Family can be a support system. It can be your lifeline. Family can be everything. And then there are times when family is the bane of your existence. Sometimes family isn’t what it is supposed to be. They say blood is thicker than water, but obviously, those people haven’t had to deal with “Andrea’s” parents. If you have a complicated family, you will understand her predicament.
Andrea’s a grown adult, she is almost 28 years old and still trying to break free from her toxic parents. She “is very family-oriented,” despite her relationship with her parents. And this may be why the problems just keep piling up. Andrea values the importance of family because her grandparents taught her how the family could be great and they “did their part in instilling family values.”
Since she loves family, she has “put up with a lot of stupidity.” And she has finally made the life-changing decision of leaving the state. She would be free of them at last. But unfortunately, they would need to make her remaining time near them complicated and complete chaos. They seemed bent on making her life as difficult as possible, and at the end of the day, Andrea knew she would do what needed to be done.
Time To Get Some Distance
Andrea already knew she would be leaving. She wanted to make sure there was some distance between her parents and their grandchild. She wanted to be away from them and “to have an excuse not to see them for anything other than holidays.” She also needed to get away so they could not demand things of her.
She had been trying to put space between them and set up boundaries for a couple of years now, but they just could not understand what she needed. Especially when it came to her son and her livelihood.
She had a complicated childhood which put a strain on their relationship. Andrea was adopted by her step-father, but she also spent a year in the foster care system. She became very close with her foster family. Through all of these bizarre circumstances, she ended up with eight grandparents. But now, she only has three living grandma’s.
Her grandparents got her through tough times and taught her what she needed to know to be a functioning adult. This was way more than she could say for her parents.
Because of the knowledge they gave to her, she was able to figure her way through the craziness of the year 2020. Little did she know it wouldn’t just be the state of the world that would cause turmoil in her home.
Andrea was left without a job when the world went into lockdown. She had to make a tough decision that would affect her entire family. She had been working in the healthcare field, but her job became a risk to her husband and son. She left the job and decided to go on the hunt for a new one. Keep in mind Andrea was the main source of income, well the only source of income for her household. Her husband is unable to work and Andrea makes sure to provide for them. They would have to survive on their savings until she could find a job she felt safe doing since she didn’t qualify for unemployment. For the most part, this worked out well. Her grandparents had taught her how to be good with money. She had watched her parents flail with their businesses and have constant issues with money. They barely worked themselves, preferring to be lazy and just tell other people to do the work. They had trapped her into working for them too many times. And yet even with their small businesses, Andrea was much better off than them financially.
She was without a job for three months. Her former job had paid well and Andrea knew she would have to find something with similar pay to be able to support her family. She could not settle for anything less than $18 per hour. While she was searching for work, her mother called up with a not-so-surprising request.
Before getting her job in the healthcare field, Andrea was working as the lead caretaker for her grandparents. They required in-home care as her grandfather had almost died while in a nursing home. So Andrea went about setting up in-home care so they would be safe and in their own home. For three years Andrea worked as their caretaker until her grandfather passed. Andrea had decided she would find a new job that paid more. Her husband had also become disabled, so she needed to be able to take care of him as well. She made sure her grandmother had the necessary aides to care for her and got to the job she had before lockdown.
When she left her mother was upset and began the cycle of guilt trips and manipulation.
Andrea’s mother took issue with the caretaker who worked the weekend. “She constantly berated her and harassed her because she was obese and had body odor issues.” But Andrea’s mother and grandmother were obese as well, so it was extremely hypocritical. Andrea’s mother was so rude to the weekend aide the woman quit and made a scene about it. Unfortunately, no lessons were learned and Andrea got a phone call from her mom pleading with her to help with caretaking. She couldn’t find anyone else to pick up the hours that were now open. It was tough to find someone willing to look after an old woman when the pay wasn’t too great.
Andrea considered her options. She would only be with her grandmother two days of each week, just 18 hours. And it gave her enough flexibility to work another job as well. Andrea agreed to the 18 hours but made it very clear to her mother it was a temporary situation and she would still need to hire someone new.
If only she had been able to move out of the state sooner she wouldn’t have gotten stuck in the trap.
She wanted to help out, but at what cost?
It wasn’t long before Andrea found a job and this one worked well with her schedule. It was a construction job, but it paid very well and fit all of her requirements for a new job. Since she took the opportunity, she told her mom it was time to find a more permanent aide to take over for her. After all, they had agreed this would be temporary.
It was the very next day when everything began to go downhill.
Andrea’s mother called and said she fired a full-time employee so [Andrea] could have full-time hours. This woman had been working 48 hours during the week. Andrea was already working 18 with her grandmother and then 40 with construction. Somehow, the way the schedules were arranged, she could technically work all of the available hours for both jobs. But it was absolutely insane to expect of her!
Andrea was enraged and shocked! She knew the other aides needed the hours. Most of them had families to provide for, just like her! Andrea was upset her mother would be so careless and thoughtless. The woman may have been relying heavily on having this job to get her through the lockdown.
Andrea was also ticked off because she hadn’t asked for more hours in the first place. She had agreed to help out temporarily with the expectation someone would eventually take over her hours. She never wanted to be working full-time as a caregiver again.
She called her mom and they argued for 45 minutes. There were limited options. Andrea could take the hours and stretch herself to her absolute limit. Or her grandmother would get sent to a nursing home. If this happened, then the other aides would be left without jobs as well. One of which was her other sister. And they all had children to feed.
There was no good solution and because she had yet to get fully away from the grips of her mother, Andrea agreed to take the hours for now. Sadly, it was all going to catch up with her.
It took about three weeks of working nonstop before Andrea was past her limits. She was working seven days a week, barely having any time for anything other than her jobs. One day it all hit her like a wall of bricks. Her body decided it was done and she got sick. It was a terrible, gloomy day, and she felt just like the weather. So she did something she hated doing. She called off work at her construction job. It was a Friday and because of the weather they didn’t have much work to do so, it was actually the best day to need off.
She had overworked herself and was now stuck in bed with a fever because of it.
But the fever was the last of her worries when her mother came banging on her door with more demands.
Shot On Site
Andrea’s husband answered the door for her and her mother had the audacity to ask if Andrea would work in one of their shops for the day since she wasn’t working. Her parents had some side businesses, and Andrea did her best to help out where she could. However, her parents had been known to forget to pay her for her time when she worked for them. She had already volunteered to paint faces at one of their events for children and was scared she had spread herself too thin and now this. Andrea’s husband was shocked, staring at his mother-in-law.
Andrea heard the interaction and came to the door mad as could be. This was the last straw. After years of guilt and manipulation, she was finally done.
Andrea began to yell her feelings at her mother. She wanted her mother to realize the position she had put her daughter in. Andrea had not had a break in weeks and did it all to save others’ jobs. Andrea called her mother, “lazy, pathetic, ignorant, and manipulative.” And then she stated that if she came on the property again “ she would be shot on sight.”
This all came out with all the anger that had been building up since childhood. Her parents had taken advantage of her kindness for long enough. Andrea was hoping her outburst was enough to get her mother to stop asking things of her.
It was not. And even worse still, after “slamming the door in her face and locking all three locks,” police officers showed up at her house.
She was told she was threatening their lives with a weapon, unprovoked. Luckily, Andrea knew the officer that had come to her door and explained the situation. She also informed him she had a camera that would have recorded the entire interaction if he needed any proof that she was not threatening them. He told her that she “went a bit overboard with the shoot on-site threat,” but he knew no one was in danger. He told her parents that they would need to leave immediately. He stayed until they left, ensuring Andrea would not have to chase them away herself.
Finally, she was able to have some peace and quiet. And as it turns out, that was the best thing to happen. Now she was free from them, and weeks went by before she interacted with them at all. And she was finally able to plan for her big move, which seemed even better now that this had all happened.