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post #1 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-08-2012, 07:56 PM Thread Starter
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Advice?

((Probably going to be really long))


I really don't want to go into too many details, and I don't want to make anyone look bad but I really need some advice, as I feel I have come to a crossroads...

About 6 months ago, my lease was up at the house I was renting. It was time to figure out what I was going to do. Andrew and I have been dating for 5 years and we'd found a nice townhome to rent with a private owner who met our pets and was perfectly happy letting us rent, even with the number of cats we own. However, even though we are in our twenties, Andrew's parents pitched a fit on the day we were going to sign the lease, saying that if he moved in with me alone they would disown him from the family if he moved in with me alone before we were married. I was very upset... what was I going to do? I could not afford to live in that apartment alone.

My parents had been in the process of obtaining a second house, with the intention of "flipping" it, which my dad really enjoys. My mom came up with the idea of me living there for a while, helping to renovate the house and then I could save money by not pay rent. The original plan was I would live there alone while Andrew stayed in Madison with some roommates to finish school.

My sister (the one who lost her Kovie) has not been the same since the loss of her cat. She had gotten into drugs, nearly dropped out of school, began emotionally abusing her boyfriend, and dropped into a deep depression from which she has never risen. I tried so hard to support her but it became so difficult, because she would not accept help and would turn on us for no reason at all. My parents told her that until they saw an improvement in her grades and until she passed a drug test that she would have to live at home. She literally cried and threw a temper tantrum (she is 21 years old) until they gave in. She moved in with me. She "passed" her drug test but I have reason to believe she faked it. She skips class and work often. She continues to be depressed.

She is making my life at that house quite miserable indeed. About a week ago she threw a giant fit at Andrew's sister's wedding. It resulted in her boyfriend saying that enough was enough, and he has stopped talking to her. And now she's been lashing out at Andrew and I. I am getting constant jabs and insults from her, she takes my stuff without asking and often breaks it. She has no money (because I believe she is buying drugs with it) but lies to my dad about that fact. So I get no help on the bills. She allows my little sister to come over at lunch with groups of high schoolers, and I have reason to believe that they are smoking pot in my house when I am not home. She also eats all my groceries and buys none, and also serves lunch to the kids, on me. On multiple occasions, they have let my cats outside. When I try to talk to my family about my concerns, they turn their heads. They don't want to hear it. I honestly think they turn a blind eye because they don't want her living in their house either. My mother cries and tells me that I am making her life miserable, and to deal with it myself.

Things have recently gotten really bad. I have tried to simply distance myself from my sister and concentrate on working and hanging out with Andrew. But my sister found out that I spoke to her boyfriend (him and I used to be best friend before he started dating her) on the phone and she literally lost it, screaming and ranting saying "I'm done caring, I'm done loving you, we are no longer sisters." She managed to get my family on her side and all weekend my family has been being absolutely horrible to me. At one point my mother told me my life was worthless and pathetic. I wonder if they have any idea how badly that hurts me. Andrew is so wonderful... he suggested I pack up all my animals and stay at his house for a few days. And so we have, all six of us (me, 4 cats, 1 dog) refugees at the moment.

I have told my parents that we have to talk. My mom is being unreasonable but my dad understands that I have some serious concerns and is willing to listen. I am going to tell him that I cannot tolerate my sister's behavior any more, and that she must have consequences. She is free loading, off of them, off of me and she is treating me, and especially andrew, like garbage. She has been crying to my mother, creating a total pity party. She says she is jealous of my because Andrew treats me so well, and she wants more time to spend with me alone. I tried to explain to my mother that if she wants to hang out with me she only needs to treat me better but she won't have anything of it. She says I am being insensitive to her depression. Have they forgotten than I sacrificed good grades in my last semester to drive an hour after class to help look for Kovie, almost every single day for 2 months? I mean, I understand that she is depressed. I know she must be sad about her boyfriend, even though this has been coming for a long time because she treats him so badly. But I just can't accept it as justification for her behavior. I am willing to forgive her but I honestly don't think she will change. As long as I am there my belongings, and maybe even my cats, are never truly safe.

Now I must decide what to do. The house is an ideal home for my cats. I can live there as long as I need to without ever having to worry about landlords, pet policies, and all the other grief that comes with renting. My dad does not make me pay rent, and he often simply does not collect money from me for the utilities. I am able to put away so much money while I live there, even though I *do* have a 45 minute commute to get to work living there which costs extra money in gas. I can stay there and continue to save money. Now that Andrew is graduated he can finally start to save money too. The days of being broke students are behind us, and maybe soon we will be able to afford to get married However, he does not want to move in to my house. He can stand visiting but he doesn't like to be around my sister, whom he treats kindly and with respect and she treats him with spite in return. If I stay, there will be drama. Should I just stick it out? Continue to try to get through to my sister, my family? I do not think they will ever make my sister move out of there. All our lives, she has always been able to cry and finally get what she wants.

On the other hand I have found a duplex that is up for rent at $700 a month. I could afford the rent with Andrew, and he would like to move into our own place together. The landlord is willing to hear me out on the pets, but if she doesn't then I have problems. The thought of finding a place to rent with the numbers I pets I have that is not gross, and shifty, or totally expensive is positively a nightmare where I live. The duplex we are hoping for actually looks pretty nice. We would be losing $700 every month that we could be putting away... but it turn I think I would be extremely content and happy with the security it would afford me. I would not have to worry about my cats being let and left outside. It is located in a city that puts me only 10 min closer to Madison when I work but 30 minutes away from my family. Then there is Andrew's family. I don't understand why they act the way they do about us living together, threatening to "cut him off", saying it is because they have 'traditional' views. I get along perfectly fine with them... I just don't understand their concerns. We have been dating for over 5 years, and have always been soul mates...


I just would like some advice. Maybe I am just being too sensitive and need to suck it up. Or maybe I need to put some distance between me and my family. My family can be a huge stress in my life sometimes but we are still close. We have always forgiven each other, and moving away might hurt their feelings (ESPECIALLY my sister) but there would be no hard feelings on my part. I just worry about Sarah being alone in that house, because all though she says such horrid things about me, I really do think it's true that she is sad and in a way "wants me to herself". Gah, I have just been so conflicted and confused lately.

I suppose I should wrap this up :-/

Last edited by RachandNito; 01-08-2012 at 08:01 PM.
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post #2 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-08-2012, 08:02 PM
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I think you should stay where you are, evict your sister, and move Andrew in. It may be rough with your family for a while - believe me, my family puts the dys in dysfunctional - but they should be dealing with their own daughter, not putting it on you.

Bring your sister's stuff to your parents' house, dump it on the front lawn if you have to.

Take your life back.

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post #3 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-08-2012, 08:06 PM Thread Starter
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That is something, I am afraid, will simply never happen. It is not my house, and I know that my consequences of doing that would be quite serious to me. My dad owns the house and does not have to let me live there (as he constantly reminds me). He doesn't have to let me live there, with my cats. My mother likes to remind me that if it weren't for them, I could be faced with the idea of being forced to part with my pets. They *know* how much each and every one of them means to me. And so I am trapped.

I have been saving so much money lately though. But I still don't have enough to be fully on my own yet. I simply can't get kicked out.
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post #4 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-08-2012, 08:11 PM
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Sorry, when you said your Dad was "willing to listen" I guess I read more into it.

I think you should pursue that duplex. If it doesn't work out, keep looking. This should not be put on you.

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Last edited by marie73; 01-08-2012 at 09:00 PM.
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post #5 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-08-2012, 08:24 PM
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Sorry for the situation you're in....sounds absolutely terrible.

Just my opinion from reading your post, but I would pursue that duplex with Andrew. Hopefully they will allow you to rent there w/ your cats. And regarding his family and their issue with you guys moving in together....I think you both need to have a civil conversation with them about it, stating how committed you are and that you have every intention of getting married (if you do, of course), but that it may be a while for financial reasons.
Personally, I don't understand why people feel you have to be married to move in together. I think it's pure stupidity to NOT live together before you get married....but then again, I'm not exactly religious. Time have changed though, that's for sure.

Anyways, I wish you the best of luck. It's definitely a very tough situation you're in.
You'll get past the hurdles though, and you'll be a better person in the end.
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post #6 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-08-2012, 08:30 PM Thread Starter
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Marie- My dad she he'll listen, but I just don't think things will change because it's never really changed things in the past. (He has heard most of my concerns before)

Kimberly- Thanks for the encouragement *hugs* I know I would be happy living with Andrew, but the thought of having yet another bills makes me a little nervous. But I'd have Andrew's help paying them so it wouldn't be that bad.
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post #7 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-08-2012, 08:51 PM
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I come from a very..intrusive... family. We all lived in walking distance and it was pretty common to come home and find a sister in law/brother/ mom rifling through the cupboards looking for ingredients for their dinner or plopped on the couch watching TV....Sundays were always for family dinners and always at expensive restaurants I couldn't really afford but was expected to attend anyway. We were expected to join in on ALL family vacations... often that we couldn't really afford. When my ex husband and I would tell them it bothered us they would laugh and say that we all do it, so it's no big deal.... well it was a big deal... to us.

I was in the same boat, I was living in a house of my moms and didn't pay rent. We lived *very* well and had free board for 4 horses and our dogs were fed out of the bulk food bought for the kennel. The kennel had an arrangement with a local vet so I had free vet care for all my animals. I hung on there for 11 years.... and dealt with petty family squabbles and inconsiderate behavior. One day I just wanted more. I wanted my OWN life. Not living their lives in a borrowed house.

I'll tell you what, I struggle a LOT more now. Money is tight and I can't have 3 or 4 dogs. I can't have a horse. HOwever, it's *MORE* than worth everything I've given up. To come home to my OWN apartment and it's MINE. No one had suggestions (or took over) when I decorated it. No one has an opinion on who gets to visit. When I put something down and go to work... it's STILL THERE when I get home (Unless Book has dragged it off and destroyed it). My belongings are mine and if someone enters who disrespects them or me I can ask them to either stop or they have to leave.

Seriously, look into the new place. If worse comes to worse you can look for roommates. At least with a roommate you'd have some objectivity and can kick them out and find a new one if they aren't doing their share.

I know that they effect you but Andrews issues with his parents are his own and not yours. Don't push him to make a decision that might cut him off from his parents. It will cause trouble in the long run if you have ANYthing to do with that decision. He needs to make it on his own and be responsible for the consequences. I would discuss with him what you want to do. "Hey, I want to move out. I've found a place and am going to need to live with someone. I can leave that spot for you or I can start interviewing roommates. It's up to you, I need to know in two weeks."

I love my family but now my life is MINE.. not theirs. Your relationship is strained with your family and you are building a LOT of resentment and hurt feelings. Take control of your life and you'll find a whole new relationship with them on an adult level.
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post #8 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-08-2012, 09:21 PM
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You are not your sister's keeper, she has no right to make you miserable and you have no obligation to put up with it. Get proof of the drug use and that she's aiding and abetting your younger sister to also use drugs (web cam maybe?) and confront your parents with it. If they still do nothing then you know you need to move out no matter what.


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post #9 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-08-2012, 09:32 PM
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Does your sister attend NA 12 step meetings?
Going through rehab isn't going to keep someone clean without follow up.
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post #10 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-08-2012, 09:53 PM
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I am very sorry, Rach.

Go for the duplex. I agree with Krissy when she says you should take control of your life. Sooner or later, you'll have to, unless you never want to live a true life. And what doodle says is key: you have NO obligation to put up with any of this stuff. A lot of people think they have to put up with bad stuff because "it's family". You don't. You love them, yes, but your life is your own.

Oh you have no idea how much I can relate to your situation. I'm 30 now, and when I was 27-28 I had to deal with something very similar. I made the right decision, even if it was the scary one (and the tough one). And I'm free now. And I'm happy.

A BIG hug for you. PM me if you want to talk more.
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