by Suzanne Madera-Ford Roach
(United Kingdom )
This is the story of my sister aged 45 & my nephew who turned 26 this week.
They have an extremely unhealthy relationship. For example a statement this week was that "He hasn't told me he loves me for 6 weeks!" It's not normal!
He for his part is extremely abusive to her both verbally & physically.
She is a single gay woman who is currently suffering a quite debilitating type of illness, which may be part of the functional neurological disorder (FND). This has been part of an ongoing health issue for her & which she now uses as ammunition to fuel both guilt & manipulation.
At the age of 8 our mother passed away & myself & my husband brought her up along with our own 3 children, my eldest daughter being a year younger.
Unfortunately this marriage broke down when she was 15. My sister chose not to come live with me but stayed with my ex (which was fine) and then with another sister before just doing her own thing.
She became pregnant at age 21 at a time when we had lost touch. I discovered that she was living in a hostel & did my bit to support her & eventually had her living with me & my younger 2 children aged 14 & 10.
When Louis was born I was her birthing partner & they both continued to live here until he was at least 6 months old.
We were all his family. He grew to know me as his Nan. The only Nan he'd know. The father (his father) didn't want to know him on a permanent basis although there was a period that they all lived together & all was fine.
Then things went wrong. Louis came to us every weekend. I'd take him home as I worked full time. He would have no bedding on his bed. I'd take clean laundered sheets & make his bed. Constantly buy him new clothes. In effect he was being neglected.
Between myself & another sister we looked after him for around 6 months. He lived first with her then me.
She then moved to the area where our other sister lived some 50 miles away.
This was supposed to be a new start. It became the start of new turmoil & my sister & I constantly attempting to step in to resolve fraught issues with her, which were of her making, falling out with friends.
Louis went to school & lived with our other sister & her twin boys of the same age until Samantha decided to take him back. The climax came at around 6 years of age when Samantha informed us, she couldn't look after him. It was dangerous as she'd had racially abusive threatening letters posted through her door.
Louis is mixed race.
This was all due to whoever Samantha was keeping company with & had fallen out with .
My daughter who had an 18 month old & pregnant with her 2nd agreed to have Louis live with her & her husband.
This was at the coast & it continued successfully for a year. Louis was happy, he thrived. Then Samantha decided she wanted him home again.
It's interesting that during this time she didn't visit him once!!
Fast forward 20 years & we still have an ongoing battle which now takes the turn of her ranting on the phone or by messages. This is on a daily basis the rants go on & on.
She is very controlling of him. Demands money from him. Declares war on any of his girlfriends. Never had a good word to say about any of them.
She will moan for hours about him but not have a bad word said.
Asks for advice that she never usually follows. The only time she did we advised her to call the police when Louis was being abusive. She did & then a few weeks later she was back to ranting that we'd given her the wrong advice!
Really you can't win with her.
She treats Louis like a partner / husband. She wants him to do everything then complains that he's been out all night & wont make her a cup of tea.
In reality they both have issues. I think he is a cluster B personality. They both need therapy.
Last night we had her ranting as he had gone to spend the day with my daughter, son in law & grandsons to celebrate both his & my grandsons birthdays (14/15th Jan).
That just caused her even more ranting!!
Comment by Positive Parenting Ally
It sounds like a very stormy relationship between your sister and her son - so stormy that it affects everybody around them.
From what you write, it does sound like they both could benefit from some therapy. However, such a thing requires an openness to personal change and a willingness to take an honest and deep look at oneself and one's actions. Something they might or might not be ready for. You know better than me if they will be open to a suggestion from you for therapy.
When it comes to your own peace of mind in the whole affair, it sounds like you might benefit from setting up some boundaries if her ranting and actions are doing your head in.
Maybe simply decide with yourself what is good for you to listen to and what is not and then kindly and honestly communicate that to her.
Fortunately they are both adults now and are responsible for their own life and wellbeing.
All the best,
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