about

I am 48 years old (yes that's old compared to some of you).


I have worked in nursing and/or healthcare management positions for 24 years. Primarily OB, Neonatal, Mental Health, Occupational Health and Geriatrics. In Jan 2008 I started my own business to board horses and do equine/human education. I am also a certified dog trainer.


I've been around the block so to speak and seem to be always helping others. I've been told that the reason people seek me out for advice is that I am approachable and caring. But on the same token even though I consider the person's feelings. I tell it like I see it. I've dealt with people in trouble with the law, dysfunctional families such as those with abuse & marriage problems. Not to mention problems with employees and employers.


I don't ever claim to know it all, and always keep an open mind.


advice

I honestly feel like my step brother has hooked up a hidden camera in my room. His friends will come over and they have this name that they call me, and i'm pretty sure it involves what I do in the privacy of my room. I have looked up how to detect a hidden camera but I don't even know where to begin looking. Like the internet says they can be hidden in tvs and vcrs but how the heck are you supposed to open a vcr or tv to find a camera? I want to confront my mom about it but she'll just think im crazy, and she'll ask me why I think theres a hidden camera in my room and I really dont want to explain the meaning behind their joke.. What do I do? How do I know if theres a camera in my room? I mean, the internet also says "look for any red or green dots" well my tv has a red light on it but it came like that and so does my dvd player, and dvr. Please someone help. I am at a loss and I just want to get to the end of this and find out if there really is a camera in my room. Oh and how long does it take to even hook up a hidden camera?

I suppose you will have to sneak into your brother's room when he is not home. If he hid a wireless camera there will need to be a receiver connected to his computer, it will probably be a USB device. Even wireless cams need power, so look for cables or plugs. If he hid a small video cam, he'd have to go to your room to retrieve it to download and watch the video. You could always set up something to see if he moves your things or even enters your room. Put a small piece of paper in the door, or arrange your items in a specific way etc. If you discover anything you may wish to tell your parents and maybe they would allow you to put a lock on your door.

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My husband's 85 year old mother is solely dependent on my husband for support. She has lived separately but due to the onset of severe Alzheimer and her mounting maintenance costs, it is no longer affordable by my husband. I have agreed to take a loan in order to expand our home and allow her to live with us.
I am however stressed by my husband's announcement that he intends to move all of MIL's furniture in to our home despite being unable to accomodate them. I feel exploited by having to take a loan to ease my husband's financial burden but yet he is willing to impose further stress on me. I must say that I reluctantly agreed as my husband is her only child but she has been a very vulgar and rude woman in the over 10 yrs I have known her and now I will also have to deal with her behavioural issues associated with her illness.
Please suggest how to deal with this pending crisis before I end up divorced!

Having some experience with this, I hope I can help. My mother-in-law also had alzheimer's. At the early onset of her illness she made her children feel guilty for considering nursing home placement and would cry each time they approached the issue. Being an assisted living administrator at the time, I knew she would soon go beyond the assisted living level, and when they need more than that, it is nearly impossible for a family to provide home care.

One of the daughters, who had no experience in nursing or with AD, quit her job and moved in with Mom to care for her during the last few years. It was a disaster, but if I spoke up, my opinion was not valued as only a daughter-in-law. However, I continued to give my husband gentle reminders about the issues at hand. His sister needed a break, and he stayed with Mom alone to care for her. He called me in tears, as he finally realized I was right about the level of care she needed. So, he began to take my side regarding the nursing home issue. However the sisters didn't agree. Their Mom died at home in a miserable state and should have been cared for by professionals.

I would not recommend that you take a loan, or move in your Mother in law's furniture, or move her in for that matter. Your husband probably does not have experience caring for a person with Alzheimer's and is only trying to be a good son and live without guilt. His relationship with his Mother will become so strained, neither of them will enjoy her last years on this earth.

Instead, go directly to the nearest Alzheimer's association and ask for help, and how to get social services involved to assist with the finances. They are wonderful people and hopefully can offer your husband peace of mind and convince him to leave her care to the professionals that are trained to do these things (and go home after an 8 hr shift)

I think you are right, you would end up divorced and your husband would eventually get burned out on caring for Mom, even if he doesn't see it that way now. In the end everyone will be alone and miserable, when things do not have to be like that at all. You may have to stand your ground on this one, it seems you are completely in the right.

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My parents want to come and spend the night at my house. I have told them hundreds of times that they have really nasty habits (like not washing their hands after using the bathroom then touching food and not taking baths but once a week). Then they come and bring roaches with them (unintentionally of course) from their house, that they refuse to clean. (Then they ask why we don't visit them at their house. Last time we went I got a glass from the cabinet to get some water to drink and it had roach eggs and spiderwebs in it.)I have to treat them like children and tell them how to do things properly. I do not like them giving my kids food because I don't know where their hands have been. When I do tell them that they need to clean up their act, they get offended and blame it on this or that (a line of bull). Then my dad gets mad at me and says sarcastic comments (like I'm sorry we are not perfect like you). I never said I was perfect, I just don't want them to teach my kids ( 2 & 6 yrs. girls) bad habits. They need to be able to look up to them and be proud. Nothing I do seems to help. They never listen, when I'm trying to tell them something they always take it the wrong way. Then they act jealous of other family members (ex: why can u go visit them and not us?). Last time they stayed over night the room had to be cleaned because it smelled after they left. I can't take much more of this, I don't know what else to do other than just start avoiding them. I have put up with this for years, Please help...

It's not likely people like this will change. Being in property management and healthcare I realize that there are many people out there just like them! It's frustrating, but as far as teaching your children in a bad way, most likely this won't happen. You have a greater influance on your children than they do, and after all you didn't turn out like your parents. I personally think there is something mentally blocking people that stop them from having good hygiene, an illness of sorts. If you honestly love your parents don't avoid them, but keep trying to help them. If they won't let you gather the troops to get their house clean, by all means don't visit if you feel uncomfortable, and tell them the reason why, perhaps write it a letter so you don't have to tolerate the excuses and sarcism.
If they visit you, keep certain clothes and items at your house so you can wash and clean up. Don't allow them to bring luggage etc into the house. Carry around a bottle of hand santizer and disenfectant wipes....you'd think they'd get the hint that you don't want to live like they do. Either they will be offended and stop visiting on their own or they will clean up their act. If not, you have tried, and they have no one to blame but themselves.

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i always get really depressed around my period. its nothing serious just the hormones are flying. is there anything you girls can suggest to treat myself or make me feel a little better during this time. With my hormones going crazy and school work piling up its hard to relax!

You can try increasing good foods such as fruit and veggies, and stay away from junk food. Also cut back or eliminate caffiene and processed sugars. Food can really affect our moods, and until you eliminate the bad stuff for a few days you'll never know how well this works.

Also increase your exercise and get some fresh air. In addition extra sleep will help clear the mind.

Also checking with your doc wouldn't be a bad idea just in case he/she has other ideas for you.

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Hi Im a female 17. lately I´ve been having lots of problems with my mom cause She went throught my cellphone and found a really x rated...erotic whatever you want to call it conversation with my bf (which she didn´t even know I had) it was about 6 messages long. And now she calls me hoe, vulgar. and says Im a minor and lots of crap. Im 17 and i think I have a right to explore my sexuality but safely, which I do. It sucks because now she makes me feel like crap with sarcasms and she even went to the cellphone company to check up on my messages and to who i write them. Its a total invasion of privacy i can´t even text my bf anymore and i don´t know what to do cause i really like him and my mom is making me want to seriusly die or kill myself.

Honey, killing yourself is not the answer. Please talk to someone about this if you really feel that way. You will soon be 18 and before you know it out on your own and be able to have that privacy that you desire. It sounds like a long time off, but trust me time will go quickly.

I have to agree with the potential legal implications though. I know someone first hand who was arrested because of information stored on a phone.

While we'd like to think so, nothing we do on the internet or our phones is 100% private. That info can be intercepted in a variety of ways.

If you can try to always talk to your boyfriend in person or on a land line (provided she doesn't have a recording device attached to the phone) Of course this is a very primative way of communicating, but in my day we did not have text messages and got along without this. Sometimes parents would find hand written notes though, and we faced the same thing! So be careful with that too.

Now the fact that she is calling you names is very inappropiate. She's supposed to be the adult! I do not agree with that at all!

If you have a job maybe you can get your own pay as you go phone or something, but still be careful what you type and erase all texts after they are sent and read.

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2 couples involved
friends for 20+ years recent bitter aqgument over politics has resulted in couple #2 stopping contact (they know couple #1 wife has terminally ill father (Dr said not to count on Thanksgiving)

Woman is an only child, planning her fathers funeral home care etc has enough to deal with
Plus she feels that people she has loved & emotionally supported for years have abandoned her... therefore must never have been true friends

I am close to couple #1 & well aquainteed with couple #2.


should I contact couple #2 & tell them how depressed their absence is making wife #1?

all involved are 55+ years with grown familiew

I probably wouldn't play mediator in this case. If they can't agree to disagree about politics, then it's true their friendship may have not been that strong at all.

They may work it out on their own or they may not, but you might just alinate one of the couples by getting involved too deep in their battles.

In otherwords, It may be a good idea to stay neutral in regards to their argument. Or you may likely get the blame somewhere down the road.

What you can certainly do though is be there for emotional support in regards to what the woman is going through with her father. She will appreciate the fact that all her friends haven't abandoned her, and it might make all the difference in the world for just that one person.

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My friend is fighting for custody of her son, but she isn't doing anything that the court ordered her to do. I.e paying child support, visiting the child, calling him..etc. I don't understand this, if you are fighting for custody wouldn't you do everything a Mother should plus more. It's hard being her friend and supporting her knowing she isn't living up to what I feel a Mother should do whether she is fighting for custody of her son or not. She doesn't even visit him every other weekend like she could, if she wanted. She lives in the same town that he does and she and the Father acutally get along decent. So he is not the proble. Why is she fighting for custody? Do you have any suggestions as to how to help her - as her friend - without ruining our friendship. Or should I tell her that her son is better off staying with his Father, who at least can provide for the child.

Hello,

What a tough situation you are in as a friend to witness this. I agree she should be paying child support and maintaining her visitation. Maybe she is only fighting for custody so she will not be obligated to pay child support. I know that is what some fathers do.

I don't think you have to tell her that the child is better off staying with the father. But as a friend you could sit down one on one and talk to her about this. Tell her if the judge sees what you do, the custody hearing most likely will not end in her favor. Ask her, does she honestly want custody? It doesn't appear that way now. You can remind her of the facts, but as a friend it puts yourself in a bad situation to say who would be the better parent or provider.

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I have this uncle, who had a divorce. Then he met this girl. He is 63. This girl is 23. I have no problem with age differences. But this has gone to far. That is somewhat 40 years. That is nasty. I understand 20, or less, but 40, come on. He defentily does not look 60. He broke up with her for a 22 year. Myt uncle disguests me. My whole familly has no problem. I want him to be happy, but that happy, is to me just plain wrong. He also is verrrrrrrrry rich. These girls seem to like his money.He doesn't notice or get hurt. I am tired of seeing a young woman, that is only 2,3, or 4 years older then my sister who's 20. They could be my isters. That so nasty. I need peoples opinion on young + old = love/like relationaships.

My opinion is that relationships with this much of an age gap won't last very long, because there is no way they could have that much in common. One bonus is the young women he dates are not minors (thank goodness).

I understand that if you are close to your uncle you have a hard time ignoring this, but yes as the other posters said, there's really nothing you can do. But it's okay to voice your opinion on it. Everyone is entitled to that much.

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My husband and I purchased a cabin in the mountains four years ago. Along with that, we purchased two ATVs (four-wheelers) to ride the thousands of acres of mountain trails adjacent to our cabin property.

We love to have our children and grandchildren visit and have an open door policy where they're concerned.

Recently, my married daughter asked me, in front of her husband, if we would be willing to let them use the cabin for use with her husband's family. We told her we would have to think about it. We discussed it briefly with them and never gave them an answer.

My husband and I had already talked about this situation because we knew it would come up. I had expressed to my daughter shortly after we purchased the cabin that this was a "family only" cabin and was not open to in-laws. My daughter told me at that time that she understood. I feel like she was put up to asking me by her husband.

My husband and I feel strongly that we don't want my daughter's in-laws, or any other in-laws for that matter, accessing our cabin. Our cabin is as personal as our home, and I wouldn't lend out the use of my home to just anyone.

Also, I'm worried about the liability issue concerning the use of our four-wheelers and also who would be responsible if they damaged them.

I also feel like if we open up the cabin to this set of in-laws, our other children would assume that they would be entitled to bring their in-laws and friends to the cabin, which rightfully so they should.

Am I being too possessive of "my cabin"? I don't want to alienate my son-in-law, but, again, I don't feel I have any obligation to provide his family with a weekend retreat. I'm afraid if we allow it "just this once" that it will become expected that they can use it any time.

Please advise. Thanks

No, I do not feel you are being too possessive of your cabin. And you are correct by thinking that from a liability issue they would not be covered, not only via damage to the 4 wheelers, but injury to themselves or other property.

As long as they are guests while you are present, they should be covered (but check with your insurance company to be sure).

This is probably the approach you would want to take with your son-in-law. Hopefully he will understand.

Also most likely you want the cabin to be available when you want to use it and not have to deal with others staying there, their schedules and so on. In addition it's not for lease or timeshare, it's for personal use.

I think if you give an inch--they make take a mile, so you will have to stand your ground in a firm but fair manner. Offer to help them find local accomdations if they want to drop by for a visit perhaps.

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ok so i have this friend. Lets call her "Jane" Well jane is always wanting to come over and when she does all she wants to do is look threw my clothes and my shoes. And stuff. And when i say lets do something shes like do you have any money and when i say no shes like well i dont know what to do then. and she is like always cramping me. I NEED MY SPACE FOR OTHER FRIENDS!!! what should i do?

-cramped

I don't blame you for how you feel, I would need my space away from someone like that too. Asking if you have money is just rude, almost like she intends on using you, but then she probably doesn't know any better. She is probably a very lonesome person, and perhaps driving people away and not knowing that she is doing so. I call people like this "Cling Ons" once you are nice they take it like you are their best friend in the whole world. Unless you know of someone who is needy for friendship that you can introduce her to, You are probably just going to have to come out and say what about her is bothering you. Be tactful and honest and in the end, you may help her to see how her behavior affects people. So even if she is upset at the moment, maybe she will see the light and do better in other friendships in the future. You know the saying "What doesn't kill us makes us stronger"

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I'm very new to this site I just happened to stumble on it by accident and sure glad that I did but noticed that they are alot of teenagers and not that many adults older than 18. I posted my question on here or on the site its the one " Getting to know my husbands 17yr old daughter" I'm not sure if you will be able to retrieve it or should I retype the question on your site, I'm so very new to this chat room thing so I really dont know how it works so please let me know?

I was able to find the question. Ohhh boy, this is a tough situation, probably one of the most difficult I have seen on this board so far. It's easy to get sucked in to the situation and feel sorry for the girl, but I get a sense that she and her mother will wreck havoc on your life. I think it's best not to get involved. Your husband obviously has to decide his level of involvment with his newly found daughter, but care should be taken every step of the way. While none of her upbringing is her fault, it affects her and she is obviously going to be dysfunctional. She may be manipulative--and will take advantage of your family situation because she does not have the life skills that you and your children have. She may even try to manipulate your child that she is writing to. I'd say keep your distance for now, and keep your children at a distance. It sounds cold I know, but I think you need to look out for yourself and your kids. You didn't do anything to cause this and shouldn't have to put any effort into fixing it.

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I am 51, my mom is 80. How do I handle her when we go shopping and she starts to lecture me that I am spending too much money and I really dont need to buy any more clothes unless I see something special. You see I get angry and say how dare she make comments and tell me what to do and how to do it and what to buy. HELP

I didn't read the other answers, but I know all about people that are the age of your Mother. They lived through the depression years and want to be very spend thrifty--they can "never" afford something, even if they can. So on one side they may know they have the money to spend and on the other side feel guilty if it is something they don't really need. Ever heard the saying "waste not and want not" just impress to your Mom that your purchase is good quality and will save you money in the long run, she might accept that and drop it, but if she doesn't buy it anyway, and don't say anything else. As my own later 70s mother tried to do to me today--don't let your Mom put a guilt trip on you. Times have changed and we do appreciate what they lived through, but thank goodness we don't have to live like they did!

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What do i do with a husband who doesn't believe he is cheating on me since he insists the relationship isn't physical? We will be going to marriage counciling soon but have to wait for an appointment. He has written love letters to her that i found. i can't just dump him, i have a 9 month old daughter to think about. He still wants to hang out with the girl and won't stop, even after i said it would hurt me and our relationship if he did. he doesn't think he is wrong. What would you do?

He is not taking your feelings into consideration, and that is not a foundation for a strong relationship. It must have been devastating to find the letters. I would get a divorce that's what I would do. Life's too short to waste it on someone who doesn't love you the way you love him. You can do better by raising your daughter alone without all the tension that he is creating.

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I lost touch with my dad when i was 9 (long story) last year was the first time i got in touch with him. i also met aunts that i never knew my whole life. before we lost touch i last saw him a few weeks before i turned 8. the whole thing is i'm jamaican and my dad left jamaica when i was 2 then came back to visit when i was 4 . so i really don't know him. he left jamaica and cheated on my mother with another woman that he has 2 kids with now (10 and 11) i finally came to the US when i was 6 but i lived in new jersey and my dad lived in florida and he still does currently. after losing touch i moved to conneticut but last year on the internet i found his name and phone number. i was so excited that had always been something i yearned for over the years. now it's a year later and he still hasn't visited me. i haven't ben able to go because of the situation at home. my mother is a single parent and has another child my younger sister. she couldn't afford for me to leave when she has to work. so i have to wait till some other time to visit my family. my aunts came up to see me last summer but my dad hasn't. i just became disinterested in him over time because i thought he would have been here by now. i haven't seen him in 10 years i'm 18 now and i think it's messed up that he wants to come to my graduation but couldn't come here just to visit me. he also works at the airport in miami so that's not a problem. he stopped calling me which i don't care about because it's akward talking to him when i don't know what to say. my aunt's always have somthing to say when i try to point out the fact that he hasn't visited me yet. he has 2 other kids with him and i feel really out of place the least he could do is visit he sends money every month but it doesn't make up for everyhting else. does anyone else beside my bestfriend see's where i'm coming from?

I understand where you are coming from. It's difficult to grasp why a father would not make an effort to see his child. Of course you are becoming uninterested in seeing him now because you feel rejected, and have every right to feel that way. Since he hasn't been in your life for a very long time It's probably not even that you miss him, but you miss the father that you want him to be. For now focus on your Mom and younger sister...and whatever else is in your life at this time. If your Father comes to your graduation, then just be casual and polite. Perhaps he will want to build a relationship after that, but if not, there is not a lot you can do. Almost any man can father a child, but not all of them can be a Dad. They just don't think of the long term consequences and will probably be very lonely in their old age. Someday you may have your own children and can move on from there, and not make the same mistakes your Father has. Best of luck to you.

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well okay on thursday night my mom picked my sister and i up from my gradmas house at 1am, even though so was supposed to pick us up around 8:30. she was so drunk, and i was scared to get in the car. my sisters 7 and was asleep so i carried her outside with me. i get in the car and my mom goes crazy for NO REASON! she's being so mean, and i asked her why are you doing this to yourself? and she called me names. we got out of the car when we were home and i was on the phone with my gram and she hit me in the face and tried to get my cell phone, but i ran down street until she got inside, then i went in and ran up in my dads room (the attick.) he has a lock in the inside that i locked it. and sooo, she comes upstairs and trys to open in and calls me EVERYTHING in the world. a cunt, she hopes i was never born, ALL FOR NOTHING! as i was on the phone with my gram she heres everything. my dad comes home from work bout 1:45 and my moms passed out in her room and my sister is forced to sleep with her. she hurt me sooo badly, and i got no sorry. i wanna move out more then anything in the world. since then we haven't even talked. even before this TERRIBLE DRUNK DISASTER she was always so rude and treated me so much different then my sister. i don't like her, and i need help. sorry this is longg.

It's terrible that you have to go through such a thing. Just remember that none of this is your fault. Your Mom is probably an alcoholic or has a mental disorder, which is an illness...and at this point she can't help what she is doing either. This does not mean you should feel sorry for her because you shouldn't. Your Grandma probably doesn't know how to stand up to your Mom. Because if I were your Grandma, I wouldn't have allowed you to go home, and I would have called the police if I had to. There's a couple of things you can do, one is call a local drug and alcohol treatment center and ask about an intervention. They can explain what it is all about over the phone. Since it's not likely that your Mom will get help visit this site and call the phone number on here...there's people that want to help you. Don't feel trapped, there is a way out, even if your Mom won't change, you can still help yourself be a survivor.

http://www.al-anon.alateen.org/english.html

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Hello,

We got a new coach for my high school swim team. She is pretty tough. We have a morning practice and an afternoon practice. However, I have way too much homework to actually do all this swimming! I am very concerned about my work and it comes first. Also, I will only have twenty less minutes to change into my uniform, get to my locker and get to class after getting out of swimming. I also have no time to eat breakfast. My parents keep on saying that they will talk to her, but I don't even know if I want to be on such a demanding team. I do swimming for personal enjoyment and exercise, not to be super competitive. I don't think my mom understands that I am not a competitive person and will break down under such a high-stress regimen. Any advice? I am involved 2 clubs, but without swimming, no sports.
Thanks.

Eating breakfast is certainly important, and you won't be able to concentrate as well without it. If you enjoy swimming for recreational reasons of course you should continue swimming, but on your own schedule. Perhaps there are summer swim sports that you can join and drop the competition during the school year. The involvement in a sport is important but unless you plan to continue that sport as a career, your grades are a priority right now. If you burn the candle at both ends, you will burn out. Sports in high school should be fun, but when they become ultra demanding the fun is gone, too bad coaches don't see it that way too. Sometimes we have to know when to say "when".

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I'm going to set the scene here by first giving some background information:

My brother, Dustin: 23 years old; senior in college; has a two year old son; unmarried and single; lives on his own.

I, Natalie: 16 years old; high school junior; unemployed (my parents told me not to work so I can concentrate on school); live with both of my parents.

Story:
My brother was over at my parents' house (where I live) last night. He was drinking and trying to show off to impress a girl his age that was also at my house. He was complaining about EVERYTHING. He said, "I'm a grown man, 23, and I can take care of myself".

However, my parents pay half of his rent, help him take care of his child, pay his college tuition, and supply him with a part time job (he works for my parents, who own their own business). The comment he made was very disrespectful to my parents.

When he gets to see his child every other weekend, my mom drives about thirty minutes away to pick up my brother and his son to bring them out to my house. My brother practically pushes the parental responsibilities that are needed to take care of a two year old on to my mother. She ALWAYS changes his diaper, feeds him, and plays with him while my brother sits on the couch. My brother gets frustrated when his own child is barely whining.

I think his actions as an “adult” are completely wrong. I know I can’t tell my brother how to live or act, but how could I effectively express my opinion of him?

You as a younger sibling you can certainly express your opinion, but it's probably not going to be very effective. Perhaps you can ask another family member (other than your parents) or an older adult to speak to your brother about his behavior. It sounds like he should go to some parenting classes, maybe your Mom can convince him to do so. He needs to learn to tolerate and care for his own child.

While there are some 23 year old males more responsible than your brother, I am certain that there are many more just like your brother. If your parents force him to be on his own, with no help from them after he graduates he will either step up to the plate and grow up or fail miserably--in which he will eventually learn from his own mistakes. It might not be until he's 30, but hopefully it will happen someday. In my opinion someone is not really grown up until they take care of every aspect of their life without help from others....sure he's capable of it, but will he?

As far as you, I think it's great that you see this as a problem that needs addressed. It shows your maturity, and It sounds like you are not willing to make the same mistakes that he has. Best of luck to you & your family.

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well be aunt and uncle just died in a car crash leaving 3 boys ages 3, 5, and 9. i am really sad about it and all of the sudden will have a breakdown. anything i should do to try and get over it or comfort their boys? the 3 year old is constantly asking questions about his mom. thanks!

Don't fight the sad feelings, it's part of the grieving process. If you have pictures of the boys parents, make sure they are out where the boys can view them frequently. Reassure them how much their Mommy and Daddy loved them and would want them to be happy. If at all possible, talk to your parents about some counseling for the boys. The counselor can offer a lot of solutions to help them move on with life.

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I am at breaking point with my mom. She does not accept the woman I love, with whom I have two sons. This problem is damaging the lives of my family as well as my father and brothers. She twists events to the point of complete fiction and twists them in such a way that we are terribly victimizing her. In truth, knowing her condition, we have taken great care into our dealings with her and have always welcomed her in our lives. Somehow, my partner seems to sit in the wrong way, not greet her in such a way as to appease her, not call enough, not come from a nice enough family - the list is infinite. She doesn't believe that our intentions are pure. My partner has continued to try, despite the fact that she will never be accepted and that she will always accidentally do something wrong - but she has reached the point where she has spiritually given up - she can never show her real self to my mother again.

My mom creates massive drama around every important event in life - from the birth of our son, the completion of my PhD, moving into my first home - they have all been spoiled because of her fiction drama. Everyone in the family knows she has lost her mind, but everyone is afraid to confront her - and rightfully so. If you don't agree with what she says, then you are the enemy. So, she creates this fake world, people try to pacify her and we grow more distant. I am at a loss for what to do. I could talk honestly with her - a strategy which has never worked in the past, or I could keep trudging along trying to be nice and to serve as a bridge between the most important people in my life. My last attempt at honesty resulted in her listing off further transgressions on our part and her continued inability to understand any other viewpoint. Unfortunately, I have reached the point where I am too angry and frustrated to continue this much longer. I'm not willing to lose my mother – despite all of this, she is a very loving and good woman. However, I am afraid that I have no reasonable options to pursue! Any advice would be very appreciated.
Male, early thirties

Your situation sounds very frustrating, and I believe you are in the most difficult position of all. You say you are not willing to give up your Mother, but I wonder what would happen if you allow yourself to Let Go? Letting go does not mean to stop caring, but what it does is to deny your Mother the right to emotionally blackmail you and your wife any longer.

You may have to give your Mother ultimatums, in which you need to be prepared to follow through on.

To let go does not mean to stop caring,
it means I can't do it for someone else.
To let go is not to cut myself off,
it's the realization I can't control another.
To let go is not to enable,
but allow learning from natural consequences.
To let go is to admit powerlessness, which means
the outcome is not in my hands.
To let go is not to try to change or blame another, it's to make the most of myself.
To let go is not to care for, but to care about.
To let go is not to fix, but to be supportive.
To let go is not to judge, but to allow another to be a human being.
To let go is not to be in the middle arranging all the outcomes,
but to allow others to affect their destinies.
To let go is not to be protective, it's to permit another to face reality.
To let go is not to deny, but to accept.
To let go is not to nag, scold or argue,
but instead to search out my own shortcomings and correct them.
To let go is not to adjust everything to my desires,
but to take each day as it comes and cherish myself in it.
To let go is not to criticize or regulate anybody,
but to try to become what I dream I can be.
To let go is not to regret the past,
but to grow and live for the future.

To let go is to fear less and love more

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Well, okay so i have a distant cousin. and I'd always just use the term of 1st cousin , 2nd cousin, 3rd cousin, etc. Because i didnt get the meaning of like first cousin once removed. Well If you have a first cousin twice removed, Does that mean you are more related to him as if you were related to a 2nd cousin once removed? I always wondered that and thought if there was anyone out there that knew. And if the answer to that question is yes, does the "removed" mean you are less related then like a first cousin in general? Just thought I'd ask cause i was curious. haha. thanks! ((i feel dumb asking this))

Yes, the removed does mean that you are less related. If your Grandparents, and your cousin's Great Grandparents are the same, you would be first cousins once removed.

If you are of the same generation--the "removed" is not relevant..for example if you share the same Great Grandparents..you will be 2nd cousins.

But if your Great Grandparents are the Great Great Grandparents of your cousin..you would be 2nd cousins once removed.

Try this tool to determine your place in 'cousinhood'
http://www.iroots.net/tools/cusncalc/cusncalc.htm

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