Im lost...

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Nov 22, 2005
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Im really having a hard time at home. I dont know which way to turn on this. I dont know if this is a vent or a cry for help. Its probably both. Im sorry this is long.

A few years ago my mom lost her house. I was living there at the time and thought everything was under control.

My fiance and I went out and got a house. Then my mom and brother and all of their animals moved in. This included my brothers dog. This dog has been nothing but a problem. He has attacked cats in the house several times and killed two of them plus broken into my guinea pig cages and killed two of them. He is possessive of my mom, territorial and very food aggressive. He and my dog will fight. This is not the place to be keeping this dog. Because of him I have to keep my small animals locked in a room and if I let my cat out, we have to make sure he is locked up.
After a while, my brother decided to move his girlfriend in. They just kind of did it. This girl has a real case of the "me me's". She is very dramatic and immature. ( I need to take a moment to stress just how dramatic. She is about 18 or so years old. If she sees me she literally runs the other way or will sit and cry. Theres more but I figure those two examples are enough). She doesnt get along with my mom or me. Then they said they would pay rent. I think we got them to pay rent for about 2 months near the end of their time at our house. They finally got an apartment and moved out. This apartment didnt allow dogs and much to my mothers delight, his dog stayed here. She LOVES that dog and wants him with her all of the time.
My brother has had a few health problems and some job trouble which is well under control now but everyone worries for him. They feel bad for him and it never crosses their minds to have him help out with her. They make excuses there because he is "dealing with a lot" and his girlfriend makes him do all of the cooking and cleaning. She works a little part time job while he works full time. He couldnt possibly help with our mom.
My mom has had a horrendous time keeping a job and a worse time managing her money. When she first moved in, it was agreed that she (and my brother for that matter) would be paying rent. It was like pulling teeth to get her to do it in the beginning and then she just stopped. If she does have any income she generally goes out and buys more groceries. Special items that she wants. She SOMETIMES goes and buys grain for the full sized horses but shes not consistently reliable on that and more often than not it is us buying all the feed for all of them. I suppose I will do this as I want her to have her horses too. Basically she spends her money on her terms. She has to be in control of it. Rent seems out of the question for her capabilities. Her car is falling apart but she could never seem to get the money together to fix it. When we moved out my husband and I put about $500 in her account and tried to get her straight so she could fix her credit and get back on her feet. I paid to fix the breaks on the back part of her car and I paid a vet bill that was being threatened to be sent to collections for her.
Instead she insists she MUST use my car as it is very important that she get her errands done or get to work. She tells me she has no gas and stresses how important it is that I "step up and help". My car is rather old and we are keeping it for going out to get hay or for me in emergencies if I am home alone and need to get somewhere. I will often break down and let her use it. I worry though that there are not many runs left in my car and Id like to make it last. It bothers me as she has had situations where she could fix her own car and didnt make it a priority. Nothing is changing.
Family and friends often feel bad for my mothers sob stories. She doesnt keep a check book and CONSTANTLY overdraws her account. Then she calls the bank and they will almost always reinburse fees to her. We are talking hundreds of dollars. And people send her money. My grand parents often bring her goodies like different foods on top of what we have that she likes.
My grandparents are in their late 80's and disgusted with how I "treat my poor mother". She reports to them whenever I am "mean to her" and they come after me about it. They will chain call me like crazy and yell into the phone about what a terrible person I am. They want to know how I can do this to my mother and them as they are so old. They tell me they "Want Answers" and threaten to come right to my house to get them. They are old and I dont know how to handle them.

I repeatedly told my brother the dog needed to go with him and he then renewed his lease in the apartment he was in that doesnt allow the dog. Then this dog recently bit me and I told my mom that was it, he had 3 weeks to get out. She insisted that if he went, she was going. I told her that was on her. She called my grand parents and they went after me.

I am bitter and resentful with the way I am cornered into this and bullied over this. It makes me often sullen and I spend a lot of time in one room in my house. My mom has pretty much given that dog her room and she likes the bed in the room my brother was using that we are trying to turn into a study but she whines that she wants THAT bed more and it wont fit into her original room. She sits in our living room watching movies all of the time and does clean around the house and bring in fire wood. These are things we would do more of if we had more of the house to ourselves. Its a bad situation. I am ornery and I hate who I am. I worry often for my family and dont know if they will be able to get it together. I dont know if my mom will ever be able to take care of herself and I am sick with the way things are. I need to get out of this but I need a plan.

I need to stress to you that I love these people dearly. I really do. I have many happy memories in the past with them. Things have just fallen apart over the years and I would really like a healthy relationship with them.

Ok well I have rambled on and on and it has been SO hard to write this out. I cant believe I got this much. I am sure it is jumbled, I may have forgotten some thing and I probably need to clarify stuff but at least I got it here. Maybe you guys can help give me strength and clarity of thought to make a plan. Sorry for the drama. I HATE drama so much and Im so sorry to whine (this is embarrassing) about it but I dont know what else to do. I feel so beaten down and if it wasnt for my absolutely amazing husband and my wonderful minis, Id be in so much more trouble. Thank you for your time guys.
Let me think on this. It's a lot. {{{{HUGS}}}}
I'm sure the dog lovers will get mad at me for this but..........

That is not your dog. That is YOUR home!! You never wanted that dog there. (I say again, that's YOUR home!) And that dog has killed YOUR cats and your piggies (I know how you love them) AND has bitten YOU! Enough is enough! Both you and your cat is imprisoned in one room in your house! I'm sorry but I would sit down and talk to your mom and tell her all that and tell her that the dog must go. (oh she'll throw a tantrum) Tell her everything you posted here. Tell her how you are made to feel in your own home. Tell her what you've done for her and your brother AND how much it hurts you when she runs and tattles on you to get her own way. Tell her how you feel!

You are married, you are adult, in your own home. Please don't hate me, I know you love her but....your mom is behaving like a child. Like she's your sister and runs to "mommy" and tells on you whenever she doesn't get her own way. She manipulates everyone around her.

You will NEVER be happy or be ALLOWED to live your own life with your husband (bless him) in your own home until both that dog and your mother moves out.

SHE had her own life, husband, home etc and she needs to step off and let your have yours. You have TRIED to help your family, you are an awesome sister and daughter. But you can't live your life being so miserable. You can't live your life to suit someone else. You can LOVE and LOVE but not to the point that it's killing you inside. You deserve love back and IF she loved you, she'd understand. Maybe she should move in with your grandparents since you're so mean to her (sarcasm)

I love you Katie. I wish I could make it all better for you.

Just as Robin said I'm thinking on it too but wanted to send you support and hugs.
I can't really offer anything that REO hasn't. She pretty much covered it, the next time your grandparents get on you because you are not 'playing nice' I would seriously tell them she is their daughter, maybe she needs to move back home with them. If that is impossible then maybe they need to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem and help come up with ideas about where she can live. It is not your job as a grown child to be a parent to your mother and you are enabling her helplessness by letting your love for her cloud your judgement. If she can't afford a home of her own perhaps she needs to look into some type of social assistance? I would stick with the dog going, it endangers your own animals and as long as it is there should never be off leash unless confined to a kennel or bedroom. To solve the bedroom issue I'd take the room your mother used to use, put her stuff (and the dog) in the room she insists she needs to sleep in and turn the now empty room into your den.

I know how hard it is to risk loosing the relationship you have with those you love but you owe it to yourself (and your husband who deserves to have his patience rewarded) to demand changes. Get your mother out and the dog with her, then you can visit, even help her out but you will have your own space to go to when she starts to stress you out.

I'm sorry you are going thro this. I have had family issues in the past and haven't spoken to my 2 older sisters for 6 years (by my own choice). It hurt terribly at first but after a time I realized how much happier and more peaceful my life had become once I wasn't trying to please them any longer. There is nothing like family drama to cause misery and I hope you can find a way to get over this hurdle. My advise is to stand up for what you want and need no matter how they try to bully you. If you can find the strength to speak up and follow thro you will feel so proud of yourself and so empowered I think.
Probably not what you will want to hear and it will not be easy. But just like a person with an addiction you have become the enabler. In order for this to get turned around everyone needs to be told how you are feeling in your own home. Explain this is not acceptable and if changes are not made to live by your rules in your house they know where the door is. It is called tough love. Your health and well being as well as your relationship with your husband are being compromised. You need not answer anyone but yourself and your husband. If your grandparents want answers send them(mother, brother and pets) to live with them. You are in a very tough spot but for your own good something needs to be done. ((hugs))

Edited to add...the dog must go!
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Thank you guys for your help and input. It is MUCH appreciated and very helpful. It is helping me to collect myself more than you know. I wanted some unbiased opinions. I wanted some clarity in the right direction.

I do know that I am an enabling her. I feel really bad about that. My friends and I have discussed that AND that she is an adult child in my home.

I have tried on multiple occasions to tell her and my grandparents how I feel. They (mom or grandparents) interrupt me and yell over me. They make excuses and blow me off. They think I am being ridiculous and selfish. They yell at me "how can you do this? Shes your mother! After all we have done for you!" They are all very tricky and manipulative on this matter. They do not listen. Its always the same.

On that note we are going to try to get a professional involved. I want to handle this appropriately. I really do love them very much. My mom is the one who got me my first mini. It hurts so bad to see her like this.

Again, I am really wanting a healthy relationship with them. My husband is amazing. He is being very supportive, understanding, and standing up for me.

- please feel free to keep the thoughts coming.
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I see where she learned it from.

What THEY are doing to you isn't right, not right at all. It's horrid.

This came to mind earlier.....not sure if I can convey it right but....

(don't hit me if I'm wrong but it's what I picture, ok?)

This day to day of her pouting, manipulating, having fits and sic'ing her parents on you until you give in, her insisting she MUST have that dog, even though she knows he's killed your beloved pets and bitten you, and that the way she treats you makes you unhappy, stressed out and I'm sure resentful and maybe even feeling hate towards her at times. SHE is causing you to not be able to respect and love your own mom the way you want to. SHE is, by her SELFISH, childish (IMO disgusting) behavior in YOUR home (which she should feel grateful to be in) she is robbing YOU and yes, even herself of that love and respect that should bring happiness to you both.

If you got her to leave so you can live your own life (and honey it's yours to live, not hers) Only then will you be able to relax and be happy. Only then would you be able to love her without that build up of hurt she's piling on you.

Her being there is ruining the mother/daughter thing that you should be having. But hearing how she is, I'm not sure she could give you that.

I guess what I mean is, living isn't existing in a home, life isn't something to put up with and get through each day. Life is to LIVE. That won't happen until she and the dog are out of your house and that you don't allow any of them USE you again.

I'd finally had enough of my father allowing his hateful wife take her crap out on me. I was tired of being hurt and my heart torn open, all my life. I finally exploded and I said that was IT, I couldn't take it any more! That either he and I could have a relationship together (keeping HER out of it) or that was the end. He made his choice. I thought it would be awful without talking to him but the RELIEF was HUGE. The stress dropped from my life and it was wonderful! Sometimes you HAVE to do what you have to do, even when it's hard. Because honey, you can't pick your family, but you can control who you allow who you stop allowing to keep hurting you.
For what they are worth here are my thoughts.

You say you "love them very much", I say how could you possibly love them when they are obviously making your life an absolute misery. We are programmed to "love" our parents and family and feel there is something wrong with us if we don't but sometimes they are not deserving of our love. If I were being used by my family the way you are being used and manipulated I would not love them I would hate them......vehemently.

Awaiting the flames.

Apart from that I agree with what others have advised. Your mother is not a child and if she chooses to act like a child send her to live with her own parents. You only have one life to live and you can't live it given your current circumstances. Your family is ruining your life. Do something about it. Now. If you are not strong enough to do it on your own then do indeed try getting professional help.

Good luck. I really feel sorry for you........ so sorry for you. You have allowed yourself to become a victim. Don't be a victim. ACT.

Oops just read Reo's latest response which appeared while I was typing. She expresses it in a much more acceptable way than I do. Couldn't agree more Reo.
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I agree with everyone above that's posted....

There's a saying that I just saw on FB which fits your situation:

"If you are dealing with someone who is sucking the happiness out of you (picture a vacuum)...

Just wanted to add that there are users and givers and sometimes people change and other times they never change. The fact that you are reaching out for advise speaks volumes. Hoping you can find either professional help or help from other individuals. Dig deep as this won't be a quick or easy fix.
Say to yourself.. " I will not be a victim" cut the strings.. enjoy your life.. don't lose your husband.
I love dogs..however I would not allow anyone to make a victim out of one of my beloved pets. Dogs like that are not welcome.
Get some counceling to help you get through the pain of standing up for yourself. You will never regret counceling. Do not take any of them with you and don't tell them you are going. you deserve better and they don't deserve you. You have a kind heart and gentle spirit and your man is lucky to have found you. Best wishes. Your story made me cry. You are not alone.. if you have the strength to survive all that and the courage to share your story with all of us..then you can find the strength to save yourself. Hugs to you.
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Everything everyone has written to you is excellent advice and from their hearts. Though you want to love your relatives, they are working on you through GUILT. You have absolutely nothing to be guilty for-that is the heartbreak. Seek some counseling to help you cope and as the others have suggested. I love dogs; but killing the small animals and BITING HUMANS are NOT acceptable! and is dangerous. I pray you are able to bring about the changes you need in your life (HUGS).
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Until you care about yourself enough, and until you care enough for yourself and your husband to put you guys ahead of everybody else nothing will change. They wont change when they have a person doing for them.
Agreed with what has been said. Your home, your animal being put at risk, doesn't seem that her contribution will make or break you, just wears you down. Let your grandparents welcome her with open arms.....maybe she can step up and help her own parents out. Situation sounds much like my inlaws. We cut our ties for the most part, they will still call my husband when they need gas money, but at least they aren't showing up for dinner uninvited, dropping in and you can't get rid of them, and borrowing hundreds like they once expected. They have a habit of drawing in new people and making them feel sorry for them, then after a year those people move on when they realize they have been played. Has happened time and time again in he last 20 years......they haven't changed, guessing they never will. Sorry to say, either stop enabling or accept things at face value, any change that happens will only happen because you made it happen. Trust me, I could tell you stories that would make you cringe, sounds like your mom and my in laws are from th same mold......
Well tonight got ugly. My cousin and my grandmother showed up to bring my mom all kinds of groceries because "somebody has to take care of her". Yes those words and others left my grandmothers lips. She was very insulting, slung a lot of guilt in my face and I lost it. I mean lost it. I have never screamed in somebody's face the way I did tonight. Thats not me at all... I felt very cornered. Im kind of in shock really. Im not 100% what will happen now but we will be looking into counseling this week. Everyone has been so supportive and its really giving me strength to push forward. I really want to get on track with life. I dont want to lose people on the way but tonight I demonstrated that I was done. I will work hard to keep moving - hopefully in a more constructive manner though.
{{{{{HUGS}}}}} I have no idea why they feel it's your job to provide for your mother like she's your child. I'm holding back a LOT of choice words. I hope you screamed that if she thinks she can take better care of her daughter to go ahead and take her!

I think YOU would be just fine IF you kicked your mom out and were allowed to be happy in your own home.
You do not owe them. You have paid enough. If I could not kick them out, I would leave and find someplace else for myself. I urge you to take care of yourself. When I was in a tough situation once I waited until that person left the house and my friends came in and moved me out. I planned my escape in secret. I found a safe place and never looked back.

I discovered we are really not responsible for anybody but ourselves. I learned it feels good to stand up for yourself. I discovered that verbal abuse can be as bad as physical abuse and hurts for a long time. Counceling is for you.. not for them... Don't give them any more to use against you and don't let them enjoy your pain.

I remember telling my councelor that I got screamed at for an hour... he said.. why did you take it for more than 5 seconds? I never thought about that.. but it was true.

If I don't like what is being said.. I either hang up the phone gently, or quietly leave. Removing yourself is kind of like taking away the target.. It can also be dangerous standing up for yourself so be very careful and keep yourself safe. It doesn't take more than a blink of an eye to escalate from verbal to physical in an argument.

I bet screaming at them felt good even if it was a temporary good feeling.

take care.. please be careful. U need a champion.. somebody to help you and encourage you along the way so you don't feel so alone. That's why I encourage you to get some help. Somebody once told me you have to go through the fire and come out on the other side and when you get there, you will be stronger than ever before.
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Sweetie, you owe them nothing and they will get your respect when they give you respect. My In laws say the same exact thing to all their kids...when they overspend, spend poorly, make poor choices they say and I quote " you kids owe us, one of you have to give us the money we need, you owe us, we brought you into this world."

Truth of the matter is they live less than ten minutes away, they don't see our kids, we really don't want to put them in an unhealthy situation like that. They were awful parents when my husband was growing up, but that is all he knew, I will not make him sever his ties, but he is a wise man and knows they have made many many poor choices in life. He keeps his distance from them, and while he will not leave them stranded, he refuses to do more than give them an occassional $20 for gas, after all, it's money we will never see again (not to mention that will buy a weeks worth of grain for my horses).