General Question

nailpolishfanatic's avatar

Need some help about my mom?

Asked by nailpolishfanatic (6597 points ) June 25th, 2010

Now it’s 23:30 and mom isn’t home. Later back in the evening she told me that dad and her were going to meet up for some beer. At like 21:50 or something, dad came home, he had left her at a bar. She wanted to take the 11:00 bus but she missed it. Now she calls me and tells me that she’s sleeping at her friend’s house. I became mad*angry* because I hate it when she drinks. My mom is thin and sometimes people think we are sister and stuff and so that just kills me especially when I see her drinking like that. I think it isn’t good for her healthy. Mom and dad had a fight at the bar so he left her:/ – he’s my step-dad but I just call him dad-
Then when I was talking to mom on the phone she doesn’t sound clear and stuff. I became more frustrated and she tells me to take care of her, I said “mom how can I take care of you when you are so far from home?” she’s like 45 minutes from home or something….

p.s she isn’t an alcoholic, she just drinks sometimes.
and sorry that it’s maybe too long:/

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63 Answers

Draconess25's avatar

If it’s becoming a problem for you, then she’s an alcoholic. Just openly tell her how you feel about her drinking. A had the same problem years ago.

tadpole's avatar

you’re concerned about your mum…that’s natural and understandable… but you cannot be responsible for her…how old are you? does she use you for support do you think? it is better that she does not…she does not have the right to do this…if she is not an alcoholic, then don’t worry about the occasional drinking, and don’t get involved, and likewise don’t get involved with the arguments between her and your dad, they are not your responsibility or anything to do with you really..i appreciate you might have been taught otherwise..it would be easier to advise you if you gave your age….if you are an adult you would best be advised to get out of there…if not, then you might feel like you are stuck in that situation and it is more difficult…do you have other relatives you can talk to? can you talk to your dad or are there a lot of arguments?

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

Whether your Mom has a problem with alcohol or not, her drinking seems to be having bad effects on your family. I agree that you should talk to your Mom and explain how you feel and want you need from her. Let me know how that works out. There be more things that can be done to help you. Check my profile for information about how to contact me for more help (free). I work hard to help others and I respect people’s privacy.

nailpolishfanatic's avatar

@draconess, I have talk to her a couple of times….but then after sometime she continues. I thought an alcoholic is someone who drinks 24/7?

MaryW's avatar

@draconess25 makes a good point ” If it’s becoming a problem for you, then she’s an alcoholic.” An alcoholic can come in many forms and degrees and it sounds to me like she has lost respect for herself and family.
I think a person is not a mom when they want their daughter to take care of them when they have made a decision to be non-responsible. Your mom needs help from an professional unrelated uninvolved third party. And them SHE has to fix her personal problems, you can not. BUT you can help point out to her her need to respect herself more. No matter if you think she is or is not an alcoholic she still is still in a mess of her own making. So tell her what you feel and think and ask her to get some help. You can be loving and supportive without being part of the problem by baling her out of these situations of her own making.

nailpolishfanatic's avatar

@tadpole, Im 16. I just hate seeing them fight, sometimes she tells me that she is going to divorce my step-dad and stuff. Sometimes when they get into a fight they never sleep in the same be like 4–6 days, and that just worries me a lot because they don’t talk to each other too. I do tell her sometimes that why don’t you just divorce him if you feel like you are not happy in your marriage?
Anyway I do try not to worry, but it’s my mom and I just love so much..even though I don’t show it that much. We came a long way together, so I feel like I should take care of her:)

nailpolishfanatic's avatar

@Dr Laurence, I’ll talk to her tomorrow when she comes home and I’ll let you know how it goes. Well thank you for the talking-together-help thing, but I live so far away, I am guessing you live in the US ?
I live in Iceland.

nailpolishfanatic's avatar

@maryW, well, I’ll see how it goes talking to her tomorrow.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

@Thesexier I only meant that I can offer some help and support to you via my Nicenet.org site where your privacy is protected and where you can express yourself freely. I don’t charge for my efforts but I never meet with the people I help in person. That is impractical. By the way, I am in western Canada. See my profile for details.

tadpole's avatar

@Thesexier iceland is cool, except when you blow your volcanic dust all over our uk aeroplanes….though i’m no frequent flyer!

sounds like you’re in the middle of it…if you want to stick in there, remember that at the end of the day you cannot change her or make her decisions for her…also get out of the way and have time for yourself, because you shouldn’t strictly have to cope with this…but you love her and want to support her, that’s completely natural….just remember to look after yourself..if you are neglected or suffer because of this then i would consider looking for help from someone else…

HungryGuy's avatar

Well, yeah, your mom has a drinking problem even if she’s not an “alcoholic.” But your stepdad should never have left her there, no matter what kind of fight they had. That’s just despicable! You need to watch your mom’s back, because he ain’t gonna. Is there any way you can move closer?

AmWiser's avatar

You may not be able to help your mom without help from others. Are there other relatives that you can discuss your concerns with?

nailpolishfanatic's avatar

@Dr_Laurence, Oh okay I checked out your profile.
Thnks for the offer, I could maybe try it sometime.

nailpolishfanatic's avatar

@tadpole, lol-yeah, the volcanish ash thing was pretty bad. My grandmother couldn’t go back to Africa, she had to wait one more week.

Anyway…I know I can not make the decisions for her. So when they are fighting I should just let them without trying to stop it?
I mean sometimes I feel like running out of this freaking house! Lucky I don’t have any siblings cause that would just be very bad for small-young children…

nailpolishfanatic's avatar

@HungryGuy, Yeah exactly what I though! I mean someone could just rape her or something, he just leaves her there, but now she’s home, she took the taxi. I haven’t talked to her because I’ve locked my room and Iam sure she thinks I am asleep.
What do you mean though by how I could move closer?:

nailpolishfanatic's avatar

@AmWiser, Not really, My mother’s family is all in Zambia, my step-dad’s family isn’t that much of out near family, when I had my heart operation there was no one from his family who even came to the hospital to visit me ( I was there like 3 weeks) except for the grandmother, she came I think twice, but I wouldn’t talk to her about our family matters, she’s kinda of a liar I think, she always tells her family everything, and I don’t want people to know every single detail or what is happening in out family. So I would say the answer to your question is NO.

tadpole's avatar

@Thesexier yes true, if they were young…if they were older or your age they could be supportive because they would see what was happening…

yes absolutely, get out of there, don’t get involved, let them sort it out themselves…do you have somewhere you could go to? if this is happening a lot it’s gonna affect your routine which isn’t great…is there someone you can confide in for support, at school or something?

actually yes i thought the ash was a little funny, it made us think about how the planet has the capacity to stop us in our tracks….lots of moaning as you can imagine…

nailpolishfanatic's avatar

@tadpole, but I don’t think I could get out of here I m just 16. I think I was even better off with my grandparents in Zambia! Sometimes I feel like I am just suffering, and I could even cry myself to sleep.:(:(:( No I can’t go anywhere….and also what I don’t like is discussing my parent’s issues to other people. I always put on that happy face even though I am hurting inside. I haven’t even told my friends or anything about it. I don’t think I will:(

jazmina88's avatar

Be strong baby girl. You can do this.

the100thmonkey's avatar

@Draconess25 and everyone who agreed with her – that’s total rot.

@Thesexier: If her going out and having a social life is a problem for you, then you need to sit down with your mother and talk about it.

Mothers do NOT exist entirely for the benefit of their children. Sometimes they do things their children are neither comfortable with nor like. To claim she is an alcoholic because she has stayed out drinking (Oh! the humanity! HOW DARE SHE!) while the other carer has come home, is irresponsible and, frankly, stupid.

tadpole's avatar

@Thesexier i am chatting to you via private comments as well so i might get confused!

could you go to zambia? is it the money issue or the distance or is it iceland is your home…

any plans for college?

CaptainHarley's avatar

Do yourself a HUGE favor and contact Ala-teen. These people know what they’re doing and how to help you get things together. Even if you just talk with them, they can be of enormous help. Good luck, hon.

Draconess25's avatar

@the100thmonkey Tell me, did you have an alcoholic mother? I had to keep my mom from overdosing on Xanax when she was drunk. I had to keep her from getting hit by a car at 4am. I had to clean up her vomit. Did you have to got through any of that? When a woman get’s knocked up, she’d better be ready to raise her kids responsibly. And her children should be her top priority. Otherwise, she isn’t a real mother.

JLeslie's avatar

She is an alcoholic in my book, or at minimum has a problem of some sort with alcohol. You are in a crap situation to be honest, I am assuming you are a teenager. If this truly doe snot happen often, then I guess you will be able to just deal with it for a few years unitl you are out of the house. I agree with the peopple who recommended talking to her. Don’t be angry. Tell her how it makes you feel, talk about yourself, without purposefully trying to make her feel bad. If you come after her she will get defensive and will be less likely and less able to really listen to how you feel.

Also, please never drink. I think genetically and also the examples given to you by the adults in your life make you likely to have a drinking habit.

@the100thmonkey Moms are allowed to have a social life, but not allowed to get so drunk they don’t make it home, Sorry. That is not adult responsible behavior. And, that her husband left her at the bar is outrageous.

the100thmonkey's avatar

@Draconess25: No, I didn’t.

However, nothing the OP has mentioned indicates that their mother is in the same place as yours, and I still maintain that just because a parent goes out and gets drunk does not make them an alcoholic (unless it’s a highly regular occurance) or an irresponsible parent – particularly when it’s clear from the OP that the other primary carer is at home.

I shall restate my previous comment for those who need another opportunity to understand it:

Mothers do NOT exist entirely for the benefit of their children. Sometimes they do things their children are neither comfortable with nor like. To claim she is an alcoholic because she has stayed out drinking (Oh! the humanity! HOW DARE SHE!) while the other carer has come home, is irresponsible and, frankly, stupid.

You will note from the OP that there is no comment about their mother “not making it home”. Moreover, if, as a parent (which I am, twice), one is confident that one’s children will still receive the care they need if one chooses to stay out all night – staying at a friend’s place after an argument with your SO, for example – then staying out all night is OK, IMO. Would I stay out all night if my kids were alone? No. Would I stay out all night if I knew my wife would be home to look after them during the hours we would expect them to be home? Yes. Would I leave my 3 and 5 year old kids in the house on their own ever? No.

If staying out when there is a primary carer in the house makes the parent an “alcoholic”, or a “bad parent”, then I think you all need to get off your high horses.

There’s more to parenting than puritanism.

Seriously… WTF?

PandoraBoxx's avatar

@the100thmonkey, moms are allowed to have a social life, but before their social life they are a custodian of the well-being of their children. There’s social drinking, and then there’s drinking to the point where you distress your children.

Setting the example of drinking as a means to managing stress is not good. The fact that she had a fight with her husband is not a reason to drink. It will not help the relationship issues in any way, and only causes new relationship issues with her daughter.

@Thesexier, the best thing that you can do is contact Alateen and work through what you can do about the behavior your mother exhibits and the distress it causes you.

the100thmonkey's avatar

@PandoraBoxx:

No mother is allowed to make a mistake ever?

No mother is allowed to do anything their children might find distressful?

I think you have a distorted view of parenthood.

Really.

mrrich724's avatar

alcoholism is when a person continues to use alcohol even if it affects their lives, one of those effects is stress placed on their relationship with others.

so if this is stressing her own child and she continues to do it, it is a good sign of alcoholism.

JLeslie's avatar

@the100thmonkey It sounds from how the OP put it that she expected her mom to come home. It is not only that she is a parent. If a friend of mine told me she went out with her husband, they drank, got in a fight, her husband left the bar without her, and then she missed a bus and decided to crash with a friend because she was so drunk, I would think that was pretty dysfunctional anyway. The OP said she just drinks sometimes, I don’t know if that means she only gets drunk sometimes, or just has a drink every so often and this is truly a one time occurance. We don’t have enough info, but it doesn’t sound good to me. Add in that there is a child at home waiting, even worse.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

Moms make mistakes every day without setting a pattern of behavior. From the post, this is a pattern of behavior.

the100thmonkey's avatar

@PandoraBoxx: How can you justify that assertion?

It seems like most of the people on this thread just want to judge the mum.

Given no further information from the OP, I would say “judge not, lest ye be judged yourselves”.

The fact is that the OP’s parents are having marital problems – this is the pertinent issue, not the fact that the OP’s mother goes out and drinks. It is nice and convenient to put the blame on the mother’s drinking, but you all know that it’s just not as simple as that.

The spirit of the Mayflower lives on.

JLeslie's avatar

@the100thmonkey No one is blaming the mother for the marital problems. Or, if they did I did not catch it. I am not sure they even really have a significant problem, we only know they got in a fight. People fight. I don’t like that her husband left her when she was drunk. But, I guess she is an adult. Still, even if I was angry with my spouse I would never leave him drunk to find his way home.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

I would never fight with my husband in a public place, and I often have plenty of reason to do so. Perhaps the fight stemmed from the mom being smashed in public. The why in this case is not justification for drinking to the point that you cannot make your way home. Sorry. That is a hard example of modeling of adult behavior for a 16 year old to deal with when she does not want that to be acceptable as a norm for adult behavior.

Lots of 16 year olds would look at that type of modeled behavior by a parent as justification to go out and drink until falling down because their parent sets that example. If that were the case for @Thesexier, she wouldn’t have posted this question.

There is a problem with the mother’s behavior as it stands, because it is a problem for her child. Thesexier is not unreasonable in this.

nailpolishfanatic's avatar

@jazmina88 , Thank you I ‘ll do my best to make my mom’s life healthy.

nailpolishfanatic's avatar

@tadpole , I could go to Zambia, but I want to finish my education here…Next semester me and my mom are moving to Denmark. I will be starting in an International School doing Pre-IB.

nailpolishfanatic's avatar

@PandoraBoxx , maybe I could contact Alateen since it is here also. Thank you for the request I’ll think about it.

nailpolishfanatic's avatar

@JLeslie , What I meant with she only drinks sometimes is that, she could even go 2 weeks or something without drinking, and she also drinks when she’s celebrating like if she got good grades at school, then we would all have dinner and she could be drinking you know…

PandoraBoxx's avatar

@Thesexier, not all drinking is bad. There is a difference between social drinking and problem drinking. Problem drinking happens in two ways—daily drinking and binge drinking. A binge drinker will go for days without drinking and then drink until falling down drunk when they do drink. One of my best friends from college is a partner at a law firm. He would go all week with one drink a night after work, with dinner, and then on Friday, Saturday and Sunday would literally drink until he passed out. He didn’t see it as a problem; his wife and son did. Patterns like this happen all the time. High performing college students can delude themselves that because they have a 4.0, their binge drinking habits aren’t really a problem. But that’s not to say that applies to your mom; I’m just using the example to point out that there are different ways of having a problem with alcohol.

From what you posted, it sounds like your mom may have some unhappiness with respect to her marriage, and she is trying to work through that. That’s private between her and your stepfather, even though you’re feeling some of it. Talk to her about how you feel about her drinking too much, and tell her how much you worry about her, and perhaps ask her if she wants you to think that it’s okay to drink too much when you’re unhappy.

The move to Denmark is a big change and is perhaps causing her marriage to change, creating a lot of unhappiness for both of them, even though it’s a good thing for your mom. Everyone just has to work through what’s going on, and adjust. Change is often stressful.

What Alateen will do is provide a place where you can talk about how you feel about your parent’s drinking with other teens. It’s free, it’s confidential.

tadpole's avatar

@Thesexier that sounds very positive…will give you options…

nailpolishfanatic's avatar

Well I talked a little to mom and asked her about last night and stuff. She gets angry because I have so many questions.
Also I want to add one thing…my stepdad – I think he likes money too much, he has loans from when he was in school. In January my grandmother came to visit us for 3 months.My mom payed for everything-ticket and transport stuff for grandma. Yesterday at the bar daddy starts questioning mom and asking her why she sent grandma money. He thinks she sent him too much money. What I find strange is that he cares of other people’s money, always wants to know what a person uses the money for…I mean it’s mom’s money she works for it why can’t she do whatever she wants with it?
I think his selfish!

PandoraBoxx's avatar

Sometimes parents get a little frustrated when kids ask a lot of questions, but you keep asking them. Smart kids ask a lot of questions.

Money, and managing money, is a big part of why marriages fall apart. Adults fight about money more than anything else. Student loans are a big expense, and must be paid. If your stepfather is managing the household budget, you have to count on having so much money coming in to pay the bills correctly. When you have a house and a family, there are lots of things that come up unexpectedly that you have to have money for—the water heater stops working, the car breaks down and the bill is quite high, all of these things cost a lot of money, and if the money you have is just enough to cover your regular expenses – mortgage/rent, lights/heat/, cell phones, cable TV, student loans, car insurance, medical bills, saving for college for you, saving for vacation, then sometimes unexpected things can upset being able to pay regular bills, and that causes worry. It could be that your mother didn’t save up for the trip for your grandmother and used credit cards to pay for the trip, which your stepfather must now have to figure out how to pay out of the household budget. And perhaps your mother is too generous to your grandmother and sends her money that your family needs to pay its bills. Or perhaps your stepfather thinks she should be saving more for retirement so that when she is old, you will not be having to send her money.

In lots of cultures, children support their parents in their old age. Your mother wants to be generous to your grandmother, because she loves her and wants your grandmother to think that she is successful and be proud of her. Perhaps your mother is being a bit too generous with money that your family really needs to pay its own bills.

If your stepfather is the one to pay the bills, perhaps he is a good person to ask to explain to you how a family budget works. This is the one thing that if you learn to do when you are young, you will not get into money trouble when you are older. It costs a lot more money to run a family than kids are usually aware of. For example, my daughter’s friend got very upset that he did not get a brand new car for graduation. His grandparents gave his father a new car as a gift when he graduated from college. Instead of yelling at him for being ungrateful, his father took him car shopping. They went to the car dealer, the bank, and the insurance agent, and they figured out how many miles the boy drove. The cost of buying and maintaining the car the boy really wanted was about $750 a month, for 4 years. While his parents had saved up the cash for college, they had budgeted having to send him $300 a month out of income for expenses at college. That’s $300 a month they are not spending now, and if they were to spend another $750 a month for an expensive car, they would not be able to pay their regular bills.

While your mother’s money is her money, it’s also money that is needed to pay her own bills first. It can take two paychecks to run a household these days.

nailpolishfanatic's avatar

@PandoraBoxx , yeah but well, most of the times all they fight about is money!
Is it really that difficult divorcing a person? I mean if I were mom I think I would have divorced him…

PandoraBoxx's avatar

Divorce can be complicated. Marriage is complicated. The fact that they fight about money doesn’t mean that they don’t love each other. It just means that they have very different ideas about spending money and how money is managed, and probably didn’t realize when they got married how different those ideas are. Most people get very protective about their money because lots of cultures use wealth as a measurement of self-worth.

Love may “conquer all,” but not differences about how money is managed in a household. Very few people learn about money and bill-paying from their parents. Lots of couples find who argue over money find this helpful.

JLeslie's avatar

@Thesexier Denmark sounds fantastic! I think that is very exciting. Is your mom very young?

nailpolishfanatic's avatar

@JLeslie , yeah I am really excited! My mom will be 40 in October:)

tadpole's avatar

the fact your dad has debts from school indicates he has money management problems or is very young? or both?

if your mum decided to move to denmark, maybe this was her way of making the split with your father? i assume he is not coming too from what you say? did you get a say? sometimes a move is a solution to a problem….probably less stressful than a divorce…..

if your mum didn’t like being questioned…well you could persevere, you have a right to….or you could just stay out the way…if you’re moving you could wait and that will improve things, and as you get older you could become more independent as will be your right, and pick and choose what you tolerate from her…

PandoraBoxx's avatar

It’s not unusual to have university debt that takes 20 -30 years to pay off if you have advanced degrees and had to pay for the whole tuition and living expenses yourself.

nailpolishfanatic's avatar

@tadpole , I think he’s 43 or something like that. He isn’t coming with us to Denmark.

tadpole's avatar

@Thesexier maybe this will resolve itself then with the move? could be a new start…

nailpolishfanatic's avatar

@tadpole , well who knows? could be…

tadpole's avatar

@Thesexier i mean you will soon be an adult in full legal form…this gives you options…what does the IB do, does it enable you to take further education? it’s the standard european school exam qualification, right?

JLeslie's avatar

@Thesexier Oh, your dad is not going with you and your mom to Denmark? I think they must be under tremendous stress right now. If you feel in your heart that youor mom does not have an alcohism problem, but are simply dissappointed with her recent behavior, and I would guess you feel a little stressed also, then I think mabe try to be understanding of the difficult time she is going through. It would be best if she could sheild you from all of her strif and unhappiness, but it is easier said than done. This is an opportunity for you to bond with your mom possibly. To have a heartfelt talk about how things are affecting you and at the same time show some empathy for she and the whole family is going through. I wish you only happiness, you sound like you have a good head on your shoulders.

tadpole's avatar

@JLeslie that’s nice compassionate advice…

nailpolishfanatic's avatar

@tadpole, International Baccalaureate. It’s a worldwide education programme for university entrance
“check this our”

nailpolishfanatic's avatar

“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IB_Diploma_Programme”

nailpolishfanatic's avatar

oh well i dont know how the link think works here so…

@JLeslie , Thank you so much for the sweet and generous advice!

PandoraBoxx's avatar

@Thesexier, perhaps a good summer read for you would be Anna Karenina. The book opens with the quote, Happy families are all alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.

nailpolishfanatic's avatar

@PandoraBoxx , I could maybe check it out. Thanks for the suggestion:D

tadpole's avatar

@Thesexier are you looking forward to it? i had a rough idea…we study 3 a levels generally for UG entrance, the IB is lots of subjects in less depth? an all-round sort of programme rather than specializing…

nailpolishfanatic's avatar

@tadpole , yeah I am really looking forward, it’s been a long time that I’ve studied every single subject in English:/

tadpole's avatar

@Thesexier but you can speak icelandic? :-)

nailpolishfanatic's avatar

@tadpole , yes but it’s hard, I just wanted to learn in English so that when I am in maybe 1.class or last class in IB they I could go overseas or something to study – in English:)

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