I feel like I'm a very loving person, want to 'be the change' but sometimes......
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    Registered User PrairieRose's Avatar
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    Default I feel like I'm a very loving person, want to 'be the change' but sometimes......

    I need some feedback. Like my title said, I am a loving person who tries to be giving, forgiving, helpful, thoughtful, etc... . I have a favorite charity that I give to with a cheerful heart, try to help friends and family out whenever I can, well you know what I'm saying. Anyway I have a 'situation' that I need some feedback on. This is way out of my comfort zone to post this but I need some different opinions to help me reconcile this in my own mind.

    I have a family member (boy do I ever) who has for my entire lifetime, lived in crisis. It's always been one thing and then 10 others. Quit school early, ran off, got married-divorced-remarried, had kids (lots of them), divorced, widowed, divorced, etc. and so on. This person has always been sort of been the 'focus of the family' as the crisis of the moment is always huge and really and truly a crisis not just a 'rough patch' or whatever. This person also never 'takes care of business'. In years gone by they would work, quit, get fired, work...go for long periods of not working. They would live with family members, their grown kids and friends and a lot of the time not work. Well not too long ago the last job was lost due to being fired. Ok, now they're (it's one person, just don't want to disclose gender) living with friends. Have been for over 2 years (was supposed to be for a month or so). So no work but old enough to draw social security at the first opportunity so, yep, we apply and get it. Amount is something like $523/mo. (who can live on that?) Now said family member (to be referred to as SFM from here on in....lol) has serious health problems. We're talking COPD (from about 50 yrs. of smoking), emphysema and possibly congestive heart failure. Serious health problems that will heretofore keep SFM from ever working again. The friends that SFM is staying with are sick and tired of the situation and not willing to take SFM on for the remainder of the time that is left. SSsoooooo here's the dilemna. What in the heck are we to do? On one hand I am a very giving person with 2 extra bedrooms (except when my kids come to visit which is what the rooms are for). I care for another family member and Gripey is as good as gold about that even considering we have been out a huge amount of money (that we will we recoup eventually in the way of selling a house we have provided for this person) but he would not go for SFM living with us (mostly b/c of past history and there is soooo much that I haven't mentioned or even eluded to here + this person is the world's hardest person to live with....now we add the major health issues... ). SFM's grown children harbor huge resentments against SFM so they are either unwilling or unable due to their own economic and/or family situations to help. Why do I feel so guilty about not wanting to 'take SFM on/in?'. At this juncture, every single thing that SFM is going through is the direct result of a lifetime of bad decisions. But still, since this is a family member my heart hurts really bad about it. I just don't know what to do. I'm thinking of looking into nursing home care although I know SFM won't be thrilled about. It would be desirable to living under a bridge I would think and since SFM isn't able to really care for themselves (self?) anymore it should make things a lot easier in that way...... . Omg, it's such a huge mess......I really don't know what I should do or what I can do or what I even want to do. Why is it so much easier to be charitable with a cheerful heart to a total stranger? Any feedback would be appreciated. TIA

  2. #2
    Registered User Greebo's Avatar
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    You don't get to chose family, but you also aren't responsible for family.

    SFM has had a lifetime to prove that they deserve your help, and has instead spent a lifetime proving they deserve nothing.

    The guilt you feel is society telling you that, because you did the right things with your life and SFM didn't that you OWE SFM.

    Let it go, let SFM go, and save yourself. You know what taking SFM in under your wing will do for you.

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    Registered User freebs's Avatar
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    Your own immediate family must come first. Do not let anyone 'guilt ride' you into a bad decision. I foresee serious medical needs, and caregivers in this person's future. Do you want to be that caregiver?
    Similar situation in my DH's family. His mother needs a place to live and because she has been a 'witch' her entire life, not one of her kids will take her in. People ask why, and we say 'familial decision, not for outsiders'.
    Hang in there for your own mental health.

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    I agree completely with Greebo. It is impossible to help someone that will not help themselves, it just becomes enableing. At this stage it maybe too late for your relative to help him/herself, but it is not your fault nor responsiblity. If you still feel the need to help in someway, see if you can help him/her to find low cost housing.

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    Registered User Greebo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by della92 View Post
    i Agree Completely With Greebo. It Is Impossible To Help Someone That Will Not Help Themselves, It Just Becomes Enableing. At This Stage It Maybe Too Late For Your Relative To Help Him/herself, But It Is Not Your Fault Nor Responsiblity. If You Still Feel The Need To Help In Someway, See If You Can Help Him/her To Find Low Cost Housing.
    But Do Not Pay For Any Of It!

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    Registered User familyof3's Avatar
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    I would caution against helping SFM with finding a place to live etc. The more involved you become the more likely you're going to end up taking this person in.

    You are a loving person, your concern is evidence of that. You want "to be the change" but does SFM? Don't hold yourself accountable for this person's mistakes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greebo View Post
    You don't get to chose family, but you also aren't responsible for family.

    SFM has had a lifetime to prove that they deserve your help, and has instead spent a lifetime proving they deserve nothing.

    The guilt you feel is society telling you that, because you did the right things with your life and SFM didn't that you OWE SFM.

    Let it go, let SFM go, and save yourself. You know what taking SFM in under your wing will do for you.
    Quote Originally Posted by Quilting lady View Post
    Your own immediate family must come first. Do not let anyone 'guilt ride' you into a bad decision. I foresee serious medical needs, and caregivers in this person's future. Do you want to be that caregiver?
    Similar situation in my DH's family. His mother needs a place to live and because she has been a 'witch' her entire life, not one of her kids will take her in. People ask why, and we say 'familial decision, not for outsiders'.
    Hang in there for your own mental health.
    Quote Originally Posted by della92 View Post
    I agree completely with Greebo. It is impossible to help someone that will not help themselves, it just becomes enableing. At this stage it maybe too late for your relative to help him/herself, but it is not your fault nor responsiblity. If you still feel the need to help in someway, see if you can help him/her to find low cost housing.
    Quote Originally Posted by familyof3 View Post
    I would caution against helping SFM with finding a place to live etc. The more involved you become the more likely you're going to end up taking this person in.

    You are a loving person, your concern is evidence of that. You want "to be the change" but does SFM? Don't hold yourself accountable for this person's mistakes.

    Well said and I agree. It's fine to help someone in a crisis. However, there comes to a point when to back away if the person chooses not to help themselves and learn from their mistakes. PR, you are a loving person, just don't let anyone take advantage of your kindness.

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    Registered User suzysaver's Avatar
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    It seems like this person has always expected someone else to step in and save them. I agree with everyone else, don't get too involved...you will be the one taking care of them and do you really need that later in life when you should be enjoying what you worked so hard for.

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    You've received some great advice from everyone else here. I have to sympathize with you. I am so easily sucked in to (or should I say suckered) helping people out of situations and then not knowing how to get myself out of them. It's so hard when you care about someone, especially when they are related to you. I would just stay back from the situation as well. If her own children won't get involved....well....what more can I say?
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    Registered User FrugalMomof3's Avatar
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    I agree with Greebo 100%, I also think this person realizes that there will always be someone to pick up the pieces for them and help them out but DONT BE THE ONE!

    I totally believe in helping another out, but this SFM has cried wolf too many times, it's now time for this SFM to do for themselves without the help of others.

    After all these years it would be logical to assume this person has grown up but after reading and re-reading your post it seems they have not. Time to break the reins and be there emotionally but not financially or physically.

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    PR,

    from reading your post the first thing that came to my mind was, DRAMA.......this person thrives on drama and everyone else are just players doing a role........DO NOT take a script......STAY as far away from this person and all the drama.

    You and Gripey are good people you don't need this in your life, your family made good choices and worked damn hard for what you have you have nothing to feel guilty about.

    Kind Regards,
    leezza

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    Registered User itsahumanzoo's Avatar
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    I also agree with Greebo, and I can't think of anything to add. I just wanted to add my support!

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    Registered User MomToTwoBoys's Avatar
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    Hey PrarieRose,

    I know that family is very important in one's life. I also know that family who have made poor judgements in choice sometimes need to make their own paths. Every family I've ever know has had that one person in it who has made some bad choices or has had it pretty rough, and there's always at least one person who feels they should have to step up and help out when no one else can. SFM sounds alot like my sister; never married but has three kids and can't decide to stay either with the kids' father or with someone else (who also has made poor choices in his life), refuses to take care of herself even when she and her kids have been thrown out of their home, and my mom was there to help all in the best interest of the grandkids. I think it takes a real wake-up call for someone to realize that the hard road they're putting themselves down really isn't needed and that things can be a whole lot easier if they just accept responsibility for what's happened.

    I think that's what needs to happen here. SFM needs to step up and actually admit to himself/herself and to everyone else, truthfully, that he/she did alot of wrong and needs to change. Not only does SFM need to admit it, SFM needs to take visible and serious steps to rectify it and take care of himself/herself without feeling like they need someone else to hold their hand.

    I would take your situation and look at it like this; plan an intervention. If people in your family don't want to take in SFM for a long-term thing, they need to step up and find ways to help SFM be self-sustainable. Contact local agencies that can provide SFM with financial support based on health and a way for SFM to get food, shelter and other necessities without any of your family members having to do much more than just call/write them. Give SFM a real wake-up call and show him/her what can happen if he/she doesn't take the steps on his/her own to rectify and be independent.

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    Quote Originally Posted by della92 View Post
    I agree completely with Greebo. It is impossible to help someone that will not help themselves, it just becomes enabling. .
    BINGO!!!
    And once you start it is very hard to quit and IF you go down this road you will end up exactly like this....

    Ok, now they're (it's one person, just don't want to disclose gender) living with friends. Have been for over 2 years (was supposed to be for a month or so).

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