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Crazy4Canning

Update on Parent Situation

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Well, back in early September, I shared about my parents' situation. In a nutshell, it hasn't changed. AT ALL.

 

I did have several informative meetings with social services but can't effectively move them to act on their behalf until they are in the same state as I am. (They live about 25 minutes away, in the state I grew up in.)

 

DH & I did have the chat with my parents. It was agreed that my academic work was a priority. The fact that I am mere months from finishing my PhD was emphasized. It was agreed that the stress of providing for them (to the tune of a 3/4 time job) was too much for my husband. It was agreed that we would pay my dad what we owed him (and we did, and then some). I THOUGHT we were in agreement of these things. I also thought it was agreed and understood that there would be no more requests for money or pleas for work because we just didn't have it. :misc-smiley-231: Evidently not.

 

{{A little side note: we have done a great deal with the extra funds this past month - we paid off 3 (THREE!!!) good-sized bills and did the Dance of Joy! :bounce:}}

 

 

Today Dad called (in the middle of a writing deadline no less) telling me he had bills and no money. He didn't come right out and ask my help but did imply that I could take care of it, even so much as telling me the amounts and what it was for. :shakinghead: I was polite but vague and said I'd call him back. I recall hanging up the phone and saying a few bad words.

 

Let me tell you what we offered: a month ago, we offered to find them housing and move them. I offered to give them 2 days a week to help them pack over a month's time to sort, downsize and move by November 1, giving 30 days notice to their current landlord, as per law. Dad said, "no", God would provide a way for them to keep their all stuff and and made the choice not to act. Mom chose to agree with him. We did get them a PO box, a storage unit, and a bank account at our credit union to ready them for this move.

 

Guess what? It's 45 days later and no huge miracle. No one has shown up from a sweepstakes, no one has offered him a job (he also hasn't been looking) and no one has offered to pay his bills. The they are still living beyond their means and can't pay their bills.

 

My husband said: "Well, we will not be nickel and dime'd to death. Looks like it's time for round 2. We will again offer to pay for the move and move-in fees to an apartment, which you have agreed to help them find. Do you think the caveat of you helping them downsize will be acceptable as part of the deal for taking our money? What about a review: Plan A - Do NOTHING, that hasn't worked so well for them. Plan B - take our money as a one-time gift and settle within their means, get on a budget and stick to it. Do you think that will work?"

 

I'm thinking of the story about the man asking God for help during a flood - some volunteers came by with a boat, he refused. He cried to God for help and a helicopter came by and he refused. He cried to God and a rescue squad came and the man refused. When he questioned God "Why won't you help me?" God replied, "I send a volunteer, a boat, a helicopter, etc."

 

How do I get them to see they are the man in the flood? Help is being offered but they aren't taking it because it's not their 'ideal'.

 

My husband can't be active in this, his work is gearing up for a busy time until Thanksgiving, so it's me. All me.

 

I honestly have no clue if DH's little speech will work or not. According to my mother, they have downsized considerably, but my hand on a Bible, they have too much stuff and so much of it isn't being used. They're holding on to it just to have it. It's not benefiting anyone. The garage is packed to the gills.

 

I can't help but think back 17+ years ago when I moved out of my parents' home (I was 20) and began to live independently. I had so many conditions handed to my by my mom, it drove me to truly dislike her as a person and do everything I could to become the opposite of that. I look at her today and everything still has a condition. :0327:

 

I also thought he would have taken more than 2 trucks full of boxes to the storage unit. He hasn't even made a dent in the garage.

Perhaps he's overwhelmed at the thought of another move. Perhaps he's tired. Perhaps he doesn't know where to start....maybe it's too much for him. I don't know.

 

What I do know is that I feel very much like this: :twister3: and this :banghead: and this :tapfoot: and also this :sassing:

 

So. My husband and I are getting out of town this weekend. We rented a room overlooking the ocean. :kissy: We will take some of our hard-earned money and eat out and enjoy each other and come back with a different perspective. The neighbor will check in on the cats and chickens. Maybe things will look better come Monday. At least I have a follow-up with some apartments for them then.

 

Also, I'm really trying hard not to feel resentful...I just know that all of this could have been avoided YEARS ago. *sigh* :buttercup:

 

Edited by Crazy4Canning

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((((C4C))))

Credit to your patience and sticking to what you know is right.

Whatever reason your parents froze into this state, apparently they are waiting for another kind of intervention than anyone can bring them. Difficult as it may be, you are not going to be dragged down by their problems AND you have offered help.

There is not much more you can do but have a great weekend, hold your DH's hand and overlook that ocean.

Wishing you all the strength.

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(((((((((((C4C)))))))))))))))) That and my prayers are all I can offer you. Family drama is never easy. I hope you can find your way through the difficulties and come out on the other side with both theirs and your needs met.

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Why must it be solely your responsibility to get them out of their situation. They are adults, it may just have to be their decision to lose everything if they will not help themselves.

 

Some people need tough love. Can't remember the age of your parents, but if they are legally competent you cannot do anything anyway. Maybe they need to suffer the consequences of their actions. I know you will suffer, too, but isn't that what parents do when their children won't learn-let the children suffer the consequences so they learn. I am here to tell you that we have suffered through our children's consequences---but they did learn, not always the first time either.

 

Love that husband, he must be a good one.

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(((((((C4C)))))))

 

 

It is hard watching the stubbornness of people, especially when it is family. I am watching DH & MIL. Each have their own ideas, what they want, completely different. Each holding their ground. Frustrating for me because I want the best for both. I have suggested Plan A, B, C, D and on and on. But, neither one will concede. And, if I get in the middle, it will all be my fault because I suggested it. No win situation. So, I plug along, watching and praying.

 

God has blessed you to be able to help, but if they do not get in the boat/helicopter, it makes it even harder to deal with it.

 

:pray:

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Virginia - this is the question I've been asking myself for months - years, really. I am the only surviving child. They have no one else. A series of poor financial choices has landed them where they are. We can take steps NOW to deal with the situation or LATER. I hate avoiding conflict, and I have more time *now*.

 

I would liked to have done this earlier, before our rainy season here in the NW, but we didn't have much say about the weather. :)

 

And - I may very well be letting their :smiley_shitfan: if they refuse help. Oh - and they have declared bankruptcy TWICE...this is getting ridiculous.

 

It's so hard to predict things.

 

Why must it be solely your responsibility to get them out of their situation. They are adults, it may just have to be their decision to lose everything if they will not help themselves.

 

Some people need tough love. Can't remember the age of your parents, but if they are legally competent you cannot do anything anyway. Maybe they need to suffer the consequences of their actions. I know you will suffer, too, but isn't that what parents do when their children won't learn-let the children suffer the consequences so they learn. I am here to tell you that we have suffered through our children's consequences---but they did learn, not always the first time either.

 

Love that husband, he must be a good one.

Edited by Crazy4Canning

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Two books that may help you are Boundaries by Henry Cloud and The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey.

 

Dave has some good ideas about family always needing a helping hand with money. He believes in a hand up not a hand out.

 

 

Will be praying for you

 

 

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Well, if they have taken bankruptcy twice, don't guess they learn lessons too well. Still, it is their call if they won't work with you.

 

I am here to tell you, everything is harder the older you get. Recently placing our DF in the nursing home was way harder than any of us expected, for us 3 "kids", but not nearly as hard for him as we had dreaded. He placed his own mother in the NH when he was in his 40s and he did not suffer over it, as we have over him. We are all in our 60s, and it is very emotional for us 3.

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Just, MHO, you'll probably just have to let the chips fall where they may and try to pick up a few pieces afterward. If they are renting and cannot pay their bills, they'll probably end up evicted. Then they will have to come to terms a little with things. I'd be just letting it ride a bit longer and paying my own bills.

 

I know it is hard. My family put me thru the wringer and when they could no longer squeeze anything out, dumped me. Sometimes you have an obligation to say "no".

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I did read the Boundaries book and the Ramsey book. We did offer my Dad help - he was working for us for almost 2 years. Upon doing our books, we realized that the 2nd job my husband was working was killing him and my dad hadn't done anything to better his situation, rather he was just barely holding his head above water and actually digging himself in deeper. We had a 'wake up call' (per my post in September) and can't enable them or regularly support them anymore.

 

Well, I've hosed the past two days calling literally every property company in the area and will have seen 8 apartments by Monday. The housing market is so saturated, most companies are requiring 3 times the rent in income. My parents just don't have the income for even a mediocre place. Believe me, I've looked all over and our city has a cheaper living standard than where they are now.

 

I did see a 'senior' subsidized center today. I could scribble a check and "make it so" but wanted to exhaust all my options first. Kicker is, I believe this is very close to what my dad refused over a year ago when he was OFFERED VA subsidised housing in their city. He was trying to "spare" my mother a 'cramped' apartment and the 'humility' of living in an apartment. Well, this time, the cold hard facts are speaking and this is looking like their *only* option. I think very much my parents will see it as an "old folks home" but it's really not. It's a place for people on fixed incomes.

 

I ran the numbers and inside of a few months, they will have enough to put down for a used car via a credit union. (Did I mention their cars have been falling apart for years and should be 'cubed' - you know, smashed in recycling?)

 

My mom was actually in tears today saying she didn't want to be a burden. She didn't know Dad called me about bills...had no idea they had $5 to their name. No burden, I told her. I wanted them to live within their means however they had to. She seems to not understand "how has it come to this". I don't think she realized Dad got them in over their head years ago.

 

If they choose to refuse our help, it's their choice and I have no qualms about walking away. I just really hope our relationship doesn't suffer...

 

So, my response to my dad today was to tell him I couldn't pay his bills. We didn't have that money. If I did, it would take away from their 'move' money and I was not going to help him in the 'short term' when he needed a long term solution.

 

 

 

 

Just, MHO, you'll probably just have to let the chips fall where they may and try to pick up a few pieces afterward. If they are renting and cannot pay their bills, they'll probably end up evicted. Then they will have to come to terms a little with things. I'd be just letting it ride a bit longer and paying my own bills.

 

I know it is hard. My family put me thru the wringer and when they could no longer squeeze anything out, dumped me. Sometimes you have an obligation to say "no".

Edited by Crazy4Canning

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Oh my... I can imagine how difficult all of this must be and can offer nothing more than a big :bighug2: and a wish that you enjoy your weekend by the ocean. I am glad to hear that you are continuing to focus on your education and find it admirable that you are still managing to try to help your parents without further enabling them. It speaks volumes about the type of person that you are!

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Why not just ask them, are you going to move or not ??? Simple yes or no. Tell them what you found, and see if they will take that place. Otherwise it will be gone. Places to rent do not last for long. Can they still get the VA help ?

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Violet - if it were as simple as a yes or no, I think it would have been decided by now. They just have too much stuff and aren't willing to part with it. I offered MONTHS ago to help dad sell stuff and he refused saying "God told me to keep this stuff."

 

Until I move them to my state and get social services involved, my hands are tied in many ways

 

I saw another 2 places today.

 

As of now, their options are: the Senior subsidized place, affordable but my mother burst into angry tears at the thought, and another place, a bit more and further out, but also affordable.

 

Both are one bedrooms and will fit the bare necessities. If they don't make the choice, I will not make it for them but will back away and let the chips fall where they may. I realized I have to stop caring and live my own life, moreover let the consequences of living beyond their means HIT them HARD.

 

Maybe then they might learn. Maybe not. Monday is another day.

 

 

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On Friday, prior to getting out of town, I saw the last few apartments. While I hate to play non-refundable application fees to two places (the government one and the 2nd, larger option), I may have to to reserve them. Either way, it will be a couple of weeks before a move.

 

It's amazing how you think of things in the middle of a change of scenery.

 

I remember living in these big houses while growing up and dad working hard. Mom always said "I have to have room to breathe"...hence the space. We always had students rent from us and had rooms for company. My adult mind wonders if they were living beyond their means when I was a child because the house we lived in was lost in a bankruptcy...really...I'm wondering how much of their current circumstance is learned behavior (from living beyond their means for so long) and denial that they really don't have any retirement, any savings, ANYTHING. Probably a factor of all those and some I'm not aware of.

 

Monday will be a big decision day...but it was wonderful to get away for the weekend.

 

DH and I drove, watched the sea, had two really marvelous meals, found a fun card game called Five Crowns, similar to rummy/ canasta but just different enough to be challenging. :)

 

He is determined to buy me a 'pretty bauble' for my birthday next month, and I will let him. :)

 

You ladies (and gents) and your listening ears are fabulous.

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I'm glad you had a such a great weekend away with just you and your DH! Sometimes it does help to step back out of the situation and see things from a new perspective.

 

I'm sure you love your parents dearly but it sounds like you are now the momma bird who has to push them out of the nest so they can fly on their own. Then your job can be the wind beneath their wings. But they still have to do the flapping for themselves.

 

Sorry, I got a little mushy there. :unsure:

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Sometimes we need to remember that they are adults, and unless they have totally lost their marbles then we need to step back. We don't have to molly coddle them, they make mistakes, then they live with the consequences. My mum is making decisions I don't feel comfortable with, but they are her decisions, and having told her my concerns, I have stepped back from the problem. It could mean she loses her money, but it is still her decision.

 

So at this point, your answer is: I am sorry you cant pay your bills, but I tried to show you last year a way ahead, and you chose not to move. I cannot afford to pay your bills, as I have my own bills to pay and there simply isn't anything left. When you find a way to live more simply I will help you pack, move whatever is necessary, but I can no longer help you with finances. My husband works hard so that we can meet our expenses, and he is under no obligation to work extra because you cant manage.

 

Yes watching parents make wrong decisions is hard, but our first responsibility is to our immediate family, you cannot keep bailing them out, just as you cannot keep bailing out your adult children. As long as they know you will pay the bills, then it doesn't matter to them, they will still live a luxurious life while you are struggling to save a penny to meet their lifestyle. Something wrong with that picture?

 

I learnt the hard way, lent DD money to go to uni, and she would tell me about going out to dinner, going to the movies, having coffee with friends etc and I had to remind her that it was so sad I couldn't do those things, because she still had my money! after a few of those comments she quickly found a way to pay me back! The thing is, some people do not see that there is anything wrong with the way they live, they have no problem telling you about the bills that have to be paid, because they have done it all their life.

 

Stay strong and firm, but please don't put any more of your hard earned money into that bottomless pit.

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So lovely you had a good weekend away with your DH. Life is too short to be always busy with difficult things. Smelling the roses (or sea air in this case) was a smart move.

And credit to your sensibility and sensitivity towards your parents.

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I worked up a lovely spreadsheet showing current expenses, and 2 options, leading the way to the ONLY option, living in the senior center.

 

Thank you, SueC for the "I'm sorry you can't pay your bills" - it's what I'm going to do...because even no action on their part is a choice.

 

The more I was looking at things, the more I see this should have been done YEARS ago and that yes, it is not my problem they can't uphold their standard of living. I can't help but reflect with irony though, years ago when I moved out out of my parents' house to my own place how oppositional and rude my mother was.

 

We are looking at the 2 apartments today and we will make a choice....

 

Yes, they may be stuck sleeping on their 'guest room' full size bed for a while, but it's a bed and not the floor.

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Well, the decision was made for them on where to live, in a most unlikely fashion. I called Choice #2 back, the apartment non-senior place, with some question about utilities and the lady said they 'suddenly' had a vacancy in a building with ONE step, only it was slightly bigger with a larger floor plan. It was "more handicapped accessible". I ran over to see it yesterday and left application fee money and a deposit. My parents will be signing papers today. The rest of the money will be paid upon move in.

 

It's about 20 minutes away by freeway or about 30 if I take the 'scenic' back-roads route. Grocery, gas, and bank are close.

 

I get a call from my mother this morning, chipper (an oddity, since she's not a morning person) asking again for the name of the person to speak to and where they were going. It sounds like she is having a positive attitude about this move and I am grateful.

 

We have yet to see/ hear when they will move, but I am hoping it is in the first week of November.

 

I'll keep you posted....

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Sounds like a very good solution C4C. Hope you can get the parents moved asap and clean their belongings.

Maybe a yardsale will bring in some extra $$?

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Well, I think we're going by the "sort of fours"; TOSS, DONATE, RE-PACK, SELL

 

The things to sell will be BIG items like a fridge or freezer; extra stacking chairs, etc. These are easily listed on a public sale forum "list" here and then we can arrange for a buyer. I wanted to move them in September, when the weather was better and we could hold a yard sale if necessary. Didn't happen. I am anticipating a few hundred from a sale, though.

 

Sounds like a very good solution C4C. Hope you can get the parents moved asap and clean their belongings.

Maybe a yardsale will bring in some extra $?

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