I’ve always been envious of parents who can give their child the gift of a magical relationship with their grandparents. Another set of hands to help out, another heart to love them, another person wanting the best that life can offer just the way you do.
Sadly though for my kids this is the one thing I’ll never be able to provide.
My mother, you see, is an alcoholic.
By nature she is selfish, proud and arrogant. My dad left her many years ago. I know she loves me in her own way but our relationship has never been close and truth be told I’ve been holding this together. It is very much a one way street in terms of emotional support.
I wish my children had a loving grandparent. Image: istock
I couldn't tell you how many times she's let me down, reliability has never been her strong point. Her words have cut deeper than any knife ever could have and I've lost count of the times she's embarrassed me in front of others. But I hang in there because that's what you do, right?
She's had tragedy in her life, it's true, and has battled depression for most of her years. She's engaged with specialists of every kind but it's the drink that will kill her. Her daily amount is more than most people's weekly quota and it's getting worse by the day. It's not unusual for her to pour the first drink at around 10 am (because it's 12pm somewhere, right?) and she'll generally pass out somewhere early evening. She's been referred to more rehabs than you could imagine but every time she finds a reason why she can't go. Forget a regular grandparent offering to babysit, my mother can't even drive the car to come and get them!
She is now at the point where she forgets whole conversations, even days. She will tell me the same story over and over with no understanding that she's said all the words before. I see her hands tremble as she tries to write, a physical sign of years of abuse.