This is gonna be a long one sorry!
I can't remember when I first noticed my mum's drinking. The first time I remember being really ashamed of her was when her best friend and her kids came over. I must have been about 13 and my mum had put a casserole in the oven and then drank herself stupid. By the time they arrived my mum was out cold and started screaming and talking complete jibberish when we tried to wake her. None of us knew how long the food had been on so our guests just left and I wanted to die of shame! My mum is a senior teacher in the school I went to so growing up I couldn't mention her drinking to any of my friends. Ironically she often took kids who had problems at home under her wing and counselled them! As I got older I used to go out with my friends after school and used to dread coming home and finding her passed out on the sofa. My sister suffered from depression at about 18 and used to self harm and tried to commit suicide. All my mum did was use it as an excuse to drink even more. I remember vividly we hadn't been able to contact my sister for 4 days and then got a call saying that she'd been in hospital after taking an overdose. I was devastated but my mum just laughed and said she was attention seeking. She convinced herself that my sister had bipolar even though she didn't and wrote letters to my sisters doctors and psychiatrists which my sister has since found telling them that they should re-consider her case and that she's a lot worse than what they think. My sister is fine now (6 years later) but my mum phones me after every conversation they have and analyzes every sentence. Is this a symptom of "her illness"? Does the fact that she said this mean she's relapsing? My sister knows about this and is determined that one day she's going to confront her about it and never speak to her again after that. My mum is completely oblivious to this and calls in unannounced to my sisters house all the time. She thinks that they're bonding well these days! And now things are going well for my sister my mum has started crying about hypotheticals. What if my sister and her boyfriend break up? Or she loses her job? She won't be able to cope and she'll have to move home and my mum will find that really hard to deal with! If I suggest to my mum not to be so negative towards her or to be a bit more subtle she shouts back at me that she's learned how to handle my sister very well thank you very much. She either insults her when she's drunk or talks to her like you would a toddler. She can't see that it's not working! I moved to Ireland to go to university and whilst my sister was ill she'd phone me for hours crying and talking about how what was going on affected her. Every time I had a problem she would change the subject back to her. I developed IBS and lived with a particularly nasty flatmate which I found really difficult to deal with, but according to her all of my problems were my own fault and I should sort myself out. In the end I couldn't finish university, but she is determined that if I go back and finish that I'll miraculously become better again. I've asked her not to mention it because it stresses me out and makes me sick again, and my symptoms once started last for months, but once she get's a glass of wine or 20 into her she phones me and screames about it. Then if I complain that I'm sick again it's something that I've done wrong that's kicked it off. When I moved in with my boyfriend my mum insisted that she and my father came to stay. She invited my boyfriends parents over for supper and completely took over my house and constantly undermined me. My kitchen was rearranged and I wasnt even allowed to be in charge of taking a quiche out of the oven. By 7 she had drank a bottle and a half of wine and when my dad came into the kitchen to refill my mums wine glass I told him she wasn't having any more wine in my house. The next think I knew their suitcases were packed and they drove 75 miles to a hotel. I was left to explain to my boyfriends parents why my parents weren't at the dinner party that they had arranged!! I didn't speak to her for a week then I got an email apologising saying that she had talked thinks over with my dad and she hadn't realized how much her drinking was affecting the family. She said she was really sorry and going to get help. I was so sure that she was going to turn it around to be my fault and not talk to me ever again so I was the happiest I'd been for years. But then I went home and found a letter that she'd written to a friend she met on a bipolar website (whom she hasn't told yet that my sister doesn't have bipolar!). It said that I had had a massive fight with my dad (i calmly told him that she wasn't drinking or going to the hospital and he didn't say a word), and was displaying the same manic symptoms as my sister! Ever since then when I visit she makes snide comments about me when she knows full well I'm within earshot. My sister used to complain that she did the same to her and to be honest I never believed her. This past christmas I was home and on christmas eve my mum came home and drank 7 glasses of wine. We were due to go over to her cousins for a drink and I complained that she hadn't eaten supper. She told me to shut up that she was fine, drank more when we were out and repeated the same slurred questions over and over because she'd forgotten she'd asked them already. By the time we got home it was around 11 and I was really angry with her. We started fighting and I said I wouldn't be coming home next christmas. She sat in the kitchen crying asking my dad why everyone was so horrible to her. My dad came into the living room to see if I was ok. I said I was and he spent the rest of the evening comforting her and cooking her supper leaving me to finish preparing for christmas day. She eventually fell asleep at the kitchen table. On christmas morning she quickly said she was sorry and we had a plesant day but she had passed out by 7:30 pm. On boxing day my gran phoned wanting my mum to take her somewhere the day before I was leaving. My mum said no because it was my last day at home and my gran was nasty to her and hung up. My mum cried and drank and cried and drank for the rest of the day until I'd had enough. I told her that she'd refused to take my gran out to spend time with me but she'd just wasted a day with me crying about it. That she really needs to learn to let things go, it's unhealthy that my gran has so much of a hold over her at 52 years of age and she really should go to counselling to sort herself out. She just crumpled in a heap crying saying that I was being nasty to her. She reminds me of a little child when she does that and I just want to slap her and snap her out of it. I know that my gran is nasty and manipulative and is probably the reason why my mum is like she is but I'm fed up of being her agony aunt about my gran. When we were growing up my gran used to tell us constantly that me and my sister put my mum under so much stress that she was going to die. I was terrified. My mum knew about this but just told us to ignore her. If anyone ever said anything like that to my children I'd make it quite clear that it was completely unacceptable but no one ever mentioned it to my gran. They used to leave us with my gran when we were little if they went on holiday even though my gran would flip out and cry and scare us. We never once stayed with my dads parents. My mum calls my half sisters "Clive's kids" instead of her step kids and has always treated my dad's family differently from her own. My gran just calls them "those people". My mum even told me that she was suprised to see me crying at my Nanny's funeral - she hadn't expected me to be upset!! Mum lives a completely different reality to the rest of us. She thinks that she has a great relationship with her kids. If i don't answer her calls (which is quite often because I can't stand the sound of her slurring and she only repeats the things she's told me a few days ago but doesn't remember because she was drunk then too), she sends me messages wanting to know where I am and why I'm not answering. I was at my boyfriend's parents for a meal and she phoned. I answered but after half an hour I said I'd have to go because I was being rude. She went mad saying that they see me all the time and she should be a priority to me over them. She's cried on the phone to me saying that my boyfriend's mother will be really close to my children but she will be a stranger to her own granchildren, and that when I have a baby she wants to come and stay to help out. I couldn't think of anything worse!!! She would be constantly underminding me. And she shouldn't be having these conversations with me. I'm only 22 and am not thinking about kids yet but she's already guilt tripping me about it. She is the most controling person I know. It was four years after I passed my driving test before she let me drive on the motorway. If she is in the car then I'm not allowed to drive at all unless she's been drinking. She insisted that me and my sisters student loans were paid to her and she gave it back in weekly installments. When I lost my house at university my boyfriends parents offered to let me live there for a year. They were a godsend but my mother phoned me every night to tell me how she thought it was a terrible idea. She is insanely jelous of my relationship with them even though they are lovely people. Then when I told her that my boyfriend and I were getting our own place she obviously thought it was a terrible idea and wanted me to fly back home to sit down with her and my dad and discuss it with them before making a decision. My boyfriend and I are of different religions so I told her that if we got married it wouldn't be in the family church. She cried and blamed my boyfriend's family for being unreasonable and said that I would have to go abroad to get married because my gran wouldnt be willing. Everytime I have news I dread telling her because she always has something negative to say. She can never just be happy for me. I live 450 miles away from her but she is obsessed about trying to control my life! She told me last week that she wants me to start an internet business selling hand made crafts and eventually I can move into the building that my boyfriend's family business owns and open a shop (after they evict the hairdressers that have been there for 15 years that is!!). She's also re-written my sister's CV and applied for a job in my mum's school on my sister's behalf!! She flies over every holiday and comes on her own if my dad has to work. She expects us to spend every holiday at their house and when I said that my boyfriend and I were thinking of going to scotland for a few days over the summer (just to avoid having to spend two weeks with her) she told me to forward her the details and she and my dad would come too! She genuinely believes that I love spending time with her. Maybe it's my fault but I know that if I told her the truth she would only use it as an excuse to drink more. She is turning into my gran and she would be devastated if she realized that. I found out a few weeks ago that when my gran was a nurse she used to take patients unwanted medication and self medicate instead of destroy them like she was meant to. I guess that's where my mum learned to self medicate against stress, but with wine instead of valium! My main concern is that by not saying anything to my mother I'm indulging her the same as she does to my gran. She doesn't realise the full effect of her drinking and that's our fault for not telling her. I just don't think that she could cope with the truth. It would shatter her. The one thing im certain of is that she will never be allowed to look after my children overnight if she's still drinking. I don't care how hurt she'll feel. I'll always put them before her and make sure that they know that her behaviour is not normal or acceptable.