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Posted by: Annonymous | 2009/11/09

FAMILY FALLEN APART - WHAT CAN BE DONE?

I' m a 25yr old daughter of a single mother, have 2 older sisters(29 and 27) both living with their men and kids. 1 younger sister(18) and a younger brother(9).
3 are of the same father and the other 2 different fathers, my mother has always had bad relationships and i truelly feel sorry for her and understand relationships can be a pain, she was always in short-term relationships where I can see she gives her all(probably too much) that she ends up being taken forgranted, i know now that i' m older. I live far away from home and am pretty much living a comfortable life. Back at home she has always made sure that we never went without, and I love her more than anything for all her sacrifices.

Last year, she started dating a ' home-boy' (who doesnt even have a job), the whole village was talking about this. My mother seemed not to care what people,family and we were raising. I saw her starting to live like a minor, dressing like us etc. Seemed to me like she was trying to be a perfect person for this younger guy. I and my sisters were very bitter over this, but I eventually just accepted that we cant choose for her. We used to all live in my granny' s house where this guy would sneak in at night every nite before moving in with her in her room, and she started sort of lossing her self-esteem due to this, u' d talk talk and she' d just listen and not say anything. Now my uncle gave her a 2-roomed house so she can make a home 4 us, my mother then moved in with this guy. I said to her that i would like to fulfil my promise and help her build a home, and also whats going to happen when we come home in Dec? she promised me that the arrangement was temporary, that they' d even go rent so that we can have a home wher we free. Its now a year Dec is coming and it looks like nothing is going to change. I sent her ALL of my savings to build the house, i hear they bought a car which she says was given to them. Decided not to follow wher Savings went, it was a gift to her afterall.

I also discoverd 4 months back that my 18yr old sister has not been studying since going to tertiary for 2 years. she was pocketing rental + the school fees(which i know in my heart cud be a result of the home situation). She had to go back home and now lives with my mom and her Boyfrnd. Now in the 2 room the ' visitor'  is always locked in the one room with TV/Radio and other entertainment - where my sister cant go in during the day whn my mother isnt home(he doesnt have a job and is dependant on my mother who has a nuts paying job), she spends her days looking into the walls all day, friends and visitors is something tht my mother doesnt approve of(We grew up like that and i still respect her rule).Because my mother is soo upset about my sister' s story she has chosen to almost disown her, they go out to lunches and leave her behind etc. Whn I speak to her I can feel that she is depressed, I do no condone what she did but i feel that my mother should take responsibility for this(I am) and she could try and focus on giving her what she is missing -the motherly love, instead of this treatment. On the other hand I really love my mother and want her to be 100% happy such that I' ll choose to overlook her flaws and just accept things as they are but I can see it is killing our family. My mother is also very emotional, any attempt to have an honest conversation with her about this causes her to become emotional and me feeling very guilty. Its even worse I have 90% evidence to believe that they are both hiv+(something that i' ve cried and cried about and eventually accepted, confronted her wanting her to feel like its ok to be positive and i' m always there for her but she said there was nothing - i didnt push it - this is even more reason I' d want her not to worry about anything).

I feel that this is causing sooo much strain, these issues cross my mind everyday, i cry like almost everyday at the thought of the mess, questions such as how are we going to all fit into that house, seeing the ' visit'  is permanent? I also want 4 my younger sister to redirect her life, but we all know family has the greatest impact on how we lead our lives.
Spoke to my mother this morning, saying that she must please accept my sister as her lil girl and start showing her some love, a conversation which lead to tears and me feeling guilty, Please note i' ll always try and be very polite when addressing these issues, my whole family counts on me for all, I dont want any1 of them to get hurt and luckily 4 me i can cry it all out, pray and be ok. i was thinking after speaking to her that maybe this festives we must just FORCE matters, plan an outing where all my family including the boyfrnd can have lunch and do activities together - But I just know this is a win-lose strategy where the rest will feel lost and only my mother happy. How can we resolve this, please help I am sooo out of ideas. Mother isnt strong enough to deal with negative critisism. Its just a huge mess the whole thing. I found myself thinking that maybe God cud take him soon(I know this is just a devil thought) but in my heart his involvement with my mother seems to be a big problem, we all dont have much access to her now, I miss the days when she' d spend a night sleeping with us in bed, or even spending the entire Xmas time with us, she doesnt want to compromise when it comes to this guy.
Any sort of advice will be highly appreciated.

Many thanks

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

YOu may be too understanding in ways that are unhelpful to your mother, and maybe too helpful to the young guy who may be exploiting her. Don't give her money, as it seems likely HE will use it ( do you even know in whose name the car is registered ? His or hers ? ) If you want to contribute to a house for her ( is the house your uncle donated not suitable ? ) let her make the arangements, ensuring it remains in her name and ownership, and pay the builders, so she receives the benefit but not in cash he can access.
The home situation my be upsetting your sister, but that's no excuse for her to lie to her family, and, frankly, to steal money given to her for her tuition - ahaion,the money should have been paid to the school, not directly to her.
This way you reduce people's temptation to use money irresponsibly, while still giving them benefits.
You're right that the way your mother is treating your sister is hardly likely to improve things at all.
Do try hard to stop feeling guilty about things which OTHER people do.
For some reason ( if she is worried about being HIV* this could be part of it ) your mother sounds like she's in denial. She sounds as though she has actually been a very strong woman in earlier life crises, but now wishes to pretend theings are just OK, and to enjoy herself, without being responsible as she used to be
I do hope other readers can contribute some helpful comments here

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Our users say:
Posted by: cybershrink | 2009/11/10

YOu may be too understanding in ways that are unhelpful to your mother, and maybe too helpful to the young guy who may be exploiting her. Don't give her money, as it seems likely HE will use it ( do you even know in whose name the car is registered ? His or hers ? ) If you want to contribute to a house for her ( is the house your uncle donated not suitable ? ) let her make the arangements, ensuring it remains in her name and ownership, and pay the builders, so she receives the benefit but not in cash he can access.
The home situation my be upsetting your sister, but that's no excuse for her to lie to her family, and, frankly, to steal money given to her for her tuition - ahaion,the money should have been paid to the school, not directly to her.
This way you reduce people's temptation to use money irresponsibly, while still giving them benefits.
You're right that the way your mother is treating your sister is hardly likely to improve things at all.
Do try hard to stop feeling guilty about things which OTHER people do.
For some reason ( if she is worried about being HIV* this could be part of it ) your mother sounds like she's in denial. She sounds as though she has actually been a very strong woman in earlier life crises, but now wishes to pretend theings are just OK, and to enjoy herself, without being responsible as she used to be
I do hope other readers can contribute some helpful comments here

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