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Thread: Trapped in Deteriorating Relationship with Mom and Sibling

  1. #1

    Trapped in Deteriorating Relationship with Mom and Sibling

    I went through severe trauma a few months ago that left me penniless and disabled. I was forced to move from far away back in with my mom and sibling so as to stay off the streets. We used to be extremely close and I had hoped that they would help me heal and get back on my feet again. Instead, living here has traumatized me even more. When I struggle with something, they scream at me for not being able to do it like a healthy person could. When I try to explain my struggles, they accuse me of "using my disability as an excuse because I don't actually want to do the thing" which is untrue and extremely hurtful. Even when my therapist tried to spell out for them that I legitimately had problems with certain things because of my disability, they completely dismissed her words too. I spend my days trying to find an online job so that I can (1) regain some financial independence so I can pay for my own expenses again, and (2) work towards being able to move out again and be completely self sufficient. However since my months of long hours spent trying to get a job have yet to produce stable work, my family says they resent me for "sitting around all day while they are at work".

    They claim that they are trying to help me get better. They claim that they care about me. But beyond food and shelter, their actions don't match these claims. They have offered almost no emotional support to me (they do constantly for each other, but I get yelled at for asking for even a fraction of that emotional support). Instead of helping lift me up, they demean me and say and do things that strip away what little dignity and bodily autonomy I have left. They pick fights with me and say extremely hurtful things about topics that they know are sensitive/important to me, and when I get upset, they twist the situation around, claim to be completely innocent in the exchange, and demand an apology from me. My hurt feelings are never addressed, rinse, repeat.

    After the latest round, we aren't speaking anymore and I really don't know what to do at this point. I don't know how to salvage the situation, or at least make it more livable until I am able to get a job and move out. These are people that I was EXTREMELY close to for most of my life, and now I fear that our relationship is beyond recovery.

    The catalyst this time was my mom walking up to me and shoving a horrific newspaper article in my face. When I tried to walk away, she demanded that I read it. She then made an awful racist remark. I said that I was hurt by the racist thing she said. Now both my mom and my sibling are beyond furious at me for "saying that my mom was racist" even though that is not what I said. My mom denies ever having said the racist thing (my sibling walked in afterwards and didn't hear that statement, but of course believes that my mom never said it). They both act like saying that my mom said a racist thing is the absolute end-of-the-world, completely-unforgivable, worst possible insult I could have used against my mom.

    Meanwhile they have both said far worse things to me - including during the most recent fight - that were direct attacks on my character, and not about something I said, and not even based in reality, But of course I will probably never get an apology for any of those. Instead, once again, they are demanding an apology from me, and I'm feeling an unspoken threat that they might throw me onto the streets if they don't get their apology.

    I'm angry, hurt, and terrified. I have zero money (not from lack of effort) and no place else to go. Even I swallow all my own pain and apologize just to attempt to restore the peace, there is a very good chance that they will reject my apology for not being sincere enough to meet their impossibly high standards for apologies, or they might just deny that I ever apologized in the first place. Even times in the past where I gave them a written apology for something, they have denied that I apologized even though there was physical proof that I did.

    I feel completely at a loss as to how to handle the situation.

  2. #2
    Silver Member SarahLancaster's Avatar
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    What is the nature of your disability?

  3. #3
    Forum Supporter ~Seraphim ~'s Avatar
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    Can you get disability support? My son is disabled and gets income support.

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    Are you able to live with another family member? Any relatives or even friends that might help you out, at least temporarily? Also, how long have you been out of work?

    In my view, your mum and (possibly your sibling too, but he might just be playing along) seems to be projecting something that she isn't happy with in her own life onto you.

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  6. #5
    I have not been able to get disability support, and I have no other living family members. And my mom and sibling are DEFINITELY projecting their problems onto me. They have some pretty serious issues of their own that they are completely unwilling to address.

  7. #6
    Silver Member SarahLancaster's Avatar
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    Your family feels that you are capable of some kind of work. That's why I asked you what the nature of your disability is.

    You have money for a therapist and perhaps a laptop and internet. Who is paying for that?

  8. #7
    Platinum Member DancingFool's Avatar
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    Keep working on getting disability. Also, for the job situation, contact some charities that deal help with job placement for people in your situation. Easier than trying to pound doors yourself cold. Check out Goodwill as a starting point - they have employment programs and work with local employers to place people with various challenges. Google for other charities as well.

    As for the family life, stop reacting. Just stop. It takes two to fight. So next time they make a bad comment, attack your character, etc. Just say "I'm sorry you feel that way." and that's it. If they keep talking just repeat it again. Don't get emotional, don't get defensive, don't keep trying to explain yourself. Remember that it takes two to fight and you are engaging in that dynamic, so learn to disengage. I know it's not easy, but the less you react emotionally, the less you engage, the better it will be all around.

  9. #8
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    Originally Posted by LifeOfAgony
    I have not been able to get disability support, and I have no other living family members. And my mom and sibling are DEFINITELY projecting their problems onto me. They have some pretty serious issues of their own that they are completely unwilling to address.
    Are you in the U.S.? If so, the government has financial resources for those with disabilities. You will need your doctor's help, but if you have a legit disability that prevents you from working, it's a fairly simple process.

    At least that way you will have some money coming in.

    The government also has resources to set you up in a small subsidized apartment or a group home.

    My nephew has a disability and he gets $900 from the government every month PLUS an apartment for $295 per month.

    I am curious why you have not looked into any of this.

    You don't need to be living like this.

  10. #9
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    If your disability was physically obvious (you are now an amputee or paraplegic), they would understand what you can and cannot do. if its mental, they may not understand - if someone were not able to lift something or brush their hair - people can easily compute that, but if the thing you "cannot do" is go outside and sit on the patio because neighbors might be out, or you cannot go to the store (you can drive but you mentally can't handle the store) i can understand their confusion in thinking that "you are not helping yourself".

    Are you permanently disabled or will you heal?

    Could it be that you are very sensitive right now and some of your perception of them is correct and some of them is not.

  11. #10
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    Originally Posted by LifeOfAgony
    I have not been able to get disability support, and I have no other living family members. And my mom and sibling are DEFINITELY projecting their problems onto me. They have some pretty serious issues of their own that they are completely unwilling to address.
    In that case, I'd follow DancingFool's suggestion and find a way to move out of there as soon as possible. Also, Katrina shared some really good insight should you live in the US.

    Additionally, would you consider house-sitting? Does your disability allow you to take care of pets? House-sitting is not available or common everywhere in the world, but it might be were you live. I met people who lived that way for some time.

    By the way, what issues are your mum and sibling facing? Are their issues financial? Any health issues? Emotional ones? Any addictions? I'm not interested in specifics at all. Just a general picture that might help understand this whole thing a bit better.
    Last edited by greendots; 05-30-2019 at 12:42 AM.

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