should I just stay out of it?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
should I just stay out of it?
2
Thu, 10-09-2003 - 12:30pm
Hi, I am new to this board although I frequent some other ivillage ones. I actually tried calling Dr. Joy Brown about this problem, and got through, but got cut off- phone connection or something I don't know. I think I know what she would have said, and that is to just mind my own business, but I'd like some opinions. Here is the situation. My aunt is 54 and has moved back in with her parents, my grandparents. She's been there for a year now and is absolutely driving them crazy. She is so selfish and does not realize that even when she tries to help, she is a huge burdon on them. She brought four cats with her, one of which goes to the bathroom all over the basement floor. The cats are only aloud in the basement and a seasonal room off the basement and they are distroying the area, now they go out and are destroying the screen doors when they want to come back in (and ofcourse she taught them to come in through the front door not that back). She moves there things all around but doesn't put away her own and is not taking care of her spaces (ie. the bathroom). She is very depressed and very emotional, and they can't say two words to her without her freaking out and getting very upset. My grandfather is at the end of his rope and speaks his mind about wanting her to get rid of the cats "why does she need four cats?!" etc. which just gets her all upset. My grandmother is the opposite and keeps it all in and lets it bother her. I've tried talking to her but she's so unstable she takes everything personally and gets all upset so I try to say that "grandpa really doesn't mean it" but the truth is he does and he has every right to feel the way he does. She's working a temp job which doesn't pay much at all. She is so depressed that all she does is watch tv and eat chocolate. She needs to get out and get a job but she makes excuses. She is very smart- has a law degree and a masters in education. I know this is long but any advice at all would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Melanie

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-16-2002
Thu, 10-09-2003 - 1:42pm
I don't think there is much anyone can do until your aunt decides to get help. She sounds like she is depressed, and should go see a doctor to confirm and possibly get medication. If someone could tell her that getting help will help her to feel better, and possibly even have someone go with her, she may change her tune. Only if she becomes a danger to herself or her parents (your grandparents) can you really do anything until she wants to do something. As for the cats, it is your grandparents home, and if your aunt can't control her cats, your grandparents should set the ground rules and continue to get after your aunt to clean up after them/control them. I don't really see what more you could possibly do especially since your aunt sounds very depressed and irrational and basically can't really function. Unfortunately, it's probably going to be harder for her to hit rock bottom because she has the support of her parents on which she is very dependent (and they are the co-dependents). I would say, if you can, either yourself or your parents speak to your grandparents, who, in turn, should tell your aunt, a condition of her staying with them is that she seeks the help she needs.

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

.  -Albert Einstein

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 10-09-2003 - 2:39pm
Unfortunately she has been on medications for years, seen therapists and the medicines just don't help. I know she took herself off them a while back and I don't know if she's back on them or not- it certainly might help stabilize her a little bit though. I know there isn't anything I an do but I just feel so bad for my grandparents. They shouldn't have to be dealing with this. I do love my aunt too, and we are very close, so it's hard for me to tell her what's she's doing that's driving my grandparents nuts, I end up trying to make it not be her fault or whatever. I guess I just have to encourange my grandmother to tell her what bothers her so she won't just internally stew over it. Thanks anyway,

Mel