- 7 years ago
Warning in advance – this will be a long post.
A little background – My mother and adult brother live with me. My mother lost her house, that she bought when predatory loaning was being practiced, to foreclosure a couple of years ago and her credit that was already awful is in now deep in the pits. My incredibly intelligent brother is 21 but is dealing with what seems to be some sort of severe social anxiety disorder. He believes he has Aspergers or Autism, but he refuses to go to therapy to get diagnosed. He has never had a job, besides landing two retail jobs only a few months ago and then consecutively quitting each one within 2 hours, after experiencing what he referenced as anxiety attacks.
My mother works two jobs as a nurses assistant/caretaker, not making the best money. I make OK working an administrative office job. My mother and I split the rent 50/50 and I have been assisting my mother with my brother’s living expenses for the past 4 years now, since he turned 18. Previous to that, I was working two jobs in 2006 to afford my own rent for my own place and send my mother $ 400 a month to assist her with making her mortgage payments, until I moved in to help her some more. She still continued having financial problems, and lost the house two years ago.
My father is around. My parents are not divorced, they are friendly but have been separated since my father came out of the closet in 1999. As far as I know he stopped helping my mother financially when my brother turned 18.
Recently, checking the mail I learned that my mother had not been paying her half of the utility bills on time, and we were at risk of having our electricity shut off, as well as her cell phone plan with my brother. I decided that I would start opening all the utility bills and making myself the gate keeper, to make sure all the bills were being paid on time. I told my mother this and she agreed and said thank you. Soon after this I found out, checking the mail, that she was charged an overdraft fee when she wrote me a check for her half of the rent last month, because she did not have enough funds in her account.
A few months ago, my mother joyfully shared with me news that my father (whom is also a a nurses assistant/caretaker) had been working 2 jobs and had saved up to $20,000 to buy a home in South America. His plan was to own this home with my mother and make money off of it by renting it out, until my mother and he were ready to retire and live together in South America. I had very mixed feelings about the news. I was happy my parents were thinking and planning for their retirement, because the very thought of taking care of them and myself (AND possibly my brother) in the future was daunting. Yet, I felt uncomfortable knowing such detail down to the exact figure my father had saved up in his bank account. I also felt frustrated knowing he had this sort of money and had not offered to help me with assisting with any sort of portion of my brother’s living expenses that I was (IMO) taking care of FOR HIM. I then found out that I was to keep this information to myself, and that my mother wasn’t sure that I was supposed to even know this information in the first place…
My SO and I have been heavily talking marriage the past few months, so I felt it was about time to approach my father for help with assisting my mother and brother. We spoke briefly before the holidays. I did not mention the fact that I knew that he had $20K saved up, but just asked him if he had given any thought to the future of his son, and wondered if I was headed towards moving onto the next phase of my life with my SO. He had given it some sort of thought, but apparently had not brainstormed on how to deal with it. I told him I felt it was time to ask him for help. He promised me he would think on it and get back to me. I saw him again on Christmas day but did not mention it as to spoil the holiday time with family. Since then I have not heard word from him, yet.
Additionally, during the talk with my father before the holidays I learned things were worse off with my mother than I had thought.I had known she was in a small accident on the way to her morning job, a few weeks ago. What I did not know was that she had not handled her mail promptly & responded to a DMV license renewal notice during this time and so had lost her license. She was afraid of driving without a license so she took “vacation” time off from her evening job, as she could not take time off from both her AM & PM job at the same time. Unbeknownst to me this was actually not vacation time and was actually time withOUT pay. She came to my father for help, and he gave her $1,000 to hold her over until she could get back to evening job. My father told me not to tell my mother that I knew this. Now this TOO is something I am not supposed to let the other parent know that I have knowledge of.
I understand she works more hours than a human should work per week, and it’s just too difficult to keep on top of being organized when barely having enough time to relax after work before going to sleep to do it all over again. However, I am just flabbergasted that she did not ask for help with keeping on top of things before it got worse & cannot not believe the things she has kept hidden from me out of fear of judgement.
Now fast-forward to the present, my brother has enrolled in the upcoming semester of school and has also just told me that the bank account that my mother set up for his school has now run dry and he still has under a couple hundred dollars needed to pay for the rest of the semester expenses.
It seems that without something changing soon in my home/family situation, I will never be able to have my own life and to move onto the next phase of my relationship with my SO. I am 28 and have been helping my mother and brother financially and trying to keep my own life balanced for the past six years, and nothing financially has really improved, it has just been kept afloat. I feel stuck and held back and am too afraid to move on until I know that everyone is taken care of. My brother needs to go to school, because this is his only way out of the reality we live in now and will also be the only way he will have access to counseling that we cannot afford for him at the moment. I also want my mother to not suffer through working two jobs to make ends meet and support her adult son.
I desperately need to speak to my father. I have come up with a plan to either call or email him with an itemized list of bills that had gone unpaid or were paid late & caused services to be cut off and a list of my brothers school expenses that assistance is needed for. I feel this way he will really be able to grasp the severity of the financial assistance that is needed. I just don’t know HOW to WORD my call with him. How should I approach this? I know that I need to use a calm tone, but I just don’t know how to word it when chaos & resentment is swirling through my mind and my nerves are shaken at the very thought of dealing with all of this.
Please, if you can offer any words of advice or tips (or simply just words of support) I would deeply appreciate it.