Being a person in recovery, nothing is ever promised to you. Everything I have acquired in my life since the day I got clean required hard work. The best decision I made in terms of my personal self reliance was to tell my mother I didn't want her to send me money anymore a few months after I got into treatment. It wasn't as if I didn't need the money- I absolutely need it- but I would never be on my own until I cut the cord as a 28 year old. I needed to be my own person, whatever that meant.
My mother and I had a unique relationship. She was a perfect co-dependant and recovery advocate at the same time. Through out my childhood my mother and I were at odds. It always seemed to me that if she only would do this or that, maybe my father would quit drinking. When I got to be a teenager, I saw her in a totally different light. She was from that generation where the family is supposed to stick together. She wanted to work things out and always held out that glimmer of hope that someday my father would stop drinking. I remember being on the school bus on my was to school at around 16. He would be a fixture at the bar in the morning and later in the evening, many times coming home to take mid day naps to sleep it off. I would go off to school so fucking embarrassed by my life. My compulsive over eating provided comfort until I was ridiculed for coping the best way I knew how.
When I was twelve years old, they told me they were going to get divorced and I always saw that as the biggest promise that was ever broken to a child. The promise of hope. The promise of a life without daily conflict, without walking on egg shells. I could tell with in two steps in the door if he was drunk. One day my father broke the cardinal rule of our dysfunction- he drank in the house. I didn't see it, but I know she threw a beer can at him. That was my mom. She had tolerance but wasn't a fool. She supported me at times in my addiction but she held out hope that some day her child would get clean. We talked almost weekly for eleven years of my recovery. One of the greatest joys of her life was my recovery. She told me many times when she dies, she will die at peace knowing her children are healthy and happy.
My mother and I both had three children. I was the youngest- the baby- no matter how old, you are always the baby. The other day, I found out by accident that my youngest child calls someone else mama. It eats away at me that I HAVE to work to support three kids as does my husband. On the flip side, my children will never see me drunk, have a mother that is completely present in their lives. My children only call one person mommy. That is my greatest title- one I shared with my own mother.