Jump to content
Online Grief Support, Help for Coping with Loss | Beyond Indigo Forums
  • Announcements

    • ModKonnie

      Advertisements   09/05/2017

      Hi all,  I'm sure you've noticed some changes in the forums. We've again had to do some updates, so that's why things may look a little different. Nothing major should have changed.  Also, we are going to start adding advertisements sensitive to our community on the boards. This is something we are experimenting with, and we will certainly make sure they are in the best interests of everyone. We want to make sure our forums continue to stay accessible and cost free to all of our members, and this is a way to ensure this.  If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to privately message me or email me at Konnie@beyondindigo.com.  As always, we will be here with you, ModKonnie

What my mom didn't do, I can (how I can save myself)

Recommended Posts

It just kept getting worse, and there was nothing I could do to make it better.

   This morning I woke from an upsetting PTSD nightmare. This one was about being bullied. I have a lot of PTSD nightmares. The setting changes, but the theme is always the same: things are getting worse and worse, and there is nothing I can do to stop it. 

   It is the feeling of utter helplessness that is the most terrifying thing to me. To know that I have no power whatsoever over the scary thing in the nightmare, be it bullies or something else. I've had so many of these dreams now, I find myself wondering about this secret and unspeakable terror that I have; which keeps showing up in my sleep. My greatest fear in life has long been falling apart, and being utterly helpless to stop everything that I have and am from losing itself; like a house of cards in a light breeze. 

   I couldn't halt or stop my mother's alcoholism from destroying her; from taking from her everything that she had and was, until all that was left of her was a shell of her former self. I couldn't stop the progression of her disease (alcoholism). All I could do, as a child and a person, was to watch her slowly and die; knowing that by her refusal to get help that there was only one way this could end (her death). I could do nothing as her son and as a boy, except to be torn apart by watching helplessly as the first person who I had loved in my life was whittled down to nothing. 

   I hated her for her refusal to get help. I hated her because I had loved her so much, and I desperately wanted whatever it would take for her to get better. I hated her but I wasn't able to feel my hate because I was too busy trying desperately to save her. 

   I found her hidden liquor bottle and emptied it on one occasion. I worried about her constantly; even though I was her son and only a little boy. I tried to be the "best" son I could be; and to behave as I thought she wanted and needed. I joined her in blaming the world and people and everything else for her suffering; everything except for her own self, and her poor life choices (the one thing that could have saved her). 

   I could not have saved my mother. There was "nothing I could do to make it better." I wanted to save her, and would have given anything as a boy to do so. 

   I could only watch helplessly as she slowly died from her disease and, most of all, from her unwillingness to get help. 

   And I suppose that what happened to her became my own greatest fear because I believed that I had failed her, and that there was something I could have done to save her. However much I may have believed so as a boy, there wasn't a thing in the world that I could ever have done for her that could have saved her. While she, and then myself (for some years), blamed everything and everyone for her plight; she was truly the only person who could have saved herself, by asking for and accepting help. She did not die because she was an alcoholic; she died because she was unwilling to reach out for help

   There are so many things in my life that I can't control that the list is endless; but I can control my decision to reach out for help when I need it. And while my body may be ravaged by disease or injury, or my mind may be reduced by traumatic brain injury or (eventually) alzheimer's or dementia; I will always have control over what I choose to say and do (for the most part). And I hope that I can take comfort in knowing that I can continue to choose to reach out for help when I need it. 

   What happened to my mom was avoidable, but only by her own choice. I am so sorry to my inner child that I could only watch her die. I can assure him, however, that while he was helpless to save her; he (& I) can avoid her end by making better choices (something over which I do have control). The boy I was could not have known that; but the man who I now am can (and does). 

   My story can have a happy ending, after all! 

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Dear Gabriel,

I'm so sorry for your pain and sorrow. I'm glad you are taking the time to share your story. I know it will help a lot of other people.

Thinking of you.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
On January 11, 2018 at 1:07 PM, reader said:

I'm so sorry for your pain and sorrow. I'm glad you are taking the time to share your story. I know it will help a lot of other people.

Thinking of you.

Thank you, @reader. I really appreciate your support and encouragement. 

It helps me to know that there is something positive that can come out of what was so painful and hard. In fact, a sense of meaning and purpose changes the entire landscape of sorrow, for me. 

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now