Originally Posted by tooge
Thanks man. I'm not giving in. I'll give her a call in a week or two just to say hello and talk small talk. The thing with the BF is that if he really was intending to get better and become part of the family, I would think he would remove himself from the situation for a few days so our family could be together. At least that is whay I'd do if I screwed a situation up and wanted back in. Anyhow, I've spoken to my brother, and while he and I have differing views on "second chances" about all this, he respects my decision and supports it.
I'm sure you have already realized this but maybe not. You, like me and many on this board are 'recovering co-dependents'. As you embark on this new healthy life adventure with you and your family, I would recommend 2 MUST
reads in order for your personal growth and healing to continue: 1) 'Boundaries' by Cloud and Townsend and 2)'Recovery: A Guide For Adult Children of Alcoholics' by Gravitz and Bowden.
One of the most unfortunate results and ulgiest things to witness in a co-dependent/addict that is not recovering is called "enmeshment". Early on in the family where kids and parents roles are reversed because 'boundaries' were never establised or followed. Kids were expected to be the responsible parent or the surrogate husband or surrogate wife of the co-dependent/addict(depending). And this is seen as normal for the kids because this is all they have known in this chaotic family but the kids don't see the chaos because chaos is normal for them. Thus over time the kids take on emotional, relational and physical responsibilities of the co-dependent/addict they were never intended to have let alone deal with the significant emotional damage from those childhood periods that takes years to work through.
Based on you and your brother's conversation you and your brother have unknowningly took turns being the 'surrogate husband' for your mom since childhood with your brother still choosing 'unconsciously' of course to still be the surrogate husband. He differed with you about 'second chances'. The 'second chances' comment was a huge red flag for me about your brother still not getting the big picture and still playing the co-dependent surrogate husband role taking care and feeling responsible for her feelings and happiness. Whereas you on the other hand are figuring this whole relational cess pool out and now protecting yourself and your family until hopefully MOM gets it.
I do agree you should not totally cut off communication with your Mom, BUT at this point in the process, because this family wound is so new and sensitive and you are just now learning about 'Family Dynamics of Addiction' and your past role in it and learning how not to play that role; I would stay away for awhile and let her make the first move.
She has drawn 'first blood' on you kids for decades now. The insanity needs to stop. And when she does contact you in due time( and she will because in her eyes you are still her emotional surrogate husband) you need to make sure there is no small talk. Substance only, because there is a huge family elephant in the room that needs to be dealt with.
This will be a big emotional test for you as you get better. The more you deal straight with your Mom the less it will bother you emotionally not to rescue her in the future and thus you become stronger emotionally for yourself and your family 'for a change'. And man does that feel so liberating and refreshing that life could be this good.
Whatever you do, do not push any of these co-dependent books or help on her. That would be 'co-dependent' and would stifle your recovery because once again your focus is distracted away from you and your family in feeling responsible for her getting better. She is responsible for her own recovery and you can't fix her/change her, PERIOD.
Keep up the great work and be emotionally courageous in all your new personal endeavors of discovering a great new life !!!
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family and all here at CP !!!