I am the only financially independent person in my family. When I was younger I had a learning disability but I have outgrown it. I grew up with people telling me I am slow, not smart enough and good for nothing. Today I am studying for a degree in psychology. I have my own home, a car, and I take care of my little son.
I work three days a week. I have no choice other than to use my brother for child care, because I don’t earn enough to be able to afford child care. My brother has been in and out of prison for years. My son is a little slow on remembering colors and numbers. My brother keeps telling me that I should give up work to take care of my son, but he has never bothered to take care of his own children. My son asked me the other day why he is stupid. He never heard that from me, and it could only have come from my brother.
I once published some poetry with money I saved, and all my family could do was to criticize me. They also have a lot to say about my weight (I am very slender by nature) and the way I speak. Whenever I do something positive, they tell me it won’t last.
When I get income tax money back, I help them but they ignore that and never have anything good to say about me. They all have a history of prison and drugs and neglecting their children. I have never done any of that. I hate these people and don’t know how I can get away from my family. What can I do to escape them?
I am in a prestigious high school where my parents enrolled me in a program for highly gifted students. This program is stressing me out completely, because I have no social life and get about four hours per night sleep.
I go home and cry every day because it is just too much for me. I don’t even go out over weekends, because I have to study.
My parents are divorced. My dad wants me to qualify for an elite American school but my mom wants me to get into a Japanese school. They cannot even agree over custody of me and I am being pulled in so many directions.
What can I do to deal with the stress?
I am due to have a baby in the next few weeks. I have everything ready for the baby for the first few months, and my mother has also contributed a lot.
Currently my boyfriend and I live in the attic of his parents’ house. We don’t have much privacy. We have planned this and agreed to move into our own place two months from now. This is not the best time to move, because my boyfriend recently got arrested for drunk driving. As a result he now has to pay court fees and other fines and I have only now discovered how much debt he has on his credit card. I also have some, but I have a firm plan to pay it off within the next five months.
My mother is now nagging for us to move out at the end of this month, and says she will help us with a deposit. She has calculated that with my maternity benefits and my boyfriend’s salary we should be OK for a few months. My boyfriend’s mother, on the other hand, wants us to stay here for another six months and first pay off our debts.
Both my mother and my boyfriend’s mother are telling me all the time how I should raise my baby - and this is even before the baby is born!
Now my boyfriend says I am selfish because I insist that we ignore both our mothers and stick to the plan we agreed to. He says I am not thinking about the baby, when in fact he is the one who made stupid decisions. I am the one who has been saving and buying things for the baby.
I feel stuck in the middle, and I am being treated as if I have no opinion of my own. How do I get control of my situation?
I am in my twenties and feel quite insecure because I really care about my best friend but she does not care as much for me.
There is another girl in our group who is very rude towards everyone but very sweet towards my best friend. I do feel possessive when this happens, and I don’t want to, but some time ago the two of them were best friends until they fell out.
I don’t want to get hurt when my best friend chooses this girl over me. I have been quite busy recently and don’t meet with my best friend every day, but the other girl does and I am concerned that my best friend will forget me.
Wherever we have an argument, I am always the one who apologizes, even if it is not my fault.
I want to stop worrying about losing this friendship, but I know I can’t because it has happened many times that I had a best friend and another girl came and took her away.
Why is it that I care so much and other people don’t even seem to care? I don’t have a sister or relative of my own age and I feel lonely. When I then find a friend I get too attached to them and then I lose them. I don’t want to hurt myself again. Please help me.
I am 22 and have recently got engaged to my fiancé who is 31. We have decided on our wedding date a year from now. The moment we announced it, his mother told us to not plan a wedding, but rather live together first.
We had planned on moving in together soon anyway, but when his mother discovered that we were already looking at places, she told my fiancé that we should put that on hold too.
The problem is that my fiancé and I agree on things, and then his mother interferes when I am not around. He says he defends our decisions, but eventually he gives in to her.
His mother says I am too young and therefore I don’t know what I want. However, I know very much what I want.
Because of all this it is very hard to plan our wedding. I am worried that all of this is happening even before we are married. How do I stand up for myself without coming across as rude?
I have so much family drama that I just cannot cope with. The trouble is that I have views which clash with the views of my mother, my sister and her husband, and my grandfather.
About a year ago I graduated from high school, got engaged and moved quite far from home. During that time my father went to a hospice and soon after passed away.
My family decided to ‘make an example of me’. I was told that I am no longer welcome at family events, and I was not allowed to attend my father’s funeral.
I don’t understand their hostility, and they refuse to talk to me. How can I deal with it?
I am 19 and have gone through a number of changes recently. Within a year I graduated from high school, got my first home and got married.
A few months ago my husband’s best friend moved in with us – only for a few weeks, but then the weeks turned into months. Initially it worked out fine, but now things are getting totally out of hand.
We have a big TV in our house. Recently this man decided to buy a projector, put it in the middle of the lounge floor, and put up a white sheet in the middle of my house. He did not ask for permission, and when I asked him to take the stuff out of the way, he just ignored me.
He also bought an additional TV so that he and my husband could play games together, each using their own TV. I just got ignored in all of this, as if I don’t exist.
My husband works day shifts and his friend works nights. This friend decides when the air conditioning should be switched on during the day, and he takes control of the TV all day because he does not like my choice of shows.
Before this man moved in with us, we coped financially, but now we often overspend because just the food he eats cost more than the minimal rent he pays.
Our bills for internet use, phone and electricity have gone up. He claims that he cannot pay more rent, but he spends cash on computer games, brand-new state-of-the-art TV sets and other gadgets that are taking over my house.
I like to keep things neat and tidy, but it is impossible with this man making a mess all day and never cleaning up after himself.
My husband and I have started to argue about things that we in the past had no problems with.
Is it wrong to feel the way I do?
My mom passed away nine years ago when I was ten years old. I feel I have dealt with it, but I don’t think my dad has.
He has quite a stressful job, and comes home shouting at me and my sister for the tiniest things. This has been getting worse over the past year or so. I would not say he is abusive – I can see that when he raises his voice something stops him and he actually feels embarrassed without us saying anything.
He has not dated since my mom passed away, and I think he feels the loss even more when he does not have a partner to talk things through with. His stress is affecting everyone in the house.
I am also worried about his physical health since he has started drinking quite a lot. I wouldn’t say he is an alcoholic, but I am worried that it will get worse.
I want to go to university soon, but I can see that he wouldn’t cope without me, and I don’t want my little sister to take over from me and spend her life caring for him.
How do I get my dad to agree to family counselling? I feel that would have a better chance than me asking him to go for personal counselling – he has his pride
My husband and I have a young daughter that I have been home-schooling for the past two years, with no success because she hates it.
She has been in about twenty schools already, and each time I took her out of the school because she was being abused and bullied. She sings beautifully but has never had a chance to prove herself, and I cannot send her to dance classes because of the expense.
My husband works long hours just to keep us all going and we cannot afford a tutor. I have no transport and spend most of my time at home with my daughter. Often my husband just comes home to change clothes before he goes out again, and we hardly ever talk. When he does have time to talk to me, he just tells me what I do wrong.
I am very concerned that I am becoming more and more miserable and that I am letting my daughter down. How can I change the situation?
I used to get along so well with both my mother and my grandmother, and I love them both dearly. My husband and I lived in another town, but moved closer to my mother because we are planning to have a baby soon and could do with the help.
That is where the problems started.
My mother now wants to know everything about me and my husband – especially me – and it is getting out of hand. When she does not hear from me often enough, she calls me and leaves hysterical messages. She wants to hear from me every day, and I refuse to call her that often.
My grandmother lives just up the street and doesn’t call me every day, but she has another way of stalking me. When she does call and I don’t respond, she simply walks to my house and enters without knocking. I have asked her not to do it, but she just ignores me.
When my grandmother wants to go anywhere, she just marches up to my house and expects me to leave everything and take her. When I refuse she goes and sits in the car waiting for me.
Both of them want to know when my husband and I go out and when we return, and if we don’t call them, they both freak out about my safety – as if my husband can’t take care of me!
We are at a point where we just want to pack our stuff and move away, and have a baby without even telling them about it.
Please don’t tell me to talk to them about this, because I know it won’t make any difference. What else can I do to get them out of my hair?