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to sometimes cringe at my own family?

(25 Posts)
lill72 Thu 09-Feb-17 09:49:53

Does anyone else feel the same? I can't really relate to my family anymore.

I recently went home to visit my family. I don't see them very often as we live on the other side of the world from each other. I have to say I was a little bit shocked.

My dad has lived on his own for many years after my parents separated. He has stayed in the family home. It was renovated in 1989. Since then, he has done pretty much no maintenence on many parts of the house. It has paint coming off the ceiling, cracks in the walls, black mould on the ceiling etc. He has also had dogs and the carpet is looking pretty dire because of them. The whole places smells musty. He says it is because he's not there much (he travels a lot for work) but I know it is just in severe need of care. He wants to sell it and thinks a lick of paint and new carpet will do the trick but it is going to take far more. The house is in the top area and the kitchen and bathroom are not up to standard. Anyway, I digress a bit. The main point is that I cannot believe he could live in a house like this, in this state. I hated staying there. I would have stayed elsewhere but my family would have been offended. My sister was also staying there, as she lives in another state. She keeps defending dad to me, but then she argues with him about it too a bit, so I know she agrees with me on some level. But she doesnt seem to see it either. I am cringeing that I have a father who has let things go. I wouldnt have anyone over to his house EVER. It is just too bad.

Then, there is my sister. I cringe at her all the time. She has very different ideas about raising a child to me. Her 4 year old was in nappies while I was there. She had got him out of them and then started again.For no good reason other than laziness on her part. Her children do not speak properly. Her 6 year old does not talk to me or look me in the eye and is obsessed with his ipad. She says it is just the way he is. I being really honest feel he may be mildly autistic but could never bring this up to her. My sister left school very early and her education doe not go beyond year 10. Nothing wrong with this however it just makes me feel as if we are very different as we have very different outlooks on life. I think education is part of this. We also argue a lot and I'd really like to try to get along but she just can't argue in a rational, well thought way. I just don't know what to do. I don't feel like I can relate to my family at all.

My brother is ok but we just dont see eye to eye on many things. My mum passed away a few years ago.

The longer I stay away, the worse it seems.

Help! I don't really like my family!! Luckily my husbands family are great.

PleasantPhesant Thu 09-Feb-17 09:53:06


You sound very judgey. You can't choose your family

Your df may need a little help with the house?
Your dsis may be making decisions you don't agree with but they're her dc
The six year old sounds shy to me

SukeyTakeItOffAgain Thu 09-Feb-17 09:53:09

No one has to like their family, but your reasons seem a little, well, shallow. Sorry.

Why are you so bothered about the state of your dad's house?

lill72 Thu 09-Feb-17 10:01:48

sukey - you think black mould and cracks that mean doors wont open is normal? Peeling paint and every appliance has a problem with it. Books piled up and crap in every room. I could go on. I am sure if you walked into the house you too would be a little shocked too. Hmmm. Well he wants to sell so the house has to be in a good state. It is also not healthy. The grass was 6 feet tall when we arrived. As had not been cut. That is a beacon for a burgler.
You can never tell the whole story on here, no matter how much I say..... so it may seem shallow, but it is far from....

I offered to help my father with the house, to get it ready for sale. He said he wont listen to me as I am not a 'professional'. We had a hige fight about it, but he feels he knows best.

As I said may layers to the story.....

lill72 Thu 09-Feb-17 10:03:47

I try so hard to get along with my sister. I really want to and I tried hard when there but it is difficult.

trinketsofgold Thu 09-Feb-17 10:06:30

Since when will a house not sell because it's in bad repair. It just won't do for as much,and honestly what's it got to do with you anyway?!

Leave your sisters kids alone. She's hardly going to confide any problems with someone so judgy.

Common denominator in all these relationships is you!

The80sweregreat Thu 09-Feb-17 10:09:14

Would your dad listen to someone else? My dad would happily take advice from other people, but the minute its us he goes all defensive and seems to think we dont know what we;re talking about! he is mid 90s.

The situation will only get worse if he doesnt do something - is there social services where you live ( or something similar) who you can contact to go round and assess his needs? you cant do much about your sister, although it does sound as if she may need a bit of help too. the school will soon be on to her if her child goes to school in nappies i am sure. Again, she may well take advice from other people rather than you.

trulybadlydeeply Thu 09-Feb-17 10:30:43

Providing your Dad has mental capacity around this issue, then there's not a great deal you can do, it is his choice how he lives and how he keeps his house. Unless of course, you offer help and he accepts. My concern is for the dogs - who looks after them if he travels a lot for work? You don't have to like how he lives, and you can choose to live differently. People living in such circumstances is not uncommon, believe me, and from the information you have given it doesn't sound like a situation where SS and the like would get involved. People live in far, far worse environments.

With regards to your sister, I can understand your concerns around the children, but presumably the 6 year old in in school, and the 4 year old is either in nursery/pre-school or school? In which case I would hope that these issues/concerns have been identified, and that she is receiving appropriate help and support. Your sister's level of education does not prevent her from being a good parent, far from it.

You do not have to like your family, just because you are related to them. You can choose whether to spend time with them or not. However if you do choose to spend time with them, then you will need to accept your differences, and the choices that they make. You can decide to live differently, but I feel it's a shame that you are not able to enjoy your family due to your discomfort with how they live.

lill72 Thu 09-Feb-17 11:09:59

trulybadly - thanks for the message. It is helpful. He has had dogs in the past, now has my brothers and sisters often. So dogs not an issue. Dad lectures at university so is of full mental capacity. It's not a SS issue. But I just am slightly worried for him to live in a place so unhealthy. The place is so musty. My dad is very stubborn. He will not listen to me. When I asked if we could have a meeting to discuss the selling of the house. ( my brother, sister and I own a tiny percentage of it) he said he would speak to me on skype when back in London. He is in full denial.

My sister had a massive go at me saying that unless I sorted out my things in the house (a tiny amount) while I was in the country, she would throw them out. Now what business is it of hers to throw my stuff out. It is not her house. Dad had said I could keep the stuff there. This is not very sisterly.

When my mum died three years ago, dad refused to go to her funeral and flew in from China that day. When I got back to his house, he mentioned nothing of the day - instead was gayly showing us all his presents he's been given (not for us) from China. So yes I too would love to be able to accept differences and hang out, but certain things that have gone on make this increasingly tense and difficult. This is why this is not all it seems.

Yes the 6 year old is in school and has seen a counsellor about a tolielt phobia, but I am told the counsellor is not a child specialist. This rings alarm bells to me. I am sure if there is an issue with him, teachers will flag it eventually. The ability to parent has nothing to do with education I agree. But the education and awareness of these certain issues may do.

The 4 year old is now out of nappies my dad has emailed me. This I am glad to hear. As I said he was out of nappies, but as he had a few accidents, my sister reverted back to nappies which I thought a bit odd.

lill72 Thu 09-Feb-17 11:12:00

The80's - my dad will listen to my sisters partner as he is a builder. and the 'professionals' ie a real estate agent. So yes. But me . No.

He is very very stubborn. After the last argument with my offer to help rejected, I'm out. No more help from me.

Dearlittleflo Thu 09-Feb-17 11:18:25

The narcissism of small differences- things our families do make us cringe more than the same things would done by strangers, as we're so keen to tell ourselves we're not like that. You cringe more than is reasonable at your family's slobby behaviour because you don't want to be seen (or see yourself) as a slob.

We all do it. So YANBU, even though YABU.

lill72 Thu 09-Feb-17 11:43:12

yes Dearflo - this is very true!!

NarkyMcDinkyChops Thu 09-Feb-17 11:47:36

Why would he have a meeting with you about selling his house, that he lives in? He's a grown man who can live how he likes no matter how odd to you, and can sell his own house if he wants to.
Similarly your sisters children are none of your business.

So you don't like your family, so what, not everyone does. No need to be so nasty about them all though.

AHedgehogCanNeverBeBuggered Thu 09-Feb-17 11:47:41

You sound like a pretty horrible relative TBH, always judging and looking down on your family's choices. They're adults, they can live how they want.

ImperialBlether Thu 09-Feb-17 11:52:09

Did you miss the bit where the OP says she owns part of the house, Narky?

NarkyMcDinkyChops Thu 09-Feb-17 11:53:03

Nope. She says a tiny percentage, which means she doesn't have a controlling say in selling the house.

lill72 Thu 09-Feb-17 13:12:18

Though Narky I might have a say on signing certain documents.

At Hedge - who is being judgemental not knowing the full story???? You come round to my dads house and see if you'd want to stay in a musty room with black mould on the ceiling? Yes?

PleasantPhesant Thu 09-Feb-17 16:06:04

But you don't have to stay there lill

lill72 Thu 09-Feb-17 17:06:40

Well I didn't stay the last time I visited and my sister yes my sister got very offended. As she was living there at the time. I really did not want to stay there but had no choice. I drew the line at the room with damp. It is so gross.

I was staying there with my sister, partner, her DS's 4 ad 6, their 2 dogs and my DH and 2 DD.. A bit much for anyone!!!!

Fighterofthenightman Thu 09-Feb-17 17:13:31

Do you love your Dad? Has he been supportive of you and loved you? Supported you in making choices?

If yes, then you should accept he makes different choices. My family have made choices I wouldn't and my Mums house definitely is very different to how I live but never would I say it or her make me 'cringe'.

I would never say that about a family member.

lill72 Thu 09-Feb-17 17:40:50

Fighter - it is very easy to say you would not cringe. I have never really felt like this before.

I do love my dad. He has been supportive. I guess as he has lived apart from mum for a long time (divorced) he has become more and more set in his ways and more stubborn than before. He only sees things from his perspective and is not very helpful in general now. This is so different from my DH parents who go out of their way to help.

Well there is living 'differently' and living in a mould, musty house. I cant see why you'd want to live in a crumbling house that is effectively losing you money as it goes into deeper disrepair. He lives in the best suburb in the city so the place is worth a lot. Am I honestly the only one that doesnt get it? I just cant be.

lill72 Thu 09-Feb-17 17:42:57

Fighter - how is your mums house different?

Different decor or style or old I can understand. Serious disrepair and mould and light fittings that have not been cleaned since 1989 I cannot.

MrsJaniceBattersby Thu 09-Feb-17 17:50:53

I get where you are coming from lill72 you just want the best for him
I don't think there's much you can do though , you've tried .

Fighterofthenightman Thu 09-Feb-17 19:06:00

My Mums house sounds like your Dad's. Massively overgrown garden, lack of maintenance in the house. Stuff left outside that she hasn't bothered to get the council to collect or has failed to try. Rooms full of stuff I would never keep in a million years. Mould in some rooms.

My Mum bought her council house and is still paying a mortgage because it was really important to her that she had something 'to leave' to me and my brother. Coming from a background where the only things anyone inherited were disease-related!
I know it will be a costly nightmare when she dies to clear out all her stuff and try to sell the property in the state it is in.

I would rather she hadn't bought it. She doesn't have the money to maintain it and isn't bothered by things that I'm REALLY bothered by. It will be shit for me and my brother to try and sort out. But she's my Mum. She has never been the best Mum in the world but there are so many things she has done for me and so many ways I appreciate her that I would never cringe at anything she does.

lill72 Thu 09-Feb-17 19:28:19

Thanks MrsJanice

Yes well Fighter the house you describe sounds very much the same. Like you I am really bothered by many things that do not bother my dad. I can still love someone yet just find their lifestyle baffling? I just feel I would be deeply embarrassed having anyone over. My MIL came to stay when dad was not there and was trying to open a window in her bedroom as she said it was very musty. I was dying inside.

I feel I have to make excuses for everything being run down/not working. Dad just doesn't feel this stuff is important.

Maybe embarassed/sllightly ashamed is more apt. That is not to say I don't love him and I dont feel like this out and about with him.

Don't know if that makes sense.

I also feel angry that he won't listen to me as I think the house sale though not my business, needs a female touch re decor as on this he also has no idea.

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