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.

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Mental health week, just where is the help?

IMG_5921I write this in desperation. How do you get help? What has to happen before you get that help?

Faith is in his own world at the moment, he’s tried to detox himself, that’s not possible. But he’s been told if he doesn’t stop drinking he has 6 months. So he has reduced as suggested, his alcohol consumption. But that now leads to these symptoms of dementia.

He has been to A&E to be told come back if your symptoms worsen. How would he know?

He went to the doctor, he sent him to hospital for a blood test, I phoned the hospital to warn them he could be confused, please take him to A & E if he is.

He came back home.

Today he has had a party for his nephew at his flat, his girlfriend came back to find biscuits laid out on the table for this party that apparently I went to, his sister who is in Australia also went to. To him it is so very real and he will not be told otherwise.

She called 111, he would not talk to the mental health team so there was nothing they could do. He has walked out because everyone is getting at him. He came back, 111 was called again, there is nothing they can do because he won’t talk to them. HE’S NO IDEA WHERE HE IS OR WHAT HE IS DOING, WHY WOULD HE THINK HE NEEDS TO TALK TO ANYONE? sorry for shouting, where is the help? Oh yes, if I was rich like Declan Donnely with rich famous friends he would be safe somewhere being cared for. But I’m not, and he is not, he will be gone soon I know it.

Eventually in desperation his partner called the police, she was scared for his safety. And would you believe it they came, and they talked to him gently and kindly, it seemed to bring him back to some sense of normality  They gave him the address of a very local mental health drop in place where he could go and have a chat with some very nice people.

So I want to say thank you to those lovely policemen, I’m sorry you should never have needed to be called had the right support been in place.

I want to shout “why oh why had no-one ever told him about this place before”

I am so angry, so tired, so very very very sad.

Update………

I wrote this about a week or so ago but never got round to publishing it.

Faiths brain seems to have settled, he is taking his medication regularly which I think is helping.

I did something that the alanon “stand back and let his higher power decide” side of me would have frowned at, I got the number of the ad active group he goes to and called and eventually spoke to someone who knew him. I told her about the latest incident and how sick he is and how very worried I was about him. That was it, I told her, I got the old “because Faith hadn’t given her consent to talk to me she couldn’t discuss anything about him with me” I didn’t care, I just wanted them to be aware of how sick he is. I knew when asked, Faith would give her his consent, but I felt at least I had done something.

And it worked, the lady I spoke to called Faith, he went to see her and suddenly he was given a plan, he was given somewhere he could go everyday which he has been doing. But as happens so often, it’s actually a joke how often this happens, she has now gone sick, she will be off a while, so although it’s obviously written in his notes, is there anyone else that will care? Who will call him and arrange meetings to make sure he is attending? I doubt it.

The one thing I have learnt is this child of mine seems to have regressed back to a little child that needs my help, love and support again. I’m sorry alanon I can’t abandon him. I feel he has very few chances left. I am going to have to step in and try pointing him in the right direction. I know that’s all I can do, he has to take the steps, but he has me behind him again supporting him. And should that day come when I lose him, I will have no regrets of “if only I had done more” never-never-never-give-up-112-picture

He tells me most days he loves me, I’m trying to say it back more often.

 

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

 

A very brief update

Oh, it’s been a while. This is a very brief post. So much has happened in my life since I last wrote a post.

I am still here, Faith is still here and I thank the lord for that. I have had losses, my heart has been broken and my time has been taken over by other life issues.

But life goes on, Faith is still drinking but it seems things have changed, I will tell all in a later post.

But tonight I just wanted to reconnect, say Hi and I will be back very soon. X

I want to go to the top of a mountain and just scream

I’ve not been here for a while.Ii have had a wonderful 10 day holiday, when I have chilled, relaxed and just for a few hours forgotten.

It has been wonderful. I did get one phone call but I dealt with it and then realised there was nothing I could do so I let it go…..

But I’m back, to work stress, my brother and x sister-in-law stress and my sons alcoholism. I have had enough from my brother and can no longer hold my thoughts within my head, they come tumbling out of my mouth, I think I have finally had enough.

Today Faith called me, I had stepped back, I’ve not spoken to him in a while. His white blood count is very low, his doctor is contacting the hospital, he needs to be in, it’s pretty serious. I just suggest he calls an ambulance. No I will not take him in, I know this is the reason he has called me.. I have stepped back.

It it does not stop this feeling I have that I want to stand on a high spot away from everyone and just scream and scream.

i want just an average family, 3 children, plus a few grand children, I should have one average child surely?

So tonight I want to scream, but I won’t, as ever it will be suppressed, because that Is how life is, isn’t it?

 

 

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