My journey with Mamma
My journey with Mama
Today I just learned that mama has a mass on her liver and a hole in her esophagus.
Mama and I have had a tumultuous relationship from birth for you see mama has struggled
with drugs and alcohol for most of her life. Mama made the loving choice to give me up
when I was 5 I was raised by my father and stepmother for most of my life then my
grandmother and then when I was 18 I went on my own.
Mama had 5 children none of which she was capable of raising due to her alcohol and
drug abuse problems. I grew up only hearing about mama and how bad she
was when she visited grandmas house grandma threw her out because she
was loud and having a drunken rage. Grandma never closed her door to mama
and always tried to let her visit us. Soon mama stopped visiting and I never saw
her again until I was in My early twenties and pregnant with my first child
I just had this urge to find my mama no matter what they said and how
bad she was suppose to be I wanted to know mama for myself.
My brother was raised by my grandmother and I was also partially raised by
her she was a very loving Christian woman she taught me most of the
values I have today. Before coming to living with mother we all called her
I was living with my father and a very abusive stepmother I ran away to
my grandmothers house where I stayed until I was 18. I had always expressed
to my brother that I wanted to see my mother and one day he came to me
and said I've found your mother here is her address I will not be going with you.
I was terrified and happy at the same time. I called up a taxi and had them
take me to this address I got out walked in this house of which I had never
been to before I identified myself and I asked for my mother someone
brought her out of her room to the table where she was so stoned she
was talking to herself I was oblivious to her I tried to tell her who I
was but there was no use her eyes were glazed and her mind was
somewhere else as painful as it was I went back home and thought
If I could just get her some help we could have a relationship the
one I always wanted.
Over the years I rescued mama over and over until she was finally able to take
care of herself.. Mama got her own apartment after she got her social security
she still drank but did not use drugs. I found a nice senior living apartment
for mama hoping that the environment of other sober seniors might change
mama it did not mama still drank in the quietness of her senior apartment.
Mama loved to go around Long Beach and feed the homeless she
would make up meals and strap the them to her scooter and deliver the
the meals in the most dangerous places I told mama many times about
going to these places but she just did it anyway. Pretty soon mama
was invited to cook at a big kitchen every thanksgiving with others
and they started a thanksgiving dinner tradition for the homeless.
Mamma is known all over Long Beach for helping people.
Mama got up to get something out of the refrigerator late at night and the refrigerator door
swung back and knocked her to the floor. Mama lay on the floor all night long screaming
for someone to help someone finally came mama broke her hip and is take by ambulance
to the hospital for surgery following her surgery mama has to spend 3 months in a
nursing facility. I go to mamas apartment it is stuffed with junk so much junk I
hire a hauler to help haul out some of the junk so I can prepare mamas house
for when she comes home. After mama recovers and comes home she is sick
but not drinking I am so glad. One day I stop by to visit mama she wreaks of
alcohol she has started drinking again and also taking pain pills to boot. I find
all kinds of pain pill bottles in her name and other peoples name when
I am cleaning her apartment so this is no surprise to me. I do not live
with mama so I demand that she gets a caregiver to see about her physical
needs and make sure her house is clean she goes along with this but
mama still drinks.
Today I get a call from my aunt she is also a user and she lives down the hall from mama
she tells me for the past two weeks mama has been so sick that she has been at her
house on the couch she stated mamas stomach was in severe pain and she was
constantly throwing up. I go to see mama she is at her apartment and says she
is fine. Two days later I get a call that they had to call paramedics for mama for
chest pains and have taken her to the hospital. Mama is placed on a no food/water
diet for two weeks because there is a hole in her esaphogus they also state mama
has a large mass on her liver they don't know if its cancer or not. They biopsy
mama and they come back and state mama is going to have to have an illiostomy
and may have liver cancer. I talk with mama and she seems fine although it seems
like I have been hit by a ton of bricks. Right now mama has been scheduled for
surgery on Monday and when they will tell me if its a malignant tumor or not.
I feel sorry for mama and I feel confused. I just feel lost are you a survivor of an alcoholic
parent please comment. I am attending meetings to cope with this but I still feel just numb
inside. I and my husband have had to take off work to help with mamas care although mama
has other children they are in jail or just plain lost so there is no one but me. I love my mama
but at this time my emotions are just running wild. I know we are as sick as the secrets we
keep so I have decided to write about it.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I NEED HELP?
Recognizing you need help is the first step in getting it - Understanding you need help may be difficult if you don’t always trust your own judgment of what is "normal." And, if you are like many others with addicted parents, your feelings may have been ignored growing up and you’re not used to getting the help you need. You may not feel too sure about whether you need help, and if so, when is the right time to get it.
Here are some simple guidelines to help you decide:
You should consider getting help if you find yourself asking some of the following questions and want to explore your feelings:
What’s wrong with me?
Why am I depressed?
Are things ever going to change?
Am I ever going to feel happy?
Am I to blame?
How did I manage to turn out okay?
Am I blowing things out of proportion?
If I ignore it, will it go away?
How do other people in my situation feel?
Could I have done anything differently?
Am I drinking too much?
These questions are not easily answered without help nor are they easily resolved overnight. Turning to an outside source for help can provide the objectivity and insight needed to explore these questions more fully and understand where they are coming from.
It is not uncommon to feel guilty about seeking help, especially if your family has kept its substance abuse problem a secret from others. Initially, sharing your family experiences with outsiders may feel like an act of betrayal. You may also be concerned about how your family might react of they knew that you were going for help. You can combat these concerns by reminding yourself that you have a right to seek help for your problems.
Listen to those who are close to you, like a relative, friend, boyfriend, girlfriend, colleague, teacher or clergy. Hear them out. If someone that you trust and who cares about you suggests that you should seek help, consider their advice seriously. They are only looking out for your best interests.
It is generally easier to deal with your feelings before they become intense problems. In fact, some students seek help when things are going well, just to help ensure that they continue that way. Nevertheless, seeking help at any time, including during a crisis, can be very valuable.
Help for Adult Children of Alcoholics
Adult Children of Alcoholics is a recovery program for adults whose lives were affected as a result of being raised in an alcoholic or other dysfunctional family. It is based on the success of Alcoholics Anonymous and employs its version of the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.
Mammas Struggle Is Over
It has been 5 months since mama was diagnosed with liver cancer. Mama was more braver than I ever could have been I visited mama daily and got to know her better. It felt like I was starting to really love and appreciate my mama for who she was no pretenses. On May 4, 2011 mama died of course I am very saddened and a part of me is gone. In another way I'm
glad that mama is free of the mental and physical anguish that she suffered for much of her life. Right now I am feeling numb but the pain will heal I know.