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Family, Finances and Guilt
July 19, 2013
2:27 pm
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carefreeslc
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July 19, 2013
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I am a 30 year old woman still living in my parents' house. I moved back in over 5 years ago after a particularly difficult breakup. I have stayed in the house for the past year in a half, despite wanting to move, out of implied obligation and guilt towards my parents because of their finances. I literally feel crippled in my situation: I am desperately unhappy living at home but cannot cope with the insane guilt I feel about wanting to get out.

My parents have made terrible financial decisions throughout their marriage and my dad's 401k took a severe hit during the recession and he lost almost all his savings. He has many severe health problems and finally was forced to go on disability last year and as a result, the remnants of his 401k were spent. Add an insanely high deductible for their insurance, poor spending habits and continued insistence of giving my dead-beat brother money from their limited income, they are not able to make ends meet. I have given my dad thousands of dollars this year so they can keep their health coverage.

My mom was fired from her job 7 years ago and never got a new job. She's been sitting at home watching 16 hours of TV a day. She is 60 years old and despite being severely obese, she is otherwise healthy. While I am infuriated that I have nothing to show for my hard work and career accomplishments, my guilt of even thinking that my mom should get a job is enough to make me shut down.

I know my dad HATES the situation he is in, he hates that he has to ask me for money. But I truly believe that they expect me to live with them indefinitely. I have secretly been looking for my own place and even put in an application, but I am scared that my anxiety and guilt about my parents' situation will ultimately make me back out of moving and I will stay there.

 

I want my own life. I want my own home where I can have my peace, my solitude and have something to show for my accomplishments. How can I resolve my guilt and move out if I know that my parents may lose their house or health coverage? I feel like I am about to explode at any time. Does anyone have any advice of how to approach my life because I am at a loss?

 

This post is very chaotic and all over the place… I appreciate anyone willing to help a desperate woman.

July 19, 2013
3:47 pm
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onedaythiswillpass
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Carefree,

 

I'm gonna tell you something that is very true.  When me and my ex husband broke up we decided to have true joint custody of our 3 sons.  My ex could only afford to pay minimal child support & I had a part time job.  Our middle child was born 3months too early & we fought for a long time to see him finally get home, nearly die & finally he made it.  The trauma of that pregnancy left me sort of like in a state of PTSD combined with severe depression.  I had an I.U.D. to keep me from getting pregnant because the Doctors were not entirely sure that the child would survive.  Not only did he survive but even though our marriage was in pieces, my Mom forced us out when this child turned 2 on our wedding anniversary & she offered to babysit our then two sons so that we could try to re-kindle our romance.  We had a rather horrible dinner, at a bad restaurant & I think we had what people call a pity session of sex.  That turned into pregnancy #3.  So after hearing the heartbeat, I was not able to destroy the growing fetus inside me & I luckily went to term giving birth to our third son.  Shortly after his birth my ex made plans to get his own place (rental) & I was left to pack up the matrimonial home, sell it, & I got to be with our children every other week.  The pressure to sell the home by my ex was tremendous.  All of our life savings was the house.  He wanted his half so that he could move on.  I begged my family to buy him out, but they did not.  I begged them to help care for my children while I searched for a full time job, but they would not help.  Finally I sold the house, gave him his money & he stopped paying child support.  I took my share of the money and took on a mortgage with three part time jobs.  My house is tiny.  No basement, my bathroom is in the kitchen & I share a bedroom with my youngest son who will soon be 13. There is no den, no garage.  Literally no privacy.  My ex husband is better now, but in the first 14 months of our separation (now nearly ten years divorced), he managed to burn all his & his children's money mainly due to addictions.  He is still struggling & still cannot pay support. I still have a hefty mortgage and a ton of problems raising the three sons that he abandoned after he lost all his money.  I have been a full time parent to my children for many many years.  There were days when I seriously did not know how I survived some of those years & even today nothing is ever quite stable.  What I am trying to tell you is that you must somehow move on.  You cannot be your parents parent.  Is there any way that you can give them at least 2months notice and get your own place & then if it is at all possible try to give them some money if there is any left from your paycheque each month?  I don't know what your social services are like where you live, but could they receive any help from the government?  Can they maybe down scale and rent and sell their home?  I would very much like to see my children have a better life than I have had & I am going to one day sell my home at some point and pay for their education because they deserve a chance at a brighter future.  Do you see my point?  Family is great when each person in the family is pulling their own weight so that the entire family can be better & happy.  Can't your Mom find at least a part time job?  It can' t just all fall on your shoulders because the stress will kill you.  You must try to have a life of your own.  Try to talk to them about how you feel.  You don't need to feel guilty to try and have a life again.  What were they doing when they were your age?  I don't know, maybe I'm wrong, but my Mom who died a few years ago always told me that you do not take from your children, instead you give them.  I plan to keep trying to do that for my children with or without anyone's help.

 

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