Advice

On dealing with childish parents.

I remember you saying something about a girl who was looking for love from a child that she can only find within herself.

My mother convinced me into letting her move back in with me after she left when I was a 16 year old drug addict. She married a guy she met three weeks prior to leaving and rarely spoke to me for two years. Why? Several stories framing my father negatively that have had an immense impact on my relationship with him. I let her go because I believed that it was her turn to enjoy this time in her life.

During this period, I managed to get my act together and make it into one of the top 50 universities in the country. My wealthy father signed me onto the deed for the house, which has now become my homestead. I am a home owner at 20 although he will pay the bills until I am able to support myself with my degrees.

Now my kind-hearted stepfather, who treats my mother like a queen but who makes a modest living, can’t afford my father’s lifestyle. So my mother, mid-nervous breakdown calls me up and tells me that she still loves my father and that my stepfather can’t meet her needs. She’s moving back to live with me.

My father wants his trophy wife back and is pretty candid about his agenda. Well, The dust settles within two days and she’s still in a suspiciously saccharine relationship with my stepfather and claims to have no intentions of being with my father again. But she gets a new job in my area moves back into my house (which is paid for by my father) under the premise that this is a temporary (2-3 months) stay until her husband can find a job here and they can settle into a new home. Okay.

While here, she one day set me up with a seemingly heartwarming, leaving-the-nest sort of conversation about her realization that I’m older and I need my privacy. I agree that she and her husband also need their privacy.

In moments, it erupted into, “You ungrateful brat! You ought to be on your hands and knees begging me to stay.” I believe she didn’t want to leave as badly as she wanted me to beg her not to go.

A life of clinical depression and a PTSD victim due to childhood abuse left her all kinds of fucked up. My father was never around and was constantly cheating on her. I remember her drinking herself to sleep and explaining her first legitimate suicide attempt to me before I was 10. I cannot bear to think that the one parent who was present most of the time for the majority of my life is suffering in this way.

I want her to be happy but I’m afraid she will always suffer from delusions of grandeur. I resent her for manipulating me into giving her my blessing for leaving the first time, forgiving her for emotionally disturbing fights (I invited my father to a family get together and my birth became the biggest mistake she ever made [I know my father’s invitation is not the root of the problem]), and for the newest project: moving back into my and my father’s house. Remember the 2-3 month deal? Now she’s proposing a bedroom switch for $100/mo. so that she and her husband can live here for (quoted via text message)”2 months? 7 months? 12 months? I don’t know. No hard feelings if you don’t want to switch.”

I want this woman out of this house. I feel that if I explain that I, as well as she and her husband, need privacy and that she should find a new home, I’ll just be acting like a selfish brat. On the other hand, I feel like I’m dealing with a 60-year-old selfish brat. Truth is, while the house is in my name, my father is paying for it. What makes me believe I’m not being a piece of shit is that after the fight regarding my lack of servitude to her highness, my father asked me “do you want her living here? You need to do well in school and I know this is going to be a distraction.”

We got along much better when we didn’t have to deal with each other more than a few times a month over the phone.

Any insight is appreciated.

Don’t kid yourself. You are not a homeowner. If you were, you could sell that house and move to a new city, which is exactly what you should do.

Thing is, you can’t. Your name may be on the deed, but your father owns that house, and putting it in your name is nothing more than divorced family estate planning.

All he’s doing is protecting his assets and keeping a roof over your head while you’re in college. That’s cool and all, but don’t pretend he’s bestowing some grand largesse.

In fact, he’s put you in an incredibly awkward position where you have landlord authority over your mother, who by your own account is mentally unstable, manipulative, and childishly selfish.

Your father is a fucking adult. He should be man enough to deal with his crazy ex wife and not force his daughter to make the tough decisions.

Then again, your mom is a fucking adult too. She shouldn’t be taking advantage of her daughter by crashing at her ex-husband’s house — and seven to twelve months? Fuck that. She should be able to find a place and move out within thirty days, period.

Neither of your parents are acting responsibly, so it falls to you.

Who stays? Who goes? It sucks, but it’s your call.

The very fact that your parents (both of them) have cornered you into making this decision is something that you need to reflect upon. They are the ones being selfish and bratty by dumping this decision in your lap. Not you.

It’s seems you’ve surpassed the emotional maturity of your parents at the ripe old age of twenty, so from here on out you need to be ready to deal with this kind of shit.

I suggest you start off strong. Don’t let them manipulate you, and establish yourself early on as an adult whose decisions they have to respect.

Set a hard move-out date for your mom. Tell her you want her out in thirty days and enforce it with financial penalties. (Don’t worry, I have a feeling your dad would help you collect.)

As for your dad, tell him you plan to sell the house as soon as you graduate. It may look like a home, but you’re living in the bombed out remains of your parents’ mid-life crises, and it will always be an emotional distraction regardless of whether your mother has a room there.

If you like living there and don’t want to move, that’s fine. Still, don’t let your dad manipulate you with his money. By putting your name on the deed, he’s forced you to take on responsibility with no real authority.

Don’t get in the habit of letting people do that.

Anyways, welcome to adulthood.

Good luck, and be strong.

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