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OT-I'm under attack but feel guilty for "fighting back"

iamlosingit's picture

So on Friday I received a nasty email from "rich aunt".  It was long, but to summarize:

I am a POS for not helping out with my mom and brother

My dad is a POS for not being able to afford to rent a larger space to accommodate his now 24 y/o son

My other grandparents are a POS for not helping out with my brother.

My other aunt and her daughter have helped my mom in the past.

We (dad, me, dad parents) are horrible people for "not helping".

She is using "her gas" to drive my mom to look at places because I guess she(mom) is getting kicked out of the program she is at due to not paying.  I thought the state was covering her stay.  None of this is making sense.

My dad needs to get his parents to give him money to rent a $600 apartment (in what world? 1 bdrms here start at $650) to get my brother out of grandparents house.


At first I almost got myself into a breakdown state at work....but something in me "snapped".   Before I realized what I was doing, I had emailed my aunt back and reminded her:

1. I raised my brother from the age of 11-18. I think I became his PCA when he was 10...I'd really have to think back.  I was his PCA until he 'aged out' of the system at 18. However it turned into a "do all" for my mom as well.  Dr appts, conferences, picking up prescriptions for both of them, grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning the house, picking up pet food for her cat and his 'pet of the month', buying moms damn cigarettes, I did it ALL. 

2. Parent's divorced 10 years ago when my brother was 14.  When I had to file bankruptcy due to my father not paying the rent after I moved out of our rental, I asked his parents for help.  They didn't offer anything.  They aren't going to offer anything for my brother. Yes they are aware of everything going on with him, but they just say "thats sad" and change the subject. We've never been close with them. I have not seen or spoke to them in two years.

3. I have called over 30 places for elder care (despite mom's wants, she is unable to mentally live alone un-supervised. she will get evicted again) and sadly in this state most only take you if you are 65+ y/o, and the ones who accept 55 have a 4+ long waiting list and require at least $1200/month.  She does not have that.

4. My brother (see past blogs if interested) has a drinking problem.  And he has a terminal illness.  I called a program that offers assistance to people with his illness and told him he was on the verge of homelessness: they said the state programs are running out of money so he needs to have some sort of income to even qualify for any housing other than a homeless shelter.  She said our state just doesn't have anything for people like him unless he has social security.  I looked into this back in March, and I attached that email to the one I sent my aunt.  I also added that since she "unfriended" my brother on Facebook, that she doesn't see all the comments I have sent him regarding help and programs offered to people with his illness and alcoholism.  We can't force him to sign up for treatment, he thinks he can stop on his own.

5.  I also offered to attach the list of places I called for mom to stay at and the reasons why she can't go there.


I have received no response.  I feel bad, but when is enough enough?  Is over 5 years of doing everything not enough for them?  I lost my teen years running that house, going to school, babysitting every single Friday night (before the divorce) when is it "my turn" to live my life?  You cant shove a silver spoon at someone (aka my brother) all their life and get mad when you can't take the spoon away.  I have nothing to offer them.  I'm trying to keep my household afloat.  We have a house, I have responsibilities aunt doesn't she going to pay my mortgage when I lose my job due to my time and money going elsewhere to "help"? Is she going to buy me a new car when my 11 year old car craps on itself due to all the running around to "help?"  We didn't ask for any help moving, cleaning, we very rarely ask for help.  When my cousin helped my dh and I they rented a room to us for about 3 years (can't remember exact) but we were paying them rent. We bought our own food and hygene items etc.  My brother has no money. At all.  He would just squat. 

Sorry this is so long.  I''m not giving in, but I feel like a snake eating my own tail.  No means no. I don't need another "Thanksgiving" repeat like last year.

  Should I feel bad for not doing anything?




futurobrillante99's picture

You should feel strong for saying NO - for setting boundaries and not risking your sanity and survival for people who will take, take, take, take and then........take some more.

Don't give into the manipulation.

moving_on_again's picture

Tell rich aunt to shove it. No one is obligated to help unless they want to. It sounds like your mom and brother need to learn to help themselves. After all, you took the time to try to help them and they didn't learn. 

It's time to cut the toxic ties and live for yourself and your family (within your household). 

lieutenant_dad's picture

Why do you feel guilty or bad for ANYTHING? You are NOT your brother's or mother's keeper. It is NOT your responsibility to help ANYONE except yourself. You have EVERY RIGHT to live your own life!

Re-read that over and over until it becomes truth in your heart.

iamlosingit's picture

Trust me, I'm trying.  But it's so hard when they guilt-trip the ever living heck of you.  She still hasn't responded to the email, but did a passive-aggresive attack on facebook by posting

"The most pathetic feeling is when you get in a fight with someone because you expressed what made you upset and instead of apologizing they find a way to make you feel bad about it so you're left regretting even saying anything at all."

Um...what am I supposed to be apologizing for?? Seriously?? This family is making me nuts.

hereiam's picture

So, she sent you an email, you sent her one back, and now she is taking it to FB?

All you did, was express YOURSELF after she expressed how horrible you and others are, but now you owe her an apology?

She should regret saying anything at all, it was not her place.

Ignore her FB rant.

Iamwoman's picture

You have no reason to feel guilty at all. The only people you are required to take care in life are your own bio children if you have any. Period. End of story.

Anyone else whom you CHOOSE to help should be very grateful and show it.

It sounds like your aunt is feeling guilty and wants someone else to fix her own guilt for her. That’s not your job.

NOW is the time to live your own life. You are surrounded by takers and they won’t be happy unless you remain codependent. If you somehow figure out that you owe no one anything, then where else would they find as good of a punching bag/slave girl as yourself? The thought of you being your own person and figuring out that you don’t HAVE to do any of this stuff terrifies their lazy, user selves.

ESMOD's picture

Honey.. if anyone deserved to "go out for a pack of cigarettes" and dissappear it's you.  Your family has place unreasonable demands on you for years and you have neither the financial nor control over the subjects to force anything to happen.

What you sent was fine.

My response would have been much shorter.

I am done trying to save people that don't want to be saved.  If you want to give it a whirl... have at it.  Perhaps you are more qualified to fix things than I am.  I am sure they would all love to have your help and support.

Exjuliemccoy's picture

I'm proud of you for speaking truth!!!

Meddling female relatives...ugh, they're the worst. Sanctimonious, judgemental, and I love the way she cherry picked facts while ignoring what your crazy family has already cost you.

You need to focus on healing yourself, and that probably means very low or no contact with your toxic family. Their problems are far, far above your pay grade, and you do not want to get sucked back into old patterns of dysfunction.  Detaching emotionally from people who are toxic is GOOD and HEALTHY.

You gave your aunt some hard facts to chew on. Hopefully she'll realize you've more than paid your dues.

I'm smiling at the keyboard because YOU'RE TERRIFIC!

Merry's picture

There are people in my family too who think they know what everybody else should be doing. Their meddling is hurtful. Just like your situation.

When my Mom was in assisted living, then nursing home, then hospice, the burden of most of the daily stuff fell to a brother. He was the closest one physically to my Mom, and still an hour away. No matter what Brother did, it wasn't enough or often enough or big enough or considerate enough or whatever, according to my sister. Yet my sister was the martyr for driving 10 hours to see my Mom twice a year and telling the rest of us what we needed to be doing.

Your aunt can have all the opinions she wants, but to dump on you is cruel. You stood tall and have consciously decided how to live your life. Nobody gets to tell you otherwise.

hereiam's picture

You should not feel bad but I know first hand how guilt works. I also know that feeling bad doesn't change anything or anyone, so it's useless. Guilt is a useless emotion.

You know that there is nothing that you can do, that you have to take care of yourself and your household. Your aunt wants you to do what she is not willing to do, and she doesn't have the right to put that responsibility on you. No none does. If she is so concerned, she can do something to help them.

WalkOnBy's picture

Great job standing your ground!!  You don't have even half of one thing to feel bad about and don't let this POS aunt make you feel any differently.

If she is so concerned about everyone, then SHE can step in and help.  You've done more than enough.

Ispofacto's picture

People like this lose all access to me and my life on the first offense.  It doesn't matter who they are.  Block them everywhere.