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Family dynamics - how to disentangle from it - SININHO
August 29, 2007
11:54 am
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Family situation: Grandma´s 2 sisters wrote me a letter asking whether my grandma knows that her brother died last October, which made them very sad as they were helping him financially, etc. Seems like an inoffensive question, right? Well, it isnt. They want to know how she felt about it, Im sure. Then if they dared ask they would like to know how she´s doing esp. health and finances wise, and whether she´s still mad at them. Ultimately they are getting old and trying to have a sense of family after bickering, arguing and not talking for years at a time as long as I remember.

The thing is grandma is dead. She died a month before her brother. And yes, she needed help health and finances wise, thanks, but its too late. The big issue however centers around my deceased mother and sieblings with my grandma´s other sister. The one who supported my mother and us after mother´s separation from father.

A great lack of wisdom went with that separation including imposing that the relationship between cousins, aunts and uncles be severed. As we children grew and graduated from college we went to marry and have our lives, quasi. No one wanted to do with the covered blackmailing from my grandaunt about her help. To top it off, this grandaunt became a widow, felt abandoned and married a guy that could be her grandson for obvious reason: money. This guy was to call the shots in place of my granduncle and did so with threats. To the point that my older rother took his wife and baby and left the farm he was managing for my grandaunt. She sold two other, did plastic surgery and travel to Europe with her boy. Then she sued my sieblings for mismanagement of her money.

So the family took sides. I was living abroad kind of oblivious to what was going on. I didnt like that my mom had said they would leave grandaunt aside after granduncle died bc of her constant manipulation but I had my life, I couldnt judge. Obviously Grandma took her daughter´s side. She could stand to lose being supported by grandaunt bc my sieblings wouldnt leave her alone. I, however, wished her happiness on her marriage not knowing it was just a way of getting a man to run her errands in a society where men are more respected than women. As this happened I got letter after letter from grandma telling me awful things grandaunt´s boy did and was doing and how they were struggling financially. I cried a lot those days. My xh refused to send a cent to my family. I also missed the two funerals of my parents six months apart bc xh, this an that.

I graduated, had severe depression and felt so scared for life that on the day I was to start a new job I felt unprepared for, I went to the airport. And ended up back in my country where sieblings were one for themselves and there was no all, except for my dearest younger sister, whose family has been a family for me. Ah, xh cut his losses and asked for divorce. So no health insurance on top of that.

Now I feel like my deceased mother who´s said to have ailed from resentment. I dont want that for me. Im still struggling, get financial help from my grandaunts who wrote the letter, sometimes from my younger sister. Sometimes the blood seem to run away from my members and I feel lazy, recriminate myself, only dont know what to do with the lack of energy I have. I take medication but dont work full time. I work at home teaching English and translating. I havent been happy with my free medical treatment but wonder how I would do without it.

Bottom line is my sieblings have asked me not to tell "them" (grandma´s sister). Grandma´s apt has a contract where grandaunt got usage of it (from when they were friends) and they are afraid she may start another suit which they can´t afford emotionally or otherwise.

What do I tell or don´t tell granadma´s sister? And more, later comes inheritance and payments to suits/lawyers. I dont wanna share what I get for old age, neither did am I involved in any suit, so... how do I stand for myself without losing my sieblings? Is this the ultimate codependence?

Tks for reading. Your feedback is truly appreciated. Best in your efforts for recovery.

August 29, 2007
3:26 pm
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Pls read! I know its long but its my enmeshed story with three to four generations in my family. I swear I tried to be to the point! Tks.

August 29, 2007
4:17 pm
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lovinglife
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wanted you to know I was passing on through AAC for a short minute...I printed your posting off...When I get a quiet moment I will read and hopeful have some feedback of value : )

thinking of you Sini

August 29, 2007
4:18 pm
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lovinglife
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wanted you to know I was passing on through AAC for a short minute...I printed your posting off...When I get a quiet moment I will read and hopeful have some feedback of value : )

thinking of you Sini

August 29, 2007
7:12 pm
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Tks, LL! Ive been trying to post about this for a long time.

I hope those in similar family sitz (is that how you put it?) will post, too. Just hoping the Pacific Side of AAC gets home early from work since Im on the Atlantic side even further than NY :O

August 30, 2007
7:28 pm
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How could I chop this novel down into chapaters, maybe? To make it easier... handling one thing at a time?

August 30, 2007
8:05 pm
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fantas
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Sininho, I am so sorry for all that you are going through;
Let me see if I get this, your grandma's sisters aren't aware of her passing and are therefore not sure what to tell them because your siblings would like to stay/keep grandma's apartment and are afraid that if you tell the grandma's the truth, there will be a lawsuit regarding her estate?

Regardless of the outcome, they need to know that your grandma is dead. They are bound to find out sooner or later. This is not something you can hide forever. As for the apartment, it should go to the rightful owner if they want it. When your grandma's will was read weren't the sister's notified of their legal rights to the apartment? I am not sure but it sounds like you all are living in different countries.

I'd say that the best thing to do is tell the truth and let the chips fall where they may. Any other way is too burdensome for you.

Keep us posted.

August 30, 2007
8:14 pm
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TKs, Fantas. We are living in different countries, literally and not... The two sisters, my grandaunts, live in the US. The rest of us in Brazil. The apartment is a minor issue if not for the fact that my grandma´s sis who lives here may contest that she has usage of it still only to make waves. My sieblings dont seem to know or explain what is going on in that regard. Some suits from granaunt were absurd so they are tired of them.

As you may sense, I feel like telling them grandma passed away and a little more to go with it. Where do I draw the line is my personal issue since its regarding how I felt grandma had an impact in my life (not too good). Ill be careful there.

I just need to brainstorm on this novel bc its at the root of my codependence and recovery. All your input is valid. Of course, Ill keep you posted! Tks. Hugs,

August 30, 2007
9:06 pm
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fantas
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Sininho,
I'd say tell them about grandma and not yourself. Things that pertain to her life before and after she died. About how you feel about grandma, talk to a therapist or others. Afterall, she is dead and cannot defend herself. Nothing she did good or bad can be changed or fixed now, atleast not by her. Therefore, assess carefully what the your intention would be for speaking about what your grandma did. They maybe a little late in their asking about her well being but as you said, you think their intentions were genuine so respond to them in kind. Hopefully you will get other opinions here so you can see how others see the situation. All the best.

August 30, 2007
9:13 pm
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(((Fantas))) Tks for putting one big step ahead in my recovery. My agenda in speaking how I feel about grandma is very selfish and has a twist of manipulation into family dynamics. Only a therapist in in place to lend me an impartial ear and help me see I have no control over others.

You observed well that grandma´s sisters in the US have a genuine interest in her. After all, it was grandma who told them to step away from her life - only to complain once that they were not helping her :O

Right on, Fantas! You helped me a lot! Tks.

August 31, 2007
8:44 pm
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Anyone wants to look at this tonite?

I have a PS that magnifies my financial dependance issue. I may have a translation too do that would solve my financial problems for a three months but guess what? Im feeling anxious and not believing that I could do it. I makes me feel paralised, I hate it.

September 1, 2007
12:21 am
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serenityali
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Sininho,

I read your post, but don't know if I really understand what is going on.

One thing I can say is I hate being played as the family messenger. I refuse to pass on messages and tell the sender to do it themselves. If they want to pass it on let them, but don't put me in the middle.

Do what is in your best interest, but remain honest and true to yourself. If you could simplify the situation, I will add more comments. Family dysfunction....oh what fun! I should be a master at this.

Ali

September 1, 2007
1:29 am
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Sininho- Wow! You are dealing with alot. It is strange. But i feel that I am going through some of the same things my mother went through as well.
I dont think you are responsbible for this situation and you dont have to get involved or answer and questions if you dont want. If they want to know if she is still alive suggest they ask someone else tell them you dont care to discuss it.

September 1, 2007
3:12 pm
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Tks (((Ali))) and (((Destiny))). This is some story, eh? I should try to simplify it asap. Right now I finished classes for the day and will go to the park for a breather! Tks, again, your input is valid! Feel free to ask anything about the situation...

September 2, 2007
8:49 am
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Try me... I´ll be back tonite or tomorrow. Tks.

September 2, 2007
11:49 am
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Yes it might help if you could break the problem down in chronological order. Like what happened first. Or just summarize the whole thing. Part of being assertive is feeling 100% OK with not feeling responsible for answering questions or explaining anything if you dont feel comfortable about it. You said you got a letter, you can seal it back up with a note to the post master to return to sender (make them think you never got it) or dont respond. You have the power to keep whatever information you have to yourself.

September 3, 2007
4:02 pm
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Tks, Destiny. These grandaunts have been a life saver to me, helping me financially when I am sick and not. I dont like lying to them, nor ignoring their question, its a... how do you say it... catch 22, damned if you do, damned if you don´t... On top of it, I think they could know their sister died, Id like to know if a stranged sis died... But if I tell them, Im sure theyll tell their other sis, my grandaunt here in my country, who can just start making noise for my siblings again for the heck of it. And Id feel terrible if my siblings shunned me even wrongly for that. I am still very co and just dependent of the few family members I have. I wonder how things will be when these grandaunts start dying... From the one here I have some inheritance. It should help and I really need it. That I can´t see them is a blessing in disguise bc the generation gap is huge between us despite our good relationship. Besides, being depressed leaves me little energy and patience for criticism, bickering, judging, complaining and these sort of things that this Prussian side of my life is an expert in.

I guess it wont do much good to rewrite the novel since it remains big. I hope my venting and your input leads to some self awareness and growing here.

September 4, 2007
11:49 pm
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sininho- When in doubt remain neutral. Do nothing. In time the answer will come. You do have a lot of dependency issues. Is there any way you can become self reliant. 100% independent? That would solve your problem.

September 5, 2007
8:37 pm
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Tks, Destiny. Ive been independent for a while only to realize it was a struggle in the wrong direction. Plus I felt kind of abandoned. Wrong parameters/references to try again... I really havent been exposed to a true independence.

I think I need to remain neutral and really search for my independence, financial and otherwise. It would be nice to be interdependent, too, where I can be of help to others.

It´s been worse already so I think Im on my way, the only way. Right now I have a big job and have been able to get around anxiety. But I have just begun, not a week of work.

We´ll see... I will try to open a new thread which is more specific so people can help me more.

Tks, everyone!

September 6, 2007
8:52 pm
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