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p_176
LMP - even though it obviously upsets you, NOT having your mom pay for the wedding actually makes it easier on you - you can have the wedding you want, on your terms, instead of having a wedding that makes everyone happy except for you.
can you put the car you paid for in your name?
LoveMyPugs
well, the whole car incident was over seven years ago. i was just listing some of her wacky moments. she's let that go.

she hasn't however let the wedding thing go. we argue about it constantly. i'm sort of stuck between ryan and my mom. ryan wants no wedding because the cost, planning, society's pressure to wed and my mom's pressure for a big white wedding drives him crazy. my mom wants me to have a big wedding because she says she loves me and wants me to have that special day with my family and friends and thinks i'll regret it someday not doing it. in the end because of both of their stubborness i get neither. to be honest i don't want what either of them wants. unlike mr. pug i do want a wedding and i want something nice. not a pig roast or bbq but something simple at a hall. i'm willing to pass on a church because i know he doesn't believe in god. it will take planning and money but not the big white wedding planning and money. it might be a bit stressful but i think it will be worth it. however, it won't be a huge affair that my mom wants either. so i'm screwed. i just hope that one day one of them will bend and we can do something that will make everyone happy. sometimes i get very frustrated and down about it and start to think that it will never happen. i try to stay positive but it's hard.
thirtiesgirl
Pugs, again, I can really identify with your situation. My mom uses money to control everything, too. Even though she could have afforded it, she didn't pay for my college tuition and refused to sign my financial aid papers, essentially forcing me to stay home with her and go to college in my hometown.

While living at home in college, my mom demanded that I pay rent. It wasn't much; $200 a month, but I made only $500-$600 a month at my minimum wage job, so the rest of the money I made went for tuition and books. The first time I had a serious car repair and couldn't afford it, I had to ask my mom for money. I had nowhere to turn. My mom paid for the repair from the rent money I'd been giving her, as if it was her money to give... but at that point, it was. It came with a strong admonition that I "continue to pay rent like a good girl because you never know when you might need my help again."

When I graduated college, she tried everything in her power to keep me from leaving home. But I'd gained enough confidence and was differentiated enough that I realized the hurt she felt when I left was her own issue, not mine. The first two years that I lived in LA and worked as a legal secretary, my mom mailed me the classified section of the hometown newspaper every week, with ads for legal secretaries circled in red ink. Every time we talked on the phone, she'd always end the phone call with the offer that I could "always come back home again." I eventually stopped calling her on a regular basis, got caller ID on my phone so I didn't just pick up the phone blindly to find myself in another argument with my mom, and was selective about the times I chose to talk with her on the phone. She eventually got the message and backed off with her controlling tactics.

Point being, the power that your mom has over you is the power that you give her. It took me a long time to understand that for myself, but once I did, I was able to make positive changes that kept her from controlling my life. p_176 has some good suggestions: putting your car in your name, which gives your mom one less thing she can attempt to control. I'd also strongly recommend looking into financial aid for your college tuition. Again, one less thing for your mom to control; one more positive step for you in taking charge of your own life.

It sounds like you kind of already know what you want to do for the wedding, which is not having the family present. Based on the issues you've written about your family, it doesn't sound like a bad idea. Differentiation is all about doing what's right for you, but without alienating others. My suggestion would be to follow your own wedding plans (elope, or have a small wedding on your own terms, with just friends and immediate family), and then plan a post-wedding party, dinner, lunch, BBQ at your house for the rest of the family members you choose to invite. This way, the family isn't left out, but you're choosing who's there. And if your mom attempts to be controlling and says she's not coming because she's upset that you got married on your own terms, just keep reminding yourself that it's her issue, and continue reinforcing that message in a healthy way with your mom: "I'm sorry you feel that way, but I'd really like you to come." That's all that needs to be said; nothing more, nothing less. You're reminding her that it's her decision whether she attends or not, but still letting her know that you'd like her to be there. She is in control - of her own choices. But not the choices of others. As are you.

I'm sure you know, Ms. Pugs, that knowledge is power. Check out the links I posted to the Bowen stuff and see if you don't find some resonance with your family situation there. The more you know, the more power you have to make the right decisions for you.
hellotampon
My mom makes it incredibly difficult for me to get financial aid too. It drives me crazy. I certainly don't expect her to help me pay for college, but I do think she's obligated to fill out a fucking piece of paper that costs her NOTHING. Every semester she has an excuse as to why she can't sign the papers or give me a copy of her tax return. I swear she does it on purpose, although I don't know why, because it's no cost to her. I can understand why she claimed me on her taxes, because she got more money for it (even though it screwed me out of the rebate and being able to claim my tuition and I don't even live with her). But the school thing makes no sense. And it's not like she has a problem with me going to school or anything.
So I'm stuck in community college, which I can afford, until I'm 24 and can get financial aid without a parent's information.

I don't understand why they make you wait until you're 24. Honestly, I think it's silly that people expect college money from parents when you're that fricking old. That goes for weddings and cars too. And I don't think it's appropriate to expect to live with your parents for free either.
stargazer
what's with moms and money. i'm coming in to vent about my mom. so, i tell her no that i cannot run an errand for her today because i'm working on my dissertation and it turns into me not taking the time for her and how much she has done for me. all of this was told to my stepdad. i know in a minute the rant my mom will spew when she is unhappy with me. how much i don't do for her. and it makes me really regret accepting her help both in time and finance cause she is very manipulative in the end. she always has to remind me what she has done for me. i don't think my mom understands the true nature of giving. and it is the reason i often have a hard time letting people help me cause i don't want the resentment and manipulation that comes with it. and i don't know how sincere she is when she tells me that she is family and family helps one another. i guess help from family comes with a price.


boy, i hope i can move out next year. my mom's manipulation and controlling behavior are things i cannot live with. and they are games i don't need right now in my life.
deschatsrouge
((((Star))))
eileen grace
[font="Comic Sans MS"][/font][color="#FF00FF"][/color]

At last, i have tried to register and log on about 10 times now..........i'll probably forget which combination of e mail and password i used and have to do it all again. dry.gif

Anyway i haven't come on here to rant at you.................though i would like to rant at someone, aka big brother.]

Now he is 57 so you can guess that i am no spring chicken either.

On second thoughts, why bother, why waste my precious time on an r sole like him.

He beat the crap out of me, i took him to court, my da whinged, so i dropped it, now it turns out that i have a mark on my otherwise clean police record, because he counter claimed and so the complaint of assault lives on with me even though there was no charge and no evidence heard, they certainly do things differently here in Ireland. When the person who gets assaulted also ends up with a police record.

So my work depends on a clean police record and i stand to be fired and rendered unemployable in my field, in which i have worked for over 27 years,,,,,,,,,,,,,thats rough justice.

Does the bully always win, or is this just the most sexist country in the world....rant rant rant
thirtiesgirl
Hugs, Star. Your mom is practicing classic 'triangulation' strategies, according to Bowen family systems therapy. There's a triangle going between you, your mom, and your stepdad. Mom asks you to do something, and if you refuse because you're leading your own life (aka, individuating from her), it gives her something to complain to stepdad about. You're on the right path with your desire to move out, because that will further individuate you from her. That doesn't mean that she still won't try to 'triangulate' you into her web of manipulation, but there is an eventual way out.

The way is this: when your mom asks you to do something that you're unable to do and then gets mad at you, your response should be something along the lines of "I'm sorry you feel angry, mom, but I need to take time to write my dissertation/do my laundry/cook my dinner/go to Vegas/whatever," and leave it at that. If she continues to rant at you (whether it's in the moment or at a later time), simply reiterate that you're sorry she feels upset but that you need to go take care of yourself, and then hang up the phone, leave the room, leave the house...end of discussion. This does several things for you and your mom. One, you're expressing understanding of her anger, which eventually may register in her consciousness somewhere. Two, you're not playing into her manipulation because you're ending it (at least for yourself) by hanging up the phone or leaving the room. Three, your mom will eventually come to the realization that she has to take care of her own emotions with these issues and will (slowly) stop the 'triangulation' and stop asking you to do things for her as a means of attempting to control and manipulate you.

Of course this won't happen right away. It may take several months to a few years of repeating this pattern with your mom before she begins to get it, accept her own emotional care and do what she needs to do for herself. But the longer you keep it up and stay solid on it, the more your mom will have to work to change her ways. It's kind of like dancing with a partner. When you change the dance steps, your partner eventually learns to follow along. Right now, your mom's leading the dance. But if you want her to stop being so manipulative in your life, it's time for you to do your own steps and allow your mom the time to learn to follow along.
stargazer
um, thanks thirtiesgrl. i don't know if you know this, but i'm gonna be a psychologist soon. so i'm well aware of the "dynamics" that are happening. this stuff has been happening since childhood and i've talked in therapy. thanks though for your input.


welcome to the lounge eileen. if you can remember your info to login, please introduce yourself here. sorry to hear that your brother has treated you so poorly.
eileen grace
hi just testing to see if i changed my avatar, is that how you spell it, the Crolly doll bride is a bit much, it was the only one of my pictures that was of the right type!!! I thought.
persimmon_grrrl
hello busties.

i don't know if anybody else has experienced this, but since taking a lot of time away from my family (something i took upon myself and can see now how much of an emotional toll it took on me), i've recently come to a place where i want to be in touch with them, and know how they're doing.

more importantly for me, i care about my relationship with the parents more since they are getting older. of course being in a different state helps, but also i just find myself somehow separating who they are as people and their politics. before, i found this impossible and therefore found my parents as human beings to be unbearable company.

this is also making me rethink how i define what it means to be political and how i think about and approach political, family, interpersonal relationships.

recently, i spoke with both parents, with rather congenial conversations, and i felt like i was really communicating with them. i would never, ever call them for emotional support. that would make me feel far too vulnerable with them, and i don't trust them on that level. however, i did feel comfortable recently saying back, "i love you," when it was said to me. and that was important to me. i know it's a somewhat trite fear to think on the many times i've read and seen people saying, "i wish i'd said, 'i love you' one last time," and also this time i didn't feel cornered or obligated to make strange emotional gestures with no substance.

whatever the case may be, i notice my emotional self feels a little less compartmentalized, and i find my ideas and my locked down status changing, if ever so slightly.
i_am_jan
Very interesting persimmon. My parental relationships are somewhat similar; they are in my life, but the relationship is distant/strained/untrustworthy.

I think it says something of your character to be looking at your parents as individuals in their own right, and not only in how they relate to you. That is very generous, esp. considering your experiences.

To progress!
persimmon_grrrl
i_am_jan, thank you for the kind words.
i_am_jan
You're welcome sweetie. If you ever need to talk about this further, feel free to PM me, or just keep talking in this thread.
sassygrrl
((all busties))

I feel my relationship is changing more as well as my parents are getting older. It's almost regressing. My mother is acting like a teenager, and my father is consistently yelling at me. Both of them have serious health conditions, and now are always talking about death.

Example: Today I called my father to tell him that I sprained my bad toe (which I just had broke this past summer) yesterday while hiking, and the only response was: "Fuck! That hospital bill is going to be huge!". Um, thanks. I love you too? It was a horrible conversation which left me in tears. I'm on his insurance due to my health condition, but I almost feel guilty when I get sick.

My mother on the other hand is always bitching about me not working. I went on two interviews last week, and she doesn't seem to care about that.

I'm dreading the holidays. My sister doesn't talk to us, and I'm beginning to envy her.

auralpoison
My younger uppity aunt called today to check in for Xmas. Haven't spoken to her in months; I'm used to once, maybe twice a year talking to her she pains me so greatly.

I have a feeling that the auntie that tried to fuck me over was using her as a feeler to see what my position on this year's holiday festvities might be. We always spent xmas eve with mom's side of the family. This year? Like HELL I'm gonna go thirty miles to spend an uncomfortable evening with people I want to choke the life out of. But my aunt was judicious & didn't mention them at all, so we had one of those between the lines conversations that clearly made my intentions of fuck 'em clear.

Those people attempted a coup. They tried to usurp me. They've thrown a HUGE monkey wrench into MY business. I'll be goddamned if I go over for more humiliation. I'm not of pure redneck stock, I see no reason to waste any more time or effort on them. Eventually when somebody needs money, I'll hear from them.
konphusion26
My male 1st cousin (Jay) has been going through a custody battle with his daughter's egg donor (aka mother) since they broke up a few years ago. The child is 4 yrs old this year. The female that they call her mom is a nasty, trifling unfit tramp of woman. Here's why:

She's had Jay falsely arrested for assault, he never laid a hand on her. She's repeatedly taken him to court to get child support raised; she's falsely accused Jay of molesting his daughter and many other accusations that have been found false (all because he won't give her more money); she's just recently gotten a restraining order against Jay saying that he's abusive to his child and to her - which are all not true- therefore he cannot see or spend time with his daughter until further investigation has taken place. He hasn't seen his child in over a year. The last time Jay talked to the little girl on the phone, the child told him that her mother has been telling her that Jay doesn't love her and he doesn't want to see her!! He recently defaulted on child support as he's been between jobs, so this bitch had him followed and locked up for it.

I just talked to my mom, and she said that he's out of jail now. But they have to go to court again. The child's teacher made a report the other day that the child was caught masturbating in the classroom and heard saying "Ooh girl, don't stop, don't stop"... THIS IS A 4 year old! I understand children explore their bodies around that age. But come on now!! Her mother has been dating several women for the last 2 yrs and exposing that child to who knows what. I'm angry because for the kid to repeat something like that tells me that she's been seeing shit she shouldn't be seeing. Yet, nobody is investigating this tramp of a mother, nobody is checking into what she's doing. But they're on my cousin like a hawk and he's not even allowed to see his baby. That's bullshit.

The teacher is supposed to testify on Jay's behalf. I hope that the bitch loses custody of the child because she truly is an unfit mother. She's in it for the money and wants to make Jay's life as miserable as possible in the process. She gives women a bad name. I know Jay regrets ever being in a relationship with this psychotic broad. She truly is a piece of work! Unfortunately for him, now he has to pick up the pieces of his life and try to get his daughter back.

I. am. Livid.
foryoursplendor
Wow, this is unbelievably messy and terrible... the extremes that people will go through for money. I really hope this turns out in fovor of your cousin, let us know what happens sad.gif
konphusion26
70.
QUOTE(foryoursplendor @ Jan 28 2009, 11:13 PM) *
Wow, this is unbelievably messy and terrible... the extremes that people will go through for money. I really hope this turns out in fovor of your cousin, let us know what happens sad.gif

Thanks hun! I hope it works out for his favor too. It's time he grew up. But I am very pissed that he has to deal with this girl... she's doesn't act like a woman at all. I pray for that little girl of theirs though. She's the victim in this mess.
kittenb
I need help. I've posted on Bust before about my step-sis. She is out of control. On her MySpace page she has pictures of herself stoned, drinking, and now I can see that she has picked up yet another sleeze bag boyfriend. The guys she dates are just so gross looking with their stupid little 20 y/o chin pubes. She is desperetly unhappy and always fighting with her mothers. I don't know what to do. She lives in a different state than I do. When I try to talk to her about her behavior she flips out. Everyone is always yelling at her, she says. Well, it is kind of true but it is because she is really REALLY obnoxious right now.
I want her to grow the fuck up and stop acting like such a little pain in the ass. I also want her to show some respect for herself and stop with the stupid drinking, smoking and fucking around. How do I make my feelings clear without alienting her forever?
Persiflager
(((kittenb)))

If everyone's telling her what to do then she probably doesn't feel they have any confidence in her. How about 'Sis, I'm worried about some of the things that are going on in your life right now. I think you're smart and I trust you to sort out your own life, but I want you to know that you can talk to me about any problems you're having'.

That said, I'm no good at talking to my little sister - I have great intentions about being supportive and not offering too much advice, and then she acts like a total brat mad.gif . Wait, maybe she is a total brat...

I reckon the best you can do is be there for her in a nice, calm, loving, non-judgemental way, and maybe find out if there's anything she's struggling with that you can help with. Is she still in school?
musicfit
I don't know if this belongs in the Family Problems thread, since my husband and I are in no way dysfunctional, we're just in a huge rut right now. I'm just wanting to yell, help!

At this point, I don't know where to turn. I have talked my friends' ears off and I don't want to bother them anymore. So...I guess the best I can do is post on an anonymous thread and hope that someone has advice.

So, here goes...I was recently dismissed from the graduate program that I originally started. I spent 5 years preparing to be a therapist and now I'm going to graduate with a general masters' degree and am scrambling doing a makeshift "internship" and hoping that I can skate by on the concentrations the original masters program came up with for my general masters degree. I will never be a therapist. Ever. Now I'm back at square 1, looking for another career. This has been (of course) devastating for me. My sweet husband has been wonderful. He has stayed strong for me and supported me through the whole horrible ordeal.

My husband is an adjunct instructor who has been looking for a full-time teaching job for the past 5 years. He's working an office job just to make ends meet and is getting frustrated with his stale routine. He grew up in a poor family and now he is realizing that he is still poor and is just wanting out of that kind of lifestyle, wants to actually for once feel secure. We don't feel secure in the money we have...I hope it isn't this way forever.

But tonight he collapsed in sobs and started berating himself, saying how he should have obtained a better job and how he feels hopeless and helpless, like he can't affect anything or make any difference. The problem is, I feel the exact same way. I had no idea his self-esteem was still so low, he has been holding it in for so long. I love him so much, but it was like every compliment I gave him, everything I said to console him he just brushed it off. I feel like he might have what I have (ADD/ADHD) but whenever he has completed an assessment online, it says he is borderline, but that isn't enough to convince him to get help. I feel like he's so much like me in that his mind just crashes at times. He struggles to form words sometimes (just like I do) and he has been fired from more than one job (just like me).

The most painful part of all of this is how successful our friends are. It's like rubbing my nose in how pathetic I look compared to them every time I talk about my situation with them, or hear about how great and wonderful and easy everything is for them. My husband was realizing that by not going to the gym (because he hates gyms) he was not doing anything to improve his health and therefore he felt terrible about it.

This all came about when I went to work out at the gym with some friends and my husband didn't want to go. He hates gyms, I'm beginning to feel that he might have a phobia of them. I returned home to find that he was a mess. Saying that he's sad and has never truly been happy. It scared me. He has seen counselors in the past, but I need to be able to convince him to see an honest to God therapist...someone who can work with him for the 20 sessions our insurance covers and help him get out of his rut, because I can't help him...I can barely help myself.

This is probably too overwhelming for any of you to come up with productive advice, but any thoughts you are having that you think might be helpful, please share them. I'm at my wit's end.
auralpoison
Oh, you poor dear. That is some SERIOUIS drama.

While I am sure you will get responses here, I'd try the Committed thread. That's where us lifers talk stuff out.

(((((Musicfit)))))
stargazer
(((musicfit))) sad.gif

i think AP is correct in that you will get more of a response if you put your post in the committed thread. i think you are correct that your hubby needs to speak with a therapist. maybe see a therapist yourself. this way, you are not taking out your frustrations on each other in the relationship. my heart goes out to you regarding your school situation. i'm almost in a similar position as you. i had a major shit setback while attempting to finish my doctoral degree in clinical psychology. feel free to PM me if you need to vent/rant about your situation.
angie_21
musicfit - that sounds very hard. I had to go through a similar, but short lived event when my SO finally decided to defend for a degree he had put off finishing for 4 years. He had to work thru a lot of things in his past to do it, and was a complete wreck, and also angry about all the decisions he had made in his life. But it all got better once it was finished. Hopefully you will recover too. I think that every person has these doubts inside, that we can keep covered up as long as nothing "goes wrong." If you can't fall back on your friends, I think stargazer is right, you might need a support group or something similar. Most university graduate offices have support programs and career counselling for such a thing, and may be able to offer discounts for seeng a councillor.

Just remember, you are not pathetic, you are smart and successful enough to be near finishing a graduate degree, and that is no small task! Even a general degree makes you a catch!
angie_21
And now a question about my own disfunctional family... And also I just kind of need to rant. The whole thing seems so childish and silly. My younger brother, who is 22 and living with our parents, has brought me to the final straw. He has bullied and manipulated my parents since he was 10 years old to the point that they give in to his every little demand. They have actually become timid and afraid to confont him because he will throw violent fits, even in front of relatives and guests, to get his way. He throws things, sometimes furniture, yells, screams, swears, and makes threatening statments (he used to prefer "I feel like I want to kill you right now," now it has become along the lines of "this just makes me want to punch/stab something") I moved out after finishing my undergrad 3 years ago, and so mostly have been able to pretend he doesn't exist, except when I go to visit my parents.

He and his girlfriend sit sullenly at the dinner table, kiss and grab at eachother right in front of anyone, and then leave before dinner is finished without helping to clean up. I know that this is just general rudeness, and not a major complaint, but it never ends... He lives in their basement, and it is a disgusting, stinky, carpet-stained mess. The renovated the basement bathroom, coting thousands of $$ and he destroyed it is less than a year with hair dye and leaving standing water on the floor. They paid for him to fly to Victoria when he was invited to our cousin's wedding, and when they wouldn't buy his girfriend a plane ticket and pay for them to rent a separate hotel room, he waited until they got there, then threw a fit in the hotel, refused to go to the reception, and threw fits in the restaurant in front of the entire family, and on the airplane back, just to get revenge. etc, etc, etc. All somewhat small complaints, but build them up constanly over 10 years time, and take into account that my parents give in to everything and actually yell at me when I confont him during any of his fits, because they don't want me to upset any balance he does have.

Now I have a cat that has been living with my parents because I have been unable to find a pet-free apartment since I moved out. This is loosely "my" cat - we got her when I was a kid, and she turned into "my" cat once it became apparent that she was peeing on the furniture, since I was the one who tried to defend her from being given away to the SPCA. I agreed to take her with me once I had a house or found an apartment that I could afford that allowed pets, but this is not something that has been possible. Yesterday my brother decided it was somehow time that he is going to charge me for having to live with the cat, and asked for $200 a month because it was such an inconvenience to him! He went on to blame me for not caring about his well-being since he has allergies to the cat (not something I was aware of until now..) even though my parents already have another cat, and saying I was abandoning the cat and taking advantage of my parents' hospitality! After everything he has ever done to them..

I want to make it clear that I will not be visiting their house or going to a single family function if he is there. Am I being overdramatic? Is there a dignified or un-crazy way to do this? I am also suddenly stuck with trying to find someone who will take in a cat that pees on the carpet, since my parents have, as usual, given in to his demands and are also asking me to either compensate him or get rid of the cat. I thought I had been able to escape their madhouse once I moved out, but here I am again... Reading over what I've written, it all still seems childish and silly, am I actually being the crazy one?

kittenb
I don't know why your parents have decided to let your brother's behavior dominate the household. It is possible that they are afraid that he will end up living on the streets. He might be physically abusive to him at this point for all you know. What I do know is that I am afraid for that cat. If your brother is threatening violence are you sure he won't hurt the cat?
Your cat is probably engaging in stress realted peeing. It is something over-anxiopus felines do and i have too much experience with that. There are ways to treat it (medication, special foods) but lowering the stress around the cat is essential.
You are not being silly or childish. Your brother is a danger. You are not the crazy one and it sounds like you will dobetter to stay away from the family at this point or only see your parents w/o him.
angie_21
Kitten - his fits can be violent but he has never (to my knowledge) actually directed that violence at a living thing. I used to be scared when I still lived at home, because his mood swings have a manic-depressive quality to them and I never knew when something might push further than before, but he has calmed down a lot now that he is no longer a teenager. I am definitely trying to find someone to adopt the cat anyways, if only for the selfsih reason that I won't have to deal with him after that. I am so frustrated, especially because it really sucks that I feel like I'm not strong enough to be there for my little brother and help him out, even though I know it isn't my fault he is like this.
stargazer
QUOTE(angie_21 @ Mar 9 2009, 11:31 PM) *
I am so frustrated, especially because it really sucks that I feel like I'm not strong enough to be there for my little brother and help him out, even though I know it isn't my fault he is like this.


don't take on his baggage. your parents helped to support his behavior. unfortunately, this pattern between your parents and your brothers is so tight and rigid there may not be a chance for changes, peace, or the harmony you seek or long for. some people like the chaos. i think it is a good sign that you want your life to be different for you and wanting to distance yourself. a relationship is a relationship. i think what makes it tougher is the the whole blood relationship thing. but, my folks both needed to distance themselves from their crazy ass families. i did the same thing with my biological dad. basically, those toxic relationship prevent you from living to your own potential because your life becomes centered around THEIR drama.

i hope you can give yourself some credit in all of this that you are doing what you need to for yourself to be safe. it is hard to be apart from your family, but i don't see it as selfishness. maybe with time, you will be able to be around the whole family again. yet right, it seems too tough cause you are in the cyclone. if that makes. definitely get that kitty to a safe shelter if you can. i agree with kittenb that his behavior may be stressed induced if his home environment is as tense as you describe it. animals are terribly receptive to what is going on in the home.
angie_21
Stargazer, thanks for writing. I have been distancing myself from my family since moving out, mostly without a lot of guilt because I know that all the things you've said are true. It was such an amazing difference once I had removed myself from the self-destructive space and gotten out of the cycles of guilt and enabling. But sometimes, when these problems come up, I lose my self resolve, because I can see how lost my parents are in all this, they are hurting and feel horrible and feel responsible for pushing me away. Considering how much worse it could be, that there is no physical abuse or drugs or gangs... I think I came here looking for validation that I need to stay strong and keep myself apart at least until my brother has finished growing up and hopefully one day moved out of their house.

I am looking for places to move the cat, and also taking her to the vet to get a full physical evaluation (bloodwork and urinalysis for a cat = $250.. jeebus) and hopeully some anti-anxiety medication to keep her from peeing so anyone might acutally be willing to take her in. When I refused my brother's request for money, we started with a fight (over email, the only way I will talk to him), and he moved on to a guilt trip, saying he knows he is a problem and has grown up living "in the shadow of the sucessful older sibling," pretended to be trying to open up to me, but when I responded and he found out he had got at least part of what he wanted with trying to move the cat out, he immediately stopped and ignored me. It sucks to have your emotions toyed with like that, but at least I feel like I am doing the right things.
kittenb
Things have gotten much, much worse with my family. My step-sis stole $1000 from my mom. $1000. Now, that is a lot for any family. For my mom, who works sales at Macy's, that is more that one whole paycheck. My mom does not even have a car at the moment. Her's died and she can't afford to get a replacement. And my step-sis feels okay with taking her debit card and stealing $1000.
In some ways this is almost a relief. It is like, one of the worst betrayals that could happen has happened. So, my opinion of my step-sis has changed. The stuff she was doing may have made us look bad as a family but it hurt herself more than anyone. But this is unacceptable. I will not tolerate it in my life. She can no longer come here, to my house, as a back up. I cannot trust her not to do the same to me. And sense I am moving in w/The Geek, well, I will not let that kind of danger threaten my relationship (or his credit.)
Despite my clarity in these issues, it has made stuff so very much worse at home. For some reason, mom and her partner did not call the cops (I would have.) The step-sis is still living at home. I believe that the partner has begged and pleaded to keep Mom from calling the police. She recently threatened suicide when mom was considering moving out (Tammy was welcome to come with her, Sasha was not.) So my mom is in this situation where I don't think she is safe. I don't trust Sasha and I am tired of Tammy's manipulation.
I don't know what to do. My mom hasn't even told me any of this yet. I learned it all after calling my older sister to find out why no one from the family has called me in awhile. I knew something was wrong but I was too chicken to call mom directly.

I feel like this should feel different than it does, like I should be crying or raging. I wish I was more suprised. I just do not know what to do.

Oh, one more thing. All of this happened very soon after mom got out of the hospital from being treated for 2 bleeding ulcers. She refused my offer of money to help pay for medication. This kind of stress could honestly, kill her.
sybarite
(((Kitten and kitten's mom)))

You know, I feel like a rat saying this, but maybe you should call the police. This way your mom's partner can't give your mom a hard time about calling them. As you recognise, sadly your step-sister's behaviour has gone beyond anyone's influence or control: she's crossed a line of trust and I believe you're doing the right thing--for yourself--by reducing your contact with her.

Saying that, your mom sounds like she needs step-sis to leave yesterday. She's over 18, right? I appreciate the partner's being difficult but maybe you can help your mom to override her?

I don't mean to sound so callous against your step-sis, but it seems like she's had ongoing support and understanding and she's done nothing with it but abuse it. Maybe some time in the world supporting herself might help.
kittenb
Thanks Syb. I agree w/everything that you said. I think my step-sis has just crossed a line that IS NOT crossed. Right now, I am waiting to see if my mom calls me to tell me anything. I want to know why the Cone of Silence has fallen and what they are afraid will happen if I knew.
I won't call the cops. I would have but I don't think that I can make a report about a crime that did not happen to me. Also, it would only add to mom's stress if the cops showed up and no one knew why. Although the mental image does amuse me a little.
stargazer
(((kittenb))) i really feel for your mom. what a terrible position for her to be in. and what a terrible position for you to me hearing all of this information second hand. sad.gif it sounds like your mom and her partner are having a tough time being united about how to handle step sis. i'm sure stepsis sees this and is just playing them. so sad. things may get worse before they get better. or, they may just allow the same things to keep happening.
bunnyb
(((kitten))) I don't really know what to say other than that I sympathise. My sister is a lot younger but she's stolen money, cigarettes, watches porn and has almost set the house on fire on a couple of occasions hiding lit cigarettes. I know the frustration you are feeling. Unfortunately with your stepsis, I don't think that there's really anything that you can do; she's on a downward spiral and the only hope is that she hits bottom and realises she needs to pick herself up. It's like any intervention: the person needs to want help. The only thing that you can do is be supportive of your mum and -if you want to- be there for Sasha when she turns around and sees what she's doing to her family and to herself.
kittenb
So the emotional reality of my step-sis' actions have finally hit me. Last night I just realized, she has ruined everything. Until she makes this right, and I mean pays back every damn dime and gets herself into treatment for whatever is wrong with her, she is not welcome in my life. She cannot come to my house. If she is still like this when I get married or have a baby, she will not be a part of it. I will not be buying her prom dress because she won't be going to prom (she has all but dropped out.) She is the bad influence that other parents should keep their children away from.
It hurts so much. It is like this hollow emptiness that just aches. I have always wanted so much for her and now, none of that matters. She has trashed it all. I don't know how to accept it.
stargazer
(((kittenb))) sad.gif
kittenb
My mood has improved because I have decided to pretend I am an orphan. It has to be the case. Those people are crazy. I am not crazy. Therefore - ORPHAN!
It won't last. At some point, someone will call me. But until then - ORPHAN!
angie_21
Aww (((kittenb))) I have tried that tactic too. It's great while it lasts! And you are right to be concerned about keeping youself and your life separate from these problems, it doesn't help anyone for you to get all tied up in this mess that is not at all your fault.

I think honestly that if things keep happening, you may have to call the police, or convince your mom to. I know it just sounds like that will be more stressful, but this is a situation that is just plain beyond any person's ability or responsibility to deal with all by themselves. Your sis won't make anything right without a swift kick in the ass and a lot of help, and I doubt she will be willing to get help at this point, so the only option is a kick in the ass. I have never personally had a bad experience with cops, they can be very straighforward and helpful, and they may be able to let you know what you (and your mom) can and can't legally do to keep yourselves safe.

But either way, big *hugs* and good luck!
kittenb
I have honestly decided to do my best to not get involved. I finally talked to my mom about it and it turns out I wasn't even supposed to know what had happened. I had been told by my older sister who was also not supposed to know about what had happened. My family loves to keep their little secrets. My mom basically told me that she could not deal with the fact that I was upset b/c she had too many things going wrong at the moment. She refuses to go to the police b/c if she does her relationship will end. I told her if she changed her mind I would move her to the city. Otherwise, fuck it. I cannot deal with that level of craziness in my life anymore. I hate the way my family deals with stuff.

At this point, I have no interest in ever going back to Ohio. My family never vistis me out here. It is always me trying to stay in touch with them. They know where I live. If anyone wants to find me, they can call me for a change.

I know that at some point my anger will fade and I will be willing to see them again but right now they are not my problem. No one wants my involvement so I will stop being involved. In some ways it feels strangely liberating. In other ways, kind of lonely. But I will live. I have a good life where I am. I will just focus on that for a change. If my mother ever decides to prioritize herself and her needs and health, I will be the first person to help her move. Until then, she has to make her own choices.
stargazer
(((kittenb)))
persimmon_grrrl
...
stargazer
This article on mother/daughter relationship dynamics reminded me too much of what happens with my mom and I. The reason why it is better for me to live away from my mother.
period_monster
I had a similar reaction when reading that article, Stargazer. A few years ago I needed to live with my mom for a year while I worked out some stuff. By the time I moved away I really felt like I had become blurry. the line between she and I had started to disappear. This is why I love to live a plane ride or two away from home most days.

My granny and her mother have never lived more than a county apart, in the 80+ years my granny has been alive. Their relationship distresses me terribly because my great-grandma isn't nice to my granny. I fear that when my great-grandma goes, my granny will too.
foryoursplendor
Ahhhhh! I have a crazy step-mom (who's only 34), and she's literally a crack addict. She was hit by a car last year, and received $25,000 because of the accident. She spent $5000 of the money last weekend on a binge and she's gone on one again this weekend. She's been missing since Friday, so at this point the only options for her are:

-she realizes what she's doing, and comes home with what is left of her money
-she comes home because she has run out of money
-she gets arrested and put in jail
-she dies

The first option is very unlikely, but one can hope. She's the mother of my 2 younger brothers, which is the only reason I am not indifferent to her. To be honest, I hope that she gets put in jail asap, I think its the only way she'll stop using immediately, save some of her money and get some help.

I've been back from holiday a week today, and I'm already not wanting to be here.
kittenb
{{{foryoursplendor}}} That is a tough situtation to be in. I totally understand the "If I wasn't connected to you through other people" I absolutely give up on you!
I hope things work out soon.
designermedusa
((for your splendor)) I hope things work out especially for you and your brothers' sake.

star, thinks for linking to the mom/daughter story. It really hit home, and I feel on a daily basis that distance would be a good thing for me and my mom. The thing is Twin DM needs to get away too or my mom will latch on to her even more. I'll have to show Twin DM the article.
foryoursplendor
My Step-Mom showed up at her Mom's on Saturday, after being missing for 8 days. My Dad has told her that he doesn't want to her to come home. I'm really happy that he's done this, but I hope that he sticks to it.
auralpoison
(((((Foryoursplendor))))) (((((DesignerMedusa)))))

I love my grandad, I do. I know he's bored. But I am tired of him bullying me into letting him do whatever he wants. IS IT SO GODDAMNED WRONG THAT I WANT TO DO SOME THINGS FOR MYSELF?!

He's been threatening to come over & mow my lawn (I'm a home owner now, I need to do these things myself!), he followed through today. He called first, so I relented & let him, but told him I only wanted him to do the front as the backyard is a mess (The swift winds knocked over the BBQ caddy, there is broken glass & caddy junk everywhere) & I'd rather do it on my own, TVM. So he did the front, I told him to leave the back be, he pushed past me to get back there. It pissed me off, no means NO goddamnit. So I reverted to being a nine year old & stood in front of the fence & argued with him about it for fifteen minutes until he got disgusted enough to leave. But not before demanding to know what I'm "hiding" from him. I'm not "hiding" anything per se, but my fence is in desperate need of repair & I just don't want MY LIFE to become HIS PROJECT. I WANT TO DO IT, NOT HAVE HIM DO IT BECAUSE I'M STUPID & OR HELPLESS. IT'S NOT HIS JOB!!!!!

I appreciate that he's bored out of his skull, but he needs to find something to do that doesn't revolve around making me feel like a nincompoop because I don't know that gas "spoils" over a year or where the carburetor on the mower is hidden.
stargazer
It is hard to believe how the patterns in my life are so engrained in me, mentally and behaviorally. I was reading this website about family systems (yes, I'm a psychology dork), when a paragraph really struck me:

"A good analogy is an alcoholic family, in which the children are forced into protective and stereotypic roles (the scapegoat, mascot, lost child, and so on) by the extreme dynamics of their family. But these roles do not represent the essence of the children; on the contrary, once released from his or her role by intervention, each child can find interests and talents separate from the demands of the chaotic family."

I've been working really hard this year to break old patterns. I was aware of my "helper" role in my 20s when talking to a mentor and I said, "I don't know what to do if I am not needed" in a relationship. Major a-ha moment for me, but, I still struggled to break this cycle (hello dating emotionally immature losers!). I think this pattern is tough for me to let go and allow my vulnerabilities because, in some ways, my family still pulls for me to be the thinker and go-to person in crisis (or self created crisis). I have a good relationship with my family, don't get me wrong. But, that sexy dance or seduction of co-dependency...I can get roped in before I know it.
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