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pants
Raisin, can you just pull the oh I have too much work to do card? or get conveniently ill? you wouldn't want to infect anyone after all

and then just take the time for yourself to do your own thing for a couple days without any expectations.






I've just had to explain for the FIFTH YEAR IN A ROW that no mom they don't celebrate Thanksgiving in the UK, see it's an American holiday, and this is another country.

I'd tell her it feels like she doesn't listen to me but I don't think she'd actually listen to me.
rogue
Hey ketto - yeah, I'm just going to keep the time off for myself. It's my last three days of vacation this year and I have ten days off (paid!) at Christmas because my office closes from 24 December - 4 January, which is awesome. I'm just going to spend time hanging out around the house and stuff, probably go out for some walks, whatever. I've wanted some downtime so I think it's a good idea. I hate to say it but my stepfamily is truly made up of a bunch of idiots. I e-mailed one of my best friends today and told her that it's something that I really just realized and that I need to get over. People are going to be assholes - nothing I can do about it, right? I'm also used to being left out of everything - one time they all got a family photo done and I wasn't included in it. Like, I live a three hour drive away but I definitely would have made it over for that if they had even mentioned it. So I went to visit after it was done and there it was, hanging on the wall, sans moi. It was just weird. It pisses me off too because my father isn't even married to my stepmother and her kids are not his and I'm just...replaceable. Bah.

I also just got word last night that my grandmother might be bleeding internally (again) so I think it best that I stay close to home this weekend. She's had a really shitty year and I would hate to be away if something happened. It's not a I'd never be able to forgive myself situation, but I would not be happy about it at all.
spot-on
QUOTE(rogue @ Nov 17 2009, 07:34 AM) *
It was just weird. It pisses me off too because my father isn't even married to my stepmother and her kids are not his and I'm just...replaceable. Bah.


Rogue, I know exactly how this feels cos I was in that exact same place. Only I was just 12/13 years old. My father was never there for me in my childhood. Not to go into too much details but he fucked up royally and thought more of his new family than he ever did of me and my Mom. I hated him for it. I didn't take my hatred out on his GF or her kids but her daughter (1 yr older than me) took an immediate dislike to me and there was tension whenever I visited and at school.

Once he told me we would be going to an amusement park the next week, I got ready and he never showed. But he took the rest of his new family, there was "No room for me in the car as D decided to go at the last minute". Well screw me then I guess? The week after I decided that *I* wouldn't turn up to the arranged location. He turned up on our doorstep at 11pm blind drunk. I told him at 14 to fuck the hell off and that I no longer wanted to see him. My life was much better after that, but it STILL hurts to this day that he replaced our family and no longer gave a shit.

If your gut is saying stay home, they stay home. I've definitely learned to listen to my inner me and she's never been wrong so far!

(((HUGS)))
raisingirl
Good suggestion, Pants (nice name change!), but I was sick all of last week, so that's unfortunately not a possibility for next week. I will probably go to a relative's house for a few hours, but I hate how it feels like an obligation. I wish I were hosting instead.

One of the most awkward Thanksgivings was the fall I studied abroad in college. The director of the program arranged a Thanksgiving dinner for us that same weekend (not on that Thursday night) and we all sat around not really interested in eating turkey, but thankful they made the effort to do it for us. I was thinking, didn't I come here to get away from this and to experience non-American things?
pants
Thanks, Raisin!

I don't know though, if you go out into the world too soon after being ill you might have a relapse and get EVEN sicker. And then you'd have to go tot he hospital and your insurance rates would go up and you would go broke paying doctor bills and then you'd be homeless, all because of Thanksgiving.

Silliness aside, I know what you mean, I appreciate Thanksgiving as a holiday now that it's no longer a time suck involving the back and forth from Chicago to Detroit to have an awkward meal with my family. But I'm still in no rush to celebrate seeing as the last one I was back home for involved a car accident and a visit to the ER in my hometown where they kept insisting that we lived in Canada and not the UK. But this isn't about dysfunctional hometowns, it's about families.

So I will just say that my brother is on my absolute last nerve. I'm trying to arrange a trip for his eldest daughter (who he hasn't spoken to in months, which is a long involved stupid story) to come to London to visit this summer. So I sent him an email to let him know as otherwise I would probably be accused of sneaking around his back and lying and probably sacrificing babies and baking kittens into pies. So I sent him an email letting him know and also asking how he's doing. He writes back with a four word response. I write back saying thanks, how's life otherwise? He writes back saying Life is good.

I have since decided to pretend that he responded as an adult and have therefore written him back with answers to the unasked question of how I am doing (well, thanks) and asking for Xmas gift suggestions for his other daughters. It may be an exercise in futility but I'm hopefull that it's annoyed him.

I don't know if he pissed that I'm still on good terms with his eldest after he's fucked up so tremendously as a father, or if he's angry at me about something else, or if he's just emotionally stunted, or if it's some combination of all three, but by god I will continue trying to teach him how to be an adult by example. And hopefully annoy him in the process. That's mature, right?
raisingirl
Yeah, you can't have any more repeat car accidents! Yikes.

I would be ripshit if my sibling was pulling the same shit as your bro. But good for you for staying in touch with his daughter and arranging a visit and strengthening the bonds between you -- it will do wonders for her (and you!), I'm sure of it. Maybe he'll come to his senses when he's... um... ready? blink.gif I dunno.
stargazer
I guess I just have to vent about my mother. My mother can be pretty good instigator with arguments in our house. I've definitely had to learn to not take her bait. Lately, in the past 2 weeks, on 2 separate occasions, she has made comments to me about what I eat...meaning, desserts. If I take a second brownie or when I was going to eat the last slice of pie this morning. There is part of me that wants to tell her (and I apologize if I offend anyone), "Hey fat ass, I'm not the one who is overweight with back and joint problems. I exercise to manage my emotions. I don't eat to avoid them." Surprisingly, I've held myself back, BUT, it is really annoying. My mom's criticisms is her way of gaining control. I get so conflicted in how to respond because guilt plays a role for me. Living at home with my folks, she cooks for me sometimes, etc....BUT, my mother is really manipulative and uses these things against me. Reason why I felt guilty to have any feelings over how she treats me 'cause I don't want to seem ungrateful. Hence, my own emotional eating when I was younger.

I just need to let my mother know how she speaks to me makes me feel which is not good. Her willingness to be there for me does not entitle her to speak to me poorly. :sigh:
rogue
Awwww, star, that sucks. I'm sorry that you have to put up with that. I don't know what advice I could give other than to just tell her to stop doing it, although I don't know how well that would go over. Most people don't even know they're offending someone when they say things, or else they do know and try to pass it off like "I was just joking!" etc. And it's stupid and annoying.

I don't know your family situation but I hope she's not one to fly off the handle when someone confronts her about something - that would be awful. I just hope that you can resolve this situation because - let's face it - you're frickin' gorgeous and shouldn't have to put up with that shite. For serious.
kittenb
{{{stargazer}}} I'm surrently trying to learn how I can say what I need to say to my family w/o causing too much distress to the people I would like to share my thoughts with. If I figure it out, I will let you know.
girl_logic
Star, my mom does a similar thing. Whenever she's obsessing about some aspect of her apperance I come under her scrutiny and she makes unwelcome and deflating comments about whatever it is (right now it's her teeth, therefore my teeth too. But at any given time it's been complexion, weight, hair). It's totally a control thing.

She did something that impressed me with her own mother. Her mom had been making an offhand, but offensive comment for weeks that was really getting under my mother's skin, I could see this. One day she managed to very calmly without any tone, or exasperation or explanation, just very matter of factly but clearly say, "Mom, I wish you would stop saying X". And she did stop, no drama, no explanations necessary. I was all wide-eyed and taking notes.

If your mom knows that she's reading on sensitive territory, and waiting for the fight, she probably doesn't expect you to "call her on it" in a calm and even way. Doing it calmly in a way that doesn't seem like a challenge to her with as few words as possible. It's an exercise in detachment for sure.
stargazer
Thanks girl_logic, kitten, and rogue! Yeah, my mom is really entitled with her feelings, takes it out on those around her (namely, my stepdad and me), and acts terribly immature. Right now, she is giving limited answers and basically ignoring me which is her normal mode when she is knee deep, rooted in her own shit. Whatever. I haven't let her behavior deter me from talking with her and being in the house. Thank maude I'm heading out of town for T-day.
foryoursplendor
My cousin's ex-boyfriend (who shot her) was arrested on Sunday, finally! Everyone is so relieved.

The news story is here if you are interested.
candycane_girl
I'm so glad they caught him splendor. I hope your cousin is doing okay.
pants
so glad to hear they caught him. Hopefully they will now be able to prosecute and keep him locked up for a VERY long time
anna k
Oh thank God. I hope he gets incarnated for 25 to life. I hope your cousin and her daughters are OK.

girl logic, same with my sister. She hates her appearance, and will comment on anything on my body, be it a zit, white strands of hair, a bruise, weight loss, anything. It makes me uncomfortable to be looked over, and yet I would never mention to her any of her physical imperfections, because she would snap at me. It's totally about control, and she can "dish it out but can't take it."

Ugh stargazer. I'm so sorry your mother is being a pill and picking on you for eating a dessert. I'm glad you're taking a break from her for T-day, and hope you're having a great time.

Most of Thanksgiving was good, except for my sister. She's very neurotic and bossy and uptight, and keeps herself in a cycle of depression, it's always some issue. Recently it's her ex-boyfriend. She started dating a guy in a neighboring state a few months ago, they got serious a month ago, then he wanted to take a break to focus on his sick friend. My sister took it really hard, feeling like he was cutting her out of his life. It is unfair that he was being wishy-washy, but she got really involved in the relationship more than he did, talking about how he's the greatest guy ever and having too many romantic fantasies about them together. Now he's pissed at her for personal reasons, and hasn't contacted her for two weeks, despite her sending a couple of messages (plus checking his Facebook, online dating profile, and just basically Internet-stalking him). She mopes about him, and just wallows in it. So she was distant and a little brittle yesterday, and despite that I kept telling her how the food she made was good, she would just brush me off with "yeah, thanks."

So my mom and aunt talked to her, and some of it got through to her to not obsess about him, but she still idealized my mom's marriage, saying how "happy" it is, despite us growing up with a loving but difficult father. I am so pissed at her being nearly 30 and acting like a sulking teenager, and preferring to just be depressed and angry and sad rather than moving past it and being a more healthy, happier person. I know what depression is like, I know how hard some habits are to break, but you get to an age when all of that is in the past, and you remember the rest of the world exists and grow up to move on with it. And I hate trying to support her while feeling like what I say doesn't get through to her. Now she got a tattoo tonight, one that she had planned, and I felt she wasn't in the right mood to be getting a tattoo, but it's her body and her life. I'm just sick of hearing about her complain about her life without making effort to change it (and not just talk about changing it).
candycane_girl
I just wanted to chime in that I hate it when people feel the need to point out something about my looks or body. My dad always had this habit of pointing out my pimples as if I didn't already see them! I know he was trying to be helpful because he would always suggest that I eat an orange and then rub the peel on my face but really, he just pointed out something that I was already well aware of and embarrassed about.

I'm still convinced that my complex about being fat when I was younger (I wasn't fat) wasn't helped by my great grandmother flatly stating "Candy's fat". Yeah, so smart to say that to a 9 year old.

What really gets me though, is people who comment on weight when they are also fat! My dad comments all the time on the weight of various family members and yet he looks like he's pregnant! I just don't understand how he can sit there and say shit like that when he's the one who has seconds and thirds at every meal.

Also, one of my so called "friends" (she moved away and we don't really talk anymore) once felt the need to point out that I had gained weight despite the fact that for years, I never ever mentioned anything about her weight (and she was usually the biggest one in our group of friends). It pissed me off so much that because I had gained some weight she suddenly felt she had the right to make a joke about it. Ugh.
spot-on
Ok so I have an issue I need advice/to vent on.

Brief family history: My biological father was basically a deadbeat, he did prison time and even as my grandad walked my mom down the aisle he told her that she didn't have to marry him. Anyway he and my Mom divorced when I was younger. He often never turned up for his visitation days, and basically shit kicked off between us and at age 11 I told him I didn't want to see him anymore and he basically went straight, settled down with a new woman who already had a ton of kids and never put a foot wrong with the law after that.

I saw him once again around age 17 strained conversation, he thinks everything is ok, and tells stories I know are bullshit. I humor him in order to end the conversation and remove myself from the situation.

The last time I saw him was 10 years ago. I'd just gotten married and we were about to leave the country to go live in America. He asked for me to go for coffee with him, and I did. I figure he's an old man now and it would be the last contact he'd probably ever have with me. We got on ok, he hinted that we stay in touch, but never gave me any contact details and i couldn't offer any as I was moving so...

In the past 20+ years he's gathered information from family friends, the odd chance meeting in town with my Mom etc and the few occasions he's seen me. I've had no contact with him besides those two occasions since I was 11. Anyway I just get back from a 4 day trip over thanksgiving and I see a friend request from him on facebook.

I'm conflicted. On one hand I figure it's over 20 years let it go, you've moved on, he's an old man, give him this chance to make things right before it's too late. On the other hand I figure fuck you, you were never there, I already have a father who was more of a Dad to me than you ever could have been and I feel like I'd be kicking my step dad in the face if I accept the request. There is also this a part of me that will always be that little girl wanting her father, but each time she lets him in emotionally he abandons her.

advice/opinions?
pants
Spot-on, maybe as a compromise between your wariness and your desire to give him a chance you could just give him limited access to your profile. That way you would be in touch but he wouldn't have full access to your details and info. And you could keep an eye on what he's doing and who he's become and that might help you decide how much you want/need him in your life.
sassygrrl
(((everyone)))

One of the reasons the last couple of years I've stayed away from family functions on Thanksgiving is due to my mom's criticisms on my weight and eating. This did happen recently when they were up to see Mcgeek and I though. The first thing she said to me was that I hadn't lost any weight knowing full well that I'm on medication which makes it hard for me to lose weight. She even asked if I was getting back on a diet today. This is one HUGE reason why I really don't want her there to go wedding dress shopping with me. She is thinner than me, but is always on some sort of crazy fad diet(which I have told to no end are bad), and she drinks.

So my parents just called me to get Mcgeek's numbers (cell and work) so they could get in touch with me in case of emergency. I hadn't called them in a few days for a reason! I get that I have a seizures and they were concerned about my health, but I found it a bit weird. Maybe this is dealing with them losing control due to the wedding.

Babsalicious
QUOTE(pants @ Nov 30 2009, 02:53 AM) *
Spot-on, maybe as a compromise between your wariness and your desire to give him a chance you could just give him limited access to your profile. That way you would be in touch but he wouldn't have full access to your details and info. And you could keep an eye on what he's doing and who he's become and that might help you decide how much you want/need him in your life.


yes..I agree...(((hug)) to everyone.

Ill be back in a day or two to vent as im here visiting my inlaws in Florida now.
Dang.
stargazer
QUOTE(spot-on @ Nov 28 2009, 08:31 PM) *
I'm conflicted. On one hand I figure it's over 20 years let it go, you've moved on, he's an old man, give him this chance to make things right before it's too late. On the other hand I figure fuck you, you were never there, I already have a father who was more of a Dad to me than you ever could have been and I feel like I'd be kicking my step dad in the face if I accept the request. There is also this a part of me that will always be that little girl wanting her father, but each time she lets him in emotionally he abandons her.


spot-on, if you don't feel comfortable with your biological father as a friend on fb, then don't add him as a friend. You do have control in this situation. If you want to maintain some contact with him, you can let him know that it is good to hear from him and give him your email address. Pants' suggestion was a good one too.

sassy, sorry to hear the holidays was difficult with your mom. I don't think there is anything wrong with your folks having Mcgeek's cell and work number for medical emergency reasons considering your health issues. Is there something else that worries you about your folks having his numbers?

(((Babs)))
sassygrrl
Spot-on, I agree with Star's solution.

As far as my parents having his numbers, I just think they don't want to lose control. I think they're freaked out that I don't call them enough. It's part of them freaking out because I know have a life and will soon be married, and they can't deal with it. I don't really think at has anything to do with them having his phone numbers. It's fine with them having them in case of emergency. They're just classic Type A control freaks, and I've been used to this all my life. They just tend to be very much spreading my business in their small community (everyone including complete strangers knows my health problems, and know too much about Mcgeek. I find that very personal.). It's very annoying, and I've told them to stop numerous times but they don't.


spot-on
Update, I gave him limited access to my profile as per Pants advice. Seems like he has changed and settled down a lot from what I've seen, But I can't trust him.
pants
Good luck Spot-On


I'm struggling a lot with how to deal with my family right now. I live (happily) on another continent across the ocean from them which had kept me at a nice emotional distance, but recently my mom has been trying to drag me into the mess. There's a lot of history of general bonkersness in our family. But you know, the quiet WASPy kind that is hard to put your finger on because it is so deeply passive aggressive and ridiculous. In the last two years she and my father have been at odds with my brother and SIL, largely because of SIL's treatment of my niece from my bro's first marriage.

There have been accusations of emotional abuse and my eldest niece no longer sees her dad or her half and step-sister because of everything that happened. My brother refuses to consider therapy or talk about any of it except to tell the rest of us to mind our own. SIL has tried to bitch to me about my mother and niece once in the past and I told her no, this is not acceptable. I have said the same to my mom as well, but find it harder to enforce because, in general, I think she's being treated poorly by the two of them.

SIL is a difficult person. Everything has to be just. So. She will shut down and refuse to engage if you try to deviate at all from what she wants. She will return gifts my mom has sent to the girls without explanation, she will invite my folks over to see the girls and then sit with her back to them, in the same room, and refuse to speak to them while they are there. When I asked her and my brother why they had returned some Easter dresses and chocolates Mom sent last Spring she did not respond (my brother did but she did not) to me but did send my mom a 5 page letter blaming Mom for everything (the breakdown of my brother's first marriage, eldest niece's issues, fights between her and my brother, global warming (not really) whatever). And, true, my mom is not always an easy woman, but she does always mean well. She tries hard to do the right thing just sometimes she screws it all up, but she doesn't deserve to shoulder the blame for all that.

Anyhow, because SIL is a bit whackadoodle (the clinical term) Mom finds it very easy to blame her for everything. She's convinced that SIL reads all my brother's emails and deletes things she doesn't like, that she responds for him, that she wields this magical power over him and forces him to do her evil bidding at all times, thus removing all responsibilty from my brother for his actions and behaviours. She's also diagnosed (Mom does not have a Psych degree, she was a kindergarten teacher (and a very good one, but still) until a few years ago) SIL as having borderline personality disorder, which may well be true, but I have an English degree so, really who knows. And is operating under the impression that SIL is some sort of evil mentally ill genius.

So I get all the phone calls and the emails that all start with things like: I know you hate being put in the middle but . . . and have requests that I copy photos off SIL's FB page or give my opinion on this or that action that I have no firsthand knowledge of. It's all wearing me out. Phone calls with her leave me emotionally exhausted.

I've tried suggesting that she (my mom) pursue counselling on her own so she can get the tools to deal better with the situation, she went once and says it was enough (and don't even get me started on the tailspin this sent me into, when I was 15 she told me pursuing psychiatric help could be 'deadly' her mere willingness to go for that one session turned me back into a weepy teen) but clearly it wasn't enough, she's not coping and as a result is dumping on me during my weekly calls. I'm not sure what, if anything, I can do for her. And on top of that I'm not sure what to do for myself.

My main priority in the whole mess has been to be there for my eldest niece who is now 17, about to graduate from HS, and generally taking care of herself (her mom is not the most tother lady in the world either, my brother has a type, a bonkers type) but I'd like to be able to do more for the situation as a whole even as I tell myself, constantly, that I'm not in any postition nor is it my job to do more.

It's a stupid tricky situation and constantly leaves me feeling flabbergasted and angry. I know this has been vague and that I've left a lot out (at least if you and I don't hang on LJ), but any advice or ideas would be appreciated.
nickclick
spot-on, let us know how it's going on FB.

pants, as the non-confrontational type i'm usually the monkey in the middle in these types of things, so i sympathize. but i talk to my Mom every day. since you only speak once a week, maybe ask her to stick to new topics, not old rehashed topics. seems like SIL is around to stay, so maybe even without therapy your Mom can find ways to cope with and ignore SIL's whackadoodleness.

does she visit with your niece without your bro/SIL?
pants
Nickclick, sadly I've tried that repeatedly, and she just forgets (aka ignores) and plows on and I end up spending the whole time consoling and encouraging and seething on the inside. I'm trying to be sneakier about subject changing. J (my dude) says I should just yell, 'You're all nuts!' and hang up the phone, but that seems like a step backwards to me.

She and my dad do spend quite a lot of time with eldest niece and were prepared to pay for her college if my brother had backed out (happily it looks like he won't) they're trying hard to be a stable influence in her life, which is really great, but difficult for everyone as it just highlights the lack of reliable and stable parents in the kid's life.

Mom's funny, she makes a point of always trying to be super positive and encouraging but underneath is this deadly layer of pessimism. I swear she took some sort of master class to teach her how to undermine while sounding encouraging.
girl_logic
Spot-on, when it comes to your dad, keep taking care of you, not him (or even your step-dad - who i'm almost 100% sure wouldn't take your action as a slap in the face).

Pants, so hard. I feel like if you don't have the heart to be unequivocal about respectfully cutting her off when she is venting, ("I'm not taking their side, but I don't want to talk about..." or "I need to stop talking about this right now. Could we talk about..." "Wait, we're talking about it again, mom") you're just going to have to keep sucking it up. Maybe the benefits of doing that outweigh not doing it for you. Do you feel a little closer to your mom when she vents about things to you? (or do you just feel dirty tongue.gif) Do you just feel sorry for her? Are you keeping her sane? Are the sacrifices you're making when it happens worth it somehow for other reasons? My family has a habit of bad-talking each other to let out stress, I know how crummy it feels.
stargazer
QUOTE(pants @ Dec 8 2009, 11:14 AM) *
It's a stupid tricky situation and constantly leaves me feeling flabbergasted and angry. I know this has been vague and that I've left a lot out (at least if you and I don't hang on LJ), but any advice or ideas would be appreciated.


pants, that's a tough one regarding your mom. My mother has poor boundaries (that's putting it lightly). I've only felt sane with states between us. I have more control to not answer her calls if I am not in the mood. I probably would speak with her once a week or maybe every 2 weeks. Living with her...well, I'm dealing with a whole 'nother can of worms here. Back to you, how would you feel with giving her a time limit to vent about family stuff? Or, set the limit that if she speaks about a topic you do not want to discuss then you will end the phonecall? I guess there are alot of options for you to handle, but, it sounds like you are struggling with setting limits with your mom and dealing with the consequences (however your mom will treat you) of your decision. (((pants)))


QUOTE(pants @ Dec 8 2009, 11:48 AM) *
J (my dude) says I should just yell, 'You're all nuts!' and hang up the phone, but that seems like a step backwards to me.


QUOTE
Mom's funny, she makes a point of always trying to be super positive and encouraging but underneath is this deadly layer of pessimism. I swear she took some sort of master class to teach her how to undermine while sounding encouraging.


Dude, line made me laugh. laugh.gif My mother does it too. I think I'm living with Sybil sometimes.
pants
Thanks, guys, it helps to hear some outside opinions on this, lik, A LOT.

Girl Logic, I think you really hit on something. I do feel closer to her when she dumps all this info. She's complaining about them and not me and I'm getting a pass and, in a round about way, approval because I'm not the one upsetting her right now. Why didn't I see this before?
You've asked a lot of good questions in there and I need to think about them and decide how hardline I'm going to be about this.

I often go into the conversations with these really firm limits set in my head, and plans for what I will say and then it all falls away when the time comes to apply the limits. I don't know anymore if I am helping to keep her sane or if I'm just encouraging the crazy. It's all very muddled up in my head.

Stargazer, the time limits idea may be a good compromise. Good luck to you, I think I would go spare if I ever had to move back home. I love the woman (and my dad) but they would drive me to dire lengths if we had to share a house again. The Atlantic Ocean is my friend. My very best friend.
spot-on
FB father fupdate: He sent a few messages on FB. Asking about my profile pic (me on a dirtbike) and a few other things. He isn't very techie so I gave him my email address. Since then he's sent one email. I'm answering questions he has and being polite but I think maybe I'm being a little passive aggressive in the replies. Hard to say really.



Ditto this.

QUOTE(pants @ Dec 9 2009, 01:34 AM) *
I think I would go spare if I ever had to move back home. I love the woman (and my dad) but they would drive me to dire lengths if we had to share a house again. The Atlantic Ocean is my friend. My very best friend.


I'm from England originally and we now live in the US. Seriously there are good benefits to living 1000's of miles away!
enfermera
Bumping this thread out of obscurity!

My little brother is cycling back towards mania; he hasn't been like this in a few years. Just lost his job, and is TOTALLY ELATED about it, and talking about doing side jobs under the table and collecting unemployment while he starts his own business. Which I know can be done, but the kid has absolutely no business experience; I don't know if he's even ever worked full time--just a handful of random jobs that he fools around with until he gets tired of it or gets fired. He apparently got into an argument with my mom a couple of weeks ago and started that ridiculous aggressive posturing that teenage boys do when they're threatening a physical fight. And in the middle of all this, he's supposed to be getting married next year, to a totally awesome, intelligent, talented, driven girl, and I have NO IDEA how she hasn't left his ass a looooong time ago. I'm afraid she'll back out and he'll go crazy, and I'm afraid they'll go through with it and she'll get caught in his mess. She and I don't really have a rapport where I feel comfortable asking her about her take on things. I cautiously asked him if he was still seeing his psychiatrist, and he said that he was, but he wasn't very happy with him, and that he would go in for his appointment and the doc would ask him "Well, are you good or do you want to switch around your meds a little?" Yeesh. Just chatting with him briefly on fbook has made me anxious and jittery. sad.gif
ketto
(((enfermera)))

I think psychiatrists can be great people on one hand, but I also hear too often that they're just their to monitor a prescription.

My aunt is having a bad breakdown right now. She has one every few years because she has a shitload of unresolved issues she's never dealt with (abuse, assaults, depression, anxiety, mania, etc). My 35 year old cousin lives with her and on the weekend his 2 year old lives with them too.

She's always been my favourite aunt, the one who loves kids and talks like a baby around them, and was always friendly, and smiling. Now she's snapping at everyone, including the 2 year old, getting really irrationally angry, and isn't talking to anyone. On Sunday my cousin and her were supposed to drive my 92 year old nana home but when they stopped at a store she lost it on my cousin and he took his daughter and walked away while my aunt took the keys and left my nana in the parking lot. Someone else had to drive out and get her. Yesterday my cousin tried going to their apartment and she slammed the door on his hand and broke his finger. He won't bring his daughter there anymore because she yells at her and we're afraid she might hurt her. Now my cousin is looking for a new place to live because he can't even get into his home.

I suspect there's a high risk of self harm (my mom said she did self harm as a teenager but she doesn't know what she did) and she may hurt someone else more than she already has. She won't talk to anyone or answer her phone so my mom and I are thinking about going there and just trying to get a crisis unit to come out and talk to her. She's so angry at everything but she just shuts down when she gets like this. I'm sure she's stopped going to work and she just looks more and more rundown everytime I see her.

How do you help people that don't want help?
sukouyant
Oh my god my mom is being such a total fucking asshole FUCK!
kittenb
ketto - this response is probably way too late but I highly encourage you to try the the crisis professionals if something hasn't changed yet. Is there an update?

I learned today that my brother-in-law died overnight. I wish I could say I was sorry, sad or even suprised but I'm not. He did not take care of his health (cigarettes, pot, high stress, etc). Frankly, I think my sister is better off as a widow than a divorcee. They had been seperated for years because he had a mid-life crisis or some kind of shit that could only be treated by fucking the 18 y/o groupies who followed his Greatful Dead cover band (seriously.) He let their house go into foreclosure TWICE and then didn't have to pay anything because he was officially unemployed by worked under the table. So my sister, who makes very little money, had wages snagged to pay off the morgage. She could never even scrape enough money together to hire a decent lawyer. When they were together, he made about $50K a year or something. My sister earns a little above minimum on her own. So my only real regret is that he didn't die when he was still a decent enough person for me to care about. The other suck-ass thing about all of this is that his daughter, who is 25ish, is pregnant. I don't know what she is going to do.

So now I am hoping that my sister is free of him and his fucked up over the hill hippie drama. I hope that she can declare bankruptcy or something and just free herself of that albatross of a house.

Do I sound heartless? Do I care?

Because I am heartless over this whole mess, I am also irritated (at him NOT my sister) that I learned about this when I was having brunch with my boyfriend's family and the shock made me a little more honest than I would have preferred to be about how little I will miss him. I'm embarressed.
anarch
(((enfermera)))

(((ketto)))

(((sukouyant)))

Nah (((kittenb))) you don't sound heartless. Emotional energy has enough places it *needs* to go as it is, without getting sucked into caring about the black holes that are people who are determined to self-destruct (and who apparently don't care if they drag others down with them).

I like this phrase: "I can't save you from you, but I can save me from you." Disengagement isn't heartless. It's survival. (Yeah, MIL, I'm looking at you. From a safe-ish distance.)
Jan Brady
(((everybody)))

I can appreciate the words of wisdom about disengagement. I actually have pretty much tried to do that with some of my siblings but when they all get together, like tonight at my mom's B-day gathering, as soon as I walk into the room they will get quiet or smirk at one another. As many times as I've told myself that they are a lot of disaffected suburban ignorami who will never be pleased with me simply b/c I don't look, live, act, dress, talk or think like them, they always manage to press my buttons by singling me out like that. I haven't let it visibly upset me b4 tonight b/c I know that's what they want, but I can't help it if tonight I was just hoping I could walk in and someone just look at me straight, as though they actually can manage give two shits about me for the measley two hours we are going to have to be together and just say "Hi Jan, how are you?" and truly care. But no, just the usual smirks and pettiness.
datagirl
Hi Everyone,

Long time no post..
I have been though hell with my parents this year.
In April (on Anzac Day) my mother decided to attempt suicide. I'm now living 9 hours drive away from them so I had to catch a plane the next day when I'd heard that she had gone missing.

She was finally found the next morning unconscious by a janitor.
She was in hospital on life support for a couple of days. She had taken over 50 pills and had tried to self harm herself.

After she was released from hospital my sister and I got her admitted to a mental hospital. No one else in my family would have done this. They just wanted to pretend nothing had happened. Especially my Dad. As soon as she was admitted I flew back home to uni. It was fucking hard to focus on anything and passing all my subjects was a miracle. I recently drove back to where my parents live and I suddently hated them. After all the years of having a great friendship with them I was seeing who they really were. They fight all the time, and are so negative especially my dad. Everything pisses him off.

The day I left to go home my mum completely lost it. Yelling abuse at me and calling me a 'fucking bitch' was about all I could handle. When mum was in the hospital I was there for dad,cooking and cleaning and explaining to people that we hadn't seen in years what had happened to mum. When my mother went missing a popular radio station had identified who she was and that she was missing hence all the phone calls.

So I no longer talk to my mother or father. After I came back home recently my father sent me a letter saying that he thinks I have Bipolar Disorder and that I need to seek counseling. I could not believe what an asshole he was being right on the night before my birthday too. He has no idea that I have just been pushed to my limit.

The only good thing about my mothers suicide attempt is that I'm friends with my sister after all these years. But only sort of. I don't feel that I can trust her with what I want to say about Mum as I'm afraid she might disclose what I tell her.

I've been sick through all this too. I started off by drinking again and sleeping with randoms, then I got a urinary tract infection, skin rashes and now thrush. So I no longer drink or socialize. I've had to give up coffee because of the UTI and that makes me tired.
It sucks but at least I'm far away from them.
stargazer
(((datagirl))) It is sad to read about your mother's suicide attempt. I'm glad you were able to be there for your family. It is sadder that they are taking out their feelings on you. It is good that you were able to recognize the need to put some space from them. Also, good that you were able to recognize your own patterns with coping with your own emotional stuff (drinking, etc.). Have you considered going to therapy so you can have a place to talk about your family and mother's suicide attempt?

I hope you are feeling well and keep us posted with how you are doing. (((datagirl)))
datagirl
Thanks Stargazer! ((()))
It's great that I can always come back to a very supportive and non judgmental forum. And you guys know and have been through similar experiences. Bust had saved me in so many ways. It's a life line and makes me feel like less of a freak.
anarch
(((datagirl)))


(((Jan Brady)))
sybarite
(((Jan Brady))) and (((datagirl))) I second SG's suggestions, and do come back and let us know how you're doing. It sounds like you did exactly the right things, both for your parents and for yourself in terms of being aware of your responses to stress. You're not a freak, you're clearly very strong and able to take good care of yourself when you need to.

Take care; I hope you're feeling better but come post if you're not...
kittenb
{{{datagirl}}} Clearly you are not a freak but it sounds like you are under an enourmous amount of stress and pressure. Is there a way that you would feel comfortable socializing that wouldn't open you up to potentialy harmful old habits? It just sounds like being isolated right now might not help you. However, I am glad that you come back to Bust when you need support. smile.gif
datagirl
Thanks so much kittenb, Sybarite, Anarch and Stargazer. Your support means a lot to me.

I'm doing much better than I was when I wrote that last post. My parents haven't contacted me, I'm not drinking coffee (although cola is okay for me) so at least I'm getting some caffeine.

I bought myself some comfort food (honeycomb ice cream) and yesterday I had fish and chips by the beach. I love it up here and don't mind being on my own. I've been single and lived alone for so long it's just natural for me. Being up here in Northern New South Wales (right near the border of Queensland) means that the weather here is superb and I'm near the beaches and further north is Surfers Paradise which I love for it's touristy tackiness!!

There's a special going here that you can get unlimited access til June to three major theme parks!! I love fun parks, but I'm not holding out that any of my friends up here would go with me. They're all very green,vegan and left wing, which is great, but sometimes you just wanna cut loose and indulge in one mega roller coaster insanity followed by a hot dog with the lot and fries.

So I'll probably end up going solo which I've heard that heaps of people do anyway. I don't think I'd take any of my friends anyway as they'd be taking the moral high ground the whole way.

My point is that I think I'm going to be okay. I think that opting out of Christmas is a good idea too (I was going to have my parents to stay up here). I think that staying up here in my little town during the uni holidays is great and I have the whole seven bedroom house to myself until my housemates come back for uni in March.

(((busties)))
nbdx0645
Hi everyone,
I'm having a really difficult time with my family. Long story short, in October 2009, my sister took out a high-interest loan in my name without my permission, and she was unable to pay it back. She told me what she did in the summer of 2010. I was completely devastated, especially since she was a personal banker. I was scared beyond belief, because I also banked at her place of work. I switched banks shortly after that and my dad was kind enough to step forward and pay the balance.

Or so we thought. I received a call on Friday from the high-interest loan company, saying that I owed more money. I started crying on the phone immediately, because I knew that she lied about getting the bill payed off. I asked her repeatedly over the months, "Is the loan taken care of? Is it paid off completely?" and she said yes, each time. It hurts so much.

I'm so tired of being lied to. I feel like I haven't been taken seriously when I tell her that I'm going to press charges if it ever happens again. It makes me sick to my stomach when I see all the frivolous bullshit that they buy (if I see one more Blackhawk's jersey I'm going to lose it) and I'm tired of them hiding behind their children, saying things like, "We took out that loan to buy the children dolls for Christmas." Really? And then I see a new laptop, new desktop computer and new video games in their home. And a dog. Thanks for your honesty.

My father said he would pay me for the money, but he has such a terrible gambling issues that his words are unreliable. It also doesn't feel like it should be his burden to bear. I don't think that there is anything I can do, I'm just tired of paying for their financial sins. I'm tired of feeling used, I'm tired of these issues resurfacing, and I'm depressed that I'm out the money, because it's a lot of money. I can't press charges because my sister's banking career would be completely derailed.
pollystyrene
Yikes, nbdx0645, that's scary. You've probably done it before, but can you give her a deadline based on when the loan company wants their money, and just say, "this needs to be paid in full by this date or I will be pressing charges?" Even if she has to sell her stuff on eBay, she needs to pay you back all that money (or at least what's still owed, if getting the full amount is unrealistic.)

That's horrible. I think you should press charges. I know you don't want to derail her career, but her being in that industry and doing that makes it soooo much worse- she knows exactly what she did and how much damage she has done to you and your credit record as a result. I don't know the whole situation, but if she did this to you (presumably it was that much easier because you do your banking where she works), if things get desperate for her in the future, what if she did it to someone else? I don't know...maybe that career needs to be derailed.

And you need to put a security watch on your credit report if you haven't already!
Persiflager
nbdx0645, I agree with polly - I think that you need to seriously consider pressing charges.

There are three steps that you should take before that:

1) Speak to the loan company (if you haven't already), get a statement, and change the security on the account so that she can't access it.

2) Send her a formal letter setting out the facts of the situation (exact amount, dates etc) and requesting full settlement of the loan within 30 days. Tell her that in the light of her continued failure to repay the money despite repeated requests, you will be taking her to court if you don't receive the money by the deadline.

This might be enough to scare her into repaying the money now. If she can't pay it all up front, insist on some money now and an agreed payment plan over the next six months. If she says that they can't afford it, insist on sitting down with her and their financial statements, and go through their monthly budget to agree an amount that can be paid back each month as a monthly transfer (I'd suggest straight after pay-day).

3) Put together a file of all the information you would need to press charges. Start with the date you found out about the loan, then document the correspondence you have had with your sister so far. When you've put down everything you can think of, research the steps you would need to take to start pressing charges. Does the loan company have a fraud department? Do you have any identity fraud protection from your bank? They might be able to help you. Also check your local government website.

Having this information gives you power, and it will be easier to assemble now while you're still thinking of it as a hypothetical option. Remember, your sister could have afforded to pay the money off before, but she prioritised other things over paying you back. She has shown no consideration for your financial situation, or your credit rating (which could impact your career in the future). If you don't do anything about it, she will take out other loans in the future.

And I'm so sorry (((nbdx0645))). Please let me know if I can help.
anarch
(((nbdx0645)))

QUOTE(nbdx0645 @ Jan 11 2011, 07:16 PM) *
I can't press charges because my sister's banking career would be completely derailed.


Her career *should* be derailed for committing identity theft (which fucks over your credit rating, which will mean you'll have to pay more $$ for a car loan or mortgage etc). If shitty behaviour like that incurs no consequences, what's to stop her from doing it to you again? Absolutely nothing. If family pressure to protect sister's career is a factor, that's understandable, and also wrong and fucked up of them to expect it of you.

There was a similar question involving credit card fraud at ask metafilter. Answers I personally like: 1 2 3 4 5

6 (from a credit card fraud specialist)

update from the original asker


Different thread, same problem: 1

Sorry they're about credit card fraud not loan fraud, but hopefully some of the info in there can help you protect yourself.
nbdx0645
It's been a crazy week...but I think that I got things straightened out with my family. I did a credit freeze (it will be active for 6 months) and I did what one of Anarch's posters did: I reported the crime but did not press charges. I ended up getting the money owed from my father, and my father is going to be the collector. My sister and her husband will make payments to him (who is much scarier than I.) My father realized that I needed financial resolution immediately. I wasn't handling it very well.

I ended up seeing them this last weekend for my niece's birthday party. It ended up going rather well. It was incredibly awkward at first, but I focused on the kids.

I don't know if I really made the right decision, I still wonder if I should have pressed charges, but this is the only free pass they're getting. I don't think they'll be able to do it again because I'm going to protect myself. Now that the financial shit is out of the way, I'll start working on the emotional aspect. They showed signs of wanting to patch up the rift between us. I'm optimistic.
stargazer
(((nbdx))) I'm just catching up to your conflict with your family. FWIW, I think you did the right thing. It sounds like you were trying to not be punitive. Don't forget that you can still press charges if you want. I would be cautiously optimistic about things going smoothly with your sister. If there is anything I've learned from relatives who took advantage of my parents' kindness, give 'em an inch and they will run a mile with it. You might want to set some boundaries for yourself.

Please vent in here if you need to work out the emotional aspect. I'm sorry to hear your family took advantage of you. That's upsetting to read. sad.gif

((((nbdx)))
nbdx0645
Thanks Stargazer, I agree. "Cautiously optimistic" is a really good phrase. I just feel a lot of guilt by asking for all of the money immediately. Also, I feel guilty because receiving the money made most of the anger and resentment go away. I'm torn, because the big issue should have been about the breach of trust and not the money.
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