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I Need Advice Badly, My Mother...

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
My mother is so mad at me right now. I've been crying for the last hour because I honestly don't know what to do and who was wrong.

I'll start off by saying that I just turned 20, I'm in my third year of college and my parents still help me with some bills. For example: cell phone-split plan, health insurance, and car insurance. I pay for my house rent, bills, school, school books, pretty much everything else I need. My mom helps me when she can but I try not to ask her for help because I know she can't afford it. My parents are border-line bankrupcy but they don't want to claim banckrupcy because of everything they will loose.

A few weeks ago my mother asked me for $800, which comes from a student loan and told me she would pay me back three days later. Three days later turned into nearly three weeks, then she called and asked for more money because more things had come up. That's when I told her I was worried she wouldn't be able to pay me back the $800 and I didn't want to give her more $. She got really upset with me hung up the phone then never showed up that day to help me move like she was going to.

I got an email from her that made me cry again because I couldn't believe she would write what she did. My mother and I had a great relationship till last week and now I don't know what to do
Here is part of the email she sent me:


Hello Steph,

Your $800.00 has been paid in full.
Okay, now for my response to your comment/feelings voiced the other day.
You talked to me like if I was white trash, I am not and please don't talk to like that ever again. You hurt my feelings, you made me cry and very upset with you and your rudeness. How dare you to act like we do nothing for you in the financial way. Here would be a few samples that I can think of at this time. No, I am not the type that keeps track of everything we give you. No, I do not expect for you to repay it. No, I don't expect to change the bills that we pay for you to change, at this time. But, I do feel you need reminded that I help you out a lot on the financial area and feel that you may not realize how much we do help.



(She made a list of everything she has helped me with)


I didn't ever mean to sound like I was being rude or treating her like "white trash." I don't think I came off that way, but she feels I did. I just told her that I was worried I wouldn't get the money back and that student loan is all I have for support for the next 6 months.

Please give me some advice!!!
post #2 of 23
I'm sorry i cant give you much advice here

I'm also from an area where we dont use those words. So please forgive me for not knowing what "white trash" means.
post #3 of 23
The two of you need to have a long chat, there's no way around it.

To be honest, the tone of the email sounds rather accusatory and like it's only point was to make you feel guilty. That's no way to work out a problem.Try to keep a level head about this and figure out the best way to approach the topic. Maybe remind her you're still her daughter, and love her? And work from there, trying to keep the conversation positive? Also, possibly see what's bothering her lately. What made/stressed her out enough to react that way to you.

Whenever my parents try to guilt trip me I usually just settle it by being blunt but honest, however they're both incredibly dense. So my technique probably wouldn't work for you.
post #4 of 23
I would call her or write her a letter explaining it to her like you just explained it to us. Tell her that school is important to you and once you finish and get a good job, then you would be glad to help out any way you can financially. Explain that you appreciate all that she does for you and supporting you. Let her know how much her support has meant to you over the years. Let her know that without her behind you, you would not have accomplished everything that you have. In no uncertain terms inist that you know she isn't "white trash", that she is your mother and an important part of your life.

She is probably feeling vunerable about her financial situation and took your comment you made out of context. I hope that you can straighten out your misunderstanding.

Let us know what happens.
post #5 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by adymarie View Post
I would call her or write her a letter explaining it to her like you just explained it to us. Tell her that school is important to you and once you finish and get a good job, then you would be glad to help out any way you can financially. Explain that you appreciate all that she does for you and supporting you. Let her know how much her support has meant to you over the years. Let her know that without her behind you, you would not have accomplished everything that you have. In no uncertain terms inist that you know she isn't "white trash", that she is your mother and an important part of your life.

She is probably feeling vunerable about her financial situation and took your comment you made out of context. I hope that you can straighten out your misunderstanding.

Let us know what happens.
I agree. It sounds like your mom was trying to lay on a guilt trip (my mom's good at that too) just be polite but to the point. make sure that she knows you've noticed all the small things she's done for you and let her know how much you appreciate it.
post #6 of 23
It does sound like you are being manipulated into helping her out. But since things are so bad for them, and probably have been for such a long time, she must have been feeling like she was really sacrificing to help you out at all.
That said, I think that you should keep your money to survive on. Your parents are providing you with very basic things and once you have your education completed, you will be in a financial situation to help them out when they are in their advanced, vulnerable years. Your education is very important and brightens the future for the entire family.
At this point, trying to save your folks from bankruptcy while you're a student is like a non-swimmer jumping to the choppy ocean waters to save a drowning swimmer - you'll both go under
sending you lots of comforting {{prayers and vibes}} Remember that money problems are so scary and upsetting; more than likely your mom is actually venting about THEM and you simply got in the way
post #7 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by fwan View Post
I'm sorry i cant give you much advice here

I'm also from an area where we dont use those words. So please forgive me for not knowing what "white trash" means.
It means poor white people
most of the time its people who not only have little money but who a not very clean also.
post #8 of 23
If they are in financial straits do you know if they have seeked financial counseling. Its nothing to me ashamed off-with the economy and housing markets times can be difficult. And with it being your parents I'm sure they are embarassed to involve you in their finances. However they have.
There are many free sources of financial counseling

Do you work during the summer months or take summer school classes. You might want to check your auto insurance policy to see if any changes could be made to lower the insurance premium.

Good luck
post #9 of 23
She's absolutely laying a guilt trip on you. She knows precisely what you meant, and she didn't "take it wrong". She knew exactly what you were saying, but she a.) wanted the money, and b.) wants ot make you feel guilty for not giving it to her. She probably also didn't like to ask, and was embarrassed or angry when you told her no, but I very sincerely doubt that she "misunderstood" what you were saying. She's just running off with her emotions right now.

My personal opinion is, you need to stand firm. Don't let her guilt trip you. *You* need to take care of your future now, so you can take care of their future later. They'll need you a lot more then and you'll be in a better situation to help them as they're older and need help if you have a better paying job.

My response would be/probably is a lot different than what you want to go with, but I'll put down what I've said, or would say to my mom and you can either use it or disregard it as you choose. My mother is famous for this. She always plays the "I've helped you girls out so many times" card. Meanwhile, I started working when I was 15 to pay for my own things, and pay for a portion of the bills because she couldn't afford it. She chose to have you. She chose to take on the responsibility for a child. Now, while you are most certainly grateful, I'm sure, you did not ask her to do that. You had no choice in the matter, you weren't even born. It's a parent's responsibility to take care of the child whether or not the child is grateful, at least to a certain point.

Mom, for all of my life you've always told me that when I'm concerned or want to talk about something that I'm always welcome and free to come to you and talk to you about it. Well, here we are. I talked to you about my concerns, and now I'm being punished for it. I was under the impression that we've always had the ability to communicate freely, or at least that we would like that to be the case. When I voiced my concerns about this, it was not intended to insult you. I only meant to convey my concern. I understand that being under that kind of pressure makes everything look bleak and it must have been very difficult for you to come to me and ask me that. I'm certain that it was as difficult for you to ask me as it was for me to refuse, especially since I'm well aware of what all you have done for me. I'm also certain that after I've graduated and have a degree, and I'm working in a good job, that these will at least be matched, if not surpassed by my many future contributions to my parents.

I'm sorry that you feel the way that you do. Throughout our lives, you have always made decisions that you've told me I might not understand, but yet expected me to accept them without question because I was the child. I appreciate all the hard work and the fact that you loved me enough to make sacrifices for me. I am making, at least in my own mind, the same sort of sacrifice and decision right now, about lending you more money, that you've made for me. I had hoped that in your wisdom in raising me, you would see this for what it is, a protection for your future and mine, and not as you are seeing it, which is blatant disregard for your status in my life, and as an insult, which it never was.
post #10 of 23
Oh, and good luck, but I surely would not lend her the money. My sister didn't get her degree for lack of $200.
post #11 of 23
I would never burden my children by asking to borrow money from them. (yes, i do have children)
post #12 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by adymarie View Post
I would call her or write her a letter explaining it to her like you just explained it to us. Tell her that school is important to you and once you finish and get a good job, then you would be glad to help out any way you can financially. Explain that you appreciate all that she does for you and supporting you. Let her know how much her support has meant to you over the years. Let her know that without her behind you, you would not have accomplished everything that you have. In no uncertain terms inist that you know she isn't "white trash", that she is your mother and an important part of your life.

She is probably feeling vunerable about her financial situation and took your comment you made out of context. I hope that you can straighten out your misunderstanding.

Let us know what happens.
Excellent Advice!

Im sure you will be able to work this out with her.
post #13 of 23
Fwan, I wish we were ALL from an area where the words "white trash" were not used. It's an ugly, offensive term -- first because it calls human beings "trash," and second because it specifies "white," as if going on the assumption that human "trash" is normally black, brown, or some other color. It's a term that insults every human being on the planet, and it needs to die.

Now to the original poster... bless your heart, I understand how hurt you feel. It's very hard when the people who should know you best seem to assume the very worst possible interpretation of your actions.

I'm sure your mom is embarrassed by her financial problems, and to feel she had to ask, and then to be turned down... that would be humiliating. So I understand how she might have lashed out in resentment, however unjustified it was. Also... does your mom have a college degree? If not, I can imagine she might be feeling a little inferior to you, which would only make everything else worse.

My point is not to justify her behavior, but to suggest that she almost certainly doesn't really believe those things about you... please don't feel so bad. It's just a very touchy situation, and something you might do better to talk over face to face, if that's possible.

I agree with what some others have said -- whatever conversation you have next should begin with, "Mom, I love you." If you speak from the heart and explain your fears quietly and in detail, surely she will understand. And maybe you can help them figure out how to improve their situation -- maybe it's time to sell their house, or move into an apartment and rent the house out. You might be able to brainstorm with them and come up with some answers together.

I hope you're feeling better by now. Take care...
post #14 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolPetunia View Post
Fwan, I wish we were ALL from an area where the words "white trash" were not used. It's an ugly, offensive term -- first because it calls human beings "trash," and second because it specifies "white," as if going on the assumption that human "trash" is normally black, brown, or some other color. It's a term that insults every human being on the planet, and it needs to die.

Now to the original poster... bless your heart, I understand how hurt you feel. It's very hard when the people who should know you best seem to assume the very worst possible interpretation of your actions.

I'm sure your mom is embarrassed by her financial problems, and to feel she had to ask, and then to be turned down... that would be humiliating. So I understand how she might have lashed out in resentment, however unjustified it was. Also... does your mom have a college degree? If not, I can imagine she might be feeling a little inferior to you, which would only make everything else worse.

My point is not to justify her behavior, but to suggest that she almost certainly doesn't really believe those things about you... please don't feel so bad. It's just a very touchy situation, and something you might do better to talk over face to face, if that's possible.

I agree with what some others have said -- whatever conversation you have next should begin with, "Mom, I love you." If you speak from the heart and explain your fears quietly and in detail, surely she will understand. And maybe you can help them figure out how to improve their situation -- maybe it's time to sell their house, or move into an apartment and rent the house out. You might be able to brainstorm with them and come up with some answers together.

I hope you're feeling better by now. Take care...
CP is probably right here... well, the first part of her post, I agree with completely, but I was actually referring to the rest of her post. If she's like my mom, though, it's completely a guilt trip, and manipulative. Granted, it's born (in my mother's case) out of frustration or embarassment, but also due to her putting herself in the position that she's in, but my mother is *extremely* judgemental and does this type of thing on a regular basis. I did what others suggested here, which is apologize and try to appease her, and make her feel better, and then it became her pulling this every time she wanted something and I didn't give it to her (and not always something important). She didn't get past this behavior for the longest time.

Your situation is probably completely different, though. I wish you the best of luck and hope that everything works out for you whichever venue you choose. Your mom, regardless of how you handle it, isn't going to keep this up forever.
post #15 of 23
I agree that it probably was humilating for your mom to ask you for more money. Parents are supposed to be the providers. I think she probably is more mad that the situation, than at you. You were just a convenient outlet. Definitely talk to her face to face. If they needs money, try to organize a yard sale for them. Go through the house with them and see what they can get rid of. Yard sales actually bring in a lot of money sometimes.

Believe me, my mom was the queen of guilt trips. You just have to recognize them for what they are and stand firm. Loving but firm.
post #16 of 23
Your mom should never have asked you for money that you have and need for school. Never, never, never. She is thinking about herself, and not at all about you.

I like how she wrote that she doesn't keep track but then made a list. You didn't call her any names and it's her problem that she feels like "white trash."

Sorry, but I have no sympathy for self-absorbed parents. I wish you lots and lots of luck.
post #17 of 23
I also feel you were right not to give her the money. She had already broke her word of paying you back you money within 3 days, and still hadn't, and was then asking for more. She was wrong to ask you for the money, and it does sound like she's laying a guilt trip on you, and she seems to be acting petty. I'm in grad school, paying rent, bills, etc., and I understand how much money $800 dollars is when going to school.

It could be that she's very frusterated and depressed about her financiall situation and just isn't thinking straight. I find it very odd she would respond that way, regardless. You must ask yourself how they came to be just on the edge of bancruptcy. Was it bad financial decisions, or perhaps a worse problem like alcoholism (or something else). Obviously you do not need to give the answer here.

Forgive me if I am completely wrong, but I only suggest this because we almost lost our house a few years ago because my alcoholic father just didn't pay the bills. It doesn't have to be alcoholism, but your mother's response just struck me as familiar.

Tricia
post #18 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by adymarie View Post
I would call her or write her a letter explaining it to her like you just explained it to us. Tell her that school is important to you and once you finish and get a good job, then you would be glad to help out any way you can financially. Explain that you appreciate all that she does for you and supporting you. Let her know how much her support has meant to you over the years. Let her know that without her behind you, you would not have accomplished everything that you have. In no uncertain terms inist that you know she isn't "white trash", that she is your mother and an important part of your life.

She is probably feeling vunerable about her financial situation and took your comment you made out of context. I hope that you can straighten out your misunderstanding.

Let us know what happens.
I agree that seems like the best way.

Without the adequate funds you can't continue in school because you won't be able to pay tuition, and if you have to get out and work lots to make up income, your grades will suffer.

Unfortunately school isn't like the telephone company or a credit card company and they aren't so understanding about missed payments.

Student Loans aren't meant to provide a life of luxury. They are meant to help get you through school with the bare basics, and giving away $800.00 is a whole lot of money to a student!

I would suggest in the future not telling your parents when you get your loan money or how much it is.

I would also suggest that your parents get some serious debt management counselling and learn how to budget their money better than they have been....and they should cut up their credit cards if they still have any!

EDIT: I also just noticed in your post that you have a cell phone and a car which your parents have been helping you keep up with.

My suggestion would be to get rid of the cell phone. People lived without them for hundreds of years, surely you can live without one until you finish school? As for a car, those are major expenses. I would suggest selling it and taking public transportation. Again, a car is not a necessity, it's a luxury, and one that most students cannot afford to keep because of maintenance, insurance, gas, parking etc. And the fact that your parents are having to help you pay for the insurance is a good indication that you should sell it because not only can't you keep it up yourself, but it's also contributing to your parents' financial problems because the money they are giving you for insurance could be going into paying off some of their debt.
post #19 of 23
Natalie CA had some good points, but I see a few areas to question.

Are you on your parents cellphone plan? Be sure it is a basic plan, with mailbox. I think we pay around 10 bucks a month for my daughter's phone on our plan. No texting, no internet. No land phone for her.

What is public transportation like in your town? Are you working and going to school? Do you live close to school?

What is your car like? All you need is a safe, dependable car. Is it paid for?
Have you shopped around for for cheaper insurance?

I live in an area where it just isn't practical to count on public transportation. They just cancelled bus routes recently. My twenty minute drive to work isn't available by public transportation unless I want to walk
post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom of 4 View Post
What is public transportation like in your town? Are you working and going to school? Do you live close to school?

What is your car like? All you need is a safe, dependable car. Is it paid for?
Have you shopped around for for cheaper insurance?

I live in an area where it just isn't practical to count on public transportation. They just cancelled bus routes recently. My twenty minute drive to work isn't available by public transportation unless I want to walk
I went back to school when I was in my early 30's. Which was about 12 years ago. I moved out of my then $500.00 per month apartment across town, to a cheaper bachelor apartment 1 block from the hospital where I was going to school which took care of the transportation problem.

Also, taking on a room-mate is a viable option for students. Sharing rent helps a great deal.

My point about selling the car and getting rid of the cell phone was to allow her to get out from under her parents' thumb so that they couldn't throw their help back in her face like her Mom has been doing. Also, by selling the car and getting rid of the cell phone, she could probably pay for her own health insurance which again would sever her financial dependance from her parents.

When you want something bad enough you need to sometimes make sacrifices for the short term. I sure wasn't happy moving out of a large airy, sunny one bedroom apartment over looking a gorgeous park in the heart of downtown to a 3 story walkup with my window facing another building and getting no sunshine into my home at all. But it was a sacrifice I was willing to make...and had to make because I didn't have anything other than my student loans and whatever income I brought in from working. I didn't have the luxery of going to family for extra funds each month.
post #21 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thank you everyone for caring so much and for the great advice!! I have emailed my mother once and talked to her once since I posted this thread and she is still a bit hostile towards me. I guess I'm just going to have to wait this one out.

It sucks because now every time I see her she is short with me and doesn't act like herself. I even called to tell her I got a new job that pays more and she pretty much said congrats and brushed it off. I'm sending her one more email explaining that I am greatfull for what she has done, and I never meant to insult her. I'm just ready to be done dealing with this and I'm becoming more and more sour about the whole ordeal. I just want to yell, "You are the mom you should act like a mom and go to someone else for money, not your college daughter!" Of course, I won't do that because that IS rude....
post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by SwampWitch View Post
Your mom should never have asked you for money that you have and need for school. Never, never, never. She is thinking about herself, and not at all about you.

I like how she wrote that she doesn't keep track but then made a list. You didn't call her any names and it's her problem that she feels like "white trash."

Sorry, but I have no sympathy for self-absorbed parents. I wish you lots and lots of luck.
Thats exactly right SW.

EnzoLeya, if you had finished college and was working it might be a different story, but at this point its totally wrong.

I do understand though the part about bankruptcy, its not a pleasant thing to face. Not only do you lose everything, but you can't travel overseas during the bankrupt period. In NZ it even gets advertised under public notices in the newspaper, if its the same where you are then that would be humiliating. I haven't been bankrupt personally, but came close once.
Even though I say I understand this part, it is still no excuse for your mum to come to you, especially if she has been supporting you, then she knows that your financial situation is not much better. She should have been grateful that you were able to loan her the $800 in the first place.

Just give it some time. Your mum will get over it soon and when she does, she will probably act like this event never took place.

Until then though, you have the support of everyone here at TCS
post #23 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by EnzoLeya View Post
Thank you everyone for caring so much and for the great advice!! I have emailed my mother once and talked to her once since I posted this thread and she is still a bit hostile towards me. I guess I'm just going to have to wait this one out.

It sucks because now every time I see her she is short with me and doesn't act like herself. I even called to tell her I got a new job that pays more and she pretty much said congrats and brushed it off. I'm sending her one more email explaining that I am greatfull for what she has done, and I never meant to insult her. I'm just ready to be done dealing with this and I'm becoming more and more sour about the whole ordeal. I just want to yell, "You are the mom you should act like a mom and go to someone else for money, not your college daughter!" Of course, I won't do that because that IS rude....
I do understand that it was probably humiliating for her to ask and then, especially, to be refused. However, she knows what sort of situation you're in. She's pouting now, deliberately acting this way to make you feel like a heel. And, she's being successful. You're coming to her, and you're offering her apologies and explanations, when in all honesty, what you did and said shouldn't have needed explanations and apologies. I'm sure that my outlook in my previous posts seems pretty harsh, but I'm really in agreement with SW and Diego on this.

I'm absolutely certain that your mother has been there for you, and I'm certain that she's a wonderful person. But, imho she's putting you through the wringer right now, deliberately, because she's having a pout. And honestly, that's not to say that this is specific to your mother, because I've certainly seen other people do it. It's truly human nature, but if you feed the pout, it gets worse, and it opens up the door for them to do it again later, because they get the result they want, i.e., you running to them saying you're sorry and effectively you're wrong (even if you don't actually say that)..by apologizing for any of it, that's the implication.

You made the right decision. You made the only decision you could. Really, you did. You sort of have to do what your mom did with you when she told you no, you can't have that toy, and you threw a pout and tantrum, kicking your feet, perhaps even throwing yourself down in the middle of the aisle at the store and screaming at the top of your lungs that she didn't love you... roll your eyes and ignore it because you know it's the right decision.

Hope it gets better for you soon. It's horrid to have to deal with anyone that you're close to in a situation like this. And I'm sending all the soothing feel better vibes I can.
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