not responsible for other people's happiness. You are only responsible for your own happiness. Trying to change other people feels like a full time job, we must change ourselves first.
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Show her tough love. As of this time, your roles are switched. You have to be the PARENT and she is the child. Give your mom some chores to do around the house as her way of paying rent. Let her do the cooking and cleaning and running errands. Take away the computer and alcohol. Do not give her any money because she may purchase alcohol with it. If she wants to use the computer, she can use one at the library. And as other people suggested, she has to attend AL for alcoholics if she wants to live under your roof. Your roof, your rules.
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I think that Chicago was suggesting that YOU go to Al-anon, and that seems very worth trying, to me. That is one way you can help yourself. (Your mom would go to AA -- Al-anon is for those whose loved ones are alcoholics.

Your mother is taking advantage of you, and by letting her do that you are enabling her lack of responsibility for herself. I don't say this is as criticism, and it is understandable how this came about. But it really doesn't seem to be helping either of you to continue this way. And it most definitely isn't fair to your boyfriend.

I can understand that you can't kick her out. But what if you did something like this? Call your county social services department and ask for a needs evaluation for your mother. Explain that she is unemployed and has been living with you but that you can not continue to support her. They can help you figure out what help, if any she is entitled to, explain any job programs in the area, suggest temporary housing, perhaps help her get on a waiting list for subsidized housing, etc.

This is just one example. There may be some residency issues here, since she has only been in the state a few months. There may be better resources than social services. But basically the idea is to help her find help from other sources than you and your boyfriend and to begin the journey to self-sufficiency. You've worked hard to overcome the problems of your childhood. Don't backslide on your gains now!

Having Mom live nearby? Good for you both. Having Mom live with you? Not so much.
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Oh, al-anon is for you. That is all I meant about helping yourself. AA would be for her, but she has to want to stop drinking. Are you familiar with the term co-dependent? I was that at one time. I read and read, until I could finally stand my ground.
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I have suggested she join Al-anon but she, like most alcoholics, is in denial and makes excuses why she doesnt need to go. I can't make her go...and I guess at this point I dont know what to do to "help myself"
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Have you been to Al-anon or anything similar? You can't help her, until you help yourself.
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