Tears keep falling…..

IMG_0987Weddings and funerals are emotional times. I seem to be having my fair share lately and my emotions are all over the place.

Losing both my parents so close together over the Christmas period was rather traumatic, I think I just went into automatic for a while.

My two brothers and I needed a bit of time to decide what we wanted to do with their ashes but it was decided their wedding anniversary would be the perfect date.

Unfortunately that wasn’t until September so there has been a good while in between.

Agreeing the date was easy enough but the location has been more difficult. I came up with a suggestion and put it forward. Neither brother seemed that interested and time went on. As the date came closer I asked them for suggestions. One brother was not happy with my idea as it was nearer to my home than his, but still could not suggest an alternative.

The date was fast approaching and arrangements needed to be made and family informed so I pre booked where I thought was a lovely peaceful place, told both brothers that it was booked but not set in stone, it could be changed but a decision needed making.

One brother said he was quite happy, in his eyes their ashes did not mean a lot to him and as long as they were together he did not mind where their last resting place was.

The other brother said I could do what I wanted, but he was finally in a good place and did not want to deal with all the upset again.

I should I guess mention that there is no great bond between any of us, the brother that did not want to attend had caused upset before both their funerals, the two brothers do not speak, I have been the person in-between. Neither did a great deal for my parents when they were alive. I was not surprised when he decided he would not be attending.

It did shock and upset me when he approached the undertaker to ask for some ashes as the whole point I thought had been reuniting them. But it was agreed he could have some.

So arrangements were made for Tuesday last week. But the weekend before I received a shocking rude message from the brother who was attending, partner. I can honestly say it really was unexpected, and totally shook me. She accused me of being manipulative and not listening to what my brother wanted and a lot of other things which totally floored me. I had constantly asked for both their ideas and thoughts.

You me might be wondering why I am writing about this on my blog about my life with an alcoholic son. One of the reasons I stated for wanting to lay my parents to rest where I suggested was I believe I will be at some point also laying Faith to rest and I would want him to be with his grandparents.

This was also brought up in the message, I was accused of using that to get my own way. Apparently my brother also wanted some ashes to do what he wanted with. He never ever mentioned that he had other ideas. I was so so upset. I cried all weekend. This was the brother I thought was happy with the arrangements. I might as well add Faith is drinking again and I think it just all became too much, I was sick of being the strong one, the one that got on and made the necessary arrangements, had to put a brave face on. I think it was the first time I had really cried, I cried because I wanted to talk to my mum, I wanted someone to tell me it would be OK. I replied to her message politely as I always do, asking her to get my brother to call as arrangements would need to be made quickly. (He wouldn’t answer my calls)

I eventually spoke to him Monday morning, I think he wanted to talk to me away from his partner. He played everything down, he was happy with the arrangements. I asked him if he wanted some ashes, he stated no, they should be together but I asked again, if he wanted some he had to say now. He eventually agreed he would like some, I personally think it was his partners wishes. So I called the undertaker again and asked for more ashes to be put aside.

At this point I was hoping there is not an after life, I would hate to think my parents were watching this.

I had to leave work early, I kept crying. Then that evening, the night before the internment I had the call saying Faith was missing, he was drinking, he had taken a Stanley knife, he was threatening to take his own life. He wouldn’t answer his phone.

This is when I handed him over to my higher power. I could deal with nothing more. My instincts told me he wasn’t ready to leave this world yet, I just had to pray and believe he would be OK.

I heard nothing, he was still missing the next day. I just had to put that aside and deal    with the day. Which I did. I very nearly lost it when my brother turned up late and said his partner was not coming because her dog was sick. OK I think you might just get what was going through my head, how the hell I did not scream out loud that my son was missing but I was there I honestly don’t know. Well actually I do, it was respect for my parents and my two aunts that where there.

It wasn’t until later, after everything was done that I heard Faith was OK, the police had put him in a cell for his own safety. The reason all that happened is another ongoing story. Which I will share soon.

I started writing this because I have just returned from my best friends sons wedding. What a fantastic happy celebration. He has such a lovely family and a fantastic group of friends as has his beautiful wife. But I cried, I cried when I first saw him, I cried when I saw her, I cried when they said their vows, made their speeches, danced their first dance, and when I said goodbye to them. I think I bawled my way through their entire wedding, happy tears though.

This is bit of a shock to me, I don’t cry, or rarely, maybe it’s what I need to do. I know part of the reason I cried is knowing I will never have this celebration with my son.

I hope I haven’t rambled on too much, as I have said before, my blog is my outlet, maybe writing all this down will let me move on and stop these tears from falling.

I will update you on Faith soon.

 

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I’m grieving

IMG_6070I really am struggling at the moment. I don’t know if I am preparing myself for Faiths death or just grieving for the family life the alcoholism has stolen from me.

And no one knows how much, other than you my friends.

I know I am still grieving for my recently lost parents, I think about my mums last moments surrounded by family, and I think about my dad, how I found him, lying cold and actually broken-hearted on the floor less than six weeks later.

But that is a grief I expected to come at some point. Yes it’s still upsetting and painful, but it is nothing compared to the grief I know I will feel when the life leaves my son.

And now I have this sadness, it just fills me, of the life I dreamt of, for my eldest son.

It used to be that he would take over his dads business, and then later when he decided engineering like his grandad  was what he wanted to do, I saw in my head, his apprenticeship finishing and him going out in the world, making a living, marrying some lovely girl, and then of course the grandchildren. As I got older they would come and visit, not as often as I would like, but they would be there for birthdays and christmases.

But that was not to be, this wicked wicked alcoholism has stolen all that from me.

Maybe that was all a dream anyway, but I was hopeful I would have a garden full of children again. When the children were growing up my house was very much an open house, I welcomed a broken family in, 4 children, they might actually be my saving grace when I am old, as they are still in touch and very much a family unit. In the summers, my garden and house were always full of children and friends and mums and dads. What happened?

And my daughter? She will bring my grandchildren up on the other side of the world. That’s hoping she eventually has some.

I’m wallowing in self pity, but I am so so very frightened for the life of Faith at the moment. Alcoholics die, that is a fact, and I am so worried he is on a path that he cannot escape from.

And no one, no one other than you my friends know how I am feeling.

Friends are concerned for me, work colleagues know I have a “problem son”, my partner? He has three normal adult kids, with partners and a sprinkling of grandchildren, just how I expected my life to be. He just doesn’t understand and doesn’t know what to do.  They are all lovely to me, but, just but.

In fact they are descending on us this weekend and I welcome them, I love their normality. But in between building sand castles and making sandwiches, my heart will still be breaking, for my son, for what should have been.

Hopefully my next post will be more positive. I don’t like this  person I am at the moment.

How much we lose when we have an alcoholic child

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I haven’t written much lately, life has been very emotional after losing both parents so quickly and unexpectantly, even though they were elderly.

But I write this with tears falling, for everything I feel I have lost, and that is not just my parents. Accepting that my beautiful daughter that I love so much is going to make a life for herself on the other side of the world, so the loss of the children, my grandchildren she might have. I know we will have contact, but it won’t be the same.

I think today hurts more because my partners x wife who I get on with fine, is off to London with her two daughters and my step grandughter, who I love to the moon and back and I know loves me too, but, I won’t be included in these special nan, daughter, grandughter events, why would I be? That is their special times.

And Faith, who after his last hospital spell was told if he didn’t stop drinking had 6 months left, is drinking again. And he has fallen and broken ribs.

He has had another good long period sober, 23 days, that’s good for him, where he has confided that he cannot carry on living with his also alcoholic partner, she drinks in front of him when he is trying so hard to stay dry, he wants to get her out of his flat and his life.

But now he is back drinking, and oh how the tables have turned. I’m strong, so everyone tells me, how do you deal with everything and stay so cheerful and smiley. I do, most of the time. But today the Facebook posts of my gorgeous granddaughter and her family enjoying their family time together and the drunken “I’m in so much pain” calls from Faith got to me. Got to me so much that, you know what I did? I did the unthinkable. I told him how much I am hurting.

And of course, all I got was more pain. How dare I have a go at his girlfriend. I didn’t. Didn’t I know how much pain he was in? Yes, I guess I did, but it was caused by his drinking, so I couldn’t be sympathetic. So tonight I feel the loss of my son also, and everything that goes with him, grandchildren that might have been, the family times that might have been, and have to accept this pain that he gives me, and he has no idea.

So I have done something I never do, I have turned my phone off, ignored the landline phone. Tonight I need to tend to my needs. I am still raw with the pain of losing my parents, accepting the loss of my daughter to Australia, tonight I have had enough hurting.

Writing here helps, my partner looks at me, he doesn’t know what to say, there is nothing he can say that will help. Tomorrow I will face the world and be OK. But tonight I just need to accept that I am sore and hurting, and missing everything that could have been.

Oh and the photo was snapped last night from my garden, what a beautiful world……

Happy Mothers Day

IMG_2093Yep so that was another great mother’s day!

I recently wrote a very quick update,   I think it’s time to explain a little more.

To be honest very little has changed with Faith, he’s still in the drinking until he gets sick then has to go to hospital, gets a few days treatment then is sent on his way, usually with the words of wisdom from the doctor “drink in small amounts as needed” well we all know what that means to an alcoholic!

Much more has changed in my life. After a lovely holiday back in October I came home and phoned my elderly parents to check they were OK. “Well your mum’s legs aren’t working” what do you mean, her legs aren’t working? Put her on the phone. When she spoke to me I could hardly understand her,  she was mumbling and slurring her speech. “Dad dial 999, mum’s had a stroke, I will be right over”

And so began a very sad time for me. She was in hospital a week before the family was called and it was suggested all support should be withdrawn, she died peacefully within the hour.

During this week in November Faith was also in hospital, because he had been so sick including having fits he was kept in long enough for a complete detox. He came out in time to see his nan, she knew he was there, he was always her favourite grandson. I wondered how he would cope with her death, as it happened it gave him a reason to stay sober.  He wanted to attend her funeral and I made it clear I didn’t want him there if he was drinking. So started his longest period of sobriety since his last admission to rehab.

I focused on my dad, he was just broken, losing the love of his life, they had been together 63 years. At 90 years old he was amazingly fit and well. But this just killed him, literally.

We spent a very quiet Christmas with him. It actually was OK, as my mum had become housebound he only left the house himself once a week to do the grocery shop. I think he actually enjoyed spending time with us, my younger son bonded again with his grandad.

We were invited to spend the new year holiday with my best friend. She was concerned about me and felt I needed a break. I worried about leaving my dad but left instructions with my two brothers to call and to visit him.

The first thing I did when I returned home was call dad to arrange to take him food shopping the next day. He seemed OK.

The next day he wasn’t answering his phone,  neither were either of my brothers as I thought they might have taken him out.

I started to get a bad feeling, and when we pulled into his road and saw the blinds closed, I knew.

I found him on the kitchen floor, he had been cooking his dinner the night before.

And so within 5 and a half weeks I was organising another funeral.

I should mention that Faith had managed a month sober, he even got through Christmas, but with his girlfriend drinking I knew it wouldn’t last. So by the time I lost dad he was back drinking. But that was the longest period he had been sober by just willpower alone and with no back up. I was hopeful seeing the reality of death had changed his outlook.

I have to say this was a pretty dark time for me. Understandably of course, but I was also feeling that I was accepting the reality that I had lost my daughter to Australia. She is my only child who I think will give me grandchildren  and when she does they will be on the other side of the world.

So to Mothers Day, you know that day when you should feel proud and blessed. And this year, the first without my mum was going to be hard I knew  but then maybe it was my time to be spoilt, I have three adult children after all. But I knew it wouldn’t be like that, and it wasn’t

I had arranged to take my mum’s bed and freezer over to Faith. I knew he was in a bad way, his girlfriend had just been in hospital and he doesn’t seem to cope on his own.

When we turned up his girlfriend answered the door but there was no sign of Faith, then she told me he was in hospital, he’d had three fits then another two in hospital. He went in yesterday but they hadn’t told me. Happy Mothers day!

But hey come on  you have two other children, surely you weren’t such a bad mum that they wouldn’t bother! To be fair on my daughter she did phone me  and that’s a rare treat, we get on really well but the difference in hours plus our working hours makes it difficult.

And then at 5pm I walk into my kitchen and there is a card. I smile through the tears  it’s written by my youngest from all 3 of them. I know who is behind it, my daughter will have told my youngest son to get down the shop and buy mum a card.

It’s just a day,  why should it matter so much? I think it’s the affirmation as to whether you’ve done a good job as a mum or not. I decided to stop looking at FB and all the lovely photos and mother daughter/son comments.

I still love my three to the moon and back. I just wish they hadn’t all been dealt such I don’t know what to call it .. I guess difficult lives, with battles to fight

That is one thing I know my three children have, compassion and understanding for others that suffer

So, I love writing my blogs, they are so therapeutic. I have realised whilst writing this, I have three individual adult children that probably between them have more sympathy and empathy for other suffering humans than a lot of other friends children do.

It might not be what I wished for them, but it’s not such a bad thing

So happy mothers day to every mum out there. Your children’s lives might not have turned out the way you planned in your head the day they were born, but be thankful for everything they learn along lives pathway.

I’ve had an unsettling update from Faith since writing this but that will have to wait or I will never finish writing.

Stay strong and have Faith x

 

 

Catch up

Where do I start, so much has happened since my last real post.

The biggest being the loss of both my parents within 5 1/2 weeks.

They were both elderly but reasonably healthy. My dad cared for my mum, more than we ever knew, especially in her last few weeks, I felt such a debt of gratitude and pride when I realised just how much he was doing.

I went away at the end of October for a holiday, I work full time, I needed the break. I worried my brothers wouldn’t check in on my parents, I don’t think they did.

The week before I went I organised a joint celebration for my mums 85th and my dads 90th birthdays. I am so glad I did, My mum didn’t want a fuss, she found reasons not to, they wanted to pay as they didn’t want to invite people and then ask them to pay, but they couldn’t afford much, their savings were needed to pay for their funerals, little did I know. But it was organised, my younger brother didn’t attend, he was just being awkward, my daughter was in Australia so couldn’t be there, my younger son didn’t wake up in time, I make no excuses other than he works nights and his built in clock told him it was sleep time. And Faith? No, he wasn’t in a fit state to come.

So to celebrate their 85th and 90th years , two out of three children and one Step granddaughter out of 7 grandchildren were there, and two great grandchildren. I felt so upset for them, but the wider family rallied and they did enjoy their day even talking to my daughter in Australia by video call.

That was October. When I arrived back from a weekend away in November I called them on the Monday after work to see how they were. I was greeted by my dad saying, oh yes, we are fine, but your mums legs aren’t working I’m a bit worried. After asking to speak to her and getting a totally unrecognisable conversation I told him to call 999 I would be straight over.

Whithout going into too much detail she was admitted to hospital. Her core temperature was very low and heartbeat very slow. After 6 days of positivity from the staff phnemonia diagnosed but was being treated, a week after she had been admitted we were called to be told they thought it best all support be taken away from her. She was made comfortable the family called and within an hour she was gone. We were all so unprepared. My dad , his partner of 63 years gone, was broken.

We got through the funeral (Faith actually got sober and stayed sober for a month, more on this later) and then Christmas, dad seemed to rally, doing excercises and looking after himself, he had the energy to make sure he was clean again.

New year And we were invited away, my best friend felt I needed the break.

When I returned I called my dad , he was Ok, I had arranged with work that I would do 4 days a week, at least for a while so I could help dad adjust and be free to take him for any appointments he needed.

I never got to do that, on Sunday I had arranged to take him food shopping, I was concerned when he didn’t answer his phone, by the time I arrived and saw the blinds still shut I knew, I just knew.

I found him on the floor in the kitchen, freezer door open,  oven on, fish a chips ready to go in the oven that was on.

He really had died of a broken heart, I was devestated but happy he was reunited, only having spent a short time apart from his beloved wife.

Life was taken over again by funeral arrangement, Having to wait weeks for a post Mortem didn’t help.  I carried on working, not wanting to be alone and think. I was too familiar with the funeral company, I worried I would have a third funeral to arrange “Faiths” it is a real possibility.

Faith has actually dealt with it better than I thought he would, fear of death has always been a worry for him. The fact he made a month sober, yes even over xmas, on his own without support, his determination to be sober for his nans funeral seemed to mark a change in him. I really believe he might have got to that point, the one you read about, where something switches in their head, I pray it has. But life is not that straight forward, he lives with another alcoholic, one who is in denial and expects to hold down a job whilst swigging vodka from her plastic squash bottle in her handbag.

So that’s it in a few paragraphs, my parents lives gone. I have so many more words in my head waiting to get out and onto this blog. I want to try and explain how it feels to be the mother of an alcoholic.

Hopefully I will have a bit more free time now to do that.

See you soon x