Thursday, February 8, 2018

Just WOW!

Forget the part of Wednesday's post where I expressed my worries about Hubs using any more of our cash to "help" his sister out.
After last night's phone call he is DONE with her forever.

A bit of backstory on his siblings first so you get the family dynamics at play.
Grab a chair and a stiff drink and read on.  I don't know how long I'll keep this post up so read it soon if you wish to.  I am still raw from the call last night so I may change my mind about exposing all this(even though his siblings and the nephew don't read my blog).

1-His oldest brother has issues.  He can't take stress and if provoked he flees instead of fighting for what he wants(the fight or flight reflex).  His being in the Vietnam war may have made this sort of  worse in his personality make up.  He came back from 'Nam, caroused around a bit(lived in his parents basement, worked, drank and partied and slept around a lot for a few years before settling down).  He married a religious, straight-laced woman he met at his job(phone company).  His wife has always been nice to us and we welcomed her into the family.  They were both older when they married(and highly religious)and though they tried, never had any kids.  This brother played surrogate father to his wife's sister's kids(her hubs was in the military and died very young).  But he really wasn't a real surrogate dad, he picked and chose where he wanted to be involved because oldest brother is most concerned with oldest brother.  He only wants to discuss himself and the world revolves around him(in his own mind).

Things got uncomfortable at work for oldest brother so he fled.  He took an early retirement package in his early '50s, bought a trailer in SC and moved.....without his wife.  He always told her and the family that when he left work he was moving to SC.  The wife's extended family(mostly the paternal side, maternal side hails from NC)lives around this town in SC.  Her parents fled the Jim Crow South after WWII for urban NJ to seek a better life but the rest of the clan stayed in the South. Wife told him from the beginning that she was NEVER moving down there. She is black, brother is white.  There is still pervasive racism in rural areas of that state and being in a mixed marriage?  You have no clue how bad it might be for them even in the 21st century.

So he left her in NJ and he's been gone 20+ years now and they are still married.  Huh??
Seems the wife was wound up in her mother's apron strings(which we didn't know about until later).  Wife never decided anything without consulting her mother first so yeah, the MIL was standing in the midst of their "marriage".
So oldest brother moved to SC to do....nothing.  He had no hobbies or plans to fill his retirement days.   He got a big settlement/early out payment to bridge his easily until his pension and social security and Medicare kicked in.  He decided to spend that whole settlement in less than 6 years.  He spent it on new trucks every few years and buying toys from his childhood that his parents couldn't afford to buy him when he was little and he filled his trailer home with model trains, cowboy and indian figures and soldier/war items.  He ended up having to get a parttime job for a few years and had to cut way back on his spending. 
Now he sits and watches old Westerns on tv when he isn't going to church.  That's all he does.  He has always showed  signs of being a narcissist and it's gotten worse.  The world revolves around his small little world with him at it's center.  Hubs can't have a formal conversation with him because oldest brother always turns everything Hubs says into retelling some old story involving oldest brother. Oldest brother is also the one who lived with their mother after the father died under the guise of helping her out(it was to get away from his marriage before he got the early payout at work).  He never did anything for her and when he noticed that something was wrong with her(she had as of then undiagnosed Alzheimer's)he packed a trailer of his stuff and moved to SC......without telling any of the siblings that their mother was having issues and might need help. (We had to find this out ourselves when Hubs and I had her moved to PA near us.)

2-The older brother has low intelligence.  His mother recognized his deficiency when he was little but refused to let the school system pigeon hole him.  Back in the 50's when he started school there really weren't special ed. classes.  He also had behavior problems, use to get into fights a lot as a kid and was easily excited....I am sure he could have benefited from medication with those and/or help to control his behaviors but no, she wouldn't let medical personnel test him.  All she did was keep his conditions hidden from authorities and fought for him to be mainstreamed and spent years helping him get through school.  I believe he has a form of autism as he had no social skills either.  But anything he is interested in he has an amazing ability to learn and remember a very narrow area of subject matter.  He got through high school(barely)and the mother got him a job at a state mental hospital(where she worked as a secretary)in their mail room.  He learned the job and rose to managing the mail room when his boss died in the late 1980's.  He lived in his parent's basement until he was 40 but his mind was locked in the 1960's and 1970's(and still is).  He met a woman at his job(she was a temp worker)and fell in love and they married after a few years of dating.

His new wife's parents hid a whole shit ton of bad stuff from the older brother and Hub's family.  Turns out the wife had many mental issues(schizophrenia, bi polar and I don't know what else but there are several other conditions).  She also had had two children from two different fathers(we only learned about the second kid years later)-her first husband was a Spanish national, they had a son and then her issues surfaced so he took the baby back to Spain(knowing her issues I'd probably have kidnapped him too)and she didn't see or hear from her son until he was 18 years old(when the kid got too belligerent to handle, his father let him come back to the US once he was of age).  After Hubs #1 left she was living back with her parents and dating a married man and became pregnant.  And the married man was black.  Her first generation Catholic Italian parents refused to let her keep/raise the baby(illegitimate and mixed race)so she gave it up for adoption.  When she married the older brother she wanted another baby and older brother wanted a kid so they got pregnant at 40.  The wife descended into insanity(off her meds and some post partum issues)soon after the child's birth and was incapable of taking care of the baby.  My mother in-law basically raise that kid until he started Kindergarten. The older brother dropped the kid off at his mom's house on his way to work everyday and picked him up and took him home after work.  The kid's mother was never left alone with the kid until years later.
The wife refused to take her meds(or was on the wrong meds at times)so there were lots of interventions by social services.  She would go to the ER and tell the dr. that her hubs was beating her or some other fantasy in her mind and social services would come and take the child away.  She tried to run over the older brother once with their car and at that point I drove to NJ and took the kid to live with us for a few weeks while the wife was locked in a loony bin.  She was in and out of mental facilities for years.  She was under court orders to not leave the state/her town and a nurse was sent to her house every day to give her her shots since she couldn't be trusted to take them herself.

Then the wife got cancer and it was quite advanced and an aggressive form.  In order to have chemo treatments she had to be put into a mental hospital since her stabilizing medications were contraindicated and would interfere with the chemo drugs.  So she spent months in the hospital without meds and the chemo was too little, too late.  She died in 2005 before her kid's 11th birthday.
That's when we recommended that older  brother move near us as there was no family left in NJ(other than oldest brother's wife and mother, whom really had no relationship with older brother and kid).
We tried to be their safety net(and if things went badly, we wouldn't have to drive 4 hours away to rescue the situation).  The older brother situation is an ongoing problem off and on.  He is now having cognitive issues and this won't end well as his son, though bright, has issues with having any sort of drive in life.  Older brother also lives in a fantasy world in his mind, talks to himself and only can converse about certain subjects which all devolve into old stories about him that we've all heard for years on end.  The script never changes.

3-The sister.....sigh......she's a year older than Hubs so they grew up together(Hub's brothers were 8 and 7 years old than Hubs).  Sister has always been what I call "peculiar".  She is rigid in her views and has a high moral opinion of herself.  She's what you'd call a "square" but only in the worst sense of the word.  She is very particular about what she will and won't do, what she will and won't eat, where she will or won't live, and where she will work or won't work(certain states, no big towns and no for-profit organizations).  She has impossible standards and won't compromise on them.  She desperately wanted children(or so she said)but since she couldn't get anyone to marry her who wanted them she never had any.  I just think the kids stuff was all talk as she was too selfish to have kids and be a good mother.
She has always been a hypochondriac too.  She delights in talking about her real or imagined medical ailments(and this was when she was young, it's not an old person issue). lolz  She may have a light touch of Munchausen Syndrome(but I am not a doctor nor do I play one on the internet).  She would have diseases appear and disappear on a regular basis. 

She got a degree in library science(not a very useful degree but then again, my degree is in theater so I can't talk lol)in 1979.  She worked at a University's library in NJ and met a guy and got married in 1980.  They bought a house near her parents and she started pressuring her hubs to have kids(which he wasn't ready for).  In Sept. 1984 Hubs and I started renting out the second floor of oldest brother's 2 family house(after living in Hubs parents' basement for 8 months trying to get set up in jobs/save money).  The sister appeared on our doorstep one afternoon crying that her hubs' wanted a divorce.

They got divorced and he paid for her to go back to school to get medical coding certification and paid her living expenses while she was in school in lieu of alimony since they were only married a short time.

After getting her certification she got a job in Queens NY and moved there.  She met a man from Hoboken NJ, a journalist and free spirit type and they dated for years.  She got tired of big city living and this man wouldn't commit to marriage so she left.(We found out recently that he was willing to marry her but he wanted a guarantee that there would be no children as he didn't want kids.  She was unwilling to take that deal so she left.)  Sister  up and got a new job in small town IL and moved halfway across the country in the 1990's. 

She started a new life in IL.  She is a conformist.......has to be a church member(nothing wrong with that), joined a service organization and looked for a man she could change.  She had a couple of failed relationships there(among them, she labored under the delusion that a Mexican waiter who flirted with her at a restaurant she use to go to a lot wanted a relationship).  She persued him vigorously and showered him with gifts until he had to tell her to leave him alone.

Then she found a real ex-con, burglar, alcoholic, chain smoker who was 4 years older than her.  You may remember that Hubs and I were the only family who went to her wedding to him in 2013.  Evidently he had other medical problems stemming from his lifelong alcohol habit and cognitive/dementia problems and didn't try to work and hung out drinking with his buddies all day.  She kept this relationship going for 18 months before throwing him out of the house and filing for divorce.

Along the way in IL, though she never made more than $28K a year she decided to buy a house.  She also kept buying new cars every two years(at the urging of oldest brother, the car guy in the family)so after 10 years out there she was underwater in a car and struggling to pay her mortgage.  While their mother was still alive(and before she got put into a home w/Alzheimer's and Hubs took over her finances)the sister would tell the mom she needed money and mom would sent her a big check.  We found this out after Hubs' mother died.

Hubs' was her executor, held her POA and Medical directives for the 7 years she was incapacitated and none of the other three siblings lifted a finger to take care of ANYTHING!  We did it all.  So I had the task of going through Hubs' mom's financial papers after her death to do her taxes and settle her estate and found big fat cancelled checks made out to his sister, written on a semi-regular basis.

Once mom wasn't around to prop her up, sister's finances started sinking fast.  She called us once to lend her thousands of $s to get her car back, which had been repo-ed.  Since if she got the car back she couldn't afford to make the payments anyway we said no.  We told her to get a used car she could afford, which she eventually did.  We also found out at this time that she had never done a budget nor lived within her means(ya think?).

Then she quit her job about 2 years ago and I've talked about her frittering about $20K in paid vacation time money she collected and farting around about getting another job.  She was weeks away from losing her house and had just had another car repo-ed when Hubs went down to IL to rescue her and deliver her to SC to live with oldest brother.  We shelled out $1800+ to move her and her crap halfway across the country.
Hubs had what he thought was a frank conversation with her before this all happened and she swore she was near destitution and had $300 to her name.(She had liquidated her 401K from her last hospital job over the last few years-when she bought that house and started drawing $ out again when she quit her job.)

She couldn't find a new job due to her health(mostly mental health)issues and really due to her age(though employers didn't say that, it had to weigh in heavily in the decision not to hire her).

So Hubs did the right thing and we dipped into our savings and paid to extricate her.....and he swore he wouldn't give any of them another nickel after this incident.

The oldest brother called last week after she got the job, as he is antsy for sister to move out of his place(he started saying this after she was there 2 weeks).  He wanted Hubs to front her the money for a security deposit and last month's rent for an apartment so she can leave asap.  Oldest brother didn't offer to give/lend her $ to move so why are we asked for it yet again?

My feeling is that since she has nothing besides some clothing, 2 chairs, 2 bookcases and a cedar chest she doesn't need an apartment yet.  She has no kitchen wares, no linens or towels...nothing you need to set up an apartment since she left it all in the house in IL and decided that 10 tubs of stuffed animals would be the prudent choice  of things to bring with her to SC. 

Then we heard that the mortgage company that took back her house offers those who turn houses back to them a relocation allowance.  The sister said it was $3K at most, less depending on the condition of the house when it's turned in.  Hubs figured that she wouldn't see a penny of that money due to the hoarder situation she turned that house into.  Heck, we figured they'd bill her for them having to shovel it out. lolz

So last night Hubs called the oldest brother and sister to see how things were progressing now that she is due to start this new job in 10 days or so.  He talked to the oldest brother and found out that the sister had lied to him on two counts--1, the relocation amount from the bank was $10K, not $3K. She knew this all along and lied about the amount in question.

And the service organization she belonged to in IL, after she whined to some of them, they went in and totally cleaned out her house for FREE before the bank took it back.  So she had hid what she might get back and of course she had NEVER offered to reimburse any of what we paid out to move her(not that we expected her to offer).  Had Hubs known she could get anything near $10K relocation funds he never would have offered to move her and pay for it, but would have made her stay in the house until they cut her a check to relocate and then helped her arrange for a moving company to do the job.

2--She also had lied about only having $300 to her name. She swore up and down and sidways that she was near destitution and had only $300 left in her bank account and no other money, having liquidated her 401K at her most recent job and spent that all.
Turns out she still had a 403B retirement account at the University library she worked at in the early 1980's before divorcing Hubs #1.  She never rolled that money over to a new employer. She has liquidated that account now and just got a check for $24K from it.

And to top it all off, the oldest brother said in that phone call that  he was taking the sister out in the next few days to buy a car. (Knowing the oldest brother he will direct her toward a brand new car.)
So instead of trying to find a place to live she is going to use the bulk of that windfall to buy a car.

(This is the woman who has had two cars repo-ed so far.)because she doesn't want to be limited on where she can move to and doesn't want to be inconvenienced by relying on rides or the town's bus system.
When Hubs found this out all he could say was, "Are you f#@king kidding me?!?"

The only way she can buy a car is with cash at this point as her credit is shot.  Any car loan would have exorbitant interest rates.  I also think she is going to have a problem getting an apartment once they check her credit(a mortgage default and 2 car repos...who wants to lend someone like that money or rent to them??).

So Hubs had oldest brother put sister on the phone so he could try to talk some sense into her.  He talked to her for awhile and then he asked her(since we didn't know at this point where she had gotten the $24K from).
He asked her, "Where'd you get $24K from?".
Her reply, "That's none of YOUR damn business!!"
And then she slammed the phone down and hung up on him.

And just like that Hubs is done with her....and so am I.
No more help, no more money, no more advise(since obviously she doesn't need that since she's made such a fabulous mess of her finances so far! lol).
And no more contact with her either.

After he calmed down Hubs called back and oldest brother answered the phone.  That's when he learned about the source of the secret $24K she has and that the mortgage company could give her up to $10K to relocate.
He told oldest brother to convey this message to their sister, "You are a lying sneaky bitch . I expect want my $1800 back and I am done with you!"
Of course I doubt we'll ever see that money again but he has written her out of his life.

If he had been in the room with her when she pulled that none of your business crap I know he'd have slapped her or worse. 
This was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back.
She is a user and a liar.

I may complain about my brother but good lord these 3 take the cake!

Dontcha love family?!?

I need a drink now........



  1. Dang. Most entertaining post ever but brings back bad memories. I have a money sucking cousin like that sister who will bleed you dry. I figured it out after 3 months but his parents are still being suckered. Stealing my 10 years of saved change to buy cheap whiskey was my breaking point. Good riddance to all the freeloaders!

    Jen G.

  2. All I can do is shake my head and say Wowza!

  3. I need a drink after reading all of this. Just had Hubby pour me a glass of wine.

    Family, to me is everything. But if I had family like this, I would definitely ignore them. They are all adults now and it is up to them to take care of themselves. Your Hubby has been more than generous to them. But now it is time for you guys to take care of yourselves. His siblings need to grow up with no help from anyone. Just my $ .02!

  4. WOW! I have family just like this.....and I'm done with them also. UGH! Sorry your Hubs (and you) had to go through all


  5. Maybe she's planning on living in her new car. Who knows. Unfortunately people who are users don't care who they hurt which is a shame especially since your husband and you have helped family out many times. Sometimes you just have to cut your losses and move on. Just because someone is family doesn't mean a person is obligated to help them or be a part of their drama. I am speaking from experience. Some of my friends are closer than members of my family and would never take advantage of me like family would. It's sad. Take care of you and your own family. You both worked hard so you deserve to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Take care.

  6. WOW is right, family, BTDT. I comiserate, hope the drink soothed the nerves. :)

  7. She is a user. Her conniving and using others' money when she has money is the worst. I don't get older brother's obsession with new cars. Is it a status thing?

    I hope your hubs holds the line with her.

    Most some efficiencies come with a minimum of kitchen ware. Besides, two towels, two washcloths, two plates, knife, fork, spoon, bowl, glass, cup, pot, pan, potholder and she is set. And, I bet thrift store stuff would not be good enough for her.

    She will find her way. I would bet she will get sympathy and help by saying she is destitute again, but not help from family.

    It's all sad. Sorry hubs had to be used so.

  8. Well, you titled this right!
    I have an Aunt and Uncle who were pretty close to what you describe. They could never keep a home, she was a hoarder and never worked. But, the kids, all five, one hers and four there’s, always had new bikes in the Summer, they traveled a bit, better clothes, on and on. She had to be in her sixties when she moved back in with her 90 something year old Dad and my Uncle was sent to the VA. I know she doesn’t have a dime to her name. So sad.
    Well, I think you and your husband have to look out for yourselves first. You’ve made the right choice, in my opinion. Plus, look how hard you two saved for what you have! I know it can be hard when it’s family. But, maybe she did you both a favor by being so belligerent. That just made it easier to cut her off and not feel (too) bad about it.
    Enjoy your drink, it’s deserved,

  9. ((Sluggy)) ((hubs)) that horror show made MY blood pressure rise! So sorry

  10. Family--don't ya just love them!! Aren't you fortunate that you got "the pick of the litter. I did too, my husband is wonderful too. Unfortunately we don't get to choose our family but we do get to decide when enough is enough. Be strong and hang on. Penny S.

  11. I regret not having a bowl of popcorn while reading this.

  12. I think you should put all your stories together and write a book ~ in fact you may have enough stories for several novels. I enjoy your writing style and you make me feel like I am across the kitchen table from you enjoying a cup of coffee as you relate your stories. Teddie

    1. I second the book idea!

      Jen G.

  13. I TOTALLY feel your pain on nut-case in-laws!!! I hope hubs is serious this time - it is sad when you have to exclude family from your life but sometimes it is what you need to do for your own mental health.

  14. You have my sympathy! Sometimes you just can't help people. You've certainly tried and possibly enabled them in their crazy ways. Your husband deserves much credit for having a productive lifestyle when the rest of his family seems unable to cope with life. I'm sure you have been a stabilizing person in his life.

  15. Hey, I don't know how Dan can be so normal. I mean really he is actually abnormal in that group. Kudos to him. Give him a hug for me, I love my siblings but I am such an anomaly among them also. There are such terrible drinking ,drug, and mental issues that I have to deal with. Actually I don't deal with either of my brothers any more. I also worry about my sisters all the time. It is scary to be the only functional one at times and quite the burden. I am so sorry Sluggy.

  16. Ugh. So sorry you've had to deal with her. :(

  17. Wow, this sucks!! I feel for you and your hubby. She sounds like a real piece of work.

  18. Wow is right. A bit of a circus! (Except the clowns are all mean). I too have ringside seats to the family shit show. My "poor sister" just got back from a week in the tropics with her new mentally derranged wierdo boyfriend. Meanwhile late notices on thier bills... My SIL had her t.v. cable shut off for not paying, bought a $1000 dog, in-laws paid the bill so they can watch tv at her house! Lol! They should retire, but can't because they owe over $100,000 on second mortgage...
    It's always a new crisis which is in fact a clusterf^#k of their own doing! Ringside seats everyday!
    It's so much easier to take a giant step back and let them deal with their own issues. I used to rescue my sister all of the time. I can't live like that anymore. She's ungrateful and beyond selfish. No matter what you do it won't be enough. People can own their shit. The same as I do. Not up to anyone else to fix.
    You have my complete understanding and sympathies for the gong show around you!

  19. Just chiming in to say I feel your pain. We have a similar set of relatives. I think my most painful experience with them was when we took their entire family to Disney World, so that the kids wouldn't miss out on going. Several weeks after we got back, the adult relatives (who are in local theater), were fairly vocal on social media about a play they wrote being performed (normally they just act). I was surprised they didn't mention it to us, but we try to support them so we showed up. When they realized we were there we got all sorts of text messages about how if they knew we were there they would have changed things, etc. Turns out the play they wrote was about despising my spouse and I. :(

  20. We've gone through some recent, eye-opening experiences with family. Nothing quite as dramatic as this...but enough to make us sever ties. It is healthy to keep toxic people out of your life. Family or not. You have to advocate your own mental and financial well being first. And its hard. But some people do not deserve the goodness that you could bring them.

  21. Marcus Welby reference!!!!!!

  22. I'm sorry for you all. I'm sorry mental health help was looked for or wasn't available when all the parties were younger. We have similar personalities in our families and it is hard to walk away, but when the same actions happen over and over, for your own mental health, it is needed.

  23. Hi Sluggy, this is Chris. I am so sorry to read this, but hope it helped to get this off your chest. You and Hubs are good people, and this makes me sad that his family took advantage of your kindness. I agree with how you and Hubs will handle things going forward, we would do the same thing.

  24. Hi Sluggy - WOW, what an entertaining read and so sorry that it is real life! In my opinion, you and Hubs have gone above and beyond. I think you both understand and accept that the family he grew up in is incapable of being fixed; he should have no guilt as he is not the cause of their issues. Instead, he should joyfully spend the time, energy, and resources on his family - you, Chester, sons, and daughter. Perhaps an unlisted phone number is in order once you resettle ;)

  25. Hi Sluggy, Sorry you had to go thru this but it will make you and hubby stronger to get thru this.This could have been my story only talk to one sister and some days I struggle with that even. But the other 3 siblings and mother made it impossible since my dad passed 10 yr. ago. I am sad at times of how things turned out but I tell Hubby he and the boys are what matter and will not put them thru that crap. You will get thru this it is hard but you will make it .Joyce


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