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Addicted Parents Are Ruining My Life

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From a teen in the U.S.:  Im an 18 year old girl, who comes from a family of five. Both of my parents are heavy drinkers, with my father being more functional then my mother. My mother has recently suffered a brain injury, which the medication paired with alcoholism is turning her personality into a different woman. She has been taking Suboxine, and recently is trying to detox herself. She has been going through withdrawals and is pretty wicked when it happens.

My almost boyfriend has family ties to our town, and his family in the past has been associated with the drug users on my mothers side. He’s older then I am, 21- but I met him through social groups because I am more advanced educationally which leads me to older social groups. Because of this, my father believes he’s a bad person even though everyone in his home has an AA card and is on the SAME DETOX TREATMENT MY MOTHER IS CURRENTLY USING. They’ve been clean for years after the BF lost his mother, to non drug causes.

I went out for lunch with him and kept her updated about my day. After lunch he wanted to go to a friends house, and instead of going home I went with him. I missed a single phone call because I didn’t feel the vibrations and just ignored the call. My boyfriend gets a phone call from his sister that my truck is being removed from his house by my mother. She made a spare key without telling me and used it to drive my truck away. – this truck is registered in my fathers name but I pay for insurance and all other fees. ( oil, maintenance, gas ) I return home at around 5:30, still really early to her showing up to his house, and beginning to yell and berate him! She put her hands on him, all while the boyfriend is trying his best to retain his composure, hands in his pockets and not even speaking which at that point his older sister (30ish) stepped in between and began to yell at her, threatening to call the cops. This went on for what felt like an hour but was probably 15-20 minutes.  Eventually my mother gets in MY TRUCK and is yelling at me to return home.

My mom used to hit me a lot as a child, and now that I’m older she’s less inclined to do so, but she will still attempt it depending on how intoxicated she is.

I went home with her to avoid her going to jail, when all I wanted to do was just never see her again. I’ve attempted to call the police on her in the past, several times and I stoped calling when the last time she choked me in front of a uniformed officer and they didn’t do anything about it

I’ve tried to talk to them together about how I want to keep seeing him, he truly is a good guy and hasn’t wronged me in any way. That lead to my father threatening to beat the shit out of me if I ever spoke of him again, and my mother now throwing it in my face whatever chance she gets.

I haven’t seen him in two weeks and I’ve become severely depressed and reclusive.

Addicted Parents Are Ruining My Life

Answered by on -


Not every kid gets the parents they deserve. Sadly, you are among them. You need more help than I can reasonable supply in an advice column. Please look into whether there is an Alateen chapter in your area. Look online for more information about the organization. If there aren’t meetings locally, consider joining their chat. Also consider joining one of the forums available here at Psych Central to get more support.

Regarding the issues with the “almost boyfriend”: It sounds to me like your parents’ reactions were more about control than about the boy. Ditto regarding the use of the truck and when you got home. If that’s the case, I’m afraid you’ll have to figure out how to navigate their need for control with your need for independence. Please consider getting some therapy to help you determine how to manage it. Fortunately, at 18 you are almost able to get out on your own.

You need to be making plans for leaving the situation you are in. It’s not going to get better unless and until your parents take their own recoveries seriously. Fighting with them won’t help. It will just make you feel worse. Talking to them calmly and with caring might help but, even if they do go into a recovery program of some kind, change will take a long time. Complicating things even more is whatever effect the brain injury had on your mother. I hope she is getting the help she needs to recover as much as she can.

Talk to your school guidance counselor about what you need to do to get into college (and to pay for it). If you’re not ready for college, look into gap year programs. Not ready for that either? Plan for how you will be able to afford to get a place of your own (probably with housemates) when you graduate. If you haven’t already, get an internship or a part-time job that will give you some skills and a resume.

Please, please don’t make the mistake of moving in with a new boyfriend to get out of your parents’ home. That is not a solution that will end well. You described him as your “almost” boyfriend. That’s not enough of a relationship to move in together. If the relationship fails, not only will you feel awful but your parents will see it as justification for their concern and control.

I wish you well.

Dr. Marie

Addicted Parents Are Ruining My Life

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2020). Addicted Parents Are Ruining My Life. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 1, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 14 Mar 2020 (Originally: 17 Mar 2020)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 14 Mar 2020
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