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I can't please everyone so who should I please?(54 Posts)
ok, long story alert:
my parents are hopeless with money. I was hopeless with money (now I'm just poor). fb was hopeless with money (now he's married and fail is good with money.
so, when I started uni, I spent my grant paying hall fees and buying text books. I was working but got injured in a fall down the stairs at my parents and the pain meds meant I couldn't work. I got behind in my studies, got depressed. parents found out I was living on bred and honey and offered to send me 40 a week. I said yes. fast forward 15 years. it turned out thy couldn't afford that and it was my brother working while studying to pay the forty pounds.
after uni, I got married, had a child, got divorced, got left with debts by ex (everything in joint names and he had been in charge of finances). so ds and I moved in with my parents, I worked, dm looked after ds. I rented a flat, couldn't manage financially, got a cheaper council house, ran up debts (living beyond my means -pure stupidity). got bailed out by parents.
parents also had many debts (of which I was unaware) fb bailed them out financially and went on mortgage to allow them to keep the house.
parents eventually paid db back.
I had a nervous breakdown, moved back in with parents, rented out my house, found all this stuff out. saved up, moved home. a few times have taken out loans for parents in my name (I can say no the first few times they ask but they're really good at grinding me down). they have paid the loans back and given me bits of money here and there also.
in meantime fb gets married, they want to buy a house. db can not come off their mortgage now because the house is in negative equity. dm and df news to find the money to pay off he negative equity to release him so house is currently in dsil's name only. which dm gives dsil grief about (very strange).
dm and df got quite a lot of money in ppi compensation and uses it to buy NES lounge and dining room furniture, to have their lounge and dining room replastered and decoeates, to have curtains made for both rooms and artex (sp?) removed from he ceilings. they also paid off several thousand pounds in debts. db and dsil upset about this. dm cannot understand this.
now, dm turns 60 this year. df wants to tale her on holiday to celebrate. she wants ds and I to go. I can't afford it. she offers to pay for us to go. I feel uncomfortable about that ad they keep promising db and dsil that they will save what they can to release db from the mortgage.
dm starts on at me saying I'm depriving ds. that it's nothing to do with db and dsil so I shouldn't feel guilty. that the situation between dm and df and db and dsil is none of my business and I would say yes if the situation wasn't happening so I should go. that it's her 60th and she wants us there and db and dsil can afford to pay for themselves whereas she knows I can't (retraining so on 15k).
so I tried telling her my dissertation was due the week she wants to go (october half term) but it's not, it's a month earlier.
options (as I see it):
1. go on holiday, dm happy, ds happy, I feel guilty, risk good relationships I have with db and dsil. I feel stressed about this.
2. allow them to book the holiday but run myself ragged trying to pay them back. everyone happy - except me because I'll be back to living outside my means. I feel stressed about this.
3. continue saying no, earn the eternal enmity of dm and ds (who is desperate to go abroad after camping for hree summers), keep good relationships with db and dsil, get stressed because of attitude of dm and ds.
so latest is that df said that ds could have the holiday for Christmas/birthday gift. I, apparently, would be selfish to turn this down.
I'm sure you're right - my feeling is she'll go to work on ds tomorrow.
I had a look at the stately homes thread but it's for people who were abused as children so not at all my situation. thank you for directing me there though .
watch out helles - when she works out that you're not changing your mind she'll up the ante. the sooner you can stop relying on them the better. have some backup plans for when your mum kicks off - again.
dm's being nice now - she texted to let me know she had washed and ironed a uniform ds had left there last week and to just send him in normal clothes in the morning.
as it happens, he has a uniform ready here.
And yes I totally know what you mean about acknowledging possibly not being the best mum in the world - that isn't your fault, but the fact that you give enough of a shit to try harder makes a difference already!
For me I feel like I understand the concept of "good enough parenting" etc but that is more appropriate for people who aren't from toxic families, for me I think it is important to try harder to educate myself as my knowledge of what healthy loving familial relationships should involve was totally arse-backwards .
From personal experience I would say proceed with caution, though, it can be very upsetting to unpack all this stuff mentally, esp if you have previous mental health issues. It really knocked me for six, and dredges up a lot of stuff which I would say can be difficult to deal with when you are trying to be a parent and all-round even-keeled person.
It could be very traumatic for you to face all this by yourself esp as it sounds as if your parents are extremely invasive and breathing down your neck. Have you been on the stately homes thread (in relationships?) as there are lots of helpful links there to resources on the web and other books. Ultimately it is empowering (boak, sorry) but a shitty thing to go through. Do you have support in real life from friends etc, or can you get counselling via your gp?
Counselling is the best thing you can do, imho to help yourself parenting your own kids when your own parents are.......let's say toxic. It made a huge difference to me.
There will be more helpful posters on Stately Homes anyway.
Just caught up with your recent posts OP and wanted to say well done at standing firm. Your mum may be a master of manipulation, but you are countering it really well.
I know your brother wouldn't do this but what's to stop him cutting his losses on the house and telling your parents to find other accommodation. Presumably he has an outstanding mortgage on this house which he is paying. That doesn't seem very fair to me at all. This is not your fault in any way Hellesbelles and it's a shame you are caught up in it.
I wish I were - but thank you for your kind words. I think I am probably a better mum for acknowledging I'm not the best mum iykwim.
Toxic Parents? Heading to amazon!
Helles ............me too! Takes a lot of unpacking doesn't it? I read Toxic Parents and was very shocked to discover that someone had written a boom about my family. It sounds like you are doing very well and are very kind, sensible person and a great mum.
Pretty good understanding. DSIL managed to get a mortgage just in her name so they do own a house but legally, it's just dsil's.
I think the priority should be to release your brother from the mortgage on their house not paying for people to go on holiday. It's easy for them to spend other people's money and I wouldn't be encouraging them to do this and anybody who does is being selfish.
Your brother and his wife cannot buy their own house because of their reckless spending. I'm not surprised they are annoyed. Hope I have understood things correctly.
Say that you're managing your finances better now. You won't be owing money to people anymore and you're going to be living within your means.
RabidCarrot Could you point out that in the past 50 years your DF has indeed ask for things and that is why your DB is stuck on their mortgage I like that - it will be my response if I stop ignoring them!!
Daftodill Seconding the "toxic" thing. Your responses are so good, I am trying to learn how to do this! they're not usually - that's why she thinks she can talk me round. It's just knowing I will post whatever is said on here tha is keeping me resolute.
^Have you been on the Stately Homes thread?
You will find many people whose parents are just like this! You totally don't have to put up with this crap, esp from your own family, they should respect your choices about such things. Very toxic behaviour. Don't engage!^ It's only since my breakdown I've realised how unusual our family dynamic is - after all, everyone says their mum rules the roost so I thought it was normal and I felt sorry for her because she's had a tough life.
He knows I earn very little Edam so, if we went, he would work out dm/df had paid for us when they're supposed to be paying off negative equity to release him to be on the mortgage for his own family home.
Since I found out about it all, I have told my parents to leave their house (it gets paid off in the event of either death) just to db as recompense but they have refused. I still think he should have the whole house.
Could you point out that in the past 50 years your DF has indeed ask for things and that is why your DB is stuck on their mortgage
Seconding the "toxic" thing. Your responses are so good, I am trying to learn how to do this! Have you been on the Stately Homes thread?
You will find many people whose parents are just like this! You totally don't have to put up with this crap, esp from your own family, they should respect your choices about such things. Very toxic behaviour. Don't engage!
DS is year 7 so I'm assuming 3 and a half years more.
Actually, once df retires, I won't have to wait for him to finish work (due to shared car) so I could be home for about 4.20 - ds could go to my bf's (his bf's mum's) for 15 minutes or to our house if I could trust him not to lose a key!! He's on school bussed so doesn't normally get to dm's til 4.05.
Freedom is lurking on the horizon
Oh dear, what a horrible situation. You have made your decision, so don't let her bully you into changing it.
But I don't think you should feel guilty about your brother's financial situation. You didn't know about the £40 a week at the time - your brother clearly didn't want you to know, otherwise he'd have told you. And your parents have paid him back - it's just the negative equity, which is a bitch but no-one's fault.
If your brother only lives 15 miles away, he's going to find out about your parents going on holiday, isn't he?
How long will you still have to rely on her for childcare? I'd be looking at alternatives to get yourself and your DS away from her.
I don't use this word often, but she is totally toxic. Have you seen threads on here about toxic parents?
She always phones if I don't text back within five minutes. If I don't answer the phone after she's tried 4-5 times, she would just come round - she lives in the same village and has our car today.
Another text, new guilt-trip:
Well I am sorry Helles but we will not get over this. It's dad's last year of working and this is what he wanted to do. After 50 years of work and never asking for a thing from anyone. The thing he did want is at last ds going on holiday
That last bit is weird as they have taken him away three times before (before I knew about the situation with db) and I take ds camping in the summer. My bf and her kids and us share a tent if I'm strapped which halves each of our costs and gives us both company on holiday.
Defo not answering any more.
'I am sorry if you are upset. I am too. I am going to take DS to the park / play monopoly / build lego tower (whatever you'd be likely to do). I will be in touch tomorrow'
Stop responding. You have said what you have to say. Turn your phone off if you can.
HoleyGhost somehow (probably because I'm reporting back on here) I am staying calm.
I replied: i really am trying to avoid taking sides by doing this. i am, obviously, sorry that my decision has upset you but it is my decision to make.
db knew we were having this holiday three months ago but never said anything - he did say something to df. guess df didn't report back
but to us you are taking sides & i wouldn't think db and dsil would like ds to miss out on holiday. why don't you ask them? - i think this is a cunning ploy to make db and dsil feel bad. Not rising to it...
Uggh. I would wait a while before responding to that one.
My own mother behaves like this whenever she imagines she has a hold on me. It will be wonderful when you no longer need to rely on her for childcare.
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