Misused Nephew

Thursday , 9, January 2014 Comments Off

Dear Susan:

My mom got into legal troubles when I was younger and so I had to go live with my grandmother.  I’m still there, but I work, go to school and pay my grandmother rent.  The problem is my aunts and uncles all come over to the house whenever they want like they own the place.  When they’re there they expect me to wait on them.  They put me down calling me stupid, lazy, fat.

I get so hurt I just go to my room and cry.  Sometimes one of them will actually follow me in there and tell me I’m being a baby.   What hurts most is that my grandmother doesn’t stand up for me.  I’m so upset I’m almost ready to live on the street rather than put up with this any more.  What should I do?

Signed:
Misused Nephew

Dear Misused:

I’m assuming you are not financially able to live on your own yet or you would be.  I’m also assuming that living with your mother is not an option.  You are doing right to be working and going to school.  Keep at it!  Living well is the best revenge against nasty people like your relatives.

People usually put others down because they are insecure.  Somehow it makes them feel better about themselves to dump on other people.  It is a sign of immaturity and low self-esteem.  It is also not your problem.  Communication is a two-step process.  There is what people say to you, which you have absolutely no control over, and there is what you do with that information, which is completely under your control.

So see it for what it is:  a reflection on who THEY are (petty, mean, immature) and not who you are (working hard and trying to do right).  Ignore them.  Forget about them.  Fill your life with people who love and support you and make THEM your family.  Lots of others have to do the same thing.

As for grandma, I have to wonder what her motivation is.  Does she treat you OK when the others are not around?  If so, she may just be afraid of confrontation.  Let her know how much it hurts you that she allows this abuse to continue.  Tell her you would appreciate a little support.  She may or may not be able to do that.

Bottom line:  Work at getting out on your own and making your life great.  Anyone or anything that is not furthering that goal doesn’t deserve your time or emotion.