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Could use some help dealing with my family...

chrisofthedalechrisofthedale Registered User regular
edited January 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
Here's some back-story on my currently, messed up family. My parents got divorced late in 2007, was an awesome divorce, they were both friends afterwards. I stayed with my father (a selfish man, but one who loves his kids), while my sister (a selfish person who cares about nothing as long as she gets her way) moved away with my mother.

Shortly after the split, my sister moves out from my mother's place (leaving my mother with a 1 year lease on a place that is far too large for one person). My sister moves in with her new boyfriend, but because he has a job where he is not getting enough hours, they both end up moving in with my mother. After a month my sister's boyfriend finally gets a job that is promising good hours and good pay, so they both move out. During this time my sister is receiving a monthly allowance, as long as she is working on graduating from highschool. Months later, my sister and her now fiance are looking to buy a house, but he has a horrible credit rating and can not get a mortgage. My mother, in love/stupidity, co-signs so they can get a place.

During this time my father invites his manipulative mother to come live with us (she is a horrible person who once explained to me that my father isn't really her son, because he is adopted). My grandmother agrees to pay the mortgage, so in my father's infinite wisdom, he proceeds to buy a large diesel truck. This now means that my grandmother can never leave, because my father can't afford everything without her. My grandmother slowly, but surely gets paranoid thoughts into my father's head, getting him to alienate my mother and sister. I slowly grow to hate my grandmother.

A few months later, I am visiting my mother for the Christmas holiday. I have brought her dog with me, whom I have grown very attached to. My mother also has a dog that she got stuck with because of my sister though, so there is an agreement that the dog can come back if it doesn't work out. While I am visiting, it turns out my sister hasn't been doing anything to graduate highschool and has been lying to keep the allowance. My mother then proceeds to tell my sister that she has one more semester, involving progress reports from the school, if she messes up this time, all money gets cut-off.

So today my mother calls me. Turns out she is moving in with my sister and her fiance because he has been working minimal hours and staying at home playing WoW, which means they can no longer afford to pay the mortgage and their great debt. This place does not allow dogs, so my mother had to get rid of both of them. Apparently she called my father and asked if he would take the one dog that I care about back, he says no. My mother had to give the dogs away to new families and now has an undying hatred for my father

I confront my father about this, specifically the fact that he never told me and lied to my mother. I am pretty upset about losing the dog I had grown so close to. My father tells me I shouldn't talk with my mother or my sister because all they do is complain about nothing and that my mother is trying to turn me against him. He then proceeds to go hide upstairs and talk about all this with my grandmother.

I mean, I love my mother, I know she got herself into the position she is in, but it is only because her trust has been betrayed. I am very angry with my sister and her fiance and am not sure I ever want to speak with either of them again. I am also angry with my father, for letting my grandmother slowly turn him against everyone. My father and I were awesome friends before my grandmother got here and I am afraid I am losing that friend and possibly my father. I mostly needed somewhere to vent, but am hoping maybe I can get some advice on how to deal with all this.

Thanks in advance for any advice (I realize this a long post, so thank you for reading it as well).

chrisofthedale on


  • Iceman.USAFIceman.USAF Captain East CoastRegistered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Unfortunately, I have no practical advice to give you. I just wanted to let you know that someone did indeed read your entire post, in the chance it might help you feel a bit better. You're in a truly tight spot, I wish I could help. The only thing I can say is to take long deep breaths when you're dealing with all of this, and try your best to keep your head on straight.

    Iceman.USAF on

  • ihmmyihmmy Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    to be completely honest, you have one of those drama ridden families. The only way I know of to stay sane is to distance yourself from the worst of their problems, try to be a good shoulder but you cannot unravel all the knots they've tied themselves into. I'd also look into moving out on your own if you can... makes it easier to distance ones self a little

    ihmmy on
  • DemerdarDemerdar Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    How old are you?

    Demerdar on
  • Casually HardcoreCasually Hardcore Get over yourself. Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Turn away, walk away, and never look back. The best thing you can do is make sure that you're successful and not get drag down into this pit. They all knew the consequences in the decisions they made and now they have to live with it. Just because they're your family, doesnt mean you have to suffer too.

    Casually Hardcore on
  • chrisofthedalechrisofthedale Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Demerdar wrote: »
    How old are you?


    Also, I have been thinking of moving out, it is just a little complicated at this point because I am in school.

    chrisofthedale on
  • JavenJaven Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    I'm in much the same spot as you. All members of my family are currently feuding, I have a father who is an lazeabout, a brother who won't progress with his life and a girlfriend who saps from everyone who lets her, and a mother who lays back and takes it. Except instead of a dog to grow attached to, it's a 2 year old kid who isn't even related to me.

    Point is, you can't fix this. Focus on looking out for your own well being. Don't let your family suck you into their goings-on, and work on your own life plan. Don't cut them out of your life, and don't act rashly, just try to keep from getting involved.

    Javen on
  • ButtcleftButtcleft Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Best advice I can give is to get your shit together and put as much distance as you can between you and your family.

    If you don't, They will drag you down and erode your soul.

    Buttcleft on
    that's it, I'm shutting this entire forum down, everyone thank buttcleft
  • NotYouNotYou Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    I have a family similar to yours, except it's my extended family and not my immediate family thank god.

    First, don't blame some people for the choices of others. No one made anyone do anything. Just accept that everyone has made their own choices, good and bad, and realize that, that's the way it is. Secondly, DON"T GET INVOLVED. EVER. Even if youre on the "right" side, don't get involved. You will regret it forever. Just distance yourself from their problems.

    Lastly, deal with it for now, but get a job, and start saving up money so you can move out on your own.

    NotYou on
  • ArtreusArtreus I'm a wizard And that looks fucked upRegistered User regular
    edited January 2009
    How old is your sister? Seems pretty dumb to be moving out and getting married to some dude who would rather play WoW than pay off debt. What is he doing paying $15 a month when he has a mortgage to pay off anyway.

    Also maybe you should talk to your dad about his manipulative mother. Communication is always important.

    Not sure how much you should listen to me though. You aren't responsible for fixing your whole families problems.

    Artreus on PSN: Atlanticus 3DS: 1590-4692-3954 Steam: Artreus
  • Desert_Eagle25Desert_Eagle25 Registered User
    edited January 2009
    Right now, after carefully analyzing the intermingled situation within your family, I think most of it is a foregone conclusion. I'd explain with the sister and mom, but I just can't. I have seen similar circumstances with family friends, and there's just not much you can do about a sister and fiance like that, or you mom being stuck in that situation. She's made her own bed, and at least she's claiming some responsibility.

    What you can salvage is you and your father's relationship. That should be one of your main focuses; but keep in mind, if it doesn't work out, you need to scrap it and move on. Have you ever soncisdered printing out this OP and making him read it? Maybe he'll get your side and try to work it out with you. Like Atreus said, communication is key.

    Desert_Eagle25 on
  • darakardarakar Registered User
    edited January 2009
    I totally agree with everyone who has advised to take care of yourself first. That said, I disagree with the people said not to ever get involved. You show wisdom and strength by posting this here, so use that wisdom and strength in dealing with these problems. Set limits for how involved you'll allow yourself to get before you start getting involved (as specific as possible... "I won't spend more than 2 hours today dealing with this", etc.), and be strong enough to follow through with the limits you set. Value your own time and health and happiness as highly as possible, and recognize when other things are eating into that.

    I also agree that communication is incredibly important, and not just from you to your family. Also encourage them to talk and discuss and think, either with you or with someone else. Definitely talk about where you're at with your father, though. Printing your message and handing it to him is a great idea, as well.

    Sorry you're in such a situation, man... keep on living a day at a time...

    darakar on
    Talon wrote:
    get the fuck back to G&T, shitlicker
  • Raziel078Raziel078 Registered User
    edited January 2009
    Look I've got some family shit going on as well and I have friends who have some crazy things going on for them. Don't turn your back on your family, as fucked up as they are they are all you get. I personally would sit old grandma down and have a long talk with her. I'm pretty sure I know the type of person she is. She won't stop the shit she is doing even if it is destroying everyone around her. So the best thing you can do is minimize her impact, you need to get your father to listen to you. Try getting him out of the house and away from his mother. The more you do that the better. If he goes running to her with his problems thats bad. Also if he is being really unreasonable and you have no other choice ask him something to the effect of "how did I learn to be a man from someone who runs to his mom like bitch with all his problems." Thats sort of a dangerous gambit as hopefully he'll be sullen but affected by it and not just cut you off and hate you. If it does go badly though remind him that hes turning his back on his son for someone who doesn't even consider him her child. Your parents big problem is that they still see you as a kid thats why they don't ask your advice or listen to you. So you basically need to not listen to them. Which is hard to change and involves a lot of arguing. Your sister basically needs a good couple of slaps. She's gone and fallen in love with a useless fuck. Talk with the guy tell him he needs to man up and do something instead of being a useless leach. Your mom needs to harden her heart and start thinking about herself, this goes for you to, don't turn your back on them but stop carrying them. offer to help, not do it for them. I am a big guy so all this frank talk and insults which could lead to violence doesn't bother me because I am able to deal with any fighting so if you can't just take the same lessons but be more manipulative in how you approach it and less confrontational. Your family is just like any other group of people the easiest way to get them to do something is to make them think it was there idea and that you are just trying to get them to stick to it. This is what I think you should do based on my experiences with my family and my friends and their families. So that is my 10 cents of advice.

    In short take control and don't shy away from doing that once you start.

    Raziel078 on
    I would like to put something clever and about me but I fear my company will find it
  • VThornheartVThornheart Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    My advice would be to declare financial independence and attempt to get a Pell Grant for school, and then get away from this situation(as has been said above). It's extremely sad, but as was said above it WILL tear you apart. There's precious little you can do.

    VThornheart on
    3DS Friend Code: 1950-8938-9095
  • FunnyFreakFunnyFreak Registered User
    edited January 2009
    Turn away, walk away, and never look back. The best thing you can do is make sure that you're successful and not get drag down into this pit. They all knew the consequences in the decisions they made and now they have to live with it. Just because they're your family, doesnt mean you have to suffer too.

    I agree with this. You don't want your families problems causing you to also not get anywhere.

    FunnyFreak on
  • MurphysParadoxMurphysParadox Registered User
    edited January 2009
    Speaking from second hand experience (a close friend of mine), this kind of thing WILL tear you apart and leave you with your parents' mortgage ($550,000 on a house now worth $350,000 and an interest rate about to spike to ~9% and in your name because they didn't have the credit to pull a refinance) and your siblings under you as if they were your kids and your parents gallivanting around Atlantic City spending their money on gambling. Sorry... perhaps it wont end up exactly like that, but something similar is possible.

    One thing you have to remember in situations like this: What causes them to act this way is ingrained personality issues. The issues in question here are not because of some passing problem but due to the system of personality traits that each exists on. I say this because those issues are not fixable in a few days, weeks, months, or even years. They took decades to form and will take decades to fix themselves. If you do stay and try to help, you will be taken advantage of.

    Perhaps your dad will try to get the truck under your name and credit. Perhaps your sister will show up sobbing for your help to cover rent for "only a few months until my husband-to-be gets a better job!" Perhaps it'll be your mother asking for financial assistance. You are young and starting out into the world. You cannot let your own future be kneecapped by those who cannot handle their own lives.

    That said, it is also very hard to walk away from your family. They did raise you and it is natural to feel that you owe something to them in return. However, is it helpful to continue propping them up? Feeding them money or validating their choices or giving them excuses to do what they have been doing? Sometimes, the best help is the removal of crutches so that the person is forced to stand on their own... just look at your sister - why should she finish high school if she's getting free money from her mom? Now that mom is living with her (in her house, no less), she can rely on mom to pay the mortgage when she is 'short' of funds (house > World of Warcraft... then again, Job > WoW too, but it is hard to convince people of this sometimes).

    When you say that you're in school, do you mean college? How is being paid for? How long until you're done? Any chance of rooming up with a buddy or even getting your own place? Perhaps on the other side of town? I'd also not give an address to the family - get a cell phone and give them that number, but an address means a place they can show up and bother you.

    MurphysParadox on
    Murphy's Law: Whatever can go wrong will go wrong.
    Murphy's Paradox: The more you plan, the more that can go wrong. The less you plan, the less likely your plan will succeed.
  • EskimoDaveEskimoDave Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    How is your sister engaged and still in high school?

    EskimoDave on
  • Al_watAl_wat Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    EskimoDave wrote: »
    How is your sister engaged and still in high school?

    I would ask why the fuck she needs to own a house when she hasn't even graduated high school. But yeah, that too.
    I can't offer a lot of advice but I agree with a lot of what people have been saying, most importantly: don't let them fuck up your credit.

    Al_wat on
    PSN: AWATTT66| XBox Live: AWATTT66| Steam: AL-WAT| Battle.Net: ALWATTS #1320
    Origin: aiwatt
  • Desert_Eagle25Desert_Eagle25 Registered User
    edited January 2009
    EskimoDave wrote: »
    How is your sister engaged and still in high school?

    I don't think she's still in high school. She just never graduated and is trying to get the degree.

    Desert_Eagle25 on
  • chrisofthedalechrisofthedale Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Now seems like a good time to answer some questions. My sister is 18 (soon to be 19) years old and hasn't finished highschool because she dropped out in her last year, but went back. Her fiance on the other hand is 23.

    I will be getting a job this month or the next, as my course is part-time and I will be able to finish the last 3 courses on weekends.

    The whole situation with my mother will probably never affect me much, other than my sister and mother calling to complain about how annoying/stupid the other is being.

    The situation with my father is much different however. The thing with my father is, well, I haven't left home yet because I feel like I am looking after him. My father served in the military for 26 years and has post traumatic stress disorder, among other things. Now, when it was just him and I, he would drink with his medication and I would have to carry him to bed. This stopped though when I threatened to leave. His mother has had him drinking a little since she has been here however, mostly by shooting down my father's dreams and saying that he is faking his PTSD and such. I have also talked with my father about his mother and he refuses to admit that she has been influencing him. At this point I feel if I were to leave, I would be abandoning him.

    chrisofthedale on
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