So It’s One of THOSE Nights…

I miss my sister.

For those of you that aren’t aware, and I’m sure it’s most of you, I have an alcoholic mother. She doesn’t admit it and it’s not a problem my family likes to acknowledge, but it’s true nevertheless. I love my mom, faults and all, don’t get me wrong. I’d like to see her get past this. Do I think it’s ever going to happen? No, I really don’t.

Tonight’s events were kicked off courtesy of a day full of drinking with a friend of hers because hey, it’s rum o’clock somewhere, right?

That’s pretty much Mom’s motto for life.

I can’t stand being around my mother when she’s drunk. It’s played out. She takes on an entirely different persona when she’s drunk and it’s not like she’s a fun drunk or a happy drunk (for the record, I’m a happy drunk. I giggle at everything and I just want to give everyone a hug). No, she’s the regretful, sloppy, angry, bitter, weepy drunk. Every single regret she’s ever had comes up. Every emotional trauma she never worked through is open for discussion. Any opinions she keeps to herself come flying out of her mouth.

It’s not pleasant, particularly when she goes on her rants about my father. I have enough reasons of my own to dislike the man. I don’t need to hear her grievances too.

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Just leave me out of it, mmkay?

However, what set her off tonight was that I came out of my bedroom to tell her that I might not hear her because I was going to have ear buds in. I decided to put them in after fighting with the loud ass TV in the next room over. It’s a constant battle between us. I turn the volume down just two notches and she turns it back up because she’s drunk and apparently that fucks with her hearing.

So in attempts to just let her have her way, I figured I’ll avoid an argument by putting in my ear buds.

Apparently that was the exact wrong thing to say. Somehow this singular act led to her going off on a tangent once I sat down across the table from her (she was dramatically sitting in the dark dining room at the table eating dinner like she didn’t deserve light or whatever). Somehow my decision to listen to music through my ear buds means that I don’t appreciate her cooking dinner or cleaning the house.

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uhhh

So pretty much immediately I asked if we could continue the conversation she was so hellbent on having when she wasn’t drunk. She even opened with the sentence, “I’m drunk and I know it.”

The slurring and spacey look in your eyes didn’t give it away, Mom. Nope, not at all. I am stunned. Stunned!

Of course my request leads to her taking her plate to the kitchen without finishing her meal and then going out to the patio to smoke and cry over her misfortune of having such an ungrateful shit of a daughter… or maybe because the sky is blue. Who the fuck knows with her.

I doubt we’ll finish the conversation tomorrow but it’s possible. What all this boils down to is that I really miss my sister right now. Mom wasn’t a huge factor in her moving so far away, but she was a part of it. I sometimes think that moving away from her would be good for me too. There’s just so much negativity and heaviness surrounding her at all times that it can be suffocating. But then I worry about leaving her alone, too. Damned if I do, damned if I don’t I suppose.

I just wish my sister was here.

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11 thoughts on “So It’s One of THOSE Nights…

  1. Hugs, honey. It’s a hard decision to stay or go but if she’s not willing to stop there’s very little you can do to help her. When you’re ready, you’ll decide.

    Hugs!!!

  2. I have personal experience of the emotional intensity of dealing with an alcoholic family member & also a little second hand knowledge of what it’s like to be the one left behind to deal when a sibling gets as far a way as possible from a situation. The thing that always used to get me was that when I woke up the next day emotionally bruised from the shit storm that parts of my family had just been subjected to was that the person who had caused all the devastation would act like nothing had happened. We’d just go back to pretending everything was normal until the next time. There are no easy answers.
    At the moment for a couple of reasons one of the songs on a permanent loop in my head is Naughty from Matilda the Musical. I won’t quote from it as it might sound a bit trite out of context, but go listen to it on YouTube. At the least it might make you smile. Hugs from me too.

    • It’s funny that you mention the whole “let’s pretend this never happened” angle of being around a drunk. This morning, for the first time I can recall, she actually APOLOGIZED for her behavior last night. I was shocked. I really wasn’t expecting that to happen. As you said, it generally doesn’t. It’s the sort of thing that happens but trying to talk to someone the next day who was drunk the night before… they just wave it off like, “Oh that wasn’t me it was the booze.” Like yeah, no shit it was the booze! That’s why we need to talk, dummy. Of course they don’t get why it’s an issue, but it is. And it sucks having to live with someone who has multiple personalities that surface according to how drunk they are.

  3. I have family members that had and have drinking problems. So I know and feel your frustration about the whole situation. My cousin who is as close to me as a brother has not touched a drop for almost two years. He just woke up one morning and said I’m done with this. Might add his epiphany came at almost the age of thirty-eight. My Aunt(She has passed) she drank all her life morning noon and night. Funny thing was it never affected her.As we all got older the drinking got heavier. Her house was always spotless dinner always made. And she was always polite the my cousins and my friends Running to get us snacks and juices, Her husband drank too.He was a horrid embarrassing drunk and if we saw him in town or anywhere We’d run…..To this day I still take very little to do with him. I might add he is in his sixties now. One off my other uncles was a binge drinker and hasn’t touched a drop in over twenty-five years. My brother he too Drinks he tends to binge. He has learning difficulties and suffers from various different forms of depression. But as soon as he realises he is going to have an episode, He is getting better at asking for help. And I’m proud that he does. My mother She’s passed but she too had problems for a while with drinking.While I was younger She was a secret drinker.But could be quite embarrassing with it. She told me I just woke up and thought I’m done and she apologised to me. An apology I told her I didn’t need. As I got older (I’m in my late thirties now)I got it but I understood. As I understand your circumstances. Have faith Meg that one day she might just say I’m done with the alcohol . Know too meg there are others that know and understand What you’re going through…..I might add I don’t drink all that often. But When I do I never have more than one or two. I think at the back off my mind I am slightly scared of becoming reliant on alcohol. Hugs and good wishes to you.

    • I can completely relate. I think when you live with someone who has dependency problems you’re likely to go one of two ways: either you fall into the same trap or you avoid it as much as possible. I avoid it. I’ve been drunk, I won’t lie about that. For my 30th birthday I had way too many shots of whipped cream flavored vodka and now I can’t even look at a bottle of it without wanting to hurl. I can’t remember the last time I had a drink and I’m okay with that. Being drunk is fun for me for about an hour and then the hangover starts to happen and who needs that? Just ugh.

      I’ve had pretty much the same friends since high school. My best friend’s brother-in-law, whom I’ve known for about ten years now, finally asked me at the last NYE party why I don’t drink. So I explained it’s in large part because of my mom. I can’t stand the smell of rum. Just the reek of it makes me want to puke so I definitely don’t drink it. But like I said, when you’re around a drunk person all the time it makes being drunk yourself less enticing. I know when I am intoxicated I’m nothing like my mother, but still… It just doesn’t appeal to me much and I believe it’s mostly because of her.

  4. I always felt that every one else in ACOA had a much harder time than I did and that I should just deal. It is very good to encounter someone who came from much the same place.
    Even though it was thirty years ago I can still remember the feeling of relief as I looked at her on her death bed.
    I was frantic to be a good daughter but her doctor reassured me by telling me not to go all out because ‘You can give 100% for a short while or 20% over the long run, choose 20% – you have other obligations.’
    BTW it was your mother’s responsibility to construct your relationship, not yours.
    Why do we feel responsible for everything?

    • I think it’s particularly true when it’s a parent/child relationship. Here’s the thing… I’ve done a little reading on this since my parents were divorced when I was 5 and it was part of what put me in therapy for about 4 years when I was a kid. Children understandably idolize their parents. Mom and Dad are God for a child. Everything we know in the world, we learn from them. They are the people we’re meant to be able to count on for anything and everything, no matter how old we get in life.

      When parents do things to shatter a child’s image of perfection, it’s very easy for the child to internalize that and assume that it’s something THEY did to cause the imperfection to occur. Hence why so many children blame themselves for their parents’ divorce. I know I’m guilty of doing that. There are also patterns and habits that are learned over time.

      In my case, I have a mother that has serious issues with anxiety and she tends to be extremely dramatic about things. I’m definitely more the laid back sort. I get flustered or emotional but I cool my jets pretty quickly when I have my flare ups. I rarely stay mad for long and I’m definitely not the kind to hold a grudge without a really good reason for doing so. My mother, on the other hand… she’s better at living in denial. So that means she drinks more in the hope of forgetting her problem. The thing is, you can’t run from what’s in your own head.

      Sooner or later, in the words of the great Mr. Johnny Cash, “What’s done in the dark will be brought to the light.” So all of this trying to hide out in the drinking (and even more dangerous in some ways, the retail therapy) isn’t helping her one bit. All the problems are still there and they’re actually compounded because her behavior while drunk makes her less fun to be around. That increases the loneliness which is part of the reason she drinks in the first place. It’s a vicious catch-22 sort of thing.

      Of course I know that none of this is my fault. I have encouraged Mom to go out and make new friends, preferably ones that don’t drink. I’ve suggested she get into a gardening club, book club, take a dance class or even start going to church again just so she would be out in social situations. Has she done any of those things? No, of course not. It’s easier to keep up the status quo. It leads me to believe that she’s happy being miserable and I’m not responsible for that either.

      However, knowing that information and reconciling it with myself aren’t the same thing. If I didn’t love her, I wouldn’t care. So as much as it’s HER cycle of abuse, it’s also mine. Sucks, doesn’t it?

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