Abu­sive mother has no right to daugh­ter’s money

Austin American-Statesman - - HOME MATTERS - Jeanne Phillips Dear Abby

Dear Abby: I am 41 years old and was adopted at birth. I was raised by an unlov­ing woman who was emo­tion­ally, ver­bally and phys­i­cally abu­sive. I per­se­vered and now have a lov­ing hus­band and a beau­ti­ful son. We live a com­fort­able and peace­ful life.

My adop­tive mother, on the other hand, ex­pects me to hand her fi­nan­cial sup­port ev­ery month and pay for her ex­trav­a­gant life­style. She did not save for her­self, as I was her “in­vest­ment.” She doesn’t ask, Abby; she de­mands. She be­lieves that if not for her “tak­ing me away from the slums as a child,” I wouldn’t be where I am in life now.

The fi­nan­cial bur­den she has guilted me into is putting a strain on my mar­riage and our plans to save for a sta­ble fu­ture. I am de­pressed be­yond words. It doesn’t help that I still carry re­sent­ment for hav­ing been mis­treated as a child.

Her words are vile when­ever she doesn’t get “her” money, and she couldn’t care less about me or my son. I have no love for her. But I do feel for her in her old age. Please help. What should I do? — Strained Re­la­tion­ship in Cal­i­for­nia

Dear Strained Re­la­tion­ship: Re­al­ize that when good par­ents adopt a baby, they do it NOT be­cause of what that baby will do for them, but for what they can give to that child. Then tell your abuser the gravy train has stopped, she won’t be get­ting an­other penny and cut off all com­mu­ni­ca­tion.

You do not “owe” her any­thing, so do not al­low your­self to be bul­lied or guilted into be­ing her ATM ma­chine. If you feel the urge to wa­ver, take my ad­vice and spend the money on a li­censed psy­chother­a­pist who will help you un­der­stand that your adop­tive mother does not have the eth­i­cal or moral right to any­thing more from you than you have al­ready given.

Dear Abby: I have a 6-year-old daugh­ter and a 3-year-old son who have no mod­esty at all. I don’t make a big deal about pri­vate parts. They some­times bathe to­gether and will jump in the shower with me or my hus­band. Be­cause of this, they’ll get into our pool or hot tub naked if there isn’t a swim­suit around. Our backyard is com­pletely pri­vate. No one can see in, so I have no prob­lem with it.

How­ever, when my in-laws are in town, they are ap­palled and turn it into a big deal. Then my hus­band freaks out, scolds the kids and makes them put their clothes on.

First of all, they are OUR chil­dren and WE are rais­ing them. Sec­ond, if my hus­band didn’t want them swim­ming or run­ning around the house naked, then the kids should have been told be­fore their grand­par­ents ar­rived. I would un­der­stand that if the kids were older, it might be in­ap­pro­pri­ate, but they are still so young.

Am I too laid-back, or are my in-laws too up­tight and we should just let the kids be kids and have fun? — Unashamed in Florida

Dear Unashamed: You are not too laid-back, and your in-laws may not be too up­tight. The dif­fer­ence in your at­ti­tudes re­gard­ing nu­dity may be a re­sult of the gen­er­a­tion gap. I do think it’s hyp­o­crit­i­cal of your hus­band to rep­ri­mand the chil­dren for do­ing some­thing that’s usu­ally ac­cept­able, be­cause it sends a con­fus­ing mes­sage.

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