My siblings and I grew up in a fearful environment, which made us protect one another.
When our parents’ died, I was already suffering from a mental illness including major depression.
When dealing with the Will, some of us noticed valuable things missing. When we questioned our other siblings, we didn't get a clear answer. We had a hard time believing what the possibilities could be.
I spoke to one of my siblings about it, sobbing on the bathroom floor.
I’ve apologized for what I said/did and there’ve been some efforts to get together again, but no one dared discuss it. It's forbidden. They pretend like nothing ever happened.
I’d always based my sibling relationships on trust and protection. They were my best friends. Now I feel as if I'm mourning all of them.
I feel awful for my part in this. I love and miss them terribly. I cannot get over the fact that they won’t talk about it.
I feel so betrayed. Like they picked money over me.
How do I tell them that I love them, but I can't forget, pretend, or ignore it?
With all the things that could’ve torn this family apart, money had to be involved and I'm ashamed at myself for that reason.
Your siblings may still be protecting you. It’s unclear from your account here whether you actually had a hand in whatever was missing, or said whom you thought did, or you were naturally overcome by the very fact that it happened.
Since you already suffered depression, these siblings may’ve decided – out of love and loyalty – not to pursue answers and just accept that some money or things got lost. That would mean they actually chose YOU over the money.
Also, it may be impossible to pursue the matter further, so they’ve decided to put it aside. Or at least not to upset you further about it.
I urge you to get to your mental health professionals – the doctor who diagnosed your illness and whomever has treated you for it, and depression – to get counselling and whatever medication or alternative that can help you.
I’m very worried about my grandchildren ages seven and ten, and their dad (my son) who are bordering on obesity.
My daughter-in-law’s slim. Both parents work full-time, my son at a sedentary 12-hour-day job. They lead the "modern" lifestyle with all its stress. I live two-and-a-half hours away, so don't see them very often.
Also, I try hard to not interfere. Is there anything I can do without creating a rift?
My daughter-in-law and I have a very tenuous relationship, she’s not spoken to her own mother in years. My son's father is my ex and has no relationship with him.
Fretting over Obesity
Talk to your son only, without “interfering.” It’s a fine line but if you avoid the “you-shoulds” and talk only about some concerns for the kids, you’ll at least put some thoughts out there.
Start with facts, but no lecturing, about the children’s health and self-image.
When you visit, bring some healthy snacks as “treats” for the kids’ lunches, without further comment.
Also, invite the family for dinner whenever possible and offer good, tasty nutrition with low-fat ingredients. Again, do this without implying your DIL and son are neglecting the kids’ health.
Later, invite the children, on their own, to visit for a day and sometimes have a sleepover. When together, be a role model of better eating habits.
FEEDBACK Regarding the girl, 17, struggling to get further education despite poverty and poor parenting (Nov. 1):
Reader – “I agree that she should speak to a school counselor. I also feel she should attempt to pursue a university degree.
“There are internship and co-op programs that can help her get work experience and money while still getting a university degree. If she has good or even semi-good grades and a letter from a guidance counselor she may be applicable for a scholarship. Many universities do take into consideration personal circumstance.
“I moved out from an abusive home at 16. She likely feels similar to how I did then, and felt the weight of the world on my shoulders.”
Reader #2 – “What a wonderful young lady, and a blessing to her young brother.”
Ellie – Hopefully, your responses help her see that she IS valuable to herself and others, and must not give up.
Tip of the day:
When depression persists, get medical checks and professional counselling as soon as possible.