Need advice unrelated to teaching

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by daisycakes, Jun 30, 2017.

  1. daisycakes

    daisycakes Companion

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    Jun 30, 2017

    Hi,

    I'm wondering what your thoughts are on a situation I currently find myself in. This year, I have been very busy. I got married and developed a chronic illness that will shorten my life and greatly impacts the quality of my life. I have lots of medical bills and will need procedures not covered by insurance. I also lost a relative and he left me a large sum of money. He left my mother about double what he left me.

    I came home to visit my parents as I do every summer. They are in their fifties. My father makes 200+k a year and drives a Porsche. My mother blindsided me on the day of my arrival by saying that she sat down and crunched some numbers and found that she spent more money on my childhood and college expenses than my brother and would like me to write her a check for 10k so things are more fair (I.e. repay her). She also tried to tell me she spent more money on me than my sister but it was easy for me to call bs on that as she lived with them for six years, wrecked multiple cars and just the day before gifted her with an expensive present. About my brother: he lived with them from 19 to 26, but living with them doesn't apparently count as money spent on him. He flunked out of colleges multiple times so eventually went to cc and perhaps that is why his college expenses are counted as less than mine. I have never lived with them and I have always had a job. There have been times I have needed to borrow money for emergencies and they have always said no. My college was expensive, but they told me I could go wherever I want and they never mentioned repayment. My senior year, they made me take out a small loan and promised to repay it and then never did, worth about 10k right there. I paid for grad school on my own entirely. For my wedding, they paid only for my dress and my in-laws paid for everything else. She is also including the cost of my first (used) car which I was told was a present at the time.


    I am really offended. I do not feel like it is fair to make me repay money spent on my childhood and education after the fact. I also have a really hard time believing that they didn't spend more on my siblings when they both lived with them for at least six years each and my parents paid for their cars, health insurance, auto insurance, meals, etc. When here for the holidays once, my sister drove her car home on an empty tank of gas and asked my dad to go out and fill it....she wouldn't even pay $30 for gas.

    She told me she expects the money out of my inheritance and I am not allowed to tell my husband or my father. She says they have no money right now due to home repairs and she refuses to use her inheritance. I talked to my sister and she said she did the same thing to her and she gave them thousands of dollars and then started asking for documentation of money spent on my brother. She was also told not to tell our dad.

    What are your thoughts? I feel very hurt and probably need to talk to a therapist but I am stuck visiting them for a week and don't know what to do.
     
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  3. swansong1

    swansong1 Maven

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    Jun 30, 2017

    Red flag...don't tell anyone. She has no right asking you for money. You need that money for your own expenses, which are probably going to be more than your salary.

    They chose to support you in the manner they did...can't change their mind after the fact. Just tell them, sorry, you need your money.

    Again, red flag...maybe the other members of the family need to know that she is shaking her children down.
     
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  4. bella84

    bella84 Enthusiast

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    Jun 30, 2017

    I can't even imagine ever being in this situation. It's just not something either of my parents would ever do. So, I'm not sure how helpful I can really be... That said, there is NO WAY I'd ever agree to this. I mean, if my parents were in a desperate situation where they were about to be homeless or couldn't afford necessary medical treatments, assuming I had the funds, I'd help out, without a doubt. But that doesn't seem to be the case here.

    I don't see a good outcome here... Whether you give your mom the money or not, there will be hard feelings and resentment on one side of the relationship - either from you or your mom. It's not like your mom can sue you for this money, and you're going to be hurt and resentful if you just willingly pay it. I'd rather just keep the money for a rainy day and have my mom be mad about it for awhile.

    I have no idea what your family situation is like, but... is it possible that your mom is thinking about filing for divorce and wants to make sure that she has money in the bank in case your dad responds poorly? I have a friend whose parents are going through a nasty divorce after 35 years of marriage right now, and her mom has no money at all because her dad won't give her mom access to it. Apparently, it will stay that way until the divorce is finalized, so my friend and her siblings are supporting their mother financially in the meantime. I really can't see many other reasons for asking for this money and requiring that you keep it a secret from your dad... unless your one of your parents lost a job and doesn't want to tell you or something, and your mom is just trying to keep them financially afloat. Also, I can't imagine having to keep a secret like that from a husband. That just doesn't seem fair of her to ask of you... None of this does. Seems like a bad situation all around. Good luck.
     
  5. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Jun 30, 2017

    I really think that you need to find a way to leave their house and cut your visit short. Then cut her out of your life until she can get her act together. Under no circumstances would I ever tolerate this from my family, and I love my family dearly.

    If this behavior is out of character for her, might she be in need of medical intervention? That's not your responsibility, of course, but it could be something to suggest to a trusted family member if you felt up to it.

    Is it possible that she is deep in money troubles? Does she have a gambling or drug problem? One of my friends recently went through something similar with her mom. It turns out that her mom had a serious addiction to pain pills and had been embezzling money from work. She managed to avoid jail time but had to pay back nearly half a million dollars, which totally bankrupted the family. The mom was trying to keep all of this on the downlow, even unknown to her own husband, but eventually it got out.
     
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  6. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Phenom

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    Jun 30, 2017

    I'd cut my visit short, first of all. Then I'd definitely tell Dad. Of course, that won't go over well with Mom. It definitely sounds like something else is going on with your mom. The money they chose to spend on you was their choice. They don't get to change their mind later. That in itself is a major red flag. The bigger red flag is asking to not tell your father.

    Take care of yourself first.
     
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  7. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jun 30, 2017

    You've been given good advice here. Your main priority is your health and marriage. Walk away from mom, letting her know that her request is out of the question.
     
  8. phillyteacher

    phillyteacher Comrade

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    Jun 30, 2017

    This is exactly what I thought of, too.

    I agree with the advice given here - cut the trip short, do not give her the money, tell your husband and your father about it.
     
  9. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Jun 30, 2017

    How terribly hurtful for you. And unfortunate. I agree that you need to remove yourself quickly and stand up for yourself. Your mother's 'justification' for the money is ridiculous. I, too, think you should tell your father since her behavior could be evidence of some kind of disorder and he should be in the loop. You don't have to explain your choice to ignore her request. Take care of yourself. You are worth it.
     
  10. vickilyn

    vickilyn Maven

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    Jun 30, 2017

    Can we make the assumption that she can't get her hands on your inheritance unless you write her a check? As long as you are certain that is the case, stay and visit if you wish, but stand up for yourself - no child should ever be billed for the money a parent chooses to spend on them. It sounds as if the cost of raising three children didn't deprive them. If you are not 100% certain that the inheritance is secured away from your mother, contact a lawyer immediately to make sure every penny is accounted for, and that no one but you can touch the money. AFTER contacting a lawyer and making sure that the money is safe, I would call a family meeting - bring in the brother and sister, husbands, and father in addition to dear old mom. I would state that under no circumstance would I allow her to dictate what I can talk about and with whom. This is going to raise a ruckus, so you may want a hotel. I agree with others that there is much more going on here than your parents billing you for your own cost of being raised after the fact. If they wanted reimbursement, they should have set up a financial repayment plan with all of their children long ago. I would tell them that without a signed note that says you allowed them to pay on your behalf, with the clear expectation of total repayment within a certain date, they don't have a leg to stand on. Furthermore, too much time has passed for any "bills" to be accurately recreated, so they are out of luck. I, too, think that your dad will be shocked. The best way to go after someone who wants deals and silence is to bring everything out into the light, and make sure everyone has the same information.

    Should your dad NOT be surprised by this behavior, break ties with your parents, invest your inheritance wisely, so that it can be there when you need it most, and have a good life. Your mom sounds like my MIL - she wants secrets so that she can be devious and try to fly under the radar with her son. It makes her furious when I share with my hubby, because then he treats her like the sneak that she is. What was hardest for him was to learn that his mother lies. Your father may face similar disenchantment. With perfect hindsight, there may already be a pattern of poor choices and evasive actions, keeping secrets, and telling different stories to different parties.

    Take care of yourself first, protect your financial assets, and keep your distance from mom once she blows up and blames you for ruining everything in her life. I'm pretty sure the conversations and accusations will head in that direction - been there, done that. You didn't create any of whatever is going on in your mom's head - there is something seriously amiss.
     
  11. Obadiah

    Obadiah Cohort

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    Jul 1, 2017

    The advice above is good and valid, but I'm seeing some other areas of concern that might also be helpful to consider. In writing this, I almost didn't. I'm fearful that I might be misunderstood as trying to be "holier than thou", and I'm certainly not any better than you or anyone else. But anyway, here are my thoughts.

    Money is dangerous. To be honest, I must admit that this afternoon while driving in my car I was singing the song, If I Were a Rich Man from Fiddler on the Roof. But the reality is, money is just a tool. Just like the tools in my shed and garage, it's just a tool, a useful tool, but also a jeopardous tool.

    Relationships, however, are not a tool. They are a part of us, a part of who we are. Does money need to be guarded? Certainly. I clean each tool after I use it and keep it in its proper place. I even lock my shed and garage. But relationships also need guarded, and I wonder if they are more essential than money.

    A tool is just one object: money is just a singular object, but a person is a plurality. We are whom we are with. I find, when I'm in a conflict situation, I need to first accept others for who they are. I can't magically change the interaction. I need to accept how I feel about the situation, too. If I feel hurt, I feel hurt. If I feel angry, I feel angry. But, and this is the hard part, I don't have to react angrily. I don't have to react by raising my voice, shouting, or other responses to stress. I don't have to succumb to a stressful situation. Instead, I need to deal with the situation.

    In any interaction, angry words rarely convince the other person. Instead, angry words create a defensive barrier. The walls of this barrier thicken the further the argument continues. Peaceful words intertwine with the other person's thoughts and promote discussion. Even better than words, I think, is listening. Active listening, with questions to better understand the other person's thoughts.

    Will every argument be solved? No, maybe not, but I can always appreciate the other person, respect the other person, and frankly, continue to shower the other person with appropriate kindness. (That doesn't mean giving into the other person's desires, but it does mean still being a one who loves the other). I was listening to a song yesterday, the D. C. Talk song, Love Is a Verb. Even if others react unkindly toward us, we can love them back.

    I would recommend that you approach this situation with support. Your husband, and a close friend, along with a cup of coffee, and not only for discussing this conflict, but just being with another person, their strength becomes part of your strength. Again, we are not singular, we are plural. And I'm sure the above posters will agree with me that our thoughts are with you too.
     
  12. CherryOak

    CherryOak Rookie

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    Jul 2, 2017

    If it were me, I would simply tell her that I love her, but now that we're all grown adults, there will be no further exchanges of money beyond will and testaments.
     
  13. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Jul 3, 2017

    Great advice from all above.
    Legally she cannot get to your inheritance from your relative, but she may change her will to leave you less money when she dies.
    I hope you have a support system in town and have talked to your husband.
     
  14. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I'm sorry, but this isn't making sense to me. Is your point that the OP should be kind to her parents and get her friends involved in the situation?

    I am all for kindness and compassion, but that doesn't mean that I support passivity or allowing people to treat you poorly. The mom's request is absurd, plain and simple. Assertiveness is absolutely warranted here. I don't think anyone suggested that the OP throw up some middle fingers and start screaming profanities at her mom.
     
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  15. Obadiah

    Obadiah Cohort

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    Jul 4, 2017

    Thank you for pointing out a need for clarification in my advice. I certainly didn't mean to sound accusatory, but I was responding with general advice that I would recommend for such a situation. In my opinion, of the two adverse situations, money is the least important concern and familial relationships is the most important. Money is an object, but family and people are more than that. That is the perspective I'd recommend for approaching such a situation.

    I agree with you that assertiveness is also important in protecting one's rights. Personally, I believe that assertiveness should be administered with love and kindness, quiet peaceful words, and much active listening to the other party. Delving away from the OP to any general conflict situation, when I am in a conflict, I find it important that I remain in control of the situation rather than letting the situation control me. Rather than letting the situation control my actions, I decide how I am going to react, reply, and respond. I am responsible for my life and my actions, so I become the decision maker.

    I do not believe I have to give in to another person's demands. On the other hand, it is also my decision if I decide to give in. Not referring to the above OP's situation, but in some situations, yes,I do give in. Sometimes I decide that's the better option. In either case, it was my decision based upon my reasoning and understanding.

    No, I was not recommending other people must become involved in the OP's situation, and again, thank you for pointing out that possible area of confusion. The OP might wish to discuss the problem with others just as she did here on the forum, and that is always helpful to talk things out with a good friend or spouse. But even extra time with friends without even mentioning the problem is supportive. OK, now I'm getting into psychology here, but it's true. We gain strength from being around other people. Just a simple smile or handshake is like a power pill to enable us to face life's tough situations.
     
  16. kellzy

    kellzy Companion

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    Jul 4, 2017

    Does your mother have a spending problem? Did you father by chance put her on a budget that she blew and is trying to keep your father from finding out? Involve your father. Let him know what she's done. Doesn't matter what she said, if it's money your parents both spent, then he needs to know what's going on.
     
  17. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    Jul 6, 2017

    Amazing story. I wonder if your mom ever did anything as outrageous as this previously in your life. This letter to Dear Abby would be a firestorm of responses from readers. You take care of YOURSELF. I agree that you should not keep this from your husband or even your close friends if need be. I hope you find peace over this and your health allows you to still enjoy your life and family.
     
  18. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Jul 7, 2017

    Oh...my...gosh. What kind of a mother ends up doing this to her own child & especially, especially in your health condition?!?! That's truly an evil woman in my book. :mad::( What a snake, monster, and EVERYTHING ELSE! My fiance's dad & own twin brother would pull a stunt like this if my fiance' suddenly got a good amount of money & when he saw that my fiance' would continue to ignore him, like he's been doing for the last 10 yrs, his dad would wrack his brain trying to figure out how he can steal it, like he literally did to my fiance' long ago (amongst other horrendous actions). His twin bro suddenly demanded this muscle car. My fiance' & I BOTH think his dad is the lowest form of matter, not human matter (that's giving too much credit), but just matter on the planet & a waste of space on this earth. (He's done a lot of evilness throughout the yrs & really needs to be locked up.) Your mom's actions are right up there!

    I don't care how loving she was all throughout the years raising you. Parents should NOT expect payback for having kids (which was THEIR CHOICE TO DO) & for raising them when a lump of money suddenly comes dropping down. To me, this shows she was never genuine.

    Forget your mom. Fortunately, you've been an adult and don't need to depend on her for anything, thank God, so ignore her. She turned on you like a wild animal does to its prey, just like a cobra strikes, so you should put any loving feelings aside and do your thing. She just showed her true colors to you and threw her supposed love, etc. right out the window as quickly as one turns off a light switch. This is NOT a mother whatsoever.

    Not only should you leave from this visit right this moment & never look back, but tell your father & husband what she proposed. You're a grown adult and not a child she can tell what to do. You live your life with your family & do what you have to do & what makes you happy. Enjoy your money how you please! :mad:
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2017
  19. a2z

    a2z Phenom

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    Jul 7, 2017

    "I'm having a surprise birthday party. Don't tell anyone." is an ok request with no red flags.

    "I want you to give me large sums of money. Don't tell anyone." is a red flag and something you should not do.

    I'm concerned for your mom. Something big is going on which she is hiding.

    Tell her, no, and you won't do it without the family's blessing. Watch her squirm. She will back off.

    I'm sorry about this situation. There is something big going on behind the scenes.
     
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  20. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Jul 15, 2017

    I have kinda lived this situation. My husband's grandfather left an inheritance. My husband was underage at the time. His grandmother put it in an account for him with his father's name on the account also. When I gave birth to my daughter...ten years into our marriage...my father-in-law wiped out the account. We had never taken his name off of it. It just hadn't dawned on us. We had used some of it for a down payment for our house, we had used some to secure a car loan, and when my husband went to use it a week after my daughter was born to purchase some livestock he found that it was gone. When asked why he took it, my FIL said, "Because I could!" Keeping in mind that there were other small (and a few big) incidents prior, my husband was so upset. We broke off ties with them. Fast forward 13 years....my FIL got "saved" and the pastor of his new church decided that we MUST apologize for keeping them from our children. My husband was invited to meet with the pastor and my in-laws, I was not included. My FIL spent the whole time telling my husband about a man I went to school with and how he was a success and my husband was not. I was furious. They came back in our lives to only degrade my husband.
    My FIL became very ill. We would go to the hospital every other day and sit by his bed. He never once acknowledge us. He would talk to the pastor, nurses, and the doctors; but not my husband. The pastor kept calling with his guilt messages. My FIL or MIL never once asked about our two children. In Feb. FIL died. We have stepped up to handle everything for MIL. We drive two hours every other week to mow her lawn and do chores for her. We gave her our son's truck. We have handled the $40,000 of credit card debt that my FIL had racked up. We paid off the taxes on the family farm and kept a $35,000 tractor from being taken back by the creditors. My children (23 and 14) decided not to attend the funeral. The people have came out of the woodwork to give their opinion on our "selfish" children. The man never laid eyes on my daughter...his choice. My son was 9 when they walked out of his life. My best friend delivered messages and photos that I sent over the years. I sent graduation announcements, birthday invitations, and Christmas cards. I let them know when their grandchildren participated in activities within a 40 mile radius of their home. They never tried to see them. To this day, my MIL never asks about the kids.

    Some people are just selfish. They are not worth the hurt that they cause you. Take care of yourself and your family. Your father has a right to know, but how he handles it should determine how you communicate with him in the future.
     
  21. Obadiah

    Obadiah Cohort

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    Jul 17, 2017

    I think your post is a good warning, too, that just because an organization calls itself a "church" doesn't mean they are truly there for others. Your post made me sad that a pastor would be so heartless. I don't know what religious book he's using, but mine says to love and be kind to one another.
     

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