Dear Gay Best Friend,
I usually don’t do this but I really need some advice. Long story short my sister put her son out and when he wanted to come back home she put so many conditions on his return he felt like he could not go back home. For example, he had to break up with his girlfriend (who is white) and disassociate himself with all his friends unless she picked them for him to be friends with. This boy is 19 years old (was 18 when she put him out) and she is trying to control every aspect of his life.
She and I were very close, like best friends. We would talk, text, and email everyday and hangout at least four or five days a week. Since I have let my nephew come and live with me she has decided that I am dead to her, and what’s even worse is our kids can’t even talk. She has told her other kids (two of which go to school with her other children and are in the same grade as two of my kids and are best friends) that they are not allowed to speak to my kids.
When her in-laws came to visit he was allowed to come to her house and when they left he was no longer welcome and he came back with his feelings hurt and I had to comfort and console him. I am trying to be supportive but he is not living up to his end of the conditions of him moving in. He is working now and does not contribute to the house and he buys food and hides it upstairs in the room he shares with my son.
I found out a few days ago he has been going to his sister’s soccer games and practices and they have been coming to my house to get him. I don’t want his parents coming to my house and when they told me that I was no longer welcome in their home I respected that and have not been back since. I feel like he/they are going behind my back because he hasn’t told me he has been doing this.
I really do want him to work on his relationship with his parents because that is important but at the same time I feel like he is using me to be away from their rules but still have someone taking care of him. I am the favorite aunt to him and his siblings and now I have no relationship with them or my sister any longer because I decided to help him. When I found out they were coming to pick him up I got really angry because I have lost part of my family and one of my best friends and I also feel it’s disrespectful.
Am I wrong to feel this way? Should I say something to him or not, and if I do what should I say? If you don’t decide to use this for your column would you respond to me anyway and give me your advice. This is weighing very heavy on my heart and I don’t know what to do. – Feel Taken Advantage Of
Dear Ms. Feel Taken Advantage Of,
Honey, one thing I always say, “Family, you didn’t choose them, but you got to love ‘em.” I totally understand how you feel. As the favorite aunt in the family, and the fact you and your sister are very close, you were heartbroken to hear of your sister kicking her son out of the house. He had no place to go, and like family always does, they step in to help.
Well, one thing I think you should have done first before you took him in was to find out what happened. And, to do that you should have gotten the story from both sides. Not just his version, or her version, but both versions. There is something going on in their household I am sure you’re not privy to, and especially getting the story from a 19 year old who feels the world is against him and especially his mother and her unreasonable rules. Boy, please!!
And, think about it, if his mother gave him certain conditions to live by in her house and he didn’t abide by those rules, well, at 18 years old when she put him out, he is an adult. Yes, it’s tough because at 18 years of age many young people start to feel their oats. They think they are grown and want to do grown things, yet live at home with momma and daddy and not abide by their rules. Well, Ms. Honey, that’s not how it works. Like my mother, grandmother, and aunts have told all of their children, when you turn 18, and you’re out of school, you better be in college somewhere, and if not, you better have a job because you’re going to contribute to the household. And, the rules still applied for the curfew and other certain things in their house. If we didn’t like those rules, then we had to find our own apartments and live on our own.
So, yes, you should feel taken advantage of if he is not living up to the conditions you set in your house for him. He should be contributing to your household. He is an adult living in your home. And, why is he sneaking his food upstairs in his room? WOW! Girl, you better put your foot down and as the favorite aunt, or not, you need to be like your sister and practice the tough love.
Look, Ms. Feel Taken Advantage Of, you had a wonderful relationship with your sister. As you’ve stated, you talked, texted, and emailed every day. You even got together to hangout four days out of the week. Trust me, she misses you just like you miss her. But, she feels you are taking sides with her son and you didn’t get the full story of what’s going on and also that you are going against her. It’s her house and she sets her rules accordingly. By you taking in her son she feels you violated her. I say it’s time to sit down with him and lovingly tell him it’s time for him to live on his own. Give him a time period to move out, and let him know you will help him find an apartment. I also recommend mending the relationship with your sister. It’s time for the two of you to get together and quit acting like children yourselves. Talk it out and listen to one another and after it’s all said and done, tell her how much you love her and give her one big ole’ hug! – Straight From Your Gay Best Friend
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