We all have the family members that are in our lives by blood or marriage, but not by choice. I've had/have some doozies in mine. Still, I've been fortunate enough, or smart enough, to keep the true parasites from directly impacting my life. While I might have philosophical or even ethical differences from some siblings and sibling in laws, we have not really had to be literally or virtually restrained from each other. I've not had or have not let anyone take advantage of being family. Frustrations at times, yes, of course. I readily admit that if my kids had sinlgeton needs and needed some help once in awhile, I am more than happy to help out, help, being the operative word. I'll want to understand what will be different-what's their game plan?
Some in my circle though are not so fortunate, and yes, I am describing a few supposed family members as parasitic. Like my niece and nephews (and her spouse) that spent down a workman's comp settlement instead of getting back on their feet, on new stuff for a lake trailer, their own homes, vacations and gifts; money that should have bridged them well into their retirement. Now, my sister will be working in a very hard job, physically and mentally, until probably past 70, with her adult kids constantly with their hands out, and her not saying no. Same story-different sister, different nephew. I can't even get started on one of my nieces husbands who stole from her inheritance for years, acting to everyone like a caring supportive man, all the while he was sponging every penny he could, leaving her in a state of poverty, homelessness, and untreated depression. We have agreed, several siblings and I out of respect and love for her parents, will as needed, pay bills on her behalf, buy groceries, clothes, bring her to social functions, but no one will ever give a penny as we know he will figure out how to get it from her. Her own siblings though have nothing to do with her, because their princess wives don't want their kids exposed to her dysfunction, which is completely sad as so much of her excess trust of her loser husband was because of a sense of abandonement of her core family after her parents died.
Then there is the crazy relative of DH's who has his own personal conspiracy theory playing out in his head. Some shared ownership of property has become a nightmare to everyone else. He spies with hidden cameras at the property and sends DH's 77 year old widowed mom threatening emails and complaints about wheel barrows out of place. I think he is trying to figure out how to sue the other owners of this family property, his wife's, not his, family, mind you, and take sole possession. I keep myself several moves away, but DH gets dragged in trying to support his mother. This man has ruined relationships over petty grievances made up in his own mind, and even his own wife is fed up.
I'm saddened to read about how other bloggers write about how they or their loved ones are consistently manipulated by their own so called family. As I've been able to keep myself and my immediate family at a distance, others cannot. Some are protecting their parents from manipulative brothers and greedy sisters. Another story recently involved tremendous greed over family items, while the matriarch of the family was still using and enjoying the items! I am amazed that anyone thinks their parents owe them anything after adulthood.
These are the times that blood is not thicker than water. These are when, protecting the vulnerable aside, a person just needs to cut that part of their relationships loose and walk away.