I have been floating around for a week or so trying to decide what to say. I read Giselle's story today and it reminded me of my own experience and so I felt compelled to introduce myself.
I am 23 and have been moved out of my mums house since I left to go to university at 18. However the years I lived with her/my childhood were filled with sadness, anger and disappointment. She has been an alcoholic for as long as I can remember but after my father left and my brother died, it was just me and her and a bottle of vodka, every day. As I got older, she got worse and I was left looking after myself, the house and her. Holiday times were worst as I'm sure many can relate to, I felt it was so unfair and when she was sober she was the best mum and I told her this and begged her not to buy more but she didn't listen. She has been in rehab several times but it never sticks and as the time to me leaving for university and completing my exams grew closer she would tell me she had taken an overdose of pills and I would have to drop school/revision to get her to hospital. She was violent and dellusional, I had two locks on my bedroom door and one night she had a'vivid dream' that I had done something I hadn't and bashed the door down in the middle of the night. Sadly, when she did get sober in the latter years she started to have fits from toxic shock which was very distressing and there was no help from her/my own family living round the corner which still shocks me now!
I often hoped there was a place like this for me, the work that is done by COAP is so vital and inspiring. As for me, I am much happier now, I live with my dedicated boyfriend of nearly 7 years, have gained a degree and have my dream job, I live far away from mum and don't tend to see her often, usually only to have her stay with me as I don't like to go back to that house. She has her good and bad times still, I spoke to her last night and she was sober and we had one of those rare mother daughter conversations that you long for so much when your mum is dependent on alcohol.
So I would like to hope that if you are in a similar situation as I was, I am sure it will get better and when times are not so great there are lovely people out there who can help and support :) I was the clever girl at school that none of the teachers or even my friends realised had this massive secret, when things got too bad I came clean during my A-levels and I received so much more support than I thought possible, I wished I had spoken up sooner. It's not fun being an adult before your time, but I believe the silver lining is that it makes you the stronger person you will become :)