My 32 year old alcoholic daughter associates with other alcoholics (they meet at least 5 nights a week at bars, plus they meet for lunch and sometimes at homes to drink at other times). All their get togethers involve hours and hours of drinking. She feels they are just having fun and what they are doing is normal, and fine.
I would like to detach from the alcoholism part of her and just enjoy time together as a mother and daughter. However, she continues to regale me with stories of their partying/drinking exploits (of which I have no interest in hearing about) and her mishaps that result (slipping in shower and cracking a rib when drunk, falling over a speaker at someone's home and breaking it when drunk, tripping and falling, when drunk, and tearing her pants and jacket and injuring herself). I am astonished that she no longer feels any embarrassment at being so drunk. Apparently no one she is with thinks there is anything unusual about this.
How do I detach with love from having to listen to this (today I started trying to just say Hmmm, and other non-commital responses and tried to change the subject but she continued until I told her I found the stories offensive and the behavior disgusting). I would like to just be able to spend some time with her as I do love her.
For me I would have to inventory the relationship and then set up enforcable boundaries, next I would state the boundaries respectfully and then start following thru. That is what I did with my alcoholic/addict son and I keep handling his responsibilities back to him. I got one call from the emergency with him telling me he was out drinking with friends and was not in the hospital stabbed. I asked him if the situation was serious to which he replied "no, I'll be stiched up and then let go". My reply was "Okay then...seems like you've taken care of everything. Talk to you later". and then I hug up. I stayed in my sand box and he played in his. One of his statements to me was "I need to talk with you and I want you to just listen". I said "okay come over". He came over and talked...I listened and when he was done he stared at me and said (lod) "well aren't you going to say something"? I told him I was asked not to speak so haven't planned on it". He was dumbfounded and before he went I did tell him the "stop sign story" which was "Down at the end of the street is a pole with a sign on the top of it. The sign is red and in an octogon shape, can you tell me what kind of sign it is"? He was miffed because he didn't expect the "little boy test" and he said "It's a stop sign"!! I asked him "What could the consequences be if you ignored it and ran it"? and he mentioned several possible outcomes. "So you'd get stuff you wouldn't like right"? I asked and he said yes. I finished with "Think about it compared to your current life style and I gotta go". At that I rose and walked away from him and his life started to change some...not alot and not all at once. Asking him to leave and telling him "No" and lowering his position on my priority list was about detachment and I always finished with "and I love you". Your daughter is choosing to blow thru the stop sign...the consequences are hers...you're not up to listening or discussing her life....and you love her; not "but" you love her..."and" you love her. Keep coming back (((((hugs)))))
You know my son does this too. I believe it's a blatant attempt at keeping me in a state of fear which means I'm easier to control. It may not be on a conscious level but that's what he did. Outrageous stories of drunken nights where he would be covered in bruises and cuts. He would enjoy telling me but my face would reveal my pain and then he had me. I would then respond to his requests and demands through fear. This is what I'm in recovery for really. Now I know he has a higher power so there is no need for me to fear, I am powerless over him he is not. Thanks for this post because I learned a lot. Next time I will make it clear these stories have no power any longer.x
That's why we have the saying....Let go let GodTime to take care of you. I have and you can too.
Lord, put your arm around my shoulder and your hand over my mouth
Speak only when you feel that your words are better than your silence.