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Mom Problems - WWYD?

My mom is an abusive, manipulative, controlling, gambling addict and for a while, I stopped talking to her because of that, but not talking to her meant that I wasn't able to talk to my sister. My sister is eight and lives with my mom, and because of everything I went through when I was growing up with my mother, I worry about her a lot. 
Anyway, I started talking my mom on the phone, basically, on a daily basis last month because it was close to the holidays and I knew she was having some problems. She works as a school bus driver for minimum wage and the owner of the bus company had cut her hours in half, so naturally she was looking for a new job or even a second job. I don't really know why I was talking to her, honestly, except that I thought it would help, but everything was going fine until one day she said she was going to come visit DH and I here in FL in March. She didn't ask if she could come visit. She just sort of announced it. 
I didn't really know what to say, so I just sort of said it fine. I spoke to DH about it later and he said it was fine as long as my mother behaved and it didn't interfere with the plans we have in March. The plans we have/had are to go to a convention because we're both huge nerds and we're hoping to see Stan Lee and Jason David Frank. We've been hoping to go to this convention for three years, but haven't had the money to go and this year is the first year we're actually going to be able to go, so we were really looking forward to it. 
The week right before Christmas, however, I was talking to my mother and things kind of started to get weird. Before she had planning to come visit us using her tax return money to pay for the airfare, but when I talked to her, she said that I was going to pay for half of the tickets and my brother who's in the army, stationed in Korea, was going to pay for the rest of it. Again, she didn't ask. She just said it, like that was the plan and I wasn't allowed to argue. 
I'm not going to lie. I sort of expected something like this to happen. Because of the reasons I stated above, my mother has a long history of sort of conning money out of people and she usually ends up using it to gamble via lottery tickets or slot machines or whatever. And people always give it to her because they feel sorry for her because she gets Foodstamps and my sister gets Medicaid. I learned as a child never to give her money and when I didn't, she'd steal from me, sell my things, or get it from my brother or one of the neighbors. My DH knows about all of this and when I told him about the new plans with my mom, he flipped out. We don't really have the money to pay for the airfare. We barely have enough money to go to the convention we wanted to go to, but at the same time, I haven't seen my sister in three years and I can't interact with her directly because my mom goes through the mail and would probably destroy my letters to my sister if I said something questionable about her, and they can't afford internet service, so I can't even send my sister Emails or anything of that nature. 
My DH eventually agreed that we would try to help my mom, so I would be able to see my sister again, but then things started to get weird. A few days before Christmas, I was talking to my sister on the phone and she started asking me all these questions about my apartment. She asked me how big the bathroom and the kitchen were and if we had any spare bedrooms and what the neighbors were like. It sounded like she was being coached by my mother, honestly, and after a while my sister said my mother had told her, they were going to come live with us while she looked for an apartment and a job. Um, WHAT?! 
That was not a part of the plan and honestly, I don't want my mother to move anywhere near us. One of the reasons, I agreed to move to FL with DH was so I could get away from her. Aside from the stealing money and selling my things, she insults me every time I speak to her on the phone. Even on holidays and I'm pretty sure she just wants to move near us because she thinks my DH will give her money, which, honestly, he just might. DH is kind of a people pleaser and likes to avoid confrontation, so even though he knows what my mother is like, I could totally see her being able to get money from him even if she had to go behind my back to get it. 
A few days ago, my mother admitted she was planning on trying to move down here. She said she was going to come to stay with us for a few weeks and look for a job and a apartment. She expects my DH to help her, which he will because he knows I want to be closer to my sister, but I don't want to be anywhere near my mother and I don't what to do. I have a really hard time talking to people because I have social anxiety. Any social interaction that makes me think people are going to judge me, like making this post for example, pretty much terrifies me. It was a lot worse when I was a kid. I used to burst into tears when the cashier at McDonald's asked what kind of happy meal I wanted, but now I've pretty much learned or convinced myself or whatever, that it's best if I don't post online too much or talk to people in forums or anything because they don't want to hear what I have to say. 
Honestly, I don't want to tell my mom that I don't want her to move here. I want to cut her out of my life completely because I know I don't have a good relationship with her and probably never will, but I still want to be able to talk with my sister. I don't know what to do. A small part of me thinks that maybe when I start going to see a psychiatrist later this month for bi-polar disorder (they don't know about the social anxiety yet), I can learn to overcome these feelings and learn to interact with my mother, so I can still talk to my sister. But I don't want to. I tried being nice and this is where it has gotten me. 
I'm sorry this post is so long. I just wasn't sure of what else to do. I don't have friends or close family I can talk to. My brother in Korea hasn't called me in three years and even as kids, we weren't that close. I don't talk to my dad because we don't get along and I don't particularly like my in-laws and even if I did, they have their own problems to deal with. So what would you do in this situation?
Thanks in advance.  
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Re: Mom Problems - WWYD?

  • Okay, I got about halfway through this and had to stop reading because the situation with your mother is completely fucked. I don't even know what to say other than she is toxic and for the sake of yourself and your marriage, you need to cut her out completely. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT let her come to stay with you. Do not let her set foot in your house because you are seriously going to regret it. It's sad that your little sister is stuck with such a toxic person as her mother, but your mom is using her as a pawn and putting her in the middle. Do not fall for this.

    And I'm sorry for your H because he has every right to be upset that you are allowing your mother to manipulate you. You don't even have extra money and yet you let her essentially tell you that you are paying for her airfare to come to your place? I would be calling her back and saying, no, not only are you not paying, but she is also not welcome in your home. Usually I would say this is left for you to deal with, without your H stepping in since this is your mother, but I would make an exception in this case because it seems like you might need some reinforcement to lay down the law.

    As far as your sister - I don't know what advice I have as far as her being stuck with your mother....I would suggest a call to CPS, but I'm not sure if they can even do anything.
  • Disneygeek77Disneygeek77 member
    Ancient Membership 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited January 2014
    PP is right,  your marriage comes before your mom and your sister.  Do whatever you can to help your sister, but do not give your mother money.  Not a single cent.  She needs help and that won't happen until she reaches rock bottom.  Trust me, by continuing to give her money, you are hurting her in the long run because she is an addict.

    I would also suggest contacting your local gamblers anonymous.  They should have some great resources on how to handle your mom and also how to look out for the welfare of your sister.  Also ask them about individual counseling for you so that you can have the proper tools to handle your mom.

    Remember, giving her money isn't helping anyone at all.

    Oh and kudos to you for having the courage to ask for help, even if it is from internet strangers.  Again, please google the info for your local GA and reach out to them.  It might be uncomfortable at first, but I have a feeling you will be very glad you contacted them.
  • I think you have to let your sister go - at least for awhile.  As said, your mom uses her as a pawn.  NOthing will ever change if you keep giving in because of your sister.  And honestly- you're teaching your sister some bad lessons too!  You're teaching her how to treat your mom - which means giving in to her at every turn.


    You KNOW what's going to happen if she comes and visits.  Don't let her come.  Don't give her the $$ to come, don't give her a place to stay.


    Especially as you know your DH will only continue to give her $$!! 

    You've got to put you and DH first here.  not your mom or sister.


    And really - if things are that bad w/ your mom, I do have to wonder if CPS would help and/or what are your thoughts on trying to get guardianship of your sister? 

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  • Disneygeek77Disneygeek77 member
    Ancient Membership 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited January 2014
    Yes, do not let your mom come and visit.  I can guarantee she will not stay for a mere few weeks while she is " looking for a job and an apartment."  She will scam both of you and any money she receives will go straight to gambling.  Not to a deposit for an apartment, not to help with her job search, it will go straight to gambling.  She will squat in your home for as long as she possibly can and you might even have to get her forcible removed by law and that can take a very long time, especially if there is a school aged child involved.  
  • BulgariHeartBulgariHeart member
    100 Comments 25 Love Its First Anniversary
    edited January 2014
    Don't let your mom manipulate you into visiting you or, worse, moving in with you. DO NOT let her. It will be the beginning of the end for you and your marriage. If even your H is one to give in when pressured then it's on you to protect your family from people like your mom. I'm sorry that your sister is involved, that must be the really hard part, but unless you can separate them and get custody of her (no idea if this would be even possible) I think the wise thing to do is to cut all contact. Reach out for professional help, work on yourself first and then consider re-visiting the situation once you have aquired the tools and skills necessary to keep minimal contact and maximum sanity. You need to put yourself and your family first right now. Edited typos

  • Thank you for all the kind advice. I decided to follow it and have blocked my mother on FB tonight. Since she lives out of state, it's one of the few ways I had of staying in contact with her. I will also be having her phone number blocked next week. 
    I also looked into Gambling Addiction Anon. and will include a list of locations near my mother in a care package I'll be mailing out to my sister in a few weeks. Chances are, she'll probably just get offended and throw out the whole package once she reads the list, but maybe it will help her acknowledge she has a problem in the future. 
    As for the matter of my sister, I don't really know what to do. I've reported my mother to child services twice in the past and both times, they decided that nothing was wrong. I wish I could get custody of her, but my DH and I aren't really in a position to look after her at the moment. I don't know what to do for her, except express that I do care about her by continuing to send gifts and things at holidays and such. 
    Thanks again. 
    my read shelf:
    Maria's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)
    You know what money can't buy? What you have now. Life. -Rurouni Kenshin 
  • Do not allow your mother even an inch into your door.  She will not leave, and she will use your feelings for your sister to her advantage.   When you finally have had enough, she will guilt you with things like "How can you kick us out?  How can you make your little sister live on the street?"

    Ask your mom if you can have your sister come and live with you until she is "on her feet".
  • I don't think it's a good idea to just up and stop talking to your mother - she'll still come. Or book her tickets expecting you to reimburse her or something.

    I'd send her a message - over facebook or however you two communicate:

    "hey mother, we were really looking forward to you and sister coming down but some things have come up and we're just not able to afford to fly you down or host you at our place for the moment. I'm sure we will be able to get together again soon though, no worries. I'm taking a bit of a FB hiatus but you have my number if you need anything. Hope you guys are well, Brownbear"

    Then block her from Facebook so you can't see her manipulative message back. Block her number and feign ignorance as to why it won't work.

    Call social services again to report this stuff.

    Talk to your husband about this. Really talk to him. You need to trust him that he won't enable her behind your back. He needs to understand that this has to be a united front together. Prepare your worst case scenario and exactly what your steps will be if she and your sister show up at your door. You take in sister, not mother. Don't even let her in the door. Tell her that she has a problem and you can't help her until she helps herself. Have gambling anonymous leaflets ready so you can grab them at the door and hand them over if you have to. Once she gets in she won't get out and you will be in a much worse position.

    This is such a terrible position to be in and my heart breaks for you, but I think you are doing the right thing. And I would normally never advise not accommodating family, no matter how deeply evil and manipulative they are. Your mother makes mine look like mother of the year!

    Chronically hilarious - you'll split your stitches!
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