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Drug dependent mother

Community Member
I'm 23 now and out of home but feel as if I've never properly addressed the ongoing issue of my mother being addicted to prescription pain medication. As of the last 12 months all my siblings are finally living with their dads (aged 11,15,20) and I've moved out of home but my feelings of hopelessness always seem to return to centre around mum. Its taken 4 trips to the hospital for accidental overdoses and millions of "im sorry it won't happen again" yet nothing seems to change. This week shes finally off to move to QLD to have her sisters support but just doesn't seem to get that she's put herself in this position.

This issue has been going on since before I was born, and I feel as if this has just been the norm for her now for so long that she forgets that she doesn't need to be doing what she's doing. That yes she needs to be only given 3 days medication at a time because she's the one that put herself in hospital on numerous occasions. She's apparently been diagnosed with fibromialga and constant migraines so is on a constant pain medication schedule.

Now when I look back on the 18 years I lived with her, I realise that it was me running the household. That when she went through 2 divorces, I was the one trying to raise us kids. That when she would not get out of bed for days, I was the one to feed everyone. I feel this build up of resentment but I can't say anything because her last trip to the hospital left her brain not 100% all there. She wants this great relationship with her kids and thinks she has one but we don't enjoy speaking to her and hearing every time that "the doctor won't give me more how stupid" as if she has no idea what she's spent the last 25 years doing gets too much.

I dont really know what I'm trying to get out of this post, maybe just to hear anyones similar experiences. I've tried to speak to a counsellor about this in the past yet after 2 visits and an hour and a half im apparently "fine" and "much better now". Anyone have any idea on how to let go of this resentment? I'm sick of feeling down and over thinking everything because I'm worried about hurting her feelings.
2 Replies 2


Hey Summer188,

Thanks for reaching out and sharing your journey with us here on the Beyond Blue forums. We're so sorry to hear of the trauma you've experienced as a result of your mother's misuse of pain medication. We can hear that you were made to be responsible for your siblings including, supporting them through your two divorces. We acknowledge what a difficult position this must've put you in and can see why you have these feelings of resentment towards your mother. We think it's great that you're so proactive in seeking help and that you are willing to examine your own feelings and behaviour. Many in our community have had similar experiences, hopefully, a few of them will pop by and offer you some words of wisdom.

We're sorry to hear about your less than helpful experience with counsellors. We can understand how frustrating it would've been to have your feelings dismissed in such a way. We always urge people like yourself not to be put off by one or even a couple of negative experiences, if you can, book in an appointment with another mental health professional who can hopefully get you on the road to recovery. If you would like some help finding mental health support, we would recommend that you get in contact with the Beyond Blue Support Service. They are available 24/7 by phone on 1300 22 4636 or on Webchat 3pm-12am AEST on our website: www.beyondblue.org.au/getsupport. They will give you support and point you in the right direction for help in your area.

We would also recommend that you get in touch with an organisation called Relationships Australia on 1300 364 277. They provide relationship support services for individuals, families and communities and aim to support all people in Australia to achieve positive and respectful relationships.

Please feel free to share more of what's on your mind. 

Community Member

Hello Summer188,

It sounds like that was a difficult situation to grow up through for you and your siblings.

While your situation "now" might be empirically better, the impact of having to grow up and take on responsibilities in the way you describe will still colour the lens you see the world through. Looking back you can see what you went through, feeling some resentment about the situation seems like a normal response to me.

Things to keep in mind, you are responsible for your actions, your mother is responsible for hers. You did your best through that, a positive to hold onto.

Time will help with the negative, (an old adage, but true), other parts of life will become more important, hopefully your mothers dependence on medications will become less of an issue for her as well. Once you have a chat with some of the support options for yourself provided by Sophie_M you may be able to identify options for her to look into for herself as well.