The Radio - Sandra and Georgina

Hi all,

I wanted to start a forum on the recent radio interview that Georgina did that is posted up on COAP as Sandra (not real name) is my mum! She is now three months sober which is a drop in the ocean of the 30 years she has been drinking. Out of those she has probably been drinking alcoholically since I was actually about 5 (I'm 26 now).

It prompted me to get in touch with the radio station to share my point of view and I wanted to share this with my COAP friends. My mum and I appeared on the station on Monday and here is the link:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01nmtcm

 

Listening to my mum's radio interview (Sandra) is really hard for me. I have listened over and over because although she is 3 months sober now, I know as a child and now as an adult I have been told that she will stop drinking hundreds of times. The disappointment I felt everytime that didn't happen will probably always remain with me. Now as an adult I don't believe anything anyone says ot me for example if someone says they love me I don't believe them. If my own mother didn't love me enough to stop drinking, then how can anyone else love me? I am not worthy of love because I was second best to alcohol and so I will never be anyone's number one.

 

A bit about my childhood: I feel like although we did the show it shows a very positive side to what drinking did to my family. The reality is after time the things of the past are forgotten. But these memories make up my childhood. And when other people are reliving memories about their childhood holidays, cuddles, toys what do we as children of alcoholics share? I remember the time my mum beat me to a pulp because I didn't have a sandwich for lunch, or the times where I literally had no underwear to wear, my pocket money was stolen for drink, promises were not kept, I was humiliated publicly by my mum's drunken outbursts? Not exactly on parr with our peers who had 'normal' childhoods. My mum and I lived alone and various men came and went throughout the years leaving me with this feeling of 'who will it be next?' The answer was always someone who took advantage of my mum, or someone who was overwhelmed by her drinking and left. I didn't form attachments to any of them, and they would always end in my mum being abusive to them and fighting would happen. Of course I would protect her. And for my life goal I became my mum's very own little protector: from the family's judgements about her drinking, from men, from herself and the mess she made as I cleaned up a lot of stuff. Often I wonder was I her duaghter or her equal because I did enough to keep the house going and pretend all was ok.

 

The guilt I felt leaving for university was emmense and consumed me so much that I ran back home every weeekend at the expense of my social life, and later on at the expense of relationships. I just couldn't let her go. I had to protect her. I felt guilty not doing so.

 

I was angry with everyone and everything! Parkng, shops assistants, work colleagues, partners, friends, forgivenes for any wrong doing was unthikable, because I had so much wrong done to me. I felt like I was owed something.

 

And then October last year was the final time I saw my mum in another family emergency intervention. As usual my nana called me to 'come and deal with your mother'. This was at 7PM, by now my mum would have been drinking for 3-4 hours if I was lucky and would be legless. I arrived reluctantly but readly for the onslaught of usual abuse and a fight but there was none of that. My mum was there (drunk) begging for rehab money. I told my grandparents 'say no, now is no different, tomorrow she won't even remember the converstion'. I drove home having told my mum for the first time that I thought she was lying and didn't really mean it. If she meant she was going to stop drinking then she would get up and go to the doctors the next day, I offered to go too.

I drove home convincing myself that this time of saying she would quit would be no different. She was a vile person who lies and gets people to feel sorry for her and I would not do that anymore. I was fuming and filled with rage at being put in a position of having to talk to her when she was drunk (an experience I chose to stop when I was 25, it was too painful and reminded me of being a scared helpless child again).

 

By the time I got home I was so consumed with this upcoming rage that I was forced into action, even if my mum wouldn't get sober I was sick of it controlling my life. I was going to get help for myself. I called a therapists office, desparate for help, desparate for someone to se me at 9am the next day and fix me and my anger, It didn't happen. I had to wait 5 whole days! It felt like a life time.

 

What did happen the next day though was that I booked my mum a GP appointment, we went together, I picked my mum up (she was still drunk from the night before). For the first time in my life I heard another human being tell my mum that what she was doing would kill her. She said her liver test last time were fine. The GP's response will stay with me forever:

I have had patients whose live functions were also fine and two months later they were dead.

She sat there and lied about how much she drank, smoked, depended on prescription drugs, to which I corrected her on every count (something I never did before) and she was a broken woman. She didn't argue with me, she admitted defeat there in that GP surgery. She was tired, covered in boils, and full of DT symptoms.

3 days later I went to a local group for family members affected by addicted people. I heard stories from parents of addicts but not from children. It was a release to be able to get out some of the feelings I had bottled up for 20 years.

The day after the group I went to alanon. My step dad came too. From the moment I stepped in the door until the moment I left I cried. The tears flowed like never before. I hadn't cried in around 9 years. and I have never criend like that. People shared how they felt scared and angry too. It was great. But also it continued my feelings of guilt, I felt like I was betraying her for going and talking about her. But it helped. I made friends. Friends who I could truly be myself with.

days later I started counselling. I was told that I needed permission to be vulnerable, I needed someone to acknowledge the things that had happpened in my past. I needed a mum. And I needed to learn how to cope with some things that I haven't been taught how to cope with like trust and love.

 

Through my time at counselling I have had days of pure rage, never before have I felt emotion like it. It was like I had bottled it all up and now it was all coming out! My health up until now has actually always had niggles, I had a trapped nerve in my shoulder this year, constant face full of coldsore (probably 10 a month) a cold every 6 weeks, aches and pains galore not to metion cysts on my ovaries. Don't sound bad really compared to other people in theworld but since I hav ebeen to counselling and dealt with my mum's drinking the cold sores have diappeared, the shoulder is 100 times better, I haven't had a cold or a cyst. I truly see the link between a healthier mind and body! I urge any young people to get support from anyone with a parents addiction early on, it takes its toll otherwise.

 

So today in an effort to release myself of the secrets that drinking encompasses and surrounds I emailed everyone I work with the link to the radio interviews. It felt great and the response I had from colleagues was great!

 

I hope the interviews gives some people on here hope for the futyre as I am hopeful that I can now cope with the devastation caused by my mum's drinking and I know I can control my own life now, I am no longer controlled by the drinking. I also know that even if my mum relapses, we have had this sober time together which has menat the world to me. I hope that parents heard my mum and thought twice about their own drinking and it reached someone.

 

Take care everybody

TerriS

xx

 

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