OH COME ON, life. Cut me some f*cking slack.

Health issues, divorce, change in child arrangements, job loss, relationship challenges, and now…

…dealing with parental financial issues.

Really? Haven’t I proven a high degree already of change resilience?

Long story short, my Mother and Step-Father were well set up for retirement a decade ago, having sold theirย business, paid off their mortgage, and living simply with a focus on experiences, including travel.

Then the 2008 financial crises happened, and my Step-Dad, who managed their investments, managed to lose ALL of their savings. Literally. All. Of. Their. Savings. Okay, well, perhaps they had $30,000 left.ย 

They re-mortgaged their house. Stopped all unnecessary expenditures, sold my Mom’s car. Have lived exceedingly frugally since then.

The irony is not lost on me, as my Mom was the one who taught me about savings for retirement, and that I should never rely on a man for my financial stability. When I pleaded with her to take what little money she had and put it with my investment advisor, she said theย investing was my Step-Dad’s life and she was worried he would fall farther into a depression should he lose that as well.

I may not have mentioned it, but his son, my step-brother, committed suicide in 2008. It was not a good year for my family.

And now, with their soleย car needing several thousands in repairs, my Mother has told me it’s looking more likely they need to sell their house. The house they renovated from the ground up, with the amazing gardens which back onto a ravine. Where Liam has learned the names of countless birds, seen deer, chipmunks, rabbits, and foxes. Where he’s learned the fine art of tomato gardening. Which has an amazing water view.

I could pay for their car repairs but don’t have enough money to bail them out in the long term. Well, not without risking my own financial stability.

I know this isn’t about me, but I’m already feeling the strain of the various stressors which didn’t include my Mother’s financial stability. Liquidating everything and moving to some small tropical island and running a juice stand is looking more and more appealing.


0 thoughts on “OH COME ON, life. Cut me some f*cking slack.

  1. I know you’re hurting, Ann, but you’re one of the strongest souls I’ve ever encountered. You’re going to be all right.

  2. Ann, your year is sounding too similar to mine. I’m ready to cash in on 2015 and skip ahead to the next year. I can completely identify and commiserate with the financial woes of close family members and the impact that it has on them and subsequently on Savannah and me. I wish I could offer you some advice or wisdom, but I’m completely tapped out. it would be nice to just remove myself from the equation.

      • It just means that I wish that I didn’t care so much. I wish that I could be as blase’ about this as so many other people are. Because other family members have chosen to ignore the issues for so many years, Savannah and I shoulder the burdens of caring and helping. The emotional drain is substantial. If I removed my caring, it would be easy.

  3. Wow Ann, sorry to hear about this. This is my worst nightmare. Financial security is my top priority and investing is something that I do fret over. I can’t imagine what a horrible spot you must be in.

    • Thank you John. It’s stressful indeed, because I want to ensure my Mom is in a good place. For all of the great work she did in her lifetime, given where she came from, she should NOT be having to deal with this. It makes me angry. But I also know that I can’t exactly support her and my step-father without putting my own financial security at risk. Not an easy place to be.

  4. Oh no!
    I’m so sorry Ann!
    Yes, this must all be terribly difficult for you. I remember how I felt when my mom sold my childhood home to relocate in a cheaper area. I completely understood where she was coming from, but it was still a difficult thing to come to terms with. However, at least, in the case of my mom, it meant that she was going to have a chance at being happier, leaving behind the house where the history with her former husband had taken place.
    I totally understand the juice stand and island. Can I come too?

    Big hugs!

  5. Can’t “like” the post because, well, because I know exactly what you mean. It’s as if you want to shake your fist at life and flip the middle finger in exasperation. *sigh* Or you hesitate in murmuring “what next”? Because you know there’s always an answer you don’t want to hear. It’s because you are strong and resilient that all of these things aren’t able to make you collapse as others would. Can only send positive thoughts your way.

    • Thank you for those positive thoughts…I’ve needed them.

      And yeah, I do find myself wondering “okay, what’s next?!”… I do know I can handle all these things, I just wish I didn’t have to. But on the other hand, I guess I’d rather deal with it all now than have many years of prolonged shit ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Have they looked into any sort of government aid (I know this is a tough pull for some to swallow)? Also too a house is only a physical item, if they sell or and downsize then perhaps that might help?

    Sending positive and calming vibes your way. Take care!

    • Thank you Vic. They are already on government aid given their ages (I think it’s called Social Security in the US?). I know they will get a good deal for their house, so downsizing or moving to a lesser area will be in their future. It’s just so bloody frustrating to see my mother be in this situation, given everything she’s worked so hard for.

      And especially because if my step-dad hadn’t been such a bloody idiot with their retirement savings, none of this would have happened.

  7. oh just damn. the good news is you’re collecting quite a posse for that juice stand, so that should be fabulous! hang in there, girl. something good has to come out of all this.

  8. Would they ever consider renting out a room to a student or something? Perhaps go back to work just temporarily? Another idea–contact a life settlement company who will buy their life insurance policies for cash. The settlement company continues to pay the premiums until the insured passes away, whereby they collect the death benefit. I rarely think these are good options, but have they looked into reverse mortgages? So sorry you are dealing with this. It’s hard to watch parents deal with difficult stuff ๐Ÿ™

    • Thank you for the suggestions… I know my Mom will look at all kinds of options. They are into their 70s so jobs are difficult to come by, especially for my step-dad who is hard of hearing and not so great at learning new things.

  9. I’m so sorry to hear this Ann… It seems sometimes that everything happens all at once doesn’t it? But you are strong and you can overcome this. And you have friends here with listening ears and broad shoulders. Stay strong love. x

  10. It’s not your problem.

    I know that sounds like a bitch thing to say, and it doesn’t mean you won’t have feelings about it – disappointment being high on the list.

    But your mother is an adult. She made adult choices and will pay adult consequences.

    I know how strenuous it is, emotionally, to see a parent do the EXACT.SAME.THING they warned you *NOT* to do, and then witness the fallout. It’s taken 25 years and near financial ruin for mother to finally start guarding what was hers. I’ve helped when I can, but too much ‘help’ is enabling, and it has the opposite effect: it doesn’t help, it hurts. Because it allows the behavior (blinded-by-misguided-intentions kind of behavior) to continue, which is to everybody’s detriment. Sometimes the ones who try to teach us don’t (or won’t or can’t) heed their own lessons.

    I realize that’s probably not what you want to hear, but I’ve been there, and I deal much better in realities than in platitudes.


    • Thank you, and I know you are right. My Mom said the same thing to me today – that it’s not my problem and she needs to deal with the consequences of her actions / inactions.

      I’m sorry you are dealing with the same thing…it’s very difficult as a child to see a parent go through this.

      Ironically, my Mom is a huge believer in people learning the consequences of her actions. When my step-brother lost all his university money one year by playing the stock market (like father like son, it should seem) they didn’t bail him out. Now, turns out he had mental issues, but we didn’t know it at the time.

      I just get so frustrated to see her in this position – it should not be how things are for her, given how hard she worked in her life to be a success. But… as you rightly say, she’s got to work it out.

  11. I am in a similar situation. It turned out that my dad is in so much debt taht my parents have almost no money to live on. They spend whatever they earn on payin off the debts. Not only I am stressing with whatever is going on in my life (love wise) but also with whatever is going on at home. My mum is depressed, I have no contact with my dad…Life sucks a ltttle at the moment, even though I am in India on holiday.

  12. Life is just raining buckets of shit on you right now. Good grief. I am sorry that your mom decided to share this with you in the middle of all your other stresses. They will be fine but perhaps not living the lifestyle they are accustomed to. How about AirBnB for them? I am not too keen on the reverse mortgage idea because they may want to downsize anyway. Ugh. I hope that juice stand has plenty of alcohol.

    • She apologized afterwards for sending me the texts she did – it was a heat of the moment panic. She said she knows it’s not my problem, I have enough to deal with, and she has to deal with the consequences of her actions and inaction.

      I do like your phrase “raining buckets of shit”. Feels appropriate!!

  13. Been there Ann, not with the same issues, but, boy oh boy, the emotions for sure!! (You could put your juice bar just down the beach from my hot dog stand! Everybody likes hot dogs right??) I know the feeling all too well of being bombarded from every possible angle. If He brings you to it, He’ll bring you through it. Try to keep positive, do what you can, keep your eyes open and do what you believe to be right. You have such a slim chance of doing something wrong if you can manage to stay the course. Sending positive thoughts your way…..

  14. That is a lot of pressure! Props to you, however, for being the stability in an unstable situation. So often, I think we strive to reach a point of stagnation, or lack of change. When really, the most unstable, the most change possible, is the best place to be.

What do you think?