It happened again, and I can’t say I didn’t see it coming, but I thought it wouldn’t be so soon.
Okay, explaining that odd opening statement: my mother asked me for money, again. And I said no, finally. I cannot tell you how much this both pisses me off and makes me feel like the dirtiest shit in the street.
My mother called me while I was driving home from work. As soon as she said, “I need your help,” I recognized the meaning of that phrase. She needs a new roof. My mother expected me to pay for a new roof. WTF!
I love my mother with all my heart, by how can you ask your child for something like that when you know they are not rich? Just because I got some money when Ella died doesn’t mean I am this bottomless pit from which to solve all of her problems.
Truth be told, a lot of that money went to my debts. I was a recent college grad with a car note, student loans, and two credit cards to pay off, when that money fell into my lap. I did what I thought, and what ultimately turned out to be, the smart thing at the time and paid 90% of my debts. The rest I stuck in an emergency fund and a CD, where I wouldn’t be able to touch it. And low and behold, seems like that was a good decision.
I’ve digressed from the point. I am not a money purse. I am not my father, a medical doctor with a private practice and enough money to lend my mother when happenstance comes her way. I am a 26 year old aspiring (meaning not yet published and just trying to find someone to read my work) writer. I am not a bank, a lottery ticket, or a charity.
What blows my mind about this is the amount of money I would have to pony up to help her and the fact she didn’t even realize what she was asking. I tried to make the analogy that asking me to pay for her new roof was like asking me to buy her a new car. It just wasn’t going to happen, though of course I said it nicer than that.
My mother currently owes me over $3000. While Ella was sick, she was trying to pay for an Alaskan cruise. Talk about bad timing, this was when I needed her to help me pay Ella’s rent. Before she got sick, I paid Ella $250/month, while I tried to get regular tech work. When she got sick, she stopped working, and it fell to me to try to get the rent paid each month. I asked my Mom to help, but that lasted for about three months. I some how found a way to get us by.
When Ella passed, and I had received life insurance pay outs, my mother asked me to “help her” with her Alaskan cruise. At the time, I understood she wanted a break from the heart ache. But, to do so I had to put it on a credit card. Not only that, she asked me, closer to the event, for some spending money while she was there. Fine, I thought, but she will owe me interest, a fixed amount of money I added to the total.
[Aside: What most angered me about the situation is that my mother had the opportunity to back out and recoup about half her money. When she saw she wasn’t going to be able to pay, she should have done that. But, by this time, she had waited until the very end, when paybacks were no longer possible, and came to me.]
More recently, my mother asked for my “help” to fix her car. I understand the situation, being without a car. What I don’t understand is why couldn’t just save up the money to fix it instead of asking me for it. She can bus to work. Yes, her church is kind of far away, but she still could have carpooled with someone or left out very early to take public transportation. What made the situation worse during the car incident was a repeat of the past, her needing me to help twice for the same problem. You’d think I would have already learned.
And now there is the roof. That’s it. I’m done. Until she pays me the $3000+ she still owes me, no more. I just can’t. It makes me angry. It makes me feel used. And it makes me not want to be around her when she does this.
Having said all this, I know I could afford to pay for her roof, but I shouldn’t have to. I paid for her cruise and I paid for her car. I think $3000+ worth of my help is MORE than enough for good daughter status.
When am I suppose to stop? When all I have left is my emergency fund? Or do I have to give all that up, too?
It’s time my mother learned how to deal with traumatic financial situations, without an all saving hand to intervene. I’ve gone through them and handled it. It’s time she did, too. In short, it’s time for my mother to act like an adult.
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