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Friends and Family Everyone has disagreements, even best friends and family. If you need advice about a relationship, ask us here.

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I am a financial burden to my family - November 30th 2015, 04:43 AM

This thread has been labeled as triggering, particularly on the subject of self harm, by the original poster or by a Moderator. The contents of this thread might therefore not be suitable for certain sensitive users. Please take this into consideration before continuing to read.

I didn't always feel like I was a burden to my family. Specifically to my mother, really; my father has never done anything to make me feel as such. I suppose "inconvenience" could be another good word. Anyhow, I didn't always feel this way, but somewhere along the way in the past few years my mother has managed to terrify me about coming to her with money issues. Over time, that few has led to a rift in our relationship that I don't know how to repair.

It started with my medical care. My mom began making offhand comments about it a few years back. How expensive it was. How hard it was that she had to pay out of pocket for most things. My insurance at the time didn't cover very much, but I liked the health care providers I had, so I stuck with them. I have had mental health issues since I was a child and my mother's comments about the cost of my care shamed me. I began to feel it was my fault that I cost so much, that I was putting a hardship on my family by needing to see a therapist, a psychiatrist, and needing to pay for medications. I began to hate myself for it.

My mom doesn't even pay for everything herself, either. Her and my father split the bills half and half. She, of course, never mentioned this to me. My father is the one who told me he foots half the bill. So I never understood why my mother would go on and on about how expensive it was to pay for my medical care.

Some things I understand my mother being upset paying about. I self-harmed in the past and needed hospitalizations as a result. I could understand her being reluctant to pay those. But, for example, a year and a half ago I had a visit to the emergency room for bad headaches that wouldn't go away with over-the-counter meds, something that completely wasn't my fault. My insurance isn't covering the bill and we have to pay it off. My mom, again, is making this somehow my fault by commenting on how expensive it is.

These comments, combined with her alcoholism and a number of other factors, finally pushed me to move out of her house this year. I moved in with my girlfriend and I couldn't be happier. I never realized how unhappy I was at my mom's until after I moved out. I thought, mistakenly, I wouldn't have to deal with her issues again. I was wrong.

I need to go ahead and upgrade my phone; it's nearly obsolete at this point. When I told my mom, she hemmed and hawed about how expensive it would be, despite the fact she just bought my sister a phone with no complaint (but that's another set of issues entirely). I told her I'd like it as a Christmas present and she could split the cost with Dad and it would be from the two of them. She said okay. Yesterday I went to the phone store to ask about it and I didn't know whether she'd want to pay for the phone upfront or add money to the bill each month to pay the phone off. I called her today to ask about this, and presented to her the fact my father was going with me to sort it out tomorrow and he was willing to do the whole "pay for half" thing. My mother then says to me that it's great he wants to help out but, you know, she is the one who covers my phone bill (true) and insurance (bullshit), but if that's a way the wants to "help out" then that's "great."

The second I hung up I was almost in tears. I am so done with this and I don't know what to do. I am going through a very difficult period right now and I've been afraid to tell my mother to get the help I need because I'm afraid she'll complain about how expensive it is. This phone situation did not help. I feel like I am a financial burden to her and she resents having to pay for things for me. It affects my sense of self-worth and I don't know what to do about it any longer.

Thoughts?



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Re: I am a financial burden to my family - December 1st 2015, 04:14 AM

I don't think you're a burden at all. I personally think people sometimes like having something to complain about. Some people thrive from that kind of thing, and I'm not quite sure why. You said your mom's an alcoholic. Alcoholics have troubles of their own, and she might be taking them out on you as opposed to your sister because she feels safer around you. Her issues are no excuse to treat you like this, though. Do you feel comfortable talking to your mom? She needs to know that her comments are making you feel bad about yourself. If she's aware she'll have a chance to change her behavior. Maybe encourage her to make comments like that in her head, or to write them down so she doesn't say those things in front of you. If you're not comfortable talking to her, do you think you can talk to your dad? Maybe you can get his thoughts on this and he might be good to have around for some support if he goes with you when you talk to her.

As for your phone, I think you should remind your mother that she initially agreed to pay for half the bill. Consider telling her that you've already set things up and see if you can get her to stay on her word. It might also help to mention the fact that she just got your sister one and that you need a new upgrade versus just wanting one.

Keep us posted.


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Re: I am a financial burden to my family - December 1st 2015, 10:33 PM

I think this is something I definitely need to speak to her about since it's so negatively affecting my sense of self-worth. I will probably ask my therapist about how to bring it up, though. I'm just so upset I don't even want to go to our family dinner on Sunday, even though that's when we are decorating our Christmas tree. My poor sister feels incredibly awkward about it, too.

As for the phone, my dad ended up paying for the whole thing and decided not to include it as part of my Christmas present, which was very nice of him. He said it was only fair since my mother paid for my sister's phone. This gets my mother off my back, too, at least for now, while I formulate a plan for talking to her.



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Re: I am a financial burden to my family - December 2nd 2015, 02:22 AM

I'm glad you're considering talking to her about this. Has your mom ever been to one of your therapy sessions before? Do you think she would be willing? It might help to talk to your therapist about what you want to say, and then bring your mom into a session so you can talk to her in a safe place. Your therapist can kind of serve as a mediator in all of this and it can help to have someone around for support.

It was nice of your dad to pay for your phone. I'm happy that worked out for you.


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