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alcoholic parent

Discussion in 'Helping an Addicted Loved One' started by atlantic, Oct 14, 2014.

  1. atlantic

    atlantic Member

    Let's say you have a parent you've lost a lot of closeness with (due to their addiction).

    What remains now is a tense relationship, because decades of hurtful things have been said from this addict, you've watched them fall apart in front of you.

    Decades of refusing to get help. They're in their late 50s now, is there any hope for improvement? I've tried numerous attempts in my life as has my sibling, but it seems like we should just accept this is how the parent will die. From alcohol, distanced, because that's what they seem to want.
  2. cc1001

    cc1001 Member

    I am sorry to hear this. It is hard when you have family members struggling with an addiction. I have family members that refuse to get help for their addiction as well. It is very difficult having a normal relationship with the family member that has the addiction. The advice I would offer in this situation is to stay open to a relationship with the parent. Take things one day at a time. Stay strong and remember we all make choices in this life whether they are good are bad.
  3. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    You should never give up on someone. If you distance yourself from your parent, they'll get stressed and the addiction would get even worse.

    Your goal probably is to get them to overcome their addiction but sometimes the best help you can give is to be there for them. Consistently tell them you don't like their way of life/addiction. Keep at it. Sometimes being tenacious can yield the results you wanted.
  4. Sarah

    Sarah Member

    I agree you should keep the door open and let them know that you are there and you love them. There may come a time when they have the strength to fight the addiction. I get it though there is only so much you can do and you can't make someone get the help if they are not ready to. Let them know how their addiction affects you and that you can't watch them kill themselves. But when they are ready to get the help they need make sure they know you are there. Stay strong they are lucky to have you. Don't give up hope.
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2014
  5. RakeMind4

    RakeMind4 Active Contributor

    Sorry to hear that Mom or Dad is a boozer. I can relate, in my teens my mom was an alchie. Not going to say for certain, but chances are quite low a long term user at that age is going to turn a new leaf, sorry mate.

    I mean, I don't know what to tell you. If somebody is going to be like that, and you've tried your honest best to get them out of it, then that's all you can do, you know? You can't live their life for them.

    So it's like, stay aware of their situation, in case an opportunity comes up where you feel like they may be having a change of heart, but for the most part, it's about you not letting YOUR life become influenced by what that individual is doing to themselves.

    I'd say, if the relationship permits it, to talk with your sibling about the situation. And if that's not helping you find some way to get over those feelings (you know, the feelings you have where it's hard to let things go with your parents, where it wouldn't be hard to let those same things go if it was another adult, just because they're your parents), then maybs you should go find a good shrink to talk to about it. You want to get to the root of those feelings you have about your parent/parents, and find a solution to that, so those feelings don't curse you forever. Regardless of what Mom/Dad decides they're going to do with their lives.
  6. Gelsemium

    Gelsemium Community Champion

    If you parent is still an alcoholic it's a really complicated situation, I am sure though he might want that you approach him because you're the most important thing in his life...
  7. Charli

    Charli Community Champion

    If it were me, I'd just let them know that they can call me for help, but I wouldn't really spend much more of my time trying to save them. In the end, it will still be their decision alone, and chances are if they were alcoholics raising you then they should have already missed out on a lot so there's not much sense for you to miss out on more due to them.
  8. cameronpalte

    cameronpalte Active Contributor

    I think that their is help, however the question becomes at that point at that age is it really worth it to spend years and years in misery trying to get clean or just spend the time you have left with them in happiness. Though if they are miserable and dangerous as an alcoholic maybe you need to look at sending the parent to rehab - usually a child is the most important thing in a parent's life and you can get them to listen.
  9. Gelsemium

    Gelsemium Community Champion

    Parents need to act as parents, from the point they are alcoholics the whole normal relation is reversed as "kids" are the responsible part in the relationship...
  10. DancingLady

    DancingLady Community Champion

    There is still hope, but your parent will have to decide for themselves that they want to give up their addiction. It's hard to see a family member make such bad choices in their life, but we have to accept that it is their right to make these choices. I would say just keep being loving to them, show them you still care. It sounds like you have tried really hard to help, so when your parent realizes they want something different for their life, they will remember that.
  11. jbepp

    jbepp Active Contributor

    As long as you keep the doors open, I feel like there's nothing else you could do. If you try talking to them but they avoid you, then it becomes their problem, not yours. It may be painful to accept, but you can't help those who don't want to be helped. There's still hope, and you have to make sure that they know your doors are always open to them.
  12. Gelsemium

    Gelsemium Community Champion

    Human relations are complicated, they say that times heal everything, but I feel that after a while it's necessary to build a new relationship.
  13. nafretiti

    nafretiti Member

    When you have a parent that has been using ether alcohol or drugs, it is sort of hard to knock some sense into them. They need to have the want to stop using, if they don't then there is no hope. You can't really force someone into wanting to stop, they themselves have to be ready for it. That parent may not want it now, but maybe one day they will want that help. You can push and urge them, but sometimes pushing is a good way to drive them away from you as well.
  14. Allen24

    Allen24 Active Contributor

    I agree with others here. If I were in your shoes I'd keep the door open for them and let them know I'm there for them. It would be incredibly difficult to watch them drink themselves to death. At this point in their lives they might not see any point in changing but they still have much to live for. At least you have a sibling to cope with.
  15. xTinx

    xTinx Community Champion

    If you can't convince them through soft means, then "carrots and sticks" does the trick. My uncle used to be a drug addict and everyone in the family condoned his actions. My mom had often broached to the family that he be sent to rehab but everyone turned a deaf ear until my uncle nearly destroyed himself. Nevertheless, my mom took the initiative to send him to rehab despite relatives' protestations. Now my uncle's a policeman (a 180 degrees change) and a part-time yet still sane alcoholic. Had she not insisted on sending him to rehab, he'd have been ruined three decades ago. You should have the courage and the will to save your parent. That's your responsibility. If you let him do what he wants, you won't be at peace later on.
    sarahxalex and Gelsemium like this.
  16. Gelsemium

    Gelsemium Community Champion

    That's a great example from your uncle, going to rehab and staying there is in fact a great measure, but what if you set up everything and they refuse to go?
  17. LostmySis

    LostmySis Senior Contributor

    There is a popular slogan "Detachment with Love". If you make your life revolve around someone, then you will be missing out on your own. Making that person deal with the result of his/her actions is part of it. Unfortunately, their actions has resulted in distance from those in their lives. This also happens in children of alcoholics. I know several people who have never had a drink in their lives, but seclude themselves away and are verbally/emotionally abusive in the same way the addict is. Live your life. If the person knows you are there if they need help, but your world does not revolve around them, things may change. Addicts tend to like to be the center of the universe and are quite selfish. This is not me bashing, it says so in the AA big book.
  18. Gelsemium

    Gelsemium Community Champion

    I like that slogan Lost, in fact sometimes we really need to keep our distances and that is the best way to love a person, at least temporarily so that they can get cured.
  19. ariana_

    ariana_ Member

    I agree that space will be good, but I disagree with 'accepting that this person will die'. Sometimes, we need to give people space, and move on with our own lives and cut out toxic relationships. Maybe in the future you can work on repairing your relationship if that person gets help.
  20. sarahxalex

    sarahxalex Member

    I am sorry to hear that you're parent has an addiction but I don't think there is a lost hope for you guys relationship. Yes they have created a toxic and hurtful environment but sometimes you have to forgive and move on. Life is too short to burn bridges with people we love. Don't give up there is always hope and time to change, but if you're doing all you can and they still don't want your help then there is not much you can do to help. As stated in an earlier post rehab is a good place to try and take them. They may want to change their life themselves. Never give up to say the least. Maybe tell your parent how you feel and tell them how it has changed your life. You never know what they will say or do.