Cutting off family members

Why can't people take responsibility for their own children?
My sister has 5 children and she is off right now in another state while her oldest (25 year old) child cares for the younger ones (5,7, 14, and 16). She isn't there on business and it's purely a selfish reason. I've reached my emotional limit. I know they are emotionally starved for attention but I'm not able to handle it and it's driving me up the wall. I don't really know how to pull back other than stop answering my calls and not respond to messages on facebook. They are texting/calling/IM nearly 24/7.

I have another cousin who is mentally challenged and she lives with other family members. My uncle hints all the time that she should come to live with me. She is 46 but has the mentality of a 10 year old and requires constant care and monitoring...

How do I get the point across that I am not emotionally or mentally able to handle all this stress and issues? Everyone is coming to me for solutions and I have no advice to give or solutions to suggest.

My sister caused all her problems and she needs to dig her own way out of them. She's had too many people help her over the years and it has just enabled her to continue this cycle of destruction. My other cousin can't help herself and I don't want her to feel like I'm rejecting her....

Thanks for listening....just needed to vent these feelings.


  • kenzie!kenzie! Posts: 5,055Registered Users

    I can't give you any advice, and I know it's a terrible substitute for a real hug, but right now it's all I've got.
    Rock Chalk Baby!! If you aren't from Kansas, you just won't understand!

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  • SystemSystem Posts: 39,060 Administrator
    Thanks, Kenzie. It really does mean a lot. I just really do love my sister but she's an emotional manipulator and I can't play her game anymore. My cousin has 4 brothers and sister-in-laws and someone needs to step in and take charge of the situation - her brothers and/or their wives.

    I just need to vent to get this out. I'm done with carrying around other people's emotional baggage. I'm all for helping out when it's really needed but this isn't one of those times.
  • kat180kat180 Posts: 6,280Registered Users Curl Novice
    Why do you have to look after your cousin? Im just curious as to why your Uncle is putting the pressure on you specifically? Shouldn't he be looking after her, or if he can't, a closer relative?

    That may sound harsh but caring for a mentally disabled person is a big big responsibility and sometimes we just cannot do it. Or perhaps some sort of community (I cant think of the name right now) where they live semi-independently with people around to guide and help them?

    As for your sister - that sucks. Do you mean the younger ones are constantly calling you up for help? Unfair as it is - they do have their 25 year old sibling to be the main guardian right now. Your sister however does need to sort herself out, as its really not fair on her eldest to dump a large family on her.

    Not really any help there sorry. Don't feel bad about taking a step back. You have your life and sanity to think of too!
  • TRBLTRBL Posts: 5,294Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
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  • WileE-DeadWileE-Dead Banned Posts: 24,963Banned Users Curl Neophyte
    I'm guessing spec is the responsible one in the fam. It is a very exhausting role.
    btw...where are the men in this pic?
    Is your sis divorced?
    Your uncle needs to man
    These situations are not just for the women to own, which pisses me off royally..if y'all don't already know! lol
    Caretaking always seems to fall back on the
    tons of (((hugs))) spec
  • eche428eche428 Posts: 2,782Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Oh, Speckla. ((((((HUGS)))))) I don't have any advise just sympathy and that you are not alone.
    < member since 2006 (no idea where 1969 came from :toothy10:).

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  • BoomygrrlBoomygrrl Posts: 4,940Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Sorry you're going thru this Speckla.
    Tell your uncle "no." Set limits. There are plenty of people who can watch your cousin. They do need to step up, and they eventually will have to do so, as long as you don't give in.
    As far as your sister's kids...are they in good hands with the 25 year old? Is this a case for Child Protective Services to get involved? (I don't know how bad it is, so I'm just asking) Limit how much you help there too, but cautiously, as kids are involved.
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  • mrspoppersmrspoppers Posts: 7,223Registered Users Curl Novice
    The situation with your cousin is simple. You just have to say no. Tell them firmly that you are not able or willing to take care of her and leave it at that. It's not your role to even find care for her; so if you don't want to do that, don't.

    Your sister is different. You need to say no. People who manipulate and take advantage always come back and say, "You should have said something." The only thing that bothers me there is that the kids are alone and they're the ones that suffer. Does she have plans to come home? If not, I'd call CPS or get another responsible adult involved.

    I disagree that the responsible one is always taken advantage of. People can only take advantage of you if you let them. There are definitely people that manipulate and do the taking of advantage. However, if you don't allow it, they will take advantage of someone else.
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  • theliothelio Posts: 5,374Registered Users
    Speckla I am soooooo sorry!! I kinda know how you feel. My family tends to look to me for everything. I'm not the eldest and I don't make the most money. but they tend to call me for stuff that i feel they should be dealing with themselves. I have aunts, an uncle, and 3 older cousins, but they all come to me. I think they may have gotten it from my grandmother who even when i was a child said i was more "grown-up" then her eldest daughter. so i think she may have set the stage for everyone relying on me for eveything (money,advice,ect.) I will admit i am probably the most responsible in my family.

    Are you the "responsible one" in the family?

    I have a hard time telling my family no. i have in the pass, and bad stuff went down. Do you also have this problem?

    Why should you take your cousin? Do you have an extra bedroom? Are you already a stay at home mom, so your uncle feels you would be ok w/ it? I feel even worse for your poor niece. what 25 year old wants 4 kids?? the two of you are in the same boat, family is putting everything on you two. your mental state is the most important think. when i start feeling overwelmed by my family, i "disappear". i don't answer the phone, don't even turn on the computer for email. i take care of myself! once i feel enough time has passed, and the drama has blown over i resurface. if this is possible for you to do, maybe you should try it.

    I HTH and I wish the best for you. I am so empathatic and can relate to your issues. i will keep you in my thoughs.
  • redhedgrlTredhedgrlT Posts: 178Registered Users
    Oh my goodness. I think we have the same sister and those poor children. I have four nieces all with emotional damage due to my sister's lack of responsibility.

    I love my sister but we don't talk much because we are such different people and I have a hard time listening to her life woes without venting my frustration. I feel the same way you do. She made these choices in life and she refuses to change. She has told me many times that it is her life and she will live it any way she sees fit reguardless of the damage she is causing others. She is selfish, manipulative and feels a sense of entitlement that I just don't understand.

    I have distanced myself from a few crazy members of my family because their life choices were frustrating but I also live 3000 miles away from my family drama so it is easier for me use that distance.

    All I can say is you have to be strong for you and your family. Do what is right for your mental health and the stability of your family. Everything else come second.

    I hope everything works out. Don't let them suck the life out of you.
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  • WileE-DeadWileE-Dead Banned Posts: 24,963Banned Users Curl Neophyte
    I despise folks that f[o]ck up their own kids........ :confused3:
  • LadyV69LadyV69 Posts: 3,397Registered Users
    You're not responsible for your cousin or your sister. You have your own family that you need to devote your resources to. When the time comes, your cousin's more immediate family members will need to step up and find care for her. As for your sister, stepping in would only enable her and will give her license to continue to avoid responsibility. I know of where I speak. Hopefully things will sort themselves out.
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  • SystemSystem Posts: 39,060 Administrator
    Thank you, Curlies. I ended up sending my sister a message telling her that she needs to go home and be a mother to her children and stop letting other people raise them. There's a lot of other things going on and her ex-husband is trying to get custody of the 14 and 17 year old. My 25 year old niece is thinking about trying for custody of the 5 and 7 year old. She called me back and cussed me out and I said, "I love you, it's the truth, someone needs to say it to you and I don't want to talk about it anymore." And I hung up.

    I truly feel she is an unfit mother and this does not help her case. She is in the middle of a very nasty divorce and I'm staying out of it. I cannot tell you the emotional burden that was lifted off my shoulders after talking to her yesterday. She is an emotional manipulator and you're right, helping just hurts her and the children more. She needs to fall flat on her butt and then get herself up. There are other officials involved with the children and she is being investigated to see if she is a fit parent.

    As for the care of my cousin, I am just ignoring calls and family gatherings until I am able to say, "No." I don't feel I have to give reasons or try to justify my answer. All I hear is, "You only have one child, you have a big house, you blah blah blah..." It's more the fact that everyone wants to pass the buck and I am actually the responsible one in the family. I'm just about the only one who bucked the system and refuses to live like we were raised (no stability, bouncing around from home to home and a lot of other stuff). My family has the motto "family is family and you do for family no matter what." I call BS on that when it comes to people causing their own problems through selfish and avoidable means.

    Thank you!
  • BoomygrrlBoomygrrl Posts: 4,940Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Good for you Speckla! I'm cheering for you..."Go Speckla Go!" You might've stolen my toothbrush and my goodies, but I'll back you up on this one :tongue1:
    That's right, I said it! I wear scrunchies!!

    I am a sulfate washing, cone slabbing, curly lovin' s.o.b. The CG police haven't caught me yet.


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