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By September 7, 2013

Overworked and Stressed Out From Codependent Family

Dear Ms. HeartBeat:
I am a single 25 year old mother of a 5 year old girl. I work full-time and take classes online at night once my child is asleep. I sleep maybe 3-4 hours a night.  I’m overworked, underpaid and stressed to the max. I left her father when she was one year old after being in a unhealthy relationship with him for six years. He hasn’t seen her since and doesn’t support her at all because I won’t be with him.

When I became a mother, my life changed for the better and he was not a good person to be around my daughter. Yes, he is her dad but is not a positive role model nor is he safe to be around. My daughter and I moved with my mother and five brothers – we moved into a home that we all agreed to pay rent for together, equally.

I put the lease in my name because no one else has okay credit and wouldn’t get approved for a lease. Now, my brothers all went to live else where (girlfriends or buddies), leaving me with this expensive rent and bills, along with my own personal bills and of course my child’s needs. I have been struggling the past year taking care of the house, my mom (no income) and my daughter. My income is less than my monthly expenses so I’ve been taking from my savings account every month, which is almost gone.

8163244_sI feel betrayed that my brothers left me with this burden and are living for free off of someone else’s handout. All I do is work. My daughter is in school most the day and goes to daycare for 2 hours after school until I get off of work and pick her up.  Anyways, three of my brothers now have come back to live in the house but don’t help with anything! I have gotten into many arguments with them and even my mom over this.  She says I’m not right and don’t know the meaning of family.

They came there without my knowledge one night and have been there for 5 months now for free. It pisses me off that I go to work everyday and struggle just to survive and pay for a home where grown men are sitting on there ass for free! Don’t help with rent, utilities, groceries – don’t even clean up! To make it worse, one of their girlfriends and child has now moved in too, and no one even has enough respect to ask me and when I flip out, I’m in the wrong??

My mother takes up for her lame ass sons by saying they’re here temporarily until they save enough money up to get their own apartment! She forgets that I haven moved out because I know she needs me to help her. I’d like to save up enough to get my own home too, but I can’t catch up because I’m paying for all this by myself while other capable people don’t do shit.

I have a child that needs a home, so not paying for this mess is not an option. All this stress is getting to me and I don’t know what to do. I know if I say fu*k them all and just take my daughter and go, then when I work at nights my mom will not watch my daughter for me and I’ll get fired and be more stressed than I am now  ( I have to work two nights a week every month).

Also if I leave, I’d feel so guilty if something happened to my mom. If my brothers were incapable of working and caring for themselves, I’d be more than welcoming, but they do work yet still don’t feel the need to help out. They even eat the groceries I put into the house. Am I overreacting or what?? Advice please!

Losing It

Dear Losing It:
You are an amazing young lady – such a determined go getter! Your daughter has a fabulous example of how to hold it down and make things happen!

The only problem I’m having with you is your loyalty to loving and caring for people that have no willingness to love and care for you in return. One sided loyalty is for suckas, and doing so sets you up to be used and abused in codependent relationships with Takers. It is time for you to stand up for yourself and demand that the men in your life be responsible and accountable.  So this is what I suggest you do, in this order:

#1 Contact Child Support. The father needs to be on paper and made to help care for his child since he won’t do it voluntarily.  Do not back down and do not feel sorry for him. He’s had five years to skate by without paying a dime, but playtime for him is now OVER. Your daughter deserves to have his contribution to her daily expenses, just as you do . You didn’t make the child by yourself and shouldn’t have to feel solely responsible for her and be under all this financial stress while he spends his money on drink and women.

#2 Contact the Department of Social Services. Look into subsidized child care services. Most counties have programs that help single moms in your situation. See if there are any other services offered by agencies that would be helpful for the two of you.

#3 Terminate the Lease on the House.  Give a written 30-day notice to the home owner, then post a copy of the letter up on the refrigerator for all to see about two weeks after that. They need to understand that they have two weeks to GTFO because you are moving and the lease in your name is terminated. If they want to renew the lease in their names, they can feel free. Any deposit paid on the property will be returned solely to you as the lease holder. Even if they did put something into it, their share has been eaten up and used up in rent and on utilities, so they get NOTHING.  When the day comes for you to move, get your shit and go. Whether they continue to live there or live in a hotel, you don’t give a fuck where they go but you won’t be supporting grown ass men another day.

#4 Transfer Any Utilities in Your Name to Your New Place. If they decide to stay in the house, one of them needs to put services for power, water, garbage, telephone and cable in their names, as you will be taking your accounts with you when you go. Make sure they understand they will be in the house with no water or power if they decide not to move out.  Don’t listen to them whining about how you don’t care. You’ve cared enough for 10 people for far too long.

#5 Find a One/One with Den, or Two Bedroom Apartment in as Nice an Area as You Can Afford. You and your daughter can share a room for a year or two while you restock your savings account and prepare to buy a home of your own. Start looking now for an older single woman with whom you can leave your daughter on the evenings you work – a single  retiree or widow is usually good because they need the extra income and don’t have freaky ass husbands hanging around.

#6 Keep Your Mouth Closed About Where You’re Moving.  When you get your new place do not tell them where you live. Rent a post office box near your job, and have all your mail forwarded there. Use it as the place where your bills are sent to as well, checks, credit card statements, everything. DO NOT PUT YOUR HOME ADDRESS ON ANYTHING. This level of privacy is going to be your protective shield and the key to your success in breaking the noose your dysfunctional family has around your neck.

Do not concern yourself with your mother, because she has demonstrated that she has no concern about you or your daughter. Since she is not working, there is no reason she could not pick your daughter up after school, bring her to the house, give her a snack and help alleviate some of the expenses you have for child care. Your Mom is contributing to the sickness in the household and is probably the chief cause of it.

But you have to remember – she is grown too, and making stupid choices biting the hand that feeds her and puts a roof over her head. Since your momma thinks your trifling brothers are so great, she can go with them!

You must stop being codependent and worrying about grown people… worry about your five year old baby instead, and worry about yourself. Your daughter should not be around no count men like your brothers – watching YOU work yourself to the bone and them sitting on their butts not contributing; it sets a poor example of a respectful relationship for her.

Finally, trifling men have a tendency to have unhealthy habits and stupid friends, which together create a high risk situation for your baby. Somebody ALWAYS crosses boundaries of propriety and starts molesting little girls. ALWAYS. Don’t think your trifling ass brothers won’t do it, I’m betting one or more already have.

Get out! Get away! Leave! It’s time for you to save yourself from these parasitical blood sucking vampires. You’re the only one who holds your salvation.


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Relationship and dating advice columnist of Ask HeartBeat! Has enjoyed dishing out insightful yet hilariously funny advice, tersely worded reality checks and "let me slap you upside the head" wake up calls to men and women around the globe since 1991.

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Relationship and dating advice columnist of Ask HeartBeat! Has enjoyed dishing out insightful yet hilariously funny advice, tersely worded reality checks and "let me slap you upside the head" wake up calls to men and women around the globe since 1991.

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