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Mocking Bird
Aug 17, 2011


So my mom is in rehab for crack cocaine for the second time in the last year and a half - basically celebrated her 1 year sober with some rocks paid for by Trumps stimulus check. Thanks, Trump.

She's been using crack off and on for the last 18 years, which is shocking if you get to meet her - she is a friendly, slightly frumpy chubby white lady who reads a lot of fantasy novels and really enjoys Star Trek and Game of Thrones.

She started using when I was in middle school (though she'd been a low level alcoholic long before that) when she and my dad split up and she met some shady friends while playing bar trivia in San Francisco. I moved to live with my dad in the Central Valley (gently caress Stockton, FYI) and ended up back at her house sometime in high school. I didn't know what it meant to live in a crack house at the time, but I sure did live in a crack house! Spent two years without electricity and a year without water service, showering and charging my phone at my friend's house down the block and reading library books on the porch with the street light. We played a lot of backgammon and ate a lot of cold soup and crackers. I still preferred it to living in Stockton. She also stole from my friends, who were adults that were trying to help me, and by asking my high school friends for money.

Anyway, flash forward to college, and she goes to rehab for the first time at NarcAnon, AKA Scientology Indoctrination Camp, in Canada (we're Canadian). My truly evil grandfather picked it out and paid for her to go, claiming that his PsyD from Johns Hopkins qualified him to select the Best and Most Excellent Rehab Facility. She spent most of her time there blaming him for her life choices (fair) and drinking beer whenever she got let out on passes to see the family. We had our first intervention at that point where I got to express I didn't appreciate my upbringing, and my brother told me to not be such a whiny baby about it because He Turned Out Just Fine (false).

After that she was semi-homeless in Albuquerque for a few years, going to NA meetings and drinking a lot and watching my netflix account. I was in grad school at that point, and my brother was just finishing up his Pharmacy program in West Texas. He invited her out there for cheap living and his inlaws hooked her up with a job. She was self sustaining for the first time in like a decade, paying $400 for rent and utilities and making friends with the other trailer park types.

My brother caught her high as a kite and stealing money and not paying her mortgage (he bought her a small house), and off to real rehab for the first time she goes. She has a good experience and is inpatient for four months. Afterwards, she lives with my brother's inlaws for a while and gets back on the straight and narrow and starts helping with childcare and errands for them, basically participating in family life. This goes pretty good for about a year, but she's all kinds of hosed up (evil father, lots of childhood abuse, grew up in rural Alberta which is a fate worse than death) and therapy only does so much. Which leads us to the current relapse!

Anyway, here's the amends letter she sent me. Apparently she wrote it last year when she was in rehab, but waited to send it until this year.





My mom has a lot of good things about her too, but man, I feel like this letter could have landed better. This was also during the time that she stole $20 from my daughter (who I adopted as a teenager) when she was visiting my mom, which is why my daughter gets a couple mentions in the letter I imagine.

I'm feeling a little isolated about coping with this because my brother is a lot less emotional about the situation (he didn't live in the crack house) and is very solution-oriented (get clean, get job, beep boop). My husband is supportive about it, but he's only met my mom once and he liked her a lot and doesn't quite understand the emotional turbulence that having a mom who is cool and likable and also a huge rear end in a top hat causes. My daughter doesn't really want much to do with her (understandable) and our new son we are fostering is ten years old and doesn't get why mama needs to curl up in bed and be left alone for a while.

So, e/n, how is everyone else dealing with their addict parents? You doing good?

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extra row of teeth
Apr 27, 2007

Float like a butterfly, sting like a Beerus


Hey, just wanted to say you’re not alone. My mom kicked her crack habit about 20 years ago, but all she did was sub it out for more alcohol and now she’s just a garden variety alcoholic instead of a crackhead AND an alcoholic. Yay?

She is still emotionally abusive, rarely physically abusive, exhausting, manipulative, and just a general trainwreck. If allowed to, she will spin you into her web of pity then emotionally suck you dry until you’re as miserable as her while using you financially and physically for every chore/errand she can think of. She spent my bond money and college funds on drugs. She spent my grandma’s inheritance on herself after waiting for her dementia to settle in enough to swoop in and take POA. Then she wonders why I can only tolerate her in short doses and kind of treat her like she’s younger than me...emotionally, she honestly is. I wonder if she has borderline?

I love her and always will, but honestly deeply dislike her as a person. It’s complicated.

cda
Jan 2, 2010


I guess an important milestone will be when you feel safe to tell her how this letter landed instead of feeling like you have to pretend it was sufficient. You don't have to feel any particular way about it; it's on her to keep working on it.

FWIW, "Neutral Milk Hotel has stood the test of time" is an objectively funny sentence to appear in an apology note like this, so I hope you at least got a smile out of that.

Mocking Bird
Aug 17, 2011


cda posted:

FWIW, "Neutral Milk Hotel has stood the test of time" is an objectively funny sentence to appear in an apology note like this, so I hope you at least got a smile out of that.

That part did get a chuckle from me

My mom is a very open minded consumer of music. She is a Gen X grunge junkie, but she was very open minded about my mix cd choices in high school. She was actually the one who first brought home the pixies and modest mouse, and then she went through a Queens of the Stone Age phase that I was less enthused about. Now she seems to have settled on old school west coast hip hop and My Chemical Romance, of all loving things.

Anyway it's in there because music was a relative "safe" topic for us, as was fashion.

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