My dad and his wife still call me once in a while and tell me to do things for them, like cleaning their house or going shopping with them. When I do – they don’t give me any space to refuse – they always get angry at me for not doing exactly what they wanted, even though they get angry about stuff they never asked me to do in the first place.
I have tried to get official help with my mom, but got nowhere because I am underage and have no adult who can confirm what I tried to tell the court. I have on a few occasions called 911 and they would either leave her at home because she is not dead, or take her to hospital and discharge her the next day. When this happens, my mom gets mad at me for wanting to get her help, and then she drinks – and it starts all over again.
When I was thirteen, I decided to leave home and rather live on the streets than have the stress of taking care of my mother all the time. She then jumped out of a window and broke both her legs.
Last year I had a girlfriend for a short while. When that did not work out for me, I was quite upset for a few days and stayed with friends who were very supportive. As a result my mom took an overdose and left a note that she did it because I rejected her. Fortunately I discovered her and her life was saved.
I really love my mom but I cannot continue like this and I don’t know what to do next. I feel I have tried everything and she is still drinking – and so are my dad and his wife, and they won’t help me even if I ask. I am worried that if I move out when I am eighteen, my mom will really kill herself and pin it on me.
What else can I do?
I can fully associate with most of your experiences because I have been in a similar position.
Firstly, I have to tell you a few things that you probably have realized already, but it always helps to hear it from someone else.
· You are not responsible for your mother's physical or emotional well-being. If she harms herself or jumps out of a window and breaks her legs, it is because she chooses to do so.
· She is responsible for any choices she has made in the past, just like you are 100% responsible for any choices you make in your life.
· If your mother really wants to commit suicide, the best you can do is delay it - she will do it regardless of what you say or do.
· Drinking is a choice, and you make that choice every time you have a drink. If you make the choice to drink often enough, you suffer the physical consequences, but alcoholism is still a choice rather than a dis-ease.
· Your mother is manipulating and black-mailing you for her own purposes. Sadly this is a game that alcoholics play with their loved ones, and they become expert manipulators, as you have already realized in your efforts to get help for her.
· You do not owe your mother anything other than love, and you do not need to be with her to give her that love.
And yes, I completely understand that you feel guilty about not being with her, but it does sound like you have reached a cross-roads where you have to choose to remain with her and get dragged down more and more until you are also an alcoholic with no future, or move on and cut ties with her and look after your own future. Yes, I know it sounds very harsh, and I know exactly how difficult it is, but you have to choose between survival and death for yourself here.
If you leave your mother and move away, a few things can happen.
· She could die. But can you prevent her death by staying with her? You know the answer to that.
· She could harm herself to the extent that she ends up in hospital. Will that save her life? It sounds like that will only extend her life, but at least she will get some help.
· She could go out of her mind. Is she mentally stable at the moment? You know the answer to that.
I would say decide how you want to create your future, knowing that this situation can drag on for a number of years. Do you want to reach the age of 30 and become a clone of your mother in the process?
Am I judging your mother? No, I am not. Let me explain why I say that. I believe that we all come into this world having entered into contracts with our loved ones, especially our parents. You chose your mother to be your mother before you were born, because you knew that she would be one of your greatest teachers. And you did the same with your father and step-mother.
Your mother chose each one of her experiences before she was even born, and you did the same. That is why I am saying that you cannot change her life unless she wants to change herself, and even then all the change must come from her. Until you understand that, you will struggle with guilt and frustration and anger and all the stuff that eats you up.
This is where the work starts for you.
I can see from what you have written and the way you organize your thoughts that you are highly intelligent, and I also sense that you are incredibly mature for your age. You have so much to offer to this world, and yes, you have very hard choices to make, but you can make the choices. That is part of your life purpose.
I want you to think what you have learned from all your experiences. For example, your step-mother molested you. Because she did that, you are now aware of how wrong it is to molest a child, how important it is for a child to be able to trust a parent, and what love is not. If she never did any of that, you would not have come to these conclusions.
If the people you have asked for help had listened to you and actually helped you, you would not have realized the importance of listening, and you would never have understood the frustration and helplessness that people feel when they live with manipulative alcoholics and cannot get through to those who are supposed to give them support.
In this way you need to write down every single experience you have had, and write next to it what you have learnt from it. I know this is a different way of thinking, but if you only focus on the negative things you have experienced in your life, you will get swamped by those things - as you already have noticed.
As you do this, you will over time start to feel more peaceful in yourself. You will be in a better position to accept what you cannot change, and to change what you cannot accept - but then change for yourself, not for anyone else.
And yes, you have to write it all down. If you just think about it, you can get so swamped in everyday stuff that you easily lose hope and perspective. However, if you write it all down, you can always refer to your notes and see the progress.
And this is not about positive thinking - that will just make you feel more helpless because the more you try to think positively, the more your circumstances will make you feel that you are failing.
This is about finding balance.
For every bad experience we have, there is a wisdom that provides the counteraction, and the wisdom and bad experience provides balance. At the same time, for every good experience we have, there is a downside that we need to be aware of so that there is balance. For example, if you will the lottery tomorrow, it would be brilliant, but also you would suddenly be swamped by people who would want to get money from you, you would be able to get your mother the best possible medical care but it will not change her state of mind and she will still be an alcoholic - with lots of money to buy alcohol and kill herself sooner.
Right now your focus should be on finding the balance in all your experiences, and finding a job so that you can start building your future. Of course you can choose to rather be a guilt-ridden alcoholic with no future, but I sense that this is not a choice that will sit well with you. Either way, you and I also had a contract, and your asking my help and me giving this help is part of our contract.
I know, this is your mother, the one person who is supposed to love you unconditionally, but on the other hand she loved you enough to come into this world and basically give up her own life to become one of your greatest teachers. That is part of making this such a hard situation for you.
As you find the wisdom and lesson for you in each of your experiences, you gain balance and inner peace. Yes, I know that ‘inner peace’ seems to be over-rated with all the new age stuff around, but when you do find the balance in a situation, you also find gratitude and love for the person who caused you so much pain, because you start to see the bigger picture.
The other effect is that your mother realizes at a spiritual level that she has achieved her soul contract with you, which is that you needed to have these experiences and gain your wisdom. This causes her to also ‘calm down’ and find her own inner peace bit by bit.
Of course this is a slow process which happens one step at a time, but if you really focus on it, and especially of you write things down to keep a record, you will see the progress. You cannot expect to process the experiences of 17 years in a month or two. On the other hand, you can continue to feel all sorts of strong emotions, and do nothing about it, or try your hardest to find other people who can ease the situation for you, and get yourself sick and be of no help to your mother at all.
As you work through these experiences, you will feel less torn and more whole.
There is something else that I have found to be incredibly good, on condition that you follow specific rules.
Click on this link for an article on journal writing
The really important rules are that you don't tell anyone about it, and that you don't read what you have written.
I will send you much healing and Love.