In a saga of familial bonds and financial independence, the Original Poster (OP) finds herself at the center of a familial crisis where she must defend her autonomy amidst relentless exploitation. Will she choose her own path or succumb to familial pressures?
At 19, OP lives with her mother due to health conditions but is mostly financially independent. She has her own car, buys her own groceries, and even assists her mother financially. Her mother insists she doesn’t need to pay for rent, so she tries to be generous in other ways with her.
Where Does The Rest Go?
Her earnings primarily go towards her own sustenance, her dog, and her personal hobbies, such as art and cosplay. She feels justified in spending money on her hobbies and interests because she still takes care of herself in every other way.
The Financial Pillar
OP’s mother, with her stable career, supports her large family of nine siblings who struggle to hold down jobs. Relatives frequently appear on their doorstep, seeking temporary shelter, creating a sense of imposition for OP.
On The Defense
OP remains silent about her extended family, feeling that it’s not her place to voice her discomfort. Still, she remains defensive of her mother’s generosity and fears they have taken advantage of her for far too long.
Increased Family Presence
As the holiday season sets in, more family members start to visit OP’s home. The family demands more from them, and OP begins to notice her food and personal items disappearing.
Hard Earned Money
Items such as whole gallons of milk and expensive cosplay costumes are eaten and destroyed. She confronts them about her missing belongings, but her concerns are dismissed without any remediation. OP can’t help but grow bitter at how hard she works every day while her family is taking her things.
Loss of Valuable Possessions
OP’s cousins continue to invade her personal space, resulting in her art supplies and expensive figures getting broken. This disregard for her belongings frustrates OP, especially as some of the destroyed figures are worth hundreds of dollars. Still, her family brushes off her complaints, promising to repay her but never following through.
Family members constantly ask OP for money, supposedly for food or groceries, but then squander it on other things. This adds another layer of frustration for OP, who feels financially exploited. Despite her protests, this misuse of her hard-earned money continues.
The Last Straw
After passing a challenging exam, OP treats herself to a meal from her favorite restaurant. However, she returns from getting a drink to find her aunt rummaging through her food. When OP confronts her, the aunt accuses her of selfishness for not providing enough food for the entire family.
Her aunt complains to the rest of the family about OP’s “selfishness,” causing them to bombard OP with accusations of heartlessness. They call her out for spending money on her interests and not helping with family meals.
Standing Up for Herself
OP, having endured enough, finally confronts her family about their freeloading behavior. She reminds them of their past offenses, from theft to damage and unpaid debts. She asserts her position that she is not their financial crutch and needs to focus on her own life.
Isolation from Family
After the confrontation, OP finds herself ostracized by her relatives, with only her mother remaining neutral yet hopeful of reconciliation. OP can’t help but feel like her mother’s decision to remain neutral is a disguise for being a doormat once again. She feels betrayed by her mother.
Will Not Budge
She has decided to stand her ground, insisting on repayment for all they have taken from her. The question of forgiveness becomes a significant source of tension. Will her money be returned and the relationships mended?
Was Refusing To Financially Support Her Family Appropriate?
The readers in the forum had a lot of mixed views on the matter. Here are some of their responses:
One reader said, “I think you need to move out to get some peace and quiet. Your mom helped and was taken advantage of by her siblings all her life. It is unlikely that will change. If you want your freedom, you should move out.”
Another Commenter Thinks
Another responder wrote: “Your mom is NOT neutral on the situation. She’s enabling them. She’s taught them she’s not to be respected, and now she’s teaching them you’re not to be respected either. Which means she’s on their side when she should be on yours. Your mom sounds codependent.”
A Third View on The Story
A different person states, “ Your family doesn’t respect boundaries because your mother has never established any with them, and her “I’m going to stay neutral because we’re all family” approach shows she will not establish any boundaries.”
A Final Perspective on the Matter
Another viewpoint on the story: “Looks like the trash took itself out. Start saying no, lock up your stuff and put away/hide anything of value, and don’t give in. You should be taking care of your needs first, not everyone else’s. Your family shouldn’t be mooching off you.”
What Do You Think?
What are your thoughts on their actions?
What would you have done in this situation?
This story is inspired by a thread from an online forum.