9.22.2009

i'm seeing red



















Usually these blogs are so inspiring and pretty but not day, today I have to be real and let my current emotions just fly! The release may be good for me. Just letting it all out!

Dear Blog Readers {You)!

I’m begging you for help with a VERY personal matter! If you never come to my blog again or never post again that is okay…. but could you please at least post this one time. I’m coming to you today for REAL advice on a VERY sensitive issue that I have been dealing with all summer. An issue that I am dealing with every day at every moment and it’s been going on since the end of May. I am dealing with it right now.

As I’m writing to you, my blood is boiling. It is a very constant feeling. I am full of rage and resentment and anger because of a certain situation I was forced into. I hate that this is who I am right now, but because of this, I must warn you that the ugly side of me (not so proud of this side by the way) will be coming out in this post!

Like I said. I really, truly need your opinions/thoughts/suggestions/prayers with this matter. So, please continue reading and please post whatever comes to mind that you feel will help me!

My sister in law got pregnant by her abusive boyfriend last year. That is a story in itself. She is 24 years old but very immature for her age. She is a mess and no matter what anyone tells her, she always does the opposite of what she is supposed to do and then everyone has to pick up the pieces for her. She continues on this path because her family babies her. Her boyfriend kicked her out when their baby was 5 months old and my husband let her come stay with us. I was under the impression it would be for about 2 months! She moved in with us at the end of May. She is still with us. She doesn’t work. She has been collecting unemployment for a year now. She doesn’t have to pay rent and any money she gets, she blows, not saving a dime.

She is taking full advantage of living here and I literally feel like I am going to explode at any given moment. She is here 24/7. She never leaves our house. You would think if you’re going to force yourself in someone’s house and over stay your welcome, you would at least get out of the house during the day and let them have their personal space. She never leaves. She is either eating, sleeping or watching tv. She is very disrespectful with my things and has already ruined and broke many. She has taken over my house in all ways! I can't even tell you how many things she has done that just maks me cringe.

This is my house and I like things a certain way. I have been very nice to her, but I think too nice because she isn't getting the hint! I'm done being nice! It is only making everything worse!

I know I sound bitter. I am bitter!

I feel that she has over stayed her welcome. How long am I supposed to allow this? Trying to talk to my husband about this is like talking to a brick wall. He doesn’t give her any rules or boundaries. He just lets her do what she wants and so she does.

I have tried giving her hints that it’s time to start looking for a place and she doesn’t even acknowledge me. She does sometimes talk as though she’s going to look for a place to live or get a job, but it’s just talk.

My husband doesn’t prefer her here but he doesn’t want to be the big bad brother! Also, she looks up to him almost as if he was a God. It’s very weird. She depends on him a lot. She is very needy and can’t be alone so I think he is flattered by all of the attention!

I think it’s his place to talk to her BUT he won’t. So.. Do I? I was thinking about writing her a very real, honest letter! Something she needs to hear! She needs to get her life in order and stop intruding in ours!

I can’t live like this anymore! I’m going crazy. I know that this sounds harsh but I very upset and I don’t know how much longer I can take it!

Please help me!

20 comments:

the undomesticated wife said...

We were in a somewhat similar situation about 5 years ago. We had just bought our house, and a week later, my brother moved in with us so that he could go to the police academy up here. Originally it was only going to be two months, then 5, then it ended up being 9. His wife would come up on weekends, but they'd go out, so we did get a lot of alone time. Plus, since he was in the academy, he was gone quite a bit. Anyway, things turned ugly, and because of this, he rarely talks to me to this day. We used to be really close. He's my only sibling. But this situation really ruined our relationship. As much as I love my family, I will never let them live with us again. It's not worth it.

However, I have learned that you HAVE to have ground rules. You HAVE to have an "end date" in sight. You and your husband need to have a united front. If she needs help getting back on her feet, fine, but she needs to contribute. Otherwise, she's taking advantage of you. At this point, I'd probably not hint around and just have a heart to heart and ask her what her plans are. Tell her you and your husband need your house back to yourselves, because it's not healthy for a marriage to have someone else there all of the time (plus, you'll start having resentment issues, etc.) From now on, if she's going to stay there for a while longer, she needs to contribute just like a regular member of the household: housework, helping out with money, even if it's just a little bit. And most importantly, she needs to have a plan and a date to get out. Otherwise, she'll be there forever. And why wouldn't she? It's gotta be great living somewhere for free, not having to do anything, etc. ;) I'd probably approach it in a "this is hard on our marriage" kind of thing, but that's just me. Married couples need their own time/space. I wouldn't kick her to the curb right now, but make it clear that she needs to have a plan of action by a certain date.

I don't think you're being ugly and bitter. It's completely normal for you to want YOUR house to yourself. And it's clearly taking a toll on you. Just be straight forward and honest.

I'm sorry, I feel for you. It's especially hard when it's family. But you can't let someone take advantage of you, even if it is family!

((hugs))

{ L } said...

EVERYTHING that she said above. Very spot on and well said. I copy each word, lol. She needs to contribute and she needs to know you need your home back to have a functional marriage, etc.

laura said...

take a break (at your mothers) while they work out if there is going to family or personal counseling (or both!!),or when the sisters move out date is. sorry you are in such a tough spot.

Priscila said...

You know first off. I think you are very sweet for letting her stay there. Its hard with a baby and Im sure eventhough she probably doesnt show it...she feels very empty inside. Its hard being a younge mom and to have to sleep at night with everything in her head . I mean...she must think about what she did, what happend to her, how her life is going...dont you think? Maybe what you should do is just really sit down and talk to her. Not just give her hints. Do it in "love" and not angry...just sit down. explain that you love her, want her to do well, want her and her daughter to have a good life and that thats why you have provided a place to stay. Teach her that she needs to save (maybe that isnt something she isnt use to if she was always handed down whatever she wants)...

Teach her what saving money is about. Maybe you should collect a certain amount of rent from her...so she learns. Its hard. Im a mom, 24 (Im married though) and when I grew up I was handed everything also. It was a hard reality when all of a sudden those easy things are taken away and you are suddenly hit with "oh...the world doesnt work that way". Be patient, talk to her in love and pray about it. As God for patients and the right words to say. Maybe your husband needs to lay down the law eventhough he doesnt want to be the bad person. Maybe she needs someone to step up and enforce somethings....

I hope I helped. Ill be praying for you!!!!!!!

xoxo
littlemissheirlooms.blogspot.com

Nessa said...

Oh my that sounds so difficult, im so sorry. Im not sure if talking with her would help....but i think sending a clear message to your husband may..have a talk, or write him a long letter and maybe take a break away for the weekend...maybe to your parents or a weekend away?..in order for the point to be may that a line needs to be drawn. Thats all i got ...OH! and PRAY!!!

Carrie @ Cottage Cozy said...

I appreciate your honesty and am glad you have a place to ask for advice and vent. It is a touchy situation, always seems to be with relatives, but you and your husband are going to have to come together on this and devise a game plan with rules and an exit plan and date! If you need reinforcement, perhaps you can ask your parents to help or another sibling. Unfortunately these people will continue to take advantage as long as they are enabled. It is OK to set rules. Pray about it and ask for God's lead.

Carrie

A Pretty Trip said...

Oh my goodness - my prayers and hugs go out to you. In my day job I see the impacts of domestic abuse on children and I just wanted to say that it's amazing and a very gracious thing to do to open your heart and your home and provide someone a safe place to stay.

At the same time, even the most generous and charitable of us need to give back to ourselves sometimes and looking after yourself and your marriage needs to be a priority. Listen to your heart, you'll know what to do. Talk to your husband. There are other people that can help and it doesn't mean you won't help in the future. But for right now - you need to look after you.

My thoughts, hugs and prayers go out to you.

Candace

red ticking said...

i have just found you... love the name of your blog and then i saw Jesus is #1 on your list (as He is mine) and so i read on... i am so glad i did.

i have had a similar experience with a friend (no longer) and i wont go into details. all i know is that my skin crawls whenever i think about it. when people take advantage of us when we are being completely generous, it is a terrible feeling. you are so right to feel the way you do and i wish there was something i could do to help. so i will pray the God helps resolve this issue for you VERY soon. so glad i found and will check in again... xxxxx pam

charmaine said...

hi Brandi! oh sweetie, i am truly sorry that you have to go through this. i've gone through something simular and i understand that it is driving you crazy. i want to first start off by saying to you that you are not at all harsh,bitter or the bad person in this situation. this is perfectly normal for you to feel this way when someone is taking advantage of you. this breaks my heart to hear you cry out like this, so as your friend i am going to try my best to give you some godly advice.
number one pray about everything. talk to God and ask Him to give you the wisdom and courage on what to say to her. you want to ask Him to help you with your emotions right now. this situation can be very touchy. you MUST sit down with your husband and have a serious heart to heart talk with him about his sister and her situation. you have to lay down what you are truly feeling with him and you both MUST set a time period for her exit date and stick with that plan. i am one who does not believe in others, unless i am married to you or i birthed you, living in my home.
i have helped family members this way and it almost always goes sour. just because they are family does not mean you have to take them in. you can still love and help family members with them not living in your household. if you do not stand and give her an exit date soon, it's going to get worse. she needs to grow up and face reality and by allowing her to live this way is doing absolutely nothing for her, and is causing you to be uncomfortable in your own home. she needs to learn to be responsible. we all make mistakes but we have to pick ourselves up and dust yourself off. she is seriously taking advantage of you and your husband's/household. if she was appreciative than it would show. she would have a plan, she would pay something, she would get out everyday to look for a job and to give you some space. and she would not disrespect your things. doing what you said she is doing is totally disrespectful and she has crossed the line. she is 24 years old, lay your law down, you are the sheriff in your household Brandi.
you must talk to your husband because you are his first priority, this must not be sugar coated. you have to come to a mutual agreement. if he is still not listening to you, than call your nearest Christian marriage counselors and make an appointment. maybe hearing it from an outside source can help him understand your feelings better. also, where are her other family members? can they take her in since you both have already for quite some time.
sometimes the greatest help for a person comes in the word "NO". when she is told that she has until this time to it get together and when you lay down some rules for the rest of her stay, she will begin to see that you are serious and she better get it together. your husband and his family are not helping her by spoiling her.
lay your rules down and stick with them. grown people want their own rules and space, so if she wants that then she will be saving and preparing for the move.
honey, you need your house and space back. your husband has to let her know she has to go. i know this might be hard for him, but like i said, you are his first priority. he grew up with her, he can't continue to grow up with her in his own household. he has to understand where you are coming from. he should never under any means necessary take your concerns about this situation lightly. i feel for him as a loving sibling. this can be hard, but he has to do this for you both ( you and him) and to help her grow up. and God expects for him to do this. i pray for you both because this is really hard to do. she's his little sister, i know but she is a grown little sister now with her own family. he must know by him doing this will make her grow up and be responsible. this can be a HUGE problem if it is not corrected. it's not like he is single and lives by himself and is helping his sister. this is totally different. i am praying that the Lord will give you peace at this time.


God Bless You,
Charmaine

{better than candy} said...

im going to try and write each of you back as soon as i can... you have no idea how much your words are helping me! it means more than you know!

im actually surprised that i didnt get yelled out for my negative/mean attitude with all of this!

thank you again.. you'll be hearing from me soon! xoxox.

Tracy @ Comfort and Luxury said...

First things first: You are in no way being negative or bitter or vindictive or anything of the sort. You have gone well out of your way to help someone who doesn't appreciate it and that really stinks. And forget about talking to her or reasoning with her or teaching her anything. I assume she had the same parents your husband did. As long as anyone is willing to put up with a loser, the loser will continue to use them. I speak from experience. In his mid-20's, my very smart, very educated but somewhat drug addled younger brother dropped out of college, got a divorce, and took on a string of menial jobs. He got behind on bills and rent and responsibilities and ended up needing a place to live. First, he lived with our mother under the guise of "helping her" with her bills and rent. That's hard to do when you sometimes don't have a job and spend a lot of what you do make on drugs. He was also messy and disrespectful and ate her out of house and home without replacing much if anything. I told her a million times to kick him out but she was afraid he would end up living in his car. So, almost two years later, only because she had remarried and was moving, she told him there wasn't room for him in her new home. He then moved in with our younger brother who had a wife and two new babies! That didn't last more than a few months and in the meantime I made it perfectly clear that he shouldn't even think of asking me if he could "crash" at my place (where my husband and young daughter also lived). From little brother's, he moved out of this state to Dad's house (last available family member!). Our dad offered to put him up only if he helped my dad and his wife build their new home. They did not see eye to eye on a lot of things (and still don't), but brother stayed with dad, bitching the entire time, for several years. My dad worked my brother's butt off and didn't let him get away with any of his usual crap. Brother found friends involved with the local volunteer firefighters. Became one himself. Got his EMT certificate and went to work doing that. Transferred to another state where he is now a high-level employee of a small medical facility. He's still somewhat behind where most 45 yr old's find themselves but at least he's self-sufficient, respected by his colleagues and pays his bills and taxes like the rest of us. My best guess is that my brother, in his mid-20's and 6 yrs into college with not much to show for it, was super insecure and scared to death to be a grown up. He's also not the most ambitious person and still looks down at "conventional", "traditional" people such as myself who play by the rules. We don't have much of a relationship because of all of this. Sad yes, but at least he got his act together and started helping others rather than using them.

Tracy @ Comfort and Luxury said...

PART TWO (sorry!-I didn't realize how long I'd gone on and blogger wouldn't let me post my whole rant!)
Please don't allow yourself to be taken advantage of by your sil any longer than you absolutely have to. I'm sure it must be far more difficult to think of putting her out when there's a baby involved. Your husband needs to recognize that as much as he loves his sister, his new family (YOU and any children you may have), not his chilhood family, comes FIRST. He can help her find a job, help her find a place to live, even throw some money her way to help her get started but she needs to get out of your house and into her own. No matter how hard or scary it seems to her. In the meantime, the price of remaining in your home must be made crystal clear. She's not working so she has plenty of time to get some household chores done. Assign them to her and accept no excuses. She doesn't like it, she can find another place to live FOR FREE. And you have to separate yourself from the fact that she's a sister and family should take care of family. You're HER family and she's not acting like she cares much about either of you, is she? Stop feeling sorry for her and give her something to DO that might just make her feel better about herself and her abilities.
I am brand new to your blog and don't know you at all. So I hope you don't mind that I felt free to write all this. It's just very close to home and I myself get angry when I hear about someone like you who cares far more about the welfare of another person than that should be necessary and then twists themselves all up with guilt for feeling angry or taken advantage of. You're not wrong. She is wrong. It's really a lot more simple than it seems. Please let me know how things work out and good luck!

Ann said...

Your reactions and emotions are pretty normal to me considering your situation right now...
Maybe you just have to talk to your husband about his sister, he needs to be the one to tell her to find another place because if it comes from you, it won't look so good and you will be singled out as the in-law-villain, not only by your sister-in-law but also by your other in-laws. You have to tell everything you feel about the situation to your husband, he will understand...and goodluck:)

Ann said...

Your reactions and emotions are pretty normal to me considering your situation right now...
Maybe you just have to talk to your husband about his sister, he needs to be the one to tell her to find another place because if it comes from you, it won't look so good and you will be singled out as the in-law-villain, not only by your sister-in-law but also by your other in-laws. You have to tell everything you feel about the situation to your husband, he will understand...and goodluck:)

You Are My Fave said...

This is a really tough situation. I hate confrontation so I might not be the best person to give advice. Maybe you should think of an alternate plan for what she should do so she has an idea of where to go once you get her out of your house.

Jillian said...

Very sad :(
I can say that I feel similarly about a situation in my life, but it's not the same situation.
If it were my mind, I would talk with my husband and tell him that we needed to be a united front about talking to her...and sit down with her together (even if I had to do the talking) and explain that letting her stay with us is not helping her, etc. And that she needs to be out applying for jobs and apartment hunting, that we will help her find a job and a place, and that we need to have a goal time for her to be on her feet, and out of our apartment...
My older sister(go figure) and her husband aren't exactly great with money and they are always getting money help from our parents and his parents...and it really frustrates me because I am much younger than she is and do not take advantage of our parents, my husband and I are completely self sufficient.

In my mind they are similar situations because of the fact that they are both being enabled to keep mooching and not taking care of themselves...gah.

good luck!

Dawn Gahan said...

I thought I could leave some new insight here, but after reading everyone's comments, I think they've hit on every bit of advice I can think of. One thing I would reiterate is the importance of the united front by you and your husband. And yes, if that is proving to be difficult, seeking the guidance of a professional (therapist or pastor) would be a good investment.

Your feelings are not selfish or ugly. They are very real and seem well founded. You need your house and your marriage back. Forcing this girl to grow up isn't cruel; it is really the best thing you can do for her.

Love and prayers,
Dawn

Thao said...

This is my first time here, and I wanted to offer my support to you. That is truly an awful situation and your position is just so difficult. I'm really sorry. I'm also sorry that your husband isn't more responsive, though of course I understand that he wants to be there for his sister. I agree that you really need to make sure that your husband is on board as well before you kick her out--which you have EVERY right to do at this point. Maybe you could sit him down and explain how this is hurting your marriage. It sounds like you've been so nice that your sister-in-law thinks she can stay indefinitely. As a twenty-four year old myself, I can say that this is inexcusable behavior at her age. I'm also a person who is very protective over her home space and I think you've been a saint to put up with this since May. My thoughts are with you--I'm hoping you get this resolved soon!

Meg Fee said...

oh no, i wish i knew what to say, but i haven't an idea. i think you just have to speak openly and honestly and be as assertive as you can...im reading a great book right now called YOUR PERFECT RIGHT about how we can be assertive (not aggressive or passive or passive agressive--how we can get what we want and be respectful to others) that's the best I've got. Hope it helps. Good luck to you my dear.

Ms. Attitude said...

Hi Brandi! First, I didn't even know you had changed blogs! Second, you are very sweet to allow her to live with you.

Now, I fully agree with the undomesticated wife. What she says if exactly what I would say to you. First, talk to your husband and explain how hurt you are and have him join you in helping her out. Then, sit down and have a long talk with her about when she plans to leave. If she doesn't plan to leave, explain that she needs to start helping with every aspect of being a "roommate". (money, chores, shopping, etc.)

Good luck, you can do it!

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