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Couching my thoughts aka stepkid but once removed

CLove's picture

So, we have had Sweetheart Niece for 3 nights now. Shes slept on the couch each night and politely folded her sheet and blanket each time. Shes fun and nice to be around. Shes friendly. Shes funny. Shes many things. She did some dishes. Already I feel ahead of things.

She is trying to get low-income housing and apparently Toxic Troll tried coaching her with how to use an old bf, recreate him as a stalker and then mention that on your application (bonus points if you have an old or existing restraining oder).

Toxic Troll is BM so that significantly helps, plus shes got her "disability" head case. SHN has heart issues, diabeties etc, but I guess shes not disabled enough. Shes working with people in social security to get the SSI figured out.

So my thoughts:

1. Timelines - there are none. Its a day-to-day existence, and she isnt working a regular job, just a cash under the table thing for family. So, the regular conversations that we would have about expectations and timelines and what are the plans, all these go out the window. And I have to be ok with that to have her with us.

2. Trust - she was involved with a shady guy who took all her money, 250k, that she had gotten from the death of her mother. I have questions now that the 3 night romance is over. Its her choice to he houseless, because she HAD 2 places to stay - her sister and sisters husband had her there for a little while. Supposedly, her sister wanted her to be a complete nanny to the 2 nephews as well as allow herself to be tracked and give up addresses of friend and anyone she would visit. Prior to that, Husbands sister housed her. That didnt work out because the benefits were "taking too much time", and she wanted to track her whereabouts also. SO, because she did not want to allow tracking, and that was the condition of staying, she was willing to sleep in her car. We have not spoken to either, and she doesnt want anyone told shes with us currently. And Husband wont talk to his see if the truth is being told.

3. Loyalty - I was even speaking of it WITH her, and its something that is always preying on my mind. The family is loyal to family. If and when anything happens to Husband, I will not ever hear or see any of his family ever again, except in passing on the street. Any and all resources spent on her, no matter what or how much or how long, if it comes down to it, her loyalties will ALWAYS go to Husband, Powersulk and The Family. She claimed that if anyone "came after me" in the event of Husbands demise, that she would defend me. But who wants to test THAT?

4. Space - Nice as she is, if she isnt contributing, shes in our space. Shes either in the garage with Husband or on the couch. Id rather her be in a separate room...but even then, as nice as she is, shes in my space. Without getting any rent in exchange. Not a dime. So why sacrifice privacy for nothing in return? Ive been waiting 10 years to be "empty nesting". Im enjoying her company, but cant walk around nekkid, the romance is curtailed a bit. 

I basically have to accept that Im doing this completely alturistically without ANY benefit to myself, without expectations of any kind. And be ok with it.


Yesterdays's picture

To me these seem like logistics and facts rather than thoughts and feelings. Just for the record you don't have to be ok with anything. How do you feel about the possibility of SHN living there? 

CLove's picture

What I mean by "I have to be ok with it" - is a condition of her living there is I have to be ok with all that... otherwise I have to just acept the fact that it wont work for me.

Im still "feeling it out". Now that the 3 days/nights have passed, Im thinking more. It feels like a stepkid, and I was hoping there was an end in sight for that supporting of non-dna related people.

Yesterdays's picture

Definitely do not make a quick or rash decision. Imo she sounds like a hard project. 

NotYourAverageStepMama's picture

place to stay. I however think it is RATHER ODD that apparently both previous places wanted to track her and her whereabouts and that is why she ended up leaving those places to stay. I read your first blog on this and I don't remember if you said WHY they wanted to track her. It just seems weird to me that both households wanted to track her every move.

I totally do understand wanting to give her a couple of days before asking the hard questions or setting any expectations, but I would think before a week has concluded at her staying with you that it might be a good idea to ask these questions, get timelines, etc. or you might be stuck with a forever house guest not wanting to leave. 

I know certain states have laws on when a house guest becomes a "tenant" and you cannot just simply ask them to leave so I looked it up for California and apparently after 30 days as a house guest, that person can claim to be a tenant. Not saying that your niece would stay for 30 days and then refuse to leave because she is now legally a tenant, but also letting you know that it could happen too.

CLove's picture

She basically disappeared on the family for a few years, and while with shady peple. Thats what Im thinking.

But yes, two very different women wanting to track, and thats the whole reason why shes willing to sleep in her car.

CLove's picture

I thought to establish tenancy, you had to pay $ that was accepted and also get mail at the residence (like when getting a drivers license...)

Ill check it out though. Its always good to understand the rights of things...

NotYourAverageStepMama's picture

quick google search, it just said after 30 days a house guest is considered a tenant in the state of California. This actually happened to a friend of mine's friend where this man owned his home, his girlfriend moved in with him, wasn't on the mortgage or the deed, did not pay rent, etc. BUT because she had been there a certain length of time when they broke up, she refused to leave. He had to go through the eviction process to get her out of his home. Super crazy!

CLove's picture

She claims that shes been applying to many many many jobs but since she cannot stand up for any length of time, most jobs wont work...

Catmom024's picture

I deal with several "invisible illnesses" and have chronic pain.  I was denied disability (I was in my early 50s at the time).  I can only work part time because full time would literally kill me.  I was extremely fortunate to get an office job.

Yesterdays's picture

I worked in a sitting job my whole life. Doing benefit claims adjudication. I've also done other office jobs that were only sitting. Working from home has in many cases made this even more possible. 

CLove's picture

at a school. shes not gotten any real work skills that I know of.

AlmostGone834's picture

I don't know. I was trying to give her the benefit of the doubt with my last comment but... even then I had some doubts. I see some red flags. It doesn't sit right with me that she "cant work". Maybe so, but I don't test it. Others have tried her as a house guest and failed... and yeah why would both demand to track her unless they had suspicions she was up to no good. Not to mention, it IS an invasion of privacy and space and she's a family member which means anything that goes on in your house could potentially get back around to the family... 

My honest opinion... no. I wouldn't do it.

NotYourAverageStepMama's picture

A lot of the time the people who take advantage of people and manipulate others are the ones that are seen as "nice" because if they were openly manipulative and deceiving wouldn't get very far in getting what they want or sympathy from others.

AlmostGone834's picture

Yes she's nice now but when you share a living space... it's tough. Little things can start to bother you... Small disagreements may build up... suddenly they don't seem quite so nice anymore. I just don't get a good vibe from her tbh. I may be wrong but idk...

Clove like you said... you're almost in the empty nest stage... I wouldn't want to go backwards.

CLove's picture

fish and guests get 3 days. Im not going to throw open the gates just yet. I do want some questions answered. Like why the tracking?

StepUltimate's picture

Red flags galore. She's on her best behavior right now... but perhaps Toxic Troll ALSO coached her to stay with you 30+ days for the reasons cited above.

I don't see this ending well, if you let her stay. 

la_dulce_vida's picture

"SHN has heart issues, diabeties etc, but I guess shes not disabled enough. Shes working with people in social security to get the SSI figured out."

If SHN has previously worked, she should be applying for SSDI. If she's never really worked (like my Autistic son) she would apply for SSI. My son was denied and I think I appealed twice. The 2nd time I hired an attorney who wouldn't charge a fee if we didn't win. We won and his fee came out of the back SSI my son was owed.

I did learn a few things about SSI which may apply to SSDI. If you decide to let her live with you, you will need to have a lease with her and a promissory note to repay the room and board she owes you.

The rent should be reasonable for the area if you rented it to a stranger. I charge my son $550 a month which is slightly below the going rate because his SSI is only $948 a month. He also gets food stamps.

So to recap, she has to have actual expenses like room and board. Otherwise, she's living with a relative who is paying her way and "doesn't need SSI." At least that's how they looked at it when my son was living with me.

I don't feel bad about charging him rent because the house will go to him in the event of my death.

You can't do this for her. So please resist your inclination to rescue and people please. And you must have excellent boundaries. Your current arrangement is going to sour pretty soon. Please direct her to local churches or agencies who can assist her with housing and employment.

Her weight, diabetes and heart issues don't sound like enough to qualify for SSDI, if you ask me.

It's not wrong of you to ask her to find employment in the next 2 weeks. You don't have to throw ANY expectations out the window.

CLove's picture

Shes previously worked a number of jobs. Until past few years had a heart disease and found out diabetic. 

Shes working under the table cash as a sort of personal assistant.

I suspect it will sour as I dont want to give up my room, and sleeping on the couch..well who wants a perpetual couch surfer? 

Husband is thankfully on board to see how things go...he feels the same about wanting to know whats up with work and all that.

Lillywy00's picture

All you had to say was some dude swindled 250k from her?!? Wtf. 

I don't advocate violence but I see why people end up on snapped episodes. 

Yeah I'm at the point I am so against any roommates especially non paying ones that I feel your pain. 

When I told this dude here I didn't want his kids living here after 18 as possible non paying permanent residents I told him I was going to install multiple stripper poles, prance around a$$ hole naked (give his now adult kids more of a show then he ever got) and blast Mexican strip club music all day AND night and disturb their quality of life more then they disturb mine and they'd be begging their mother to live there or get their own place as they should. 

At least your neice has some home training and is polite to you. That makes it a bit more tolerable. Maybe help her find some resources for income and living arrangements 

grannyd's picture

Lilly, you absolutely kill me! The visual of you pole-dancing, asshole naked, with the dude's 'no home training' kidults gaping in horror, had me snorting with laughter. Please, Hon, don't ever leave StepTalk; you provide so much fun! ROFL

Rumplestiltskin's picture

Idk. You are so nice and want to have that family connection so bad, i am afraid you may be getting into something not good for you. It's very odd that the last 2 places she stayed wanted to track her. It's odd that $250k was atolen by shady people. Do you have details of this? Was there a police report? Are you sure she didn't, like, lose it gambling or blow it? Tread carefully. There's a reason she keeps bouncing from house to house. She isn't your niece, right? She's DH's? And she has been "coached" by BM, meaning she has a relationship with her? Why invite this into your home on a permanent basis? You have given her a short term place to stay. Maybe even make it a little longer but with an end date? This smells fishy. 

notsurehowtodeal's picture

Please be careful - there are many red flags here. I know you want to take care of people and I know you want that family connection, but please make sure you aren't getting yourself into another bad situation. One of my concerns would be her bringing bad people into your life. Is she completely done with shady dude? Are you sure the tracking wasn't because they were concerned she was hanging with bad people or doing something that wasn't good for her or something or someone that would follow her home?

If she is willilng to accept "coaching" from BM, they must have some sort of a relationship. Are you sure there is no way that she is going to bring BM into your life in some way?

Aniki-Moderator's picture

Shady dude got 250k after a 3 night romance?! Holy wah! SHN must be incredibly naive. Understandable why anyone would be concerned.

CLove's picture

They were together a few years.

Shes technically very very obese and this guy is ok looking and skinny. And all kinds of bad, but she said that he used fear to control her and threatened her and her family.

AgedOut's picture

I know you were all antsy waiting to see my opinion (I know she wasn't, humor me please) The whole thing makes me hinky. I'd need to ask question of those who pulled out the welcome mat for her then ripped it away. 

1. how did she financially help while living w/ them?

2. The big one, I put it second because we all know it's what I'd ask, WHY TRACKING??????????

I'd ask both places that felt the need to track her. There has to be a reason. Does she disappear? Does she disappear their things?

3. What, if any, rules were put down for her? 


There's a story here and it's something serious and w/out those answers the couch would be closed in 5 full days. 

I think you, like me, have a helper gene. We didn't get treated well as youngsters and we react by adopting everyone who needs us (we think). Then we get hurt. Then we wonder why anyone would hurt us when we were just trying to help. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. 

And yes, I get it. I'm exactly the same but I tend to adopt the elderly and take care of them. I'm not allowed to anymore. I think your heart is 100% in the right place but I also think this young lady is going to implode your home. Ask question, ask for proof from her. Ask askaskask ask. And make no promises. There's something off kilter w/ this young lady. 

CLove's picture

The biggie was that she acted sick all the time and wouldnt come out of her room at all. She did not help at all financially. The tracking is because she basically dissappeared for a few years with this shady guy. No response to phone calls, interventions went no where. 

Other than that I have no idea. I want to ask, but I dont have a close relationship with either of the households that she stayed at.

Yes, so many reasons why not.

I just told Husband that he will have to deal with her, I am stepping WAAAAAY back. But no key and taking it day by day. Because if I say anything, I will be the bad one...

Rumplestiltskin's picture

"Because if I say anything, I will be the bad one..."

Be the bad one!!! You have to! This is like another skid. The more i hear about your DH, the more he reminds me of my SO. My SO has taken in nieces and nephews, too. But here's what i realized - my SO doesn't spend any time in his house. He uses it to sleep, shower, and sh!t, and the rest of the time he is at work, the gym, or the pool hall. Giving someone in the family space in his house doesn't affect him like it would someone who spends time in their own house, and it makes him get to be the hero. He doesn't keep food stocked, so whoever stays there isn't draining him financially, so they only impact those who are in the house with the houseguest (people like you, me, or any kids living at home.) The people impacted need to speak up! 

CLove's picture

built in buddy to sit in the garage with him.

Im going to be cleaning household (ive been down with a small cold) and see what happens when there is no more food. This week is Powersulks visitation week and SHN wasnt with us last night. So, when he gets to provide for them, he will feel the burn of money leaving his wallet.

Rumplestiltskin's picture

Just make sure he feels the burn. Any possible burn of having her there. If only you are feeling it, you know how it's going to go. 

Yesterdays's picture

What my worry is, is that turns into a years long Powersulk-ish type battle where it might be near impossible to evict her.... Things such as heartstrings being pulled, problems and messes to deal with.. Almost like another step kid disaster just as you minimize time with PS. I say... Enjoy your free house without a houseguest who most likely turns into a disaster you cannot get rid of. 

CLove's picture

yeah. No thank you. Ive thought about it. If Im going to be inconvenienced, I want to get something from it.

Rags's picture


Never forget what TT, FF, the other one, SDPS,  have put you through while your SO facilitated it all.

TT is coaching the lard ass on your sofa to scam the system.  She is as much of a write off as the rest of them are.  Do not let your good heart destroy your life CLove.  Rescue projects almost never work out. The one's that do work out, are not serial failures like the sofa monster is.



Sadielady's picture

I feel for you CLove. I'm also a rescuer and have housed a few lost souls over the years. I don't regret it because in each case, it provided a needed bridge for the person to move to their next stage.  I've always told my own children that I'll never charge them rent as long as they're working toward their next step (like going to school, actively saving for a house). Your situation is tricky becayse of the "shady" past. I think it's reasonable to have a direct conversation with the neice about boundaries and expectations. You don't have to hold it over her head, but it's okay ti point out that having her there is inconvenient and that you don't mind a little inconvenience if it helps her. But also that you need her to respect that inconvenience and not take advantage of the situation. I also agree that the tracking is concerning. And her not wanting you to speak to her previous hosts, Back to that direct conversation: I'm not going to inconvenience myself and our lives if you're hiding things from us. If you're not hiding things, there's no reason for us not to contact the previous hosts and understand what ended those arrangements.

Harry's picture

Is taking up way too much mind space in your head.  Disengaging from her,, is the  only way to go.  You must understand,  there nothing you can do, say, show, tell, is going to change her.  Her life is either great or it's a matter of substance.  Or nothing is her fault .   She is a taker, she will survive somehow,   There are a lot of ex convicts looking for woman. 

MissK03's picture

I didn't read everyone's comments but here is my honest opinion with the little info...

Her obesity is the cause of all her health problems. She is CHOOSING not to work and loose weight. She is trying to scam the system by getting disability because of her lifestyle CHOICES. She left her sisters because she didn't like the rules... aka she is CHOOSING to continue an unhealthy lifestyle.

I can keep going...

Clove... kick her out. Not your problem. 

CLove's picture

I know. And as much as I like her I dont really want to support her. Im scraping by myself as it is.

grannyd's picture

Clove, I used to watch, 'My 600-lb Life' and had to stop because of outrage and disgust. The participants were so dangerously overweight that they were literally dying from ‘super morbidly obese’ health issues stemming from uncontrolled eating. Almost all of them were collecting disability benefits as well as their ‘caretakers’; usually a spouse or family member.

It was almost impossible to feel sympathy for those who drain the welfare dollars that should be granted to those who are legitimately disabled, through no fault of their own. It was constantly asserted that the obese on the show were suffering from an addiction to food yet addicts to other substances, like drugs and alcohol are not provided with a free living for both them and a ‘caretaker’.

Since almost all of the participants on the show existed on fast food, most of their money was, literally, eaten up. Clove, a 300+ pound houseguest will be expensive to feed; she’ll probably consume almost 3,000 calories a day which adds up to one huge grocery bill!

The youngster that my husband and I helped to support was a go-getter with a great attitude and an excellent character. Despite her horrific background (incest, regular beatings and emotional abuse to name a few), our ‘sweetheart’ made something of herself. Your DH’s niece sounds like a user and I fear that she will both disappoint you and bring you to grief. Hon, you need to harden your heart and send the niece on her way.

JRI's picture

My late sister was in the 300 lb range, too, that's what indirectly killed her.  She also had a variety of ailments, many caused by or worsened by her weight.  Diabetes will be next for your niece.  I watched my mom give up her fun retirement life in Phoenix to come home and take care of my sister for about 15 years til she died.  I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.  She's was/ is an extremely strong person but it wore her down physically and emotionally.  Take everybody's advice, Clove.