deardaughter Asked May 2012

Does anyone have advice on how to deal with my mother who is an addict?

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I have lived my entire life with my alcoholic and prescription drug abuser mother. I have always tried to "out" my mother. I would tell my dad, I told a teacher, I would dump my mother's vodka bottles and fill them with water, I would leave notes begging her to stop, and I would confront her face to face. I left home as soon as I had the opportunity and moved to another state. God gave me my husband, a wonderful gift, to help me heal. 20 years later we have returned to help my sister care for my parents. I remember, due to my mothers addictions, my older sister was 9 years old and making dinners, cleaning the house, and caring for me. She moved back about a year before we did and is currently living with my parents.


Both my sister and my father do not drink and they will barely take Motrin. My father is an enabler. My sister does everything she can to ignore the situation.


My mother is only 66 years old but presents herself as a much older and frail adult. Throughout my life, my mother has had numerous needless surgeries to help feed her prescription drug addiction. She is a Diabetic, has had several bouts of uncontrolled Atrial Fibrillation, she is in Congestive Heart Failure, and has High Blood Pressure. She has had seizures, several stents, strokes, and heart attacks.


About 9 months ago my mother had a seizure. I believe the seizure was due to an overdose of insulin or something else. However, the Neurologist put her on a high dose of Keppra. She couldn't walk, talk, feed herself, and started to soil her pants. She was admitted into a nursing home. This was my opportunity to finally get her clean. My husband and I worked hard with the nursing home to get her off of all pain killers. When she left the nursing home she was still taking 1 Ambien a night and Keppra. We stopped the Ambien shortly after she arrived home but we had to slowly take her off of the Keppra and only recently was she taken off it completely.


She was doing GREAT! My sister took control of her medicine. She couldn't drive anywhere so I knew she couldn't go get anything. I thought that this was it, she was finally clean. Ha! If only I had $1.00 for every time I spoke those words. I don't know what happened. I warned my sister to lock up all medicine. I warned my dad to let my sister pick up all the prescriptions. I told them many times...one pharmacy and only one pharmacy. I needed to make contact with the Pharmacist to help us maintain a list of current medications. I even helped get all of my mother's medicine in containers, color coded, and made a list instructions on each medicine. Slowly it all started and I would warn and warn again and again. They never changed to only 1 Pharmacy. They use two pharmacies because the military pharmacy will fill a prescription before they the 30 days. Between many doctors (Cardiologist, General Physician, and whoever else she went too) they would add medicine and stop medicine. My sister makes many mistakes trying to keep up with it all. Recently my dad had surgery to get ready for dentures and had pain medicine at the house. I warned my sister. She phoned and said 10 were missing from the bottle. We couldn't tell if it was my mom or the neighbor who picked them up at the pharmacy for my dad. About a month later she started falling and acting really odd. Her CHF was beginning to be symptomatic again. I went and bought her a medical hospital bed because she couldn't sleep lying flat. Still falling out of bed in the middle of the night. My dad and sister so tired from very little sleep. A few weeks later....my dad phoned and said he found my mom with a bottle of Ambien 10mg. She had been taking 3 a night. That is why she was falling and she knew we were all so worried about her. Now....I found out she was falling out of bed because she was taking 3 Ambien per night.


I am done. I have done all I can do. I have no more fight in me left. I can not go to all her doctors appointments, I can't be at the house to give her medicine 3 times a day. I can not change the enablers around my mom. I have two children and a full time job. I REFUSE TO PUT MY CHILDREN THROUGH THIS CRAP. I did not move here to put them through the hell that I grew up with. Summer is here and my children are out of school. My dad is 77 years old. He can't do this either. My sister has a son and works full time. We are all exhausted. I don't WANT TO TAKE CARE OF MY MOTHER. She wasn't a mother to me growing up. It angers me that my dad has let this addiction be what his entire life was about. He deserves so much better but he just keeps enabling her, over and over.


I want to walk away and NEVER LOOK BACK. I am sorry I ever moved back here! I am so angry that I brought my husband and my kids into this complete MESS! I don't want to live near her anymore! I am 40 years old and I don't want to spend one more second of my life dealing with this addiction of hers

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DBEAR36 Jun 2012
I agree with mdupaty..Forgivness is the key..And take care of yourself..Try Alanon..A support group for friends or family members of people who have substance abuse issues.. good luck
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mdupaty Jun 2012
Something no one offered is ,,, Please find a way to forgive her , she's not strong enough to be anyone other than who she is , you will never know where her real pain comes from but you can see how deep it is , you don't know if she was a victim of something from her childhood or what may have happened to her , but one thing is for sure her medicating is her way of covering up her pain . Addiction is a painful and sometimes hopeless reality for many people , find a way to accept this in a healthy way , because when she dies if you hate or resent her it will live on inside you , if you can seek professional help to give this closure ,and bring you peace of mind .
Good luck !
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sharynmarie May 2012
deardaughter~You already said it all. There is nothing more you can do. You are not the one who has failed, mom, dad and sis are too enmeshed with each other and only they can break the cycle. Don't wait until it trickles into your marriage and family, it's not worth it, believe me. You have gone above and beyond what was needed to be done and as the caring daughter that you are, it is time to leave the situation again. Go live your life for you and your husband...it will be the best move you can make♥.
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ladee1 May 2012
You tried...get out now... You didn't get her addicted and you can't get her clean.... take your family and go..... you should have no regrets.... prayers for you to get on with your life.... and your anger is justified.... let it motivate you to do what needs to be done...... hugs
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It sounds like you have answered all your questions. If you need validation, I'll be more than happy to give it to you. In short, at least in the vast majority of cases, people die the way they live. They are not going to make a Hallmark recovery.

I'm sorry that you have anger towards your sister and your dad. Your dad may be an enabler, but who else would your mom have stayed with? It's just the way it is. And as you said, it's always been that way. Your sister and you are not going to be able to save your mom. I can understand how important it would be for the both of you to pull that off and have the opportunity to meet this woman, who is your mom, for the first time with a clear mind. What would it be like to have her off of everything and have a conversation with her? To get to know her in a new way and maybe even make a connection?

I wonder what it was like when your dad and your mom were dating? Did he know her in a different way than now? Maybe he knew what her demons were back then or maybe they were just shadows, but there was an attraction and his enabling was part of it. Then you girls came along and it was more difficult for him to handle. He didn't want to leave your mom, so he just tried to keep the status quo. That he is still doing it is no surprise. It's all he knows and maybe he loves her and see something in her that you and your sis don't. It won't last forever because your mom will pass away.

My suggestion to you is that you live your life in the best way possible. You can't save your mom and you can't save those who will let her drag them down with her.

You are a good daughter. Your mom's issues are not your fault. You tried to make a new beginning with her, but it's not working. It won't work until she is dead or in a place that controls every med she gets. That's just the way it is.

Go live your life and be grateful that you have a good husband and sweet children. Be the mom you never had and make your family the focus. You could spend years with your mom and dad and nothing will change. I shouldn't say nothing, because you will change and not for the better.

I'm sorry for your sis and your dad, but you can't save them either. Do what is best for you and your family. Hugs and best wishes, Cattails.
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