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Question
Posted by: anon | 2011/06/09

alocholic mother tearing us apart

i dont know what to do. my mother is a functional alcoholic and therefore sees nothing wrong with it,,,,she has high blood pressure and diabetes and was hospitalised last thursday as her pancreas stopped working from all the drinking she was discharged on tuesday and was in a drunken stupor the wednesday nite. my brother and i just dont know what to do anymore and we feel we should just prepare ourselves for a funeral. she is a nurse and our father died a year ago and we feel that if she hadnt been drunk all the time she could have probably seen signs of kidney failure in our father and therefore prevented his death by some helping him with some kind of medical intervention,.my mother has done everything possible for us to have a good life in her but we are starting to resent and hate her for what she is putting us through..we feel we should just leave her to die because she does not seem to care why should we. i told her last nite that i am through caring and told my brothers to call me when she dies so i can handle the funeral arrangements...i am torn about this...i love her but i cant force her to get help i cant subpoena her to AA. i just dont know what to do anymore....but i am badly affected by this whole thing..do you think i should see a therapist just to prepare myself for her death because she seems bent on killing herself.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

I'm not sure how useful the term "functional alcoholic" is - it may just mean they're better able to drink more, and to falsely persuade themselves that there's really nothing wrong.
If she has drunk to the point of significant pancreas damage, then she is very seriously ill indeed, and her alcoholism could very easily kill her.
As a nurse she knows this, even if she tries hard to ignore it. But you can't stop drinking for her - she has to want to do that, and to do it, herself.
Maybe she is depressed and feels guilty about what she has done ; maybe she does't care whether she dies. Don't allow yourself to fel guilty - you did not do this or cause this, and it is indeed highly frustrating to see someone you love doing something so damagin and unnecessary, and to be unable to do anything about it. Do see a therapist or counsellor to help you cope with this. And let your mother know how she causes you to despair because you want to be able to help her stop this self-destructive behaviour, but can only support her if she decides to do so, herself

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Our users say:
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011/06/09

I'm not sure how useful the term "functional alcoholic" is - it may just mean they're better able to drink more, and to falsely persuade themselves that there's really nothing wrong.
If she has drunk to the point of significant pancreas damage, then she is very seriously ill indeed, and her alcoholism could very easily kill her.
As a nurse she knows this, even if she tries hard to ignore it. But you can't stop drinking for her - she has to want to do that, and to do it, herself.
Maybe she is depressed and feels guilty about what she has done ; maybe she does't care whether she dies. Don't allow yourself to fel guilty - you did not do this or cause this, and it is indeed highly frustrating to see someone you love doing something so damagin and unnecessary, and to be unable to do anything about it. Do see a therapist or counsellor to help you cope with this. And let your mother know how she causes you to despair because you want to be able to help her stop this self-destructive behaviour, but can only support her if she decides to do so, herself

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