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Am i doing the right thing?

Community Member

Hi all,

I haven't posted in a while because things were going really well, but there is obviously a reason that I'm back.

Stress at work started to get on top of me, i wasn't handling change well and my anxiety and depression have come creeping back up. The workplace is changing a lot and i don't deal well with change and i have been able to recognise this and plan on returning to seeing my psychologist as soon as there is availability.

However this is not the reason I'm on the forum.

A little background first. My Mum has always had a drug problem. This affected myself and my brothers over the years and has seen our family fall apart many times, both immediate and extended. Mum has always smoked cigarettes and green. She would occasionally use something a little heavier and when she did she was normally open about it and let me know in case anything happened.

About 18 months ago i found out she had something EVEN HEAVIER in the house while I was at her house for a party and i lost it at her. I couldn't believe she would bring something like that into the house after everything she's/we've been through she said it was a one time thing and i thought that was the end of it.

However, over the last day or so i have found out that she is still using the drug and has been for the last 12 months or so. The drug is heavy and highly addictive and due to its popularity at the moment is cheap and easy to get, thus her habit has gradually gotten worse and worse and she is now spending $250 + a week on it. She doesn't work but my step dad does. He works his ass off for everything they have and they constantly argue about money. He doesn't know she's on the stuff and I feel incredibly bad for him because they always have no money and he doesn't know why. One day while at work he went to get money out of the bank but it said the balance was $0 and was told that 'oh a bill must have come out' - which is a go to excuse.

I found this all out from family so she doesn't know that I know. I don't want to involve them so i want to find proof of what she is doing and confront her and tell her she needs to tell my step dad or i will. I want to help her but I'm so worried about the outcome. Something needs to be done and if i don't handle it who will.

I have all of this weight on my shoulders and I'm so sick of this stuff happening. If my Mum doesn't pull her head in i'm worried she wont be there for her future grandchildren or around much longer at all.

Am i doing the right thing?

7 Replies 7

Community Member
If doing it the nice way and giving her a chance to tell him herself doesn't work I am heavily considering just reporting her to the police and having the house raided. At least that way he will find out. I'm at the point where i don't even care if she ends up in jail because she has caused us so much pain and heartache that i feel like it might be the only way to actually get her straight.

Hi DP,

I have a mother with a lot of issues too. You sound just like me, like its your job to fix it, when it isn't. I really think its because of the way we are raised. If you have a spare moment, google `parentification' and you will see what I mean.

Your main job is to look after you. If this is causing you pain, you will need to have some boundaries, not become more enmeshed as the `fixer'. That's what I learned anyway.

Some other things to google `adult children of Addicts/alcoholics'. You'll see you are definitely not alone in being given the role of `fixer'. Its really not your job, they have a terribly complex situation that they have chosen for themselves. Its unlikely you could fix it, just create drama and more pain for yourself. Just IMO.

Hugs X

Thanks for your reply bindi.

She was clean for so long but apparently went of the rails again about 12 months ago.

I know that my mum is a narcissist and try to ignore her most of the time but it's hard when i want to keep in touch with other family. My step dad bought himself a big ticket item which there is a loan for and im worried mums smoking all their money away and he will lose everything he has worked so hard for.

It's bad but im almost most concerned about making sure he knows and he understands where money is going etc than i am about her health. He works his ass off for everything and has no idea where their money is always going. This man basically raised me and i would feel guilty knowing this and just sitting back and watching him loose everything he has.

I know i can never stop her from doing it and it's then her actions that will prevent her from seeing any of my future children and that's on her and that's ok because i don't need that kind of thing in my life.

I've never been the fixer before and to be honest i've been looking for a way to get my mum out of my life and have it not be my fault or loose my step dad and i think this is my chance.

I've never been the fixer in the family but i'm so over the way she treats people and how the whole family crumbles when this happens.

I know one of my triggers for my anxiety and depression is her and this is not helping at all but i'm more anxious knowing shes sitting there smoking their money away and him having no idea.

I just dont know if what i am doing is right.

Hi DP,

I really feel for you, especially if you are dealing with a manipulative personality as well as drugs. I know how agonizing it is to feel like you will lose your whole family, when you distance yourself from the most abusive family member. And you do lose them, its horrible. Its the heart break of my life, so I really get you. That such a painful situation to be in, big hugs X

My main concern for you exposing your mother's drug use is it won't work out how you hope it to work out:( Because of the illegal drug element, worst case scenario is your father goes to jail somehow. Or he takes her side, and treats you like the enemy.

Before you do anything, I really think there are two kinds of professionals you would benefit talking to right now. One would be a counselor first of all. And the other would be a lawyer,such as free legal aid. I have a feeling you are treading in territory that could harm the wrong person, or people. I believe you need to go over it properly with the pro's with this one.

I definitely understand you, its an awful position for you to be in. I've been there, and so have others. I found for myself, no contact was the only thing that worked for me, but it took me a lot of trying other things before I let go.


Thanks Bindi.

Now that you mention my step sad possibly ending up in jail for something he didn't do maybe it is best not to go down the path of calling authorities.

But i still think it would be good to confront mum in a 'i want to help' kind of way in the hopes that she will understand that im there for her. I will ask her to tell my step dad and if she refuses i will happily tell him. If he doesn't believe me and makes me out to be the enemy then i'm ok if it comes to loosing both of them.

I obviously would not be saying anything to anyone without hard evidence and if i cant be believed and he supports her habit then i dont need that kind of negativity in my life.

I do plan to go back to counselling or psych as soon as there is an opening but i also plan on attending support groups for people in my situation as well as contacting the Family Drug Support Australia team for sone guidance. Some people have recommended going to the local police station and seeking advice from an officer.

I just want it sorted and everyone to know the truth and hopefully people will see each other for who they really are. Even if that meand me seeing my step dad as a blind fool.

Hiya DP,

Good on you for having first rate ethics and the courage to stand my them. I'm not someone comfortable with enabling people who are harming others either, let alone my own family.

I tried to convince my Step Dad many times to leave his abusive relationship. Most things I learned about abuse, I shared with him. He didn't like me for it, I think I started to become a threat. He started to dumb down our conversations and get off the phone quickly. These days if I call him (he never calls me) he just says `call you mother'.

He had good reason to leave her , like child abuse, and my mother constantly abandoning him for other men. But he clung tighter to her and became her puppet. I came to same kind of conclusion as you, if my Step dad was going to be my mother's enabler, its his choice but don't respect it. It made me feel sad having to let him go, it would have been so great to have him in my life.

I tried just as hard with other family members. I didn't get any support I needed, just invalidation and pressure to enable her. But maybe 5 or 6 years after I cut contact with my mother and told people why, my closest sister did the same. And I heard my brothers hardly talk to her now.

I'm so sorry you are faced with this painful situation. I really feel for you X

Thanks Bindi,

It's a weird thing to say when you think about it but it's nice to know i'm not the only person that's had to go through this and nice to know i'm not alone.

Sorry you were also faced with the same issues, it's not really a nice spot to be in.

I went to see mum on Wednesday night and i was keeping a keen eye out for any evidence of use. Unfortunately there was no hard evidence but the way she was acting and the amount of energy she had (especially considering she has a physical medical issue that usually sees her bed bound in pain) made it very clear that she was on something.

But because i have no evidence i cant do or say anything at the moment. And if that's how it has to be then i guess that's ok. I'm trying not to beat myself up over it.

I need to not put so much pressure on myself over these things, because i feel like its starting to take a toll on my marriage.

This morning i found messages on my hubbys phone to a mate at working saying about borrowing his lighter because he didn't bring his and every few hours he would write him a smartly worded text about going 'out for a coffe' (as in out of the office) or just something as simple as 'hey' or whatever. Which to me looks like code for 'hey you coming out for a smoke?'

We both smoked for about 1.5 years and recently gave up (nearly a month ago) and i think hes smoking again. If that's what he chooses to do then that's fine, as much as i don't like it, i just wish he wouldn't lie about it. I also feel guilty for it because he seems to have started again since all this stuff has gone with my family and i feel like the pressure i have put on him and the amount he has needed to support me has led to him smoking again.

I don't know if i should bring it up. Iv'e given him a chance already today to admit it without directly asking but he seems to be avoiding it.

It just seems like everyone in my life is lying to me at the moment and i just don't see the point in it all anymore.