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 have to tell you the story of my life so that you can understand my current situation.
My mother was fifteen when I was born. Shortly after that my dad broke up with her. My mom told me later that my dad was abusive towards both of us, but I cannot remember anything about that.
We then went to live with my grandmother, who told me lots of stories and always smelt warm and lovely. My mom had a nice boyfriend who always played with me and took me to the park.
Then my grandmother died in an accident. My mom and her boyfriend started to argue (I was four at the time) and she tried to kill herself twice. She was already drinking heavily and was declared an unfit mother.
I then had to live with my dad and his wife (between my parents I have lived in about 15 countries over the past 17 years). They are both alcoholics and unpleasant people at the best of times. My dad used to beat me whenever I spoke about my mom. His wife did stuff to me and when I tried to complain to my dad, he accused me of making up stories and trying to take his wife away from him – when all I wanted was for her to leave me alone.
My dad told me if I complained about her or him, welfare workers will take their time and investigate everything before taking me away, and that while they do their investigation, he would make my life hell.
I moved back in with my mom when I was 11, and even as a child I was shocked at the state she was in. She is anorexic and depressed and self-mutilates. She never sleeps – instead she would wake up, drink too much, and pass out, only to wake up and start drinking again. She tells me just about every day that she wants to kill herself. I have spent the past six years talking her out of it almost daily and I am tired.
It got to a point where I started drinking with her, because if I did not she would blame me for who she is and tell me that I am looking down on her.