To have done a food shop for her?

(32 Posts)
KellyBoo800 Sun 11-Sep-16 14:44:14

It's my cousins 18th birthday this week. We have always been very close but I hadn't seen her in almost a year because she has fallen in with the wrong crowd and we all suspect she is on drugs. She has cancelled on me a number of times over the past year but we still talk a lot and she is the closest thing to a sister that I have.

She has moved into a flatshare with a friend, has dropped out of college and isn't working. I have no idea how she is funding her lifestyle. Her mum (uncles ex wife who I have never had a good relationship with) recently got in touch with me asking me to try and get through to her.

We made plans to meet for coffee this morning and I expected her to cancel as always but she surprised me by calling this morning to confirm time and place, so I actually got to see her. Had a lovely couple of hours catching up. I went to drop her back off near a Tesco where she lives and she asked if she could borrow a couple of pounds to get a sandwich for her lunch.

I won't lend people money, especially if drugs are involved as we all suspect. So I told her we could nip into the supermarket to get a few bits. Ended up spending about £40 on fruit, tinned veg, soups etc to basically stock her cupboards. She didn't ask for any of this, I offered because she's like a rake and needs to eat. She was incredibly grateful.

Her mum has messaged me to find out if our catch up went ahead and I told her we caught up, I've offered to help her find a job and get her sorted, and gently encouraged her to move back in with her dad (her mum doesn't have room for her). Turns out her mum had already called her and she'd told her about the food shop. Her mum has now completely flipped at me and told me how irresponsible I am, how she will never go back to her dad's if I "pull shit like this". Basically saying she should be starving so she has no choice but to go back. Her mum is emotionally abusive, no doubt about it, but her relationship with her dad isn't that strained and I think she's just trying to exert a bit of independence. I don't think forcing her to starve so she has no choice but to go back is the right thing to do.

But maybe I'm being naive? Was it really being that unreasonable to not let my cousin starve? I really don't know what else I should have done!

allsfairinlove Sun 11-Sep-16 14:48:08

You did the right thing OP.

HarrietSchulenberg Sun 11-Sep-16 14:48:13

I think YANBU but the "let her starve" idea might be more to do with encouraging independance and making her realise that she HAS to support herself. That said, I would probably have done the same.

If she is on drugs, she may well just sell the food to fund her habit.

wombattoo Sun 11-Sep-16 14:51:59

YANBU. I think you did the right thing. I would have done the same.

KellyBoo800 Sun 11-Sep-16 14:54:33

I think the family view of "on drugs" is also slightly skewed. Apart from looking skinny, she looked perfectly healthy and not how I expected. I suspect she is probably smoking cannabis which I'm not happy about but they've made it sound as if she's injecting heroin. Which having spent time with her today, I really doubt.

I hadn't thought about her selling the food but I'm not sure she would get much for tins of soup and veg so hopefully she'Lloyd do the sensible thing and actually eat. She's also coming round for dinner next week so I can help her with her CV, which she asked me to do.

Mybeardeddragonjustdied2016 Sun 11-Sep-16 14:55:15

You have showed her someone has faith in her being a to sort herself out. Raised self esteem is more likely to help he remake good decisions about her future than starving her back to her dad's surely??

Soubriquet Sun 11-Sep-16 14:55:34

I think you did the best thing you could do

Money is never a good idea for people with addiction problems but on the other half of the coin, as long as they have something to sell and someone to buy, they will always be able to find their habit

KellyBoo800 Sun 11-Sep-16 14:57:49

I hate to sound big headed at all but I have always tried to be a role model for her. I have a good job and she has always said (from the age of about 5) that she wants to be just like me. I have done and will always do my best to show her that she's an intelligent girl who can do very well for herself. She knows I will always support her with that so hopefully having some faith in her will work beardeddragon

Babymamamama Sun 11-Sep-16 14:59:07

You have done a lovely thing. She's lucky you are around.

MrsJayy Sun 11-Sep-16 15:00:48

Yanbu the girl isnt going to sell a few tins of soup for drugs she is your cousin you helped her out i get her parents want her to stand on her own 2 feet but cutting her off isnt going to make her do that,

PeachBellini123 Sun 11-Sep-16 15:02:56

I think you did a lovely thing and were right to buy food insteas of money. Her mum sounds very extreme.

helenatroy Sun 11-Sep-16 15:03:05

You did exactly the right thing. She sounds nice and we all loose our way at least once in our lives. You see it all the time. People being treated like sxxxx when they are at their lowest ebb. It would fit her mother far better to try and help this girl rather than attack the people trying to undo with damage the she and the likes of her helped cause. You sound like a lovely young woman. Thank heavens she has you.

MrsJayy Sun 11-Sep-16 15:03:48

And starving her isnt going to make her go back to her dads is it ?

AuldYow Sun 11-Sep-16 15:05:53

How could you possibly be unreasonable, I think it was a really thoughtful thing you did. You may have created an 'in' with your cousin and be able rebuild your relationship with her.

She's 18 and it's up to her, by the sounds of it she needs someone like you to guide her.

Foslady Sun 11-Sep-16 15:06:59

You have done the right thing in my eyes too. How good do you think she's feel if she had to go back to her dad's purely because she's failed to the point of starvation? It could have exacerbated the whole situation, at least this way you have given her a choice, and after the talk, hopefully it might get through to her.

You can't just dismiss her without knowing you gave her a chance.

JellyBelli Sun 11-Sep-16 15:07:39

You did the right thing. You have made a bridge for your cousin to cross back to your side.

If it all goes pear shaped later on then you might not want to do all this twice. But it might be that she has made a mistake and doesnt know how to make it stop.

KellyBoo800 Sun 11-Sep-16 15:07:42

helen that's exactly what I think, the past year has been very hard on her but if she could just get back on track then I think she will find her way. I've never really gone "off the rails" but have always had my family's support with big life decisions (helping with deposit for my house, paying for my first month of travel when I started working in London and was skint) and I could not be where I am without them. I know I'm lucky that my family have been able to do this for me. So if in some small way I can help my cousin get back on her feet then I will do it, no questions asked.

Caken Sun 11-Sep-16 15:09:22

YANBU, she needs guidance and support, not tough love. Good for you for helping her.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Sun 11-Sep-16 15:14:36

You did a nice thing but you say that you're not close. Do you know that her dad could take her in? Do you know what the situation is with her mother? Perhaps her mum and dad have been trying hard to get her to return to one of them, preferably her dad (for availability of space).

Have you asked yourself why your cousin hasn't tried to return home to one of her parents?

I would have done the same - a food shop - but I wouldn't be judging her mother (my aunt?) if I didn't have the full picture. I'd be speaking to my cousin and trying to help her see her options (once I knew what they actually were).

KellyBoo800 Sun 11-Sep-16 15:22:15

Lying we are close - I haven't seen her in almost a year but we speak a lot. I know the situation with her mum in great detail and I know that she doesn't have a problem with her dad. I know this because not only would she tell me if it was any different, but she mentioned her dad quite a lot to do and the plans they have together for her birthday. She just would rather live with her mates right now. She cannot and will not live with her mum for various reasons. I also don't really consider her mum to be my 'aunt' - she divorced my uncle a long time ago and was vicious towards me as a child.

I'm not judging her mums actions in this situation. And I know my cousin hasn't been a very good daughter to her lately. But I do feel that if a hungry child (yes she is nearly 18 years old but she really is still a child) asks me for food, I will feed her.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Sun 11-Sep-16 15:27:59

That being the case, Kelly, why not encourage your cousin to go back to her dad? Forget the mum, she doesn't sound very keen to help.

You did the right thing by doing a food shop for her, that was kind of you, but it's a bit 'give a man a fish and feed him for a day...' scenario. What will your cousin do without ongoing support? Does her dad know? He must do, surely? confused

IFailDaily Sun 11-Sep-16 15:28:38

Seems to me that you did a kind and thoughtful thing OP.

KellyBoo800 Sun 11-Sep-16 15:31:35

Lying I am trying to encourage her, but I'm trying to strike the right balance by not being pushy about it. I don't think she needs another person telling her what do to. I did remind her that she would be a lot more comfortable at home with her dad so fingers crossed she will listen smile

I've also reminded her that she's always welcome at mine (a 15 minute walk away from where she is at the moment) without any notice.

Thinnestofthinice Sun 11-Sep-16 15:33:51

You are lovely OP. Every kid needs a cousin like you. The mum is taking her anger about the situation out on you unfortunately.

BananaThePoet Sun 11-Sep-16 15:36:42

You absolutely did the right thing.
Tough love is one thing, starving a person into submission is quite another.

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