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Boyfriend is a carer - Carers UK Forum

Boyfriend is a carer

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Hi everyone. I’m very new to this. But I need help and advice. My boyfriend is currently a carer to his alcoholic mum and I hate seeing him like this as it is slowly tearing him down. He tries to help her and she gets violent towards him and says that he is not her son. I can’t say anything to make it better. But I feel down that it’s a lot of pressure on him and I don’t know what I can do to help him. I just want him happy
Hi H
Alcoholism is a nasty condition, and can only be solved by the sufferer themselves. It gets very wearying on any carer or supporter as it tends to be long term and there is little they can do. The sufferer has to do it for themselves.

This link may help your boyfriend
http://www.al-anonuk.org.uk

He is best to prepare for a long long haul by looking after himself emotionally and physically, or maybe you help him that way. He will get hurt and burned out if he doesn't care for himself.

(Sorry if this sounds harsh. I had an alcoholic friend who died)

Kr
MrsA
Yes, I think he will need support from organisations like Al Anon or those that specialise in family alcoholics ....as in, when there is an alcoholic in the family. This is going to be hard for him.

When we love someone, especially a parent 'in need' we try SO hard to help and 'cure' them (with me, it was my mum with severe MH issues).....and it is HARD to accept that we can't. We just can't. We are 'helpless' compared with the grip their 'infirmity' takes on them.

As 'everyone' will tell you, addicts can only cure THEMSELVES, and they have to WANT to cure themselves....

It might help your boyfriend if he tries to see WHY his mum is an alcoholic (I can have, for example, some ideas of what sent my mum into the MH zone.....) (though they don't answer everything alas...). If he can see what contributed to it, it might give him an understanding, and that is a good step forward. It does NOT mean he can 'fix' it however. That, as I say, ahs to come from his mum.

Sometimes, too, just as you 'just want him to be happy' (so YOU can be happy!) (because he is too!), so your bf may want his mum to be happy for HIS sake .... so he doesn't have to worry over her any more. That isn't 'wrong', in fact it's highly understandable, but he needs to see that as a factor in his desire to help her.

What is MOST important though, is this. That whatever contributed to his mum becoming an alcoholic, HE is not one....his BEST effort is to focus on HIMSELF, to ensure that HID life is good. My brother and I were determined that BECAUSE our parents were so unhappy (our dad was miserable because of his wife's MH), we could best 'honour' them by being happy OURSELVES. There was just no point in being as unhappy as they were - it would have been an 'insult' to what they suffered in their lives, if we suffered as well.
I would strongly suggest that he has some counselling to help him manage his relationship with his mum.

I had counselling to help me manage my own housebound disabled mum's expectations of me. She just didn't understand that when I was ill and had other problems, it meant I couldn't do what I used to do for her.

The counsellor taught me how to respond differently to mum's expectations. That is what your partner needs. Sadly the only person who can change her behaviour is his mum herself, and this is unlikely to happen.
Indeed, and the support groups for those with an alcoholic in the family. Essential.

Any idea what drove her to drink?? It maybe 'too late' for her to get free of her addiction (it is sometimes said that there are only two kinds of alcoholics - the wet ones and the dry ones.....ie, the latter, the non-drinking ones, are STILL 'alcoholics' as they are 'not safe with alcohol'), but understanding WHY she took to it could help your boyfriend come to terms with what his mum is all about.
Thank you to all your responses. He’s been caring for her ever since he was 14. He’s 18 now. I know he’s technically an adult. But he’s had to drop out of school and college because of this and every job he tries to have he gets fired because she needs him.

She started alcoholism because her husband and daughter died. But the son she does have alive she doesn’t want to know him. And in a way it feels like she blames him and wishes him dead. Which I know sounds harsh but it’s the way she kicks him out and says that he’s not her son.

I am trying to help him psychically and emotionally trying to get him a place to
move out because he can’t cope anymore
H
That's dreadful! Alcoholism does tend to bring out the worst in people, sadly.
Definitely keep telling him its not his fault, she can't be angry at those who have gone and the alcohol taints everything so she hurts those still here
Keep lots of AA info handy in case she shows signs of wanting to come out of it.
Refer him to Al-anon and find your local carers support who can point him towards help for him. If you can find counselling for him so much the better. He can self refer for some CBT which can be started online or by phone and many find easier than face to face. Just Google CBT and your area and it should come up.

Yes, him finding somewhere else to live will give him much needed space, but is likely to provoke reaction from Mum. Essentially she's crying out for help but he's not the one to help her. She needs professionals.

Keep telling him that Mums best way of being is to see her son grow up and succeed. He needs to concentrate in building his life. She is responsible for her life.

Has he got an opportunity to go to college or Uni? If so tell him to grab it. If he decides to stay close to home he must let the tutors know he is a carer and they will make sure he gets help, and to exams etc.

Being so young he has a chance to have his own life

Xx
MrsA
I'm not as nice a person as Mrs A. If I were you I'd go round to her house and slug her.

How DARE she treat her son that way, how DARE she! Thinking of herself, her self-pitying self - when her son is just as bereaved as she is! And he's grieving for the loss of the mother he SHOULD have had.....

What a vile, vile woman....

I'm glad her poor son has got you in his life....you must be so protective of him, against such a dreadful woman, and such a waste of space as a mother.

Her FIRST duty now is to her son - not her own self and her own grief......

Appalling. Just appalling.

(My son lost his father at the same age - just the very thought that I would turn on my son like this B***tch is doing, makes me sick to my stomach. Absolutely SICK.)
jenny lucas wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 7:00 pm
I'm not as nice a person as Mrs A. If I were you I'd go round to her house and slug her.

How DARE she treat her son that way, how DARE she! Thinking of herself, her self-pitying self - when her son is just as bereaved as she is! And he's grieving for the loss of the mother he SHOULD have had.....

What a vile, vile woman....

I'm glad her poor son has got you in his life....you must be so protective of him, against such a dreadful woman, and such a waste of space as a mother.

Her FIRST duty now is to her son - not her own self and her own grief......

Appalling. Just appalling.

(My son lost his father at the same age - just the very thought that I would turn on my son like this B***tch is doing, makes me sick to my stomach. Absolutely SICK.)
I absolutely agree with you. It makes me physically sick to think a mother could treat her son like that.

He wants to care for her because of the type of person he is. But he knows that he’s got to do what’s right for himself and that’s leaving her and he wants to move out. And I fully support him
H - glad you feel that way too! It is just SO despicable of the mother....vile, vile, vile.

I hope this brave and bereaved young man can, in time, build a new family of his own, with a loving wife and children yet to come. (This may be with you - you are both so very young, so you both have to allow for the fact that you MAY go your separate ways in the years ahead - but even if not, then you are being a true, true friend to him now, and that is wonderful)

As for his mother, she deserves no consideration at all. Even if she were not an alcoholic, she'd still be monstrous. Yet this poor boy is going on hoping and hoping that 'one day' she will turn into a warm, loving and compassionate mother.

Can you tell us a little more of the broader situation? For example, where are you living currently? Are you still with your parents (I'm assuming you're the same age thereabout?). If so, are they being warm and welcoming to him? Many folk find their 'inlaws' much nicer than their own parents!

At 18, is your BF still in school, in work, at college/uni? What is he planning for his own future? What does he want to be in his life?

It's important he looks ahead. It's going to be hard - and quite slow - for him to accept his mother has rejected him permanently, and there is NOTHING he can do for her (even if she deserved it). I'm not saying he 'walks away from her and never goes near her again', but he does need to focus on his future, not his past. What would his dad want for him do you think? (I know my son's dad would be SO proud of what he's achieved now, in his case, graduating from uni and so on, and I always tell my son that!).

Your young man has had a dreadful, dreadful time of it since he lost his dad, and his sister....and now, effectively, his mother too. Does he have, do you think ,'good memories' from a childhood before he lost his dad and sister? Perhaps talking about those with him can reassure him that his life was once 'good' and that it can be 'good again' ....even if, this time, it is going to be a case of, in say, a decade or two, becoming a dad himself, with a loving wife and children....sometimes those who are bereaved can look forward to 're-creating' their own happier lives before tragedy struck....

Finally, for now, I wonder if it would help if you checked out some of the forums on the internet for the children of abusive parents. I think, without doubt, your bf/s mum IS 'abusive' in her behaviour to him - emotionally without a doubt. That vile rejection of him IS abusive, and highly damaging and unbearably hurtful. So learning how to cope with this, from abuse counsellors, and other survivors of emotional abuse, might help him....and help you to help him too.

With kind wishes, and again, I'm so glad to hear he has you in his life.....poor, poor lad.