I've gotten in way over my head and I don't know what to do anymore. Advice?

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I had a pretty terrible childhood with my mother. She was the only parent I had (aside from an abusive step-father who 'stepped in' after my dad passed away). I was molested as a child for many years and she did her best to cover it up and make me out to be a liar so that my brother wouldn't go to prison for it. My mom became a meth addict at an early stage of my life and continued drug use, as well as selling/manufacturing methamphetamines throughout my teenage years. When I did 'the right thing' by informing my school principal (whom I trusted) about her drug problem, she convinced him it wasn't true despite having drug paraphernalia and as soon as she got back home, she came to me and threatened that if I ever did anything like that again, my 'brothers would hunt me down and make me pay'. I had four brothers, I was the middle child. By the time I was 18, I wanted her out of my life for good. When I worked a job (since 16) she made me pay all of the bills or they wouldn't get paid. I could never afford to leave, I was stuck.


Then, 18 months into a long-term relationship I became pregnant with my first child and frantically worried about what I was going to do with the baby. I was 19-years-old and I considered all the options. In the end decided that this baby would be my chance to start a better life. When I was 4 months along in pregnancy, the father left me and basically disappeared from my life. She suddenly decided that she would be a responsible parent to me. She stopped using meth in her life. She promised that she would be there for me like she had never been. We started to become friends... I thought our relationship had finally started to mend and would be okay. When my son was born, I came straight home from the hospital to my grandmother's home (instead of my mom's) because my brothers were still using drugs.


It's been 16 years since then and I've had three more children. I've been married and divorced. I've recently been diagnosed with Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. It had never even occurred to me that my anxiety and stress and fears were an abnormal thing, much less symptoms of a disorder. I thought this was a normal way to feel about life. I'm terrified of everything and I've been this way almost my entire life. The only conclusion to be made about this is that my childhood played a HUGE role in me having C-PTSD and I had never been treated. I can no longer work in a work environment, at least for now (still holding out hope!)


A year and a half ago, I took my mother in to live with me. She's 65-years-old and retired. She has scoliosis, type-2 diabetes, extreme bladder weakness, bipolar disorder, morbid obesity, heart issues and I believe she is gaining symptoms of early Alzheimer's. Over the years, I've made my opinion very clear about my brothers. They still have drug/alcohol/legal problems, constantly. If it's not one thing, it's another. I have repeatedly asked her to not bring them around my children. The drama and problems are entirely too much to bear for me, let alone my children.


I currently live on a very tight budget, and we agreed when she moved in that we would split the bills in half. That makes our total household bills. She continuously invites them over to my house, feeds them MY food (which I've asked them and her to NOT do), and she gives them money like it's going out of style. The past two months, she hasn't even paid half of her portion of the bills and we're in danger of losing our electricity/water/garbage. See, my youngest brother is 32 and homeless. Child services took his children from both parents because neither were fit to care for them. His ex kicked him out of their apartment, since she had a job and he didn't. He hasn't worked in years, doesn't even try to. So she gave him her minivan (since she can't drive anymore) despite the fact that he has a suspended license and gets pulled over in it repeatedly. He lives in the minivan. She pays for the gas and insurance to keep the vehicle legal. I don't know what other money she gives him or any of my other brothers.


The more I've tried to keep him out of my home, the more she rebels. She has everyone convinced that I'm just a selfish b**ch and heartless because I refuse to help him because he refuses to help himself. She wanted me to invite in all his drama into my home and let him stay with us. I was homeless too not long ago. I fought hard to regain a home for my children and myself. No one did it for me. My mom refused to even help me a little bit. She continues to go behind my back and let him in here when she thinks I can't see/hear him. She lies to me and my kids about them and the situation. I'm tired of all of this unnecessary stress. My KIDS are sick of it. I feel the need to protect them and I'm afraid to even try. I'm afraid of her/them. I don't know what to do. I feel like the right thing is to remove them from my life... but how? I feel like my C-PTSD situation isn't boding well anymore.

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That's quite a story. You have only one option if you and you children are to have anything near a normal life:

Your Mother and brothers need to be out of your house and out of your life. Easier said than done, I realize, but I think if you're really honest with yourself you know it's the only way.
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If you can't get your family (all of them!) out of your life, move away and get out of theirs.

You're in a no-win situation with very dysfunctional people. Unless everyone gets psychological help, which I don't see happening, your stress and difficulties are only going to complicate your life.

You might try getting some help from a battered woman's organization, as emotional battering is what you've been getting. They can help you re-orient your life and get away from the toxic relatives.

Good luck; I can't imagine living under these conditions, so I hope you find some peace and a way to get away from your relatives.
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Talk to the landlord about getting you off the lease. Get yourself into some low income housing or another situation. You have helped and now you owe everything to the children you have. They do not deserve to be exposed to that. Check out your local human services and see if they can help you get into a better living situation.
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Talk to the landlord and get her out. Your first priority is to your children.
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It sounds like you need help learning to take care of yourself. You can't help some people. You might be better served to learn to move on. You did what you could. Stop worrying about them and take care of yourself. Get counseling and with positive supportive people who don't take advantage. You can't win over toxic people. Treat yourself well and find peace in life.
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You don't say if the home is owned or rented. But, if you cannot "evict" Mom at this point, and needed to move out and leave the dysfunctional family to their own devices in the situation, and were in Arkansas, I'd refer you to Dorcas House and Our Way - shelters that help people with kids like you who can't stay where they are staying.


Your mom may have early or mild cognitive impairment probably from vascular rather than Alzheimer's dementia, but it does not sound bad enough that anyone would be taking guardianship and/or able to stop her from pouring her money down the rat hole of drug abuse and dependency, instead of using it to take care of herself and her daughter and grandkids or a home. If you are right about the dementia, it will only get worse.
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We are renting the home, vstefans. Well, I rented it and then added her to the lease later on when she moved in. She was only supposed to be here for a few months according to my landlord. I don't even know how to go about legally having her removed from the home. I don't think I can get any restraining orders from anyone. But, I'm in Oregon, so the Arkansas help won't work. However, I've been thinking about the fact that this is emotional abuse and maybe there is something here to help with that. My grandmother passed away 7 years ago after a long struggle with Alzheimer's, and it is just starting to feel like that. But, my mother has been having heart related issues lately, with falling spells and dizziness. She had it checked into by a doctor and they're still in the process of that slow diagnosis (apparently). This is what I'm worried about though... that it's starting to feel like my mom has reverted back to how she was all those years ago and seems to be having issues similar to my grandmother's issues when we started to notice something wasn't right.

The worry and concern that it's only going to get worse (and slowly it seems) is what finally brought me here to look for advice and vent a little. Sorry I typed so much. I just didn't know where to start/end and kept going.
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geminimom, all the advice above is GOOD advice! If it were your home, you could go to local courthouse and file an eviction, but since you are on lease, I would talk to the landlord. If you are receiving aid, then I would discuss your situation with caseworker and ask for resources. There are shelters for women and children if you need to leave immediately. Usually the shelters can guide you from there. You are in a 'fragile emotional state', and so are your children. You are not in position to help mother and brothers - and your children are in very bad environment. THAT is what they'll think is the 'norm' if you stay in that situation. As Sunnygirl posted, 'treat yourself (and children) well and fine peace in life'. I will add SAFETY, too!
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I don't want to be alarmist, but I think this is a very dangerous situation you are in. You need to protect yourself and your children. Talking to battered women's groups could literally save your life..Please consider the reality of violence from your brother when the merry go round stops. Your mother has a sick relationship with her sons, but you cannot fix it. Cannot. You cannot fix your mother, not your brother. Why not stop bailing water from a sinking boat? Protect your and your childrens' safety first. Your mother and your brothers need help, professional help. I don't know if anything can be done, or if they will accept help, but this is simply beyond your capabilities. Trying to keep things going only serves to delay any real help. No question that your moral duty is to your children and yourself, not your mom or siblings.
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You have already taken the most important step, and that is realizing you are in over your head. The second step was coming here on this forum for help. What exactly do you want to do next and how can we help? Your life is valuable too, you know.
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