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Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Trapped at home by family

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  • #1103393 Reply
    Ian
    Guest

    Hi, I’ve just turned 40, I had to move home approx 3 years ago after my relationship of almost 10 years ended and I hoped I could find my feet and get over what happened and find a new life for myself whatever that was. Since moving back home my dads health failed dramatically so he has been unwell and I’ve helped to be here looking after him which I don’t regret in the slightest as I love him, he’s my dad. However my mum has a spending above her means addiction and spends money she does not have on everything and anything, she’s racked up almost £30k in cars and loan debts (including stealing my credit card once to pay for random things) I only found out when the statement came through will all the charges. And also came to light she hasn’t been paying the mortgage of which there was £87k outstanding. What a mess! I’ve always been sensible with money and finances and planning ahead to budget and prioritize outgoings and my family pray on this. My brother who is older than me still lives at home as they have always allowed him to get away with things and he is an alcoholic. He has no ambition, no drive, no aspiration to want more or make anything of himself and spends every day and night in his room drinking can after can, causing arguments and generally disgracing himself around the house. So, me being me I tried to rationally think of a way out of the financial mess as how could I just move on selfishly and leave my family in such lending doom?! A house repossession as the mortgage was due to be paid in full by Aug 2023. So I made an appointment with a mortgage advisor at my mum and dads bank and they advised me to pay a lump sum and standards consistent payments each month so that even if it comes to the end of the mortgage term it will set us in good stead for them to possibly extending it to give us more time to pay it off. I agreed and paid ALL of my savings which was £15k I’m not in a high paying wage by any means and that to me was a lot of money, since then I’ve paid £400 each month to the mortgage, saved £500 and a separate £200 in a help to buy ISA. in the hope I can save another lump sum at the end to pay off what’s outstanding if needed. I’ve foregone holidays, nights out with friends, buying a new car (mine is now almost 20 years old and I have to really look after it) I’m careful what I spend I have to be. I spend most of my time in my bedroom or walking the dog just to get away from my family as they are unbearable, my mum splashing money around on things not needed, wasting it all, my brother sponging off my parents to spend on drink and me here scrimping and saving to try my hardest to get us out of this awful situation and all the time feeling miserable with no life of my own.only last night I heard my mum talking with my brother that she’ll be buying a large expensive summer house for the garden and when I approached her about it and told her it isn’t on how I’m being treated and expected to bail us out when she’s spending and spending is really a piss take and I flew off the handle! So I’ve paid £35k to the mortgage, I have a separate £18k in savings and I’ve threatened to just stop paying cut my losses and find a place of my own. I’m obviously still single since having zero life for the last 3 years so I’ll be going it alone,I really feel I need to take this leap away to just get out, for my own sanity and happiness even though my mum doesn’t take me seriously or believe I really would. I really want to. Am I imagining this whole nightmare? I
    Know I’ll feel guilty if I left because I care deep down and wouldn’t want it on y conscience that I’ve abandoned my family but how could they treat me this way? Expect me to be happy living a life at the age of 40 in my bedroom with nothing of my own to show for all my hard work? Who’s parents wouldn’t want that for their children? I feel
    I’m living a nightmare but it’s my real every day life. I desperately need advice what to do, I really need help
    As I’m not getting help from my family who you’d expect to care

    #1103395 Reply
    Ange
    Guest

    It’s too late to put the genie back in the bottle but without the root cause of the financial issues being solved this was always going to happen, unfortunately.

    Is there any way to cut your mother off, or at least curtail her spending ability a bit? Maybe get your name on the house so you’re not propping everyone else up with nothing to show for it in the end? Public housing if you let the house go?

    What you’re doing with your dad is incredibly noble and lovely but you’re also hurting yourself in the long run. You have the potential to get out and make a bit of a life eventually but that won’t happen if you sink all your money into a house you have no claim over that you know your mum will happily let go into foreclosure the second your back is turned. Maybe getting a financial advisor or something to come out and lay it all out to everyone is an option but they have to want to change and I’m not seeing that they do. If not see one for yourself to figure out what steps you might be able to take.

    You’ve tried really, really hard and it’s cost you financially and emotionally. I don’t think anyone would blame you if you left them to it. If you must support them do it in ways they can’t piss away like with groceries, home help for your dad or paying some bills.

    #1103408 Reply
    golfer.gal
    Guest

    Unfortunately you’re never going to be able to help people who won’t help themselves. You can’t keep putting your life on hold, sacrificing your happiness, and sacrificing your own future for people who won’t change. You’re setting yourself up to be unable to retire.

    Is there a way to put the house in your name? That way you aren’t just wasting money, but you’ll be building equity. I would say that, unless they’re willing to sign it over to you, you should stop paying the mortgage. As painful as it will be to watch, you’re going to have to let your family fall. Your brother can work, your mom can stop spending. As soon as you hand the consequences of their actions back to them, instead of absorbing them yourself, you may find that they’re finally willing to change. Even if they don’t, handing their consequences back will mean you get your life back in the process. Please consider some therapy sessions to help you work through your feelings around this and formulate a plan to get out and start living a better life. Can you find a place to live where your dad can also eventually come and stay if/when the house is foreclosed?

    #1103412 Reply
    Oracle
    Guest

    Forget the house. There will be other houses. You were not put on this earth to just serve others. Move out as in yesterday. If your dad wants he can join you now or latter. It’s probably latter since he’s not seeing or accepting how things really are. Just how bad do things have to get before you take care of yourself?

    #1103416 Reply
    LisforLeslie
    Guest

    Oof. You’re one person taking care of four adults (yourself included) that’s ridiculous. Get some legal advice. See if you can let the house go into foreclosure and then buy it at a short sale. The bank doesn’t want the property and since you’re working, you might be able to get it very cheaply.

    Then you can kick your brother out and force your parents into a bankruptcy so that your mom can’t get any more credit.

    Put all of your cards on notice of spending. I have my card set so that I get an alert for any purchase over $1. Put your credit on watch so that if anyone tries to take out a card or loan in your name – you are notified.

    #1103418 Reply
    Ian
    Guest

    Thank you for your advice and most of all listening, it’s so difficult having to deal with so much with no support. Since the other night when I told my mum exactly what I think we haven’t spoken since and today I made the move to tell her I’d like to talk seriously about the house. She agreed to talk later tonight even though her response was with a venomous tone, so I’ll air my thoughts, concerns rationally and see what response I’m met with. After reading your kind advice so far either way I would like to get out what I’ve put into the house so far £35k whether now or down the road it doesn’t matter to me, I think it’s only fair. I’m reluctant to pay any more towards the house seeing as I’m be treated unfairly this way and like you mention setting myself up with no life of my own. As far as I see it there are 2 outcomes here. I seek something formal, get my name on the house, something official in writing to ensure that at least I’ll get that money back no matter what happens, foreclosure or selling the house or even down the line if the mortgage is eventually paid off by way of a miracle. If it was official and I continued to pay off the mortgage it just means over another year of misery living here with the way things are, having to put up with my mums bad spending, watching my brother trash the place and mum spend her money on things around the house which isn’t what I would want if I were to eventually own the house. Or I cut my ties, look after myself and find a place of my own, start saving for myself and hope I eventually get what I put into the house back one day in the future somehow. Unfortunately my dad is so unwell we know we only have a select time left with him and he doesn’t need this stress and upset so I don’t want to let him know, my mum twists things and lies to suit her cause so I really am up against this alone. Let’s see how the talk goes this evening

    #1103424 Reply
    golfer.gal
    Guest

    Ian, just some food for thought – don’t be surprised if the conversation doesn’t go well. You’re telling your mom (and maybe your brother as well?) that you’re handing the consequences of her behavior back to her, and she’s not going to like it. What’s important here is deciding what YOU want to change, and communicating that to her. You’re telling, not asking, and you don’t need her approval. If you need her buy-in, for example to sign over the house (which maybe you don’t actually want as it sounds like a burden), then tell her that and if she won’t give it, ok. Make your plans to cut your losses and leave. She can tantrum, be angry, threaten, whatever. That’s her choice, it shouldn’t weaken your conviction.

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