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 Post subject: Moms sister...my aunt
PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 7:12 am 
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[font=Comic Sans MS]Hi everyone. I am not really sure how to feel about this whole situation, and I am hoping that maybe you guys could give me your opinion and your take on it. I know that being close to someone who is an addict, somewhat skews our perception of things. So I am open to any and all opinions and takes on this.

About 2 months ago, my aunt started having health problems. She has always had back problems, but this was new. She had constant diarrhea, and vomitting. She was weak, sweatty, and basically just felt like crap all of the time. She has been on percocet 10's, 120 of them a month. She is also on vicodin 5's, 60 a month for break through pain. She gets these from her pain management doctor.

Anyway, she went to a gastroenterologist to try and figure out what is wrong with her. Everything she ate or drank was going right through her. (bare in mind this is all in her words) They did a series of tests and couldn't find anything wrong. And I mean EXTENSIVE tests. At least 6 that I can think of. So she was referred back to her PCP. She wasn't satisfied and wanted a second opinion. So her insurance payed for one. Another gastroenterologist sent her for the same tests AGAIN and found nothing. Well she says they are stupid and don't know what they are doing. Back at the PCP once again, she is told that there is nothing wrong with her and that there is nothing else they can do.

During this time she has asked to be taken to the ER at least a dozen times. The diarrhea gets so bad that she cant even walk. She is so weak from the loss of fluids etc... Once in the ER, she magically doesn't have diarrhea again. So noone can ever get a stool sample. One time they admitted her for 4 days, found nothing, and sent her home. The last time she went they refused to treat her. Basically telling her that she is a hypichondriac or pill seeking.

This is my take on it. She never wants to work anymore, and if she can get any doctor to write her out of work, she does. If they wont because nothing is wrong with her, then she needs a second opinion. Everytime she has been to a doctor, hospital, test, etc...All of her symptoms that brought her there in the first place, disappear. I told my mother that she is a pill addict plain and simple. Her symptoms are classic withdrawal, and when she goes to the ER, she demands to be admitted until it is time for her refill. This way they will give her pain meds while she is in, thus keeping her out of withdrawal.

Long story short, my mother got tired of listening to all of the medical shit that she has (doesnt have) going on. So she finally told her that she is an addit, needs help, and that she is done taking her to the dr, pharmacy, grocery store, or anywhere. She needs to fend for herself. Well, my aunt says to my mom "Listen to me and listen good, cuz I'm only gonna say this one time and then I am not talking about it again. Not a single one of those percocets has passed my lips." My mom says.."so you are selling them???!!! WTF!!" And my aunt just repeated herself and wont say anything else about it.

I don't know what else to say to my mom. She is leaning on me through all of this because she knows that I have been there. But frankly, I am tired of listening to it. I don't feel a bit sorry for my aunt. She is 63 years old, and if this is how she wants the last years of her life to be, than that is her choice. She watched what happened to me, and knows what it can do to a family. Her son will not speak to her or let her around her only grandson. She says this is my moms fault for telling everyone that she has an addiction. Not true. My mom has not told anyone.

Anyway, can you guys please help me. Help me help my mother. I don't know what else to say. I think that she IS IN FACT AN ADDICT. I think that she doesn't want help, and I think that she wants to try and get on permanent disability so that she can stay home, get high, and not have to work. What do I do? I am avoiding talking to my aunt because I am tired of listening to all the things that are wrong with her everytime we talk. She is fine!!! She needs to either own up to it and say that she just doesn't want help, or just shut the f*&k up about it already. I am at my wits end with this. I love my mom, and I know this is killing her. First her daughter (ME), and now her sister. But I cannot be her fallback therapist just because I am in recovery. I didnt act like my aunt is. I don't understand why she is the way she is. Yes, I am an addict. Yes we all have that in common. But everyones behaviors and lifestyles while in active addiction are different. I'm done rambling. Help!

Sorry this was so long and thank you to anyone who made it through to the end.[/font]

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 12:32 pm 
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Diarrhea, vomiting, weak, sweaty and feeling like crap do sound like classic WD symptoms. What's unclear is whether your aunt is an addict, and like you said, wants to just stay home and get high, OR if she's physically dependent on the meds and when she runs out she gets sick and doesn't make the connection. (You would think this would be obvious to the doctors at least!).
Maybe you could talk to her directly. You're an addict and you seem to be very straightforward, so maybe you will have better luck than your Mom talking to her. Maybe she would even be willing to get on Suboxone.

On the other hand, if she is selling her script and/or she really doesnt want to work and wants to play the sick card, then there's not much you can do. You can just support your Mom in setting limits on rides and help.
Good luck, I know dealing with relatives is never easy. Let us know what happens.

Lilly


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 2:15 pm 
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Have you told your mom about alanon? Maybe she should check out a few meetings, she would get support there from people who have been through it with their addicted loved-ones.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 8:46 am 
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[font=Comic Sans MS]Hey Lily and Diary. Thank you so much for taking the time to read that, and replying.

My mom is something else. She will not go to Alanon because~"I'm not going to Alanon, I wouldn't learn a thing...I would TEACH them things." I kid you not. She thinks that she knows everything there is to know about addiction just because I am an addict. It's frustrating, and sickening at times.

I guess I want to know what I can do for myself. I'm sorry if I sound selfish, but for the past 3 months or so, I have been the person who has to listen to all of this. And my mom acts like I OWE her that. Just because of what I put HER through. Because of what I did to HER. This is all about my mom. Everything and anything that happens to anyone, is about her. It's irritating to say the least. When I was in rehab, I had a meeting with her and my therapist to confront her on this behavior. She told my therapist and I~"I'm 58 years old, this is the way I am. I am the mother, and she (MEANING ME) has to respect me. I don't have to respect her. I am not changing who I am, she should change who she is for me. I'm the mom." She is fucking crazy sometimes. I cannot believe the shit that comes out of her mouth most of the time. It's embarassing.

So, yeah, I know that my mom does in fact need Alanon, and I do know that my aunt needs help. But I don't have the first clue what to do for myself in all this. I try to distance myself, but feel bad for my mother, because she doesn't have anyone to talk to about it. My aunt is her only sister. She doesn't have any super close friends. I don't know....I'm just looking for advice on how to help myself here....[/font]

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 11:48 pm 
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Well, this is a tough situation for you huh? It is truly maddening to have to listen to someone complain about something that you can't do anything about, and they don't really listen to your advice or imput anyway. I have similar issues with my own mom...maybe it's a mom thing? :lol:

You are right that you can't be her therapist and you're smart to be looking for ways to take care of yourself. You already know that you can't change your mom or your aunt, but it seems like you're in a situation where you're somewhat obligated to listen to your mom.

What has worked for me in dealing with my own mom and with other people who exhibit this pattern of behavior is to listen but to try not to react or get sucked into their drama. Usually the complainer is looking for some sort of emotional response, something that will feed into the drama and make them feel validated. They end up sucking you dry emotionally. I don't think they even realize the effect they're having; they are just trying to process their own pain and so they need to talk and talk. GAH!

So I listen and say things like: Wow, that must be really frustrating; or I can hear how upset this situation is making you or something like that. Keep it bland, but acknowledge whatever feeling is driving the complaining. Don't try to give advice, even when you're really tempted to. Sorta halfway pay attention and nod and say hmm and let it pass right through you. It takes practice, but it works.

If I get bored listening to my mom complaining about some situation (usually involving one of my siblings) I will look for an opening to ask her a question that might provoke either a deeper level of conversation (switching from just listening to her bitch to actually having a conversation about how she is) or I look for an opportunity to change the subject. If my mom starts to repeat herself, I will remind her that she already told me that part of the story. At some point I will usually say something like how sorry I am that she's so torn up over whatever situation but there's not much to be done...so is there anything I can do right now that will make life a little easier for her?

I know how hard it is, because our moms know just how to push our buttons to get a rise out of us. If you can set a time limit on her complaint sessions, that would be helpful for you too. Do it as soon as she starts in, say something like: I really want to spend some time talking with you and helping you through this, but I have to do X in 30 minutes. Try to make X something that will be good for you and help you recharge your batteries, like take a walk or do something with your son or whatever convenient excuse you can come up with. Then you can remind her as the time for you to do X approaches that you'll have to be wrapping up this bitch session soon.

Think of all this as good practice for cultivating detachement, which is a very useful skill. And try to laugh about it when you can. Who knows, maybe in the end you'll find a new way of connecting with your mom :D

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2012 6:05 am 
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What has worked for me in dealing with my own mom and with other people who exhibit this pattern of behavior is to listen but to try not to react or get sucked into their drama. Usually the complainer is looking for some sort of emotional response, something that will feed into the drama and make them feel validated. They end up sucking you dry emotionally. I don't think they even realize the effect they're having; they are just trying to process their own pain and so they need to talk and talk. GAH!



[font=Comic Sans MS]These words are so true! I've come across only one other person like this, but they are no longer a part of my life,and haven't been for a few months now, thankfully. See, the thing with my mom is, she is actually a good person. She LOVES her sister, and is just so hurt over the loss of that relationship. I do feel terrible for her. While my mom is one of the person that seems to like drama, she definitely can live without it too. She is the only person that I can tolerate this out of long term. Once she gets it all out, she does drop it, and doesn'ttry to find something else to replace it, thank God! LOL

You really do give great advice Diary! Probably some of the best that I have ever heard. You should make a career out of it! Thank you so much for taking the time to respond like that. It means a lot to me. I will definitely put your advice into action. Detachment has always been easy for me when it comes to people who are just plain nuts. But my mom isnt. She is just hurt. But I do see what you are saying about detaching from the situation rather than the person here. Your words didn't fall on deaf ears.
Thanks again, and have a great day![/font]

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