My mother has always drunk, but she has drunk every day for the past 40 years, since I was a child.

She raised me on her own. She was a single parent and I knew that must have been tough so I felt sorry for her and defended her and protected her from an early age. I became her parent from about the age of 12.

I never wanted to worry her so took care of everything: housework, her clothes for work, buying Christmas presents for other family members etc etc etc. I got a part time job at the age of 13 so I could pay for my lunch money at school and pay for everything I needed without upsetting her. I cleaned up after her drunken parties and called in sick to her job when she was too hungover to work. I knew the phone number for her work and her three favourite pubs off by heart as I called them so often looking for her. She frequently just went to the pub after work and I was home alone. We had no neighbours and I have no siblings. Whatever I did I was called lazy, selfish, demanding and boring.

She had no interest in my life until I got older and had jobs that meant she could get drink or make-up or clothes from me. I was always expected to be charming and polite. Her verbal abuse of me was hidden from her family. To them, we had to present a perfect image. She got even more demanding and abusive as I got older. Even when I lived away from her, I had to take care of her tenants, clean her house when she was away, know the phone numbers of all her friends in case she lost them (which was frequently), go on holiday with her. I couldn’t even order what I wanted at a restaurant. She chose what she wanted and then she picked mine so she could eat half. If I tried to say anything at all I was described as domineering and a bully.

This has left me with a life time fear of confrontation and I still find it difficult to identify and voice my needs. When I had children I wanted her nowhere near them, I didn’t want her to touch them, I felt like she was going to infect them. I realised how utterly selfish she is and still do not understand how you could treat someone as she treated me. I want to help my children as much as I can . She didn’t even try, she didn’t do her best at all. She also knew exactly what she was doing or she wouldn’t have gone to such great lengths to hide her behaviour. My whole life was dominated by her drinking, she never took me anywhere unless there was alcohol. She never helped me nor took any interest in any of my activities. She called me silly and boring and I was expected every day to sit and listen to her for hours whilst she aired every imagined grievance she had with the world. I was not allowed speak as I was boring and my friends were boring.

I am no longer in contact with my mother and she has succeeded in lying about me to our extended family. She manipulates them and lies, they wont listen to me as they say it’s taking sides. They have left me completely alone to raise two children (their father is also an alcoholic who walked out of their lives years ago). I don’t so much as get an invitation for Christmas lunch. I don’t think they are bad people, it’s just my mother is incredibly manipulative, she fooled me for years. The first time I packed a bag to run away from home (at 13) she laughed, mocked me and said no one wants you, where are you going? She has humiliated me, impersonated me, called me names and tried to destroy me mentally and emotionally. I still can’t believe I got away, it’s such a relief to be away from her. It is easier raising two children on my own then growing up with my mother.