We speak to a young woman who shares her pain of growing up with an alcoholic mother .
When did you first
notice that your mother was abusing alcohol?
Ever since I was a little girl but at the time it never
registered that she was an alcoholic since I was young. When I grew older, I
noticed that my dad was the one doing everything because either she was too
drunk or “babalaz” to play an active role in our lives. Over weekends she would
go out with friends and come back home late and drunk. Most times we were sent
to our grandmother over weekends.
What is the worst
thing she has done when drunk?
She is emotionally abusive, every hurtful thing that has
happened to us would come back to haunt us when she is drunk as she would
remind us. I am currently having problems with my fiancée and she would tell me
that I will never be married and cannot keep a man. She will take what will
hurt you the most. One time I left her with my child and it was meant to be for
a few minutes but I got stuck somewhere and when I came back my daughter was wearing
the same nappy she wore in the morning and was dirty and hungry; that really
broke my heart. She is the grandmother and that was hurting.
When we were busy with lobola negotiations she was drunk
and wanted to cause a scene in an attempt to embarrass me. Chances are she does
not even remember the proceedings of the day. She is also the last person to find
out about things happening in our lives as she is drunk most times.
One day she asked me how I would feel if my daughter were
to suffocate or fall on her head and I am wondering what she would say such
hurtful and bad things about her granddaughter.
What has this done
I have a great career, my baby is healthy, my life is okay but
I am depressed and am on anti-depressants. I need a female figure to guide me through
life but she is not there for us. Alcohol has robbed us of a mother. I do not
know what it is like to have lunch made by my mother or to have a mother in
fact. I do not know how to love as a mother because she never gave us love and
sometimes I fearful of the mother I would become or I am to my daughter.
Is she ever sober?
Yes, she is and when we ask her about the things she does
and says to us, she becomes defensive, angry and avoids the topic.
What is this doing
to your dad?
It hurts him and I know that their marriage is over but he
is still staying with her for our sake. I also think he sympathises with her as
my mom is sickly at the moment. He threated to leave and get his own place and
take us with him but that has not happened. When we were younger I know that he
feared leaving us with her but now that we are older I do not know why he is
still with her. He is acting as a buffer maybe that is why he is still around.
I would not blame him if he were to date other women.
Are you coping
with such a life?
I have my days but I have also learned not to let her get
to me. When I was younger I used to cry when she says hurtful things but now I
just ignore her. She is almost non-existent and that is the case with my
sisters as well.
What is your wish
for your mother?
We would be better off without her. If she were to die, we
would bury her and life would go on. We have tried different interventions to
help her and she refuses to get help so we are better off without her than to
be hurt like this.
Disclaimer: The views of columnists published on Parent24 are their own and therefore do not necessarily represent the views of Parent24.